Diaries from the War on Waste

Over 100 Podcast Episodes Ready to Go


with Dr. Len Bertain

Diaries from the War on Waste



Description

In a career spanning over 30 years, Len Bertain has coached over 150 CEO’s to help them understand and correct inefficiencies and lost profits in their business. He created the well-known “War on Waste” program, a preeminent Lean Business tool, to guide leadership teams through the process. He is an author of four books on the War on Waste (that comprise the content of this Podcast) and is a frequent speaker to CEO groups.

Since its inception, the War on Waste program has generated over $1 Billion in first-year profits from over 10,000 ideas, all generated by client company employees. The companies involved in the War on Waste have been as small as 10 people with Fortune 100 companies at the other extreme.

In 1994, he founded the Institute for Productivity Improvement and, in 1999, CEO University, both based in San Francisco, CA.

He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Nevada and a B.S. in Physics and Math from St. Mary’s College of California.

His books include: How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days, The War on Waste Paradox, War on Waste Innovation, and Designing the Perfect Solution.

Len has read his 4 Books in 10 to 15 Minute episodes that make up this Podcast. In summary: the books tell the story of How the War on Waste works; Why it works as it does; and What kind of culture and structure is required to manage this organization. They are all there for your listening pleasure. He also has included a few bonuses throughout the readings. You can buy these books at www.lensbookstore.com. Enjoy.

  • Tribal Knowledge Paradigm - Introduction

    Released on July 2, 2014 Duration: 00:06:17

    This is the Introduction to the the book that I wrote with my long term business associate, George Sibbald. We have discussed the ideal management paradigm that you need when you manage a highly driven, innovation based business. This can be a technology company but it is more interesting in low tech companies that have not experienced "High Velocity Management" before. We have lots of experience in this area and the book is our "paradigm" or set of rules that we have observed that need to be in place to both create and sustain an innovation culture. The next episode will address the question, "Do we need another paradigm?" Enjoy.

  • Chapter 1 - Do we need another Paradigm?

    Released on July 15, 2014 Duration: 00:22:42

    We make a case that there is a need for a new way to manage the High Velocity Organization that is primed for Innovation. The next episode will address the Fatal Flaw in most management systems. Enjoy.

  • Chapter 2 - Addressing the Fatal Flaw

    Released on July 16, 2014 Duration: 00:12:46

    After working at this process for over 30 years, we finally figured out what we needed to do to make the proposed paradigm work. This is one of the great discoveries of our research. The next episode will discuss exactly what is the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm. Enjoy.

  • Chapter 3 - What is the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm

    Released on July 18, 2014 Duration: 00:17:21

    In this podcast, we define the characteristics of the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm. It consists of 4 major components and serves as the guide for the rest of the book. The next podcast will be about how a company mission can get integrated into the innovation process.

  • Chapter 4 - Mission Relevance

    Released on July 22, 2014 Duration: 00:09:02

    This episode discusses the role that Mission Relevance can play in any decision that is made about implementing an idea. Most companies spend lots of energy on the mission statement but never use it in company management. In this session, we show how it can be a very important component of decision making. The next episode will discuss how to improve company "know how."

  • Chapter 5 - Improving Know How

    Released on July 25, 2014 Duration: 00:09:33

    Chapter 5 is all about how Tribal Knowledge growth is a key to this paradigm. In this chapter, we will explain “why.” “Know How” is both “Tangible and Intangible IP.” It delivers process. It drives strategic results. And it improves stock value. Additionally, “Know How” is like a body. It must train to improve. In the next Chapter, we discuss how Strategy and Operations Alignment work together.

  • Chapter 6 - Stategy & Operations Alignment

    Released on July 29, 2014 Duration: 00:14:20

    Chapter 6 is not a chapter to compete with other treatises on strategy. There are a number of great tomes on the subject. This chapter is merely to place it in context within the paradigm. We noted previously that the War on Waste led to the idea that strategy became aligned with process in the program. We expand on that thought. In the next episode, Chapter 7, we discuss Strategy, Structure and Process.

  • Chapter 7 - Organization, Structure and Process

    Released on August 1, 2014 Duration: 00:17:07

    In Chapter 7, we ask the question "What organization structure achieves best business practice?" That structure is key to the success of the proposed paradigm. It turns out that good habit is lost when environments change. An organization needs the right structure. Structure helps to make repetitive success the basis of new habit. So what does this structure look like? Tune in. In the next episode, Chapter 8, we discuss the characteristics of good leadership.

  • Chapter 8 - Leadership

    Released on August 5, 2014 Duration: 00:11:16

    A leader has been described as having two primary characteristics. One is an eye for good people. The second is being reactive to market changes. Leadership inspires and energizes the whole organization. These two thoughts will guide the discussion of how this fits with the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm. In the next episode, we discuss how the Tribal Knowledge Council can be used to manage all input of War on Waste ideas and sources of innovation.

  • Chapter 9 - The Tribal Knowledge Council

    Released on August 8, 2014 Duration: 00:17:10

    Chapter 9 discusses why the paradigm requires a formal process to get new ideas into the system. Once there, they need to be tracked and implemented. That is achieved with the Tribal Knowledge Council and is the subject of this chapter. The next episode will cover the tools of the paradigm.

  • Chapter 10 - Tribal Knowledge Paradigm Tools (Part 1)

    Released on August 12, 2014 Duration: 00:20:20

    In Chapter 10, we go over a number of tools that we used. Many of them, we developed. In this podcast, we discuss 2 of the tools: the 120/20 Rule of Profits and the 5/67 Rule. The 120/20 Rule of Profits tells us that 120% of the profits come from 20% of the Customers, Salesmen or Products. We discuss how this works. We also discovered a subcategory of the famous 20/80 rule that we call the 5/67 Rule. It tells us that 5% of effort (or cost) generates 67% of the benefit. It is really a major discovery and we discuss this in some detail. We'll discuss some other tools in the 2nd part.

  • Chapter 10 - Tribal Knowledge Paradigm Tools (Part 2)

    Released on August 15, 2014 Duration: 00:27:29

    In this episode, we discuss performance measurement in the form of two tools that we created: yes/no charts and world record reports as the basis of measurement in this paradigm. We also discuss how a sense of urgency plays a vital role in making the paradigm work. And we will discuss the final tools in the next episode, Part 3.

  • Chapter 10 - Tribal Knowledge Paradigm Tools (Part 3)

    Released on August 19, 2014 Duration: 00:21:04

    In this final episode on tools, we discuss the 2 four box touchstones that are key to defining the paradigm. We also discuss the key characteristics of value-added thinking that is key to the War on Waste. We also review SWOT analysis as it relates to the paradigm. In the next chapter, we discuss how you can quick start this paradigm at your organization.

  • Chapter 11 - Quick Start

    Released on August 22, 2014 Duration: 00:13:36

    In this episode we summarize by pointing out that the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm is a set of principles, processes, forcing functions and touchstones. They "chalk the field" for a corporate culture of growth and innovation. But to start this paradigm you have to begin somewhere.

  • Chapter 12 - Conclusion

    Released on August 26, 2014 Duration: 00:02:07

    The conclusion provides a summary picture of what is required to manage a high performing Culture of Innovation. It is the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm. The next episode will be the Introduction of Len's newest book, "Winning the War on Waste in 90 Days."

  • Introduction - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days

    Released on August 29, 2014 Duration: 00:07:06

    Len goes over the Introduction of his book and lays down the issues that he wants to cover in the book. He reviews the details of the outline and sets the background for the book.

  • Chapter 1 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days

    Released on September 2, 2014 Duration: 00:14:59

    This chapter defines some of the basics of the War on Waste with a focus on what is waste. To understand that you need to understand what "value-added" is. He then lists a number of wastes that can serve as guides to people working on a waste.

  • Chapter 2 - How I Got Started (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 5, 2014 Duration: 00:10:58

    Len summarizes his initial experience in delivering the War on Waste that changed his approach dramatically. It has a surprising source. He then goes on to describe the basics of the War on Waste.

  • Chapter 3 - Part 1 (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 9, 2014 Duration: 00:13:09

    In this podcast, Len tells us about the details of how the War on Waste works. It has some good ideas about things to watch for in each of the 6 steps of the War on Waste.

  • Chapter 3 - Part 2 (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 12, 2014 Duration: 00:15:16

    Len goes into more detail about the last 2 steps of the War on Waste. He explains the characteristics of the following phases of the War on Waste: Phase 1 and Phase 2.

  • Chapter 4 - Part 1 (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 16, 2014 Duration: 00:09:29

    No Blame! No Blame is the basis of starting the War on Waste. Employees are most reluctant to contribute ideas unless they are introduced under the protection of No Blame. Not one wants to put an idea into play, only to lose a job from a vindictive manager. Ideas are protected with No Blame, just as Freedom of Speech is protected in the Constitution with Freedom of Assembly.

  • Chapter 4 (Part 2) - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days

    Released on September 19, 2014 Duration: 00:09:42

    No Blame! No Blame is the basis of starting the War on Waste. Employees are most reluctant to contribute ideas unless they are introduced under the protection of No Blame. Not one wants to put an idea into play, only to lose a job from a vindictive manager. Ideas are protected with No Blame, just as Freedom of Speech is protected in the Constitution with Freedom of Assembly. No Blame makes the process work.

  • Chapter 5 - Using the Mission Statement (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 23, 2014 Duration: 00:16:07

    The Mission Statement has been a creation of most companies. If they don't have one, they ultimately will get one. But no one ever uses it. In this chapter, Len discusses a very simple way to integrate the mission statement into critical decision making.

  • Chapter 6 - Value Adding (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 26, 2014 Duration: 00:09:39

    Value Adding. This is one of the key terms in the War on Waste. In fact, it really helps everyone get clear on the meaning of the term "waste." Once this is established in the War on Waste, everyone can really get on board to the main goal of the program, "getting a project in gear to eliminate a big waste."

  • Chapter 7 - War on Waste Tools (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on September 30, 2014 Duration: 00:14:48

    Len relates the features of a number of tools that he has developed as well as a number of tools that he borrowed from a few friends and applied them to the War on Waste. He also uses standard Lean Business tools in unique ways.

  • Chapter 8 - Strategy (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on October 3, 2014 Duration: 00:15:47

    This chapter focuses on how the strategy of a business is both improved and synchronized with everyone after the War on Waste. This is not a new document to vie with other more sophisticated treatises on strategy but rather how a business makes strategy everyone's business.

  • Chapter 9 - The Tribal Knowledge Council (How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days)

    Released on October 7, 2014 Duration: 00:09:35

    The Tribal Knowledge Council is what we propose as the collection point for new ideas. We are not enamoured of the name, choose your own. But make the TKC, or its alter ego, a collection point for new ideas. Len explores some characteristics of this idea collection center.

  • Chapter 10 - FAQs

    Released on October 10, 2014 Duration: 00:07:28

    Len reviews a number of his more popular FAQs. He is sharing these as a way to familiarize people with the issues that attend getting involved with the War on Waste.

  • Chapter 11 - SAQs (Shoulda Asked Questions)

    Released on October 14, 2014 Duration: 00:20:23

    Len adds another dimension to the book in answering questions that he thinks people should ask but don't. They help add to the readers understanding of the War on Waste.

  • Chapter 12 - The 7 things you need to do & Step-by-Step Instructions to Win

    Released on October 17, 2014 Duration: 00:12:01

    Len promised to tell the reader the 7 Things that were needed to be able to win the War on Waste. He does that and he gives the reader the time line of how this all happens in 90 Days. It really can be done. And sets the stage so that the reader and his organization can keep on winning.

  • WOW Innovation - Introduction and Chapter 1 - Part 1

    Released on October 21, 2014 Duration: 00:16:15

    In this episode, Len reads the introduction and Chapter 1 (part 1). This book is the War on Waste Introduction which discusses over 100 terms, phrases and concepts that are part of the War on Waste discourse.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 1 - Part 2

    Released on October 24, 2014 Duration: 00:09:51

    Chapter 1 continues to detail more Waste types other than those contained in the Toyota Production System. Len tries to show that the War on Waste extends to all parts of the company: sales, finance, admin and purchasing. It is important to understand the extent that waste can permeate a company.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 1 - Part 3

    Released on October 28, 2014 Duration: 00:13:00

    Len discusses the results of the War on Waste and demonstrates the high return that he achieves when he delivers the program. He discusses No Blame and the value of ideas.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 1 - Part 4

    Released on October 31, 2014 Duration: 00:14:26

    In this episode, Len goes over his work with the problematic Black Knights. He discusses No Excuses and the power of the Idea. He then finishes with his review of the history of the War on Waste program as a group effort to find and eliminate identified wastes. The role of a woman, Mabel, changed the way he approached his training of the Toyota Production System.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 1 - Part 5

    Released on November 4, 2014 Duration: 00:17:35

    In this episode, Len discusses the term Value-adding or Value-added, some key advice from the head of Matsushita Electric, the term common cause and the concept of Discovery as it relates to the War on Waste.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 2 - Part 1

    Released on November 7, 2014 Duration: 00:11:39

    In this episode, the listener is introduced to Len's perspective of what the Job of a CEO are and the agendas that are integral to their successfully managing a business.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 2 - Part 2

    Released on November 11, 2014 Duration: 00:13:08

    In this episode, Len helps a CEO and his organization get clear on who should be in charge of the company. And who should be managing the agenda. Len also goes into how the War on Waste is related to Strategy. This is one of Len's major discoveries over the last 30 years about what happens in the War on Waste.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 2 - Part 3

    Released on November 14, 2014 Duration: 00:12:27

    Len discusses two terms as they evolve from the War on Waste: "View" and "Vision." The War on Waste gives a CEO a way to rethink his or her Vision and gives a clear View of the company capabilities and how they help improve company value-added services to customers.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 2 - Part 4

    Released on November 18, 2014 Duration: 00:13:42

    In this episode, Len discusses 3 terms that help him guide a CEO. One is "Chalking the Field" (a term used in getting an understanding of measurement). "Eating Crow" is a consequence of having to admit you were wrong and how that works in a War on Waste project. "Managing after the Fact" is a term Len learned from Ray Dolby.

  • Len's Interview with Perry Marshall - Part 1

    Released on November 21, 2014 Duration: 00:13:46

    Len was interviewed by Perry Marshall, the 80/20 Guru and Internet Marketing Consultant. This is the first part of the interview. There are 4 parts. This episode goes into some detail into the War on Waste and the details of the 5/67 Rule.

  • Len's Interview with Perry Marshall - Part 2

    Released on November 25, 2014 Duration: 00:15:16

    This episode discusses Black Knights, No Blame, No Excuses and a few other incidental issues. Perry is a good lead in getting optimum results from this interview.

  • Len's Interview with Perry Marshall - Part 3

    Released on November 28, 2014 Duration: 00:17:09

    In this part of the interview Len discusses: Black Knights, the disconnect between the Value Proposition and process, the CEOs job and the CEO as Change Agent.

  • Len's Interview with Perry Marshall - Part 4

    Released on December 2, 2014 Duration: 00:12:45

    In this final episode of Len's Interview, Perry asks about what Len means by Moments of Truth and why they are so important in making sure that they are always positive. Perry, finally asks Len, why would someone with a marketing business be interested in how thinking about the War on Waste is a totally relevant issue.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 2 - Part 5

    Released on December 5, 2014 Duration: 00:13:00

    Len reads about a conversation with a CEO who discusses a term called CEO Calculus. He also spends some time discussing the difference between Insubordination and Treason. And finally, he reviews a concept introduced by a business friend, the "American Management Paradox."

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 2 - Part 6

    Released on December 9, 2014 Duration: 00:17:30

    Len discusses the 6 things every CEO must do. These 6 things are critical for the CEO but the 2 most important are: managing strategy and managing innovation.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 1

    Released on December 12, 2014 Duration: 00:13:04

    Len discusses the tools of the War on Waste: Act-Learn-Act and the 120/20 Rule of Profits. The 120/20 Rule of Profits is a corollary to the 80/20 Rule but allows for the negative numbers of losses against the positive numbers of profits. In that way, the top 20% of customers may account for more than 100% of the profits of a company. Len discusses what actions the 120/20 Rule of Profits forces a CEO to make about the most profitable and unprofitable clients.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 2

    Released on December 16, 2014 Duration: 00:12:41

    In this episode, Len goes over cycle time and lead time and then discusses the data gathering rules of the War on Waste. These discussions are important because Len looks at the War on Waste as a scientific investigation, the Scientific Paradigm being key, and he wants participants to approach their wastes in exactly the way a scientist thinks.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 3

    Released on December 19, 2014 Duration: 00:13:20

    Len reads about his two favorite subjects: the 80/20 Rule and th 5/67 Rule. Everyone knows about the 80/20 Rule but the 5/67 Rule is an analysis tool that Len discovered 20 years ago when he was working the War on Waste at his early clients. It is a very powerful tool that complements the 80/20 Rule.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 4

    Released on December 23, 2014 Duration: 00:15:02

    Len reads about measurement in this episode. He delves into the War on Waste theory of how, why and for whom measurement is done. He then goes into the first part of the discussion of the Yes/No Chart that he developed. Enjoy.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 5

    Released on December 26, 2014 Duration: 00:10:40

    Len completed his discussion of the Yes/No Chart. He gives two of his favorite examples. He then goes into his discussion of why the World Record Report has been so successful. It plays off a unique characteristic of American Workers.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 6

    Released on December 30, 2014 Duration: 00:14:45

    Len discusses his creation, the World Record Report, as a powerful tool for management. It capitalizes on a unique characteristic of Americans. At least that is the opinion of his Canadian associate, George Sibbald.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 7

    Released on January 2, 2015 Duration: 00:11:48

    In this episode, Len reviews the success of the World Record Report that he developed to help companies introduce competition between different departments. It expanded into a different solution that has helped many of his clients achieve phenomenal performance.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 8

    Released on January 6, 2015 Duration: 00:16:22

    Len explains how the Tribal Knowledge Council works and does so in the context of using it as a funnel for ideas into a Kaizen system. All ideas need to go thru the Tribal Knowledge Council and Len gives a couple of scenarios that the TKC addresses.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 3 - Part 9

    Released on January 9, 2015 Duration: 00:11:36

    In this episode, Len discusses Moments of Truth, Single and Multiple Points of Control, the 5 Whys and Reporting Honest Data. These tie together because they help get a handle on the unifying principles of the War on Waste: process improvement and customer satisfaction.

  • Len's Interview with Jeff Lage, VP at B&B Manufacturing (Part 1)

    Released on January 13, 2015 Duration: 00:18:26

    Len interviews Jeff Lage who is the Vice President of B&B Manufacturing. The reason that I interviewed Jeff is that he has a wonderful perspective about what his job is, how he should manage a business and how he should both grow the business and serve the special interests of employees, clients and share holders. In this first part, Jeff gives a great view of his approach to training his people; what causes people to take themselves out of the company; the value of character; and, turnover.

  • Len's Interview with Jeff Lage, VP at B&B Manufacturing (Part 2)

    Released on January 16, 2015 Duration: 00:19:46

    In this episode, the more significant of the two parts, Jeff explains how they now deal with new hires and describes his unique approach there. He expands on how they measure employees in periodic and annual reviews. He describes how they bring Admin and Engineers into the company, a unique approach. He opens up to where they are going and how they are dealing with with New Product Introduction and the issues that this creates in employees. And finally he answers the question, how can he compete against low cost foreign competitors. His answers are interesting and positive.

  • WOW Innovation - Chap 4 - Part 1

    Released on January 20, 2015 Duration: 00:13:05

    This episode discusses and this part discuss change and how it is a mandatory part of every business today. He further covers the first two of three things that are required for change to occur: the ability to change, the willingness to change and the systems that support the change.

  • WOW Innovation - Chap 4 - Part 2

    Released on January 23, 2015 Duration: 00:12:20

    In this episode, Len finishes the discussion of the change conditions with his review of the 3rd key to change: the systems that will support the change. He then goes into a discussion the famous Black Knight analogy in business and finishes with his discussion of the analogy from Physics of boundaries and how, in business, boundaries are great places to look for wastes.

  • WOW Innovation - Chap 4 - Part 3

    Released on January 27, 2015 Duration: 00:12:04

    In this episode, Len reviews the way Kaizen plays in the War on Waste. He had a problem using the Japanese approach so he invented an American Kaizen. He then goes into a unique Model of business that allows him to better understand the structure of business organizations that change as companies progress through the War on Waste change to a Quantum Leap Company that uses the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm.

  • WOW Innovation - Chap 5 - Part 1

    Released on January 30, 2015 Duration: 00:10:42

    In this episode, Len discusses the role that energy plays in what he calls the "energy initiative" in lean or similar programs. It plays off his background in Physics. He then discusses the classification of people into Pioneers and Settlers and how this guides his determination on how a team should be structured with these different characters.

  • WOW Innovation - Chap 5 - Part 2

    Released on February 3, 2015 Duration: 00:13:13

    In this episode, Len discusses: Simplification as a Strategy; A Sense of Urgency; The Urgency Switch; Work; and, Creating the Quantum Leap Company. These are all action integral to what he calls the Tribal Knowledge Paradigm. It is fun stuff and filled with good stories.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 6 - Part 1

    Released on February 6, 2015 Duration: 00:12:42

    In this episode Len discusses the Scientific Paradigm and Energy. He uses his background as a Physicist to add great insights to business leaders that will help them manage more intelligently.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 6 - Part 2

    Released on February 10, 2015 Duration: 00:15:55

    In this episode, Len adds additional insight with his expanding on terms: entropy, non-linear thinking and the Uncertainty Principle. These terms are more esoteric but they help clarify some of the issues surrounding basic business and how it may not be possible to manage an organization with any perfection. Nature refuses to give. The nature of systems tells us that we can get close.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 7 - Part 1

    Released on February 13, 2015 Duration: 00:11:54

    In this episode, Len discusses the Quantum Leap Company. The Quantum Leap Company has a number of unique characteristics that flow from the War on Waste. Len explains how all these work together.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 7 - Part 2

    Released on February 17, 2015 Duration: 00:10:49

    Len wrap up this chapter with a discussion of three of his favorite subjects: speed, customer centric (business) and the Edge of Chaos. These three topics play together as terms that bring clarity to the War on Waste Innovation process.

  • WOW Innovation - Chapter 8

    Released on February 20, 2015 Duration: 00:06:44

    In this final episode of the WOW Innovation, Len discusses three interesting subject: Hubris, How to get engineers to deliver, and a few miscellaneous final thoughts. Len will begin reading the first book of the Tribal Knowledge and War on Waste Series: The War on Waste Paradox. Enjoy this episode.

  • The WOW Paradox - Introduction

    Released on February 24, 2015 Duration: 00:18:59

    Len reads the Introduction to the War on Waste Paradox and gives a hint to the meaning of the title. He reviews some of the discoveries during the War on Waste programs over the last 30 years. These are not minor discoveries as they provide significant input as to why the War on Wastes have been so successful over the years.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 1 - Part 1

    Released on February 27, 2015 Duration: 00:11:30

    This is a story of a worker who experiences the War on Waste Program. But before he begins the program, he lives through some very difficult times. He loses his job and a friend and suffers stiff financial difficulties from his lay off. It is the plight of many in this society when tough times hit. His plight is the basis of the Paradox.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 1 - Part 2

    Released on March 3, 2015 Duration: 00:10:59

    In this episode, Charlie and our hero are gradually expanding their search to find a job. But Charlie does something that is totally against our hero's agenda. And he makes Charlie see the error of his ways in a big time confrontation. They work it out but it puts a stress on their friendship.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 1 - Part 3

    Released on March 6, 2015 Duration: 00:15:51

    Our hero gets a job and Charlie doesn't. Then our hero starts to work and it starts to resemble his old job with all the same problems. This scares him and then the Plant Manager does something stupid and gets fired and this drives our hero to even greater fears. They hire a replacement Plant Manager and he tells our hero that he is going to change a few things and he brings in the consultant, Dr. Elbie, to begin a change process. This frightens our hero even more.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 2

    Released on March 10, 2015 Duration: 00:13:21

    In this Chapter, Dr. Elbie is making the old hands nervous with his crazy ideas for reducing set-up. To the non manufacturing reader, these terms may be strange at first but after a while you get the hang of their meaning and how they would apply to your business. When we do the WOW training at non-manufacturing companies, we still go over those areas that we used to think of as unique to manufacturing but really aren't. Set-up is one area that is applicable to a large number of businesses. For example, we used one of the set-up reduction tools to increase the number of surgeries done in a hospital by using these techniques to reduce the time between surgeries in the clean up process. But as Dr. Elbie begins to shake things up, we find in the next few chapters that fun things, and good things, start to happen.

  • Request for Feedback

    Released on March 11, 2015 Duration: 00:00:35

    Len is planning to continue the podcast on March 20. In the mean time, he wanted any feedback, good or bad, about the podcast up to this point. He has read 3 books and is into his third and wanted feedback about the value of this effort. He enjoys doing it (he has delivered 71 pod casts) but he wanted to know if it was of any value to anyone to keep it going. Your input is greatly appreciated. Email me at len@bertain.com or call me at 510-520-8011. Thank you very much for any feedback. Best!

  • Another request for feedback & Preliminary new product announcement

    Released on March 17, 2015 Duration: 00:04:20

    This is the second request for feedback. Len is planning to continue the podcast on March 20. In the mean time, he wanted any feedback, good or bad, about the podcast up to this point. He has read 3 books and is into his fourth and wanted feedback about the value of this effort. He enjoys doing it (he has delivered 71 pod casts) but he wanted to know if it was of any value to anyone to keep it going. Your input is greatly appreciated. In addition, Len is planning on releasing three products that will allow you to go thru the War on Waste process. One of these is a training program that guides you through the process. The next one has more support with five bi-weekly consulting sessions of a half hour to work with a team thru the War on Waste Program. And the super-duper product is one we call "eWOW." eWOW will be even more interactive with a video interface and support all the way thru the WOW process to include optional oversight from managers and Executives. And finally, a tracking system for a team to input monthly results to track success in eliminating the waste over the course of a year. Let me know about both the podcast and the new products. I am interested in your input. Email me at len@bertain.com or call me at 510-520-8011. Thank you very much for any feedback. Best!

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 3 - Part 1

    Released on March 20, 2015 Duration: 00:10:04

    In this episode, Dr. Elbie is all ready to get started with the War on Waste program and he hits a snag. And he gets pissed about it. Every body in the shop area sees him ranting with Jim, the new General Manager. And it starts to get fun at Quality Pumps.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 3 - Part 2

    Released on March 24, 2015 Duration: 00:12:44

    In this episode, Dr. Elbie is arguing with Mr. Grimes, the owner of Quality Pumps, that he needs all employees in the classes. Mr. Diamond, the head of Sales argues, that he needs his sales people out in the field making sales and not wasting their time in a class. So Elbie and Grimes are stuck with this dilemma. Listen in to find out how they get it resolved.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 3 - Part 3

    Released on March 27, 2015 Duration: 00:06:03

    In this episode, it is a short reading to complete the chapter thought on why Dr. Elbie prefers to train everyone in the company. He also makes a case as to why the training should be done by an outside group in order to fight the resistance created by "Black Knights." In the comments at the end of the chapter, he adds more information about the role that Black Knights play in fighting change.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 4

    Released on March 31, 2015 Duration: 00:08:26

    Dr. Elbie meets the hero of our story and gives him an assignment. He asks him to fill out a form about his next set-up on his machine. The fear of our hero is if the results don't come out as expected. Dr. Elbie jokes that he believes that they should shoot the messenger of bad news. Our hero gets it and goes on the start the change-over to the new job. Dr. Elbie is going to have a meeting to explain the War on Waste process to the managers and supervisors. And the fun will begin. CHANGE (OMG)!!!

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 5 - Part 1

    Released on April 3, 2015 Duration: 00:13:33

    In this episode, the training begins. Our hero is in the first class of the day starting at 7:00 AM. As the training starts, Mr. Grimes gives a rah-rah speech to let everyone know that the War on Waste program just may save the company and he wanted all employees engaged to make that happen. Mr. Grimes introduces Mike Day, the Union bargaining agent, who has been an aggressive adversary in the past but now is supporting the training program with Mr. Grimes. Grimes introduces Dr. Elbie to everyone and he reads a disturbing quote from Konusuke Matsushita in a speech he gave in 1982. And that will lead into the next episode.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 5 - Part 2

    Released on April 7, 2015 Duration: 00:07:38

    In this episode, Dr. Elbie continues to probe the class about the quote from Konosuke Matsushita, CEO of Matsushita Electric. Jim gets a little upset about it and then Dr. Elbie launches into a discussion of ideas and why they are important. But they may lead to change and it may change the job of a worker that may not want to change. This discussion sets up the discussion for the next episode. It will be a little longer to catch the full impact of the first days of a War on Waste program

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 5 - Part 3

    Released on April 10, 2015 Duration: 00:20:10

    Dr. Elbie gets right into it. He finishes his description of the end game of the War on Waste in the grand scheme of running the business: the focus on adding value by eliminating those things that get in the way, Waste. In the process, he encounters negativity from one of the machinists and push back from the big guy who runs the dock.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 5 - Part 4

    Released on April 14, 2015 Duration: 00:09:28

    This is probably the most important part of the whole War on Waste Process. In this episode, Dr. Elbie engages his first class of the day in the discussion of the difference between Value-added work, essential support work and waste. In the discussion, he gets into an intense discussion of the set-up guys and Buck, his very large nemesis who runs the dock. In my 30 years of doing WOW projects, this is a very typical discussion. I am not that big of a guy and when I encounter a guy like Buck, I guess you might say that I fear for my life. This discussion is the key to the whole process. It sets the stage for the rest of the program. And boy is it fun!!!

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 5 - Part 5

    Released on April 17, 2015 Duration: 00:14:20

    In this episode, the employees are starting to get a grip on how bad the situation really is. Last time Roland and Bonnie from Sales took the brunt of the flak for waste in mistakes on written orders. But as Dr. Elbie leads the class in the investigation, several interesting things occur and the class gets really excited. This is really a fun episode. Hope appears.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 6 - Part 2

    Released on April 24, 2015 Duration: 00:12:15

    The class is really getting into the process. Some of the negative people in the early going are starting to come around. Dr. Elbie introduces the class to another way to think about the wastes that isn't totally obvious but it is an approach that has worked for his alter ego, Len Bertain, in over 150 War on Waste engagements.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 6 - Part 1

    Released on April 21, 2015 Duration: 00:10:28

    As the class starts in this chapter, the employees are really excited. They were given an assignment by Dr. Elbie to look at the problem created by the sales department in inputting bad data into the system. The experience has gotten everyone excited to participate and it becomes quite infectious. This is the time that I love most when I have done this with a class. For me, it is what I do this for. It is a real trip.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 7

    Released on April 28, 2015 Duration: 00:13:18

    Dr. Elbie believes that a business organized in teams is more efficient than one that isn't. He goes into quite a speech on how teams in a factory are very analogous to the teams in sports. He goes into quite a dialogue about that. But the best part of this chapter is the discussion of Innovation and the types of innovation in the Insights section.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 8 - Part 1

    Released on May 1, 2015 Duration: 00:13:40

    In this segment, the employees all seemed to have bad weekends. They were thinking about work. They were thinking about what had happened in the first week of class. And as they continue to move forward, Dr. Elbie has a main encounter with Roland and Mr. Grimes gets involved as well. And he isn't too happy. Listen in and find out why.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 8 - Part 2

    Released on May 5, 2015 Duration: 00:08:29

    The Process Map. In this episode, Mr. Grimes finds out why going thru a company process map of the whole process from receipts of an order until the product is shipped and money collected sends a stake into the heart of the toughest people. But surviving the "process" of going thru the process map is just one step in the War on Waste. As the song goes, "it hurts so good."

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 9 - Part 1

    Released on May 8, 2015 Duration: 00:11:39

    Dr. Elbie is now getting down to the basics of the War on Waste process. He is getting into the terms that Taiichi Ohno of Toyota Production fame uses to get clear about "WORK." What is work? Well Dr. Elbie gets into it but one of the employees, Andrew, is giving some back to him. He is afraid for his job. He has been through another program that focused on cost cutting (eliminating jobs) and he doesn't like it one bit. Listen in. It is starting to get fun.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 9 - Part 2

    Released on May 12, 2015 Duration: 00:12:25

    In this part of Chapter 9, Dr. Elbie and Andrew get into a rather intense discussion of a major concern about people's jobs that can be cut as a result of the type of program that the War on Waste represents. It gets very intense and doesn't have a nice neat solution. And then Dr. Elbie gets into a discussion of how the Yes/No Chart modifies behavior. This is probably Len's best discussion or description of how Yes/No charts do modify behavior.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 9 - Part 3

    Released on May 15, 2015 Duration: 00:12:59

    In this episode, the class starts to learn about Teams and how World Record Reports Work. First, the World Record Reports are based upon a characteristic of American Workers. It is the basis of why we are such competitors. And Dr. Elbie gets into it. The Team lecture sets the tone for a major fiasco that comes up in Part 4 but it is set up in the episode and boy is are these two episodes fun.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 9 - Part 4

    Released on May 19, 2015 Duration: 00:16:45

    There are three things going on in this episode: 1. Dr. Elbie gets into a discussion of how Yes/No Charts modify behavior; 2. There is a Keystone Kops situation that gets everyone yelling at each other, and; 3. Dr. Elbie gives Mr. Grimes his first lesson of the War on Waste Paradox using the previous day's Keystone Kops situation as a good basis to start the discussion. Good things are starting to happen.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 10 - Part 1

    Released on May 22, 2015 Duration: 00:13:41

    Dr. Elbie messes with the heads of the employees. He sent them home over the weekend thinking about the plating problem. And most of them did so. To many of them, they didn't like that. The weekends were theirs, not the company's. This had the desired effect and created quite a buzz on Monday morning. Dr. Elbie goes into the nuances of how you can use the Yes/No Chart in some interesting ways.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 10 - Part 2

    Released on May 26, 2015 Duration: 00:14:21

    In this episode, the teams are given a loose direction to start thinking about how they should be organized on the shop floor and throughout the company. The message or take away from this chapter is the clear message that all ideas are important. But it strikes close to home for our hero when his wife, with no knowledge other than common sense, makes a gangbuster suggestion that could just turn the business around. This idea is why I tell people to listen to all ideas, this serves to encourage everyone to get on board, even your wife.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 11 - Part 1

    Released on May 29, 2015 Duration: 00:08:43

    This is a fun episode. Dr. Elbie is late for class and points out the waste of 144 minutes of employee time is significant. This leads him to make a very interesting bet with the class. It is a big challenge for them and he baits them a bit. Are they up for this challenge? The class gets a little snippy when one of the employees has a hissy fit about his job changing drastically to make a product more efficiently. It is really the kind of problem that the War on Waste deals with very smoothly and rapidly settles ruffled feathers. Or does it?

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 11 - Part 2

    Released on June 2, 2015 Duration: 00:08:48

    In this episode: 1. Dr. Elbie introduces the class to the Toyota Production System concept known as the "5 Whys." Dr. Elbie explains why this is so valuable a tool for everyone. 2. In the Insights section, Dr. Elbie points out why "Getting Pissed" about a problem in the company is usually a good place to look for wastes. 3. He discusses how the act of getting pissed about things has changed the world. This makes for interesting material because once you hear it you immediately want to look at your own situation.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 12 - Part 1

    Released on June 5, 2015 Duration: 00:10:54

    In this episode: 1. Dr. Elbie introduces Phil who is a machinist that Dr. Elbie uses to teach his classes about a concept known as SMED. 2. SMED was developed by Shigeo Shingo and provides a way for the employees to win their bet with Dr. Elbie. 3. Phil blows everyone away when he gives them his goal for the company setup target. 4. And Mr. Grimes sees the light. Or at least he thinks he does!

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 12 - Part 2

    Released on June 9, 2015 Duration: 00:11:51

    In this episode, things pick up. 1. Mr. Grimes is excited by the action that his employees are taking on their own. 2. The employees like the idea of simple solutions to huge problems. 3. All the employees are getting it as they begin to put solutions together. 4. SMED is explained.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 13

    Released on June 12, 2015 Duration: 00:14:29

    In this episode, good things are starting to happen: 1. Roland has joined one of the production improvement teams in a very positive way. 2. Phil engages the class on why reduced set-ups will reduce inventory. 3. Phil also gets Roland involved by having him explain the value to sales and marketing when set-up is reduced. 4. They learn about the complex concept of how EOQ (Economic Order Quantity) and Set-up are related and how they affect inventory. 5. And now the ladies assembly team throws down the challenge to the production team that they are going to blow the men out of the water with their project. As she leaves them she says, "Ladies Rule." And the challenge is on.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 14 - Part 1

    Released on June 16, 2015 Duration: 00:09:42

    In this episode, it is clear that things are starting to change at Quality Pump. Dr. Elbie discusses why the 80/20 Rule or the 20/80 Rule is so powerful. 1. It provides great leverage in problem solving. 2. Isn't it the way Mr. Grimes manages anyway without knowing it? 3. The employees struggle at first with the idea but are able to ask intelligent questions to get a better handle on the concept.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 14 - Part 2

    Released on June 19, 2015 Duration: 00:13:19

    In this episode, we get one of the best discussions of the 80/20 or 20/80 Rule and its relationship to the 5/67 Rule. Dr. Elbie really gets into this and discusses the leverage that come by using these rules to run a business. And he points out the difference in leverage between the two rules of management.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 15 - Part 1

    Released on June 23, 2015 Duration: 00:12:50

    This is probably the worst part of the War on Waste, dealing with Black Knights who are actually getting in the way of the changes that need to be done. In this episode, Mr. Grimes has a difficult problem in that his longtime employee, Mike Cain, is actually getting in the way big time. So what is he gonna do? How would you deal with Mike Cain? Do you think Mr. Grimes did the right thing? Listen to the whole episode, there is a reward for those who do. Last Friday's episode was the 100th one of this Podcast and there is a reward for the stout-hearted listeners over the last year.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 15 - Part 2

    Released on June 26, 2015 Duration: 00:13:19

    This episode has some drama. Why is Darth Vader, the executive who closed down Osgood's, visiting Quality Pumps. Our hero doesn't like it one bit. Something is stirring at Quality Pumps and our hero is called to a mysterious dinner after he arrives home from work. His wife is in a panic because he mouthed off to his boss about bringing Darth Vader to talk with him. She is worried that he is going to get fired. Maybe he will. Listen to this episode and form your own opinion before you listen to Chapter 15 - Part 3. Exciting stuff.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 15 - Part 3

    Released on June 30, 2015 Duration: 00:09:17

    In this episode, our hero finds out the worst possible news, he is going to have to work with Darth Vader. But he not going to get fired. A new position is being defined for Darth Vader and it is forcing our hero to help Darth Vader make it work. How can he work with that man? Well I guess we will just have to wait before we find out.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 15 - Part 4

    Released on July 3, 2015 Duration: 00:09:07

    In this episode, the class is going to find out more about the Change Review Board and why it is so important in a successful War on Waste project. Of course, ideas are being reviewed in the War on Waste Class. But what happens when it is over. How will ideas find their way into action. We all know what happens when an employee gives a good idea to a manager. And Calvin is caught a little off guard when he realizes that his new job is being defined by the employees and he is a little put off. How does he handle this?

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 16 - Part 1

    Released on July 7, 2015 Duration: 00:11:41

    In this episode, Mac is engaging the class in helping to define the CRB Rules. Calvin is into this. Before he gets too far into it, Mac introduces two tools to help Calvin manage the CRB. (Note: We now call the CRB the Tribal Knowledge Council because of its power in integrating Tribal Knowledge into the culture of the company.) One is an ROI tool and the other is new and requires a Mission Statement. This takes the discussion into what the company Mission Statement is and how you create one that is used by the company. (As an aside, if you work at a company and you have a Missions Statement, do you use it for anything?) In this episode, you'll find out how to use a Mission Statement in a very logical application.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 16 - Part 2

    Released on July 10, 2015 Duration: 00:14:19

    In this episode, the class refines the company definition of their Mission Statement. In doing so, they have to define what a World Class Manufacturing company is. I think this discussion is pretty good because Dick Schonberger who wrote the definitive book entitled "World Class Manufacturing" really loved this chapter. In fact, in his review of the book, he said that the discussion is so exciting that he was actually thinking of getting back into consulting just to have one of these discussions. I thank Dick for his complement and I hope you find it as interesting as he did.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 16 - Part 3

    Released on July 14, 2015 Duration: 00:10:19

    In this episode, Mac spends a little time getting clear about the meaning of work. Most of the employees are clear on Dr. Elbie's definition and discuss the issues needed for a successful change initiative. This discussion triggers an angry rant from Mac when one of the employees tells him that the classes are a big waste and costing him bonus from the lost productivity. Not true but he sends Mac on a tirade that holds everyone rapt for the length of the rant. It is fun because he hits a lot of great points. You should make sure you listen to this episode.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 16 - Part 4

    Released on July 17, 2015 Duration: 00:10:19

    In this episode, 3 major things are discussed: 1. Mac and one of the machinists, Jerry, get into a discussion about why Jerry is not getting really enthusiastic about this program. 2. There is a sidebar discussion about Mr. Grimes eating crow without catsup. 3. In the Chapter Insights, Len discusses the characteristics of the Quantum Leap Companies that have evolved from his work with over 150 companies.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 17 - Part 1

    Released on July 21, 2015 Duration: 00:15:19

    This is probably the most animated section of the book. Over the years, this type of encounter has occurred with just about every section of the business. Most people think the world spins around them. Unfortunately, it doesn't. And in this episode, you get to listen to the angry exchange between one such individual and Dr. Elbie. I had an encounter almost exactly like this in one of my best clients. The fun part is that it turned out OK. But it is in doubt for a little bit. Enjoy.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 17 - Part 2

    Released on July 24, 2015 Duration: 00:12:43

    This episode involves 3 key points: 1. It concludes the argument between the head of IT and Dr. Elbie with Mr. Grimes jumping in to get a few licks on John the head of IT. 2. A similar argument with Chris Snyder, the CFO, who believes that he and the managers could do the WOW training if they were given a Train the Trainers program. Argument ensues. 3. Mr. Grimes has another discussion about "The War on Waste Paradox." As the book comes to an end, you can sense people letting off steam in class and this is the fun part. It is like the climax of a Verdi Opera. And we aren't over yet.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 17 - Part 3

    Released on July 28, 2015 Duration: 00:12:43

    In this episode: 1. Chris is still defending his finance department and Mac and the class show him a couple of flaw in the accounting system and how they affect the information he gives to Mr. Grimes. 2. The class gets into a discussion of the most important number to measure in a company and it isn't profits. Maybe you can figure out what it is. 3. John, the head of IT, comes into class with his tail between his legs after he makes a big discovery. And he mans up big time.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 17 - Part 4

    Released on July 31, 2015 Duration: 00:12:47

    In this episode: 1. Mac gets into a discussion of the 6 different systems that comprise those that are affected by change. 2. Mr. Grimes is struggling to deal with the War on Waste Paradox. He has identified a couple of corollary paradoxes but not the one Dr. Elbie is helping him find. 3. In the insights section, Len discusses the way that energy plays a big role in understanding why the War on Waste works and what is required to sustain the progress achieved during the program.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 18 - Part 1

    Released on August 4, 2015 Duration: 00:11:30

    In this episode, we see the real value in the 5/67 Thinking and how lead time and bottlenecks play a role in factory output. But more importantly, the hero of our book is in for a big surprise from his work mates. They literally blow him away.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 18 - Part 2

    Released on August 7, 2015 Duration: 00:13:41

    In this episode, the class goes thru a detail of the steps needed to create a specific product. This leads to two things: a rearrangement of equipment and a better understanding of how wrong the numbers in the MRP system really are. The results are a phenomenal improvement in cycle time for the product. In the insights section of the chapter, Len discusses the difference between treason and resistance to change. And the insight is a very strong rationale for dealing aggressively with Black Knights.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 19 - Part 1

    Released on August 11, 2015 Duration: 00:09:01

    In this episode, we are wrapping up the War on Waste program. Employees are making their presentation to Mr. Grimes and Mr. Thompson (the company banker). The presentations go smoothly and Mr. Thompson asks the classes to help him with a waste at his bank. A fun exchange for all.

  • The WOW Paradox - Chapter 19 - Part 2

    Released on August 14, 2015 Duration: 00:11:49

    This episode is the end of the War on Waste Program. Grimes and his banker award the best presentations and ideas. And the banker summarizes the solution to his problem And Mr. Grimes and Dr. Elbie come to a resolution of what the War on Waste Paradox really is all about. As any good whodunnit, the paradox is presented on the last page of the book before the conclusion where everything gets tied together.

  • The WOW Paradox - Conclusion

    Released on August 18, 2015 Duration: 00:17:23

    This is the last episode of this podcast. Dr. Elbie has one last meeting with Mr. Grimes to provide his bi-weekly report and tracking of results. Mr. Grimes gives Dr. Elbie the most recent financials and everyone lives happily ever after. BTW, I am going to write another book and I need help. I was either going to end this podcast or I was going to ask for feedback as I try my next book on the Scientific Paradigm as it applies to a War on Waste, Quantum Leap Company. There appeared to be a lot of interest in my segments over the last year on my views of science as it relates to business. My concept for this next book is really weird. It will be a story but it has a funny angle. Maybe, it is crazy but I need feedback. Contact me at len@ewaronwaste.com with any suggestions. I have written 60 pages of the book and I need help with 2 things: the concept of how Calvin communicates with his new friends (need to listen to find out) and a good title for the book. I hope you can help. Let me know the extent of your interest in this topic, if any. Best.

  • 5/67 Problem Solving - Introduction

    Released on October 15, 2017 Duration: 00:08:11

    This is the Introduction of the book in which the authors explain why they wrote the book and they introduce the three types of problems that they detail in the book: stupid, difficult and Wicked Problems. And more importantly the demand that No Blame is an integral to the success of any problem solving effort. This is key to "Change without Reprisal." And they invoke a mantra that they tout: "It is ok to be wrong." Enjoy.