Lean Connections

A Digital Dialog for the Lean Community

Lean Connections Moved to LeanConnections.com

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We’ve moved the LeanConnections blog to a new host.  Follow our posts at


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Adam Zak


The Positive Business Manifesto – Hoshin Planning for Employee Engagement?

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respect_for_peopleI’ve been writing quite a bit lately about why respect for people, often vividly demonstrated when your team members are truly engaged in their day-to-day work, is critical to building and sustaining the Lean Enterprise.  And you’d have to live on another planet not to notice the plethora of business books and articles discussing the importance of developing a positive organizational culture at work. The research is clear. Positive leaders, positive work environments, and positive engaged employees produce positive results.

However, if building a positive business is so important and beneficial, then we are left to wonder, “Why aren’t more companies, more positive?” Why are there not more people skipping through the halls, smiling at their co-workers and loving their job? Why do more people die Monday morning at 9am than any other time? Why does negativity cost companies 300 billion dollars and sabotage teamwork, careers, morale and performance?

The Positive Business Manifesto, from author and business culture guru Jon Gordon, whose books and blog I’ve been folllowing for some time now, offers some insights that Lean Leaders at all levels in the organization will find to be stimulating and energizing. More importantly, I believe that implementing Jon’s principles and practices will help our organizations weather the uncertainty of this current recessionary environment. Download the PDF here… Positve Business Manifesto

Written by LeanThinker

November 5, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Our Green Executive Search Initiative

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     At Adam Zak Executive Search we continuously seek ways to set and implement best practices which reinforce our commitment to a Lean + Green environment.  As part of our GreenSearch Initiative, here are some things we’re doing differently in our everyday operations: 

CO2 - BAD!

CO2 - BAD!


We fly less. How? We’ve developed some interviewing ideas and techniques which allow us to more effectively evaluate and assess candidate interests, qualifications and cultural fit via telephone and Webcam (think Skype). We’ve been able to reduce the amount of air travel to candidate interviews by 25% in each of the past two years. We still do face-to-face interviews, of course, but only with top finalists for your executive search. Less travel, less cost, faster search cycle time. Oh, and when we do fly, paperless ticketing is the rule.

Candidates travel less.  We invite finalists to visit us at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, scheduling multiple interviews on one target date whenever possible. Candidates never leave the airport (no rental cars, no ground transportation – dollars saved, reduced emissions, and no missed return flights).

We pioneered the use of fuel-efficient hybrid cars for our transportation services. 

We provide personal recycle bins for employees. Our kitchen supplies – everything from cutlery and plates to cleaning supplies – are eco-friendly.We are in the process of substituting eco-friendly alternatives in our office supplies as well. 

About paper. We preview and final edit on-screen. When we do print, we use recycled paper. We  print double-sided. Our toner cartridges are remanufactured. We’ve eliminated all office copiers – we  scan, transmit and store documents electronically for instant retrieval, then recycle them. No file  folders or cabinets (less office floor space required-smaller footprint),reduced energy requirements  (those printers and copiers sure use a lot of juice) and no time wasted filing and unfiling stuff.  green_forest_trail

How’s that for Lean+Green!

Written by LeanThinker

September 12, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Posted in Green, Lean

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Monday Monday, Monday Morning…Less Than I Thought it Could Be?

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With apologies to the Mammas and the Pappas… If I really hate Mondays, will it kill me?

Last Friday, on the 4th of July, Mark Graban blogged away about an article he’d seen in London regarding the myth of “Monday morning blues”. Mark noted that this article “reminded me of comments I’ve heard our good friend Norman Bodek make a few times recently.” According to Mark (I’ve heard this first-hand from Norman as well) “Norman tells a story about how he always asks audiences what day of the week they like best. People hardly ever say Monday, their favorite day of the week is usually Friday. Norman says that’s sad, as people should be able to enjoy their work, that Monday shouldn’t be such a dreaded day.”

But what if going to work on Monday morning, or hating the job you do to earn a living, could actually kill you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeanThinker

July 14, 2008 at 8:56 am

Welcome to Lean Connections

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Lean Connections is a dialog about and for the Lean Community.

Written by LeanThinker

July 13, 2008 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized