Operational Excellence Blog

Are you a dinosaur leading your company to extinction?
Are you a dinosaur leading your company to extinction?

First, let me start off by saying that your age (thankfully) has nothing to do with being a dinosaur in the workplace – it’s all about your attitude. Recently I attended a seminar about the future of online learning. The seminar included several speakers from...

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Are you a tourist, amateur or expert?
Are you a tourist, amateur or expert?

When I evaluate an individual’s skill level, I find that they fall into one of three categories: a tourist, amateur or expert. Like many things in life, it may be tempting to want to be an expert in everything, but each of these are vastly different and it is...

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Can simple Lean tools solve big business problems?
Can simple Lean tools solve big business problems?

If you are trying to solve a big business problem, you likely know there are numerous methodologies that you can use but sometimes it may be helpful to take a step back to a more simplistic level and see if a tool is all that you really need. A great example of this...

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What is Change Management?
What is Change Management?

A significant challenge that Change Management practitioners face is how to quantify what they do. As recently as a few years ago, managing change was considered to be abstract and because of that practitioners struggled to sell their services. Today however, Change...

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Are shiny objects draining your productivity?
Are shiny objects draining your productivity?

Have you ever looked at the clock and realized that it’s nearly the end of the day and you still haven’t completed anything? Many people can be prone to what I like to call “chasing shiny objects” and very little gets done when you find yourself on this winding road....

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Tackling a Big Hairy Project
Tackling a Big Hairy Project

Every organization has large problems to solve which are managed by Project Leaders and their teams who work hard to come up with impressive solutions. What they often find however, is their proposed solution has turned into a “big, hairy project”.

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The Evolution of Learning
The Evolution of Learning

Where are you on the evolutionary scale? Take for instance this article, today there are numerous devices that you can view it on, but at one time, the only option was paper. It’s no secret that today’s world is

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How are you using your data?
How are you using your data?

Data is becoming easier to access, quicker to analyze, and cheaper to store. As a result, it provides incredible opportunities for organizations to see things from completely different

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How do you solve business problems?
How do you solve business problems?

There are always going to be problems to solve in your business, the list is endless. Every project has similar goals: to meet its objectives while completing it on time and

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Why you should choose simplicity
Why you should choose simplicity

Imagine that you have a new service, product, or way to monitor data and have spent countless hours developing the perfect solution. Once you roll out the new process, no

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What is your customer response time?
What is your customer response time?

In the competitive world of creating positive customer experiences, it is important to know how quickly your customers expect information from you. For example, if you are in sales,

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Why leaders never stop learning
Why leaders never stop learning

Can you name the last three books you read? What was your inspiration to read them? What did you learn? How about the last workshop you attended? Did you acquire a new way of thinking?

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What would your coach say?
What would your coach say?

As a leader, your depth of knowledge is often put to the test. You are expected to have the knowledge required to make key decisions. What happens when you do not know the answer?

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Why do we get stuck in data analysis?
Why do we get stuck in data analysis?

A few years ago a client asked me to help one of his Lean Six Sigma Black Belts who was struggling with data analysis. My first step was to evaluate his data to gain a better

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Simple steps to improve customer surveys
Simple steps to improve customer surveys

Our inboxes are full of surveys. Companies want to learn more about us, the reason why we chose them, our experiences with working with them, and our overall level of satisfaction.

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What do your customers want?
What do your customers want?

To answer this question, let’s start by identifying your customers. Are they the end consumer of your product or service? Are they the intermediary who re-sells your product?

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What are you really good at?
What are you really good at?

Fill in the blank, I am good at____________. As leaders we are expected to be good at many things: vision, strategy, communication, decision making, relationship management, etc.

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Are you addicted to saying yes?
Are you addicted to saying yes?

Yes, let’s increase the scope of the project; Yes, let’s initiate multiple organization wide projects; Yes let’s do this; Yes, let’s do that. By saying yes all the time, what does it tell us

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How listening is a powerful catalyst for change
How listening is a powerful catalyst for change

While on a business trip, a friend stopped by my house to catch up. This friend also happens to be a competitor of mine and it did not take long to realize that he was all business and had something important to share.

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Why are elephants so hard to ride?
Why are elephants so hard to ride?

Often there are two driving forces behind managing change, logic and emotion. The first is typically a number crunching exercise. With logic we say, “The data clearly shows us

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Which one matters, perception or reality?
Which one matters, perception or reality?

Several years ago I had the opportunity to work with a large publicly traded company to address concerns about customer satisfaction. This organization relied on independent industry-wide

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Is managing to the average good enough?
Is managing to the average good enough?

We like the word “average”. We use it every day in all aspects of what we do. “The average hold time is 2 minutes”; “Our average turnaround time is 15 days”; “On average

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How do you navigate through change – Change Management
How do you navigate through change – Change Management

The goal of managing through change is to move from a current state to a future state with the least amount of resistance. Sometimes a change happens with ease and other times it is incredibly difficult. Imagine change management as positioning yourself on one side of...

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Is Lean Six Sigma still relevant?
Is Lean Six Sigma still relevant?

In order to stay relevant one needs to adapt to meet the needs of its current audience. Let's take a look at Six Sigma, a commonly applied business process improvement methodology throughout many companies worldwide. For those that have been around business...

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Why did your Lean Six Sigma Project Succeed and Mine Failed?
Why did your Lean Six Sigma Project Succeed and Mine Failed?

Key to Lean Six Sigma Project Success Over the years I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of lean six sigma project leaders who are looking to apply their lean six sigma skills towards successful project completion. A frequently asked question is, "what...

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