Rebranding and upcoming changes! is going to become !!!

Stay tuned and check back in soon. There’ll be some major changes, but a lot of the same material. Just taking TLS in a more stable and consistent direction. Stay tuned…

Your lean activities should NEVER result in layoffs! ❌❌❌

I believe we need to address the discussion of layoffs in two completely seperate categories:

1. Layoffs that come as a result of having an extreme excess of employees due to poor company management.

2. Layoffs that come as a result of having an extreme excess of employees due to lean activities.

Regarding category #1, this is a sad but true case unfortunately. Sometimes companies find themselves in a position where they need to “right size”.

However, in the name of “respect for people” and “continuous improvement” I would first seek out alternative options.

Regarding category #2, this is absolutely unacceptable! And a clear sign of a culture of ‘Continuous Appearance.’ ***

The result can be detrimental to the organization and any future continuous improvement activities.

No matter how you look at it, research has shown that layoffs:

❌Lead to higher rates of employee burnout
❌Lead to additional increases in voluntary turnover following the layoff
❌Lead to decreased job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance in survivors of the layoffs
❌Lead to decreased levels of trust for both laid off as well as surviving employees
❌Create additional costs in the long-term, such as cost to re-hire and train employees who were laid off

Could we consider the following alternatives and allow normal attrition over an extended period to make up the gap??

✅Redirect excess labor to increased sales. Expand into emerging markets. Explore production of different products.
✅Plant maintenance; landscaping.
✅CI promotion teams
✅Job sharing, with reduced hours. ✅Reduced income for all may beat the total loss of income for those who might be laid off.
✅Redirect labor to other areas of the business.
✅Forecasting. Can employees be carried until CI activities can improve/grow the business?

***Check the comments for a link to my book, “Avoiding The Continuous Appearance Trap.”

#lean #leansixsigma #findleansolutions #avoidtheappearancetrap

Read more of Patrick’s material at and

Be One

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. BE ONE.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

Taking MA’s quote into account this holiday season. One week ago I was laid off from what seemed to be a promising outlook towards what should have been a job that would carry me to a true retirement. That as you may have guessed is not how the story played out.

The last several years have been a rollercoaster no doubt. Changing jobs and going back to school at the ripe young age of 56, I was looking forward to the fruits of a plan that while well conceived…once again fell apart and has now truly sent me back to the drawing board.

So, now the test. Of the good man I know I can be and take the lessons on the chin. Stay calm in the face of the adversity. Be the ONE I have studied and practiced all these years. Be the elder and yet again set the example for those that have been rocked way harder than I and come out being that good huMAN we should all strive to be.

Be safe, kind and giving this holiday season and don’t waste time wondering what is is to be one. BE ONE.

Rebranding and relaunching “The Lean Stoic”.

After finding yet another company where I thought Lean Culture was going to take root and prosper. I was yet again disappointed after being laid off in the middle of what was to become a really big step forward for the culture within said company.

With that said I find myself having to really do a lot of self examination and meditation on the subject and how to keep moving forward. Regardless of those naysayers and non-believers. So here we go with another fruition for “The Lean Stoic” and this time it’s personal.

Stay tuned as we embark on this journey and I hope you’ll get as much out of this as I’m sure I will.

Taiichi Ohno’s Chalk Circle


***One of my fave lessons/practices***

One of the famous teaching methods by Taiichi Ohno is the chalk circle. The method itself is simple. A circle is drawn on the shop floor near a point of interest. A disciple is put in the circle and told not to leave it until he is picked up again by the teacher.

In this post I will explain a bit about the chalk circle, how to use it for teaching, and how to use it for yourself…

#TheLeanStoic #TaiichiOhno #ChalkCircle #Lean #leantraining #observation #teaching #teacher

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone

***Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone. Remember the most important part of today…GIVING.***

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ~ Seneca

What is enough? “I am enough”

“Do you ask what is the proper limit to wealth? It is, first, to have what is necessary, and, second, to have what is enough.” ~ Seneca

We need to ask this of ourselves and realize that what we have is enough. More often than not, we need to be aware that what we want is more than that…ENOUGH. The old adage that, “He who dies with the most toys wins.”, will usually end in disappointment and or a minute level of satisfaction that wanes very quickly. Leaving us wanting more.

With that said, look into the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I enough?”. Be serious as you pose this question and be honest. Forget about possessions. Forget about the massive “Friends/Followers” lists you have on social media sites…or friends in REAL life. Forget about any and all limitations you may be experiencing. Be it monetary, health or otherwise. What do you see?

I see a person of enormous potential. An individual able to literally and or proverbially stand alone. I see a human being capable of overcoming any and all obstacles that may come their way. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

You can do this and you are ENOUGH. Remember that as you walk away from the mirror and make it a mantra to bring yourself back to Earth when you start to feel things are spinning out of control or you’re losing your grip on a given situation. Say to yourself, “I am enough”. YOU ARE!

With Gratitude,

Kevin “Doc” Burgess, The Lean Stoic



website and blog 

USA only: +1 978 879 6919

WhatsApp: +1 978 879 6919

Favorable winds…

“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” ~ Seneca

“If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” ~ Seneca

There are times in our lives when we don’t have any idea where we are going or what the end result will be of a given situation. But for the most part, we need to know and should. For the sake of the outcome and it’s hopeful success.

To sail, run, walk or fly blindly, usually ends as a fools errand and more often that not in some level of (if not complete) failure. This is why we need a proverbial or literal map, sexton and knowledge of the stars to guide us on our journey. All tools of the one who seeks to gain knowledge and improve their station. Whether it be play, work or life in general.

We need to know where we are going and where we’ve been. In order to learn the lessons along the way and avoid the traps and pitfalls of those wo have come before us. As well as keeping our own journal so that those that follow us will learn from our successes as well as mistakes we will certainly make along the way.

So read, study and PRACTICE. Learn how to read the winds that guide you to the outcome you hopefully desired. But by all means. If you can…know the destination. If you don’t, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

With Gratitude,

Kevin “Doc” Burgess, Lean Sensei/LGBC



website and blog 

USA only: +1 978 879 6919

WhatsApp: +1 978 879 6919

The narrow bridge…

“The entire world is a narrow bridge; the essential thing is not to fear at all.”

“The entire world is a narrow bridge; the essential thing is not to fear at all.”

In Hebrew, “Kol ha-olam kulo gesher tsar me’od; v’ha-ikar lo lifacheyd klal”.

Every day brings us new challenges and new obstacles to overcome. Do we shy away and hide from these or do we face them and step onto that proverbial bridge? This challenge can take on many forms and sometimes are not as obvious as we might think.

The inclination is usually to run and or shy away and either forget about it or delegate the supposedly impossible to someone else. That is not the way. Whatever the obstacle. Whatever the task before us…we need to face it. We need to do what we first thought was impossible. Take on the mission and march forth onto that bridge like we own it.

As the song says, “There ain’t no mountain high enough. There ain’t no valley low enough. There ain’t no river wide enough. .” In this case, to keep us from succeeding. As long as you KNOW you’ve got this. You DO.

With Gratitude,

Kevin “Doc” Burgess, Lean Sensei



website and blog 

USA only: +1 978 879 6919

WhatsApp: +1 978 879 6919

Lessons learned

“Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.” ~ Epictetus

Win, lose or draw. Pass, fail or simply break even. These don’t inevitably matter. It’s what we learn that makes all the difference. If you can look into the mirror at the end of the day and see that it was all worth it…you’ve learned the grandest lesson of them all.

#TheLeanStoic #LessonsLearned #Winning

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