GA 093 | How to Start a Lean Initiative with Blake Watermeier


Today’s guest is Blake Watermeier, Regional VP of Operations at ARC Document Solutions. Blake and I discuss the process of starting a new lean initiative and the obstacles that often follow. This episode complements last week’s with Zane Ferry nicely, so be sure to check that out. An MP3 version of this episode is available for download here.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • Blake’s background and how he first learned about continuous improvement (2:17)
  • A quote that inspires Blake (3:50)
  • The first time Blake started a lean initiative (5:36)
  • What Blake and his team’s “Why” was (7:29)
  • The advice Blake would go back and give himself (11:55)
  • What Blake has done differently at ARC Document Solutions (13:05)
  • What advice Blake would give to someone at the beginning of their lean journey (14:29)
  • What Blake would say to anyone who is struggling (16:01)
  • Blake’s take on “Respect for People” (18:07)
  • The best advice Blake has ever received (19:22)
  • Blake’s personal productivity habit (20:54)
  • What has surprised Blake in his last year of practicing lean (24:31)
  • How Blake recharges and refocuses (25:35)
  • The knowledge are or skill Blake feels he needs to improve (26:20)
  • Blake’s final words of wisdom (27:42)

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What Do You Think?

What hurdles have you experienced at the beginning of a lean initiative?


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