Benrik, the irrepressible force behind bestselling phenomenon This Book Will Change Your Life, returns with a whole new year’s worth of hilarious daily guidance to add a little spice to your dull life. CHARLES DE BONIO is the kennel name for two authors who would rather wait and see what happens before giving out their real names.
I finally read all of Maurer’s book, in one sitting while traveling late last year, and I really enjoyed it.
Ironically, there are some lessons from the clinical realm that we can, I think, bring back to the workplace. Maurer suggests that small baby steps changes, as we use in workplace kaizen, circumvent the amygdala because small changes aren’t overwhelming or scary. Now you might be thinking that small gradual improvements are fine, but we also need innovation (a trendy business buzzword). What is a new workplace habit, related to Lean or otherwise, that you have wanted to start, but you didn’t because it seemed too overwhelming? Later in the book, Maurer creates an interesting twist, as the kaizen principles (originating in the workplace) are brought BACK into the workplace, as he described how staff at a medical clinic really turned around their operations and became successful through these same ideas he had used with his patients. Maurer also makes a great case for how we start, with kaizen, by learning how to see and address little problems. All in all, I found this an enjoyable and thought-provoking read – for my personal life and in the professional realm.
BufferPlease consider leaving a comment or sharing this post via social media.Mark GrabanMark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Thank you for reviewing this work on your blog and bringing it to light for the lean community, Mark.
FYI, Maurer has a new book out from McGraw-Hill — a little guidebook about the kaizen philosophy. Welcome to my blog, which is all about improving hospitals and other types of organizations through "Lean." Learn more.

This Book Will Change Your Life has even greater ambitions than its forefather, aiming to subvert not only your own life, but the whole of society—as only Benrik can. This Book Will Change Your Dog’s Life is for owners everywhere who feel that puppy school is just not enough, that their dog is getting a bit rutbound, or who have maybe been Benriked themselves and enjoyed the experience.
However, one of them is a dog owner, and the other loathes self-help manuals, they are both professionals and have both written several other books, so their pedigree is long and impeccable. Traditional advice would be to ask her to launch immediately into some big fancy exercise program that, since it seemed overwhelming, might not even get started (or might not sustain) — sounds familiar to big programmatic approaches to workplace improvement, right?
He asked Julie to just march one minute… and then the entire commercial break, then two. Instead of coming back discouraged, as so many failed exercisers do, Julie was more animated, with less resistance in her speech and demeanor….
Maurer says there is certainly a place for larger innovation, but we also need smaller continuous improvements. Let’s say your Lean consultant said you need to do an hour-long Gemba walk every day. We all know we are trying to improve but should Standard Work and more specifically Leader Standard Work be used as your change agent? There is an age-old (and counterproductive) mindset that says in effect – how I behave at work and how I behave in private life are unrelated. Part instruction book, part therapy, part religious cult, part sheer anarchy, this wickedly funny day planner will help you stick a spoke in the wheel of your routine, every day of the first year of your new life. This is a helpful survival instinct when we are in real physical danger, but it’s less helpful when this response is triggered by a change or a new situation at work or in our daily life. Start small, reinforce the behavior, and you might gradually start enjoying the gemba walks to the point when you are now making time to make them happen.
There are ideas in this book that we can all apply to our New Year’s resolutions or other improvements we hope to make.

He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. After listening to the first five minutes during the morning commute, I turned it off and instead listened to it when I had the opportunity to focus and take notes. Follow the instructions and by the end of the course, you and your dog should have successfully subverted the canine stereotype, and he or she will be able to embark on the next book on their own.
Combined with positive thoughts and encouragement, these baby steps can lead to larger, sustained changes.
We write a lot about small problems and small improvements in our book, but that’s the starting point. There will always be little problems even as we start fixing the bigger, more systemic stuff. Everyone can change, but few do because they are not willing to master the incremental steps required to overcome their existing habits.
In my years of seeking a pathway to healing for our Native people in Alaska, I have been reading widely about Toxic Stress and its impact of the developing brain.
Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. Coupled with a no blame, no shame workplace, continuous improvement and training, I truly believed we could reduce workplace stress substantially enough to start making a difference in the other parts of our employee’s lives.

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