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Patricia  Panchak

Patricia Panchak

Former Editor-in-Chief, IndustryWeek

Patricia Panchak

Former Editor-in-Chief, IndustryWeek


When it comes to understanding world-class business strategies, studying best practices case studies is the gold-standard — but knowing what another successful company did is only part of the story.

While some companies seek answers from external sources, try and fail to adopt another company’s’ successful strategy, world-leading companies work to understand the how and the why, then look inward and carefully adapt best practices to extend an existing or create a new competitive advantage.

By digging deeper, they discover no company’s success is the result of a single best practice strategy, no matter how impactful. Rather world-leading companies—and even just very successful companies—combine a host of complementary strategies uniquely intertwined to become a one-of-a-kind.

Patricia Panchak brings 25 years of researching world-class leadership strategies to help executives translate the power of strategies created at the intersection of three powerful forces--digital technologies, lean management principles, and engaged employees. While each approach can be leveraged individually to create a disruptive competitive advantage, together, they become an unbeatable force.

As the former editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek, Panchak is a widely recognized authority on business management and leadership issues. Through extensive research, she provides a window into the best practices of world-class organizations and provides the knowledge companies need to put the challenge of global competition in perspective. An accomplished storyteller and an animated, articulate speaker, Patricia inspires optimism in her audiences by filling her presentations with an abundance of valuable data and successful case studies. Her recent work focuses on the following critical factors that drive innovation and competitiveness:

  • Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies
  • Embedding Lean into Your Cultural DNA
  • Leveraging Lean and Engaged Employees to Power Your Digital Transformation

Patricia is also often called upon to deliver her one-of-a-kind take on the state of U.S., North American, and/or global manufacturing, a thought-provoking review of current economic data, plus a challenge of the manufacturing myths that impede the growth of companies and countries. Patricia’s talks on global strategy explain how successful U.S. companies are surviving—even thriving—in today’s hyper-competitive, fast-changing, low-cost economy.

An engaging and insightful speaker, Panchak draws upon 20+ years of research, interviews and reporting that reveals the innovative strategies and best practices of the world’s top companies. These strategies and best practices will make an immediate impact on any organization--by cutting costs, boosting productivity and increasing profits—and will set your company on a path to strong sustainable growth.

She can customize any presentation to your organization’s needs – even engaging in sit-down seminars and break-off sessions.

Speaker Videos

The Toyota System: How LEAN Developed

How to Compete in Hyper-Competitive Market

Power Your Digital Transformation

New Era of Manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing

Speech Topics

Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Digital Technologies

While the Internet of Things, Data Analytics, blockchain, robotics, AR/VR, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a host of other technologies has spelled disruption for many businesses and supply chains, others have harnessed their power to achieved competitive advantage.

Learn from the leaders how to jump start and/or accelerate a digital transformation that drives your business. The key? Analyzing your objectives through the three facets of digital thinking: strategic, conceptual and technologic. 

Based on dozens of extensive interviews with executives who are setting the pace, this presentation will show you how to identify not only what’s possible, but what’s necessary to drive your business forward to:

  • Speed product development
  • More effectively meet customer demands/improve customer service
  • Accelerate financial decision-making
  • Create new business models / drive innovation
  • Achieve operational efficiencies
  • Comply with standards & regulations
  • Improve leadership & management decision-making

This presentation can be customized by technology and business goal.

Leveraging Lean & Engaged Employees to Power Your Digital Transformation

For too many business leaders, disruptive digital technologies, with their promise of instant competitive advantage, obviate the need for the more deliberative approach of lean thinking. But technology does not trump lean — the two complementary forces each made are more powerful with the other. Learn how companies are leveraging strong, successful lean cultures to power digital transformation.

Embedding Lean Into Your Cultural DNA

Outside in or Inside Out? Where you begin a lean transformation — or lean reboot — matters. By now most business leaders understand that adopting lean principles goes far beyond deploying lean tools. Few, however, understand what it takes to build a truly lean culture. Of those that have, each shares a common critical recognition: success begins when an organization applies lean strategies to understand and improve their lean deployment.

Beginning with Toyota’s development of the Toyota Production system and featuring specific examples from several companies and hospitals, this presentation will demonstrate how organizations embed the power of lean thinking and practices into their very DNA. 

Solving the Talent Gap

While most companies bemoan the difficulty of attracting and retaining the highest quality talent, others are solving the problem from within. Discover what it takes to lead employees to contribute at their full potential — from a new mindset about work and workers, to new approaches to leadership and management at all levels. 

Learn how successful companies have transformed their employees into entrepreneurs who own their work — and are ready, willing and able to innovate products and services, cut costs and develop more effective work processes — and to grow the bottom line.