Archive: Symposium on Learning Organizations: Agile, Lean, Deming, and More

This page archives the original registration page for an event that was held in September 2018.

“The organizations that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap people's commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization.” – Peter Senge

Interested in Participating Next Time?



Reflections on Our First Event

Highlights from our Lean Event Tour at Toyota

More blog posts to come…

From the Original Registration Page: Overview

See a video created by Mark Graban about the event

This 2-day, experience-based event will bring together leaders involved in creating and sustaining learning organizations. Attendees will observe and learn how other companies and domains are driving learning and improvements. The format is “PowerPoint free” and focuses on attendees learning from each other in a fun, collaborative environment.

The experience starts on the first day with a tour of the Toyota visitor center and plant in San Antonio. Afterward, Mark Graban, who started his career in the auto industry, will lead a debriefing discussion. You'll see firsthand how Toyota makes continuous improvement part of their culture. You'll also have opportunities to discuss how to adopt and adapt these methods to your industry.

After visiting Toyota, we will look at another domain – craft whiskey. We'll visit Garrison Brothers, a distillery where artisans apply continuous learning and improvement to their process and product.

We'll kick off the second day with structured learning sessions. However, most of the day is scheduled to be an open space format. This will give attendees an opportunity to reflect on the experiences from the first day. It will also allow attendees to share ideas and learn from each other.

There will be two group learning sessions, one led by Mark Graban and another led by Dion Stewart and Joel Tosi.

Mark will facilitate the famed “Red Bead Experiment,” an experiential and fun way to learn about variation in processes and systems, with practical lessons enabling improved management of metrics and improvement efforts.

Joel and Dion will facilitate a session on understanding how knowledge creation happens in organizations, the difference between tacit and explicit knowledge, and the implications for creating a learning organization.

You'll leave this 2-day conference with ideas you can immediately try in your organization and with a network of new connections to people from your domain and other industries.

This small, exclusive event is the start of what we hope becomes a nice consortium or network of leaders able to share and learn from each other both during the event and on an ongoing basis.

Who Should Attend

Leaders and change agents involved with fostering change in their organizations. This could include adoption of methodologies including Agile, systems thinking, all variations of Lean (manufacturing, healthcare, startups, IT, etc.), and more. We aim to have diverse attendees willing to share experiences and learn from each other.

Price Information

The ticket price includes bus travel and the admission fee for the Garrison Brothers tour (the Toyota tour is free). We'll provide breakfast and lunch both days. Rental cars are not needed if you are flying in and out of San Antonio. We'll provide block rates at hotels for the night in San Antonio and the night in Fredericksburg.

Rough schedule (Subject to change)

Day 1

8:00 Depart San Antonio hotel (Springhill Suites)

8:40 Arrive Toyota Visitor Center

8:45 Toyota Visitor Center Self-Guided Time

9:30 Toyota Tour

11:00 Tour Ends, Depart & Debrief Discussion on the bus

11:45 Stop for Lunch

12:30 Depart for Garrison Brothers

3:00 Garrison Brothers Tour

4:00 Informal Networking Time / Discussion at Garrison Brothers

5:00 Depart for Fredericksburg hotel

5:30 Arrive at hotel – Fairfield Inn

7:00 Dinner TBD – on your own

Day 2

7:30 Depart Hotel

8:00 Arrive Garrison Brothers – Breakfast

8:30 Day's Activities / Discussions Begin (in the Garrison Brothers “barrel barn”)

4:00 Bus departs back to San Antonio airport

For information on hotels, wi-fi, and Toyota's visitor dress code, see below.

Important Information

Toyota has a strict dress code for safety. Please be sure to pack and dress accordingly. Read about the dress code for the Toyota tour here.