Business Center

2-Second Lean

Update: June 23, 2017

Paul Akers' "2-Second Lean" is available for free in electronic format (and in several different languages).

2-second lean

Author: Paul A. Akers
ISBN number: 978098466203
Posted: May 13, 2014
Summary by: Pernilla Paquette, Process Improvement Intern

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Executive Summary

Lean process improvement can sometimes appear intimidating, with complicated diagrams and business-school theory speak. To introduce a welcome alternative, business owner Paul Akers provides this quick-read book as a way to “open the door of opportunity for people who want to improve their daily life”. The author explains that the book is “not intended for MBAs” and it is slightly unorthodox in its simplicity - yet engaging and energizing in the sharing of his personal experience. Reinforcement of chapter learnings are provided in the form of QR-code video clips, which help demonstrate the key points and are particularly useful for the visual learner.

In terms of methodology, this book does not demonstrate flow charts or graphs, but rather a simple 2-second-improvement to help the reader grasp the concept of Lean. Akers is an advocate for helping employees master the process of making small improvements before moving onto larger projects. The main reason for this is the risk of failure and giving up on Lean if starting too big.

However, this book is not all about Lean techniques but also the journey of a leader. The story chronicles this business owner’s Lean development over several decades, from implementing the framework for process improvement, to facing challenges with lagging cultural change, and finally learning how to foster a Lean culture. Over time, Akers transformed his small garage-based business, FastCap, into a million dollar enterprise following these principles – but success did not come overnight. With sustainability being a major issue for many Lean leaders, having faced challenges and succeeded, Akers has valuable advice on how to foster a culture of commitment among employees that can stand the test of time.

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