Friday, November 10, 2017

Oppsss the wheels fell off your lean initiative?

Lean is a powerful tool for improvement. But beyond just tools, lean can introduce a way of thinking that will revolutionize results. The step change in throughput and profitability can be nothing short of jaw dropping.

Most people have heard of Lean Manufacturing. It was made famous by the success of Toyota.

In recent years, Lean thinking has extended into the office, health care, construction, engineering design and even government administration.

Most companies that try lean start by taking some basic training. Or hiring some outside consulting expertise. They learn some tools and key concepts that they can apply in their workplaces. They see a few wins as the participants find the "low hanging fruit". It’s almost too easy at first. I mean after all, this stuff is just common sense!

Then they hit a dry spell. It could be six months in, or years later. The wheels fall off. People fall back into old habits. They’re late to meetings, they don’t actively participate in problem solving, and they roll their eyes every time you say “gemba”. Action boards are no longer up to date, missed goals do not spur action. The excitement is gone. And so is your team's ability to meet commitments.

Now what do you do? Click here to keep reading …

Thursday, August 17, 2017

This Changes Everything

I was channel surfing again the other day - good thing my wife was not home - she'd have grabbed that remote right out of my hand.

I stumbled across this history story about, of all things, the automotive industry. It talked about how it all got started and, more interestingly, how this industry has changed the shape of the world.

Then I got to thinking about other products that have revolutionized and redefined our world and more importantly, our lifestyle. I starting thinking about how now, YOU can change our world …

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Looking at it backwards

Tuesday insights ...

I spent the long weekend reading a new book. May long weekend lived up to its reputation - rain, rain, rain. So while everyone declared "movie day" and headed to the big screen in the basement, I got comfortable on the couch with the kindle reader on the ipad.

An interesting quote from Aristotle in this book stood out in my mind -

the mark of an educated mind is being able to entertain a thought without adopting it.

That thought adequately described this book. Lots of ideas to challenge the mind - perhaps a few to adopt.

For years I've been advising folks that the best place to get started is by just doing something - like the Nike moto, Just do it. The deeper meaning here is that you will discover a way to solve your problem by simply jumping in and working on it. Many get stuck in analysis paralysis and they never get to actually working on the problem.

Well, it turns out there is a "Do Something Principle". This principle says that action drives inspiration and inspiration drives motivation.

That sounds backwards. Most of us commit to action only if we feel a certain level of motivation. And we feel motivated only when we feel emotionally inspired. If you want to accomplish something, but you don't feel motivated or inspired, you're screwed.

Turns out that's just wrong. If you want to learn to play the piano, but are not inspired to take lessons or lack the motivation to practice, just play. The more you play, the more you become inspired to learn. And that inspiration motivates you to practice and take lessons.

If you're trying to write a book, but you have writers block, just start writing stuff. The simple act of writing will inspire great thoughts and motivate you to get to work on the book.

It seems counter intuitive - even backwards, but it works. And that is the premise in this book - that the reason we don't get to where we want to be is that we are working at the wrong stuff and looking at things the wrong way.

So just do it. Get started on what it is that you want to do. By getting started, you'll be inspired to create a way to make what you want a reality. It all starts with taking action.

Want more information about this? Send me an email and I'll tell you where to get this book I'm reading.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Does Lean Not Work?

So I did this quick Google search "lean does not work" - 3.9 million results. It seems it is not working. Or at least people are talking about that.

When you dig deep, there are really only a few companies that can be considered lean. Many that embark on a lean journey seem to dabble with the tools, when it is convenient. The effort fades with time.

What most fail to recognize is that lean is a philosophy, not just a bunch of tools. And most leaders either do not understand its value or do not have the patience and discipline to implement it.

Slow, steady continuous improvement does not lead to immediate recognition, quick promotions or soaring share prices. It's no silver bullet solution. Successful implementation requires something that is very rare in both people and organizations: constancy of purpose.

Click to continue reading

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lean On Me

When I was a young boy, my Mom taught me how to ride a bike. At first I was terrified … "Don't let go".

She held the back of my seat and walked along beside me. Then, as time went on, she started letting go. Right before I would fall, she'd grab the bike to steady me.

Then one day, she just let me fall.

Here's Why ...


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Insight over coffee.

A large coffee at Timmy's, Canada's favorite coffee stop is 2 bucks. 

I like to take my clients out for lunch or coffee. Of course, it's your turn to buy. The soup and sandwiches at Tim's are cheap and quickly fill the void. And it provides a break from work life's constant demands to explore what's been happening, how they responded, what's been tried and where the struggles are. Barriers come down over food and drink. In a few moments together we develop a strategy for progress before our next session. 

The consistent three barriers to progress? Click here to continue … 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Want Freedom? Start With Systems!

Most businesses run by rote. Someone knows how to do each task. That person teaches the new guy. If you are a small business, you're likely that guy or gal.

Sorry to be the one to tell you, but that's not scale-able. If you are going to grow your business and enlist help to get things done AND ensure that things get done the way you want them done, you'll have to create systems.

It may feel slightly ridiculous to write out a step-by-step procedure for the simple tasks you do. But when you do this, you'll thank me the day you bring on hired help. You'll already have the basic outline for your operating manual.

Here's how to get started quickly and easily (and with a system)

NBI - Making sense of business improvement - Blogged