On The Job with Tom Root, Managing Partner of Zingerman's Mail Order (Transcript)
Zingerman’s Mail Order (ZMO), one of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, began its lean transformation 15 years ago after deciding that its 3rd relocation in 6 years due to 25-35% year-over-year growth was its last! There had to be a better way to solve its biennial capacity problem. And of course there was with lean thinking.
Tom Root, ZMO’s Managing Director, sat down with Josh Howell for a wide-ranging conversation about several phases of ZMO’s lean transformation, including the challenge of establishing a culture of continuous improvement with full participation, and how lean thinking could impact the food industry that’s in desperate need of a better way. Here is a transcript of that talk.
Who, or What, Is Your Company Investing In?
After reviewing the stellar work by a frontline supervisor who improved the problem of rotisserie chicken running out of stock, Josh Howell asked: will technology work for your people, or the other way around?
Reach for Your Mind Before Your Wallet
Josh Howell shares how the lean principle of reaching for your mind before your wallet can mitigate risk through careful planning and a willingness to conduct experiments, noting that this kaizen mindset is particularly relevant when tackling today's most pressing challenges.
What's Your Lean Origin Story? And Why Does It Matter?
"I’m wondering, as a leader and a coach, how can I help others develop similar routines, propagating, for example, the principle of 'work/er first' or 'work/er-back,'" says LEI's Josh Howell. "Reflecting on that has taken me all the way back to my 'lean origin story.'"