About Len

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Biography of Leonard Bertain, Ph. D.

Leonard Bertain is a founding partner at the War on Waste Academy, an Internet knowledge-based business. The business was developed with Craig Humphreys to convert and deliver the classroom program version into an Internet deliverable product.

They recently launched the product with the successful adoption by a number of Fortune 100 companies. In a career spanning over 30 years, “Len” Bertain has coached over 150 CEOs to help them understand and correct inefficiencies and lost profits in their business by teaching them how to solve business problems profitably. He created the well-known “War on Waste” program, a preeminent Lean Business tool, to guide leadership teams through the problem solving process.

He is an author of five books on Problem Solving and a frequent speaker to CEO groups. Since its inception, the War on Waste program has generated over $1 Billion in first-year profits from over 10,000 ideas, all generated by client company employees. The companies involved in the War on Waste have been as small as 10 people with Fortune 100 companies at the other extreme.

His books include:

  • “How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days” – a detailed description of the problem solving steps that need to be taken to implement a successful program.
  • “The War on Waste Paradox” – this is a story of a worker who experiences the War on Waste as a problem solving program while the owner of the business has to unravel the meaning of the “Paradox” noted in the books title.
  • War on Waste Innovation” – we use a number of terms, phrases and concepts that are unique and we put a different spin on them than most. This is our encyclopedia of those terms.
  • “The Tribal Knowledge Paradigm” – Early on we recognized that a different management paradigm was needed to run a Problem Solving Culture. And that is what we have done in this book: we have defined the characteristics of that organization and explain how we arrived at our organizational design of it.
  • “5/67 Problem Solving: How to solve Wicked Problems…correctly” – This is our definitive book on our approach to 5/67 Thinking as the foundation to effective problem solving.

These books can be found at http://www.lenbertainsbooks.com. In 1994, he founded the Institute for Productivity and, in 1999, CEO University, both based in San Francisco, CA. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Nevada with Thesis in Low Energy Physics and a B.S. in Physics and Math from St. Mary’s College of California. He lives in Piedmont, California with his wife and has 3 grown sons and 10 grandchildren.

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