Monday, September 9, 2019

PDCA - the Pounding Heart Muscle of Life

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Plan-Do-Check-Adjust - so easy to say.

An inexperienced young fellow recently said to me, "PDCA is too easy. I need something more..."

At his age, I was thick too. The mist gradually cleared for me, as I'm sure it will for him.

My Toyota sensei once said, "Ten years to learn Plan, ten for Do, ten for Check and ten for adjust. I am beginning to understand PDCA now."


Forty years - for one the world's top auto executives.

There isn't much that's truly new. And there are eternal verities, like PDCA.

How often are we distracted, like crows, by the latest shiny object?

How many people are distracted by the latest get-rich-quick scheme -- Real Estate! Gold! Emerging Markets!

How many folks fall under the spell of latest & greatest motivational speaker?

Some of these may have merit in the short term.

But the real road to success is PDCA, the pounding heart muscle of the universe.

Inhale & exhale, expand & contract, wax & wane.

PDCA distinguishes us from the animals. It informs, or should inform, all human activity

So with all respect to Tom Robbins and Oprah, we already know the answer.

The 'silver bullet' is right in front of us. It's difficult, humbling work, but it works.

As we used to say at our old Toyota factory, "If you follow the recipe, you get a Big Mac every time..."

Best,

Pascal



In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

Want to Make Better Decisions? Simplify…
How do Adults Learn?
Back to Basics – Visual Management
Back to Basics – Visual Order

Monday, August 26, 2019

Want to Make Better Decisions? Simplify…

By Pascal Dennis (bio)

Developing and deploying strategy entails hundreds or even thousands of decisions in a given year.

How do we make better decisions? (Can we raise our decision-making accuracy to six sigma levels – 3.4 defects per million decisions?)

Start by simplifying the chess board. Eliminate trivial, marginal, unnecessary and wasteful activities and factors.


In Chess, if you’re up a pawn on a full chessboard, a sure path to victory is to gradually simplify.

Eventually, your pawn and King face the opponent’s King, and victory is close.

Simplification in business serves the same purpose – the essentials stand out in sharp relief.

We can begin to focus.

In our wired world, simplification is counter-intuitive. If we remove stuff from our chessboard, if we clean up our various ‘screens’, we feel we’re missing something.

(Our motto seems to be “A finger in every pie!”. But that leaves us with sticky fingers and a ruined pies!)

If you accept my premise, the next question is: “How do we simplify?”

An excellent start is to reflect and confirm our Purpose.

What are we trying to achieve? What’s our Shining City on the Hill?

Define Purpose with drawings, dashboards, words and music if need be. Purpose clear as crystal eases simplification.

In Chess, purpose is clear – checkmate the opponent’s King!

We have to make our business Purpose as clear, and then communicate it gently, engagingly and repeatedly.

Simplification inevitably follows.

Best,

Pascal

In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

How do Adults Learn?
Back to Basics – Visual Management
Back to Basics – Visual Order
Back to Basics – Employee Engagement

Monday, August 12, 2019

How Do Adults Learn?

By Al Norval (bio)

Adults learn very differently from children.

Children are sponges. Every day is a new adventure in which new things are learned. Somewhere along the way this all changes and we mature and become adults.


Adults on the other hand, only learn what they feel they need to learn. Adult learning is very practical. If I can’t see how this will help me now, then the true understanding and retention rate of the learning will be very low. I’m sure we can all remember the blah, blah, blah of college professors droning on about some mundane topic that was soon forgotten after the final exam was written.

So, what does this mean?

Adult learning focuses on solving problems. More concretely, realistic problems that people have right now.

When teams have problems, leaders have an opportunity to teach and use the problem to raise the capability of their Team Members. This is the power and magic behind kaizen.

We solve problems and learn in the very process of doing so. This is also the basis of Mental model #1 – Leader as a Teacher. Not to teach like a college professor but to teach Socratically by asking question to build the teams capability and guide the Team through the problem solving process.

Cheers

Al

In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

Back to Basics – Visual Management
Back to Basics – Visual Order
Back to Basics – Employee Engagement
Back to Basics – Customer Value