The Time He Questioned a Leader’s Commitment: Adam Lawrence

The Time He Questioned a Leader’s Commitment: Adam Lawrence

My guest for Episode #41 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Adam Lawrence, from his firm Process Improvement Partners. He is the author of the new book The Wheel of Sustainability: Engaging and Empowering Teams to Produce Lasting Results. You can also find a longer interview that I did with Adam about the concepts in the book, from April 2020, before he wrote the book.

Adam has over 30 years of experience in process improvement activities, targeted at manufacturing and business processes and he started this company in 2018, based in Lancaster, PA.

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Today, Adam tells a story about a mistake that he made over 20 years ago, much earlier in his career. He was sent to a factory to do some improvement work and he wasn't getting much engagement or participation from leaders there. Adam made the mistake of questioning the commitment of the business unit leader, let's call him Carl. Adam reflects on this story and shares his lessons learned.

“So, over the years, Carl and I developed a pretty good working relationship.”

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"I realize as my 'favorite mistake,' that's not the way to influence management leadership to support their teams. There's gotta be a better way."

"What it led me to, in the broader sense, is to create a process in the system to create that leadership commitment before the team is even developed. And that's really what [my mistake] taught me."

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Automated Transcript (May Contain Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.