About us


As a nonprofit organization, iplqi, an acronym for Institute for Process, Leadership and Quality Improvement (pronounced i – p – l – q – i)* offers:

  • Process improvement through Lean strategies
  • Leadership improvement through exemplary leader practices
  • Quality improvement through Six Sigma methodologies

* The iplqi logo was created while Ron and one of his sons (Josh) were “entertaining” a grandson with Playskool blocks. And now you know …


As a nonprofit organization, we offer training programs that target healthcare and, more specifically, hospitals. In fact, our materials are so customized to hospitals that non-healthcare practitioners are challenged to understand the terminology used and, more importantly, the issues that hospitals face today.
Every example, exercise and data set was created from actual healthcare improvement Lean Kaizen events, Six Sigma DMAIC projects and express workouts over the last 15 years.
Thousands have attended our programs—front line staff, supervisors, managers, directors and executives, as well as from every healthcare profession—nurses, doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, therapist, dietitians, lab techs, case managers, sociologists, and more!

40 years in the making!

Extensive use of simulations and experiential activities allow our participants to immediately practice the workshop’s skills, tools and techniques. Our training programs are action-based. We ask that participants bring problems and opportunities for improvement—projects—to our programs so that they can immediately apply the tools and techniques during the training.

We include in-depth healthcare case studies in our workshops. Participants are assigned to teams so that they can experience working together to solve relevant problems that hospitals face. Other than the basic orientation course, all other programs require pre-workshop assignments.

Ron Erickson, our lead trainer and founder …

After serving a two-year mission for his church, Ron entered the Army National Guard as a private. He later attended Officer Candidate School and was assigned to a Special Forces A-team. Ron began his business career in 1980 putting into practice Crosby’s Quality Improvement Process, Deming’s Continuous Improvement Process, and Juran’s Breakthrough Improvement Process at three major companies. He then spent 5 years consulting with and training executive teams at 10 of the top Fortune 100 companies in Total Quality Management. For 8 years, Ron led the Lean Six Sigma initiative for a national company across 35 sites around the U.S. During this time, he personally led over 50 Kaizen events (Lean) and facilitated over 100 DMAIC projects (Six Sigma).

About fifteen years ago, one of Ron’s sons (Jordan) was working at a large academic hospital with several PICU physicians. This group of attendings had questions about the implementation of Lean and Six Sigma in a healthcare environment. They asked Ron to work with them and develop a program for their hospital. Since then, Ron has worked exclusively with healthcare organizations in implementing Lean, Six Sigma and leadership development. As a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he has trained 1,000s of participants and certified 100s of Black Belts, Green Belts (Six Sigma), Purple Belts (Lean) and Lean Leaders.

Ron has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics, with graduate work in Industrial Engineering and Statistics. He was an examiner with the Baldrige National Quality program and an ISO 9000 Lead Auditor. He and his wife reside in western North Carolina, have five sons and eight grandchildren.