MARK DELUZIO is the principle architect of Danaher Business System (DBS) and considered the father of Lean Accounting. He is known as a pioneer of Lean and the principal architect of the Danaher Business System (DBS)—serves as a trusted adviser to senior leaders in global organizations whose financial and operation metrics have flatlined. Leveraging his unmatched and inventive experience, Mark helps them think differently about how to optimize their approach system-wide. For his winning record in transforming companies and facilitating non-zero- sum game deals,


Deluzio’s book Flatlined is a summary of what he teaches to firms to help improve waste reduction in their business and to keep their Lean method from flatlining or failing to increase, thus creating continuous improvement (Kaizen). Some of what he has learned and passes on to the reader comes from the originators of Toyota Production System in Japan.

Flatlined also emphases that Lean should be utilized as a competitive weapon ideally and not so much a strategy. What’s more he stresses that Lean needs to be indoctrinated into one’s business thinking and culture so that it impacts the organization as a whole.


Deluzio’s Flatlined documents what he has found to be consistent reasons a company will flatline after a decade or more, even after using Lean in their initial set up. Because a very high percentage of companies see Lean mainly as a cost reduction tool, Deluzio outlines what he has found to be the primary reasons for failure, He goes on to explain the thinking behind what happens in these instances, case studies, and solutions to overcome a flatlined state and get back on track.

“Instead of providing a cookie-cutter approach to establishing a Lean program from scratch in a newly formed organization, this book will help you make needed changes to what already exists because it isn’t working anymore.” – Deluzio, Flatlined

Deluzio speaks of how often leadership distances itself from the problem when in actuality they contribute to the problem. He emphasizes that Lean involves considering customers, employees and shareholders in order for it to be successful and offers five simple steps to the solution. “The more employees are involved in kaizen events, the more satisfied they are with their jobs.”

I found the book Flatlined extremely well written. Deluzio presents his facts clearly in a precise format that is easily followed. Each chapter goes into detail as to the why, how and finally concludes with a solution. Flatlined, presents several excellent case studies throughout the book which demonstrate his arguments and he has added bold graphs that illustrate his data. Deluzio summarizes all his chapters and at the end and in addition, he presents questions that the reader can present to their leadership in forums so they can discuss improving the Lean stratagem in their company.


What I think I liked most about Flatlined is that Deluzio introduces a human element to his concepts. His comment, “Always relate back to real life,” holds weight in this world. If all businesses took these factors into consideration, not only would production increase, but the workplace would run smoother, product would be finer, and employees would be happier.

I recommend this book for anyone who needs a boost in their business and are considering the Lean method to get there.

D.L. Gardner posted by Garth Thomas