Pace of Change (Manufacturing vs Chemicals)

Oct 21, 2019 11:27:05 AM / by John Cockburn-Evans posted in Digital, Organisation, agile

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Change is happening at exponential rates. This has happening for some time. The world of manufacturing is moving quickly, and  technology even quicker. We have AI and IOT influencing Industry 4.0 but the pace at which technology is changing, is way beyond that the adoption rate , particularly in certain industries.

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Win-Win The Power of Energy

Sep 26, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Aspire2bLean2015 posted in Lean

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There is a lot of talk about win-win, but what does this really mean, and how to we get to this holy grail in our work or negotiations. It is critical that we get the results we desire to move forward. I have given this thought, and tried to put this in my own context such that I can perform appropriately. People talk of conflict ,confrontation, alignment, agreement, resolution. 

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Strategy & KPIs - Busting the Myths

Sep 18, 2019 10:30:00 AM / by John Cockburn-Evans posted in Productivity, Organisation, KPI, strategy

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Senior leaders have been wrestling with strategy for years. There has been a trend over the last few decades of linking metrics to strategy. This has obvious benefits, but  can be counter productive. An article in the September issue of the HBR highlights an example, where this has gone spectacularly wrong. Wells Fargo was an extreme example of where using metrics to drive sales induced staff to setup deposit and credit card accounts without the client consent.There were significant fines, reimbursement of fees and the consequent loss of reputation.

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Strategy founded by Vision, People Engagement & Cultural Shift

Sep 9, 2019 11:00:00 AM / by Aspire2blean posted in Lean, Productivity, culture, Organisation

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There is  considerable debate about strategy, both ongoing or as part of a new initiative or launch . Company or project strategy needs to linked, or support the "Vision" . It can take time to build a strategy, especially if you are working in a complex environment, multiple inputs and/or multiple stakeholders. If we want to achieve ROI on our strategy, it needs to be understandable , drive employee engagement, involve an element of cultural transformation and be executable. The cultural transformation is the hardest piece, because this will require individuals to change. People are creatures of habit, and don't like change. Significant change always pushes people out side their  personal comfort zones. There is an argument that says we can get our strategy to fit our current  culture, but there is a high chance in the rapidly changing market place, we will end up sub optimising our strategy. I recently heard a great quote in a presentation, "Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast".

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Diesel

Sep 6, 2019 11:00:00 AM / by Aspire2blean posted in Lean

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Some interesting reflections on the use of "Diesel" in recent debates. Considerable negative press around particulates and NOx. There is no doubt that fumes and particulates can harm the lungs, and that we still do not fully understand the impacts of these. However, diesel engines are very efficient and power the worlds transportation, whether it be marine engines, train traction units or HGV. The unit fuel consumption per item delivered is considerably lower than that of petrol, even for road transportation. Because diesel involves less refining, the production costs vs. petrol are also lower, and thus the impact on the carbon footprint. The point here is to look at diesel from a "Lean" perspective, i.e the value add quotient.

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The Difference Between Performing Organisations & Great Ones

Sep 5, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Aspire2blean posted in Business, Corporation, Environment, Lean, Operations, Sustainability, Process, Productivity

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I am always amazed at what improvement potential there is for organisations, even profitable and well established ones. There is a perception that they are well down their "Lean" Journey and have made significant improvements, whether it be through technology or process development. Organisations are rarely as well developed as they think they are, so of course this breeds complacency. Maintaining the improvement "hunger" is a real challenge in large companies.

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The Difference Between Performing Organisations & Great Ones

Sep 3, 2019 2:00:00 PM / by Aspire2blean posted in Business, Corporation, Environment, Lean, Operations, Sustainability, Process, Productivity

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I am always amazed at what improvement potential there is for organisations, even profitable and well established ones. There is a perception that they are well down their "Lean" Journey and have made significant improvements, whether it be through technology or process development. Organisations are rarely as well developed as they think they are, so of course this breeds complacency. Maintaining the improvement "hunger" is a real challenge in large companies.

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Juggling Work - Thinking Lean

Aug 30, 2019 11:00:00 AM / by John Cockburn-Evans posted in Task, waste, Organisation, agile

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There is  a considerable amount of material on how to be more personally effective.  This is a hot topic as the world becomes more complex, there are greater expectations on individuals  and timelines are getting shorter. 

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Productivity Inhibits Curiosity

Aug 29, 2019 2:00:00 PM / by Aspire2blean posted in Business, curiosity, Environment, Lean, Sustainability, Uncategorised, Process, Productivity

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In the line of work I do, there is a constant drive for productivity and efficiency. This clearly has its benefits, but it can be a hidden hindrance. As we rush to clear our job lists, key activities and work to have impact with our strategic goals, we have very little time to step back. This may sound obvious, and the principles of effective time management are well established, but what are the unintended consequences of this "hurried" or "rushed" state we create for ourselves? I use the word "ourselves" because even though our plates are filled by others, we have the power to control our environs. 

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Productivity - Don't sweat the Easy Stuff

Aug 27, 2019 10:00:00 AM / by Aspire2blean posted in Business, Lean, Operations, Saving, Task, Productivity

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When we are looking at  Productivity, we have a tendency to approach the easy stuff first.  There is nothing wrong with getting  "Quick Wins" in any  Operational Excellence Programme, especially if you are trying to get traction in a new programme, by demonstrating the power of the system. However, there is a danger that we get ourselves into "Tick Box" mode, and we end up working through check lists. This means  that we delay tackling the big issues, as we think we are making progress. This is not surprising as humans have what are known as cognitive biases. These are psychological states that can affect our rational thought processes and our ability to look at data objectively. There are many documented biases ranging  from 15 to 20 in number. In this particular case we are talking about "Task Completion Bias", which gives us the sense of  achievement when we view a 70% or similar complete  list. A recent two year study of 90,000 patients in the hospital emergency rooms, showed doctors not necessarily choosing the patients on the basis of the severity of their condition, which should be the primary focus. They were falling into this bias trap (HBR Paper - Task Selection & Workload)

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