In June, a handful of Benchmark employees were added to a new Slack channel and greeted with the following message from COO Denise Keller:

Welcome to the Benchmark LEAN SQUAD

You have all been individually recommended to join this new group to help us launch LEAN thinking at Benchmark. Lean is an exciting way of looking at everything we do with two clear goals in mind: 1) reducing waste and 2) making continuous improvements.

I am going to have you start by watching an outstanding video that explains the concept.  I will also be sharing a PDF of the book here tomorrow.

The goal of our squad is to get all 140+ of our team members living LEAN every single day.  

The success of this will be dependent on having buy-in from everyone. One of my most favorite lines from the video is that “the genius is in the employees!”  That’s the beauty in that EVERYONE can contribute and make a difference.

We will have our first squad meeting next week.

With that, we all began our indoctrination to lean, and specifically, Paul Akers 2-Second Lean concept. We watched him speak on the ideals and read his book. I even invited him to join us for the Heart of Business podcast.

It was time for our first Lean Squad meeting. Individuals from each worldwide office and region were in attendance, tasked with the question of how to implement a culture change at our company on a global scale. Each of us spoke and made suggestions on what needed to happen for lean to successfully launch at Benchmark.

We agreed to pick a day to offer three times, to cover all time zones, for a mandatory meeting. In this meeting, everyone would watch Paul Aker’s speech on 2-Second Lean and a presentation would be given on what we wanted lean to mean to us at Benchmark.

With that, the seeds of Lean were forever planted here at Benchmark. It will take some watering for the lean garden to continue to grow, but we had our start. I’m excited to continue updating you on how our Lean Journey has gone, as a Lean Squad member and someone who drank the Kool-Aid from the start.