Lean Focus Business System University is a joint-collaboration with Pampered Chef (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) located in Addison, Illinois to deliver workshops and training events in a real business setting. Pampered Chef has committed to the Lean Journey and is building a sustainable culture of continuous improvement from top-to-bottom.
Our unique partnership with Pampered Chef affords us the opportunity to teach clients the Lean Focus Business System in a working environment and not just a classroom setting. Participants are able to see best practices in action and ask questions to understand more deeply how to successfully take these lessons learned back to their respective companies. Come hear their success in deploying Strategy Deployment in a co-located Obeya (big room) setting, with dedicated staff, visual management, and problem solving in action.
At Lean Focus, our dedicated Training Development staff are always creating new and innovative training workshops and tools. We have over 50 tools & systems available as training options and certifications for your teams in our Lean Focus Business System™ (LBS). Our experienced instructors have all previously held executive-level roles and average over 20 years of hands-on experience delivering results in world-class organizations such as: Danaher, John Deere, and Boeing.
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As the week of August 13-17 drew to a close at Lean Focus Business System University’s Leadership System Boot Camp, Kaspar Companies’ leaders took home some critical lessons to all nine of its subsidiaries, in both the theory and application of lean manufacturing principles. Headquartered in Shiner, Texas, Kaspar Companies was represented by top managers from BEDROCK Truck Beds, Espresso Marketing & Design, Horizon Firearms, iota Outdoors, Kaspar Manufacturing, Ranch Hand, Silverback Homes, Texas Precious Metals, and Truckfitters.
Lean Focus CEO Damon Baker leads and conducts the LBSU Boot Camp, which convenes regularly at Pampered Chef in Addison, Illinois. A Berkshire Hathaway company, Pampered Chef has also implemented LBS lean principles with a view to improve both its market share and profitability.
Led by CEO Jason Kaspar, KCI is committed to three core values: stewardship, versatility, and family. Those values were exemplified well by all thirty participants during the week-long event. Not only did everyone graduate with flying colors, they showed -- lesson after lesson -- what leadership, teamwork, and winning look like in an environment that is fully committed to the lean journey.
The “language of lean” covers a lot of territory, but, in essence, boils down to improving organizational team problem-solving skills. While Kaspar Companies has been on the lean journey for the past 18 months, this is their first rodeo using Lean Focus’s problem-solving methodology. LBSU’s Boot Camp course offerings are divided into three broad categories, each with specific courses chockfull of real-world problems: Problem-Solving (PS2), Daily Management, and Strategy Deployment.
“The creation of the Lean Focus Business System University (LBSU), affords participants the unique, cost-effective opportunity to receive coaching and training from expert practitioners that otherwise would be unavailable in their organizations,” Baker said. “Our instructors average over 20 years of hands-on lean experience, in leadership roles, with such companies as Danaher, Boeing, and John Deere, which have a long track record of driving results by employing a culture of continuous improvement.”
Indeed, one of the problems with any organization that does not practice lean management principles is that their organizations suffer from being in a constant firefighting mode. Typically, a firefighting culture will rely on management “experience” to solve problems whereas a problem-solving culture will depend on factual evidence and root-cause analysis in its logical decision-making processes.
Moreover, a problem-solving culture nurtures a team approach to solving problems, but firefighting cultures resort to blaming others for organizational problems. Exhaustive firefighting requires costly, time-consuming countermeasures which may fan the flames even further, transforming mere hot spots into a raging inferno.
“An organization that is characterized by widespread firefighting to conduct day-to-day operations will not dedicate the necessary time to truly solve problems in a sustainable way that delivers improved performance,” Baker said. “The types of behaviors you can expect to observe are the following: responding to any and every problem without regard to priority level, a lack of clear standards in the organization that clearly determine what is and is not a problem, and the loudest or most persistent person determines priorities.”
Another serious impediment to effective problem-solving is characterized by the failure to go to the “gemba”. Translated from Japanese, the term “gemba” means the workplace, roughly. Going to the “gemba” means going to where the work is done – where the problem is. At the LBSU Boot Camp, Baker used the analogy of a crime scene investigation when going to the “gemba”. In lean organizations “gemba walks” are a matter of course.
“One of my favorite examples of going to the gemba comes from the old television show, Columbo, and some of the things Detective Columbo did included working backwards, collecting fact-based evidence, and observing for one’s self – never just taking someone’s word for it,” Baker said. “Like any good CSI, Columbo started with the crime scene…he always started with the original problem, and he asked questions incessantly in order to identify the root cause, i.e. whodunit, in this case.”
Like the determined detective, Lean Focus CEO Damon Baker has been identifying root causes of organizational problems for nearly two decades. He has found that one of the problems management leaders face is their confusion between symptoms, problems, and root causes. In the LBSU Boot Camp, simple visual aids such as brightly-colored Post-It notes and easel sticky paper help students more easily identify root causes using nothing more than hand-drawn trees. Baker asserts that such visuals simplify the problem-solving process, while adding a kinesthetic feature that is glaringly absent from much lean management curricula and many so-called modern organizations which may rely solely on touch screen layouts.
LBSU has its sights set on a bright future and Baker’s enthusiasm is contagious. “I really enjoy observing the leaders evolve and improve throughout the week in terms of their understanding of what this system can do to drive results in their business,” he said. “They come in searching for direction and leave with laser-focused clarity on how and what to focus on in their business, (and) this makes it all worthwhile.”
Want to learn more about Lean Focus public workshops like Problem Solving, Daily Management, and Strategy Deployment? Check back here for upcoming event information! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about particular cities/dates.
If you are not able to attend your lean training event you must notify Lean Focus at least SEVEN (7) DAYS PRIOR to the first day of the training event. Cancellations must be received in writing at email@example.com. All cancellations are subject to a non-refundable $150 administrative fee. WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS of the training, cancellations are subject to a non-refundable $300 administrative fee. If you must withdraw after the course begins, your registration fee will be forfeited to Lean Focus. Please allow up to one week to process any refunds. If you do not cancel and do not attend, your registration fee will be forfeited to Lean Focus.
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