Go Lean or Go Home

Reading Time: 2 Minutes Lean Journey

About 4 months ago, I was doing my morning workout at the gym on the treadmill- something I absolutely loathe. Unlike my husband Curt, who is athletic, fit and competitive, I am none of the above and see exercise as a necessary evil (I hope one day to be in good enough shape to celebrate my 90th birthday as we just did for my dad).

Denise's father Frank

Our family traveled from near and far to celebrate my dad, Frank, for his 90th birthday.

The only way I can make it through the 45 minutes of agony is to have an interesting diversion, so I watch a variety of business and personal development videos while speed walking at level 5 incline. On this morning four months ago, I watched a video presentation from the Growth Institute by Paul Akers called 2-Second Lean. I was absolutely blown away by the simplicity of what he had to say.

Lean, which was pioneered by Toyota, is all about the elimination of waste and the focus on continuous improvement. 2-Second Lean, an even simpler concept, requires every person on the team to makes a 2-second improvement every day. As Paul says:

Just give me a single 2-second improvement a day. That’s it. That’s all I ask for. A 2 second improvement. There is not a person on earth that can’t figure out how to improve something by 2 seconds.

On the way home, I told Curt that I just watched the most awesome video and he needed to watch it too. After some serious pestering, I got him to watch it with me during lunch. He was hooked- and believe me, he does not jump on board very easily. Our next step was to share the video at our weekly Leadership meeting. The Leadership Team also loved what Paul had to say and believed Benchmark could benefit greatly from implementing Lean. However, we still had to get buy in from one more very important group and that was our international managers. We had to be sure that the Lean concept would work across our nine languages, nine offices and diverse cultures.

We shared the 2-Second Lean video at our semi-annual international sales meeting held at our Los Alamitos headquarters and got an overwhelming thumbs up from the international managers.

I read Paul’s book, 2-Second Lean, and also shared that with the Leadership team. The more we talked about it, the more certain we were that we were ready to embark on a Lean journey at Benchmark.

This blog post is the first in a new series that chronicles that process. I will share the victories and the challenges. It is intended to help any organization that is interested in implementing Lean, no matter if they are a SaaS company like us, a non-profit or a one person start up.

A friend once referred to my personal motto as, “Go Big or Go Home.” Looks like it’s time for a new slogan!

 

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