Tag Archive: Kash Gokli

Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable, Growth Strategies & Idea Velocity

October 19th, 2018

 

Kash Gokli, Director of Clinic Programs and Head of the Manufacturing Practice at Harvey Mudd and I recently led our 13th Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable.  We had some engaging discussions on growth strategies from multiple vantage points – small and medium-sized, closely held businesses, non-profit business, large complex, global organizations and private-equity backed companies.  It is amazing how much we had in common – no matter the industry, company size or footprint, every executive was concerned about culture and its impact on growth strategy.

I found one CEO’s comment especially intriguing – he mentioned the concept of “idea velocity“.  This topic has increased in importance in my business recently.

It turns out that the “be all, end all” in success for consulting comes down to “idea velocity”.  What are you doing to stimulate ideas? I think this is essential no matter the industry. What executive or company will be successful in today’s Amazonian marketplace if short on ideas?  Not many!

One tip to implement this week:
Don’t despair if you aren’t an idea factory.  First, undoubtedly, you have more ideas in you than you think.  The key is to help them make their way to the surface.

For example, when I interviewed for my promotion to VP of Operations and Supply Chain (as it required an interview by our new private equity backers), although I knew I could get results, I wasn’t too sure about my creative idea generation abilities because I viewed it as “developing the new sticky pad (3M)”.  It turns out that it’s all about repackaging and recombining of key information, products and services. We all have the ability to do that! However, you do not have to do it alone. That’s the point of having a team, colleagues, advisors and supply chain partners who can help spur ideas.

With that said, I recently was in an idea rut even though I surround myself with all of these resources – and more.  I didn’t realize it at the time but not enough was bubbling to the surface. What turned that around was expanding my circle of influencers  (a bit of diversity goes a long way) and realizing that not all idea collaborators are created the same (for each person and what works for him/her).  Finding that right combination “worked”.

Instead of groaning when “assigned to a team with someone you are less than thrilled to be paired with”, see it as an opportunity.  You never know who will spur an interesting idea or who is particularly good at brainstorming with you. Some exciting new ideas might just jump to the surface.  

Put yourself out there and it will happen.

 



Best Practices and the Bellagio Fountain

February 2nd, 2018

The Value of Best Practices
Kash Gokli (head of Harvey Mudd’s manufacturing and clinic programs) and I led our 12th Harvey Mudd executive roundtable last week on the topic of best practices.  One of the executives from
WET (from designer to maker of the Bellagio fountain and many others like it) kicked off the evening by discussing best practices at WET.  Aside from a VERY impressive video that showed their design and water experiences), she talked about the critical importance of human capital.  They have an impressive on-boarding and ongoing emphasis on collaboration, education and investing in talent.  Clearly, with this creative and unique best practice, spectacular water experiences follow……

One tip to implement this week:
Undoubtedly, our long-term readers know I wholeheartedly support investing in top talent.  Whether we are working with an large complex aerospace manufacturer or a rapidly growing food and beverage company or a private equity backed medium-sized building products value-add distributor, our most successful clients have an unrelenting focus on talent.  They start by retaining top talent and expand by developing, training, educating and always being on the lookout for top talent.  

If you are an executive, put aside an hour this week to meet with your executive team to discuss your talent.  Although an hour sounds short, it also probably sounds quite impossible to fit into your schedule yet it is likely to be the most valuable hour spent this week.  Start with your talent and the rest will follow.  Throw a bit of WET’s creativity into the conversation and see where it takes you.

If you are an employee, take the proactive approach and seek out your manager to discuss where the company is headed.  Find out how you can add more value.  Think about how you can grow – with or without money invested.  There are many approaches that will not cost a dime.  Think about finding a mentor and offering value to a potential mentor.

Regardless of where you are, best practices are well-worth the investment.



Lisa Anderson Releases Book to Spur Business Innovation

June 23rd, 2017

Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, CLTD, known as the Manufacturing Business Transformer(SM) and president of LMA Consulting Group, released her book, I’ve Been Thinking…Turning Everyday Interactions into Profitable Opportunities, as a roadmap for businesses, manufacturers and distributors to infuse innovation into their daily work practices. The book is packed with over 100 of Anderson’s insights and strategies on how to create bold customer promises and profits by transforming business performance while keeping an eye on the global perspective and seeing what others cannot in order to create dramatic customer experiences and profitable opportunities. Anderson relies on her global consulting practice where she draws on her experience and observations to share with readers practical and action-inducing ideas to help businesses make the leap ahead of their competition.

“Lisa Anderson not only engages us, she enables us to engage others. She’s given herself the ultimate gift: the time to think unmolested and undisturbed, emptying her mind of the daily grind and allowing herself to travel outside of the box, to destinations of creativity, insight, and perspective. To stand on great walls,” states Alan Weiss, Ph.D. is the author of Million Dollar Consulting

Anderson has been publishing a weekly newsletter by the same name, I’ve Been Thinking, since 2014, which her clients find to be an invaluable resource. Wallace P. Brithinee, Ph.D. and President of Brithinee Electric, states “I like Lisa’s column, ‘I’ve Been Thinking‘, because it delivers the right mix of suggestions, prodding, and human interest that I find useful.”

The author says that writing her newsletter has expanded her thinking dramatically, “Now, there are a seemingly endless supply of everyday interactions that can be turned into profitable opportunities.” Anderson further states that she now sees everyday occurrences in an entirely new light — there is always some sort of idea or lesson to glean from the most mundane of topics.

“As president of LMA Consulting Group, as well as her leadership positions in APICS and other organizations, Lisa gets to meet a lot of people and gets to visit a lot of companies,” says Professor Kash Gokli of Harvey Mudd College. “That is where she gets her inspiration for ‘I’ve Been Thinking.’ Her writing on a diverse compilation of best practices is both informative and insightful.” 

I’ve Been Thinking is available as a paperback on Amazon and as an eBook on Kindle. To subscribe to Lisa Anderson’s newsletter, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser https://www.lma-consultinggroup.com/ibt-index/



Congratulations, MCIE Innovation Awards Winners!

April 3rd, 2017
Innovation Award Winners

LMA Consulting Group and MCIE Innovation Award Chair Lisa Anderson announces E=mc² Innovation Award Winners.

Lisa Anderson MBA, CSCP, CLTD president of LMA Consulting Group and chair for the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE)  Manufacturer’s Summit E=mc² Innovation Awards,  a special award ceremony celebrating innovative businesses and students solving challenges in today’s manufacturing industry, is pleased to announce the four category winners; Process Efficiency – CAI, Marketing – Adventure CabinsHuman Capital and Talent – Connect Products and People and Innovation by Students – Harvey Mudd College. Innovation Award candidates are judged on criteria based on which company or student demonstrates the most innovation and resulting benefits in improving resources or energy efficiency; employment and workforce issues; and effective marketing.

This year’s Innovation Awards Committee consisted of experienced members with a combination of 100 years in the industry (both manufacturing and education) and deeply rooted in manufacturing success in the Inland Empire. Committee members included former chair and founding officer of MCIE Wallace Brithinee, president of Brithinee Electric; Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing and engineering management, and the Director of Engineering Clinic in the Harvey Mudd College Department of Engineering; and, Innovation Awards Chair Lisa Anderson, president of LMA Consulting Group.

We had a number of exceptional entries this year really showcasing their innovative talents in talent management, process improvement, marketing and, for the first time this year, innovation by students,” shares Award Chair Lisa Anderson. “I’m always intrigued and proud of what innovation actually takes place here in the Inland Empire. This year did not disappoint, and I look forward to building on this success in the coming year.”

Taking on a cultural innovation was the 2017 Human Capital and Talent Innovation Award winner Connect Product and People. “Connect’s goals are to provide meaningful work for veterans and individuals with disabilities, equal pay for equal work, and to stop the exploitation of these tremendously talented individuals — require social responsibility,” states Connect Products and People president, Jonathon R. Mills. “We are honored to be leading this change in culture and want to thank you MCIE for its support.”

CAI President Kusum Kavia focused her organization on making the best use of all of its resources and it paid off with CAI being awarded the Process Efficiency Innovation Award. Says Kavia, “It is special to us because it comes from fellow manufacturers in our region.”

Travis Saenz of Adventure Cabins expressed his appreciation for the Marketing Innovation Award, saying “Thank you to the MCIE Summit committee and members for presenting Adventure Cabins with the Marketing Innovation Award. Our company took on a new web-footprint and marketing strategy that is paying off.”

New this year was the Student Innovation Awards recognizing the Harvey Mudd College students’ contributions in partnering with Niagara Water to achieve significant results. “Students with no preconceived ideas of what works and what does not work can come up with great out-of-the-box solutions and innovations,” Explains Kash Gokli, professor of manufacturing and engineering management, and the Director of Engineering Clinic in the Harvey Mudd College Department of Engineering. “We’re excited that The Harvey Mudd clinic program, teaming up with industry, does 45 projects a year with a lot of innovation.”

The 2018 Manufacturing Summit will be held next February. For more information, visit MCIE Website or cut and paste this link http://mfgcouncilie.com/homepage/.

 



Season’s Greetings

December 24th, 2016

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish my clients, colleagues, family and friends a happy and healthy holiday season!

Although I have ZERO desire to move back to the Chicago area where I grew up, I love snowmen and thought this picture would be a fun way to share holiday spirit.

snowmen

Which would you be? Sometimes I feel like the one standing on her head; however, I don’t think I’d be able to walk anymore if I tried that!

Thank YOU  for another successful year. I would not be successful without my fabulous family, friends and colleagues. Of course, thank you to my APICS-IE Board of Directors for another great year! We recently enjoyed a holiday party and so I have a picture of several of us.

apics-board-of-directors

It was a week of parties…… I also had a great time with a white elephant gift exchange in my ProVisors ONT group (top notch trusted advisors) – such a wonderful group of people and high-quality CPA’s, attorneys, financial gurus and business advisors (let me know if you ever need a referral).

pro-visors

Kash Gokli and I enjoyed a great year with our Harvey Mudd Executive Roundtable group; Ellen Kane and I had our best year yet with a sold out, GLOBAL APICS West Coast Student Case Competition; Wally Brithinee and I had a successful MCIE (Manufacturing Council of the Inland Emprie) Innovation awards program; my ACA Group collaborated successfully to deliver client results and I started/continued several university and mentoring affiliations [joined the University of LaVerne’s Board of Directors for the business program, joined the Pomona College internship program, joined the Drucker School’s women in supply chain mentoring program, helped one of my favorite former clients (Jim Cenname) with Cal State Fullerton mentoring and worked with Norco College’s Logistics advisory board]. 

I had some great clients in 2016 (enjoyable projects and results – what could be better!) and was able to travel a bit. Of course I went to AZ to spend time with my Mom and family and was able to get to NC for my best friend’s daughter’s engagement party. I went to Australia for a strategy session and stayed to enjoy a few weeks in Australia and New Zealand with my other best friends. And, I went to Japan for a board of advisors meeting and enjoyed several days of tours – who could ask for more?

2017

Turning to the New Year, I look forward to the New Year and collaborating with clients to help them achieve even greater levels of success.

I am in AZ to spend Christmas with my family and will help my mom with some jobs around the house (hopefully we are quite productive so she feels like something has been accomplished), and I’ll be with my best friends for New Year’s in Charleston – should be great fun!

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous 2017!