Paul Akers (paulakers.net) is founder and president of FastCap (fastcap.com), an international product development with distribution in 40 countries.
If you would like to see Paul speak, cut and paste this url into your browswer: http://youtu.be/gPUmY8WnnpU (over 67,000 views).
FastCap, based in Bellingham, Washington, launches approximately 20 new innovative products per year and is regarded as a lean leader among American manufacturers. The grandchild of Greek immigrants, Paul was born and raised in Southern California where he graduated with honors from Biola University. He worked in Pasadena restoring historic homes and taught High school industrial arts.
In 2000 Paul discovered Lean manufacturing or Toyota Production System (TPS). This newfound knowledge helped him and his wife Leanne to take FastCap from a small start up in their garage into the successful product development company it is today. Using Lean, Paul’s company has prospered and expanded even through the economic downturn, having never laid off an employee nor cut one salary, all while continuing to offer the highest level pay for any business in the region.
Paul is an energetic speaker whose core passion is helping people discover their full potential in life. His favorite quote is “You can have everything you want in life if you just help others get what they want” (Zig Ziglar).
His Passion is teaching others how to implement Lean thinking in their own business and personal life. Paul has worked with the US navy, IDF Israel Defense Forces, major European Banks as well companies and organization all over the world . Paul is a master craftsman, gardener, and designer. He built his home, a Greene and Greene style house in Bellingham, Washington, as well as the furniture and guitars.
2 Second Lean
Come to the shop floor and explore the world of Lean thinking at Paul’s company, FastCap. After 13 years of learning and doing Lean, Paul’s goal is to unravel the mystery of building a Lean culture. Lean is no longer a management tool; it should be accessible to everyone. Lean is fun, simple, and will produce astounding results for anyone who has courage and is humble enough to learn it’s magic.
2 Second Lean – http://paulakers.net/2sl
If I were to summarize my entire book–Lean Health–in one word it would be “Ferrari.” The secret to excellent health-the answer-is to treat your body like you would treat a Ferrari. A Ferrari is the archetype of a sports car, one of the most precise and high performance machines ever made. It is exotic, fast, agile and beautiful. If you take care of your body as you would a Ferrari-using only the best fuel and regularly taking it to the best mechanic for maintenance-your body will give you ten times what you put into it, for the duration of your life. So ask yourself, “Do I treat my body like a Ferrari or a Pinto?”
Lean Health – http://paulakers.net/lh
Often when I read books, I’m not quite sure what the author’s main point is, so I find myself racking my brain to figure out what he or she is trying to communicate. This can be frustrating and time-consuming, so when I write, I want my meaning to be as clear as possible.
To make it easier for my readers, I try to include a section that explicitly summarizes it into just one simple concept. For example, in my first book, 2 Second Lean, the goal was to teach the reader to “learn to see waste.” In my second book, Lean Health, I said I wanted you to “treat your body like you would treat a Ferrari.” With Lean Travel, I want to show you how to “travel light and with a grateful heart.”
Lean Travel – http://paulakers.net/lt
Paul Akers is hands-down the most energetic speaker in the Lean world and probably among the tops of any speaker you can find. As anyone who’s read his book, listened to his radio show, or watched one his more than 1,000 YouTube videos knows, Paul’s message of how simple, rewarding, and fun continuous improvement can be gets to the hearts as well as the minds of his audience. Here in Israel, he’s addressed academic audiences, a packed auditorium of Israeli Air Force officers, factories, and high-tech startups (to name a few), and the response has always been the same: the audience loves him and comes away excited to start making improvements.
– Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
We struggled with getting traction with Lean for several years. After hearing Paul speak and grasping the concepts of 2 Second Lean, our company has been transformed.
– CEO, OMNIDUCT
I believe the excellent seminar Paul Akers presented to our OMNIDUCT leadership team has made a huge positive difference in our Lean journey. I would whole heartily recommend Paul Akers to any leader who desires to have an inspirational and educational experience for his/her team related to 2 Second Lean and Continuous Improvement.
– Vice President, Operations, OMNIDUCT
Paul was kind enough to agree to speak at our Senior Leadership Team planning conference. The team was comprised of all 5 of our sister companies. Some of our leaders thought that because they’re always trying to improve, that they were indeed “doing” Lean, it was just called something else. Paul was able to help them gain a deeper understanding that practicing Lean is a very powerful and rewarding change. A change in the way you view everything, from your personal life to your work life and to all the people you interact with. It has had a profound positive impact on my life for sure!
– President & COO, Walters & Wolf
If you ever want to hear and feel passion, you need to listen to Paul. He will engage you to the point that you say “I can do this” and you will want to run back to work and make changes in your workplace with your team. A learning experience I will never forget!
– Training and Development, North Iowa Area Community College
Paul is an excellent speaker and an example for those who know how powerful Lean Thinking can be when applied in its simplest form.
Paul should to be commended for practicing what he preaches in his day-to-day work habits; from working alongside his employees to implementing a 2-second improvement each and every day.
Paul inspired me to make a change in one small thing that bugged me within 24 hours of listening to him. The surprising part is that this small things was bugging me for four years. Engage Paul or find a way to enter his world to see what kind of impact he can force you to make for yourself.
– President and CEO, Lean Leadership Institute
Paul’s presentation was so inspiring to me and my team! We realized how easy small improvements are to make and how they eventually add up to bigger changes. Even though the work Paul does is completely different than what we do, he made it really easy to see how we could incorporate 2-second lean into our environment!
– Manager Network Development Unit, CFFT-TDNCC, Seattle Children’s
Our aim is provide extreme value to the CEOs, presidents, owners, and other business professionals who attend our conferences which is why our management team is very selective in determining who addresses our audience. In over 20 years of providing high quality events to our members, Paul Akers is the only speaker we’ve used repeatedly. Paul has exceeded our expectations on three separate occasions as a keynote speaker and lead facilitator for our general session business panel. Paul is a professional in every sense of the word. His delivery is extremely engaging as he uses both personal and business experiences to help conference attendees relate to his strong content. Call me if you need a reference as Paul Akers will add value far above your expectations!
– , Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors
Paul Akers is Passion in high gear! As a speaker, he is compelling, humorous, effective, and informative. His ability to communicate the principles of Lean Manufacturing and distill the values of this leadership system are second to none. If you want to improve your organization and its effectiveness, invite Paul Akers to visit your company to share the gospel of Lean Manufacturing.
– President, Standing Together
I work in the construction industry and invited Paul to speak at the Lean Construction Institute’s annual Congress where he delivered the keynote address. His words inspired a number of the top construction firms in the country to adopt incremental improvement programs based on his 2-Second Lean approach. I truly admire Paul’s practiced ability to convey the value of a passionate lean approach, even outside of his own industry, perhaps best summed up by his sage advice: “just fix what bugs you!” We would all benefit from such clear direction.
– Principal, BOULDER ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS |Design Leaders for Health & Aging
When listening to Paul speak you cannot help but be drawn into his incredible world, with unrivalled passion and enthusiasm he keeps you on the edge of your seat as simplifies the routine of daily life into that complete wow moment when you realise that you’ve been doing it all wrong! With an amazing timbre to his voice and his arms gesticulating wildly you cannot fail to be inspired into action this day. Listening to Paul speak is like tripping over your own feet in slow motion… you can kind of see how all the little things come together to make the end result and you end up smacking your head and thinking ‘If only I’d have slowed down and looked where I was going, it’s so simple I was just too busy going fast to see it!
– Owner, Klime-Ezee
Paul Akers is my favorite brand of business speaker–one that’s been there, done that and made it work! Better still, he has the unique gift to artfully and enthusiastically help his audiences see the possibilities and get there, too.
– Author, “Leaders Ought To Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership”,
Paul Akers spoke to hundreds of my lean leaders and practitioners, and they absolutely loved him! His message was personal, practical, and powerful. Everyone, without exception, came away with deeper insights into lean, and the leadership that brings it to life.
– Director, The Maryland World Class Consortia
Paul came to speak at a panel of senior Israeli Air Force officers as well as at an executive form at Ort Braude College.
His eloquence, his winning personality, his passion for Lean, and the many examples that Paul gave easily won the hearts of his audience. Impressive, pleasant, modest, and very experienced with Lean. Thank you Paul, we very much enjoyed spending time with you.
– CEO, Lean Israel
Paul has an amazing gift that he so graciously shares. HIs ability to get right to the essence helped our company in ways that no other Lean expert has been able to do. Everyone immediately gets the concept of “fix what bugs you.” With Paul’s help, we have been able to take our Lean journey in a whole new direction. I am forever thankful.
– VP Learning and People Development, Linbeck Group
I had the pleasure of cohosting an educational seminar at the World of Concrete 2015 and Paul rocked the house. Paul’s passion and humility was extremely well received and his entertaining and enlightening presentation dovetailed perfectly with the other presenters and especially with our eclectic audience. I enthusiastically recommend Paul and his book 2 Second Lean to all those interested or practicing Lean at any level. He truly is the Lean Machine.
– General Superintendent, BNBuilders
Paul did a terrific job engaging a very diverse audience of Lean enthusiasts at Discover. He used a steady stream of videos, anecdotes, and stories to simplify concepts around Lean and Six Sigma. His ability to keep a room full of people focused on topics (even when not applicable to our industry) was impressive. We would love to have Paul come back at a future date and speak to large groups because of his ability to take a complex concept and relate it to individuals – to empower them to make changes almost immediately.
– Manager, Discover Lean Group, Discover
What a powerful presentation! The ideas are life-changing and Paul does such a great job explaining and sharing examples to drive home the point. Would recommend him to everyone!
– Member Recruitment Specialist, Convene
Anyone who is lucky enough to see Paul speak will leave feeling excited about the possibilities that lean can offer. His simple approach to explaining lean and the benefits you can gain within your company are well worth it. Paul Akers has changed the way we think and operate as a company. Thank you Paul.
– Marketing Manager, CHANDOS
Lean is about people. Paul AKerss is definitely about people and one of the key points that we can miss with lean and that we should really listen to is a simple message that Paul delivers…lean is about not overlooking the obvious. So many times we can improve and it’s right there in front of us and we miss the obvious. It is so obvious we over think it. Paul Akers is a must see, must hear, and then must act on the message that changes your life. your organization’s life and it will be the most fun journey you can take at work. It is that simple
– President, Vibco