Building BUY-IN Johnson captures the group at their daily morning meeting. Blankenship believes these meetings are important because they generate “more overall excitement from everyone when they come to work each day.” Last June, Truss Components of Washington started doing something uncon -ventional: holding regular meetings of production, design and office employees. General Manager Chad Johnson and Production Manager William Blankenship reflected on their six-month-old experiment, sharing why and how they brought these groups together and what the meetings have accomplished. Q: Talk me through the logistics— how do these meetings work? Chad: Actually, we have them daily, and we have them with each shift. We hold them at a time when all of the office staff and production staff are available at the same time. Once a month we also involve the day and swing shift, so the production staff, the office staff, and both shifts all get to spend some time together. Usually the meetings are about 15 minutes, although we’ve had a few that last as long as 45 minutes. Occasionally, they only last five. Generally, I start each meeting and I share production sta-tistics from the day before and then William, our produc-tion manager, handles the rest. William: As Chad said, we start each meeting off with production numbers. Then we talk about what jobs we’re working on for that day and make time for any concerns people have or special projects we need to tackle. I also usu-ally have a quote for the day and a brief activity. When we first started, those activities might have been something like “tell us your favorite kind of music” so that the group could get to know each other a little better. Then, they morphed 28 sbcmag.info • MARCH 2017 into more serious personal discussions with questions like, “what’s one thing you’d like to change about yourself?” The meetings keep evolving. Now, each day of the week has a theme and we’re getting more employees involved in com-ing up with topics and leading the meetings. “It’s more than just a meeting, this is employee investment.” — WILLIAM BLANKENSHIP Chad: I was introduced to a book called 2 Second Lean by Paul Akers. He has a company that makes hardware for cabinetmakers. He’s been doing morning meetings for a few years, which is where I got the idea. One of the things that his book talks about is what he calls “eight areas of waste.” The eighth area, which is the most important one, is employee intellect. It’s an area of waste that, I know as a company, we had been wasting for years. We’ve been Q: What made you decide to do this?