Posted by Walt Lubinec on June 8, 2014
Have you checked the time recently? In order to manage the sparse resource of time we all check the time often. It keeps us focused and helps us measure the where we are compared to the resource allotted. Making long term and short term goals which become reality because of constant comparison between what is desired and how far along the journey we have traveled.
Everyday we use measurements in our jobs, the most successful people use them in their personal life also. In sports we need the score in order to measure success, in business it is no different. What is different is often the measurements are made over longer periods of time and are not directly relatable to an individual’s or even a team’s performance. Working on the factory floor, revenue through selling a product can seem obscure when it is something produced months ago. Even more often we drown in measurements, convinced we must control everything an avalanche of measurements dilute the purpose of those metrics. Our intention is to create indicators which empower both management and associates alike to daily evolve operations to decrease costs, investments needed and increase productivity.
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Posted by Walt Lubinec on April 25, 2014
For the past 50 years, technological advances have dramatically increased productivity of manufacturing and business in general. No doubt there are many more tools that will impact operations; the most recent are centered on communications inside and outside of organizations. Collaboration tools have emerged and although significant research has been done, improving the process by which people interact in business is too often left to chance. If interaction is poor the common reaction is to replace individual team members rather than facilitating better team processes.
Research has focused more around individual personality types than full group dynamics. The answer to this is simple there are far more variables so making order out of the chaos of team creativity is difficult to pin down. Eli Goldratt in his book, The Goal, discusses how control of all aspects of a complex process is not needed in order to make it more productive. What one must do is “maintain the flow”; this same approach is best used when improving the group dynamic and encouraging team creativity. A few basic principles can be applied so that the “flow” of creativity can be increased.
In the next entries we will discuss what those principles are in order to bring out the best in your team!
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Posted by Walt Lubinec on October 10, 2013
When are we behaving like Goliath but are actually David? Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath starts with the classic story. It gives us a new perspective of why David won; Goliath strong and conditioned for hand to hand combat expects David to fight on his terms. David fights on his terms; used to defending his flock from mountain lions and bears with his sling so that he is conditioned for projectile attacks. We all know the outcome of that battle.
As a small business owner do you feel constrained because you can’t afford massive TV campaigns and national print advertising like your large competitors? Would that even help? Many of us do business locally and so building a network of local referral sources is far more valuable than someone in Portland Oregon knowing about your great laundromat or financial services business?
What does is mean to influence others in such a way that they catch the spark and burn for your offering similar to the way you burn? Is that forming a relationship, is that becoming a team?
In this space we will explore ways, both digital and real time in creating stronger teams inside and outside your organization. The three main constituents to forming strong teams are as follows:
1. An appropriate metric.
2. Collaborative atmosphere
3. Limited resources
A few quick notes on the first tenant, an appropriate metric; how do you know when the team is moving the right direction. That said measurements can easily be focused upon short term gains sacrificing long term growth. Secondly, measurements need to make sense for the entire system, if you focus efforts too locally it can also adversely effect the organization. Think of the strength of a chain, the weakest link, versus the weight of a chain – adding the weight of each link. With all this focus on the entire system, measurements still need to make sense for the individual – how do you know you did a good job at the end of the day. One of my favorite clients once slowed down one of his machines and set a new production record in the process!
So what’s important to you, what is a good measurement that can be checked often enough that you see movement?
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Posted by Walt Lubinec on August 13, 2013
What do Walt Disney, John Belushi, and Cancer Surgeon Atul Gwande have in common? They all learned and used the rules of improvisation to release creativity for team based solutions. A collaborative and creative environment can be created on purpose. Walt Disney needed many ideas and had to manage teams to be able to produce movies, theme parks, and all the innovative solutions like animatronics. Disney engineers are called Imagineers because of their unique solutions. John Belushi was funny alone but even more successful when playing off his fellow Second City team members to create unforgettable comedy. Atul Gwande implemented the same rules in the form of checklists for team creation with surgical personnel who never worked together before, radically reducing surgical caused fatalities.
Is your business constantly evolving, if not it is falling behind. Solving your customer’s problems is what your business does. It can be done with higher quality, less cost, and higher profit if you unleash the power of Solution Teams within your business. We have all witnessed it; when one idea sparked another and another until your team had something really workable, something that any individual member of the group may not have come up with but together it just happened. Let’s work together to create the skills and conditions so that your team can work at their highest potential and make your business work better in the process.
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