Triton Group Management Consultants
24 years experience

Management Matters

Blind spots:
A guest sees more in an hour than the host in a year (Polish Proverb)
[The proverb also applies to a physical business environment. A visitor can often see “wastes” hidden from the view of resident staff, who are not aware of their system’s declining position.]

-June 2016


Feelings:
People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said , but they will always remember how you made them feel (Numerous Authors).
[For example: Effective managers know that during counselling the feelings felt by their reports remain in their memory and will have a bearing on future behaviours - often for a lifetime]

-May 2016


Empathy:
If there is any great secret of success in life, it lies in the ability to put yourself in the other person’s place and to see things from his [her] point of view-as well as your own. (Henry Ford)

-April 2016


Change:
The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking (Albert Einstein)

-March 2016


Commitment:
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes (Peter Drucker)

Until one is COMMITTED, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back … whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it (Goethe)

-February 2016


Create Constancy of Purpose:
What is important is having all the elements together as a system. It must be practiced every day in a very consistent manner – not in spurts…
(Fujio Cho, President Toyota Motor Corporation, The Toyota Way, p27)

[The Constancy principle is usually attributed to Edwards Deming. He was adamant that it was the first responsibility of management. Toyota has rigorously applied the principle throughout its global operations for over 50 years]

-January 2016


Best Learning:
Experience plus reflection is the learning that lasts (Charles Handy)
[This is a process much like managing itself, where experiences, concepts, and reflections blend together as the manager goes along the learning path]

-December 2015


Keys to Improvement:
Easier, better, faster and then cheaper (Shigeo Shingo, Non-stock Production) [Shigeo was adamant that the first step must be to make things EASIER. This will engage the people in improvement thinking before considering the next three, which will finally lead to reduced costs.]

-November 2015


Management fads:
Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.
(Colin Powell- USA Diplomat, Military Leader 1937–)

-October 2015


Know-why & Know-how:
If know-how is all that is passed along, you may be able to perform a task the way it is taught, but you won’t know what to do when conditions change [ …know-why is necessary for deeper knowledge and control]. All too often people visit other plants only to copy their methods [without understanding the why].
(The Saying of Shigeo Shingo)

-September 2015


Think for yourself:
When everybody knows that something is so, it means that nobody knows nothin’ (Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove, Chairman of Intel).
Grove used this advice from his first mentor all through of his life: go back to first principles and base your knowledge on facts and analysis rather than on what everybody knows.

-August 2015


Failure:
If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative. (Woody Allen)

Adding to the quote: In a rapidly changing world, relying only on what worked yesterday is unlikely to help you today.

-July 2015


Giving and Receiving Advice:
Advisers [or problem analysts] must gather intelligence to develop a clearer picture of the problem to be solved. Here they can slip up in a couple of ways, as Edgar Schein, of MIT’s Sloan School, has pointed out. First, they may define the problem prematurely because they think they see similarities with challenges they’ve faced. Second, they sometimes forget that seekers are self-interested parties who may—deliberately or not—present partial or biased accounts. Taking such accounts at face value leads to inaccurate assessments and flawed advice.
(The Art of Giving and Receiving Advice, Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 2015, Prof. David A. Garvin, Prof. Joshua D. Margolis – Harvard Business School)

-June 2015


Continual Improvement:
Best practices are not only integral to making strategy happen, they are a sustainable competitive advantage if you continually improve them, with if being the key word. (Jack Welch - Winning, 2005 p.188)

-May 2015


Continuous Learning:
The organisation’s ability to learn faster (and possibly better) than the competition becomes its most sustainable competitive advantage. (Arie de Geus – former executive at Royal Dutch/Shell Group and visiting fellow at London Business School, The Living Company, 1997)

-April 2015


Knowing What to Stop:
We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don't spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop (Peter Drucker) – rated as one of Drucker’s wisest statements

-March 2015


Speed:
Speed is everything. It is the indispensable ingredient in competitiveness. (Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric)

-February 2015


Past Expectations:
When elephants are small, they try to pull out the stake they are tethered to, and they fail. When they grow large, they never try to pull out the stake again (Elephant trainer in Bangalore jungle to Vivek Paul, President and CEO Wipro Technologies) - the anecdote is an illustration of the limitations we put on ourselves based on past experiences. We should strive for what we think we are capable of.

-January 2015


Length of time in a process:
The longer anything is in my factory, the more it costs me (Henry Ford I – Today and Tomorrow, 1926) – A practical description by Ford on the waste of waiting time.

-December 2014


Measurement:
Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. (Albert Einstein)

-November 2014


Learning:
Never stop learning...even if you’re a CEO, you don’t know it all. Admitting this is not a sign of weakness. The strongest leaders are those who are lifelong students. (Indra Nooyi CEO Pepsi)

-October 2014


Operational Excellence:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. (Aristotle 384 BC – 322 BC) - This sage advice can help transform companies through the habit of constancy of purpose.

-September 2014


Problems:
No Problems is Problem (Shigeo Shingo c.1987) - meaning that if you are not continually finding and fixing problems you are regressing and continuous improvement has stalled.

-August 2014


Standards:
A standard method or work procedure is made up of only those elements which, when not followed, result in a predictable defect or waste. Operators must be involved in developing the standard and understand it – otherwise they will not follow it. (Richard Fukuda, Managerial Engineering c.1983)

-July 2014


Silos and Slabs in Organisations:
Organisations whose people cannot get through the slabs are no better off than ones whose people cannot get out of the silos. After all, the head of a cow has to function with the body. (Henry Mintzberg, Coaching Ourselves, c. 2013)
– June 2014


Making improvements to Lean operations:
…Don’t get carried away with a lot of training. Focus on doing… [to kick -off, teach everyone how to “see” the waste in any process and the know-how to remove it]…
(Art Byrne, former CEO The Wiremold Company… How much Lean Training should we be doing? May 16, 2014, Lean Enterprise Inst. Website)
- May 2014


Changing an organisation culture:
…Leaders often say: they have other things to do first…or wait for new leadership…[etc. etc.]… Do not wait. The time to understand your cultural situation is now. It will influence everything else you’re doing…
(Jon R. Katzenbach, There’s No Such Thing as a Culture Turnaround, HBR Blog Dec 18 2013)
-
Apr 2014


Mentor:
…Even if the mentor has a notion of how the challenge might be achieved, he does not share it with the student. His task is to lead the student into developing good habits for working through problems, via intensive questioning-based coaching on this problem.
(Mike Rother, Jeffrey Liker, Why Lean Programs Fail, Lean Enterprise Inst. website) - March 2014


Gemba:
… The floor, be it in a factory, office or hospital, is the place where the providers overcome obstacles and setbacks every minute of every day to provide the greatest value of which they are capable. Exceptional organizations continuously develop that floor level capability to solve problems and make improvements, placing high value on provider experience, common sense and creativity. These organizations understand this human development to be the keystone to operational excellence.
(Bruce Hamilton, President, GBMP & Vice Chair, Shingo Institute Board of Governors)
-
Feb 2014

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