Tag Archive: MacGyver

MacGyver Solutions & Using Under-Utilized Assets

December 5th, 2016

supply chain

I’ve always appreciated the concept of MacGyver-type solutions (and so I enjoy the re-booted TV series as well). When I was a VP of Operations, I was quite proud of what we accomplished with minimal resources — having minuscule to no resources can spur creativity. Wiley contacted me for a book proposal several years ago, and thanks to a consulting colleague and friend for the suggestion, the working title was “Bubblegum and Paperclips: The MacGyver Guide to Leveraging Under-Utilized Assets”. I still might pursue this book as I’ve always had a passion for what can be achieved with determination and creativity, thanks to my Mom.

I thought my cat exhibited a few of these characteristics by using this empty Christmas box for a fort — or, I could be assigning more ingenuity than he deserves but that’s OK…..  I bet he thinks we can’t see him.


One tip to implement this week:

Pick one challenge or opportunity — we all have at least 100 so finding one shouldn’t be too difficult. Take a few minutes to think about your situation. What could you use to resolve the issue or leverage the opportunity? Do you have any “bubblegum” lying around? I bet you do!

For example, instead of jumping to a capital solution, what tools, machines and resources do you have? Perhaps if you tackle the topic from another angle, a breakthrough will occur. I have solved countless challenges with minimal expertise in the particular subject area some thought was required when several experts with the equivalent of “Harvard PhD’s” in that subject area couldn’t. The MacGyver solution worked. Ask good questions. Rely on the right resources. Think about what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t. Solutions will emerge.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”


What MacGyver & the Fess Parker Have in Common

September 8th, 2016

supply chain

With the reboot of MacGyver starting this fall, it reminds me of one of the strategies behind my success — leverage already-existing assets to deliver results. Coincidentally, over Labor Day weekend, I went to Santa Barbara and stayed at the Fess Parker Resort by Doubletree. Of course, it has stunning views of the ocean. One of the guests told me about the story of their restaurant and wedding area — the Roundhouse. It symbolizes the historic railroad roundhouse that once stood on the site (see below). And, they have made it into a popular wedding & party destination today. It is one of the only places I’ve posted on Facebook where I received several comments from folks solely about the hotel.

The Roundhouse

One tip to implement this week:

So, how can we be innovative and use what we have in new ways to create success? When I was a VP of Operations & Supply Chain for a mid-market manufacturer, we were rebuilding after narrowly avoiding bankruptcy following a cash-consuming merger and ERP implementation. Thus, we didn’t have money to spend yet we had to find ways to become even more competitive to grow our business while reducing our cost base. This strategy came in quite handy!

The best approach for this week is to take a step back and assess your situation. What priorities exist? Choose one and think about strategies to leverage already-existing people, materials, systems, etc. to improve your situation. What can you do to take a few steps forward without going for more approvals (that will take longer than the week to achieve), spending unnecessary money, and the like? I’ve yet to find a situation that had zero room for improvement with already-existing assets. Ask your trusted colleagues for ideas. Set aside time to brainstorm. You’ll come up with ideas.


Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”