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the learning laboratory at the end of the universe...

John F. Zavacki

Steinstrasse 1A
32052 Herford

+49 15119319143


Summary of Experience:

Over twenty years of leadership in continuous process and performance improvement, leadership, and technical management and visioning. I have experience in the computer, automotive, water technologies, and defense industries developing and deploying the philosophies and methodologies of organizational learning, systems thinking and lean and six sigma tools.


Employment History:

January 2007-Present: The Systems Thinking Group, Founder and Principal Consultant

In January 2007 I founded The Systems Thinking Group in order to dedicate more of my time to researching the deep cultural interactions within international organizations.  Concentrating on my experiences in integrating acquisitions I began outlining the key issues in ensuring both technical and cultural clarity needed in the global organization.  This resulted in the Systems Thinking Group's approach to using both Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in establishing Quality Systems which ensure customer satisfaction and a culture of Kaizen-Continuous Improvement.

April 2006-December 2006:

Contract Project: Acquisition Integration

Organizational Development and Training , ITT Corporation, Fluid Technology, Advanced Water Treatment, HQ, Charlotte, NC, USA

Responsible for planning and execution of a Sales and Technical Cross-Training program using Six Sigma methodology to support the Value Center realignment efforts and increase the knowledge and competencies of the sales and technical force to further the goal of becoming a complete solutions provider to our customer base.

Develop, document, and deliver technical training in alignment with the ITT Management System.

2004-April 2006:

Contract Project: Acquisition Integration

Value Based Lean Six Sigma (VBSS) Representative, ITT Industries Fluid Technology, Advanced Water Treatment, Wedeco, Herford, DE

Responsible for planning and oversight of the training of Black Belts and Green Belts, project selection and resource allocation, coaching and mentoring management in VBSS (including Value-based Management, Value Based Goal Deployment, Leadership, and Lean Enterprise). Conduct regular reviews of project management, formal Gate Reviews of progress, and the management of complex projects.

Create Value Stream Maps and Total Cycle Time Reduction roadmaps in conjunction with the Strategic Planning Process in order to ensure that project selection is in line with strategic and operating agendas. Lead Kaizen Events and coach teams in process improvement methodologies.

Assisted in the development of the ITT Value-Based Lean Six Sigma Champion Training Program. Participated in training of Champions as well as delivery of the Executive Lean training program.

2000 to 2004: Value Based Lean Six Sigma Champion, ITT Industries Fluid Handling Systems, Auburn Hills, MI

Shared responsibility for thirty Black Belts at 14 facilities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Responsible for the selection and assignment of projects, ensuring cultural acceptance of the six sigma, lean production, and product development strategies of the Corporation through effective leadership and continuous learning.

July, 2001 to February, 2002 Temporary assignment assisting the European management team of FHS in improving their quality systems and coaching the European Champion in implementing VBSS.

1997 to 2000: Quality and IT Manager, ITT Industries Fluid Handling Systems, New Lexington, OH

Responsible for QS9000, APQP, automotive EDI systems development and improvement. The New Lexington team effected a PPM improvement from 300+ to 11 during this timeframe while reducing the size of the work force and increasing through lean manufacturing techniques. Developed a curriculum for effective team building using materials from Covey, Deming, Imai, integrating principle centered leadership, gemba kaizen, and lean six sigma tools.

1995 to 1997: Consultant, The Wolff Group, Clarks Summit, PA

Responsible for internal Quality and IT metrics as well as leading projects for our customers in IT, Quality, Lean Manufacturing, and Leadership/Training/Continuous Improvement.

1994 to 1995: Director of Planning and Improvement, Suckle Corporation, Scranton, PA

Introduced cellular manufacturing, rapid prototyping, reorganized manufacturing, implemented kan ban and one-piece flow in Computer Division, manufacturing custom cabinets for Intel’s OEM organization.

1993 to 1994: Operations Manager Suckle Corporation, Scranton, PA. Reorganized Quality and Production organizations to fix responsibility for Advanced Quality Planning, production scheduling. Eliminated backlog and attained 98% on-time delivery.

1990 to 1993: Quality and IT Manager, Suckle Corporation, Scranton, PA

During this time, we took the company from $17 to $48 million in revenue, implemented ISO 9001, used the Baldrige Award Criteria to monitor progress toward six sigma (IBM model) quality, and reduced PPM from 98,000 to 211. Took the management team into Agile Manufacturing as a member of the Agile Web and participants in Lehigh University and the Iaccoca Institute’s cutting edge Agile Manufacturing Network.

1980 to 1990: Quality Engineer, Chamberlain Manufacturing Corporation, Scranton, PA

Mil-Q-9858, gage design, project management. I began working with this government contractor as a technical writer and went on to become an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer and SPC expert, writing a position paper on SPC for the Army which became the basis for the Section E contract clause for SPC.


PhD Program: Cognitive Psychology/Linguistics, Penn State University (no degree)

MA Linguistics Penn State University

BA Linguistics Penn State University

Graduate Level Management and Statistics Courses University of Scranton


Certified Quality Engineer, ASQ

Value Based Six Sigma Champion, The George Group/ITT Industries







Other Experience:

Lecturer in Russian Language, Marywood University

Professor of Russian, St. Tikhon’s Russian Orthodox Seminary

Automobile Mechanic

Professional Development and Accomplishments:

Certified Value Based Six Sigma Champion

Senior Member, American Society for Quality

Certified Quality Engineer, ASQ

Vice Chair, Business, Industry and Consulting, ASQ Education Division (1990-1994)

Advanced Statistical Process Control, Hromy Center, RIT

Process Improvement through Project Management and Simulation, Hromy Center, RIT

ISO 9000 Lead Assessor Training, BSI

QS9000, APQP Training, Easterm Michigan University

Additional Skills:

Measuring System Analysis

Measuring System Design

Mechanical gage design

Design and integration of CMM/CNC equipment and data collection systems

Intranet and Portal Design and implementation



copyright 2007: john zavacki (the elder)