Simple Excellence : Organizing and Aligning the Management Team in a Lean Transformation book cover
1st Edition

Simple Excellence
Organizing and Aligning the Management Team in a Lean Transformation

ISBN 9781439838457
Published November 8, 2010 by Productivity Press
155 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Detailing the role of senior management in achieving a successful transformation to organizational excellence, Simple Excellence: Organizing and Aligning the Management Team in a Lean Transformation charts a course of simplification through the complexity often associated with managing performance improvement initiatives. It spells out the roles of key individuals on the management team—including those from sales and marketing, human resources, purchasing/supply chain, information technology, finance, and engineering.

Maintaining a focus on the big picture, this book explains what value streams are and how to use them to structure your business so that all stakeholders are aligned with what matters most. It reduces constraint management to its most practical terms and lays out a sound approach to accounting that enables everyone to spend money where it adds value and stop spending where it doesn’t.

  • Drive your management team with dedicated allegience to the concept of  value enhancement
  • Propel your organization to higher performance through the employment of Lean culture and decision-making principles
  • Enact management structures needed to put new ways of thinking into play
  • Focus on the bottom line with the right performance metrics

Written by respected authorities with extensive experience helping leading organizations achieve Lean transformation, the text includes case studies from high-profile organizations recognized for operational excellence. Addressing human resources management practices, it explains how to manage the day-to-day operations and pricing factory capabilities for the greatest possible profits. It also discusses the ongoing process of strategic planning to help you move away from annual goal setting, toward a dynamic process of engaging the entire company in the effort to provide your customers with an improved sense of value.

Table of Contents

Introduction/Overview. Creating a Culture of Excellence. Concept of Value – What it is and how to create it. Conversion to Value Streams. Managing Constraints. Lean Accounting. Quality Management – a practical application of Six Sigma. Performance Metrics. Strategic Marketing and Pricing. Strategic Planning. Sustaining Continuous Improvements. Global Excellence.

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Adam Zak is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Adam Zak Executive Search and an accomplished senior executive with more than 25 years of experience spanning the areas of management consulting; financial and operations management; and talent acquisition. Adam excels at identifying and attracting business leaders who are experts in lean continuous improvement, process and operational excellence, and sustainability. His impact on organizations quickly becomes apparent as these talented individuals, in their new leadership roles, consistently go on to make their new companies excellent.

Adam has recruited executives for a diverse mix of Fortune 1000, private-equity, and entrepreneurial companies in the United States and abroad. He has worked in a variety of industries from automotive and aerospace giants implementing sustainable operational excellence cultures to fast-paced consumer product distributors revolutionizing their global supply chains with green management practices.

Earlier in his career Adam earned a bachelor’s of science in degree in accounting from the University of Illinois, became a certified public accountant, and worked with KPMG in both advisory and assurance roles. He subsequently held a variety of financial and general management positions with venture capital, innovative start-up, and Fortune-ranked companies in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley.

Adam has been using his uncommon expertise to help his clients improve their businesses operationally and financially for almost 20 years. He’s been a partner with two international executive recruiting firms and now conducts executive searches in a much more creative, entrepreneurial, and results-driven (and lean) fashion. His unique and highlypersonalized methodology for recruiting exceptional talent is trademarked as PDCAsearch®. Adam is considered by many to be the most influencial leader today in Lean recruiting and Lean executive search.

Recently, Adam’s work has focused on helping to improve American health care by bringing operational and process excellence to the healthcare industry. He is also the innovator behind the recently launched recruiting initiative Crusade for Lean HealthCare Talent.

Adam contributes his time to a number of professional and community organizations. He often speaks and writes on topics including the Lean enterprise, innovation, operational excellence, and sustainability. He is a devoted student of executive leadership, change management, and, most of all, the philosophies and practices of continuous improvement.

Bill Waddell is a consultant, author, and speaker who has spent over 30 years working in just about every facet of manufacturing. Beginning with his education at the University of Cincinnati, Bill came up through manufacturing in virtually every capacity, including accounting, industrial engineering, supply chain, production, and quality management. His resume includes working as manager of advanced manufacturing practices for Emerson’s Copeland Division, as vice president of global supply chain for McCulloch, and as vice president of global operations for the Wahl Clipper Corporation. He is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on Lean manufacturing and Lean enterprise management and strategies.

Bill coauthored the award-winning Rebirth of American Industry (with Norman Bodek, PCS Press, 2005) and Evolving Excellence: Thoughts on Lean Enterprise Leadership (with Kevin Meyer, iUniverse Inc., 2007). His provocative columns on manufacturing issues on Evolving Excellence make it the most widely read manufacturing blog in the world. He is also a regular contributor to Manufacturing Crunch and Pacific Excellence, and his articles have appeared in the Association for Manufacturing Excellence’s (AME’s) Target Magazine, APICS Journal, and a wide variety of other manufacturing publications.

As a consultant, Bill has worked with hundreds of companies on five continents in a wide variety of industries, ranging from multibillion dollar global organizations to his pro bono work with local organizations hiring the handicapped to learn basic manufacturing skills. His focus in recent years has been to work with smaller- to mid-sized companies, often in support of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership programs.

As a speaker and educator, Bill has addressed just about every significant manufacturing form in the world. One of the original “thought leaders” behind the Lean accounting body of knowledge, he has become a regular fixture at the Lean Accounting Summit and at numerous events related to the financial management of manufacturing. He is past technical chair for the International Six Sigma/Lean Quality Conference and has spoken to dozens of groups within the Association for Operations Management (APICS) on topics related to global supply chain optimization and leadingedge factory scheduling. He has lectured in over a dozen top universities as well as at the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology on manufacturing strategy, global manufacturing issues, and financial management.


Simple Excellence is a quick and easy read that finally describes a simple, logical, way to conduct business. Simple principles like, focusing on the customer, eliminating waste, driving costs down, and managing cash are not complex enough for academics and the latest business book gurus to deal with. It’s reassuring to know that many of the principals espoused in this book are the same concepts we focus on here at Parker Hannifin.  I will be making this book a must read for my staff.  Simple Excellence helps to reinforce that what we are working on here at Parker Hannifin is the right stuff.
—Bob Barker, President, Parker Aerospace & Executive Vice President and Operating Officer, Parker Hannifin Corporation