Culture, Purpose, Part-Timers, and Lean

In this part 4 of 4, Tom Root shares advice on adapting your culture…find a purpose. He shares how they orient and work with 500 part-timers over the holiday rush. And he discusses how open book management, the Zingerman processes/recipes all contribute to lean-like practices. 

Tom is Managing Partner, Zingmerman’s Mail Order, continuous improvement leader and creator of a business maker space called Maker Works in Ann Arbor, MI. 

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Music is “LA All Night,” GG Riggs, Courtesy of Shutterstock

Notes taken during the editing of this episode

How do you adapt culture? 

How do get part-timers invested in culture.

Cathedral speech – Stone Mason

Mail Order – we are a gift business – 90% go from one person to another. W

Why do you give gifts?

You know that it’s one person very desperately trying to say something to another human being. 

There’s no finer point. 

I didn’t choose the low cost option, I chose a high quality brand to represent.

We’re going to make it easy to do the right stuff. And make it hard to the wrong thing.

How do you get the right kind of people in a short amount of time. Set of skills that you have to have. Objective. 2000 processed to get their 500. 

Success will be shown in the season that is the holiday. Following process. Surviving stress. 8 people will be hired. from it. it’s an extended application.

 What are you excites you? Organizational recipes. In the lean world we call it a lean standard operational procedure. 

Visioning – they have a process to come up with a messy and subjective thing like vision and missions.

Teach them the lean tools to see what they come up with. 

How do you keep the SOPs from growing to a level that you eventually forget about them. If the SOP is difficult to use if we expect people to use it.

For example, they have a recipe for how they influence culture. 

Define what you want.

Teach what you want.

Live what you want.

Measure what you want.

Reward it.

SOPs – what is a definition of keeping it relevant? Share this. 

Active use and cultivation and evolution of the SOPs.