GA 025 | Defeating Complexity By Leveraging People with Kevin Meyer

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Today’s guest is Gemba Academy Co-Founder Kevin Meyer. Kevin wears many hats at Gemba Academy and has a lot of great insight into team management, business strategy, and technology, not to mention lean and continuous improvement practices.

Kevin is also a big fan of simplicity and utilizing the full potential of his employees and colleagues. I think you’ll find what he has to say both refreshing and relevant.

To hear the podcast just press the “Play” button at the top of this post. An MP3 version is also available for download here and a downloadable PDF transcript of the interview is available here.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Kevin’s diverse career background (4:48)
  • The two quotes that inspire Kevin (8:38)
  • How complexity impacts businesses (10:22)
  • Why fancy technology isn’t always the answer (12:55)
  • How Gemba Academy battles complexity (14:46)
  • The qualities Kevin looks for in executives (16:09)
  • Kevin’s definition of “Respect for People” (18:18)
  • What comes to mind when Kevin hears the phrase “Kaizen Culture” (20:41)
  • The best advice Kevin has ever received (22:13)
  • Kevin’s favorite personal productivity habit (24:04)
  • A quick Gemba Academy update…stay tuned! (32:43)
  • Kevin’s final words of wisdom (37:31)

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 Full Written Transcript

GA 25 | Kevin Meyer

Announcer: You’re listening to Episode 25 with Kevin Meyer.

Welcome to the Gemba Academy Podcast, the show that’s focused on helping individuals and companies achieve breakthrough results using the same continuous improvement principles leveraged by companies such as Toyota, Del Monte and the US Department of Defense.

Now, here’s your host, Ron Pereira.

Ron Pereira: Hey there, this is Ron Pereira with Gemba Academy and I would like to welcome you to another edition of the Gemba Academy Podcast.

As always, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to listen to this show, and for watching our videos over Gembaacademy.com. We definitely appreciate each and every one of you.

Today, I’m especially pumped up to welcome my good friend, my business partner and one of the co-founders of Gemba Academy, Kevin Meyer to the show. Kevin and I have really gotten to know each other, obviously, very well over the last really five, six years since we’ve been thinking about doing Gemba Academy, and then, starting it and now running the company.

Jon Miller has been on the show before. Jon is also the third partner of Gemba Academy.

Jon, to give a little bit of a background, some people know this, some people don’t, but Jon and I spend a lot of time on the content side of things. Golly, Kevin pretty much does everything else or has his hands in everything else, everything from managing the teams that take care of our website to doing lots of work on the sell side.

Really, Kevin is a technology expert, and he would probably shudder if he heard me say that, which he will when he listens to this intro. Kevin really is on the forefront of technology.

On the flip side, what makes Kevin such a great business partner is that he’s really passionate about the concept of simplicity and focus. We talk about this in the episode, but we don’t really pull back the curtain. I’ll give you a little insight into how Gemba Academy operates. I’m the crazy guy on the videos, and I’ve got all these ideas.

I’m constantly thinking of new things, maybe new ideas that we can explore down the road. Kevin is constantly reeling me back in, and saying, “Don’t make me say the f-word, which is focus.”

It has been such a great partnership that we push each other because we are on the forefront of innovation and whatnot, we are trying new things. But at the same point, we’re constantly coming back to, “What is our focus? How do we take care of our customers, and what do we really need to be doing today and tomorrow?”

With that said, during this episode, Kevin and I explore the evils of complexity. Kevin’s going to talk about how complexity and battling it has been an instrumental part of his career even before Gemba Academy.

Kevin’s also going to explore things like what he looked for and what he currently looks for when we hire executives here at Gemba Academy, and also, in his past life, and some of the attributes of the good leader.

The last thing — we kind of did this on the fly, we hadn’t planned to do this, but since Kevin really leads all the technology improvements here at Gemba Academy, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity towards the end of the show to allow Kevin to give an update on what we’re up to at Gemba Academy and some of the improvements that we’re going to be making from our technology.

And really, listening to the voice of the customer and respecting our customers — some of the improvements that we have coming down the road. It’s not really meant to be a sales pitch. It’s really meant, honestly, for current Gemba Academy customers, they know what to expect.

Now, all the show notes for this episode can be found over at gembapodcast.com/25. That’s two-five. Gembapodcast.com/25. OK, enough from me — now, let’s get to the show!

[music]

Ron: Kevin, thanks for coming onto the show! Where are you calling in from today?

Kevin Meyer: Actually, from the Gemba Academy West offices, which happen to be in a nice small fishing village on the central coast of California.

Ron: It’s a tough place to visit, I tell you. [laughs] No, it’s beautiful. What’s the city?

Kevin: Morro Bay, California.

Ron: Morro Bay, California. Yeah, that’s beautiful.

Kevin, I told everybody in the intro that obviously you’re affiliated with Gemba Academy, and we started this company together and whatnot, but why don’t you just tell everybody a little bit more about your background and how you maybe first got exposed to this Lean thinking stuff that we dabble in?

Kevin: It’s been quite a while. My background is actually in chemical engineering, although, I never really used it for much.

I made light bulbs for several years, wanted to do something a little bit more meaningful, I moved out to California back in the late ’80s and did medical devices for over 10 years there in Salt Lake. My exposure to Lean was actually when, as a newbie, they said, “How would you just like to transfer out to Salt Lake and run a facility out there?” At that stage in your career, you’re like, “Sure. Why not?” Without asking any questions.

When I got out there, that’s when they told me that this was a 24/7, 365-day-a-year molding operation with about 50 heavy presses that was loaded at about 120 percent of capacity and was six weeks behind schedule.

[laughter]

Kevin: What do you do then? That’s when I started calling around a little bit, and I came across an organization called AME, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.

A couple of great guys there, Doc Hall, Dan McDonnell and some others, pointed me to Quick Changeover. It was amazing. We took the time to actually look at our changeovers, went through the classic Quick Changeover tools. In the meantime, the company is pushing me to order as many of these quarter-million-dollar presses as I could, and those had three or four-month lead times.

In that space of those three or four months with Quick Changeover, we were able to get back on schedule. By the time the first couple of presses were coming in, we were actually retiring some of our old presses. It’s amazing how fast some of these tools can work when you do them correctly and really put the commitment behind them.

Ron: Nice. Then, what did you do after that? Because obviously your last role before Gemba Academy here was at Specialty Silicone Fabricators.

Kevin: Right. I moved back out to California.

I was in Salt Lake at the time and moved back out to California, jumped into Telecom at the exact wrong time, which was around November 2000. Those of you that were around back them know that the entire market collapsed about a year later. I started with a hyper-growth adding as many engineers as we could find operation.

Within a year and actually it was on September 10th, 2001, I announced that we were closing the facility and laying everyone off. That wasn’t a fun week in my life, but after that I started and later sold a very small contract manufacturing operation, went into consulting.

One of the consulting arrangements I had was with a local company, Specialty Silicone Fabricators, that also does medical devices. Went into that and within a few months [laughs] they convinced me to come on full-time as the president was retiring. I spent eight years there leaving in 2012.

It was a great situation, because the owners gave me a lot of freedom to do whatever needed to be done. We went through a great Lean transformation at a very difficult time in the economy, which just also proved how powerful the concepts were.

Ron: Absolutely. Very good. Like you know, Kevin, you’ve listened to our podcasts, but what we like to do is start every show with a quotation. What quotation inspires you, Kevin?

Kevin: I’ll actually give you two. One I came across a long time ago, Peter Drucker’s “Follow effective action with quiet reflection, and then from the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”

That’s something maybe I’ll talk a little bit more about later, but reflection is a very powerful tool. The other one is from Marian Wright Edelman. She’s a civil rights activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. She said, “Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it within others.”

The combination of those two is something I’ve really taken with me as I try to become more self-aware as a person and as a leader, and then, leveraging reflection to also become a better leader. I think reflection and self-awareness are probably the two most powerful tools in a leader’s toolbox.

You become self-aware. It leads to authenticity. It drives humility and a servant attitude, and that creates trust. That’s the core of the mindful leadership concept that the likes of Bill George have really started to champion.

Ron: Excellent. All right, Kevin. Really, the theme of our show today is the evils of complexity, I guess just to generalize that.

Maybe that’s what we’ll title this, [laughs] but you’ve obviously been blogging and writing over on Evolving Excellence. That’s what it used to be called, Evolving Excellence, your original blog. You’ve spent a lot of time talking about the evils of complexity. Why don’t you elaborate a little bit on how complexity can impact a business?

Kevin: I think the concept started to take root with me as I moved into more leadership roles, especially, those that had P&L responsibility.

You start looking at cost and you realize in a traditional cost accounting world that you have the three buckets, labor, material, and overhead.

Leaders are trained to look at each of those three buckets and try to reduce labor, reduce material, reduce overhead. Something that started to strike me is that the largest cost in business and pretty much in any organization is not necessarily those three items individually, but unnecessary complexity. I’ll emphasize “unnecessary.”

Complexity can be a good thing in some ways, but unnecessary complexity is obviously an evil. Especially, in a manufacturing environment, when you get down to the nuts and bolts, manufacturing and business are really not all that difficult. We just make it so. We do that by not understanding and rooting out unnecessary complexity.

Instead, we like to oftentimes just slap a technology solution on top of it without getting to the root cause. Lean teaches us to take a step back. We’re supposed to take a step back, look at the process, just observe it, deconstruct it, reconstruct it with just the value adding components. When you do that, you’ll be amazed at what you find.

Those of us that have gone through a lean transformation journey see that, how much complexity is there, how much it takes to manage that complexity. That is what translates into the overhead and so forth that you have the cost associated with.

Ron: With that said, how have you leveraged this kind of thinking in your business career?

Kevin: In some ways, it’s been a struggle. I’ll admit that I’m a tech geek. You and I were talking about iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 this morning.

I’m very close to one of those crazy guys that will go down to the Apple store, three days ahead of time, and stand in line for a phone where once I get it, I’ll have to struggle to find what the improvement was. Because I like technology.

I’ve learned that technology is often just a band-aid and we’re too quick to try to slap a technology solution onto some things. One example that I’ve seen used a lot and we used it at Specialty Silicone was we had a very complex manufacturing environment. It’s multi-site. We did semi-custom type components that went through multiple value streams and a lot of different custom processes.

Like many true Lean companies, we found a way to not use MRP and ERP to manage the shop floor. We obviously used it to manage aggregate planning, and so forth, but on the shop floor, we simplified enough that we got down to just using a handful of whiteboards. That proved very effective for multiple reasons, one being that the operators had control over the process.

By writing on the whiteboard and understanding the process, they truly understood the process. I don’t want to go too deep into it, but there’s a lot of science on how learning and understanding and commitment comes from physically writing something, not typing into a computer. Too many companies like to type it into a computer, even to have it on an electronic display, but you’re losing out.

When you actually scribble a number on a whiteboard, you start to see and feel the relationships.

Ron: You spent a lot of time talking about manufacturing, but at Gemba Academy, we’re obviously not a manufacturing company.

We’ve also spent a lot of time trying to reduce complexity in our business and how we present our product to our customers and potential customers.

I’m trying to make this into a Gemba Academy sales pitch, but I think this is an important conversation for people that are listening right now who say, “Yeah, that’s great, but I don’t manufacture anything. I’m in a service industry.” Or “I’m in health care” or something like that.

Why don’t you talk a little bit about how we at Gemba Academy have tried to combat complexity, even from the examples of our website?

Kevin: We spent a lot of time on that.

Especially, when you’re starting a new company and you’re trying to get customers, to be honest, especially, in the first couple of years, there’s a lot of shiny balls and a lot of comments out there. When you listen to the customers, you hear a lot of things and you have to work hard not to chase all the shiny balls.

Something I know you and I have had many long conversations on is the concept of focus. What are we truly providing? What provides the most value? Then, what is the most effective way to deliver it? It does shows off across multiple ways on the website. What is the easiest way to deliver the maximum amount of value to our customers?

The types of content we look at, what is the most value out there? We’re hearing things from customers. Which of those is the most valuable and how can we test for that? It becomes very difficult.

Ron: Back to the angle of complexity and simplicity and what not, when you think about this, what do you look for when you recruit executives or what did you in the past and what do you look for now at Gemba Academy as it relates to people that get this concept of how to reduce complexity?

Kevin: We need people that are very inquisitive and like to figure things out.

As I’ve gone through my career, I’ve had to recruit a lot of people at increasingly higher level manager and executive roles, including replacing me as president at Specialty Silicone. The path a lot of people take on goes along looking at background and experience and making the phone calls and seeing what they’ve done.

I’ve come to notice that probably the best predictor of executive success is someone that is very inquisitive, someone that has an insatiable thirst for new knowledge, wants to learn, and then, discover new things. It doesn’t have to be even in the field that you’re operating in, like medical devices. It’s just overall someone that wants to learn.

Then, something that aligns with that is you want to be able to learn, but also, understand that knowledge. How can you distill it, analyze it, learn to apply it becomes very important. Then, as a final step — this goes to the respect for people side of Lean that unfortunately a lot of people forget about — is the ability to teach it.

A great teacher becomes a very great leader, someone that can grab the knowledge, teach it, and teach it effectively, which means challenging people, but still being able to do it in a very humble manner.

Ron: All right, Kevin. Let’s go ahead now and transition into my favorite part of the show called the Quick Fire Section. This is what we’re going to do now. We’re going to drill into who Kevin is and what’s inside of your brain.

[laughter]

Kevin: Hysteric.

Ron: The first question, Kevin, is on that concept of respect for people. We spend a lot of time in Lean talking about that and how important it is. What does it mean to you?

Kevin: Respect for people, I think it’s one of the two key pillars of Lean, along with continuous improvement.

I think it’s the one that is usually forgotten or at least misunderstood. In the Lean transformations, I’ve been part of and that I’ve witnessed, probably the primary reason for failure is not understanding respect for people.

Respect for people means leveraging the brains of people. People doesn’t just include the ones within your organization. It’s the entire value stream. It’s your suppliers, all the way through to your customer and even the end customer. How do you leverage that knowledge?

I see way to many companies, and this is driven by our traditional cost accounting type of mindset or standards, that think of people as the cost of a pair of hands. You manage your organization based on the cost of the pair of hands and you completely forget about the brain that is attached to that pair of hands. The brain is not really reflected on a traditional P&L or a balance sheet.

I’ve seen some interesting things along those lines. In most organizations it’s not. That leads to crazy decisions of laying off 5,000 highly experienced people to shift manufacturing overseas to save a buck. What have you lost? You gained a buck, but what have you lost in value, even if it’s not on a traditional balance sheet?

I want to go one step further on that and it’s something that has impacted me. Respect for people also means respecting yourself. I think that’s critical for a leader that you have to understand yourself. Caregivers learned to effectively care for others you must first care for yourself. I think that goes for leaders and leadership as well.

Ron: That’s a great point. No one’s ever mentioned that, but if you can’t take care of yourself, then, how are you ever going to lead others?

Kevin, when you hear the phrase “Kaizen culture” or “a Kaizen culture” what comes to your mind?

Kevin: I think it ties directly into our last point. It’s leveraging people to create continuous and ongoing and never-ending improvement.

There’s a lot of Kaizen tools. How to do a Kaizen, how to do a Kaizen event, that type of thing. What I think a lot of organizations miss and a lot of training misses is the people side of it. How do you tap into the brains of people across the entire value chain to create a culture that enables improvement?

Ron: Yeah. Kevin obviously knows this, but we are working right now, as we speak, on a new course.

It’s not meant to be another commercial here, but it was Kevin’s idea. Instead of calling it “a Kaizen culture,” as Jon Miller’s book is titled — we’re leveraging John’s book heavily — we’re going to turn it around and call it “a culture of Kaizen.” You came up with the idea, Kevin. Why did you choose that?

Kevin: I think the sequence denotes the importance. You want to create a culture that leverages people. Kaizen is one output of that. Kaizen creating continuous improvement, ongoing improvement is one output of that. But leveraging people and a culture of leveraging people pays so many rewards.

Ron: Kevin, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Kevin: The best advice was probably also part of my downfall, I think.

Early on in my career…and you realize that when you can look back 30 years and you can still see the look on your boss’s face, but I had my boss come up to me. I forget the context, but he poked his head in my office and said, “You know, you really need to sweat the details.”

There’s probably something I had done wrong there that was detail-oriented, because I was moving too fast. But I remember the look on his face. It had a tremendous impact on me. It’s simple advice. I’ve often received other advice more directly tied to Lean, and so forth. Sweat the details tied to me.

The reason it was my downfall is I think I took it too much to heart and I’ve become even a little bit of OCD on details, especially, when it’s travel related. I have to work hard to find an appropriate balance of what are important details. It ties into getting to know yourself, too.

Ron: Yeah. When we do any kind of company outing, we’ve got folks that help us with travel, but Kevin is always involved. [laughs]

Kevin: It’s one of my things. I can’t trust anyone else on it, because I’m the one that will look up, what is the on-time arrival percentage at some airport and make sure we have the random out of…lay over there to achieve it. It’s worked out. My wife and I travel tremendously. We just hit our 50th country.

There’re sometimes when you put far more effort into managing the details and managing a situation if something happened. I need to be more aware of that myself.

Ron: I know you have tons of productivity habits, but why don’t you share one of your favorite personal productivity habits that others might benefit from?

Kevin: Something that I started many years ago, when I started especially Silicon, was thinking about what I was going to do each day.

That came from…I had a pretty long commute, maybe not for some people, but it was about 45 minutes. It’s a beautiful commute. It’s the nicest commute anyone in the world could ask for.

We’re in a small town. There’s no traffic, which seems to conflict what most people think about California. I drove up the California Coast and then inland through vineyards for 45 minutes. I would often not even see another car. I got in the habit of completely turning off the radio, listening to the sound of the wind and just thinking about my day.

Something that I started doing was identifying three key tasks. Then, when I got to work, I’d write them down. What are the three key things I wanted to get done that day. Then, on the commute home, I would do the opposite. I would do Hansei. I would think about those three things.

Did I get them done? What happened? What influenced that? Why didn’t I get them done? Then, probably most importantly, what would I change?

I still do that. Even though my commute now is far shorter, each morning I take the time to write down three key tasks and then, in the evening, think about those three tasks. Summary to what I’d mentioned before, the act of writing them down into a notebook. I’ve tried electronic books and that kind of thing. It doesn’t work. I keep a journal now and writing down the three things.

Then, in the evening, what three things did I get accomplished and what do I need to change. If you get just three things done a day, it’s amazing how much you can get done.

Ron: If you could only recommend one book related to continuous improvement of leadership, what would it be and why?

Kevin: Coming up with just one is very difficult, because you have different aspects of leadership.

There’s “The True Lean Leadership,” “The Lean Manager,” some of those gold mines, some of those books. As I’ve gotten older, and then, to leader into my career, I’ve focused on becoming aware of myself and how that influences leadership.

A few years ago, when I was going through a particularly stressful time, both in terms of professional leadership and personal leadership, and how to handle personal leadership in a stressful professional leadership environment, struggling with that, to be honest, I came across Matthew May’s “The Shibumi Strategy.” It’s a tiny book. It’s very quick read. It’s very short business novel.

I’ve become really good friends of Matt May as a result of this. He’s got some other ones on the laws of subtraction, and so forth. “The Shibumi Strategy” is about a guy that was in a very similar situation to me and how he took a step back, leveraged some concepts like spending some time alone and thinking about things to become more self aware, and how that turned him into a better leader.

I have recommended that book I don’t know how many times and given copies to people. It has changed people’s lives because it helps you re-center, discover your trust authentic self. As I mentioned before, that authenticity is critical to leadership.

Ron: It’s an excellent book. It’s maybe an airplane and a half ride kind of read, or depending, if you’re coming from California…

Kevin: Not even.

Ron: Maybe California is half way there to Texas.

The last question I have is imagine that you got back into industry and you’re hired as a general manager of a company that needed to improve their processes and their way of working. Unfortunately, once you were hired, you discover that many of the senior leaders that you’re dealing with, they’re not quite as enthused about your Lean thinking mindset and ideas.

With this said, what would do in this situation and why?

Kevin: It’s the situation I’ve been in a couple of times from different perspectives.

I mentioned the one at the larger medical device company, where I ran the molding operation. I was going through the journey with them, I guess, and learning about quick changeover. Something that struck me was the quick early win.

When quick changeover has turned around what seemed like an impossible situation very fast, within two or three months, that got the entire organization pretty enthused on what else is there that we can leverage.

We used a lot of tools after that. Perhaps more relevant was, maybe more recently, I went into an organization and it was a lack of enthusiasm, But it wasn’t because of a negative attitude toward it. It was just a lack of knowledge.

That’s a fairly easy one to turn around, thankfully. They were simply unaware of the power and potential of Lean. Seeing examples becomes very critical and very empowering then. Something we did was we sent some of the executive staff and then people that were passionate throughout the organization on tours. There’s various ways you can do that.

I know out here in California AME puts on a Southern California Lean Tour. In fact, I heard, I think it was just last week or maybe it’s this week, where you visit several organizations that are well on their journey, a wide variety of organizations. That was very powerful. You see Lean in action and see what incredible things it can do. People come back very enthused.

There are Lean tours also at the AME conferences. There’re stories of transformation at other conferences like the Lean Accounting Summit, where real practitioners talk about their transformations. When I do that and we continued to do that, even after the organization was on a solid Lean path, but I’d always give them an assignment. It comes back maybe even to respect for people.

“I’m going to give you this opportunity, but come back and present to the staff and to the company the top three things we should do immediately and the top three things that are pretty cool that we should keep on our radar.”

Of course, we can’t do all of those things. It forces people to think and to analyze what they’re looking at, to distill it and figure out what we should be working on [laughs] .

I don’t want to turn into a plague either but, seeing Lean action is also the concept behind our Gemba Academy, give my life scenery, where we go out to real companies and see some pretty, incredible Lean things. Across multiple industries that it really sparks some thought.

Ron: Yes, very good. What’s funny about your example there, our own Steve Cain, who works for you especially at telecom fabricators, as well, tells us a story of how they first went to AME, Learn about autonomous teams and they went to, was it Daemon products the company?

Sought and action and came back and did it. That’s a perfect example of that cycle, right? Of how powerful seeing others practicing something can how it impact the company.

Kevin: Yes, we have to be sort of careful. It’s just because there’s a lot of cool things out there. You need to figure out what works best for you. [laughs] This is something for an entire plague cast maybe.

The downfalls of benchmarking, there’s too many companies that go out there try to find the best. I think they have to do those things. You have to really figure out what works for you.

Ron: Yes, exactly. Before we wrap the show up, Kevin, since we have you on here, we have tons of Gemba Academy customers listening to this right now. We didn’t plan to do this.

You got to think quick on your figure. We got a lot of stuffs on the works right now from like a technology perspective. Some of it’s well in process. Some of it’s haven’t started yet. Why don’t you give a quick update on the technical side of Gemba Academy? What are Gemba Academy customers can look forward in the coming months?

Kevin: You’re right. We have a lot in the works. There’s sort of goes back to what we talked about in the beginning of listening to our customers. That’s still trying to maintain our focus on key priorities.

I think we’ve done that especially now. We have a very large and diverse customer base. Something that might surprise a lot of listeners is almost lot of our customers are not in manufacturing. That points to the power of the Lean like you can go across healthcare, military, and consumer products. We have charitable organizations, and so forth. We’re trying to find ways to make our content more usable.

That was really gone to a large number of videos. We’re well over 650 videos right now. How we organize that and present that becomes critical to our customers.

Otherwise, it’s just simply overwhelming. We’re investing some technologies. Some are becoming online on very short order and by that before the end of the year. Ways to organize and reorganize a large number of videos plus associated quizzes and that type of thing.

Also, allow customers to individually reorganize that so that it better suits their own environment. That’s a very complex product that’s different than what’s been done before. I think it’s very exciting. It gives the power to our customers to use our material how best it’s met. Probably the second one, to stretch on this one briefly is we’ve got a very dynamic community, link community, a very dynamic group for customers.

They saw the amount of interaction we do with our customers. I think that’s what really sets us apart, how we listen and talk to our customers and put them in contact with each other. I think we want to leverage that even further by enabling those connections between customers within customers, between the public and our customers to create improvement, to dynamically create content and to create solutions for our customers.

I don’t want to go into that too much further. There’s some very exciting things along with lines that we’re working on.

Ron: Something is that, Kevin and I, it’s funny that we’re doing a podcast, because we normally talk about eight times a day every day, weekends.

Our Gemba Academy and team members would roll their eyes and we’re constantly experimenting and coming up with crazy ideas over the weekend.

Kevin: That you can drop on everyone else by Monday morning.

Ron: Yes [laughs] . One of the things that we spend a lot of time talking about is how, sure there’s a lot of people out there who are coming up and starting to make videos.

They’re just trying maybe potentially compete with us which is great. The more people in a market, they’re better. What we’re trying to do is eventually one day Gemba Academy hope to say, “You know what? They also have awesome videos [laughs] .”

Like, be known as a place where you can go to get pretty much anything you need around continuous improvement and leadership. Not just Lean either, not just six sigma just continuous improvement in general.

I think all these things that you and your team are working on are really going to take us to the next level. Of course, we’re going to keep trying to make awesome videos. We’ll never stop doing that and going back and refreshing old ones. Videos are the only aspect I think to our learning solution.

Kevin: I think it really ties into our discussion and respect for people that’s why our customers see something a little bit different in our videos is that, it’s a different style of teaching.

It’s respecting people and how their ability to learn and then apply. I think we’ll see even more that moving forward on the respectful people’s side. Then, content and how we do things.

Ron: Yes, exactly.

Kevin: I just want to throw once again that if you look at respectful people, you should look at our culture code that we created for Gemba Academy. It’s radically different than you see in other companies. We really try to practice what we preach.

Ron: Yes, and we’ll link that up in the show no tear, as well.

Kevin, let’s go ahead and wrap up. If you have any final words of wisdom that you want to share, go ahead and do that.

More importantly, once you tell people how they can connect with you on social media, your Gemba Academy website, whatever is the best way to get in touch with you.

Kevin: I think my passion’s have probably come out [laughs] . The simplicity side and the respect on people side, I really think we’re doing a little bit something different.

That’s actually my passion for Gemba Academy was giving back to an industry in the Lean world that has given me so much. That’s the reason I do this. To connect with me obviously through Gemba Academy is an easy one.

We have a team page on our website and the about section that shows how to connect with us on LinkedIn, and so forth. I still try to blog when I have time which, thanks to somebody’s project, we’re just talking about isn’t too often these days.

Ron: It’s not one of your three main things each day [laughs] .

Kevin: It’s usually the fourth. It doesn’t get active on very often. I do try to write it. The sense of simplicity, I consolidated evolving excellence into just my own personal site, kevinmeyer.com, a few months ago.

Occasionally, who knows? It might be something new there.

Ron: Yes. Fantastic. I suppose as soon as we hang up we’ll probably call each other back as we have some other things to talk about.

Kevin: We get to talk frequently, at least a few times an hour.

Ron: Yes, I think it’s good to have you on a few times a year. If anything, just keep your Gemba Academy customers updated on what’s going on, what’s going around the corner.

Anyhow, thanks, Kevin for taking the time and I’m sure we’ll chat again soon.

Kevin: Thank you.

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What Do You Think?

Does complexity help or hinder your life? How so?