Success Creates Success

Success Creates Success

Jason’s manufacturing team has been producing a consistent number of units per week, but in the last few years, they have struggled to get anywhere near their previous rate of production.  To make matters worse, they have more client orders than they’ve ever had – so...

Getting Past All Talk and No Action

Getting Past All Talk and No Action

Have you ever discussed something at length with your team without really arriving at a decision?  You’re not alone.  This often happens with organizations before they learn to communicate more effectively.  For example, an operations group was having regular meetings...

Turning Leadership Upside Down

Turning Leadership Upside Down

My best mentor In many of my talks over the years, I've mentioned my best and favorite mentor, Phil. We work together doing volunteer work for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. I often ask him for help with work situations and challenges in my various...

Job Design vs. Job Description?

Job Design vs. Job Description?

What's the difference between a job design, and a job description? What's the connection between job design and continuous improvement cultures? Most people consider job descriptions a waste of time. But why?  We’ve all seen job descriptions, they are usually a...

Better at work; good for you & your company

Better at work; good for you & your company

Recently, I was speaking with an organization about their continuous improvement efforts. As we were exploring some of my more recent work and research in the area of better understanding people in the workplace, I was asked “what is one thing people can do to improve...

Engagement is a Two Way Street

Engagement is a Two Way Street

Engagement is possible, but it's not always easy. We speak as though a leader can engage their team by just being an effective leader, but true engagement requires people to take action. Engagement is a two-way street.  So if leaders can’t necessarily control their...

10 Game Changers for Better Feedback

10 Game Changers for Better Feedback

Sharon was preparing to ask her direct report how she was doing as a leader.  Like most leaders, she had never formally asked someone for feedback about her performance and was a little nervous about how to proceed. Sharon remembered that the last time her boss asked...

The Secret to Leadership Success

The Secret to Leadership Success

John, Anne, and Sean have worked together for over five years in the same building. They have the same job but manage different teams. They often go out to lunch and talk about their children, partners, and major life events. But there is one thing they never talk...

Developing Leaders Through Coaching

Developing Leaders Through Coaching

Bruce is the head of manufacturing for a large company. He feels overwhelmed by the number and complexity of his team’s people-challenges. As a leader, he feels responsible for fixing these problems but he also wants to empower his team.  When Bruce went through the...

Leadership is a Team Sport

Leadership is a Team Sport

The following is a case study on a heavy manufacturing company with about 200 employees. They experienced significant sales growth but struggled to meet the growing demand for their products. With such rapid growth they were challenged to find the number of leaders...

The Challenges of Holding People Accountable

The Challenges of Holding People Accountable

John is the plant manager for a midsize manufacturer which has been in operation for over one hundred years. For the last twenty years, leadership has focused on strengthening operations and improving leadership. John feels frustrated that historically, the...

A Leap of Faith?

A Leap of Faith?

I’ve always found it interesting that the topic of continuous improvements' financial benefits is less of a focus than the steps taken to improve work. I find it tends to be for one of the following reasons: It can be difficult to calculate the financial benefits...