Ten Guidelines for Higher ROI from Continuous Improvement Initiatives

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Redefining Success as a Manager

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Mary finds herself busy much of the day working with different members of her team. Sometimes, there’s even a line of people running out of her cubicle. She is pleased they feel so comfortable coming to her for advice and counsel. Some of the other managers are even envious that her team is in her office so much. However, John… Read the full article…

3 Ways to Get Beyond Challenging Employees

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Cindy and I are getting together to talk about our upcoming strategy session. She seems distracted and visibly stressed, so I ask her how things are going. She says that one of her managers is driving her crazy. I ask her what’s wrong. She goes into a litany of issues with his performance, including not getting his work done on… Read the full article…

How to Create a Team of Problem Solvers

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Phil had just gotten back from a senior leadership meeting where they had crafted the company plan for the next 3 years including detailed goals for next year. The development of the strategy reminds him that their last engagement survey showed that most employees don’t see their role in supporting the company goals (or the bigger picture). While his leadership… Read the full article…

Don’t Get Stuck Holding the Bag

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As Julie faces her next engagement survey to be run later this year, she realizes that the work they’ve done in the last year is still not likely to change the results. One more time, she’ll have to face the leadership of her organization and explain why she hasn’t been able to generate an improved rating. Yet as we talk,… Read the full article…

6 Ways HR Can Be a Driver for Your Lean Transformation

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A few years ago, I was visiting with an HR manager while walking through a production facility. While Jill, the HR manager, didn’t have an extensive lean background, she was eager to learn more. Jill mentioned that during the GEMBA walk that morning, she wasn’t sure about how she could best contribute to the discussions. I asked her whether she… Read the full article…

Lean As An Up-And-Down Process

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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

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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?

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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

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coach

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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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…