Ten Guidelines for Higher ROI from Continuous Improvement Initiatives

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Describing the Richness of Lean

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Over the last few years, it’s struck me that referring to “lean” as a way of thinking is complementary to, not exclusive of, what the experience of lean feels like. But beyond being an interesting perspective, understanding the experience of lean could be really important. Watching a presentation on a lean culture at a conference, I was struck to my… Read the full article…

The Most Common Reason Expectations Aren’t Met

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Mike asks me to stop by his office before I leave for the day. As we sit down to talk, he looks quite discouraged because one of his newer supervisors is falling short of expectations. As always, my first question to Mike is, “How have you explained your expectations to the supervisor?” Mike confidently tells me that he had reviewed… Read the full article…

One and Done Just Doesn’t Work

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

In talking with Mark about the leadership training the team went through last week, he comments that it seemed like great training but it wasn’t clear what’s next. While Mark is enthusiastic that everyone enjoyed the session, what’s the point if nothing changes? Mark agrees that his team needs to build stronger leadership skills. The challenge is how to change… Read the full article…

Understanding the Steps to Performance Management

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

Most people I encounter link performance management to their performance review program. As lean organizations become more focused on people-centric leadership, they have often expanded this to include some type of coaching program. Yet after years of working in lean and HR, it’s critical that people realize that performance management includes all of the following steps: 1. Setting expectations 2…. Read the full article…

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

Posted by: Cheryl Jekiel | No Comments

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

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

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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?

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
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

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…