CHAPTER 2

Creating a Sense of Excitement

IN 1999, Lion Brothers faced a serious challenge. Like many other firms, this leading manufacturer of apparel brand identification and decoration products had to find a way to correct the “Y2K” computer glitch that threatened to disrupt its information system with the coming of the New Year. As the company’s leaders searched for a solution, they realized that far more could be done than applying the straightforward software upgrade that was originally envisioned. Bit by bit, they grew in their understanding of lean business practices—and realized that it was time to rethink their very way of doing business.

For much of its one hundred–year history, this family-owned business, headquartered in Baltimore, ...

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