The Lean Business Practices of a Deli


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In the Business901 podcast, The Aroma of a Good Vision Ari Weinzweig, CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI shared the “secrets” that have helped take Zingerman’s from a 25-seat, 4-person start up to a nationally known, $40,000,000-organization employing over 500 people. this is a transcription of the podcast.

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The Lean Business Practices of a Deli

  1. 1. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems The Aroma of a Good Vision Guest was Ari Weinzweig Related Podcast: The Aroma of a Good Vision The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  2. 2. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAri Weinzweig, CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI continues to share the “secrets” that have helped take Zingerman’s from a 25-seat, 4-person start up to a nationally known, $40,000,000- organization employing over 500 people. In the Business901 podcast and this transcription, Ari discusses his latest book A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Being a Better Leader. The book includes “Secrets #19-29″ of the Zingerman’s Experience, including essays on the Energy Crisis in the American Workplace, Servant Leadership, Stewardship, why everyone’s a leader,Zingerman’s Entrepreneurial Approach to management, and Ari’sapproach to Anarcho-Capitalism.In the book series, Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, part1 offered up the “secrets” behind Building a Great Business, andnow part 2, takes a look at the leadership style that has helpedmake Zingerman’s such a special place to work and to eat. Whileeverything in the book draws on what Ari and others havelearned and live at Zingerman’s over the three decades since theDeli first opened back in 1982, all of the material is totallyapplicable to organizations of all sizes and scopes—it is, as Arisays in the introduction, leading towards a new way to work. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  3. 3. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe Dager: Welcome everyone. This is Joe Dager, the host ofthe Business901 podcast. With me today is Ari Weinzweig. He isone of the founding partners of Zingermans CommunityBusinesses and the author of a number of articles and books onfood and businesses. Zingermans started as a small deli and hasgrown to eight businesses that include a large mail orderbusiness, restaurants, and a growing training program for otherbusinesses wanting to learn the Zingermans magic.Recently you were one of the keynotes at the Lean and Six SigmaConference and ASQ. Whats the connection between lean and SixSigma?Ari Weinzweig: Thanks for having me on. Well, they called usto have me speak. We actually do a fair bit of Lean work. Im notthe expert, but the managing partners of our mail order businessare huge fans. I think all of what we teach and do is very muchaligned with all of that work. It may not always be a scientificallyframe, but its all the same stuff about giving greatness to thecustomer. Great work experience. Great product out there, etcetera, et cetera. Thats really where that came from and it was anice event, 600 people.Joe: The best thing is just to start at the beginning. Can you tellme how you ended up in the deli work, and how you got started?Ari: I grew up in Chicago. I came up to Ann Arbor to go toschool at the University of Michigan. I studied Russian historywith a particular interest in the anarchists, which I can speak tolater, because its all in the new books. After I graduated, I prettymuch knew I just didnt want to go home. In order to do that Iknew I needed to get a job, and the job I ended up finding was asa dishwasher in a restaurant here in town. Thats where I wentand started to work. So it wasnt out of any great love for foodparticularly, nor out of any aspiration to have a business. I really The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  4. 4. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsgrew up on crap macaroni and cheese, and Mrs. Pauls FishSticks, and green jello with pears.Joe: Youve come a long way.Ari: But thats where I grew up. Everybody in my family were allacademics, and psychologists, and teachers and stuff. I had nofamily context for business. Anyway, I feel really, really luckybecause I stumbled into great people and into great work. I lovethe food and what we do with the organization. And then PaulSaginaw, whos been my partner in all this, was the generalmanager of that restaurant when I started my dish washingcareer. And Frank Porollo, whos now one of our partners in ourbake house, is a line cook.Maggie Bayless, who is one of the partners Zing Train, which isour training business, which you mentioned, was a waitress. Ihave no clue why the fates put us all there together, but itworked out really well. And here we are 34 years later.I stayed and worked for that company for about four years, andstarted line cooking, and then managing kitchens. Actually Leanis remarkably like running a restaurant kitchen to be honest.After about four years I kind of realized, as I learned more andmore about food and about managing people, that it was time togo on and do something else. I didnt know what I was going todo. I gave a few months notice.Paul called me two days later and said that the building where thedeli was coming open and we should go down there and look atit. And we did, and we opened up 30 years ago yesterday.Joe: That had to be a celebration there yesterday??Ari: Yep. Well I try to celebrate every day. Life is short. I try totreat every day like a holiday. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  5. 5. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: One of the principles that I always believed in and Ivetaken that from one of your earlier books, "Zingermans Guide toGiving Great Service," which was really my Bible that I followedthrough the years and always gave people things to listen to fromit. The customer experience really mimics that employerexperience. I think you really expanded on that. Even recentlyyouve expanded that more. Does that kind of coincide with yourthinking?Ari: Absolutely. In the first business book, which is "A LapsedAnarchists Approach to Building a Great Business," theres anessay on the natural laws of business. The fifth natural law ofbusiness is if you want your staff to give great service to yourcustomers that we as the leaders have to give incredibly greatservice to the staff. Its the premise of everything. The quality ofservice we give the employees is going to be the cap on thequality of the service they give to the guests. Because the energythat comes from us, the support that comes from us, theenthusiasm that comes from us, and the work that we do toassist them in their work, is all going to be carried through to thecustomer. Thats really critical.In the new book, which is "A Lapsed Anarchists Approach toBeing a Better Leader," I did a whole essay on servant leadership.Which is an approach that we learned from Robert Greenleaf, whowrote a book with that subtitle in 1977, which was really quietinstrumental in helping us develop our approach to leadership.Thats all about serving the organization of which one key criticalelement is to serve the staff.Joe: Then your look at leadership is very Lean-like I should say,and it is really enabling your workers.Ari: I think thats a big piece of it, but I think it goes beyondthat because I think that empowering or enabling is great, but itdoesnt actually imply anybody does anything. I mean, they can The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  6. 6. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdo it if they one. I think that we try to take it one step beyondthat, which is to basically give everyone who works here...isresponsible for running the company. It doesnt mean that afounding partner, or whatever title you want to give me, that Idont have an enormous leadership responsibility, but we reallywant everybody here thinking about running the business.So, were open-book finance. One of the essays in the new bookis about my belief that everyone is responsible for leadership inthe organization regardless of what position they might hold. Andreally getting everybody thinking about going for greatness ineverything they do is really critical. Within that, you have toenable them or empower them, or else they cant do it.Joe: You really look at it as an individual responsibility. Everyonehas to step to the plate.Ari: We all have to step to the plate. We all have different roles,and we all have things that we can learn from each other. Theresa lot I know that others dont know, but theres stuff that the newbusboy knows that I dont know. I think the key is that youregetting an integrated set of eyes working together collaborativelyto go after greatness. Its just like on any team. The twelfth guyon the basketball team is still engaged in the game and has to beready every minute to go in there and make a great play. If yougot six people at the top and 300 people at the bottom that arentpaying attention, I dont think its ever going to work.Joe: Does everybody fit into the culture at Zingermans that youhire? Do you go through a lot of people at the beginning, or atough interview process to get that right person?Ari: We do. I think that more importantly is...we do quite a biton it, and, lets see. Today is Friday. Monday and Tuesday, wehave our Working at Zing seminar, which is one of the ZingTrainseminars thats about our HR approaches, and that includes allthe interview and hiring techniques that we teach and its fairly The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  7. 7. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsextensive. But with that said, I think more than that, one of thenatural laws of business in the essay is that people do their bestwork when theyre part of a great organization. I believe that ourwork and responsibility is to create structures, frameworks,recipes for work that really bring out the best in everybody.Thats hopefully what were doing.I believe very strongly that most people are creative, most peopleare smart, most people want to do good work. But theyre mostlyworking in settings that discourage them from using theirabilities, and I want to flip that inside out and create a settingwhere were really encouraging everybody to think, everybody tospeak up, everybody to participate.Joe: A big part of your organization has become Zing Training.What started that? Did you just wake up one day and say, "Gee,we need to bottle this up?"Ari: Well, we opened in 82, and then in 93, Paul and I spentabout a year writing a new vision for the business. When weopened, we were very clear about our vision. And actually thefirst natural law of business, I think, is organizations that have aclear vision of greatness are going to have a better shot atsucceeding. So when we opened in 82, we were very clear in ourminds and what we wrote down that we only wanted one deli. Wedidnt want a chain or replicas. We knew that we wantedsomething that was unique to us and not a copy of somethingfrom New York, or Chicago, or LA.We knew that we wanted really great food and service but in avery accessible setting, and that we wanted a really great placefor people to work, and to be bonded into the community. By 93,so 10, 11 years in, I mean, we kind of had done that. In that, wehad filled in, expanded twice on the site that were on. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  8. 8. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWere in the historic district, so its not easy to do that. We kindof had, I guess in hindsight what would be the equivalent of anorganizational "midlife struggle."I dont think it was a crisis, because we werent crashing, but wewerent really clear on where we were going. We had achievedwhat we had set out to do despite going against the odds. So wespent about a year coming up with our next vision, which wewrote out.It was called Zingermans 2009, so it was for 15 years into thefuture. That vision outlined that we would have a community ofbusinesses all here in the Ann Arbor area, because we like to beconnected to what were doing.Each building should be a Zingermans business, but each wouldhave its own unique specialty. So that way, we could grow butkeep the deli unique, and do other things. And we would only doa business when we had a managing partner or partners in it thatwould own part of that business and have a passion for whateverthat business did, and be connected to it every day going forgreatness.After we wrote that vision and rolled it out, then MaggieBayless--who we had known at the restaurant-- she had been, Imentioned a waitress there. But she had gone back to school andgotten her MBA at Michigan, and wasnt that thrilled with thecorporate world, but loved training.She read that vision. She came to us and said, "Well, what aboutdoing a Zingermans training business?" Thats how it started,and then we worked on it for a while and opened it up in 1994.Joe: Do you think ownership is a key for having a successfulrelationship, a managing partner type relationship? The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  9. 9. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAri: I mean, I do. I think its not the only thing. I think part ofwhat Ive written about in the books is, I kind of have come tolook at we do sort of like an organic farm. Theres no one thingthat makes it successful, its the combination of all of thedifferent things that we do in the setting in which we do it. I thinka lot of them are basic principles that are applicable everywhere.The natural laws of business I think would work if youre runninga Red Cross chapter in Southern California, or an IT business inSan Jose, or an oyster farm on the East Coast. I mean theprinciples are the same, but you have to adapt them.I think that when people feel like an owner theyre going to do abetter job. We, I think imperfectly, have done a good job ofactually getting everyone who works here to feel like an ownereven though they dont actually own it. Although were workingon how to make that happen too.Joe: Youve been approached Im sure many times to franchiseZingermans. Why have you not done that?Ari: Well our vision says were not going to.Joe: Now did you just do a new vision because it...the last wasin 2009?Ari: We wrote a new vision in 2006 because we were almostarriving at 2009. That vision is for 2020 and that vision says thatwell have 12 to 18 Zingermans businesses. The visioning work isreally integral to what we do. There were four essays on it in thefirst part of the business book, and we dont really do anythingsignificant here without writing a vision and the vision is pretty indepth. Our 2020 vision is about six or seven pages. It describeshow we work together, how were going to interact with theworld. It talks about how were going to improve our quality andour service. It talks about our finances. It paints pictures of whatwere doing. It talks about fun, about opportunity, responsibility. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  10. 10. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsVisioning is a very key piece of the way we work, and its alwaysabout starting with a very clear measurable picture of what yourdesired future is.Joe: How do you keep that from not changing? I mean, you stickto it? You really think you have a crystal ball that its that clear?Ari: Its not a guess. Its not a prediction. Its what you want.See, most of the world is trying to figure out the right answer.Were just saying this is our answer. If the question is, what isthe best way to make the most money? This is not the answer.The question is, whats an organization I want to go to work in,and that we all want to go to work in in the year 2020? This is theanswer. Thats not going to change unless I have a personalitytransformation or something.Joe: I mean you open up your heart, and this is really who Iwant to be.Ari: Thats the point. Yes. A vision comes from your heart andyour head. Its not from the outside in.Joe: What youre saying here is its really true that aspiration ofwhere you want to be, where you want to go.Ari: Yes. A big piece of that is having customers who love whatwe do. Its not ignoring the customer but its not saying, whatsthe market want and then what do we do? Now obviously themarket has to want what we do or one of the natural laws ofbusiness is were going to fail. It doesnt mean you can ignoreeverything literally, but its really about what your dreams andyour hopes are. We look at it as all one life, so our vision talksabout having fun. Were going to spend a lot of time at work. Wewant to have a good time while were doing it. It talks aboutlearning. Its really about creating the future that you want to bepart of. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  11. 11. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe: Well your latest book I think is "The Guide to GoodLeading."Ari: The whole series is called, "Zingermans Guide to GoodLeading." The first part is about building a great business, andthen the new one which is part two which just came out twoweeks ago, and thats on being a better leader.Joe: This is an ongoing series.Ari: Yes. Ive got about six parts outlined so far.Joe: How long is this series going to be? Is this going to be overa two to three year span that youll be putting out?Ari: Well its already been two. This could be the whole rest ofmy life. Ive got a lot to say.Joe: Well youve done a lot of good things, the contributions, thethings that you do for charity, because I think thats a big part ofZingermans, and I dont want to miss that.Ari: Sure. A big part of our vision and our values is about givingto the community. We actually give, each year we give theequivalent of 10 percent of the previous years profits, and Id liketo do more. There are some years we actually do more, but thatgives us a rule of thumb guideline to work into our planning. Thebiggest thing weve done is probably Pauls idea in 1988 to startwhat we call Food Gatherers here. The idea was not unique tohim or Ann Arbor, but it didnt exist here, and thats to create amobile food pantry that could collect food that was otherwisegoing to waste out in the world of restaurants, and hotels, anddormitories, and stuff. Get it to people in need in the shelters,and the soup kitchens, and that sort of thing.We started it out of a deli in 1988 and as far as we know its theonly time an organization of that sort was started out of afor-profit business not out of a government agency. Today its The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  12. 12. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemshappily supported by many people in our community and werestill one of the single biggest funders, but lots of otherscontribute and last year we delivered two million pounds of foodin our county here.Joe: Thats outstanding. I know thats a big part of yourorganization and your feelings. Thats why I wanted to mention it.Ari: We do a lot for Southern Food Growers Alliance down inOxford at Ole Miss. Mississippi is one of our big foodorganizational causes. And actually were doing... I wrote a bookabout bacon too, and weve got Camp Bacon coming up theweekend of June 2nd. We do that as a fundraiser for SouthernFood Growers Alliance, which is all about preserving traditionalfood ways and teaching people about coming together over thetable and enjoying food and appreciating traditional foods.Joe: What was the outline for your latest book? What were youhoping to do with it? Who does it apply to?Ari: I think it applied to anybody thats in the organization,really. Its small business, big business, not for profit. Somebody,they just ordered 10 for one of the hospital departments thismorning from us. Its really for anybody. The books are framedaround secrets and quotes because everybody keeps asking mewhat the secret of our success is. Of course, there is no secret.We teach all this stuff to every employee that works here.The first book is secrets one through 18 and the new book issecrets 19 through 29. Well just keep plowing ahead with that.But the first book on building a great business talks about thenatural laws that Ive mentioned. It talks a lot about visioningbecause its such an integral piece of what we do.It is about our approach to writing a mission statement, guidingprinciples or values. It talks about building a culture of positiveappreciation that sort of organizational stuff. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  13. 13. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThen the new book is on being a better leader and thats...Theres three essays in there that touch on energy and energymanagement because Ive build a bigger focus on that and theway the energy we bring to the workplace.It also has an essay on what I believe is a very critical energycrisis in the American workplace, which is manifesting in theunenthusiastic, disengaged workforce that exists in so manyplaces. Its my adamant belief that thats taking place becausepeople are operating in violation of the natural laws of business.When youre operating in violation of nature, you drain out thenatural energy that people bring to life but doesnt appear inmost workplaces.Then it goes on to get into leadership, which we mentioned.Stewardship, which is talking about treating everybody as yourequal regardless of what your position in the org chart is. It talksabout an essay on why everyones a leader.Then it finishes with my essay on anarchical capitalism and myapproach to that and how I think that anarchist work is woveninto the way we run our organization very effectively.Joe: I think that particular item is something you dont reallyhear about a lot. Can you expand on that?Ari: No, you dont. I would be happy to. I studied the anarchistswhen I was at school. I was always really drawn to their work.When I first started to manage people, which are now 32 yearsago probably, I tried letting... Just leave everybody alone andhope they do the right thing. Of course, that bombed completely.So for years, I would always refer to myself as a lapsed anarchistbecause I would just say, "I still believe in it," but I didntpractice. About three, two and a half years ago as I was workingon the first book, I had agreed to speak at the Jewish Studiesdepartment here at Michigan. They titled the talk, year aheadtitled the talk, "Rye Bread and Anarchism." The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  14. 14. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsAbout two months out, I decided I better go back and rereadsome of the stuff because, talking at business conferences,nobody knows what anarchism is but if youre talking at a historydepartment theyre going to know all these things and people. Ididnt want to look stupid, so I got out a lot of my old books andstarted rereading stuff.I was really shocked in a good way because the most overt pieceof anarchism is getting rid of government, which Ive long sincelet go of. I dont have a better solution and I dont really worryabout it that much anymore.But beneath that overt piece, even I had forgotten, there was allthis positive writing about the importance of each individual andhelping bring out their creativity and ability. How theorganizations job was to bring out the best in everyone. How youcant create a great organization without really great people in it,about respect for every individual.Im reading all this stuff and Im like, "Man, if you took off AnnaGoldman and wrote in Jim Collins, youd think that this was hisnew book." Its really about modern business and the way thatwe do a lot of it. It really started to strike a chord with me. I keptreading and reading and reading. The more I read, the more Iwas like, "Man, this is how we run our organization." Its all aboutfree choice and encouraging people to make mindful choices, andrespect the world and the community around them, and freelychoose to work in the best interests of the community. Its prettywoven into what we do. Theres a lot of great stuff in there. InAnn Arbor, we actually happen to have the best anarchistcollection in the country, on the 7th floor of the graduate library,and I used to go up here and study when I was a kid.So thats really what its about. I was really quite amazed at howmuch was in there from the stuff they wrote 100 years ago. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  15. 15. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsJoe Dager: Its that appreciative approach or appreciativeinquiry. Why do you think business is headed in that directionnow? That type of thought is coming to the forefront with some ofthe ROWE, appreciative leadership. What youre talking abouthere is Lean like and...Ari: Well it works better.Joe: You think its just that simple?Ari: Yeah. I just spoke this morning. I got a couple notes fromemployees just because of the anniversary. I think that whatwere teaching is the natural laws of business. Its natural. Itsintuitive. One woman this morning came up to me afterwards,she was like, "God, I tell all of my clients this stuff that youretelling, and they all roll their eyes." Im like, "Yeah, becausetheyre all trained in a different old model which is very much sortof mono-cropping and were trying to create these organicgardens.This is intuitive and natural, but people are unused to it. Butanyway, heres a not I got from an employee at nine oclock thismorning about the anniversary.He just said, "Happy anniversary. Thank you for all your support.Ive worked at and for some really cutting edge companies likeMicrosoft, Hewlett Packard, and Compact, but being here justfeels more right if that makes sense. I look forward to my futurehere and to working with you to accomplish some really coolthings."So I think that it is just about creating a setting in which peoplecan be themselves and feel part of something greater thanthemselves, at the same time. The greater than themselves is thevision and the mission of the organization. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  16. 16. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsThen respecting every individual in it is a huge piece and thatreally comes from the anarchists stuff. Its not like they were theonly ones who were saying it. Just to really respect everyindividual and understand that each unique person that comes inhere has something to offer.Joe: Where do you think we went wrong before? This soundscommon sense.Ari: Its all common sense but theres a guy named Louis Meyerwho trained me in the kitchens 30 something years ago. I wasreally frustrated with all these other people I was working with.And I said, "Its just common sense. Why dont they get it?" Hesaid, "Look, theres no such thing as common sense. Its actuallyrare sense. The sooner you get over your frustration and realizeits actually very uncommon, the less stressful your lifes going tobe." And he was right. If youre raised in dysfunctional family likeI was, it seems normal. It doesnt mean people are evil. Itdoesnt mean theyre trying to do the wrong thing.But the whole model is completely backwards from the way we doit, and thats actually what I wrote in the preface to the newbook. Theres a hog farmer named Emile DeFelice in SouthCarolina who raises amazing pork. Sustainable hog raising andstuff.I mentioned Southern Foodways Alliance at "Ole Miss" that doesthis great non-profit work. And one the things they do are theselittle 15 minute documentaries on great food people in the South.One of the films is about Emile DeFelice. Hes quite funny.But anyway, theyre interviewing him on this film, and he says,"Well you know, when I really get in trouble and I dont knowwhat to do, what I do is just look at the way mainstreamagriculture does it and I just do the opposite." The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  17. 17. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsWhen he said that, its not actually intentional that way, but itskind of like everything we do is like the opposite of the way theyteach it everywhere else. And serving leadership is all about meserving the front line employees.The stewardship work is about treating every new employee as iftheyre your equal and not using your authority, even though youhave it. Writing visions and deciding where youre going, as youalready said, is the opposite of what theyre telling you to dowhich is keep changing your direction depending on what themarket does.I think thats very reactive and we want to be proactive. So it isthe opposite, but its just how everybody was trained and we alldo what were taught to do until one day we actually realizetheres another way to work.Joe: I think thats some great advice. Where can someone getyour book?Ari: Well kind of what we decided with these last few books is togo slightly off the grid. So weve gone back to self-publishing. Idid some work with big publishing houses and it wasnt asrewarding as I would have liked. So weve gone back to doing ourown. So we did all the design. Theyre printed here in Ann Arboron recycled paper. People can see the business books, which is our training business. Theyll see theseminars on there too. If you want the bacon book, you can go, which is our mail order.Joe: Your training, is that all in-house?Ari: No. We have people from all over the world and all over thecountry. Our core seminar work is all done here. But MaggieBayless, who I mentioned is the managing partner. She and Iwere just up in Marquette, Michigan for two days doing training.We had business people from all over that area. I was in Madison The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  18. 18. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemsdoing a half-day envisioning work with a nonprofit there, and youknow. So we go all over. But the core seminar work is alwayshere. Which I think is helpful, because its good for people to seewhat we do in all its flawed reality. We never get any of thisperfect either. So I think its good for them to see.You know, talk to real people that really work here, and see it inpractice.Joe Dager: And you get good food while youre there too, Isuppose.Ari: I wont tell you there are no other good learningopportunities out in the world, but I will tell you that you willrarely get this quality of food at a business seminar. And I thinkyoull have more fun.Joe: Is there anything youd like to add that maybe I didnt ask?Ari: The intro to the new book is...something that I realized as Iwas working on all this is that we really, I think, are creating anew way to work, or a new approach to work. Wendell Berry who,I think is probably in his late seventies in Kentucky, is a fabulouswriter about traditional American life and rural life, and veryreflective and interesting. He wrote a piece about the differencebetween good work and bad work.Good work really is about vocation, and about passion, andfeeling good about what you do. I believe that thats what we do.I believe when you live the natural laws of business, thats whatyou create. Bad work is what most of the world knows, which iswhere you dont really like what you do, but you tolerate it inorder to make a living.Not that thats evil, but life is short and its a whole lot of hoursspent doing something you dont really want to do. I believe thatcreating a new way to work is about creating a relationship to The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  19. 19. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemswork thats really positive, where people can be at work andenjoy themselves.Feel nurtured, supported, and learn things that are of value intheir life, and that they can move back and forth between whatthey do at home and what they do at work in a really relativelyseamless way.That is very different than the old model, which is exhausting andwhere people are burning out and not enjoying themselves, andthat work is this onerous burden that you tolerate to get throughto retirement or to the weekend. I dont mean people shouldnttake time off for retire, but I mean, its just creating a setting inwhich people are excited and enthusiastic about their work. Wereworking with people you know, weve got 18-year-old bussersand, whatever. People who...its not like theyre coming here for acareer, necessarily, but they can find a positive setting in whichthey feel honored and respected, in which they contributepositively to the organization. Its a pretty cool thing.Joe: I think thats interesting. You created a couple questionsout of that, is that you do have a workforce that is...with someturnover.Ari: Yeah. The industry norm in the food business is about200%, and I think as of...were currently running about 29%.Joe: Just with that, you have to be retraining. And that culturehas to be something that is a very natural thing, because youreally rely on other employees to spread that message to the newones that are coming in.Ari: Yes, and theyre waiting on your customers. I mean, itdoesnt matter what I do at the end of the day. There are 500people working here. As present as I may be, or Paul, or theother partners, I mean, the reality is, theres way morenon-partners than there are partners. Right now, from the time The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  20. 20. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing SystemsIm talking to you, theres dozens and dozens of employeeswaiting on hundreds and hundreds of customers. If they dontcare about the work theyre doing, if they dont feel respected, ifthey dont feel excited, then theyre not going to do a great jobwith the guest.Thats coming back to us giving them great service, and givingthem a clear vision of where were going, and that they knowwhere our values are, so that theyre making good decisions outthere.Joe: I think the one thing that youre bringing back, themessage that Im taking out of this podcast is that vision andplanning is still important to business, and maybe the mostimportant thing.Ari: Well, I think they all come together, and I think thats,again, the organic garden model. Its not like one replaces theother. But again, the vision is different than the strategic plan.This is something people, they confuse the two, or interminglethe two. But the vision is where youre going, and the planning ishow you get to the vision. So theres a lot of people doingplanning, but they dont do a vision.So, to me, its sort of like going on MapQuest and asking fordirections, but, you dont plug in what your destination is, it wontwork. And theres a reason why it wont work, it needs to knowwhere you want to go in order to give you the directions. So wedo strategic planning, but only after weve completed the vision,because the vision says where were going to end up. Whetheryou turn left or right to the end of this block isnt critical, as longas you know where youre going to end up, if its a correctcourse, if you make decisions that dont work out that well.So, the visioning is huge. Its the cathedral that youreconstructing. Its what helps people realize the greatness of what The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  21. 21. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systemstheyre really working on, which far exceeds any one sandwich, orloaf of bread, or one customer interaction.Joe: Well, I would like to thank you very much. I thoroughlyenjoyed it. This podcast will be available in the Business901iTunes store, and also the Business901 blog site. So, thanksagain, Ari.Ari: OK. Thank you. Again, the books at, andmy email is, if people want to ask questionsand follow up, theyre welcome to email me.Joe: All right. Fantastic, thanks again.Ari: Thank you. The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901
  22. 22. Business901 Podcast TranscriptionImplementing Lean Marketing Systems Joseph T. Dager Lean Marketing Systems Ph: 260-438-0411 Fax: 260-818-2022 Email: Web/Blog: Twitter: @business901 What others say: In the past 20 years, Joe and I have collaborated on many difficult issues. Joes ability to combine his expertise with "out of the box"thinking is unsurpassed. He has always delivered quickly, cost effectivelyand with ingenuity. A brilliant mind that is always a pleasure to work with."James R.Joe Dager is President of Business901, a progressive company providingdirection in areas such as Lean Marketing, Product Marketing, ProductLaunches and Re-Launches. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt,Business901 provides and implements marketing, project and performanceplanning methodologies in small businesses. The simplicity of a singleflexible model will create clarity for your staff and as a result betterexecution. My goal is to allow you spend your time on the need versus theplan.An example of how we may work: Business901 could start with aconsulting style utilizing an individual from your organization or a virtualassistance that is well versed in our principles. We have capabilities toplug virtually any marketing function into your process immediately. Asproficiencies develop, Business901 moves into a coach’s role supporting theprocess as needed. The goal of implementing a system is that the processeswill become a habit and not an event. Business901 Podcast Opportunity Expert Status The Aroma of a Good Vision Copyright Business901