Corporate Culture en Sharing an Office with the Boss <div class="node-body article-body"><div></div>Yoshiharu Ueki, president and representative director of Japan Airlines Co., doesn't have his own office.</div> <div class="field-content-focus"> <span>Content Classification:&nbsp;</span> Curated </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Corporate Culture Engagement Leadership Workforce News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:10:00 +0000 143601 at Image courtesy of Yoshiharu Ueki Create an Open Innovation Culture through Competitions <div class="field-byline"> Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, APQC </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><div></div> A look at how three companies—British Telecommunications, Cisco Systems and Amway—use events and contests to engage employees and supply chain partners in their open innovation efforts. </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Corporate Culture Teamwork Finance Innovation Leadership Supply Chain Workforce News Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:15:00 +0000 140781 at The Worst Job Interviews Ever [VIDEO GALLERY] <div class="node-body gallery-body"><div></div>Finding talent is tough enough, but sometimes job candidates don't make the process any easier on themselves, or on you.</div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Around the Web Corporate Culture Labor / Employment Policy Recruiting / Retention Leadership Workforce Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:48:00 +0000 121261 at O Recall, Recall! Wherefore Art Thou Recall? <div class="node-body blog-body"><div></div>Why are automotive recalls almost exclusively an American phenomenon?</div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/lean-leadership-ways">Lean Leadership Ways</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Lean / Six-Sigma Corporate Culture Corporate Responsibility Transportation Leadership Operations Supply Chain Lean Leadership Ways Mon, 09 Jun 2014 14:10:00 +0000 120901 at Lean Retail: It's not Just for the Big Boys Anymore <div class="node-body blog-body"><div></div><p>While this might seem like a shameless plug for my new book from McGraw-Hill entitled &ldquo;<strong><em><a href=";qid=1401801148&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=myerson+lean">Lean Retail and Wholesale</a></em></strong>&rdquo; (&hellip;and it is!), I truly believe that the time has come for <u>all</u> retailers, large and small, to focus on the identification and elimination of waste in their businesses wherever it is found.</p></div> <div class="og_rss_groups"><ul class="links"><li class="og_links first last"><a href="/blog/lean-supply-chain">The Lean Supply Chain</a></li> </ul></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Customer Relationships Lean / Six-Sigma Corporate Culture Planning & Forecasting The Lean Supply Chain Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:35:00 +0000 120431 at Lean Leadership and Maintenance <div class="field-ugc-expert"> Ask the Expert <a href="/expert/ask-expert-lean-leadership">Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership</a> </div> <div class="node-body question_and_answer-body"><div></div>What percentage of time should lean leaders spend on maintenance activity?</div><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-user-info"> <div class="field-ugc-user-email"> <span>Your Email:&nbsp;</span> <a href=""></a> </div> <div class="field-ugc-user-name"> Posted by Jill J. </div> </fieldset> <div class="field-ugc-expert-answer"> <span>Answer:&nbsp;</span> <p>We have two questions this time from a reader who is rightfully concerned about the role of maintenance in any continuous improvement initiative that is expected to be sustained for the long-term.</p> <p>Specifically, here are the questions:<strong> </strong>&ldquo;What % of time should lean leaders spend on maintenance activity? Do you have any maintenance <a href="" target="_blank">spend targets to build a robust maintenance excellence program</a>?&rdquo;</p> <p>I&rsquo;ll deal with the first of these today and will respond to the second question next time.</p> <p>In response to the first question, the answer of how much time lean leaders should spend on maintenance activity is: &ldquo;It depends.&rdquo;</p> <p>It depends on whether maintenance is already an important part of the solution or a major part of the problem. For example, what do the maintenance metrics tell you, e.g. what is the breakdown maintenance rate (BMR) on constrained work centers (total constraint machine hours actual vs. total hours scheduled)? What is the on-time performance to the preventive maintenance schedules? How accurate is the data being used to create the proper intervals for PM? How robust is the PM system for the management of spare parts?</p> <div class="related-content"> <div class="related-label"> Related</div> <p><a href="">Ask the Expert: Is a &ldquo;Director of Lean Initiatives&rdquo; a Positive or a Negative?</a></p> </div> <p>These results will tell you a lot about what the mindset is of the maintenance leadership. (My experience is that maintenance is usually one of the top three priorities in a poorly performing plant along with safety and quality.) &nbsp;</p> <p>Whatever the situation, it&rsquo;s important that the lean leader&rsquo;s focus stay on whatever the operations&rsquo; three most important priorities are. Do not dilute scarce resources trying to tackle too many things at once.</p> <p>Is the prevailing attitude &ldquo;run it until it breaks&rdquo;? This mentality always results in more serious breakdowns and much higher costs of repairs.</p> <p>This culture is easily exposed since the maintenance crew is constantly in a firefighting mode and rushes from one emergency to another to save the day, every day. In contrast, an orderly, in-control process finds the maintenance crew engaged and working in a culture of fire prevention.</p> <p>Very simply, if maintenance is constantly fire-fighting that is confirmation of there not being a robust preventive and predictive maintenance process in place. Likely, if there is a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) in place at all, it has been poorly implemented and is not a key resource to support maintenance excellence. This is basic formal infrastructure that must be in place to ever achieve and sustain excellence.</p> <p>Assuming maintenance is one of the top priorities causing poor plant performance, there is surely the need to critically evaluate the maintenance manager, supervisors, group leaders and any maintenance engineers on the current staff. Clearly their expectations aren&rsquo;t nearly high enough, and some simply aren&rsquo;t technically competent leaders to be in their roles.</p> <div class="related-content"> <div class="related-label"> Related</div> <p><a href="">Ask the Expert: What Do You Do When the Finance Team is Resistant to Engaging in Lean, Six Sigma or Other Operational Excellence Initiatives?</a></p> </div> <p>The reality is that the talent must be upgraded. The plant manager must start with the maintenance manager and go from there. Importantly, it is the plant manager&rsquo;s responsibility to drive this and make the necessary changes, not the lean leader&rsquo;s.</p> <p>In the maintenance environment I&rsquo;ve just described, the lean leader may need to assist in the collection of the necessary data, with the help of maintenance staff, supervisors, accounting staff, to quantify the negative impact that maintenance is having on the business, e.g. OEE performance on constraints, negative customer service and financial performance.</p> <p>This is the first step in convincing those who control the purse strings that they&rsquo;re going to have to spend some serious money to get maintenance moving on a path to excellence.</p> <p>In a turnaround situation maintenance costs always go up before they start trending downward. This is one of those critical times when the lean leader must have the ear of the plant manager to get the necessary support to put the priority and the money behind a major maintenance improvement initiative once effective leadership is in place.</p> <p>If you are fortunate enough to be in a business that has the correct mindset in the maintenance leadership; has robust metrics and systems in place; and competent technicians/mechanics; then maintenance isn&rsquo;t one of the top three priorities and the lean leader should be focusing elsewhere.</p> <p>Next time we&rsquo;ll take on the second question with regard to maintenance spending.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &ldquo;All things flourish where you turn your eyes.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; --Alexander Pope, English poet (1688-1744)</p> </div> <div class="field-ugc-qa-workflow"> Pending </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Lean / Six-Sigma Corporate Culture Maintenance Tue, 13 May 2014 15:38:54 +0000 118821 at Does Your Manufacturing Plant Excel? <div class="node-body article-body"><div></div>If yes, then it is time to participate in the IndustryWeek Best Plants competition. This annual salute to outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America recognizes plants that are on the leading edge of efforts to increase competitiveness, enhance customer satisfaction, and create stimulating and rewarding work environments.</div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Change Management Lean / Six-Sigma Corporate Culture Engagement IW Best Plants Quality Teamwork Supply Chain Workforce Wed, 07 May 2014 18:08:00 +0000 110071 at Engineering: Beyond the Calculator <div class="field-byline"> Ron Rich, Director of Auxiliary Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace </div> <div class="node-body article-body"><div></div>Engineers are dynamic individuals who are also strong leaders, communicators and business people.</div> <div class="field-content-focus"> <span>Content Classification:&nbsp;</span> influencer </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Education / Training Corporate Culture Transportation Leadership News Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:32:00 +0000 117231 at <p>Ron Rich, Director of Auxiliary Power Systems, <a href="" target="_blank">Honeywell Aerospace</a></p> Don't Keep Your Eyes on the Prize <div class="node-body article-body"><div></div>North America’s best manufacturing facilities—the production plants that year-in and year-out garner awards for excellence—focus on their presents and futures. </div> <div class="field-content-focus"> <span>Content Classification:&nbsp;</span> influencer </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Process Improvement Corporate Culture Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:07:00 +0000 116931 at <p>John S. McClenahen retired from IndustryWeek in 2006 and remains an interested observer of global manufacturing.</p> The CFO and Finance Team are Skeptical About Benefit of Lean and Six Sigma - Part 2 <div class="field-ugc-expert"> Ask the Expert <a href="/expert/ask-expert-lean-leadership">Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership</a> </div> <div class="node-body question_and_answer-body"><div></div>What do you do when the CFO and finance team are skeptical about -- in fact, resistant to -- engaging in lean, Six Sigma or other operational excellence initiatives? (Part 2)</div><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-user-info"> <div class="field-ugc-user-email"> <span>Your Email:&nbsp;</span> <a href=""></a> </div> <div class="field-ugc-user-name"> Posted by Jill J. </div> </fieldset> <div class="field-ugc-expert-answer"> <span>Answer:&nbsp;</span> <p>Wasn&rsquo;t it refreshing last time to have a question from a CFO who wanted to help drive excellence but couldn&rsquo;t get his operations counterpart to engage? That was an easier one to swing at than the more typical reticence of the CFO et al.</p> <p>Not unexpectedly we got some immediate feedback and follow-up questions regarding how to cope with the more normal situation. I submit that there is so much common ground here where logic and good business sense should make strong partnerships between operations and finance. The improvement opportunities are simply enormous.</p> <p>So why is it so difficult in reality to make it work? I choose to take the position that it&rsquo;s simply a broad-based case of ignorance on both sides and decades of mind-numbing paradigms that take time to overcome. That said let&rsquo;s get to the typical situation of conflict between finance and operations.</p> <p><strong><em>The more &ldquo;normal&rdquo; situation is that the CFO and the finance team are skeptics at best and actively resistant at worst</em></strong>. My guidance is for us in operations to park our defensiveness at the door and walk into the finance leader&rsquo;s office and ask them for both barrels on what concerns/skepticism they have. That&rsquo;ll start a great list of joint projects to work on that will serve everyone&rsquo;s purpose. It will also create the opportunity to help educate away their ignorance on the requirements for operational excellence and begin to attract some believers.</p> <p>We can provide them with a whole new vision of why their work is so important to improving the business. The worst possible outcome is when operating people get discouraged and throw up their hands and abandon the journey.</p> <p><em>See Also: <a href="">What is the lean leadership role of plant managers?</a></em></p> <p>As operations leaders we should approach our discussions with our finance counterparts along these lines:</p> <p><strong>1. First, <a href="">go back and read my last entry</a>,</strong> which responded to a CFO who was frustrated by the lack of interest on the part of his senior operations counterpart. As you read it again simply reverse the roles as if the question came from an EVP of operations. The counsel provided there is equally valid.</p> <p><strong>2. Include key finance people in your education and training sessions with the CEO&#39;s support. </strong>They all need a basic understanding of the thinking behind the CI journey, the collaborative team culture that is necessary across all functional areas, how integrated all of the business processes are and, thus, how integrated all our behaviors and process improvements need to be. They should also be given a &ldquo;Lean 101&rdquo; course so they are at least conversational on basic terms/tools such as: value streams/maps; the importance of flow and constraint management; the purpose of kaizen events and how they are planned, executed and documented; the thinking behind 5S and visual management; the data-driven processes to be used for problem elimination e.g. DMAIC; problem-solving tools such as fishbone diagraming, Pareto analysis, 5 Whys, poka-yoke, etc. Using an exercise such as with Legos or the like is useful in providing simple but powerful hands-on learning about the positive impact of new thinking and new tools on the business. This experience is also a great catalyst for cross-functional team building.</p> <p><strong>3. Invite finance leaders to participate in your CI steering team at the business and/or plant locations.</strong> Also invite them to your conferences to stimulate more positive working relationships as well as to continue to &ldquo;drip on the rock&rdquo; with learning opportunities.</p> <p><em>See Also: <a href="">Is a director of lean initiatives (or something similar) a positive or a negative?</a></em></p> <p><strong>4. Be open and straight-forward in conveying your understanding of why they are skeptical.</strong> In many cases they have good reason to be. For example:</p> <p class="rteindent2">Traditionally there are serious problems with data integrity -- the old &ldquo;garbage in/garbage out situation -- because of poor data accuracy. Operations is griping about getting incorrect data to work with and the finance teams knows that operations is the source of much of the wrong data. Our response: &ldquo;Guilty as charged&hellip;.and here&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;re going to do about that with your help Ms. Finance Mgr.&rdquo; Launch a joint project, analyze the key processes that aren&rsquo;t working, find and eliminate root cause and move on to the next one. Then build on the success project by project.</p> <p class="rteindent2">Traditionally, if the factory and accounting people even knew what the accuracy was for bills and routers, it wasn&rsquo;t nearly good enough to maintain accurate cost or inventory records. So accounting requires that the business shut down and take a physical inventory every quarter and/or year so they can reconcile the books. Why? Because a physical inventory had better accuracy (at least in the minds of the accounting folks) than to reconcile against the book value of inventory. Why? Because there is no confidence in the accuracy of bills and routers not to mention the reporting accuracy issues noted above. Again, operations is typically guilty as charged.</p> <p class="rteindent2">Who in accounting, sales, marketing, engineering, operations, etc. doesn&rsquo;t want more accurate costs? Of course everyone does. Standard cost systems are notorious for providing costs that subsidize the &ldquo;dog orders,&rdquo; i.e. hard to make &ldquo;B&rdquo; and &ldquo;C&rdquo; items, high scrap, short orders, etc. while penalizing the &ldquo;A&rdquo; items where competition is the most fierce. Well with engineering, production scheduling, accounting, marketing, operations help let&rsquo;s clean up the bills and routers, reporting accuracy, etc. as noted above so that we have the best information possible under the traditional cost accounting system. That said, there are typically lots of &ldquo;allocated costs&rdquo; that don&rsquo;t necessarily tie directly to all the products taking the allocation. It&rsquo;s done because the standard system does not know -- because we don&rsquo;t know -- what the true costs are.</p> <p class="rteindent2">Enter the discussion about improving flow and the accompanying performance benefits; convert operations from running large batches through a series of &ldquo;traditional departments&rdquo; into smaller batches that have organized products by common routings, i.e. creating manufacturing cells wherever possible and &ldquo;virtual cells&rdquo; when there are &ldquo;monuments&rdquo; in the process that simply aren&rsquo;t economical or practical to move. The general positives that begin to appear on day # 1 are many. Who doesn&rsquo;t want less working capital, (read CASH) tied up in unnecessary inventory? Who doesn&rsquo;t want excess inventory eliminated so problems can be seen and solved closer to real time? Who doesn&rsquo;t want improved cycle times to improve service to customers? Who doesn&rsquo;t want more accurate costs that are now tied to discrete value streams with far fewer allocations? Who doesn&rsquo;t want skilled operators, mechanics supervisors and engineers all working in a line-of-sight flow to spend more time improving the process instead of chasing down missing materials, mechanics who can&rsquo;t find parts, missing supplies, etc.</p> <p><em>See Also:</em> <a href=""><em>Ask Larry your lean leadership question!</em></a></p> <p>We could of course go on and on with more examples but the key take away is this: We are challenging several decades of traditional factory mindsets and practices that were wrong-headed and stodgy on their best day. The finance team, top to bottom, has justifiably grown up in their own paradigm over this period much like the inspectors in the old factories. &ldquo;We can&rsquo;t trust those manufacturing guys to do the right thing and they don&rsquo;t want our help so we&rsquo;ll create as many controls as we can&rdquo; to reconcile the books every quarter and satisfy the audit committee, the IRS, the SEC, GAAP, FASB, Sarbanes Oxley, etc. etc. etc.</p> <p>We need to help them elevate their thinking about the important contributions they can make to actually improving the business!</p> <p>With the huge progress that results from the collaboration and focus described above, we will have changed our relationships with our finance team counterparts. Why? Because we have set the example with holistic business thinking (not &ldquo;silo&rdquo; thinking) that we&rsquo;ve brought to the table on issues important to the company.</p> <p><strong>Big Mistake: Lean Accounting Too Soon</strong></p> <p>At that point it is my strong belief that we can engage in a very positive discussion, for example, about using the standard cost system to create a much more accurate value stream costing system for all products.</p> <p>I think one of the biggest mistakes companies make is to start pushing &ldquo;lean accounting&rdquo; too soon. To think CFOs and audit committees are going to go from the current paradigm to lean accounting the first year or two of the journey simply isn&rsquo;t going to happen. So don&rsquo;t expect it and, most importantly, don&rsquo;t throw in the towel because of this. It may take years to transform this part of the business infrastructure.</p> <p>Work harder at getting the things done that are important to the business and that require a joint effort. &nbsp;My experience has been that value stream accounting only makes sense when the correct process infrastructure is in place &hellip; and that most companies have much work to do there before they worry about changing the cost system.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve spent much of this response trying to understand and defend the finance team&rsquo;s lack of interest in our lean revolution. Now that our finance leaders understand that we understand, I&rsquo;d ask one thing of them: Please grab an oar and start rowing!</p> <p>&ldquo;Obstacles are things a person sees when they take their eyes off the goal.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; --E. Joseph Cossman</p> </div> <div class="field-ugc-qa-workflow"> Accepted </div> <div class="og_rss_groups"></div><p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Lean / Six-Sigma Corporate Culture Finance Operations Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:19:46 +0000 116451 at