Tag Archive: improvement

Clearing the Mind for Innovation & the Santa Barbara Coastline

November 24th, 2019

 

I recently attended a CEO retreat in Santa Barbara. We talked about both our business goals as well as our personal goals and spent two half-days enjoying the area. I took the opportunity to clear my mind so that I could think innovatively.

Everyone clears their mind in different ways. I enjoyed the coast and scenery while catching up on a newsletter as well as walking the area. That put me into the mindset of innovation so that I could figure out how to turn 1+1 = 22 and/or take 15 – 8 = 22.

Whether you increase revenue or reduce labor (work smarter), you achieve a powerful return on investment and might just come up with the next “BIG” idea. After thinking through the session and running ideas by colleagues, I think I have hit upon that next big thing for my LMA-i, LMA Intelligence series that my clients should be thinking about to get ahead of the competition.

You’ll be hearing more about it but the concept is “Future Proofing Your Manufacturing Business” or “Manufacturing & Supply Chain Future Proofing”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Tip to Implement This Week:
We are typically doing at least 8000 things at once, which means we get nothing done well. I am quite familiar with this concept! Instead, try clearing your mind, perhaps focusing on one priority and just setting aside time to think about the future and where you should really focus your time and attention. Undoubtedly, we will ALL find room for improvement.

Leaving the meeting, I was seriously thinking about dropping an important event because I was worried about the labor intensity.  However, it turns out it is quite important to my process for developing intelligence to share with clients (LMA-i) as well as gaining prospective clients and staying on the leading edge of thought leader status. What was I thinking?!?!

See, we all can make mistakes. It took someone I just met but had an engaging conversation with to drop some advice into the mix that corrected my thinking. I was well-intentioned but racing down the wrong path.  So, I have revised a new approach (luckily before I implemented any changes).

Out of this process (including my ‘bad idea’) and related interactions/ collaborations over the next few days popped a great idea. Not only should we take time to think but run your ideas by respected colleagues, new colleagues who might provide fresh insights (which you can choose to use or toss out) and trusted friends. You just might come up with the next sticky pad’ (one of the great inventions stemming from innovation) or the way to repackage or re-position a great idea that will drive dramatic improvement for your business and /or career.

 

 



LA Metro & Innovative Transportation

May 4th, 2018

 

L.A. Metro & Innovative Transportation

I was able to hear Joshua Schank, Director of Innovation of L.A. Metro talk at a ProVisors meeting last week.  So, it seemed appropriate to share the complexity of L.A.’s transportation network and some of the innovations starting to gain momentum.

The single largest innovation he discussed is the ability for L.A. Metro to receive unsolicited proposals for ideas. Since they implemented this idea in 2016, they’ve received over 100. Many of these are gaining momentum – and getting implemented in a private/ public partnership QUICKER than ever before and under budget.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also have submitted a strategic plan for approval that goes beyond on-time arrival to improving mobility.  He told us an interesting statistic – in the recent past, 2.3 million people were added to the L.A. area and 2.1 million cars were added during the same time period.  It will require innovation to bring L.A. Metro from last resort transportation to attractive to its potential customer base!

One tip to implement this week:
Interesting that even with one of the areas not typically seen as modern (a governmental agency related to transportation), innovation is seen as a priority – so much so that they have a position dedicated to it.

The Amazonian marketplace has even made its way to transportation as I heard him say customer focus and quicker delivery of projects multiple times. He said projects used to typically finish far later than the delivery date and significantly over budget.  Now, many are delivered early and under budget. If an governmental agency can increase speed, why can’t you?

Of course, it isn’t as simple as dictating quicker delivery.  Put some thought into what it would take to come up with innovative ideas.  In their case, they allowed for unsolicited proposals. That was probably seen as radical.  

Are you merely content with continuous improvement or are you taking the stance of L.A. Metro to look at dramatic change?  What would you need to do to encourage your employees, customers, suppliers and others to tell you about their ideas for positive innovations?  

Put thought into how you could encourage that – there’s no time to delay if you plan on  remaining competitive!

 



The Significant Value of Processes

November 19th, 2013
Following business processes that are known to work is the cornerstone of a successful supply chain business.

Following business processes that are known to work is the cornerstone of a successful supply chain business.

Processes are often overlooked in terms of their value. Every supply chain manager knows you should have them, document them and even follow them, but few understand their power. Here are 5 keys to tapping the power of process:

1. Process review – One of my most successful approaches in my consulting toolkit is process review. It is simply amazing how much can be learned by observing processes in action. Almost every time I review processes, low hanging fruit is uncovered.

2. Questioning – Asking the right questions at the right time is a key to uncovering process potential. It seems so obvious that it is frequently undervalued. Asking the whys associated with processes can yield substantial results.

3. Systems approach – A systems approach to processes is the only way to go. This doesn’t mean to be rigid and inflexible (as many think when bringing this topic up). Instead, it means to think and design your process in a systems-wide manner.

4. Documentation – Of course, don’t overlook documentation. There’s no need to get crazy but core processes should be documented. Make sure folks have the ability to reference documentation for key functions.

5. Simplify – I thought about using process improvement as the key point and decided that simplification is of upmost importance. Simplifying processes can be one of the most challenging pursuits but it’s well worth the effort – and is an improvement to boot.

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Implementing Processes