The Wheel Of Sustainability: Accountability

The Wheel Of Sustainability: Accountability

by Patrick Adams | Mar 5, 2024

What You’ll Learn:

In this episode, hosts Andy Olrich and Shayne Daughenbaugh discuss The Wheel of Sustainability – a transformative framework to enhance your leadership commitment and empower teams for enduring success, as well as ideal leadership development, its impact on profitability, organizational support structures, and strategies for sustaining leader empowerment.

About the Guest: 

The creator of “The Wheel of Sustainability,” Adam Lawrence is an industry expert, speaker, and author who directly works with and empowers teams to sustainably solve critical business problems. Adam coaches, mentors, and facilitates leaders and teams to deliver sustainable, breakthrough business results. Adam founded Process Improvement Partners LLC in 2018. He has 35+ years of process improvement experience helping businesses in manufacturing, distribution, and service industries. Based in Lancaster PA with his wife and son, Adam is ready to help you and your team anywhere in the world.


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Andy Olrich  00:32

Hello, and welcome to this episode of a lien solutions podcast led by your hosts Shayne Daughenbaugh and myself and Andy Olrich, how’s it going? Shane?


Shayne Daughenbaugh  00:40

It’s going well, sir, thank you very much. How are you?


Andy Olrich  00:42

I’m very well, very well, Mike, great to be talking to you again. And really excited. Today, we’re going to be talking about a fantastic topic. And it’s around what we call the wheel of sustainability. We’ll talk a bit more about that as we go. But in particular part of that wheel, which is accountability, which is something that’s that’s so important in Lean and continuous improvement. So, you know, it plugs in around in our daily pursuit of solving problems, we strive to seek lasting solutions that will withstand the test of time. So the wheel of sustainability, which is a transformative framework, to enhance your leadership, commitment, and empower teams for enduring success, and it’ll equip you with the tools to ensure your organization thrives but overcoming challenges sustainably. They’re important and welcome to a new era of problem solving and organizational growth. And it’s really excited to have the creator of the wheel of sustainability with us today, Lawrence shank, can you tell us a bit more Betty? Yeah.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  01:36

Excellent. Very happy to have you here on board. Thanks for joining us again, my understanding is this is your second time at least on here. I know last year, you had a call with with with, with Patrick and talked about a couple a little bit different of an aspect of the wheel is sustainability. So let’s just talk real quick about who you are the creator of the wheel sustainability. Adam Lawrence is an industry expert speaker and author who directly works with and empowers teams to sustainably solve critical business problems. Adam coaches, mentors and facilitates leaders and teams to deliver sustainable breakthrough business results. He’s the founder of process improvement partners, LLC, that was founded in 2018. He has 30, over 35 years of process improvement experience helping businesses and manufacturing, distribution and service industries. Based in Lancaster, PA, he and his wife and son, Adam is ready to help you and your team anywhere in the world. So my first question for you, Adam is telling me what should I know about Lancaster PA?


Adam Lawrence  02:47

Oh, well, it’s great to be on guys. I really appreciate it les Lancaster not Lancaster for those Oh my word. I’m not originally from here. But I’ve been corrected many, many times. So this is the land of the Amish. So if you’re familiar with the Amish, some may not be so they they don’t use power. They don’t use you know mirrors there’s they live what they call a very plain life. It’s really interesting, very industrious people who are amazing builders and furniture makers and, and farmers and et cetera. And so it is not unusual to see a horse drawn carriage go through a neighborhood in Lancaster, PA. And so you just you just get used to it. And it’s really cool. And they’re great folks, and they just have a totally different way of living.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  03:36

I love it. Well, Adam, as we get started, for those that maybe haven’t heard the the first episode last year, when when you and when we’re talking about the wheel sustainability and and in that in that episode, you guys were talking about the clear benefits from it, can you just give the quick framework so that people understand that the wheeled sustainability actually is a framework that has, you know, you do it much better than I’m going to put. So let you take it.


Adam Lawrence  04:08

I appreciate so the day we’re recording today, it’s actually the third anniversary of the book coming out into the world. So this was a labor of love. Congratulations. Well, thank you. So did it during during the pandemic. Yeah. And, you know, if it’s even helped one person, then it was worth doing so. So the whole idea, let me let me back up a little bit. So the problem I was trying to solve was that teams, were doing all this great work, I was helping them to Kaizen events and continuous improvement. And the problems they were solving would resurface after a number of months. And I said, There’s got to be a better way. How do we sustain these things? What’s a what is a way to help people really understand how to keep the problem solved. So over a number of years, I kind of experimented and eventually I built this system framework, which I call the wheel sustainable Really it is, it is inspired by a wooden wagon wheel, because I do live in Amish country at the moment. But it is it is a central hub, which is what I call leadership commitment. And then there are eight elements surrounding that hub that I call the elements or the spokes. So if you can imagine that, so I’ll give you a real quick rundown of what they are with a very short summary of each. And then we’ll get, we’ll get into the deep dive as you as we see fit. So at 12 o’clock is what I call notifications. So imagine a team has made a change, or an improvement, and an improvement, and they want the organization to be aware of the thing gotta get in front of people. So what notification talks more about is how we communicate the why of the change more than the what of the change, because we know that adult human beings tend to be low attention spans, let’s call it. So we want to make sure we have the right messaging out, we want the team to understand why they made the change and how they see it to be a benefit. The next spoke is called training and review. So we now are going to give people the time and the ability to learn one to one through you know, if you use twi you know tell show do is a very simple version of that I’m going to tell you about the change. I’m going to demonstrate it to you to show that I care enough about you that I’m willing to do it. And then I’m going to have you demonstrate it for me to show that you really understand it. Now the hub of leadership commitment supports these two spokes and all the other ones, by allowing us the time to do this, allowing us the space to spend with our people. And the willingness to have these challenging, perhaps conversations about why would you have made this change because most adult humans don’t like change. Okay. The third spoke or element is I call visible evidence. So the idea being that from 20 feet away, I can tell immediately if we’re either on standard or off standard if this person or people are following the standard, or if they’re not. And as a leader, my commitment is that I need to engage with them either positively to thank them for following standard, or in a coaching way to get them back to standard. The fourth element you will recognize from the principles of five S’s is called all tools available. The idea is that I need what I need right where I need it that I don’t have to go find or search. It can be physical, it can be virtual, it can be documentation, it can be anything, but people doing critical work should have everything they need, right where they do their work. So our teams, when I’m doing Kaizen events, we’re implementing all of the spokes that week. During the Kaizen week, what is the messaging? How are we going to train? Let’s practice the training. Let’s create the visible evidence, let’s get the tools right where we need them. Leaders allow us to do it through their commitment that the team never asked to ask for approval. We’ve already told them we want to make an improvement. So the answer is always yes to any requests they may have. The Fifth Element is called clear benefits. The one we took a deep dive on many months ago, the idea being that the change that we may actually be beneficial to the person that then has to make the change, do they see it as a benefit to them. So I always send my teams out early in the Kaizen event to talk to people about what they’re thinking of doing. And then they get feedback that can be quite challenging. But the reality of all of this is that if the person doesn’t see it as beneficial to them, personally, when you’re not looking, they’re probably not going to follow the new standard. So we need to understand how it helps that person we need to design to help the organization. The sixth element is layered audits. So I call it the trust but verify elements. So the idea being that, hey, every time I’m out in gamble, every time I’m out in the process, I should be auditing, I should be watching to make sure that everything is working as it should be. Are we on standard? Are we following the standard work? Do people have what they need, it can be three minutes, the audit should be the person doing the work should audit their work continuously. As you go up levels you audit with what frequency the CEO should be auditing every month, quarter or year. But the idea is what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to create the aligning accountability and messaging around why this is so important. The next one, which is what we’re going to take a deep dive on is accountability. So this is not accountability for the person doing the work. This is the leadership accountability, to engage with their people to ensure they are on standard or if they’re off standard. They’re dealing with it in the moment. They’re not delegating. If I’m late to a meeting, but I see somebody about to do something unsafe. I don’t ignore that. I go right to where the person is doing the work and engage with them, coach them and get them back on standard back to safety. Again, leadership commitment allows for this law Lastly, it’s about I call it recognition, the telling of stories, hey, cause and effect, we did something here. And because of that, it’s so much easier to do my work, it’s so much safer to do my work, the customer gets their items, three weeks before, did you hear how Sue did five s in her area, and everybody’s got a much better experience, keep telling the stories, because that’s how history was handed down for many 1000s of years. And this is what we remember, we don’t remember what was said to us, we remember what we felt, we remember why things are important stories get us there, they connect us to the change that we’re trying to make. So all those elements put together supported by leadership commitment, or the wheel of sustainability.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  10:45

That’s pretty good. I love that I love the framework that that you created. And so many of those those spokes are you can find them around, you know, in pro psi, and just just in Lean In general, just kind of change management. mean, these things have been tested through time. These are these are important things, these work. And you put this in this really awesome framework, which, again, it’s just a different way of looking at it. And that whole leadership in the center, I think is crucial. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk about. We’re going to talk about accountability. So Andrew, keep me accountable here. What’s what’s a coin, oh, God,


Andy Olrich  11:25

I will but I just want to just talk about the wheel for a second something. When we talk about the wheel, the Hub and Spoke type model. You know, it gets me thinking why I like that a lot of picture and then you’ve got the wheel. So for me, if I look at the wheel, and those those crucial elements, if I take a spoke out of that wheel, okay, or I’m, I shortened one of those spokes, or it’s a bit weak, we know the ride is going to be a bit bumpy. So I think that’s just a really good image for me just to help focus that, hey, these are all equally as important, we may have to work on one more than the other depending on where we are as an organization. But I just think it’s a fantastic way that we can help bring people into if they’re not familiar with this type of approach, or how it all fits together. That for me is the wheel and, and the the acknowledgement of the country that you’re living in as well, I think is a pretty,


Shayne Daughenbaugh  12:15

I do love that little tip of the hat. So


Andy Olrich  12:19

Dan, in Australia, we are familiar, aware of the community there. You know, maybe one day they might actually listen to this podcast, just dip into this world for a bit and have a listen. Anyway, there’s


Adam Lawrence  12:34

no, there’s no real risks risk there. But hey, Andy, let me let me tie on to what you said, because you said something very similar. So what’s needed lien is there’s nothing new, right? It’s all about the imagery and getting people connected to how to be better. So think about a wheel, if I reduce, take a spoke out, you’re right, the ride is going to be bumpy, or it’s going to be weaker, I take the hub out, the whole thing falls apart, right. So that’s kind of the imagery of it as well. And I’ve been able to help leaders see their role in it because of the imagery, rather than just ticking off a list of things. And the other piece of this, that I’m sure we’ll get into is that by trying to implement all elements during the event, so we are able to remove the idea of homework, where we have the team very early on already considering all of these elements as they make their changes and do their experiments. And it makes it way stronger. And again, the last thing people want after they spend a week with Adam is homework, right? It needs to be done. The problem needs to stay soft. I don’t need more to him. So that’s that’s the reality of it. I just it’s kind of almost a survival technique. From my standpoint.


Andy Olrich  13:49

Yeah, fix it forever or forever. Fix it. What do you want to do plus homework? So yeah, that’s a great, great call out. So look, Adam, what is accountability? Do they forgive me? If you know how we talk about you’re accountable for this, but I’m accountable in this context? Can you define it for me? And today we’re talking about it, why is it so critical to not only producing but sustaining those results might


Adam Lawrence  14:13

perfect, so let me give you an image. You have a small child, three or four years old, she’s sitting on the you’re sitting on the sofa, and she goes towards a hot stove, she’s about to touch the hot stove, you immediately jump up and you pull that hand back and you’re gonna keep her from harm. Now, depending on your level of stress, you’re going to yell and there will be tears or you’re going to coach you’re going to do whatever but you’re not going to allow harm to come of someone you love. Here’s the same image. We have created a change. We absolutely know that it’s going to be safer, simpler, less stressful, and more beneficial to the people doing the work. But people may choose not to follow the change. I’m a leader. I’m walking to a meeting. I’m going to be late. I Out of the corner of my eye, I see somebody deviating from standard, I now make a choice, a truly accountable leader will deviate and be late to the meeting and go straight to the issue. And coach that employee back to standard, they need to understand why they are off standard. Sometimes they’re not even aware there’s a new standard, okay? So you can do five whys, you can do any level of coaching, that’s half the equation. The other half of the equation is somebody is following the standard, deviate from your path to the meaning and go congratulate them and thank them for being on standard. That’s leadership accountability as well. Because what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to make the change that’s beneficial, important. And if you just turn a blind eye to it, then what we’re saying is, it’s okay not to do it, right. It’s okay not to do it safely. It’s okay to disappoint the customer. And we’ve all seen it, I know I have in manufacturing, where you go into a facility, you’re taking a gamble walk, and there’s somebody with safety glasses on their forehead, rather in front of their eyes. And when the supervisor walks by, that’s when the safety glasses go over their eyes. So clearly, there’s not the leadership accountability, because the behaviors of the people doing the critical work mirror that of their leaders. So that’s how you can see it. That’s how you know it when you see it. So the imagery of accountability is all about making this the most important thing when you’re when you’re prioritizing your gimbal lock. Sure.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  16:35

Now, you mentioned this is something that all of these things are something you do in your kaizen event. How do you get your teams to think in that way? Like you can tell me Yeah, we need to be accountable, and my mind is going to be other places. And I may be the one who, you know, wants to have, you know, the safety glasses up there, because I don’t like what it does to my vision, whatever. Alright, so how do you get that buy in? Because, you know, accountability from the sounds of it? Yes. It’s, it’s super important for leadership to have that for them to understand. And maybe that’s that’s even a follow up question. How do you communicate that to leadership? So they know what to be accountable for? But how do you let’s first start with with your teams, how do you help them develop this accountability that that is that has has depth and importance and buy


Adam Lawrence  17:24

it? Okay, great. So I’m gonna, I would have shifted the script on you, but I’m not going to do it. So at the team level, so I’ve already chartered with my sponsors, and I’ve already given them an image of what’s expected of them in a leadership commitment way. Because I will not even conduct a Kaizen unless I’ve got alignment for weeks before any Kaizen and we’ve been they’ve, if they know me, if they’ve hired me, they know this is what they’re gonna get. But let’s go the teams are team members are quite skeptical because they don’t typically see it themselves. The first thing we do is we make sure we truly understand the change and why we made the change, right? So I’m taking them around the entire wheel. But at spoke three and four, visible evidence and all tools available. The goal is to make it impossible to do it wrong. Okay, so think about that. People make choices all the time. But if it’s so obvious, and so easy to do it right. There’s no such thing as impossible, but you can get pretty darn close, right? So the first thing we want to do, what we want to make sure is we want to make it easy for any of us to know if they’re on standard or off standard. So if I’m on a conveyor line, and we’re doing changeover for different widths around the conveyor, you put a pin in a hole, then that’s right. If the pins not in a hole, something’s wrong, you might still be running. But it indicates that something’s off of standard. Now let’s go in. So that’s a pretty obvious visible clue. Right? So signage, whiteboards, lights and ons, red green magnets, you name it, so So and also, the other thing we do is we make sure that we’ve given good easy visuals around the standards, one page lessons, we call them one point lessons. So right at the place I do the work is a one pager that shows me with photo and discussion. Very simple, because I gotta be simpler. They have to test it on me. I’m a pretty simple guy, right? So we do all these things. And so what we’re now doing is we’ve made all these elements make it almost impossible to do it wrong. We’ve created the audits and so on. I’ve worked the leadership team for weeks prior leaned all the way up to the day of kickoff and during the event because they have an accountability to come into the event. And I know if they’re serious if they do, or if they don’t, right. So it’s easy to test. But so at that point, then I coach to Hey, what I want to hear about is the day somebody was off standard, what do you do about it? So if we have time, I’m going to tell you a story. Can I tell you a story? I


Shayne Daughenbaugh  19:57

would love stories. Okay, so


Adam Lawrence  19:58

finally So many moons ago in a galaxy far, far away that the first five s and a fiberglass ceiling tiles plant. And their issue was that tools leave, tools leave. There’s no way we’re going to even if we do this tool boards are gonna go. So me and all my amazing wisdom says he very silly. I said well painted pink then just paint the damn tools pink and they’re like what I said, who’s gonna steal a pink wrench? You know, your contractors are not going to steal pink wrench. First of all, if they do, everybody’s gonna see it. Second of all, if they do, people are going to make fun of them. Right? Okay, fine. So we, so they looked at me like you’re out of your mind, what are you smoking? Well, about four hours later, they said, Can you go to the store for us, we want you to buy some red paint. So they wouldn’t buy pink, but they bought red. Okay, that’s fine. So we did that. Okay. So in the middle of them painting their tool board, I took a visit to the plant manager who I knew from many years of working together under different circumstances. And I said, Aaron, you’re a pretty soft spoken guy. But here’s what we need you to understand. there’s gonna come a day when one of those pink tools is not going to be on the board or being used and the rule of the tools are. It’s either on the board were supposed to be as indicated or it’s in use, it’s not allowed to be in between, what I need you to do is pound your fist and stomp your feet. Because if you do that, they’ll remember it forever. And he looked at me like Adam, what do you smoke? See, there’s kind of a theme here, right? I’m saying that. Yeah. But he’s a very, very soft spoken guy. And, you know, I knew if it actually happened, it would be something they talked about forever. Well, three weeks later, I get a phone call saying, Adam, you’ll never believe what happened. Aaron threw a hissy fit. I said what he said, the tools are not on the board, you’re not using them. This is not right. This is I’m not standing for it. He said we’ve never seen him that way. And I’m just laughing because I’m not letting on that I had coached him through that. But basically, if leadership is truly committed, they will do certain things, it might be out of their comfort zone. But what are we trying to do? Having the tools on the border in their hand, saves minutes and hours of search, or using the wrong thing or being frustrated or stealing them from the other guy’s toolbox. So that leadership commitment and that accountability to do the right thing and show the organization how important it was cements in that element.


Andy Olrich  22:45

Showing that you really care, and what and a difference that later had a certain standard mode of operation. And then there was a noticeable change that got everybody’s attention, and they could all see it. And they were all looking at it. And that’s I think that’s a common thread with when you’re getting your measures. Right, that 22nd rule you talked about. It’s everybody looked at it, you can’t not look at it. And I think that’s a good example there of something. Yeah, the the painting of the the tools and, and things like that there is a there is a deeper issue there perhaps but it’s really that’s, that’s really putting a flag in the ground to say, well, we’ll This is visual management. And it’s really important. For starters, play the game or will, will continue to dig deeper. And so that’s a great mindset.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  23:34

So Adam, you’ve you’ve, you’ve talked about how these spokes that I’m visually visualizing in my head, I’m going around how they how they kind of build up to Yes, thank you. So I’m going around the rim and how you build up to that accountability. You talked about, you know, how do we how do we mistake proof and how to make it you know, hard to fail? Right? And so the all of these things I can see up till now support that accountability. How does accountability then continue this wheel of sustainability means that it’s going to be ongoing? How does that accountability continue to support the others? Right,


Adam Lawrence  24:11

so great, great question. So it isn’t just leadership accountability, it’s any of us even outsiders who are somewhat aware of a change right so we’re trying to keep people on standard we know that the team worked their their blood sweat and tears to make improvement. So how does accountability do what’s really neat was with this plant manager that was the only time he ever had to do it. And what was neat was other operating lines decided to paint their tools a different color. Okay, so it grew it so the whole idea of sustainability isn’t just keep the problem so it’s to learn from it and then apply it to other areas right? So it kind of nurturing it’s, it’s self sustaining. I use the word sustainability way too much I understand all your environmental it’s out there I up apologize for the words I use, but it’s just the reality. It’s the way I see it, right? I mean, this is, this is our thing, right? So this is my spin on the wheel. Who did I just say that out loud? Okay, so the recognition spoke is talking about that plant manager and what he did, I can still visualize that. If I talk to anybody that’s at that plant. That was 14 years ago, when that happened. They still remember, the hissy fit. That’s just a nice way of putting it. I mean, he just did that. So how does it support it? And so what it does is it perpetuates more people want more stuff, I created a the first area owner in the history of a company called City furniture, okay. And they were trying to solve the problem of they’re losing all these furniture parts, you know, the customer needed a replacement arm or a cast or whatever. And there’s like 2200 SKUs. And this poor guy was like organizing and trying to keep up with this stuff. And they’re losing stuff all the time. Okay, so we put in the whole wheel sustainability system besides the five s, and I have what I call the area owner board. So we introduced it, there’s a picture of the guy. There’s the daily checklist, he and his cohorts do, there’s the weekly audit, there’s the expectations, there’s the you know, the commitment, all these kinds of things. Well, how did I sustain it? Well, the next kaizen event was a little stuck. So I took them down to visit with Alexei is his name, Alexis. And Alexis explained how it works, and how skeptical he was. And so now, every time I ran a Kaizen event, I said, let’s go take a little walk and visit Alexis. And Alexis continues to explain. And it’s cemented in his mind even further. And it makes it real for the team who’s in day one or day two of their Kaizen, and they’d have no idea what they’re going to do, and how does this stuff work? You know, it might not work for him, but how’s it gonna work for us? The other thing I learned is, I think my wheels really simple, you know, saying accountability, sounds simple, saying sustainability. Sounds simple. I now do improv. So what I do in about day three is I’ll take one of my team’s projects, I’ll get a volunteer, and I’m going to pretend I’m the team. And they’re the new employee. And I’m going to run their concept through the wheel, and show them examples of every element as it applies to their idea. And since I started doing that, about a year ago, people said, Okay, now this really makes sense. Yeah, they don’t do all of it. But at least they see how real it is. All of this is no longer theoretical, it’s out, do I apply this to the thing we’re actually doing?


Andy Olrich  27:43

That’s a great insight. And I’ll respectfully push back on your apology, Adam, about sustainability. And environmentalists, I think you are helping to change people’s thinking on what sustainability truly means. And you think of things like the Sustainable Development Goals. It’s not just about, as I say, the green stuff. Okay, it’s about education. It’s about reducing poverty, or all these things that create waste and problems in our in our world being more sustainable, so we don’t keep making the same mistakes, or we can do more with less and all those things. And that’s where I get really excited that in the game that I’m in around lean and continuous improvement it if we want to achieve sustainable development goals for examples, we won’t get there unless we continuously improve and innovate. So revoke that apology made, I think I think it’s in my, in my mind, I think it’s Lean is about eliminating waste. And it’s making us more successful, more sustainable. So I just maybe got on a high pony there and did that bit. But I just think that that’s, yeah, it’s not all about the green stuff, and more of it.  in that and when you talk about the wheel. So we’ve talked about how that keeps the momentum keeps that wheel turning or spinning. What’s you’ve given us some examples? Is there is there a key moment in your career where you’ve gone? Actually, I have to go and really hard on this accountability piece. And maybe where it didn’t go well. So an example of trying to get someone accountable and then you know, The wheel isn’t going to turn and I kind of have to walk away. Have you got any of those? Oh, yeah.


Adam Lawrence  30:04

All the time. So I’ve got a pre wheel example. And I have an after wheel example. So let me tell you how I learned about my approach to leadership commitment from almost getting fired. And then, yeah, so in the late 90s, I was doing a Kaizen event, and the great state of Georgia team was doing these amazing things, and I could not get their operations manager to even visit with us. Okay, so I’m gonna shorten this story for you all. But the reality is, eventually I took it upon myself and I said, Hey, your team’s doing great stuff. And if you really cared about what they were doing, you’d come out, well, that moment, he said, Hey, if you’re questioning my, my caring, you can question it from corporate. And so oops. So I realized that’s probably not the best approach. So preparing leaders for what’s about to happen is, is a really good idea. And so the wheel kind of reminds me of how to provide that imagery of what’s expected what’s needed, because we want the teams to win. I mean, let’s be honest, the operations manager was doing what he had always done. And, you know, how dare I question his commitment and caring, right, but that’s what I was doing. So I was much younger in my career. But I thought I was going to be fired. So that was pretty cool. The second one was kind of recent. So. So back with Alexis, the owner at City furniture. So he’s got this owner board, and I do everything on paper. So I know everybody, you know, likes automation. I mean, I love paper, you gotta you got to interact with it, or whiteboards. You got to interact with it. So Alexis was getting a little frustrated. Why is he so frustrated? Because the managers were not doing the five s weekly audit? How did I know that because there were sheets of paper, and they were skipping weeks. So I took a couple pieces of paper with me. And I visited with those managers directly and said, hey, you know, Alexa is doing amazing work. But what we don’t want this to do is deteriorate, because eventually he’ll figure that you don’t care enough to keep this I used care again, I can’t believe it. They knew me pretty well. They knew what I was about, because I had set the stage months before you know, but but the reality is, hey, we need you. You can’t back off these three minute audits. That’s all it is three minutes, you’re down again. But anyway, take a side trip visit with him, you can rotate it, do what you need to do. But if you stop, guess what he’ll stop. And you’ve come way too far to allow that. So the good news is, after about three months, they got right back on schedule, and they’re all good. Now, none of them will admit it was because of the conversation I had. That’s okay. My lead my accountability is that I felt like I have to do so I work for them. But I felt like it’s still my, my space too, to support a Lexus and all the great work he was doing in this team, and it was helping everybody.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  33:12

I appreciate examples, real life examples.


Adam Lawrence  33:15

I can’t make this stuff up. And it’s not a good Kaizen unless I take off at least two people, or I almost get fired. Or if I don’t almost get fired. I’m not trying hard enough. Because what I am not I’ve always said you know, I coach a lot. But coaching is not my standard practice as the only thing I do because I clearly don’t have enough patience and I’m way too direct way to direct but but if once you get to know me, you know we’re going to get a lot more done a lot more quickly. And you know, in the engagement, enthusiasm, excitement of the Kaizen are a lot of that because we’re not we’re not sidestepping any issue. We’re we’re jumping right in like moths to the flame.


Andy Olrich  33:58

We just recorded a session with Don Watson it was around creating a people first flying culture. But you use the word care a lot. And that I think that’s really important because you’re connecting it to the person you’re saying their name, they do great work and pay. If you happy with that, that’s good support that person this is about them, they take pride in their work and they feel they’re doing good. If you’re not having that accountability to go down and support them as a leader. The other standards you will pass to what you accept and that can be detrimental. You could lose that that good person and all that momentum so that for me, definitely the the word care and people it’s that really gets under that layer around. I just want you to work harder or better. It’s like Hey, see that person over there? Come on. It’s this is about us not just about the machines and and everything outside of it. So I think that the word care is is a great one to use. Yeah.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  34:54

Thanks for bringing that up. So if there’s Is there anything else anything that you would put on kind of that top of, you know, the top five top 10 in ways of the importance of leadership and accountability working together that we haven’t talked about so far, because you’ve done this amazing job of kind of weaving it through this conversation. It’s always been there. But is there something that that? Oh, yeah, let’s not forget, you know, whatever that is? So


Adam Lawrence  35:27

it’s a great question. And, you know, I’ve never had it posed that way, because I love all this stuff, you know, you can get that. But the reality is, if people can’t get an image of what they’re what’s expected of them, then they’re just going to interpret, right. And sometimes they interpreted properly, and sometimes they misinterpreted, right. So for me, it is about imagery. It’s about storytelling. It’s about recognizing, as Andy said, it is about caring and commitment, that if I didn’t care about you, I certainly wouldn’t take the time to explain why we did something, I wouldn’t put the tools out there, I wouldn’t make it obvious and visual from 20 feet away, I wouldn’t design it to be beneficial to you, I wouldn’t be out there with you auditing, I wouldn’t be telling the stories isn’t your success, I wouldn’t be holding myself accountable to keep you on the straight and narrow. So imagery is critical. This wagon wheel, I think I could credit my dad, he loved that idea. You know, you can make it real complex, you can make bursts, you can do all sorts of things that you can do with something that most people know what a wheel is. That’s, that’s pretty cool. So that, you know, there’s so much more to be said about this. And the reality is, you just can’t take for granted that people will make a change, because anybody said so. Alright, that’ll that’ll hold for a while, while you’re while you’re watching them, but even then they can be making different steps while you know even while you’re looking. So the reality is, if you don’t get their hearts in their heads, you got no chance. So the teams, the Kaizen teams are the microcosm of that, because I get people from all walks of life at all levels in the organization. And typically, they haven’t worked with each other in this way. It’s like a five day road trip, right? After about an hour, you’re not on your best behavior anymore. So you get to know who people really are. We’ve had some pretty extreme moments. That’s okay. But But what I care about is that they’ve been empowered and authorized to make a change in a way that will affect them. So they’re not going to do something that’s, that’s detrimental, because they’re still gonna be the receivers of the change as well. And they have to tell their co workers, hey, I did this for you, instead of their co workers thinking You did this to me.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  37:43

Yeah, yeah. That’s yeah, that’s really good. So I have one more question. And but Andy, I want to give you an opportunity. If there’s any last


Andy Olrich  37:51

question, you’re ready, you guys shine, you have to kind


Shayne Daughenbaugh  37:55

of wrap this up? And and I don’t know, maybe this isn’t a very good question, but I’m just gonna blurt it out. So, you know, why are we still talking about leadership? That’s my, that’s my question. Why are we still talking? What What have you seen? That seems to get in the way? I mean, just just in general leadership should should kind of take, you know, whatever picture you want to visually you want. But the very center of what is happening? Why do we still need to talk about that in the importance of leadership? What, what’s missing out there that the people just don’t get that we still have to bring this up? Or is it just, we want to come at it from a different perspective, so that they can see oh, now that makes a little more sense, or it’s a little more fresh or whatever? What would you say to that question? And both of you that question. That’s


Adam Lawrence  38:46

great. Well, first of all, leadership, and that in your ship has been talked about since the beginning of time. Okay, so and then it’s evolved, but there’s basic tenets of leadership, the golden rule and things such as that. Okay, so that’s fine. So why are we still talking about because if we don’t, somebody else will. And that doesn’t mean that that’s good or bad. It just means that, you know, we recognize how critical it is. And so I think what’s important is, sometimes our leaders are just distracted and too busy to really pay attention to where they should be and how to be where their people are. So, my attempt at this was just to give them an image that’s actually quite simple to sustain and maintain and demonstrate, right? You know, I’m able to get my latest, this is what a Kaizen events gonna look like. This is what your team looks like, this is what is expected of you. Here’s what we’re going to do. I don’t know the solution, but I do know the elements. Hey, we’re gonna we’re gonna need to get some stuff. We need to build some stuff and we can’t wait for your approval. Are you okay with that? It’s the opportunity to find out if they’re not okay, we shouldn’t even move forward. So I do this all through time. ordering. chartering, we’ll save that for another day. But my chartering process is testing the entire leadership commitment to this whole Kaizen upcoming event, and how they’re going to support if they’re not ready to support, I’m not going to engage with them anyway, I’m too far in my career, that I can walk away from an engagement, they, you know, gosh, knows they walk away from them, too. So that’s a reality of it, we want to help our people win. So great leaders will give of themselves for their people. Not so great leaders will do it to make themselves look good. I can’t fix motivations, nor do I try. That’s why I’m not a leadership coach. Okay, I don’t have the patience, or the energy for it. But I can coach to the thing we’re going to do, and hopefully they see, hey, this ain’t so bad. Maybe I can do this other places as well.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  40:51

Right? And how would how would you answer that question? What would you add to that? Why are we still talking about leadership? And this kind of this idea of accountability? What have you seen that has gotten in the way? We’ll wrap up with that?


Andy Olrich  41:06

Yeah, I just think we’re human beings. And we’re all different, right? And we are leaders, whether we like it or not, in, in many ways already in different scenarios, you might be a leader in your home, and people look to you for examples and guidance. Or you might be a coach on a sporting team. Or you might just be a good player on that team. Like we, I think we have to keep talking about it. Because there’s many different types of leadership. And there’s many different scenarios where that leadership can be applied. And I think we keep talking about it. Because as, as we move into different scenarios and situations, I think we’re constantly looking for examples that connect with us. And yeah, I want to be like that person, or that that team looks like something I want to be part of where some people might look at that and go, Oh, that’s not for me. But I like this type of leadership here. So I think it’s really about, we just keep talking about it. Because there’s not, I don’t believe there’s one size fits all, but like Adams book is like, Hey, here’s, here’s what this could look like if you follow this particular process or pattern. Hey, if that’s for you, here’s how you can do it. And you can make it stick. Whereas there’s other ones that just want to go in, and it’s my way or the highway. And that’s how I my leadership runs. And then some people might be okay with that. And they just connect to it. So I think, I think we’re just trying to navigate our way through what we feel as humans, like, what do we feel like someone cares about us when it comes to a leader of how I like to be led? My mom has a saying she says, I can be led but never pushed, right? So Her ways are very much, you know, the you can’t push a piece of string across the table, you got to pull it right. So there’s some people who want that. And then there’s some people who just want to be told what to do, because I don’t want to I don’t get paid to think and I’m happy with that. So great question. Very, my answer is, is as spontaneous as that, but it’s, I think we keep talking about it, because there is no one answer. We are all just trying to lay that off, like you said, How do I want to be and how do I want to be seen moving forward, and then I get drawn to that and, and follow that example. But I think we also keep talking about it. Because again, we’re human, and it can be bloody hard. It can be when you’re in the moment, and everyone’s looking at you. You can kind of have that fight or flight mentality. And it’s just really we need to get that regular coaching and reinforcement or be shown examples. So that when I get in that moment, I can recognize it. And then I kind of not freak out so much or hiring someone to say, hey, leader, I need a hand. So yeah, we’re talking about people in all of this. So there with everything in life, I think there’s just no one answer. And we’re just going to keep working together to find a happy place somewhere in the middle. Hopefully.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  43:46

Hopefully, yeah. I appreciate that. Thank you both. Thank you. Well, so if people want to connect with you, Adam, what’s what’s a good way to connect with you? What would you share?


Adam Lawrence  43:57

Yeah, so I’m pretty, pretty visible on LinkedIn. So you can find my company page process improvement partners, or my my personal page, and I’m Lawrence do have a website, pi dash You know, those are, those are probably the best ways to go about it. I love love having these conversations always available for a chat. Now I’m not looking for 1000s of qualified leads. So any of you guys that like to spam me for that, not open to that type of chat. But I do love if we’re going to have these types of conversations. I’m all about that. love helping people. I’m all about Kaizen events. You know, I’m all about helping people improve the profits through sustainable, continuous improvement and Kaizen events as my area of expertise done about 350 to 400 all over the world over many, many years. So there’s a lot of joy in that a lot of energy in that. So if you need a Kaizen ninja, I happen to know a guy who’s that and that would be me,


Andy Olrich  44:58

and more. Thank you And yeah, advise everyone to look him up and follow those rules of the game he laid out. But, Mike, where do we get the book? Where can we find that?


Adam Lawrence  45:08

Oh, yeah, you and people besides my family, you can go on Amazon haven’t sold a lot, I’ve given away probably 10 times the amount I’ve sold. So never write a book, by the way, third year anniversary of it. But never write a book to sell books, write a book to help people. So if I’ve helped at least one person that’s worth it. But Amazon, I’ve got a Kindle version, I’ve got a printed version. And you know, if you like it, you know, I hope you hope you enjoyed if you want to read it.


Andy Olrich  45:38

So look, again, happy anniversary for three years of writing the book. You said very early in the in the session that if it’s helped just one person, then I’m happy with that. I mean, that’s a reflection on your your reasons for writing the book not to buy a super yacht. But I think you You’ve definitely helped more than one person, Adam, and we’re just really appreciate you coming on today. It’s been a fantastic discussion. And it goes in many different directions on a topic as poignant and as important as this when we’re trying to be successful. So looking forward to the next catch up. Thanks, Shane. And catch everybody next time.


Shayne Daughenbaugh  46:16

Thank you. All right. Thanks, everybody.

Meet Patrick

Patrick is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for his unique human approach to sound team-building practices; creating consensus and enabling empowerment. He founded his consulting practice in 2018 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. He motivates, inspires, and drives the right results at all points in business processes.

Patrick has been delivering bottom-line results through specialized process improvement solutions for over 20 years. He’s worked with all types of businesses from private, non-profit, government, and manufacturing ranging from small business to billion-dollar corporations.