Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Observing Dickson in The Idea Exchange Cafe

I spent last week at the 2010 AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) International Conference in Baltimore. Workshops, plant tours, keynote and value stream presentations filled the days of the just over 2,000 attendees. I have been an AME volunteer for about 15 years in this not-for-profit organization that focuses on continuous improvement. It is a role model organization for volunteerism. Year after year a new volunteer team plans, develops and delivers the largest and best lean conference anywhere in the world. For the last three years I have had the pleasure to facilitate the practitioner to practitioner discussions in the Idea Exchange Café. Topics are listed on the conference agenda and from 15 – 60 attendees showed up to participate in each of the six sessions. My role is to guide them through this shared learning exercise.
Since lean success is possible if employees are engaged in the change process and guaranteed to fail if they are not I often hear some very touching human interest stories in the café. This year was no exception.
On Tuesday morning the café opened for the first session. The topic was “Methods used to engage employees in continuous improvement”. Two of the attendees were from the continent of Africa. They were part of an African contingent of around 40 people from a variety of companies attending the conference. One of them, Dickson, seemed a bit nervous. He seemed restrained by something from fully engaging in the discussions that were taking place. When he finally opened up the reason became very clear. He felt uncomfortable because he, a maintenance mechanic in a grain mill that processed grain for both human and animal consumption, had been selected to go to “America.” He noted that his co-workers were in awe of this once in a lifetime experience he had been provided by his employer. Dickson proceeded to tell us about the lean implementation underway in his plant and the role he played. Because he had displayed an interest and a passion for lean he had been selected to be a lean coordinator and was now sitting in a session in America sharing his experiences. This was an experience he could not have imagined in his wildest dreams. Anyone who could have observed the expression of pride on his face as he talked about his plant, and the change processes he supported, would have had the opportunity to truly understand what lean is all about. It is not about cost savings – it is about growing the people in your facility so that everyone can make a difference. It is a universal belief that everyone, just like Dickson, wants to make a difference. Dickson reaffirmed that fact for me. Lean thinkers have the opportunity to touch people and make a difference in their lives – that is why I love what I do.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Your Best Day at Work

When I conduct lean training sessions and approach the topic of employee engagement I always ask the attendees to tell me about their “best day at work”. I believe people find satisfaction in the work they perform and this question allows me to explore that topic with them. Everyone will agree that some days are better than others but what I want to explore with them are the elements of the best day. Answers I get to the question vary but the underlying theme remains the same. Some common responses are:
• I was productive
• My equipment ran great all day
• I had everything I needed to do my job that day
• I was left alone to do my job

Based on these responses people want to come to work and do a good job and, as I stated above, do find satisfaction in the work they perform. The problem with this scenario is that many people expect their job to remain the same. In this global economy doing anything the same way, day after day, will lead to mediocrity and business decline. In continuous improvement business cultures leadership expects constant change – change for the better. It is only by letting go of control, trusting that all employees can handle more, and then driving decision making downward within the organization that a management team can truly engage their workforce in ongoing business process change. When this occurs this gives many more employees the opportunity to walk out the front door at that end of their shift feeling like they made a difference that day. That is the common theme echoed in the bullet pointed responses above - anyone’s best day at work, and it matters not if they are hourly or management is a day when they personally feel, in their heart of hearts, like they made a difference. What is your experience? How do your employees feel when they walk out the front door?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Minds you Change

The kaizen blitz has long been criticized because the improvements or gains made during kaizen events often are not sustained. To those critics I say, so what? Mature lean thinkers understand that for a business to become lean you must impact how people think, act and interact. This cultural or people side of lean is the difficult “row to hoe” on anyone’s lean journey. When businesses hold multiple kaizen blitz events a week they are doing so to improve business process cycle times and to win the hearts of their employees. They understand the biggest benefit of any kaizen event is not the process you improve – it is the minds you change.
Hourly employees, those who do the real work for your customers and are the least empowered employees in any business, need to understand how “lean thinking” benefits each of them individually as well as the business. So where should you start? Start with safety. Engage your employees in kaizen blitz events that focus on the reduction of injury risks. Skeptical hourly employees, and most of them are, will quickly become lean champions when they see management giving focus to their safety while seeking cycle time gains. Remember, people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Make work safer, win their hearts and then move your lean efforts forward. It is the safe path to lean.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Empowerment Squares

One of the pillars of the TPS (Toyota Production System) is “respect for people.” By not challenging all employees to continually grow leaders are being disrespectful for they are allowing individuals to leave work feeling unfulfilled. Unless people feel like they are truly making a difference (engaged) at work your operation will be on the continuously coping, versus the continually improving, track.
Hourly employees, when they initially hear the word “empowered” often think more work is going to be dumped on them, for example, they are going to be asked to take on the tasks that were once supervisions. If they have spent most of their work careers working in a top down directive environment their feelings are understandable. If they have only contributed to the business by using their hands to do the physical work then discussions about empowerment can seen unclear and threatening. Yet a simple visual tool, when used to demonstrate the concept of empowerment, will move the conversation forward.
Simply draw three squares starting with one and the other two progressively larger around the initial square. The inner square represents the work an individual performs when they are working. They do not have to consult any member of management or the support staff to complete these tasks. The decisions required for these tasks are made by the individual doing the work. The second, or center square, represents times when they may vary from standard work and they feel the need to inform someone, most often supervision, that they made a change. The outer and final square represents times when the worker seeks supervisions approval before making a change or an improvement to a work process. The goal, if you want to empower individuals, is to continually expand the inner square so that they can make more customer-focused business decisions. Explained this way it is easy to understand that empowerment is really about decision making, or more specifically, about who makes the decisions.
The ability to make decisions requires information. Therefore empowerment requires the downward flow of information in an organization. Those who have traditionally been the least empowered in any organization, those performing the hands-on work, can easily make decisions on work scheduling and component replenishment if given the signals, or information, to do so. They can also suggest and implement cycle time improvement changes to their work processes when allowed to do so. By allowing decision making to be driven down in an organization management broadens the scope of the work performed which makes work more interesting and fulfilling. Employees are more likely to feel like they are “making a difference” for their new actions forge a stronger connection to the customer. Empowerment really is a simple concept but it takes courage for management to let go of some of the decision making for it to happen? What is your experience? Do the squares still represent firm boundaries that hourly employees dare not cross or are you allowing individuals to leave work feeling like they made a difference?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Building Trust after the Downturn

I recently attended an AME Lean Leadership workshop. When the attendees were asked why they attended and what they hoped to take away from the two-day event a general theme emerged. The downturn in business caused by the recession had resulting in staffing reductions at many of their facilities. What they were searching for were ways to re-engage the workforce after trust had taken a beating. How, they asked, do you re-engage the workforce in continuous improvement after the trauma of lay-offs – both temporary and permanent? What are the lean leadership tools or techniques I can use when I return to work? These were hard questions with no easy answers.
Since an engaged workforce is the foundation of a truly lean business I suggest you start to bridge the void caused by painful lay-offs and terminations by focusing solely on safety improvement. You earn trust by giving it therefore I believe you have to look for ways to engage your employees in continual improvement so that they can, for themselves, discover the value of continuous improvement. To state it in an oft used acronym they need to understand WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Without a doubt the easiest entry point to re-engage employees is in the continual improvement of safety. I suggest this safe path to continual improvement because everyone - managers, hourly workers, unions, etc. will rally around and support safety improvement efforts. And if you’re a business leader how better to show respect for people and begin to build the level of trust than by focusing your and their efforts on improving their safety while at work. If you do nothing but focus on safety after this economic downturn you will build trust, reduce injury risks and reduce business costs. That would make you a role model leader.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Shingo Prize Tunnel View

A recent post by Kevin Meyer on the role model lean blog, Evolving Excellence, took the Shingo prize organization to task for diluting their prize. It created quite a stir so I thought I would join in the fun with my own Shingo frustration. First, I must warn you that I may be accused of “sour grapes” for writing this post. Beware - there is whining ahead!
About three months after the December 2009 release of my book, Lean Safety – Transforming your Safety Culture with Lean Management, I applied for the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award. I applied because I had read the new criteria and thought my book was a shoe in because of the following two statements. They made up two of the four sections of the written submission I had to complete.
1. Describe how the submitted work contributes to new knowledge of lean and operational excellence.
2. Describe how the submitted work extends existing knowledge of lean and operational excellence.

My book was the first to link lean thinking and lean tool usage to driving world class safety. Obviously anyone in the lean community who has practiced lean has been engaged in the pursuit of the holy grail of cycle time reduction and not safety improvement. One of the targeted audiences when I wrote the book was these lean professionals. I wanted to challenge them to help change the safety culture in their businesses by using their lean knowledge.
My second targeted audience was safety professionals and the programs they manage which are almost always solely focused on safety compliance. Lean Safety challenges them to explore lean thinking and tools to engage their workforce and bolster their compliance based programs with a companywide safety improvement initiative. The results – a new kind of safety culture focused on ongoing improvement in addition to compliance.
Finally I challenged these two groups of professionals to work together. I overviewed how together they could conduct injury risk reduction kaizen blitz events that would yield both cycle time and safety improvements. It all sounded so good when I read the criteria and then responded to the two statements above that I began to think about my acceptance speech.
As you may have already guessed Lean Safety did not win the Shingo prize. Why? Here are portions of examiner’s responses to the two sections mentioned above.
“However, examiners feel the book does not provide a deeper understanding or new knowledge and theory of operational excellence; it is more about using fairly common lean approaches and tools that focus on establishing a safety culture.”

“The author’s concept of safety as the reason for a lean transformation does expand existing knowledge, yet examiners feel the majority of the information shared in the book is basic lean knowledge and is not an expansion of existing work and current practices.”
I scratched my head after reading the feedback document and reflected on why my view of the potential impact of Lean Safety differed so from the examiners. All I could think of was the examiners were all leanies and were only thinking of the value of this book to other lean thinkers. This inbred aspect of many organizations, which are centered on a single common theme, is more often than not the norm. The Shingo examiners understand lean inside and out so my use of basic lean terminology and tools triggered their “tunnel view” response. But what would safety professionals have said? What if the Shingo examiners had been safety professionals who had little knowledge of lean? Would they have recognized the value of engaging individuals in safety improvement? Would they think this book was “new knowledge” and that it “extended lean knowledge” beyond the lean community and into the safety community? Or what if the Shingo prize organization had used a cross-functional team (in this case a mix of lean and safety professionals) to conduct the review? Would the results have been different? Here is a link to an unsolicited review of Lean Safety that appeared in the August 2010 issue of Professional Safety magazine. http://www.asse.org/professionalsafety/in-review.php Tell me what you think after reading the review. Shingo smingo - I didn’t want that prize anyway. Now pass the sour grapes to this poor loser - I have acquired a taste for them!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lean Safety Opportunity In Paris

Lean zealots cannot turn off the “lean thinking” portion of their brain while on vacation. Here is a recent example to support my contention. While walking from the Notre Dame Cathedral back to our hotel in the 7th arrondissement located on the left bank of Paris, my wife and I decided to take a break. We selected a park bench on the bank of the Seine River where we could bask in the glorious sunshine and count our good fortunes. We had spent the prior 10 days in Ireland where cool rainy weather had been as much the norm as driving on the left side of the road. Then on a whim, without any existing plans, we decided to fly off to Paris to finish our vacation. It was completely spontaneous which made our five days in Paris even more magical.
While sitting there looking north across the Seine we could see the massive Louvre museum to our right and the 3,300 year-old Egyptian obelisk sitting in the Place de la Concorde, its gold top reflecting the mid-day sun, to our left. Then out of the blue Parisian sky my lean safety antenna was signaled to observe and improve a work process. Almost directly in front of me was a city worker bagging grass clippings. He, like me, was not a young man. His back, which had a gentle slope forward, symbolized a lifetime of work. The pile of grass clippings were piled in a graveled area some distance from the actual lawn that had been cut. He was surrounded by four clear plastic bags which he had already filled and was just starting a fifth. The process he was using certainly contributed to or was responsible for, depending on how long he had performed this job responsibility, his back curvature. He was using a rake but it differed from the rakes I have used. This was a four tined rake that looks as if it started as a pitchfork until someone bent all four tines 90 degrees from the handle. While holding the handle parallel to his body, he slid the tines into the grass pile. Next he stepped, with his left foot, onto the grass clipping now on the rake tines to compact them before continuing. Then, while holding a plastic bag in his left hand and the rake in his right, he raised his right arm, taking his right shoulder out of the neutral position, to align the grass clipping on the rake tines with the opening in the plastic bag. He then attempted to insert the clippings into the bag. Some made it in and others fluttered back to the pile. He was looking directly down, with his back bent, during the entire operation. Had my command of the French language allowed me to do more than order outstanding food and great wine I would have engaged him in a process improvement discussion intended to improve the safety of the work he was performing.
My eyes were now glazed, I had forgotten about the glorious “City of Lights” in front of me, and I was asking myself, since I couldn’t communicate with him, some simple questions. How did the clipping get from the lawn to their current location? Didn’t they know they make mowers with bagging attachments? Or, did they dump the clipping from the mower attachment here so they could re-bag them? I had to admit that this was indeed a possibility, for after all this was a government worker in a country and city better known for worker strikes than worker ingenuity and productivity, so I shifted my thinking from correcting the root cause to just improving his safety.
When we first arrived in Paris I noticed there were few conventional trash cans. Instead they had metal hoops welded to upright posts that were anchored to the ground. The top of a plastic trash bag was slipped over the hoop and a rubber bungee cord type device was used to secure the bag to the hoop. To remove the bag you simply loosened the rubber cord. I was impressed with this creative method of trash collection that eliminated dirty smelly trash cans and the requirement to lift them to empty out the contents. Then I noticed just to the left of our bench one of these trash collection stations. I wanted to immediately move some grass clippings next to it, install his plastic trash bag onto the hoop, straighten the tines on his rake and fill the bag while maintaining a more upright back and head position with my shoulders never getting out of the neutral position. But I didn’t want to create a work stoppage which could lead to a massive city worker strike that would paralyze the city of Paris – after all, we had to fly home the next day and the Metro train crews and air traffic controllers were instrumental in our on-time departure! So instead we continued our stroll along the Seine heading toward our Rue Clair neighborhood and lunch at an open air café. Other problems were waiting to be solved. For instance, should we have a bottle of white or rose wine with lunch?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fun on Southwest Airlines

Cutlural change, or how people think, act and interact, is the key to ongoing business continuous improvement and ultimately business success. It took the lean community some years to understand and accept the fact that implementing lean tools was not the end goal. The tools were only the means with which you could access and impact the culture. During the last week of April, for the first time in over ten years, I flew on Southwest Airlines and I was impressed.

The biggest difference between this flight and all of others flights I have taken (mostly on an airline with the the initials AA) in the last ten years is that each and every Southwest employee acted as if work was fun and customers were important. Can you believe that! I hadn't seen so many smiles since watching a Miss America pagent.

“The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.” This mission statement gives every Southwest employee approval to be a change agent and a risk taker so that they can impact the culture, if only for a few hours, on the plane where they are working. For example, just prior to take-off the flight attendants were asking everyone to take their seats. One older gentleman, whose head was shaved, remained standing and talking with some aquaintances. Over the intercom came a message - "Would the spokesperson for Six-Flags (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU2yt6wOoK0) please take your seat?" Everyone on the plane laughed and then the flight attendant, himself as bald as the Six-flags mascot, approach the individual to ensure he had not personally offended him. Then at the end of the flight they played the Six-Flag's theme song from the same commercial over the intercom as they bid him and all their customers fairwell! As I departed I felt like I had been at a party! The flight attendants, by taking some risks, had created an atmosphere of fun and a sense of community all during a 2-1/2 hour flight. Adding to my joy were the "free" snacks, a glass of chardonnay and the fact that my bag flew free. I will be flying Soutwest more often - sorry AA!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Engage or discipline - how do you manage?

I recently had the opportunity to present at the OSHA Day conference at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL. Attending the event were around 400 individuals who are somehow involved in safety as part of their day to day work.
One of the attendees, in my 75 minute session on “Lean Safety,” suggested that to ensure employee safety you should have each of them sign a contract to follow all the safety rules and regulations. Old school safety like this, modeled on safety contracts and discipline, is a top down, directive and compliance (OSHA) driven business process. Companies following this model are still operating with the upright triangle – customers at the bottom and leadership on top. They are still dependent on the “discipline stick” to drive fear throughout their workplace in an attempt to raise safety awareness. Regrettably many businesses still use this model to manage safety.
By starting with both the premise that no one comes to work to get hurt, and an awareness of W. Edwards Deming and his belief that you must “drive fear from the workplace” in order to engage employees in the improvement of anything, safety professionals begin to understand that this old model in a relic of the last century. You earn trust by giving it. To demonstrate “respect for people” and begin to win the hearts and minds of those who are in harm’s way management must first flip the triangle and then begin to engage their employees in safety improvement efforts. Trust must pave the road to the continuous improvement of safety or any other company wide business change.
To “lean thinkers” safety is just another business process to which they can, with employee involvement, apply the lean tools to drive change. Switching safety management from a purely compliance based model to one based on compliance and continual improvement can be the starting point for a lean effort in any business for everyone will rally around safety. You can begin to bridge the trust gap that exists in all plants by starting on the safety side and crossing over to the lean side.
A company’s safety culture, or how the people who work there think, act and interact regarding safety, will only change if management changes their approach to safety. Top down safety allows workers to state, “They (management) don’t do anything about safety around here until someone gets injured.” Any employee directly involved in safety improvement will be unable to ever repeat that statement again for they are now part of the “they.” How many of your employees can you engage in safety? Now that would be a nice proactive safety metric for any company to track. Stay safe.

Monday, March 1, 2010

GEe - size doesn't matter!

During the last week of February I visited a GE transportation plant in Erie, PA to present my Lean Safety story at a meeting of plant managers and lean leaders from both the Erie plant and other GE facilities. After my presentation my host provided me with a personal plant tour. This facility is big scale lean for they produce locomotives – the kind that would make a train buff weak in the knees. It is heavy industry of the type that helped to build America’s industrial dominance many decades ago. Fast forward to today. It is an aging facility, spread over acres of land, producing many or most of the parts required to assemble locomotives in house. Trying to get your arms around the concepts of flow when the components are sized by the ton is almost incomprehensible.
Yet in just three years lead times have been reduced dramatically. With an intense focus on lean principles, they are slowly weaning themselves from MRP planning and moving toward a visual Obeya Room planning board that simplifies the component planning process and immediately gives visual attention to problems. To help ensure component on-time delivery they are transforming their fabrication and welding shops from traditional batch and queue work centers, that were literally buried in excess inventory, into sub-assembly flow cells that deliver components to final assemble based on takt signals. The use of a skunk-works approach for developing new fixtures and material handling equipment, required to make these fabricated parts flow, has engaged and energized some of their workforce. This is real lean, lean on a scale you can see and understand. Only passionate lean thinkers can tackle a process of this size and succeed. This visit once again proved that size doesn’t matter – a process is a process. Remove the waste, make it flow and the results will provide reduced lead times to customers.
When this economic downturn, or maybe plunge, does correct itself this facility will be ready to serve their customers in ways not imaginable in the past. On the GE website it states that “GE is imagination at work.” My visit to this facility proves that point. The lean leaders at this facility are visionaries and they are having the time of their lives. I had a lean buzz on while walking around, hearing about and seeing the changes they have implemented. Then, while standing next to a, “big as a house,” just built and freshly painted locomotive, I think I became a train buff. Woooo-woooo-chuggga-chuggga.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Intelligentsia Coffee Kaizen

Just before Christmas I visited a coffee shop owned by Chicago based Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. Intelligentsia cares about their employees and their employees really care about their customers. The shop’s staff was friendly, product knowledgeable and expert baristas. Part of Intelligentsia’s mission statement reads, “Intelligentsia exists to provide both a fulfilling work environment for our employees and the highest quality products for our customers. Both goals are equally necessary to the success of our business.” Everyone I interacted with, and the product I was served, was proof that the corporate mission is more than just words on their website.
I had recently read the New York Times article about Starbucks beginning their lean journey. Obviously if the lean approach of process evaluation and improvement was applicable to Starbucks I thought there must be opportunities at Intelligensia. While sitting there sipping my latte I had time to observe the retail delivery processes of the business. Opportunities were immediately apparent to me due to my lean safety orientation. Repetitive bending to retrieve individually portioned canisters of beans, using an awkward hand and arm position to pour boiling water over the ground beans and excessive travel distances between front and back counters were just some of the opportunities I observed. I wanted to, right there on the spot, form a kaizen blitz team to design and implement a new work station that would reduce both ergonomic injury risks and the delivery cycle time. If I could so quickly recognize these opportunities just imagine how many the experts, those behind the counter brewing coffee, could identify if they were provided some training, a facilitator and the gift of time to do so by Intelligensia’s leadership.
In January I sent an email to Intelligentsia’s webmaster (with a request to forward the message) suggesting I share a cup of coffee, at this same retail outlet, with the company founder. During our time together I would teach him to observe, while wearing lean safety lenses, the business opportunity that exists – a chance to engage his employees in the redesign of their workplace. The end results would be improved safety and reduced product delivery cycle times and ultimately the opportunity for this group of employees to take this design to other Intelligentsia retail outlets. All of this activity would support the corporate mission for it would add a new level of meaning to “a fulfilling work environment.” As of today there has been no response from Intelligentsia. Do you think they will respond?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Safe Path to Lean

A Safe Path to Lean

While attending the AME international conference, held in Cincinnati last October, I introduced myself to a lean thought leader and briefly described a book I had written that suggests to get lean you should start with safety. His comment back was that for most companies that is exactly where they should begin. I failed to ask a follow up question to fully understand his reasoning for supporting my contention but I know why I recommended it in book form -- because it works.

All lean leaders understand the path to real lean, lean that is lasting, is dependent on employee engagement. Resistance to lean that is predicated on cost savings has killed off many a lean effort. Because we work in adult workplaces the simple equation that cost savings = fewer employees is understood by everyone. To discourage this thinking a senior leader may state that no lay-offs will occur as a result of lean but this is not the norm. He could instead take the safe path to lean by asking his employees to focus on safety improvement and thus bypass the initial resistance to lean caused by mistrust and a lack of understanding.

Simply by facilitating safety improvement activities while using a lean tool like the kaizen blitz you can begin to train your employee base in the lean language and many of the lean tools. A team of employees given the gift of time to focus on safety will not only reduce injury risks but they will most certainly reduce the cycle time of the process they have observed. This safe path to lean can initiate a journey toward real lean for any business for it is build upon respect for people first and then cycle time reduction.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A safety first culture

Safety in this country is often touted as the “number one priority” yet a great deal of the safety activity in companies is driven by compliance to legislation rather than pro-active safety improvement programs. Therefore not much depth is evident in many safety programs. Contrast safety management, a legislated business requirement, with lean activities. Unless a lean edict has come down the corporate pipeline lean is optional. No legislation requires lean activity. What usually drives lean in companies is a culture that needs repair. A serious lean effort will tear apart an old entitlement riddled culture, with high costs and poor customer service, and build it into something new. Companies with ineffective safety programs that result in poor safety records also have a cultural problem. Present is a culture that does not value, or expect, a safe work place and therefore people act accordingly. The common element is culture – it is the root cause of poor safety and ineffective businesses. It would then make sense that some common methods could be used to drive improved safety and business continuous improvement programs.
It is my strong belief that a lean thinking approach to people management, one that views all the employees of a company as value added assets, is the right approach. It stands to reason that if the culture of a business is “how the people who work there think, act and interact” that you must engage each and every one of them if you are going to positively impact or redirect the culture. Following this cultural path is the true, no, the only, route to world class lean or world class safety.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Day one of not going to a traditional job after 40 plus years of doing so. Feels a little strange. I started the day by filing a form to create an LLC on the Illinois state website. Wihin 24 hours I should receive an email confirmation that RBH Consulting LLC is offical! It is exciting to think about all the opportunities that lay ahead. A chance to impact the safety of individuals by using lean techniques while at the same time impacting business results. As my journey unfolds I will post lean safety stories on this blog for those who have an interest in the safe side of lean. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to give up the security of a weekly pay check in exchange for a journey of personal growth. Whooo-hooo - let the journey begin!