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State Of Readiness

Author: Joseph F Paris Jr

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A podcast devoted to sharing knowledge of how companies can become high-performance organizations. Hosted by Joseph Paris.
37 Episodes
Video Version About the Podcast I have known Michael Webb for several years.  He has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Operational Excellence Society almost since its inception and led the Operational Excellence Society Chapter in Atlanta.  We start the podcast by discussing the application of operational excellence and continuous improvement principles to sales and marketing activities.  Paris made note of the challenges due to the personality-driven nature of sales and getting salespeople to document processes and how there might be a natural conflict between the human-empathetic side of sales with the data-driven needs of management. Michael explained how sales processes can be defined through engaging salespeople to determine what drives value for customers.  This allows processes to be measured and improved.  To this end, defining what is of value operationally is important and discussed how processes should focus on creating value rather than only eliminating waste. Michael highlighted how statistical analysis can be applied to sales activities like lead qualification when processes are defined properly.  This brings more science to sales.  And regarding management needs, Michael emphasized processes should serve salespeople but allow enough standardization for effective management and fostering opportunities for coaching.  Striking a balance when it comes to documentation is ideal; harvesting only the information that is of value and minimizing the narrative form of documentation (nobody reads it anyway). Towards the end of the interview, Michael overviewed his books, including Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way which shows how Six Sigma principles apply to sales, and Sales Process Excellence which earned a Shingo Research Award and provides a textbook on improving sales processes. And finally, no interview would be complete today without some commentary on where AI is going and its impact on sales and marketing processes and personnel.  To this end, we both believe that human interaction will remain important for establishing trust and empathy. About Michael Webb Michael Webb is an internationally known author and management consultant.  He brings data-driven management approaches to sales and marketing organizations.  Before starting his own consultancy firm, Sales Performance Consultants, Inc., he held roles in sales, sales training, and sales management for IMPAX Corporation, PCT Incorporated, Rockwell Automation, and others. When exposed to production improvement methodologies (e.g., Six Sigma, and Lean) he saw parallels to B2B sales production.  He pioneered ways of helping sales teams distinguish value from waste.  He also created ways for sales teams to develop operational definitions.  These enabled continuous improvement in sales productivity, forecast accuracy, and other metrics. His approach recognizes the critical role beliefs play in the behaviors of sales and marketing people as well as customers.  He engages front-line salespeople, managers, and executives as well as cross-functional teams. His 2006 book, “Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way”, earned 4.5 stars on Amazon and sold more than 21 thousand copies.  And his 2014 book, “Sales Process Excellence” earned the prestigious Shingo Research Award in 2015.  His articles range from sales quality and process to reducing waste and capitalizing on customer value where they draw on his extensive experience working with direct and channel sales and marketing teams of large and small companies. Author of:  Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way: In Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way, Michael Webb shows how to blend marketing and sales efforts with the cutting-edge methods of Six Sigma to boost their bottom lines. Sales Process Excellence, 2015 Shingo Award Winner:  In 'Sales Process Excellence', Michael Webb traces sales and marketing problems to their root causes in traditional management methods, such as pushing product, setting quotas, and trying harder while doing the same things over again. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Sales Performance Consultants, Inc. Title: Senior President Website: Year Founded: 2002 About: Sales Performance Consultants, Inc., collaborates with B2B executives to extend operational excellence to sales and marketing.  Clients systematically increase revenue, loyalty, and margin while wasting less time and money.
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Scott Lushin, Senior Manager of Global Operational Excellence at Donaldson Company, Incorporated. In this episode, Scott takes us through his professional journey. Starting off in retail automotive and the restaurant business, it is obvious that has two passions; problem solving and leadership. Although his passion for problem-solving made itself readily apparent in his early life, his skills in leadership made themselves known later and over time. Scott started his journey right out of high school at an automotive service chain where he became manager and then training manager. After a few years, he eventually moved on to work in the food industry at a chain of restaurants; becoming training manager then district manager. Against his mother’s advice against seeking a job in manufacturing, he joined Donaldson through a temp-agency. He has always been a ‘thinker’, a problem solver, even as a kid he loved to solve problems. The more complex the problem, the more fun they were to solve. He could spend days trying to unravel a problem and eventually he got very good at it. His problem-solving specialty is manufacturing and process improvements. Scott sees the world through a different lens, which is why he is often called upon to solve complex problems. He especially loves being thrown into a complex problem and forming a team to tackle it. Even though Scott did not (and does not still) have a college degree, Donaldson must have seen something in Scott, as he has been there 32 years. He has held positions and roles too varied to list, but include: Operations Supervisor, Manufacturing Engineer, C.I. Engineer, C.I. Specialist, Operations Management, and since 2019 leading efforts with Global Operational Excellence. There was a time when a person without a college degree could grow to leadership roles in a company and Scott is living proof. Has that time passed? Or has enough time not passed to make that determination. We shall see. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Donaldson Company, Incorporated Title: Senior Manager, Global Operational Excellence Website: Year Founded: 1915 Company Type: Publicly Traded (DCI) About: Donaldson Company, Inc. manufactures and sells filtration systems and replacement parts worldwide.  The company operates through three segments: Mobile Solutions, Industrial Solutions, and Life Sciences.  Its Mobile Solutions segment provides replacement filters for air and liquid filtration applications, such as air filtration systems; liquid filtration systems for fuel, lube, and hydraulic applications; exhaust and emissions systems and sensors; indicators; and monitoring systems.  This segment sells its products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the construction, mining, agriculture, aerospace, defense, and transportation markets; and to independent distributors, and OEM dealer networks.  The company's Industrial Solutions segment offers dust, fume, and mist collectors; compressed air and industrial gasses purification systems; and hydraulic and lubricated rotating equipment applications, as well as gas and liquid filtration for industrial processes.  This segment sells its products to various distributors, OEMs, and end-users.  Its Life Sciences segment provides micro-environment gas and liquid filtration for food, beverage, and industrial processes; bioprocessing equipment, that includes bioreactors and fermenters; and bioprocessing consumables, such as chromatography devices, reagents and filters, and polytetrafluoroethylene membrane-based products, as well as specialized air and gas filtration systems for applications, including hard disk drives, semi-conductor manufacturing and sensors, battery systems, and powertrain components to OEMs and various end-users.
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness. I am your host, Joseph Paris. My guest today is Ben Guttmann, Author of “Simply Put; Why Clear Messages Win―and How to Design Them.” We start the conversation going back to high school where Ben was fortunate enough to have attended a high school that had a business department and offerings for those who were interested in business goings-on. It's here where Ben got hooked on marketing. We share our ideas on communicating, mostly born of experiences. Why do people feel they have to pack so many words around an idea to get the point across; and all at the risk of making the message less clear. As an example, Joseph shares his experience as an elementary school student. When returning from summer vacation, the teacher would always ask for a "500 word essay on what I did on my summer vacation." Joseph shares that "I went fishin' and I went swimmin.' Now I have to find another 493 words of fluff to pad it and complete the assignment." Ben shares how he and a few friends came to start their own marketing firm, Digital Natives Group, starting out of an opportunity that presented itself while they were attending Baruch College. One of Ben's professors, who also ran a marketing agency, needed help with digital marketing. They meet with the professor's partner, and Ben and his friend decide to start a marketing agency specializing in digital with the professor's firm being the first client. They even set-up shop in the basement of the professor's agency. So, in the spirit of "Simply Put", I will leave it here. Enjoy the podcast. Ben Guttmann is an experienced marketing and communications expert and educator on a mission to get leaders to more effectively connect by simplifying their message. He is a former co-founder and managing partner at Digital Natives Group, an award-winning agency that worked with the NFL, I Love NY, Comcast, NBC, Universal and other major clients. Currently, Ben consults with a range of thought leaders, venture-backed startups, and other brands. He went attended Baruch College where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Marketing Management. He presently teaches digital marketing at Baruch as an Adjunct Lecturer and serves on the Advisory Board of the Zicklin School of Business.  An interesting conversation which I am sure you will enjoy. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Unisphere Ideas Title: Principal Website: Year Founded: 2022 Company Type: Sole Proprietor Also an Adjunct Lecturer at Baruch College Marketing Department where he currently teaches digital advertising,
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness.  I am your host, Joseph Paris. My guest today is Jesse DePriest, President of Jesse DePriest Consulting, LLC; Privately held consultancy specializing in Lean including; strategy development and deployment, leadership development, process design and analysis, process improvement, problem solving, teamwork.  I have known Jesse for several years and his story is as American as Apple Pie. Jessie grew up on a dairy farm in Alaska where he was the youngest of 10 brothers and sisters.  Those of you might not appreciate how challenging working on a family farm might, be not to mention that farm being a dairy farm.  It starts with understanding that the cows have to be milked twice a day, every day of the year.  There is no rest. But having such a challenging job and its responsibilities (even with 9 others to help out) makes a person both resilient and resourceful.  Resilient, in that you better be tough and durable otherwise the job will break you.  Resourceful, because the challenges make you want to always find easier and better ways of doing your tasks. Jesse went to university on an ROTC scholarship at the Oregon Institute of Technology where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.  Afterwards he went into the US Army as an officer flying and tending to Blackhawk helicopters; where he and his unit consistently earned performance commendations. After his time in the US Army, Jesse entered the private sector working at various manufacturing companies and also banking; which was his last W2 job before starting his consulting practice. The conversation follows Jesse’s journey and the lessons learned along the way.  Topics include his thoughts on; Lean principles and practices, leadership, psychological safety, why most everyone knows what should to create a high-performing organization but consistently fail to deliver it (hint: it has to do with KPI’s), and other lessons learned from his experiences.  An interesting conversation which I am sure you will enjoy. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Jesse DePriest Consulting, LLC Title: President Year Founded: May 2019, Omaha NE Company Type: Privately held consultancy specializing in Lean including; strategy development and deployment, leadership development, process design and analysis, process improvement, problem solving, teamwork.
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness. I am your host Joseph Paris. My guest today is Daniel Varroney, President and CEO of Potomac Core; a consultancy specializing in helping trade organizations transform into strategic partner for industry and professions. I have known Daniel for many years; having first met him when I was a member of the New York City Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) which is an organization of professionals serving the mergers and acquisitions ecosystem and he was its Global CEO. The main topic of our conversation is the challenges that businesses face today are bigger, faster, and more frequent than in times past. For your consideration, within just the last six years (since 2016 when President Trump was elected) we have had; tariff and trade wars (friends and adversaries alike), challenges with refugees and managing borders (not just in the States), Brexit, COVID (and everything directly and indirectly associated with it), Russia invasion of Ukraine (and the resultant food and energy disruptions), unacceptably high inflation (and the resultant interest rate hikes), political discourse, and probably several items I missed. How is a company, industry, or profession to cope? Not to mention influence? The obvious answer is to form advocacy organizations to act as platforms to consolidate their voice and interests. Which leads us to his book; “Reimagining Industry Growth” offers readers a blueprint to harnessing the power of leading industry associations as strategic partners. By utilizing those partnerships, business leaders will become able to leverage the collective strength of the supply chain to overcome challenges, address uncertainty, mitigate risks, and position their industries for growth. An interesting conversation which I am sure you will enjoy. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Potomac Core - Association Consulting Title: President and CEO Year Founded: 2012, Arlington Virginia Company Type: Privately held strategic consultancy that applies research driven strategies to reimagine new growth pathways for Industries and Professions. Our mission is to deliver research guided processes that help Trade Associations transform into Strategic Partners for Industries and Professions. As such, we help transform organizations into the important role of real time business solution providers.
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness. I am your host Joseph Paris. My guest today is Innocent Hadebe, Director of Business Excellence for Chick-fil-A Corporate.  I met Innocent like a meet a great many people and that would be through LinkedIn.  Of course my initial attraction to Innocent was that we were like minded professionals pursuing Operational Excellence. But it was not until we met face to face in Orlando at an Operational Excellence conference where I was able to really understand Innocent and his story; which was fascinating.  Innocent was born and raised in Zimbabwe from a family with limited means; extremely limited by Western standards.  I won't share Innocent’s journey in this text but rather I would have you listen to it first person in this inspiring interview. However, I will say that Innocent debunks the idea that the American dream is dead.  He proves that anybody who has a dream of their future self, remains laser focused on realizing that dream, works hard plays by the rules, can persevere and achieve anything they set out to achieve. In addition to Innocent’s responsibilities at Chick-fil-A, he also started founded the Lot Water Project which is a 501.c3 Not For Profit organization dedicated to bringing clean potable water to remote villages in Zimbabwe.  The details for the Lot Water Project can be found here; Be sure to listen to the bonus track just after the outro. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Chick-fil-A Title: Director of Business Excellence Year Founded: 1946 Company Type: Privately held American fast food restaurant chain.  With almost 3,000 restaurants, it is and the largest chain specializing in chicken sandwiches. Company: Lot Water Project Title: Founder Year Founded: 2020 Company Type: A recognized not-for-profit (501.c3) organization that is passionate and committed to bringing safe drinking water to communities across the continent of Africa.
  Video version         About the podcast In this edition of “State of Readiness”, I welcome Manuel Ugarte, Director and Strategic Accounts Manager of the United States Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC).  The US Army’s CCDC mission is to provide the research, engineering, and analytical expertise to deliver capabilities that enable the Army to deter and, when necessary, decisively defeat any adversary now and in the future.  And the CCDC’s vision is to be the scientific and technological foundation of the Army Modernization Enterprise through world-leading research, development, engineering and analysis. Manny and I start by talking about his current role at the CCDC and the confluence of research, data, data analytics, and converting that research and data into a basis for making decisions about the future operations and capabilities of the US Army.  Of particular interest is that the nature of what the CCDC and he are doing goes contraire to a lot of his past experience and training.  After all, research begets innovation, and innovation requires the ability to think and act outside the box – to question everything even down to the core of how the US Army operates. But the real great story is about Manny’s life journey; Manny was born in Puerto Rico, the son of Cuban exiles escaping from the Castro regime.  After escaping Cuba, his father earned his BSc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Mayaquez afterwards “earning his salt” and providing for his family.  From this experience his father instilled in Manny his life’s values and the notion of serving their adopted country as a way of giving back.  There was no tradition of military service in the family (except for his great grandfather serving in the Spanish Navy way back when).  After University, he found himself assigned in Panama.  And this is where the story really gets interesting; it includes all the elements of a great story.  There is a warehouse full of surplus vending machines and Manny decides to moonlight as an entrepreneur while serving as an officer in the Army (or is it the other way around?).  There is his finding the love of his life (with whom he took forever to actually court) and who happens to be a lawyer who helps him with his business dealings (which is the excuse he found for keeping her close).  And there is the vicious competition of the old ladies selling empanada’s and coke on the corner – culture kills strategy. This is a really great story.  In a very real way, it is the story of America, the American Dream, and everything that is great, and can be great, about the American experience.  Give a listen.  I am sure you will find it as funny, enjoyable, and inspirational as I did.  And I am certain you will end-up with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. Guest: Manuel "Manny" Ugarte Manuel "Manny" Ugarte Manuel Ugarte is the Director & Strategic Accounts Manager to oversee the Science and Technology strategic planning, program, budget & execution of experimental and state-of-the-art capabilities of the US Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command – the subordinate organization of the nascent Army’s Futures Command.  His leadership and military experiences have focused on strategic planning, process improvement, operations, and complex problem solving. As an executive leader, he embraces operational excellence methods, directing high performance teams on problem-solving techniques informed by business intelligence. Manny has served the United States in its operations around the world as a US Army Officer and Executive for over 25 years.  Throughout his career, Manny has held many positions, including stints as Director of Analytics at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Chief Operating Officer at the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and Senior Operations Research Analyst at the Army Futures Command.  He earned his BASc of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering as an ROTC Cadet from Norwich University, his MBA from Tarleton State University, his MSc in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School, and his MEng in Engineering and Industrial Management from Penn State University.  He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt practitioner and Master Black Belt candidate from the US Army.  Manuel recently completed an Executive Program certification in Management and Leadership from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Organization:  US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Website; Year founded; February 2019 Headquarters; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, Maryland Company type; Defense / Military Industry Company size; ~ 26,200 civilian employees, military, and contractor workforce with a combined annual direct and reimbursable budget in excess of $6B Specialties; Engineering, Research & Development for US Army science & technology   HireMilitary utilizes the Department of Defense (DoD) Skillbridge program to promote civilian job training for transitioning service members. Any eligible service member within 180 days of leaving the military can seek a full-time (40-hours per week), unpaid internship with an employer up to 6 month period anywhere in the country—even remote. The requirements are that the internship must include an interview and offer a high-probability of continued employment.
Video version About the Podcast Today I invite Ofra Kalechstain, CEO of Matics, to “State of Readiness”.  Ofra started off her career as a computer programmer at SciTex where she helped develop applications for aiding in oil and gas exploration.  Afterwards, she worked for over 26 years at Paradigm where she moved-up through the ranks until becoming the Executive Vice President of Product Development until 2014.  She then turned her attention to being an active investor in start-ups.  She took a particular interest in one of her investments, Matics, taking an active role; first as the Chief Technology Officer and then as CEO. We start the conversation with Ofra discussing the impact of Industry 4.0 on manufacturing.  And while many applications have been developed for the largest companies in the world, there is a void for affordable and easy to use applications for the middle-market; and it is here where the opportunities abound.  And it is to address the needs of the middle-market that Matics has been specifically developed; a Management Execution System (MES) for the SME’s. I ask what some of the symptoms, the tell-tails, of a company that might benefit from the digitalization component of an Industry 4.0 strategy and the answer was as simple as it was to make a determination at one’s business; if you are capturing and tracking information using pen and paper, there is probably an opportunity for digitalization with the need being especially acute if the information being captured should be captured and acted upon in real-time. Ofra then shares a brief tour of how Matics works and how the solutions can help you to collect, analyze and collaborate in real time to gain production efficiency in your operations and offer the ability to remotely manage of the health of your operations. A very interesting conversation with a very interesting person from a company whose value is as needed as it is timely.  Give a listen. About Ofra Kalechstain Ofra Kalechstain has been the CEO of Matics since 2019, previously serving as the company’s CTO. Prior to Matics, Kalechstain was the Vice President of Product Development at Paradigm, a globally distributed organization where for over 26 years she led the product development business unit, overseeing an annual budget of $45M. Kalechstain has been instrumental in growing Matics and instilling a culture of competitive excellence throughout the organization. She has helped build a durable organization which has and can continue to withstand change. Kalechstain holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion). Since 2015 she’s also been an active investor in tech startups, leading several companies to financial growth and successful product delivery. Company: Matics Website: Headquarters: Haifa, Israel Year Founded:  2017 Company Type: Software Publisher specializing in apps that manage production Specialties:  Matics develops software that is used by factories to digitize the production process.  Their software combines pervasive technology and manufacturing know-how to monitor and capture the complete digital production journey for full auditability, repeatability and knowledge capture; a smart digital manufacturing platform that provides unprecedented visibility and control of your manufacturing process – anytime, anywhere.  Designed for SMEs, Matics’ secure cloud-based RTOI solution enables fast, non-disruptive, modular and scalable deployment. Matics’ digital manufacturing systems are installed in hundreds of production floors worldwide, connecting thousands of machines, in highly demanding production environments. From planning & scheduling, through all production stages and work procedures, all the way to the warehouse, we provide a comprehensive production management solution.
Video Version About the Podcast Hello, and welcome to another edition of state of readiness. I'm your host, Joseph Paris. My guest today is Alan Cruce, pilot and adventurer. I met Alan while I was on assignment in Denver. He and his team from NASA were also on assignment in Denver, separate assignments, of course. And we met as people who are on assignments, far away from home or app to meet in the hotel bar. They started sharing with me what their program was at NASA, which was SOFIA. I became completely infatuated. You see, when I was younger, I wanted to be a pilot, I wanted to be an astronaut. And I was fascinated with NASA. This was the time of the Apollo program and the Skylab program. I wrote to NASA and IBM Federal Systems many times and each time I was gifted a package of goodies; pictures, pamphlets, mission patches, the works. We all got along wonderfully. And as the night went on, they asked me if I wanted to join them to the next day for simulator training in a classic 747 (the model that was all analog). Of course, I said, Yes, and messaged my client that I was going to be late. Alan's story is a great one; earning his pilot's license before most people earn their driver's license. From then his life was one confluence of circumstances and events after another - which he shares some (but not all) - until he got his chance to fly missions for NASA as a pilot in the SOFIA program, a fascinating program that was recently terminated. About Alan Cruce Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse id nisl non tellus varius dapibus. Cras vitae ex mattis enim blandit finibus. Integer convallis pretium elit ut euismod. Fusce suscipit quis nulla cursus bibendum. Nunc eros libero, ornare a lobortis a, dictum id libero. Proin felis diam, volutpat ut augue id, pellentesque semper dolor. Vestibulum auctor ipsum eget erat auctor egestas. Nulla in convallis leo. Phasellus vel vestibulum tellus. Suspendisse non varius risus, id feugiat tortor. Suspendisse cursus, tortor eget commodo varius, arcu nunc vulputate sapien, et semper lorem mauris non mauris. In cursus pharetra purus eu blandit. Phasellus non ante ultricies, venenatis elit mollis, vulputate enim. Maecenas finibus dui sapien, sed egestas elit semper eget. Curabitur id aliquet tortor, sit amet pretium nisi. In gravida, odio sit amet egestas vulputate, erat lacus aliquam tellus, in dapibus eros lectus id velit. Nunc pulvinar lacus vel nisl molestie egestas. Quisque pulvinar eros a pharetra eleifend. Etiam id sapien ut odio commodo vestibulum. Duis blandit dapibus tortor, mollis blandit quam auctor ut. In ornare nulla eros, quis tristique erat posuere ac. Vivamus vel tristique odio, nec gravida ante. Praesent porta id sapien sit amet pellentesque. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Proin eleifend faucibus magna, ac posuere libero dictum nec. Aliquam semper ligula convallis, suscipit enim non, lacinia dui. LinkedIn Profile: Company: SOFIA Science Center Title: Research Pilot Website: Headquarters:  Year Founded: Company Type: Company Size: Industry Experience: Practice Areas:
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness with your host, Joseph Paris.  My guest today is Norbert Majerus; Author of “Lean-Driven Innovation” and “Winning Innovation” and a Lean Champion (Ret) from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He confesses that he went into engineering because he didn’t like to working with people and felt that a career in engineering would find him in the corner of a room with a computer and being left alone to do his work.  It did not quite work out that way. Norbert spent most of his career at Goodyear’s Innovation Centers.  Having first been introduced to Six Sigma, his natural gravitation was more towards Lean and the “people” side and skills associated with creating a problem-solving and leadership culture. We then talk about culture change; a topic which appears to be on many people’s minds.  But people rarely speak of what they would like to change from what, to what.  They share the phrase “culture change” and just leave it hang there in the air like a cartoon bubble and leave it to others to figure out what was meant; a grand assumption on everyone’s part. But Norbert does take the time to explain his ideas with respect to culture change; including the from what, to what.  Fun fact; “Luxembourgish” is a language… About Norbert Majerus Norbert Majerus Norbert was born in Luxembourg and has a Master’s Degree in chemistry from the University of Saarlandes, Saarbrucken Germany in 1978.  After graduation and for the next almost 40 years, Norbert works for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, starting as a rubber chemist.  Over the course of his career with Goodyear, he held several roles in the Goodyear Innovation Centers in Luxembourg and in Akron, Ohio and holds over 60 patents and trade secrets in the United States alone.  The role he held the longest and for the final 15 years with the company was that of Lean Champion and is a Master Black Belt. Norbert has taught workshops and given keynotes at many conferences around the world.  Since retiring from Goodyear in 2017, Norbert continues to share with others the wisdom he has gained through his consultancy, his speaking opportunities, and his writings, which include two books; “Lean-Driven Innovation” and “Winning Innovation”. Norbert is also a Shingo Academy Fellow, an Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Assessor, and serves on the board of the Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (LPPDE). LinkedIn Profile: Company: Norbert Majerus Consulting LLC Title: Owner/Member Website: Headquarters:  Akron, Ohio Year Founded: 2018 Company Type: Privately held Company Size: Independent Consultancy Industry Experience: Retired in 2017 with almost 40 years at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, holding the role of Lean Champion Innovation for the last almost 15 years. Practice Areas: Assist companies with; Lean Product Development and Innovation, Change Management, Lean Project Management, Managing People in a Lean Environment
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Ben Cook, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Spreetail, a next-generation 3PL company headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska.  We start the conversation with Ben sharing his early years.  His father was an Army Officer who resigned soon after Ben was born to have a more stable family life.  But that didn’t mean they set roots and became grounded, quite the opposite, as his father became a high-school football coach who moved through several high-schools in the Southeastern United States; and also did some time in Spain and in Africa on volunteer work.  So Ben struggles with where “home” is, except that it’s the United States. Ben then shares some details of his military career.  Being in the Special Forces, the assignments were not the most comfortable (including stints above the arctic circle).  But it was pre-9/11, so the assignments were (perhaps) a bit easier than afterwards. After the military, he became interested in Supply Chain.  Perhaps recognizing the importance of supply chains during his military career somehow influenced his gravitation to the discipline which, in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, was in its infancy. We walk though the various roles he had; including one in China soon after China’s assentation to being a member of the World Trade Organization.  And Ben shares some of the lessons learned along the way, some by design, some by accident, including a lesson-learned about culture eating strategy for breakfast. These experiences led him to develop his personal approach to leadership which he calls “One Team”, and I am sure you will find his thoughts on this quite interesting; perhaps even adoptable. About Ben Cook Ben Cook With over 20 years of leadership experience with a focus on leading startups, driving turnaround efforts, scaling revenue, invest to grow and global expansion, Ben Cook is a hands-on, people-focused, leader and board member.  He has had senior leadership roles at six Fortune 150 companies including; Apple, The Home Depot, Kimberly-Clark and two startup ventures and is currently the Chief Supply Chain Officer for Spreetail.  His passion is on people and helping to shape strong values-based cultures where high-performing teams master change and execute the vision for the next phase of the company’s life. Ben has served on the Board of Advisors for several startup companies, the Auburn University College of Business and the University of Tennessee’s Global Supply Chain Institute. He is also a US Army Special Operations veteran and is an avid outdoorsman and adventurer who can be frequently found hiking and camping the in Colorado wilderness. Ben is an lifelong learner who holds a BS in International Business from Auburn University, an MBA with a focus on Supply Chain Management from the University of Tennessee and multiple leadership and coaching certifications from The Wharton School, Harvard Business School, and the Center for Creative Leadership. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Spreetail, LLC Title: Chief Supply Chain Officer Website: Headquarters:  Lincoln, Nebraska Year Founded: 2006 Company Type: Privately held Company Size: Approximately $500 Million Annual Sales Industry: Spreetail is a next-generation third-party logistics (3PL) company.  In addition to traditional 3PL services, Spreetail also offers sales channel management, internet marketing services, eCommerce, end-user customer service, and software applications to support all your business fulfillment needs.
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Sanjeev Khot; Director of Global Product Quality, Cummins, Incorporated and is responsible for overall Global Quality Strategy, Supplier Quality, Reliability, APQP, and Logistics Quality Transformation to support growth and drive long-term business value. Sanjeev is a highly accomplished senior executive with global experience in manufacturing, quality, project management, and quality systems and and operations management. He is especially capable of building highly motivated teams focused on achieving results, customer satisfaction and business growth; and we explore his journey and lessons learned. What is unmistakable in our conversation is the passion and conviction Sanjeev has for his profession and for living a life worth living in general. As is plain to see, Sanjeev believes that it is important to do what you love doing, and then the success will come. What form that success might be needs to be in harmony with where your passions lie, of course. Sanjeev was born, raised, and educated in India and it is also where he joined Cummins as an operations leader in 2005. He grew his role and corresponding responsibilities at Cummins in India until and opportunity to join the Cummins team in the States became available in 2017; to which he applied and was hired. Not just a quality and process improvement professional, Sanjeev is also a systems thinker and considers the end-to-end value chain in his deliberations and deciion-making. About Sanjeev Khot Sanjeev Khot Sanjeev Khot currently serves as the Global Products Quality Director for Cummins Filtration Business. He has a demonstrated track record in; business turnarounds, global footprint execution, creating profitable and cost effective organization. With more than twenty-four years of experience, he drived long-term vision, tactical planning, and organizational growth to optimize quality, productivity and the overall customer experience. He has lead and still leads, numerous initiatives to enhance KPI management, developing business and quality strategy programs, global launch systems and other programs that foster significant cost of quality reduction and maximize satisfaction among business partners. Given his responsiblities, he leads multiple cross-functional teams globally to standardize and improve business processes and continuously identifies opportunities to elevate supply chain operations (plants, logistics and suppliers) to ensure all customer quality goals are consistently met. Sanjeev is an ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE), Cummins certified Six Sigma Black Belt with 22+years of progressive leadership experience in Manufacturing Operations, Process and Product Quality improvements, Quality Systems (ISO/IATF 16949 & ISO 9001), Manufacturing Engineering, Lean and Six sigma, Quality Functional Excellence, Operations Excellence, TPM (Total Preventive Maintenance), Supplier Quality, Projects Management & Plant and facilities maintenance in national and international organizations. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Cummins Filtration, a division of Cummins, Incorporated Title: Website: , Headquarters:  Columbus, Indiana (USA) Year Founded: 1919 Company Type: Publicly Traded (CMI:NYSE) Company Size: $26-Billion, 60,000 employees worldwide Industry: Cummins Filtration is a global power leader that designs, manufactures and sells air, fuel, hydraulic and lube filtration, as well as chemical technology products for diesel and gas-powered equipment around the world. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories. Cummins Incorporated is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and distributes engines, filtration, and power generation products. Cummins also services engines and related equipment, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission control, electrical power generation systems, and trucks.
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness with your host, Joseph Paris. Chaos And Oceans Ltd. Today I am happy to have Mark McGrath, Founder of Chaos and Oceans Ltd, a consultancy specializing in helping individuals and teams thrive in Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) environments. He does this by sharing his cross-functional experience and education in the areas of strategic planning, decision-making, process improvement, capital markets, economics, training, and coaching. We start where every journey starts, at the beginning, where Mark shares his early life experiences including being an "Army Brat" of a career officer and how the original Top-Gun changed his trajectory from land to sea; becoming a Marine. And Mark shares the experiences and wisdom gained from his attending university and the instructors who were impactful in his personal and professional development. But it is in the Marines where Mark was exposed to, and became fascinated with, operating in VUCA environments and the Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) Loop as a counter-measure. In the podcast, Mark goes on to explain why chaos and VUCA are nothing to fear and shares his “three immutable points”. He also shares why he emphasizes Orientation over observe and why he teaches OODA, and not “OODA Loop”. Everyone operates in chaos and the chaos is only increasing in amplitude and velocity over time. We need to learn, think, and decide in less time and with more orientation. Mark's sharing of his thoughts and experiences may prove invaluable. Mark also shared an article with the Operational Excellence Society entitled, "The Adaptive Entrepreneurial Method". It's worth a read. About Mark McGrath Mark McGrath Mark is the son of a West Point career officer, but he became obsessed with the sea; a convert thanks to Top Gun – the original. He attended Marquette University on a Marine Option NROTC scholarship and earned a BA in History with an emphasis on social and intellectual history in United States and Europe. After graduation, Mark served six-years active duty as a field artillery officer and another two years in the Reserves. After his time in the Marines, he held several leadership roles over the course of almost twenty years in private sector; mostly in finance and asset management industries. He also furthered his academic career and attended the University of Detroit Mercy where he earned a Masters Degree in Economics; with an emphasis on theory based on the Austrian School of Economics. Feeling he had much more to give and create and believing he could not achieve that in the corporate world, he started his consultancy. Mark is a book addict (as is evidenced by the book-shelf in the video), speaks Spanish and is a distance swimmer and surfer. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Chaos and Oceans Ltd Title: Website: Headquarters: Columbus, OH Year Founded: 2022 Company Type: Consultancy Company Size: Sole Practitioner Industry Experience: Finance, Asset Management, Practice Areas:  Team Building · Thought Leadership · Process Improvement · New Business Development · Public Speaking · Conference Speaking · Spanish · Dynamic Speaker · Experienced Speaker · Impromptu Speaking · Employee Training · Training & Development · Team Leadership · Cross-functional Team Leadership · Leadership Development · Leadership · Training · Sales · Time Management
Video Version About the Podcast Hello and welcome to another edition of State of Readiness with your host, Joseph Paris. Today I am happy to have Billy Ray Taylor, CEO of LinkedXL and author of "The Winning Link" on my podcast. Billy previously worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for 30 years; starting off on the plant floor and retiring as Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Executive Director of Commercial, Off Highway, and Support Manufacturing North America. The Winning Link We start the conversation taking a stroll down memory lane. Soon after graduating from Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, Billy joined Goodyear starting where every recent graduate does; on the floor of the night shift. A life-long learner, Billy recognized early on as he steadily climbed the ranks at Goodyear that he had to "earn the right" to be appointed to the various roles and to retain the right to remain there. This meant that he had to have both the technical skills and also the leadership skills necessary to succeed in the various roles. The conversation comes to diversity and inclusion; with Joseph sharing that, having walked the Earth and worked with many companies located around the world, that the completive advantage of companies based in the States (along with those in Canada and the United Kingdom), is their diversity (regardless of what might be current assumptions). People bring forward what they have learned during their lives. And if everyone on a team has had the same life experiences and brought-up in a homogeneous culture, then everyone will look at a challenge with the same solution set. As the saying goes; "If everyone is thinking the same, then nobody is thinking". Diversity and Inclusion - What's the difference? But Billy also drove the point that there is a significant difference between "diversity" and "inclusion". Whereas diversity means there are a members on the team with a variety of backgrounds and expertise, inclusion means you use that talent. I guess I never gave the difference too much mind because, as an entrepreneur since 1985, I don't have resources that I would gain but not use. The thought would never occur to me. So it's not about quotas and making sure every race, creed, and sex is included in the picture (like marketing departments are apt to do). It's about understanding that the differences are strengths, but only if you use them. This was a really good, interesting, and valuable conversation. Give a listen... About Billy Ray Taylor Billy Ray Taylor Billy Taylor is an American business executive, dynamic speaker and leadership guru. He is the Founder and President of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm. Billy spent 30 years with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT), serving as Director of North America Operations and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. During his tenure at Goodyear, the company's earnings rose from a loss of 38M to +17.5B. As the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Goodyear, Billy formulated and led the diversity and inclusion strategies for 64,000 employees across the 22 countries where Goodyear operates. After retiring from Goodyear, Billy founded LinkedXL, a consultancy that specializes in helping companies architect their Business Operating Systems, and serves as its CEO. Billy is a dynamic speaker and leadership guru who is routinely called upon by universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Armed Forces to demonstrate how to drive and sustain effective results through creating a culture of leadership and enabling employee ownership. He is a disciple of continuous improvement and operational excellence. And as a trusted global industry leader, Taylor is a member of the executive advisory board for the Shingo Institute, Utah State University Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, and The Executive Board for the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME). He is also an independent Board Member of M-D Products. LinkedIn Profile: Company: CEO of LinkedXL, Retired from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Title: Website: Headquarters:  Independence, OH Year Founded: 2020 Company Type: LLC Company Size: 3 Employees Industry Experience: Across industries, but specializing in the Process Industry Practice Areas:  Business Operating System Architecting Firm. We’re a Premium Business Solutions Provider. We analyze your business needs and develop a custom operating and daily management system that aligns your enterprise -- Linking people, processes, and assets to deliver Customer & Company value.
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Stephan Meyer PhD, CEO of Almademey Ltd. I have known Stephan for some years now, he being one of the first professionals when I arrived in Germany over a decade ago. I have always found our conversations quite interesting. Like me, he knows you can't hit home-runs without the risk of breaking a few windows. The conversation starts where it always starts, at the beginning. Stephan shares that his father was an electrical engineer and he hoped that Stephan would also become an electrical engineer. But Stephan found himself rather bored with the complicated and gravitated towards the complex (listen or watch the intro for a really elegant explanation for the difference of the two). As such, Stephan gravitated towards psychology. Exterminating Sacred Cows Stephan shares many highlights of his professional journey, including the journey of researching the subject for his PhD, "Sacred Cows" and how they should be sought in an organization and eliminated. And he also makes the case for the necessity for businesses to face perils and even doom every now and then which would offer the opportunity for a radical change and cleansing purge; to be reborn again better. All in, a really great session and I believe you will enjoy it. I did… About Stephan Meyer, PhD Dr Stephan Meyer Stephan has orchestrated successful change initiatives in digital transformation for 25 years. During this time, he has held roles as CEO, Member of the Board, Program Manager, Mentor and Coach. At a rather mature age (you are never too old to learn), Stephan received his PhD in Business Administration and Management at the University of Gloucestershire in England for his research in radical change by finding and killing "sacred cows" in organizations. For his research, he interviewed interim managers, consultants, and line managers. Stephan is a forward-thinking advisor for avant-garde clients. Stephan is not for those who shrink from leading. There are bold choices and there are easy choices. And he stands for those in the front of the line – the bold and visionary, the entrepreneurs, and the risk-takers. Stephan clients are those who surprise the world by taking a leap into the future. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Almademey Ltd Title: CEO Website: Headquarters:  Paphos District, Cyprus Year Founded: 2022 Company Type: Privately Held, LLC Company Size: Himself Industry Experience: Service, Healthcare, Mobility, Automotive, Life Sciences, Finance, Infrastructure, Media and others Practice Areas:  Business Psychology, Business Wargaming, Change Management, Corporate Foresight, Crisis Management, Cultural Change, Digital Transformation, Innovation Management, Lean Management, Merger & Acquisition, Multi-Project Management, Operational Excellence, Organization Design, Performance Measurement, Private Equity, Program Management, Restructuring, Service Management, Strategic Management, Turnaround
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Larry Long Jr, CEO (Chief Energy Officer) of LLJR LLC and the author of the book "JOLT! Get Zapped into Intentionality: Rediscover and Believe in Your Inner Greatness". Buy the book here! Larry has a lot of energy and passion. But he is also approachable and does not shy away from sharing his own challenges and setbacks that he has faced and had to overcome. It is one of the most genuine conversations I have ever had. His parents worked for the Veteran's Administration serving those who had served. And as a result, he moved around quite a bit when he was younger. But it also instilled in him a duty to serve others. One of his core tenants is "you are what you consume", and he is not referring to just food, but media, books, even the people with which you surround yourself. If a person consumes negative, they will be negatively charged – and if they consume positive, they will be positively charged. This is not to say a person needs to become delusional by becoming falsely positive, but that they need to constantly assess that those who are perpetually negative and the professional victims need to be taken in small quantities. And similarly, not to become cynical or loose your empathy, but understand that there is only so much energy that can be devoted to helping others and a person needs to guard against over-investing in one person or cause and neglecting others – seek a balance. All in, a really great session and I believe you will enjoy it. I did... About Larry Long Jr. Larry Long Jr is the Founder and CEO of LLJR Enterprises, which focuses on sales motivation, inspiration, training & coaching. He is the host of the ‘Midweek Midday Motivational Minute’ and Author of JOLT! (*released May 19th). As a former college athlete (Go Terps! He played baseball for University of Maryland), Larry is extremely passionate about coaching, and helping professionals take their game to the 'next level'. As an experienced sales leader with a demonstrated history of success in SaaS sales, Larry brings a unique perspective to the table and understands many of the challenges faced by sales professionals. His areas of experience include Sales Training, Team Development, Leadership, & Motivation within organizations of all stages (start-up to publicly traded). Practicing what he preaches, Larry continuously seeks opportunities to learn & grow. Larry looks forward to assisting your organization. You can find Larry on his YouTube channel which includes his series entitled the Midweek Mid-Day Motivational Minute. LinkedIn Profile: Company: LLJR Enterprises Title: CEO (Chief Energy Officer) Website: LLJR LLC Headquarters:  Raleigh-Durham, Chapel Hill Year Founded: 2021 Company Type: Privately Held, LLC Company Size: Himself Practice Areas:  Motivational Speaking, Coaching, Consulting, Author
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Tim Pettry, Program Director for Continuous Improvement at the Cleveland Clinic’s Akron General (CCAG) Hospital where he directs the implementation of a Culture of Improvement for over 5,500 caregivers, utilizing the Cleveland Clinic Improvement Model. One of the biggest “take-aways” of this conversation is the difference in syntax between manufacturing and healthcare that needs to be considered when attempting to deploy an Continuous Improvement program in a healthcare environment. But we start the conversation at the beginning (where else?) with Tim’s 18 years of experience at Ford Motor Company at their Cleveland Manufacturing Site. As a result of the continuous improvement efforts of Tim and his colleagues, Ford won the Shingo Prize with Tim himself being appointed to the Shingo Institute’s Board of Examiners in 1996. I am sure you will enjoy listening to the conversation as much as I did. Give a listen. About Tim Pettry Tim Pettry is the Program Director, Continuous Improvement at Cleveland Clinic Akron General (CCAG) where he directs the implementation of a Culture of Improvement for over 5,500 caregivers, utilizing the Cleveland Clinic Improvement Model. He has been a member of a Continuous Improvement team since 2008 that serves over 70,000 Cleveland Clinic caregivers worldwide. Prior to jumping into the Healthcare field, he spent 18 years with the Ford Motor Company at their Cleveland Manufacturing Site in several roles including Cost Analyst, Training Manager, and Ford Production System Coordinator. His final year at Ford he served as a Ford Production System Coach for Powertrain Operations. Tim’s career started in retailing as a Department Manager for the May Company (now part of Macy’s) where he learned to appreciate the concepts of customer service. Recognizing that a career in Retailing did not fit with his new role as a father, Tim joined Ernst & Whinney’s (now Ernst & Young) National Client Services department in Cleveland, where he led a team of 6 analysts and multiple students who were responsible for providing secondary research data and analysis in support of major request for proposals for Audit and Consulting services, and maintaining the firm’s Mailing and Alumni programs. Tim’s passion for continuous improvement work comes from participating in and leading several cultural transformation efforts while at Ford and the Cleveland Clinic. A highlight of his career was helping to save Ford’s Cleveland Engine Plant 1 from closing in 2002. The work there was recognized as one of the pivotal events in valuing work and delivering results in the book, “Inside the Ford-UAW Transformation” Tim was appointed to the Shingo Institute’s Board of Examiners in 1996 after leading the team responsible for writing Cleveland Engine Plant 2’s Achievement Report and coordinating the site visit that led to the plant being awarded the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing. He has served as a lead examiner for over 10 years. As an examiner, he has participated in a number of site visits to a variety of different manufacturing and healthcare organizations. Additionally, as an examiner, Tim has had the opportunity to review numerous books vying for the Shingo Prize for Publications. Tim served for 6 years as the Shingo Institute’s representative on the AME / Shingo Institute / SME Lean Certification Oversight and Appeals Committee, serving as Chairman of the committee in 2010. He earned his Master of Business Administration in Management and Labor Relations from Cleveland State University. He and his wife, Lisa, have 5 grown children and 7 grandchildren. LinkedIn Profile: Company: Cleveland Clinic Title: Program Director, Continuous Improvement Headquarters:  Cleveland, Ohio, USA Year Founded: 1921 Company Type: Not-for-profit Hospital Company Size: 72,500 Employees, $12.4 Billion in Revenue Practice Areas:  Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit American academic medical center based in Cleveland, Ohio with expertise in all healthcare practice areas and is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the United States. It is owned and operated by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, an Ohio not-for-profit corporation established in 1921. It runs a 170-acre (69 ha) campus in Cleveland, as well as 11 affiliated hospitals, 19 family health centers in Northeast Ohio, and hospitals in Florida and Nevada. International operations include the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi hospital in the United Arab Emirates and Cleveland Clinic Canada, which has two executive health and sports medicine clinics in Toronto. Another hospital campus in the United Kingdom, Cleveland Clinic London, opened to outpatients in 2021 and is scheduled to fully open in 2022
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Kevin Robinson, Managing Director of OPEX Performance Solutions Ltd and Toyota Alumni; having spent over 28 years at Toyota UK at the Deeside Engine Plant; starting as an Engineer in 1991 and working his way up the ranks until retiring as the General Manager of Manufacturing Operations. Rather than starting at the beginning of Kevin's journey, we start in the present with Kevin sharing that he had many mentors along his journey who proved invaluable to him on a professional and personal level. And to honor them, he devotes a considerable amount of time being a mentor to others. A lifelong learner, Kevin shares his passion for exploration and discovery. That he is humble and understands that what he knows is nothing compared to what is left still to learn is obvious throughout our conversation. Throughout the entire conversation, Kevin shares nugget of wisdom (knowledge with experience) on a wide variety of topics, which is not a surprise considering his journey within Toyota. I am sure you will enjoy listening to the conversation as much as I did. About Kevin Robinson Kevin Robinson Kevin Robinson has three decades of hands on leadership experience in manufacturing operations within Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK. Having enjoyed a diverse career working in all key functions before stepping into a general management position. Responsible for delivering on all performance measures he led power train manufacturing operations in the UK through a period of significant challenge, securing a 30% manufacturing capacity improvement with zero capital investment and becoming a benchmark for Toyota global best practice. With a deep knowledge of the Toyota Production System (TPS) and the Toyota Way, Kevin understands the key leadership behaviors, practical methodologies and skills that are essential for delivering operational excellence into any organization. As the founding senior manager for the Toyota Lean Management Centre (TLMC) he developed a program of educational materials and onsite coaching support for sharing Toyota best practice to external clients across a diverse range of sectors, including Government economic development initiatives in Wales and the Republic of Ireland. Kevin’s passion lies in creating the right environment to engage all employees, allowing them to contribute positively, grow as individuals and deliver on the key metrics that really matter. He continues to support organizations in their pursuit of operational excellence, providing both executive coaching and mentoring services. Additionally, he continues to share his knowledge as an adjunct lecturer with Trinity College, Dublin and as a Non-executive director with the Irish Centre for Business Excellence (ICBE). LinkedIn Profile: Company: OPEX Performance Solutions Ltd (retired Toyota-UK) Title: Managing director (GM Manufacturing Operations at Toyota-UK) Headquarters:  Greater Cheshire West and Chester Area Year Founded: OPEX Performance Solutions was founded in 2019 Company Type: Privately Held Practice Areas:   OPEX Performance Solutions exists to help organizations achieve their true potential. Through the provision of coaching, mentoring and consulting services we aim to add significant value to your current operations. We bring practical hands on experience, deep subject knowledge and a passionate desire to share and make peoples working lives richer and more rewarding.
Video Version About the Podcast My guest today is Sam Smolik, SVP Americas Manufacturing (retired) for LyondellBasell and author of the book, "The Power of Goal Zero". After his retirement, Sam decided to share the lessons learned during his journey and years of experience - the best practices and techniques for achieving Operational Excellence - and that led him to authoring his book, "The Power of Goal ZERO" (published in June 2021). Through the telling of personal stories and sharing his experiences, "The Power of Goal ZERO" provides a proven roadmap for demonstrating strong leadership, creating a culture of excellence, implementing organizational change, developing effective management systems, and achieving superior performance. In today's competitive environment, individuals and organizations must be best in class to compete and win. The book is designed for leaders and aspiring leaders at all levels to improve personal effectiveness, organizational efficiency, and motivation of people; with the principles helping to enable rapid transformation in any organization. In my interview of Sam, you will gain insights that will undoubtedly help you and your organization become best in class. About Sam Smolik Before retiring from LyondellBasell Industries in 2017, Sam served as Global Vice President for Environment, Health, and Safety for LyondellBasell, Royal Dutch Shell, and The Dow Chemical Company (where he started his career). Sam earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, and currently serves on the Engineering Advisory Board there. In addition, Sam currently serves on several Boards of Directors including; Axalta Coating Systems, Evergreen Industrial Services, and Ducks Unlimited. LinkedIn Profile: Company: LyondellBasell Title: SVP Americas Manufacturing (retired) Website: Headquarters:  Houston, Texas (for US) Year Founded: 2007 (as a result of the acquisition of Lyondell Chemical Company by Basell Polyolefins. Company Type: Publicly Traded (NYSE; LYB) Practice Areas:  LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world and produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through; lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world's largest producer of polypropylene compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2021, LyondellBasell was named to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” for the fourth consecutive year.
About the podcast I invite Andrew Chrostowski, Chairman of the Board and Acting CEO of RealWear to “State of Readiness”.  We start with discussing what RealWear is all about – and it is one of the coolest systems I have seen for employee-enablement.  RealWear had designed and developed ruggedized head-mounted wearable Android-class tablet computer that frees a worker’s hands for dangerous jobs.  Being hands-free, it is purpose-built for Connected Worker programs in the industrial enterprise and is safely controlled with just your voice, even in extremely noisy environments.  With a growing number of hands-free partner solutions, our customers are taking full advantage of the unlimited power of our systems for remote mentor, document navigation, industrial IoT visualization and digital workflow solutions.  Global leaders in energy, manufacturing and automotive industries trust RealWear to empower and connect their global workforce Being a young company, we talk about the entrepreneurial spirit that is pervasive throughout the company.  Andrew shares how opportunities are recognized and how exciting it is to work in an environment of a young company; the energy, nimbleness, innovation, and joy in solving problems nimbleness is pervasive.  And we talk about how COVID-19 has illuminated the power of telephony and how telephony in general will be leveraged much more in a post-COVID world. And Andrew shares  with us his journey.  Being originally trained as a physicist, when he is faced with a technical issue, he goes back to the fundamentals.  His graduate studies in Systems Management prepared him to manage and optimize complex interrelationships and has found these learnings to have instilled in him a great toolkit for managing quality, safety, operations, innovation, digital transformation and business systems in general. Come take a listen.  Fascinating person, fascinating company… Guest: Andrew E. Chrostowski Andrew E. Chrostowski Andrew Chrostowski is a senior executive with deep experience in developing teams and strategies that enable innovation, growth, and profitability improvements.  As an NACD Certified Director, Qualified Technology Executive and a founding executive member of the Digital Directors Network, he strives to improve board performance and digital governance excellence to shape and secure the digital future for everyone.  He currently serves as a board member on the Finance Committee for the Rogers Group, and as the Chairman of the Board and Acting CEO for RealWear. Before beginning his civilian career, Andrew served nine years as a physicist and program manager working on satellite and Command, Control, Communication, and Intelligence Systems (C3I) systems.  He has held positions of increasing responsibility with Hitachi, Warner-Lambert, Pfizer, Energizer, Goodrich Aerospace, UTC, Tyco and JCI.  He holds two undergraduate degrees in Engineering Physics from Oregon State University’s Honor Program where he was a distinguished graduate of Air Force ROTC. He has a Master’s Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California’s Institute for Safety and Systems Management and later completed a certificate of professional development at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Company: RealWear Website: Headquarters: Vancouver, WA Year founded: 2016 Company type: Private Company size: ~ 90 employees Specialties: Hands-free Wearable Industrial Computers – Including the only Inherently Safe ATEX Z1 Div1 Class 1 Wearable in the world. Host: Joseph Paris, Founder of the;  XONITEK Group of Companies,  Operational Excellence Society & Readiness Institute
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