Welcome to this episode of businessSUCCESS with Doug Barra. Today I want to really start to talk to you about this great new concept, and it’s not a new concept in the world. It’s a new concept for our team, and the concept is LEAN. In today’s episode I’m going to talk to you about the concept of LEAN, and LEAN is something I’ve known about for a long time, but I’ve always considered it to be something that was for big corporations, and it was something that took a whole lot of knowledge and understanding. It wasn’t something that in any way, shape or form was for a small businesses.

I’ve recently discovered a man named Paul Akers. Now, the first thing you want to understand about Paul Akers is he does not own a small business. Paul Akers owns a huge business and he didn’t get into LEAN when he was a small business, he got into LEAN when he was a big business, but he was able to take his big business into a huge business using LEAN. We discovered this kind of by accident as the pandemic hit, a lot of different people were doing different kinds of online programs.

Jody was on an online program that was put together by Verne Harnish. In that program, Paul Akers came on and he did a very quick presentation. These were all 5 to 10 minute presentations. So they were very quick and he talked very quickly about LEAN and how LEAN is simple and fun, and from that, we went LEAN is simple and fun?. My understanding of LEAN is, it’s this whole process, six Sigma, you know, you have to go and spend years learning it and understanding it, and it was very complicated and all of this and that, to me, it was just another one of those corporate things that they pull out and it doesn’t really provide anything for anybody. Other than the guys up in the top of the corporate ladder, but what he said really intrigued us, because one of the things that he said was that LEAN is not about corporate profits.

What we’ve discovered, or actually, I should say what I’ve discovered. I think I can talk for Jody as well, and I think I can talk for our whole team, what LEAN is all about is growing people and having those people help make the business and job work for them. No, You might be thinking as a business owner,
what are you talking about? Why do I care? Whether or not the person is making their job easier for them? Well, the thing is that what happens is when people make the job easier for them, they enjoy the job more. They make it easier to do so they can do more and they do more happily because it’s easier to do, so they’re more productive and an end result, which is nothing about what we’re focusing on is that the business gets better.

I know it’s counter intuitive and quite frankly, this is where all of the stuff that I ever learned about LEAN died was because they turned it into a way to make more profit, and if you’re focused on making more profit, LEAN is never going to work. I’m going to say that again, if you’re focused on making more profit through LEAN, LEAN will never work because that’s not what LEAN is about. It’s a byproduct of doing LEAN, but LEAN is not about making more profit. LEAN is about making sure that your team is growing and is making the job more enjoyable, easier for themselves, and making life easier. It’s not just about the job. That’s the other piece, right? LEAN is not a something you do at work. LEAN is a mindset that you get into that once you’re in that mindset, it makes a huge difference in your entire life.

Now I know all of this time, I’m talking about LEAN. I haven’t said anything about what LEAN actually is. And in this video, I’m not going to go too deep into it, but let me just say, one thing LEAN is about discovering waste and fixing what bugs you. So when we discover waste and we fix what bugs us, then we can make what we’re doing more enjoyable, more fun and more efficient. The more efficient helps make it easier for us so that we can enjoy it more and we can enjoy our lives more.

We’re starting this journey. We’ve been doing it now for a few months, and we’re starting to see little things. Paul Akers wrote a book called “Two Second LEAN”. I highly recommend you go get this book. You can go to paulakers.net and you can download the PDF of it for free. I think you might even be able to get an audio from it. He gives this stuff away and that’s kind of where we started, but what Two Second LEAN is all about is if you can save two seconds in the things that you do every day, what a difference that makes. If you do that every day, you make an improvement to save two seconds every day. Now, when you look at that, the first thing you think is yeah, but that’s manufacturing and that’s what he does. He’s a manufacturer, but it doesn’t have to be manufacturing two seconds, right?

One of the first lean little things that I did, one of the things that bugs me, and I’m going to play a little video of this, at the end of this video so that you can see what I did, but I have this headset, because now in this COVID-19 world I need to wear a headset pretty much all day long because I’m talking to people and if I have it out on the speakers, it bothers everybody else. Not to mention the fact that my clients would like to be private. That headset, it’s got this wire and basically I’m just kind of setting the headset down anywhere on my desk and it’s always in the way, and I’m always having to move it.  So I came up with an idea. What if I could just hang it out of the way?

So as we wrap up this session of businessSUCCESS with Doug Barra, just take a look at this one little tiny improvement that I did and let me tell you that it made a huge difference. So in the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be talking about a couple of different things having to do with this whole topic, because there’s a world of things we can talk about, and I’m not even going to cover it all
I look forward to seeing you on our next episode of businessSUCCESS with Doug Barra.

And by the way, if you enjoyed this video, please like it, subscribe to my channel and I’ll see you next week.

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About the author,

With 14 years of experience in working with small and medium sized businesses to help them grow, Doug is committed to seeing business owners thrive. Business coaching is what drives Doug.

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