Lean Whiskey #32: Employee Engagement Beyond Buying Them Pizza (or Bourbon)



Here is the episode if you want to stream the audio… scroll down for video:

In Episode 32 of “Lean Whiskey,” Mark Graban and Jamie Flinchbaugh have a first… comparing two similar whiskeys from the same distiller. In this case, family-owned Willett and their Willett Pot Still Reserve bourbon and the Johnny Drum bourbon.

We definitely both have our favorite of the two, but you'll have to listen to find out which. We also spend a little time exploring the history of this old brand, their departure, and their recent return to the spirits world. This all happens between NFL conference championship games where neither of our teams are playing. 

We discuss The Great Resignation and all of the many facets… the underlying long-term trends, the short-term adjustments, the data, the causes, and the solutions. Breaking the problem down is important, as there is neither one cause nor one solution. We need to move beyond “jerk bosses” such as seen at Better.com, underappreciation as seemingly demonstrated at former-lean-role-model Thedacare, and bad cultures found in many places. 2022 may finally be the year to truly make employee engagement a real strategic imperative. 

We finish talking about industrial-based movies and shows, such as the new NBC series “American Auto” or the movie “Gung Ho.” Please tell us your favorites… we'd love to hear from you! 


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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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