GA 287 | The Wheel of Sustainability with Adam Lawrence

By Jessica Bush Updated on October 3rd, 2019

This week’s guest is Adam Lawrence. Adam explained the Wheel of Sustainability model he developed to help individuals and organizations sustain their improvement efforts. A MP3 audio version of this episode is available for download here.

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • The Shigeo Shingo quote that inspires Adam (2:25)
  • Adam’s background and what he’s up to these days (3:27)
  • Why Adam is so focused on sustainability (6:29)
  • Adam’s model and how he developed it (8:30)
  • A review of the steps (17:03)
  • How Adam teaches using this model (20:03)
  • The emotional side of lean (28:26)
  • Practical tips for sustaining lean (30:45)

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What Do You Think?

Which component of the model resonates with you the most?

  1. Edward Kohl

    October 3, 2019 - 10:54 am

    Great job with explaining the sustainability model! So often with an event, we concentrate on the physical change and don’t spend enought time on necessary organization/leadership changes. It usually ends up being crammed into the last day, right before the report out. Adam moves this effort much earlier in the event and creates commitment from the people who must support the changes.

  2. Beverley Doody

    October 14, 2019 - 12:14 pm

    The real measure of success is sustaining the change – the wheel of sustainability focuses on just that. Improvements are hard earned and this tool enables companies and individuals to reap the benefits of these changes bringing more engagement and energy into the work environment, increasing both job satisfaction and the bottom line!

  3. Stephanie

    October 23, 2019 - 7:48 am

    This was an very insightful podcast! In Adam’s explanation of the sustainability model, he emphasizes the focus on not just creating change, but putting a plan in place to ensure that change is sustained. Too often organizations can feel accomplished for their initial change, but revert back to old habits and it’s like it never happened. Through Adam’s process I can see how he works to create an organization-wide “buy in” at all levels to ensure this change is sustained long-term.

  4. Matt Landis

    October 26, 2019 - 8:40 am

    Really enjoyed this episode – Adam’s sustainability model is widely applicable to many different types of businesses and having an easy to understand model is essential to establishing a framework for continuous improvement.

  5. James Mikulski

    November 1, 2019 - 2:23 pm

    Great model and story about an important topic. Adam’s enthusiasm for taking people to the next level through continuous improvement is inspiring. Well worth the listen!

  6. Paul Spitzer

    November 6, 2019 - 1:38 am

    Excellent discussion! Love the passion and emphasis that people are always at the center of every improvement. Lean is about making improvement through people and teams. Adam’s model is a great way to ensure that sustainability is an “intentional” part of every improvement effort…. Thanks for sharing Adam

  7. Adam Lawrence

    November 7, 2019 - 7:37 am

    Thanks to everyone who left a comment and anyone who received value from this podcast. I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to share the Wheel of Sustainability with such a great community.

  8. Diane Kielbasa’s

    November 26, 2019 - 6:58 pm

    Adam inspires us to motivate our thinking to a higher level. So impressive.

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