The Positive Business Manifesto – Hoshin Planning for Employee Engagement

By Adam Zak, Adam Zak Executive Search:I've been writing quite a bit lately about why respect for people, often vividly demonstrated when your team members are truly engaged in their day-to-day work, is critical to building and sustaining the Lean Enterprise. And you'd have to live on another planet not to notice the plethora of business books and articles discussing the importance of developing a positive organizational culture at work. The research is clear. Positive leaders, positive work environments, and positively engaged employees produce positive results.

However, if building a positive business is so important and beneficial, then we are left to wonder, “Why aren't more companies more positive?” Why are there not more people skipping through the halls, smiling at their co-workers and loving their job? Why do more people die Monday morning at 9 am than any other time? Why does negativity cost companies 300 billion dollars and sabotage teamwork, careers, morale, and performance?

The Positive Business Manifesto, from author and business culture guru Jon Gordon, whose books and blog I've been following for some time now, offers some insights that Lean Leaders at all levels in the organization will find to be stimulating and energizing.

More importantly, I believe that implementing Jon's principles and practices will help our organizations weather the uncertainty of this current recessionary environment.

Download the PDF here…
Positive Business Manifesto

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Adam Zak
My name is Adam Zak. I help companies recruit truly exceptional Lean leaders. I had been doing retained executive search work for a number of years when I decided to break out on my own and create Adams & Associates International in 1990. Working for a few years with a couple of the very largest search firms had convinced me that I could add significantly more value and provide infinitely better service and quality to my clients from a smaller and more focused and responsive platform. Plus, even as a big-firm partner, I had never really felt much like my own boss. That changed when my name – today Adam Zak Executive Search – went on the door.


  1. @”we are left to wonder, “Why aren’t more companies more positive?”

    Many in leadership positions have an agenda other than the well being of the company.

  2. Just wanted to give a very strong second to Greg’s observation that many people have agendas other than the organization’s mission. I was astounded by this fact when “professional” management was brought into our company that had grown to $200MM in revenue under the entrepreneurial founders.

  3. “Colorado
    Permanente Medical Group chose to deal with negativity by letting go of 10-20 negative doctors
    each year, increasing morale and profits in the process”

    To be honest that sounds a bit frustrating.
    To let them go or to lay them off?
    To increase morale or to scare and make everybody put on a fake smile?

  4. Vladimir — you raise a really good question there. There are some people who you just have to rid yourself of sometimes… if they’re that bad, the organization will appreciate you removing them from the situation.

    10 to 20 a year sounds like a bit much… you really have that many incurable problem doctors, I would wonder? Seems unlikely.

    One man’s “I’m just trying to make suggestions to make things better” is another man’s “negative.”

  5. In Jon’s book there is a lot of attenion devoted to the concept of having the RIGHT people on your bus and getting the WRONG people off the bus. The key of course, is having a LEADERSHIP team with the ability and courage to correctly identify characteristics of the RIGHT people. Is this perhaps where many of the breakdowns take place?

  6. with today’s news that Toyota may cut full-time emplyees – I have to wonder what that will do to the morale at the transplant companies – all this time up until now – employees would help to eliminate jobs because – they would always get put somewhere else. But once you start letting people go – the associates will not be so eager in the future to do anything that could lead to the elimination of a position.


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