Ten Guidelines for Higher ROI from Continuous Improvement Initiatives

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Lean As An Up-And-Down Process

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Recently, I was at a corporate HR gathering of leaders from across the country. One of those leaders, Amanda, had been involved in a lean training with her local operations group. She had been in the process for 6 months and was sharing her update. We asked her to mostly share her experience of the process, with the specific project… Read the full article…

Leading from the Heart

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Do you dread having difficult conversations with your team members about what ways they aren’t performing well in their roles? I don’t mean something little. I mean that their performance has you considering whether to keep them on your team. Awhile back, I was having an issue with one of my team members. We were close to deciding to terminate… Read the full article…

Where Does the Time Go?

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Recently, Jason was lamenting how he doesn’t have enough time to be strategic in his work. As we talked about how his days were spent, he recounted working long days, often reacting to unexpected requests, dealing with employee issues, and helping his team with their work. By his account, Jason is really too busy and does not have enough time… Read the full article…

The Key Business Strategy You May Be Missing

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

We all know that unemployment is at an all-time low. So it’s not surprising that many organizations are finding themselves either losing employees or having people come forward with lucrative potential offers from other organizations. An organization I encountered recently was particularly alarmed by the number of their managers who had considered other positions (with some having taken them). This… Read the full article…

Confessions of an Aspiring Coach

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

If I were to tell you that it’s important to ask your team questions versus telling them the answers, you’d likely respond “I know that!” We all know that people only learn to the degree that they find solutions for themselves. It’s not that many of us don’t know it’s important to ask questions, it’s that we’re struggling to actually… Read the full article…

How to Use the Power of Dialogue to Meet Your Business Goals

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Picture a senior leadership team sitting in a circle. The circle includes sales & marketing, operations, HR, scheduling, product development, finance, IT, and others. These people work in the same business, but in various locations, and have never met all together as one group. And yet, they cover the entire span of meeting their customer needs from production all the… Read the full article…

You Wouldn’t Take a Sledgehammer to Your Equipment, Would You?

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

You wouldn’t take a sledgehammer to your equipment, would you? When you ask people for their thoughts and ideas and then mishandle them by not listen-ing effectively or not utilizing them, it compares to taking a sledgehammer to your equipment. An organization I worked with brought together a group of employees to surface ideas about solving a wide range of… Read the full article…

How to Integrate Your HR Team into Your Business

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

I have been working with a business partner, Mark, and his HR person, Andy. Mark kept complaining that Andy seemed overly focused on all the wrong priorities. When I spoke with Andy, his perspective was that even though he had a full plate (hiring people, running engagement surveys, processing pay increases, running safety committee meetings, etc.), he felt overloaded and… Read the full article…

The Hitch in the Giddy Up

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Move beyond maintenance of the status quo in 2018 Many of the HR leaders I’ve recently spoken with sincerely want to better support their internal customers and business partners. They really want to get more done and spend more time address-ing people related issues that need attention. The ‘hitch in the giddy up’ is that many HR leaders find themselves… Read the full article…

Human Life is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Reflections on Boston In Boston, we were blessed with a few keynote speeches that were both thought provoking and soul stirring. Upon returning to the Chicago area, I reflected on what I had gotten out of the ex-perience: it had reminded me of what had made me fall in love with lean over 35 years ago. Fundamentally, lean values human… Read the full article…

3 Strategies for Creating a Problem-Solving Workforce

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Over the years, I’ve worked in many facilities that are devoted to team-based problem-solving. Yet, as time has gone by, it has become clear that fully involving an entire workforce in problem-solving efforts is quite a challenge. Often, I’ve noticed that the visual displays of improvement look good at a glance, but upon looking closer, I see there are obvious… Read the full article…

The Waste of Blame

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Recently, a group and I were working on problem-solving. I kept running into this attitude of several people in the group feeling powerless and even victimized by their work. We were discussing steps to follow to identify opportunities and make changes, and many of them were looking at me like, “You don’t understand. We can’t really do anything about our… Read the full article…

Key Takeaways from the Champions of HR for Excellence Launch

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

For the launch of the Champions of HR for Excellence program a few weeks ago, we explored a revolutionary approach to supporting change in the workplace. The meeting included a work-shop presented by Ron Oslin, Larry Anderson and Tony Chamblin, from One System / One Voice. We met a few years back, and their work was so exciting that I… Read the full article…

Looking to Increase Your Impact on Your Organization’s Success?

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Many years ago, I was talking with an operations manager whom I deeply respect. When I asked him about the role of HR in building his organization’s lean capabilities, his face scrunched up. His disappointment was palpable. His answer? “We work around them.” That moment was a pivotal point in my working life, which has been dedicated to supporting the… Read the full article…

5 Essential Aspects of Building a Lean Culture

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Recently in a workshop, we had considerable discussion about the need to create a lean culture. When I asked the group members how they define a lean culture, it became clear to me that they did not have a clear definition of what culture specifically means. They’re all going somewhere, but no one knows where it is. If we are… Read the full article…