DEFEAT CAN BE A GREAT TEACHER

Sometimes we make decisions to move in a direction that we later regret. Unfortunately, pride can sometimes keep us from admitting a mistake has even been made. Worse yet, that delay in admitting our mistake can actually rob us from the opportunity to rectify the situation.

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Peter Drucker Quote

Ok, so I just bleeped myself while I wrote that title.  That was a little weird…sorry about that!

I felt that it was necessary though, because I feel like I’ve disappeared on those of you that were faithfully reading my posts.  To be honest, my whole life has been kind of kidnapped since the the day before my birthday at the end of January.  I would guess that even my wife and kids feel that way since I leaped head first into the most challenging & rewarding journey of my life.

This post is mostly an update on what’s been going on.  Lot’s of corporate culture and lot’s of revolution!

What Happened?

I took a new job.  Actually, the day before my birthday (1/28) I jumped into a new full time position that is the culmination of my personal aspirations.  I’m now a Lean Manufacturing Agent.  I know, it’s not very sexy, but trust me there is more depth to it than you think.  Whole new gig – whole new adventure!

What is Lean?

“Lean” as a theory takes it’s history from World War II, Henry Ford, Toyota and more.  I’ve actually spent most of the past few months learning, growing, and realizing how much I still have to learn.  I won’t even try bore you with the details of it, but let’s just say there is more history in the “lean” concepts than many of us have been alive.

Lean centers on several concepts that are near and dear to my heart though:

  1. Continuous improvement
  2. Employee & leader engagement / empowerment
  3. Personal accountability

 How Does That Relate to CCR?

Over the past several months, I’ve been asking myself that question over and over.  The answer is always the same in that it 100% correlates into revolutionizing corporate culture!

Don’t get me wrong, my ideas on how to change an organization’s culture from the bottom up have been put to the test for sure.  In my current situation the culture change is coming from the top, so that is way different than what I’ve written about and experienced in the past.  With that being said, Lean methodologies focus a majority of energy on a bottom up approach.

The thing that I’ve learned is that even if you are setting out to influence the culture at your organization from the middle or even the bottom, without structure & real behavior change, it’s going to be tough.

Many blogs and website out there write about leadership, character, communication, etc.  The problem with these words is that they sound great but are not tangible enough to stand on their own.  They can often be nebulous and self serving.

Lean focuses on structure and behavior change based on principles that have been time tested.  That’s why I’m in!

Will CCR Become Another “Lean” Blog?

Nope.  I hope to share some experiences and principles from lean to apply in your own CCR, but I couldn’t write about lean if I wanted to.  There are plenty of others doing that.  I just hope to transfer some of the knowledge & experiences that I have had and will have to any of you that are interested.

One promise I would like to make before I go…

Removal of waste is one of the cornerstones of the lean methodologies.  In the past I may have posted things out of a sense of responsibility to keep the posts coming instead of focusing on impact.  Therefore, I promise you that I won’t be posting anything unless I have something to write about that is truly impactful.  Even if that means that I may not post as often as the gurus say I should.  Oh well!

Question:  What do you know about Lean?

Good morning!  Friday is a good day for talking about self control, right?

Check out this short video on this topic.  Is self control really like a gas tank; that can easily run out?  I can only speak from experience here, but this research actually seems very logical to me.  Maybe that’s why taking small steps is really the best way to make lasting change…let me know what you think:

A girl quits her job with a video?  The video get’s 17 million views????  The company she quits responds with a video???

Ok, so today I don’t have some lofty, high level analysis of the video’s I’m sharing this morning.  I just think the whole situation is interesting and kind of crazy.  And for any of you that have already seen the quitting video, you probably haven’t seen the response video, so I’m sharing that too.  I hope you enjoy!

Question: How many of you dream of quitting your job in some crazy way?  Please share…

GOAL SETTING FATIGUE IMAGE

If you read that headline, you probably thought that I was being a jerk. Well, I agree! ;)  However, I was also being honest and sometimes those two things just go hand in hand.  I promised myself one thing when I started this site…that I would always be honest, even if it was painful.  And honestly, I’m truly sick of hearing about goal setting!

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Do you ever struggle to understand what motivates some people?  I know I sure do.  Motivation is one of the topics that I get asked about the most when I speak with leaders.  Much like culture, there seems to be a mystery to this topic; probably because we are dealing with the biggest mystery of them all…people.

Here’s a quick video from the “Harvard Business Review” that may be able to help you understand more about yourself, your co-workers, your boss, or even the people you lead:

LEADERSHIP SETTING THE CULTURE TONE

Culture is tough.  It’s not easy to explain.  It can be elusive and subjective.  It can always be better and it can always be worse.  Just in case you think yours can’t get any worse, try working for CEO Oliver Queen at Queen Industries.  I’m pretty sure that his leadership style is the poster child for absentee landlord.

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Organizational culture is something that just exists.  It’s not something that many of us want to try and change.  It does change, but it’s not usually in our control.  Over time…rules change, people change, and boom, culture changes.  However, there is a magic that can happen when groups of people are determined to make something happen.  In the case of automaker Ford’s turn around, that’s exactly how they did it.

Check out the short video below of an interview with VP of Marketing James Farley, where he talks about this decision:

Question:  Does an organization have to be desperate in order to change?

Resistance to change image

“People are set in their ways, closed minded, and are mostly unwilling to listen new ideas.  You just have to accept that and prove them wrong.”

These are the words that a consultant recently spoke to me.  Personally, I struggle with believing this.  I don’t like to pigeon hole people and make those kind of dangerous judgments.  I’d rather believe that people are smart, innovative, and unlimited in their approach, and mostly determined to be successful.

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Let’s face it, no matter what you do for a living, there are probably aspects of your job that are just plain monotonous and all out boring!  As a matter of fact, your entire job may be boring (hopefully not)…

Either way, the video I’m sharing below showcases something and someone that is very unique.  This person is turning his job (and a very boring part of it) into something special – art.  Watching this makes me ask myself how I could turn my less exciting activities into art.  Why settle for boring??  Check it out:

Question:  What about you; how can you turn your job into art?