This book is for the people who lead our companies.

Our world suffered a staggering blow. We will recover. Many of our companies are still suffering. Some of them will not recover.  

We’re in a time of disruption. A company’s culture will play a big part in managing through this disruption. Senior leaders must establish a clear purpose, a strong set of core values, and a plan to translate strategy into action.

Companies will be seeking to transform, to become more efficient and resilient. Most attempts to do so fail. They fail because we try to solve the wrong problem with the wrong system. We attempt to change the way people act. But to achieve sustained improvement, we must focus on changing the way they think.  

Over the last thirty years, we’ve experimented with Lean, Six Sigma, and other improvement initiatives. Each failed to move beyond average performance and sustain transformational improvement. Average then became a learned behavior.  

To move forward, we must unlearn some things. We must change our problem definition and our defined systems. And we can do this by framing the problem through the lens of Operational Excellence.


PART I Things That Are and That Could Be

Chapter 1 Start with the Beginning but Focus on the End

PART II Things We Don’t See

Chapter 2 Validating Our Values and Beliefs

Chapter 3 Honing Our Culture

Chapter 4 Clarifying Our Leadership

Chapter 5 Aligning Our Strategy

Chapter 6 Integrating Our Systems and Structures

Chapter 7 Understanding Our Marketspace

PART III Things We Do See

Chapter 8 Engaging Our People

Chapter 9 Improving Our Processes

Chapter 10 Realizing Our Products

PART IV Things the Customer Sees

Chapter 11 Optimizing the Customer Experience

PART V Why These Things Matter

Chapter 12 Application