Strike While the Iron is Hot! 2

Strike While the Iron is Hot!
Many of us have heard these mantras (or some version of them): “People like change, but nobody wants to change” or “People want to do change, but don’t want change done to them” I live in a home with 5 adults, three children, two dogs, six chicken and a cat.  Needless to say, there are ...

Challenges With Data 1

Challenges With Data
A recent article in Harvard Business Review calls to attention some of the challenges inherent in analyzing Human Resources data.  The writer, Peter Cappelli, points out that analysis of HR data is hampered by a variety of factors including legal issues encountered when crossing international borders, lack of abundant data, and a sense that not ...

Improve Your 6M Analysis 1

Improve Your 6M Analysis
Can a tool forced to fit a catchy acronym actually work? I’ve lately found myself conducting a lot of 6M analyses…  You know, the Ishikawa/Cause & Effect Diagram/Fishbone Analysis.  It is a great tool to look a little deeper into the causes of problems.  It can be used to do root cause analysis, or it ...

Change, Buy-In, and How Aristotle Taught Continuous Improvement 1

Change, Buy-In, and How Aristotle Taught Continuous Improvement
At its heart, Continuous Improvement requires persuasive communication skills.  This is because of the inherent resistance to change that all change agents encounter. Make no mistake: people don’t want to change.  If they did, tobacco manufacturers would have gone the way of the dodo many decades ago.  But people like their bad habits, no matter ...

The 5S Fly-by 1

The 5S Fly-by
Continuous Improvement is challenging.  It seems some days as if there just isn’t enough time, and although there is a never-ending list of improvement opportunities some days you just can’t seem to get anything done.  But there is something you can do about it.  I call it the “5S Fly-by”. A 5S Fly-by can be ...

Make It Important 2

Make It Important
In any change leadership situation, it can be challenging to get buy-in from the people involved.  This is especially true when changing culture. There are many ways to approach this challenge in Continuous Process Improvement.  Involving those affected by the change in the decision-making process is incredibly important, as is communication of expectations. Quite possibly ...

How Respect Influences Engagement 2

How Respect Influences Engagement
I recently conducted a 5S workshop and encountered what is commonly referred to as “the frozen middle” (mid-level managers who, either intentionally or unintentionally impede change).  While working with my team to design our new process flow, a member of our front-line leadership team walked past us and commented that our design “would never work” ...

Do These 4 Steps In Order And Win 1

Do These 4 Steps In Order And Win
Shigeo Shingo is well-known in Continuous Process Improvement, and his ideas permeate much of what is accomplished in the CPI arena.  One of my favorite ideas that came from him follows in the quote below, and it can be a big help to you if you are seeking direction in how to approach your Lean ...

3 Easy Steps to Negative Feedback – Gently! 1

3 Easy Steps to Negative Feedback - Gently!
You always have opportunity to give feedback to team members.  Usually it will be good feedback.  Occasionally, you will have to give negative feedback.  Here is an easy way to soften the blow when delivering negative feedback: Start with a positive -Emphasize something the team member has done well. -Be sincere, not fluffy.  Don’t “blow ...

Who Is On Your Team? 2

Who Is On Your Team?
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe… As a project team leader, you already know the skills you want on your project team.  Sure, you want a process expert.  And “outside eyes” (someone who knows nothing about the process) is a great person to have as well.  You also want a representative from each major function involved in ...