We help organizations by:
- Improving operational processes
- Identifying problems and solutions quickly and systematically
- Reducing waste and cycle time
- Providing companies with work analysis methods and tools
- Equipping employees with needed problem solving, communication and collaboration skills
- Enabling owners, managers and supervisors with necessary leadership competencies
- Facilitating performance improvement activities with individuals, teams and total organizations
- Advising managers on effective employee recognition and reward practices.
Our workplaces are increasingly competitive, always changing and sometimes chaotic. Employers need to stay focused on finding better ways to provide products and services. Worker needs and demographics are shifting. Employers who recognize and adjust to these changes will be better prepared to compete and be successful.
We believe in taking a systemic view. As the saying goes “Joe’s solution is Jim’s problem.” Organizations are complex systems that affect the performance of individuals, teams and the whole organization.
We love analysis. We’ve learned how to harness analysis but not let it control us. Sound analysis is a must to understand root cause of problems. If we jump to solutions before understanding root cause, we will revisit the same problem, or its cousin, again.
We realize that decisions must be made quickly to compete in today’s environment — and if we dilly dally too long in the analysis phase we may lose the window of opportunity. We believe in developing and educating employees toward a state of profound knowledge and empowerment so employees closest to the customer can make wise choices quickly.
As much as we love analysis we love people even more! We believe in utilizing every ounce of capability within people. We know from research that people need to feel useful and valued. So let’s do it. All of our performance improvement and productivity enhancement strategies recognize the human side of the equation.
The Bottom Line: It used to be okay to tally up costs, slap on a profit margin and set price. Not any more. Today’s competitive environment requires us to control costs by continuously improving performance so we can be price competitive and provide a satisfactory financial return to owners.
We can help. Been there. Done that!
Check us out. We consult in:
There is much more to performance management than just pushing an appraisal form in front of an employee once a year. Effective performance management is a continuous process; and a process that is vital to employee, supervisor, team, department and organizational success.
We can help with:
- documenting work
- setting standards and objectives
- aligning employee and group objectives with organizational goals, values and mission
- training and supporting supervisors
- connecting rewards to results
“it’s important to measure what counts as well as what is countable”
We have successfully built and implemented total performance management systems for many organizations. Approaches we’ve used include:
- multi-source feedback
- balanced scorecard
- results based reward programs
- competency development plans
- work measurement driven incentive systems
- goal sharing
- performance-based compensation
Organizational Development — what is that? No, we’re not coming to your house to organize your closets!
OD is any activity or process that helps an organization (yours perhaps?) achieve desired outcomes.
For example: if your organization is interested in leadership development, we can help by applying assessments, coaching, utilizing leadership competency invenories, facilitating rounded feedback, etc.
Another example: if your organization is interested in improving productivity, we can help by facilitating process mapping, analyzing gaps and redundancies, and applying performance measurement and targeting tools.
Then there is change. No organization can survive without it.
“The key to survival is the ability to adapt.”
“People don’t mind change, but they don’t like being changed.”
Change can be managed. People must be told the truth. Speaking of truth — don’t forget trust in the workplace. Building a respectful workplace is so important. We can help individuals and organizations move toward that lofty and desired goal through coaching, education, assessments, and wisdom-filled communications.
If your organization needs help with articulating its mission, vision, values and core competencies — we can help sort that out for you.
Got conflict? Who doesn’t? We can help isolate the nature and causes of conflict — get to the root cause — and facilitate necessary changes.
When it comes to OD — we are the mavens. Let us tell you everything we know about it.
Industrial engineers figure out how to do things better.Â Whether it is streamlining a surgery operating room or shortening global distribution lines or manufacturing mouse traps — IE is about the common goal of increasing efficiencies and saving money.
The continuous improvement initiatives of the last two decades have put a spotlight on the need for industrial engineering. Productivity and quality improvements come from the profession of industrial engineering.
There are many tools, ways, means and schemes to use. Probably no tool solicits as much interest (especially with employees) as the stop watch. When the stop watch appears in the work environment, employees naturally get nervous. It is perceived as spying and makes employees feel not respected.
We must realize that employees have strong needs for appreciation and respect. Maslow was right! It is very important to involve employees in any improvement process from the beginning so they understand the motives and ramifications. If they understand and are involved, there is a much greater probability that they will accept the change. Therefore, communication is key to success with any process improvement and change intervention.
Employees can help and trained facilitators (such as six sigma black belts) can help as well. But it is the professional industrial engineer who will be the systems integrator — the big picture thinker who conceptualizes how change impacts processes “downstream”.
The term “industrial” does NOT mean just manufacturing. Service and non-profit organizations can utilize the expertise of industrial engineers as well. The same techniques can be used to evaluate and improve productivity and quality in manufacturing plants and hospitals and schools and service organizations.
Industrial engineers are trained to come up with scientific approaches to problems rather than “seat-of-the-pants” temporary solutions.
Over the past two decades Industrial Engineers have enlarged their role within organizations to encompass not only the technical and data side of process improvement or process engineering — but also the human side. Lean and Six Sigma recognize the importance of including employees in the problem solving mix.
Like every other organization, you want to improve performance and productivity. In order to do that, you must first understand the work processes.
Because every organization is unique, we don’t have a standard “how-to” method to brag about here on our web site. But here are some of the basics we can help you do to improve your processes, which reduces your costs and improves your bottom line.
We can help with:
- work documentation
- process flow charting
- root cause analysis
- cycle time reduction
- group problem solving and decision making
- analysis tools
Whether you call it “continuous process improvement” or “six sigma” or “lean manufacturing” or “total quality management” (that’s dating us!) — the purpose is the same — to improve!
“To improve, you must first know your current process.”
“Improvements are the wheels that keep an organization from standing still.”
We like to use Joiner’s 7-Step Process from Peter Scholtes’ books on Teamwork and Leadership and the PDCA wheel that Dr. Deming made famous.
What makes a great leader? There are over 1,000 books on the topic of leadership — each with 1,000 different answers. Yeah, that’s kind of nebulous, so we’ll try to boil it down for you.
“Leadership is getting others to do what you want them to do . . . . willingly.”
Effective leaders develop their ability to assess situations. They hone their communication skills. The days of barking out orders and demanding action is gone. Recent research shows that the next generation is much less likely to do what someone says, just because they have a title or authority.
Leaders must find ways to persuade and convince others. Empathy is regarded as one of the most important characteristics of an effective leader. Why? Because leaders who take the time to learn and understand others will be more likely to actually lead them because they will use reward approaches that get the desired results for the specific situation.
We incorporate Situational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence concepts into our Leadership Development program. We utilize the “Leadership Architect” plan from Lominger. Other approaches we use are:
- 360 Degree Feedback
- MBTI Assessments
- Leadership and Communication Assessments
- One-on-One Coaching
- Leadership Facilitation, Education and Training
Leaders are not born, they are developed. Although personal traits play a major role in the level of comfort and preferences people have, leadership competencies are developed over time through awareness, education and application.
We are here to help leaders develop. It’s our purpose.
The quest for workplace harmony has to start somewhere, so let’s begin with this fact: Simple differences between people can lead to major conflict. But — surprise, surprise — it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can choose to accept others for who they are, and who they are not. You can learn to identify the nuances and snuff out the chaos before it starts. We affectionately refer to this as the Preemptive Strike Method. You can even develop new skills that will lead to better, more satisfying interpersonal relationships with your co-workers, bosses and customers.
It is painfully simple: Nothing great ever gets accomplished without people working together.
Interventions we use are:
- situation analysis
- conflict mediation
- group problem solving training
- individual and group coaching
- appreciative inquiry
- style assessments
If your organization needs a fresh injection of workplace harmony, we would like to help. It’s what we’re here for.