No. 448 May 2017
Member Highlight
Norbert Majerus
The Challenges of Being Lean

Incorporating lean principles into an established firm is no easy task. Just ask Norbert Majerus, Lean Champion at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. An engineer by training and winner of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award, Majerus was offered the opportunity to help transform the speed to market platform at Goodyear.
"Goodyear was experiencing a 'burning platform' around 2004," Majerus said. "We were making great products, but we lacked a world-class R&D process to quickly bring new products to market. I reluctantly agreed to take on this challenge, which ended with me writing a book about it, Lean-Driven Innovation."
Despite personally winning the Shingo award, and helping Goodyear win the AME Excellence Award, both in 2016, Majerus says his success was only possible because of the excellent associates and the leaders employed by Goodyear. When he spoke about the biggest challenges he faces each day, he said it was training enough associates in lean principles so that they can carry on his work after he retires.
"Over the past decade we have worked hard to educate our staff about lean principles and how to apply them every day in their work," said Majerus. "That's the only way that lean works and can be sustained - if it becomes the culture of the organization and the common way to work. Over time, the company, top leadership down to new hires, has begun to learn that change and improvement are part of our culture, and necessary to remain a leader in the industry."
As one who works hard to train young professionals rising through the ranks of an R&D organization, we asked Majerus what advice he gives them when they start. He said, "Never stop learning. Every day you should look for problems to solve and for better ways of working." The part that is hard for engineers, he said, is to be open and communicative -- both in seeking out advice and in a willingness to teach others.
On Friday, May 5, at noon Eastern IRI will be hosting a Brown Bag webinar with Majerus as he discusses his work and his recent RTM article, " Leveraging Lean Principles in R&D." 

Get Excited for the 2017 Annual Meeting!

R&D Beyond Four Walls
Westin Boston Waterfront
May 8 - 11

You can still register to attend the 2017 Annual Meeting! Even if you don't pre-register, come anyways! Onsite registrations are welcomed and encouraged. Remember that all member companies have a complimentary registration to attend this meeting included in their member benefits. Don't waste it.  Come join us or send someone from your team!

IRI intentionally designs the Annual Meeting experience to amplify engagement and learning. The opportunity to create new ideas, engage new partners, and leverage the brainpower of your peers to solve problems only comes from actively participating in the sessions.

The 2017 Annual Meeting is exploring how organizations are pushing beyond the traditional value chain to adopt a more dynamic and integrated collaboration culture across the business enterprise. Topics and case studies focus on the role R&D plays in spotting, vetting, and validating new ideas and integrating their value into the business.

Keynote Speakers:

Keoki Jackson, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
Lockheed Martin

Michael Tushman, PhD
Prof. of Business Administration
Harvard Business School
IRI Medalists:

Joi Ito
MIT Media Lab
Henry Chesbrough, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Haas School of Business
UC Berkeley

After the meeting, continue networking with colleagues during our optional group outings/tours. Arrange your travel to stay on Thursday, May 11. Member facility tour options currently scheduled include a  tour of the FM Global Research Campus (free, but pre-registration is required) or  a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery ($25 to attend).

First time attendee or perhaps just looking for a bit more info prior to the meeting next week? Join us for a "Welcome Webinar" this Wednesday, May 3, at 11:30 AM Eastern.

Can We Borrow Your Young Brains?

Members of our latest strategic research initiatives, Recruiting and Retaining Early Career Technical Talent, are looking to diversify their project team with some additional young, High Potential brains. Between now and the Member Summit in October, the group will be conducting case studies on companies that are ahead of the curve in recruiting and retaining the next generation of talent and surveying that next generation on that group's wants and needs.  At the end, IRI members will get practical tips on how to recruit and retain the next generation of R&D leaders.

For more details, contact Lee Green.
IRI Me mber Companies in the News


Northrop Grumman officially opens North Dakota UAS facility The Dirt Podcast: "Pulling Back the Curtain on Product Development"

FM Global ranked as top insurer in 2017 Risk Manager Choice Awards

Novozymes and Boehringer Ingelheim announce strategic collaboration in probiotics for poultry hatcheries
NASA to break ground on new R&D lab at Langley Research Center
A.O. Smith adds integrated recirculating pump to condensing tankless model

DSM introduces high performance anti-soiling coating for solar cover glass Collaboration between Covestro, RiFRA Milano, and Sirca produces sustainable furniture coating  Baxter introduces comprehensive guide for building a smart infusion system drug library


System invented by Army researchers reclaims unrepairable parts, saves money Unisys awarded contract by Michigan Dept. of Technology to improve the Michigan Gaming Control Board's oversight and customer service  SC Johnson announces major investment in Michigan factory to meet increased demand
Innovation News

BizTech News
~Union-Sun & Journal
~Endpoints News
~ABA Banking Journal
~University Herald
~US Government Accountability Office

~Business World
~ITS International
~University World News
~The Times of India

~The Financial Brand
~Bizztor India
~War on the Rocks
Upcomin g Events

Brown Bag:
Leveraging Lean
Principles  in R&D

Your Desk
May 5, Noon Eastern

2017 Annual Meeting
"R&D Beyond Four Walls"

Boston, MA
May 8-11

Regional Meeting
Hosted by
Campbell Soup Company

Camden, NJ
May 18
4:00 - 7:00 PM

Register Online

CTO Forum

Littleton, CO
June 26-27

By Invitation Only
Contact Malory Smith for More Info

Thank You 2017 Industry Sponsors






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