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May 2022 Menlo Bits


Menlo CEO Rich Sheridan Becomes a Member of the Shingo Academy
Congratulations Rich!

On May 19th, Menlo co-founders Rich Sheridan and James Goebel attended the 34th Annual Shingo Conference Awards Gala where Rich was inducted as a Shingo Academy Member. Membership in the Shingo Academy is an honor bestowed upon individuals who exemplify a lifetime commitment to organizational excellence, which is evident by their recognized corporate and thought leadership.

After learning of his nomination, Rich shared his sentiments with the team:
"This is quite an honor. You all helped make this happen. Thank you. This is one of those awards where you are selected by others. There is no application or any way to express interest and it came as quite a surprise. While my name will be on the award, it is absolutely an accomplishment of my co-founder's vision for the company."

The Shingo Institute supports organizations' journeys to organizational excellence through executive education, world-class recognition, and research based on the Shingo Model™, which illustrates how creating organizational culture around principles and linking them to business systems and tools drives sustainable improvement and long-term results.

View other Shingo Academy Members, or learn more about the Shingo Academy.

Photo Credit: Norbert Majerus


How to Be a Compassionate Manager in a Heartless Organization
Being a compassionate leader is being a good leader.

At Menlo, our culture is no secret. In fact, we openly share our principles and practices with the rest of the world to work towards our mission to End Human Suffering in the World as it Relates to Technology, which we know we can’t accomplish alone. However, we understand that organizations can’t change their culture overnight, especially larger organizations. The first question we often hear is: 'where to start?', and it starts with you.

In this article by the Harvard Business Review, they explore ways you can manage your team with compassion, even when the rest of the leadership hasn’t bought into this philosophy. Explore these 6 strategies that can help you be a compassionate leader and maybe even convince some of your less-compassionate colleagues that they can do better.

  • Work out your own robust, business-focused definition of compassion
  • Model self-awareness and self-regulation
  • Recognize that you can never be everything to everyone
  • Deliver business results
  • Demonstrate the importance of accomplishment and accountability
  • Support your people through awareness and advocacy

Read the full article here!


"Do you guys always pair?" Yes - Even at 5K Races!

Over the weekend, four Menlonians attended the 2022 Washtenaw County Heart and Stroke Walk & 5K. In the classic Menlo fashion, we ended up pairing with two speedy team members finishing early and two others finishing a little later! While the race might be over, you can still donate or learn more about the cause here.


Lead with Joy Workshop
We'd love to meet your team!

This immersive experience is led by our CEO and Chief Storyteller, Rich Sheridan, and explores some very specific and practical ways to change the course of leadership in your organization to one that focuses on increasing the human energy, engagement and results of your teams. This two-day course uses compelling, hands-on activities to explore the values of joyful leaders and the practices required to build a culture of joyful leadership. We've recently hosted teams from Germany, Taiwan, Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, and soon Guatemala. We're currently offering in-person private workshops for groups of 10-15, with virtual and hybrid options still available. If interested, reach out to us at experience@menloinnovations.com to start the conversation! 


Satisfaction Guaranteed: How Zingerman's Built a Corner Deli into a Global Food Community

Author: Micheline Maynard

Recommended by: Lisa Ho, Menlo Project Manager

"Certain businesses are legendary, exerting immense influence in their field. Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is one of those places. Its flagship deli has expanded into a community of more than a dozen businesses, including a hugely successful mail order operation, restaurants, a bakery, coffee roastery, creamery, candy maker, and event spaces - transforming Ann Arbor into a destination for food lovers." (from the book jacket)

Many of these businesses hold a special place in my heart. Zingerman's Coffee Company and Zingerman's Bakehouse are often stops for our family on a Saturday morning - sitting in the courtyard each enjoying a drink and a treat to start the weekend. For me, it is always a Café con Miel and a few Kifli Almond cookies. I can almost taste them right now! Thanks to Menlo, I've had the chance to take Zingerman's workshop on visioning - a delightful and inspiring experience. I've taken family visiting from out of town to enjoy the deliciousness of the Roadhouse and the Deli. I've learned how to bake a scrumptious Blueberry Buckle while attending a Zingerman's baking class as part of a co-worker, Kealy's, bridal shower. 

The experiences I have had at Zingerman's are always positive, special, and involve something delicious. This book itself was a treat as it gave me a peek behind the curtain at Zingerman's Community of Businesses (ZCoB). Micheline starts this book by sharing the history of the business and the principles that guide it. She then takes you on a tour of the different businesses, how they are run, and what it's like to work at Zingerman's. She shares how Zingerman's made it through the pandemic and what changes ZCoB envisions for the future. 

My favorite part about this book was learning how ZCoB is structured and runs. From how they hire and train new team members, to how they grow each business, to how they grow new leaders. It isn't often that you get such a transparent and generous view into another organization. They are very open about their inner workings and Micheline is a great tour guide.

I hope you get a chance to read this book, and also, if you find yourself at the Bakehouse, be sure to check out the Almond Kifli!

Get a copy for yourself here!

Transparent Feedback

Hi! I’m a software developer, a Menlonian of 18 years, and I’m running a feedback experiment. As a Principal Consultant, an important part of my role is to teach and grow the team's abilities to support the business. My observations about my pair partners provides insight that helps inform scheduling decisions, placing team members on projects that allow for growth.

I found myself on the receiving end of some feedback I wasn’t sure how to respond to - the Project Managers wanted to hear more from me on team members’ learning, growth, and where they need support to improve. Through my time at Menlo, I have learned to give and receive feedback, but have felt conflicted about sharing information about team members to others. To be honest it felt a bit like tattle-taling. I really wanted to come up with a way to share my feedback that was transparent, didn’t compromise my integrity, or the confidence of the receiver. I also needed a way to provide the feedback that wasn’t time consuming yet gave me the time to really think about the feedback.

For the past few months I have been experimenting with writing up feedback for my pair partner to share with the Project Managers. After I have paired with a person, I take thirty minutes, alone, to draft an email with my positive and constructive feedback. The next day I review the email draft with the person, discuss my thoughts and ask them if they’d like to change anything before I send it to the Project Managers. So far, my pair partners have been comfortable with my write up and I was able to send it with no edits. With this process I have been able to give feedback in a way that feels good and true to everyone, especially myself.

- Kealy W.



Menlo Bits

The Menlo Bits is Menlo's monthly newsletter, filled with all the latest in science and technology trends as well as what's been happening at Menlo.