About the Book
Welcome to my world of Extreme Lean thinking. Once you have experienced the vast benefits of Lean, you will crave it, want it, and do anything to get it. Because Lean thinking has made an enormous difference in my life – personally and professionally – I wanted the title of this book to convey how attainable it is to build a vibrant Lean culture. While there are many books on Lean, I have yet to find any that are fun. My mountain bike buddies would say, “It’s SICK!” In fact, when I went looking for books or websites to recommend to people, all I found were books filled with complicated diagrams and business school theory-speak – definitely not the fun Lean that I have come to know and love. This book is not intended for MBAs or those interested in manufacturing theory or flow charts. This book is intended to blast open the door of opportunity for people who want to improve their daily life, be it in their workplace or home. Lean is not as complicated as all the experts and textbooks make it out to be. In fact, as you learn to incorporate a Lean approach to your life, you will see that the more Lean thinking you have in your life, the more you will enjoy life.
About the Author
Paul Akers is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, speaker, Lean maniac!
He is the founder and president of FastCap, a product development company with distribution in 40 countries. FastCap, based in Ferndale, Washington, launches 30+ new innovative products each year and is regarded as a model Lean manufacturer.
The grandchild of Greek immigrants, Paul was born and raised in Southern California. At the age 14 he became an Eagle Scout, at 16 he built his own guitar and earned the attention of guitar builder Bob Taylor, who mentored and eventually put Paul to work for Taylor Guitars.
Paul graduated with honors from Biola University and then went to work in Pasadena restoring historic homes and teaching High school industrial arts.
In 2000, Paul discovered Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS). This newfound knowledge helped him and his wife Leanne take FastCap from a small start up in their garage into the successful product development company it is today.
Paul is an international speaker whose core passion is teaching others how to implement Lean thinking in their business and personal life. Paul has worked with the US Navy, IDF Israel Defense Forces, Amazon, major European banks as well companies and organization all over the world.
In 2010 Paul ran for the US Senate in Washington State on a Lean platform of transforming government by developing a Lean thinking as a key strategy for all government organizations.
For the past five years Paul has produced a weekly radio show/podcast called “The American Innovator” where he interviews interesting people and tours sites and organizations from his travels around the world, including such notable people like Louis Zamperini.
Paul is an avid outdoorsman and regularly does day hikes up 14,000 foot mountains in California and Colorado. In 2014 he led back-to-back expeditions summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp. He is also an instrument-rated pilot and has flown his plane all over the world, including 3 North Atlantic crossings in a single engine aircraft.
Paul has written two books, “2 Second Lean” and “Lean Health”, and is currently writing “Lean Travel”.