Exciting news for Aspire2BLean, We have just taken office space in the centre of Birmingham , so we can support the vibrant Midlands economy and manufacturing sector. We will still
This is an expanding question because it encompasses everything we do. I have to stay mindful with my work, such that I don't get buried in the historical roots of lean manufacturing. At Aspire2BLean, we analyse the business situation and provide solutions for the traditional process wastes, but also look at the innate connections with energy losses, effluent and inefficient business processes. We are now looking at the digital interfaces and aspects of our daily work.
We have to go way beyond these fundamental processes, and look into the dimensions of personal productivity as a subset of business efficiency. This will have a significant impact on the overall goal of waste reduction. Within this area we have to go deeper and analyse the interaction with the person and machine. Nothing earth shattering, as it about the ability to train and guide staff on new hardware, which we have been doing for some time. We must get to the point where our personal ability to connect effectively with the computers and digital interfaces improves, and our understanding is greater. It is not just about bespoke software for equipment, but the ability to deal with packages like Office 365, CRM and project management software. All of these touch points are opportunities for a loss in efficiency. I have tried to visualise this in a simple animation.
As lean experts and professionals we are always talking about agility based on lean thinking. The majority of people in industry and commerce are aware of the term VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex Ambiguous), its importance and resonance. What does
As well as being a productivity specialist, I am a professional coach. So why am I blogging about this ? It may sound obvious, as working through a change process can be one of the most demanding activities that staff and leaders get involved with. Coaching is a widely used term, and sometimes misunderstood. It is often confused with consulting and mentoring. Coaching is a clearly defined process of high-end
I have been reflecting quite a bit recently about this topic, and the potential for further improvements in personal efficiency. Overall company efficiency is the sum of the component parts i.e. the aggregate efficiencies. This is why it is important to stay focused on our personal efficiency. I have blogged about productive people before, but quite often we think we are better than we actually are. One factor is that in the corporate or large company world, we can get sucked into "Other People's Waste". What do I mean by that? Inevitably we have to work in teams , whether that be large or small. Each team member will carry with them their own waste.
The Brexit position has become more uncertain and business confidence dropped further, even though the UK is still outperforming other EU nations such as Italy and Germany in terms of growth. This vindicates more than ever the need for a "Lean" approach with businesses more agility in the market place.
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.
There was a very interesting article in this months HBR by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini titled "The End of Bureaucracy" with an interesting example of how a Chinese company Haier, has adopted a very interesting business model to make it more efficient and agile in the market place. They have adopted the concept of ME (Microenterprises), whereby there are over 4000, each with 10-15 employees that serve the company both internally and externally.
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 that they have made significant improvements, whether it be through technology or process development. Organisations are rarely as well developed as they think they are, of course this breeds complacency. Maintaining the improvement "hunger" is a real challenge in large companies.
I read an interesting recent article in the Harvard Business Review about highly productive people. It was explaining the typical traits of these. These can range from being able to set stretch goals, showing consistency, maintaining focus, problem solving and may others. In our profession we spend a considerable amount of time working on productive work systems, but less time generally about productive people.