Learning through observation

People are often curious about how we can go into such a wide variety of organizations and businesses and somehow help them improve. One advantage we have is that we tend to see similar patterns over and over across industries and even across nationalities.

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It’s easy to lose sight of the purpose

The backstory on 52 Maxims was that we worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. for a number of years; during that time were introduced to their concept known as “The Basics” that consisted of 18 fundamentals of service, which they used as daily reminders for their staff.

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The most dangerous kind of resistance

Lesson Learned #49 One of the interesting things we’ve learned is that the manager who is initially the most outspoken opponent of starting a performance-improvement program often ends up its greatest champion.

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The office can learn from the shop floor

The basic principles of management don’t change from industry to industry, or one environment to another. In many ways, the shop floor has been a leader in management practices.

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Operations has to own the project

Many companies have corporate improvement teams of one kind or another, such as quality or Lean or Six Sigma or some combination. And sometimes they bring in outside consultants to serve a similar role.

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What’s the real problem?

An auto-parts supplier who made plastic components for a large car manufacturer needed to increase the throughput of one of its production lines, because the line was losing money.

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