Susan Baroncini – 2questionsTV.com

Jason Burt

Creating Stability in your business so you can sell it!

Great discussion on 2questionsTV.com with Susan discussing the issues and struggles making sure your business is sustainable and successful during and after sale. What needs to be done and when in order to prepare your business. What will a potential buyer be looking for to make sure the business will continue on without issue after the owner has moved on.

Lyndsay Phillips – Smooth Business Growth Podcast

Jason Burt

Getting Lean & Profitable

Sometimes as Small business owners it is difficult to get out of the doing mode and actually look at the process for improvement. How can we make time to improve everyday? How do we fit it into our daily routines? Here are some simple tips of how to use the scientific method to improve your processes without it feeling like more work…

 

Listen Now

Lean Practitioners should Pay Attention to the Financials

Jason Burt

I am a firm believer of a long term approach to all company improvement strategies.  Whether you are using Lean Manufacturing, Toyota Production System, Six Sigma….Theory of Constraints or some other approach, It should be a longer term approach focused on creating a culture that empowers the entire company to improve and solve problems on a daily basis.  I’m not going to debate the “approach”…that was another blog post that you can read here when you feel the desire.  I want to talk about why some short term impact is important and how the company financials should play a part in your work.

As a lean consultant, I work with many different clients of varying knowledge in reference to Lean Manufacturing.  They all come to me for help with different business needs and struggles, and typically those needs are shorter term issues that need to be resolved.  These issues include cost struggles, quality issues, delivery problems, Lead time issues, and many other daily issues that business leaders deal with.  All real issues, all needing immediate attention, all issues that a Lean Manufacturing approach can address for the company. 

Now also as a long time Lean Practitioner and life long student of Lean (or Toyota Production System if you prefer), I also understand that taking a short term approach by implementing a bunch of Lean tools without a significant culture change will ultimately be unsustainable.  Any “improvement” gained from the work will be lost and the company will fall back to the previous level of performance.  

So why do I think it is important that we look at short term financial goals and look to the P&L for results.  Because part of that culture change includes the Leadership.  The Board of Directors, the Executive Leaders, the Senior Management….every single one of them needs to start on their journey of “shifting their mindset”.  The fact that the level of leadership that we are talking about is measured on a short term financial picture is the reality of the world we live in.  

So I take the “give and take” approach with leadership teams.  I GIVE them what they need right now to be successful, which is short term results that are moving the company in the proper strategic direction.  I then TAKE them to the shop floor to start showing them the power of Lean and how a long term approach to build the culture can shift the company today, tomorrow, and for the future.  

Shifting the thinking in the Leadership is your best chance to extend the vision of Lean and the impact it can have on a company.  Leadership is often looking month to month from a financial performance perspective….what if you helped them short term, and spent significant time with them on the shop floor developing their thinking.  Could the Leadership start seeing the improvement possibilities on a quarter to quarter basis, how about a bi-annual basis, multiple years?  Help the leadership, because they have the power to drive the culture change.

I often hear lean practitioners talk about why Lean has failed in companies and it typically has to do with lack of support from leadership.  

“leadership didn’t see the long term possibilities”

“they only wanted to implement tools”

“there was no investment in the people and culture”

And then I hear from Leadership about why it failed…

“all they were focused on was learning, I needed results”

“The company is in crisis, we have to have an immediate impact”

“I don’t understand how their work is going to move the needle”

In my humble opinion, they are both correct…and we need to find the middle ground that allows us to move forward.  So don’t be scared to help leadership with short term goals.  Use it as a way to develop a trusting relationship and then coach them on what the long term approach needs to look like.  This will allow you to slowly move leadership in the direction that will help the company, culture, employees, and the leadership.  

Sometimes we forget that every relationship is a GIVE and TAKE….especially when we are trying to help shift an entire culture within a company.  No journey is a simple straight line path…we have to be willing to find the balance to teaching and learning along with the realities of running a business.  

And of course, we are always willing to help.  Just check us out at ehiipconsulting.com.

Jason

Solving Problems with Kaizen

Jason Burt

I was very fortunate to be a part of this Lean Transformation from the very initial involvement of the Toyota Supplier Support Center (TSSC).  This was the start of my Lean Journey with Toyota and eventually went to work for TSSC for a year and a half to learn more about the Toyota way and bring it back to Herman Miller.  This was a great turning point in my career in Lean Manufacturing.  This video does a great job of summarizing the long journey of Kaizen to create an entirely different capability and culture of problem solving and meeting customer needs.

How a Lean Strategy Can Help You Run a More Profitable Business

Jason Burt

On the Business Owners Radio podcast we discussed using the lean manufacturing approach to run a more profitable business.  Business owners of all industries and sizes could benefit from the lean approach, whether you are in the service industry, manufacturing, healthcare, or another industry.  The approach to develop a continuous improvement culture makes sense in all businesses.

LISTEN NOW

Lean Manufacturing or TPS?  Who really cares?

Jason Burt

Yes, I said it….who really cares if it is called Lean Manufacturing or TPS…and I believe it 100%.  The truth is that there are many consultants and “experts” out there that focus way too much time criticizing work going on around us because of terminology and not based on knowledge of that persons approach.  

Disclaimer…

So my background is in the Toyota Production System (TPS).  I have worked with, for, and been mentored by Toyota for over 20 years in one capacity or another.  All of my learning and approach is based on TPS and I credit them with everything that I do in my consulting practice.  The reality is that I refer to or call what I do “Lean” on a daily basis.  And I am ok with that.  

Let me repeat “I call what I do ‘lean Manufacturing’ on a daily basis. And I am ok with that.”

The reality…

The truth is that the majority of my current customers and my target customers have heard the term Lean and have not necessarily become familiar with its roots based in TPS.  For that reason, I have embraced the term and use it interchangeably with TPS.  

The reality is “who cares”?  It is the thinking that really matters correct?  It is the approach that is important, right?  That is what is said by many leaders of our industry, yet some of those same leaders will be so quick to jump on someone over basic terminology that doesn’t mean squat.  I recently reached out to a connection on Linkedin who presents himself as an “expert” on this topic…and his arrogant response was “your lean is not the same as my lean”.  Now my question is simply…how would you know that seeing how we have never talked, worked, or even communicated together before me reaching out to connect…and ask him a question.  …I don’t get it.

What we should ALL be doing is recognizing that the terminology being used is purely based on where you came from, who you learned from….and that terminology is multiple times removed from where it originated.  It is the telephone game in real life for us adults.  

Example:  Is it pronounced Kanban (Can-ban) or Kanban (Kon-Bon)?  

I’m sure you have an opinion, but doesn’t it really matter…or does the proper use and understanding of how the system is used to make customer/supplier connections important…and using it properly to highlight problems for problem solving…   That is what is important to me and should be for all of us as coaches and leaders.

What is Really important…

What is really important in the Lean Manufacturing versus Toyota Production System debate is that we are all learning and improving our approach daily.  We all have the same issue that we deal with…and that is sustainability of the system and the approach.  We all have our thoughts on why this is an issue, not focusing on the people development, Leaders not engaged, tool focus versus culture development.  They are all true, and I have seen each of those gaps in groups using “Toyota Way” an “Lean Manufacturing” to describe their approach.  So I honestly don’t think that the terminology is the issue.  In fact, I have ran into some great problem solving, people focused companies that haven’t really heard anything about Lean Manufacturing or TPS…but their thinking already further along than some companies on the path already.  So once again…I do not believe that terminology is a major problem that we should waste so much time and effort on.

What we need to do…

I would like to our industry of Lean/TPS consultants and Leaders out there working hard to implement sustainable continuous improvement cultures stop worrying about the words and focus on the approach.  

Making sure that our approach is people focused to develop highly capable problem solvers across the organization, and that it is designing a system to support that work across the entire organization…that is what is important to me and should be to all of us.  We should all be focused on making our approach and others better despite the terminology difference.  

So, if I am in conversation with someone or working with a new client and they decide to call THEIR system the… 

…Operational performance system 

…Toyota Way system

…Enterprise continuous improvement

…Lean Manufacturing approach

and they are using…

Value Stream Mapping  versus Material and Information Flow

Kanban versus Kanban

Standard Work versus Standardized work

I’m not worried, because I am working with them on their THINKING and their APPROACH, not telling them what words they need to use within THEIR culture that they are developing.

Do the words matter at all…

So, before everyone jumps in with their comments as to why I am wrong and terminology is important.  I will say that the consistency of the terminology is important within the companies culture to standardize communication.  If a Lean organization is going to properly train and communicate Lean concepts, there must be a consistent set of Lean terminology that is used and consistent thinking behind them.  

…So yes, of course standards are important…

B2B Growth Podcast – 3 things more important than Revenue

Jason Burt

Having a clear plan for growing revenue is almost always the first thing that Leaders focus on…but there are other things that are just as important as Revenue, and maybe even more important.  Lean Manufacturing helps business leaders look at growth and make sure there is a clear plan for Capacity, Capability, and Margin growth which is key for the growth to be successful.

Listen Now

Lean Minute #11 – Business Growth

Jason Burt

Are you looking to Grow your Consulting Business, Manufacturing business, etc….good!  But it is important to think about the Lean Manufacturing approach and make sure that the growth is done in a responsible and sustainable way.  

Lean Minute #10 – TPS vs. Lean

Jason Burt

There seems to be a divide in the Lean Consulting Community around the Toyota Way approach versus the Lean Manufacturing approach.  Well, I think this is ridiculous.  Too many Lean Consultants are getting wrapped up in terminology instead of looking at the actual Lean Thinking approach that is being used, despite the terminology.

1 2 3