It's Time For You!

 

Now that you've had a great summer with the family and the kids are excited to return to school, it's finally “me time”! Time for you!
 
The coming of fall and the kid's return to school creates an excellent opportunity for leaders to reorganize themselves for the long winter ahead! I know, depressing, right? No! It doesn’t have to be! If you’re thinking of taking steps to get yourself better organized and in more control of your day, here are a few tips for you:
 
* “Prioritized Leader Actions” or PLA. A very effective old tool, with hopefully a more enticing name. PLA is a great tool to get and stay on top of your biggest priorities. Try it! Check it out here.
 
* My favourite life-saving trick is to set your scheduling app to 20 and 50-minute meetings instead of the typical 30 and 60-minutes. Doing so gives you time to deal with the small things, stay on top of emails, or grab coffee throughout your busy day. Full article here.
 
* Block multiple 1-hour time slots in your calendar across the future horizon. Due to a packed calendar in the near term, you may need to start in a month or more from the current date. These blocks are to reserve “me time” so you can focus on your top priorities. Schedule at the most likely times of the week and hours of the day, reducing the chances of being overridden by mandatory meetings. As you get closer to the dates and know exactly what you’ll use the block for, you can invite other people as necessary. Sure, some blocks may get cancelled, but not all when done with thought and consideration. As a result, you’ll have more time for your priorities than you do today. Promise!
 
I hope you find these helpful.

What do you do to make time for yourself or the things that matter to you? Leave a comment.

 

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Conflicts of planning line trials

One of the things I’ve always loved is the simple kaizens (continuous improvement). I was reminded of this recently working with RAB Design Lighting when the team there was conducting some line trials. Having coached the team on the importance of detailed trial planning and real-as-possible process set-up, but also the need to be balanced with simplicity, low cost, and high flexibility, I was thrilled to see their creativity and ingenuity that met these two potentially conflicting criteria. See examples in the pictures below.

 



The two criteria mentioned above is important because you want a trial to simulate the real line conditions as much as possible, however, things will definitely change as you learn more. So you don’t want to invest time and money building/buying a lot of things that may not actually be used in the permanent line or that may require several iterations of changes to get just right.

When conducting line trails careful planning is necessary. Planning such as: Clearly defining the purpose of the trial is critical. Determining what are you trying to prove, disprove or discover. Setting up the line to simulate as close as possible what the actual real line will look and feel like. Protecting the trial from “noise” or other things that can negatively impact or distract from the purpose of the trial. Although some of these things maybe real, you should try and isolate them from initial trials if they are not directly related to the purpose. There is a time and place to allow real time disruptions and abnormalities but not in early trials. Identifying and defining the number of trial observers, their roles, responsibilities and tracking needs. Deciding on what metrics to track and measure throughout the trial and who is going to do that. Scheduling, taking into account breaks, lunches and shift end, is also important.

Trials are to experiment and learn. They can also be a great deal of fun along the way! 

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Time Saving Tip!

One of the best time saving, and perhaps even life saving things I did was implement 50 minute and 20 minute meetings. The emphasis was on 20 minute meetings as the rule and 50 minutes an exception.

 

The old saying "the fish grows to the size of the fish bowl" applies to meetings. Most people schedule 60 minute meetings. Why? It's the default setting in most scheduling apps. What happens? Meetings extend to the length of time that the meeting is scheduled! Funny how that is, eh!

The obvious benefit of 50/20 minute meetings is more effective meetings and staying on topic, however, the real reward is that you get 10 minutes between each meeting, for, well, whatever you need. That maybe a coffee, a washroom break, checking and responding to emails, making quick calls, conversations, preparing for your next meeting.

Try it! It's simple but GREAT!

Leave a comment with your best time saving or personal planning tip.

Watch for High Performance Leaders Inc. time management and personal planning workshop coming this fall.

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Whether for personal or business purposes, with every New Year, there is an opportunity for all of us to make a fresh start! Are you prepared to take it in 2022?

 

Personally, I've never really been a fan of New Year's Resolutions.  There are many statistics out there with some studies indicating that up to 80% of resolutions fail.  Why?  My view is they are usually just statements made without any real plan to achieve, lack support mechanisms, or don't have new habit formation actions, to mention just a few.  For these reasons, I believe that Goals and Objectives eat New Year's resolutions for breakfast, every time!

 

I've set annual goals and objectives both personally and within my businesses for many years now.  I've learned a lot over the years and have developed what I have found to be a pretty good process.  Often due to our busyness or just plain procrastination, the hardest part is to get started, so I thought I'd try and assist you by providing some of my previous posts on topics that I think can be very helpful at this time of year. 

 

Getting yourself organized - Time management & weekly personal planning

 

6 Must have’s for any planning routine – If you are in need of getting yourself better organized so you stay in control and get the right things done, these 6 key points to incorporate in your planning process will be helpful.

 

An effective leaders to-do list – We all have “things” we need or want to get done on a regular basis, but often we lose track of them and they fall off our radar. This article gives an over view of a very powerful leader tool, that is sadly too often overlooked, not understood, or assumed to be only for manufacturing. Not giving it away here so as not to discourage you from checking it out first!

 

Free personal organizer/planner download – Free down load of the template I use for my personal organizer and weekly planner. If you don’t have one, this should give you a good starting point that is ready to use, or you can easily revise to fit your personal needs.

 

28-Day Habit Tool - Forming a new habit is always challenging.  We've worked with many people over the years to help them form new habits using the 28 Day Habit Tool.  Set a new habit and track your progress.  Reflect daily as to the barriers and challenges you faced completing the new habit and keep at it.  If you miss any day... don't despair, but rather reflect, come up with mitigation, and move forward with the habit, BUT... reset the 28 days and start again.  Continue until you achieve 28 consecutive days of the new habit.

 

Leadership Hacks – Getting your stuff together – a 2.5 hour live virtual seminar with over 50+ proven tips and techniques to get yourself organized and stay in control without having to spend a career figuring it all out.

 

Setting goals and objectives – Personal or for business

 

Reflections vs Resolutions – A critical step before setting annual goals and objectives is to first reflect on the previous year. In my opinion, reflection is far more important than any resolution. In this post we discuss why resolutions typically fail and the steps to conducting a good reflection.

 

Setting Personal and Professional Goals and Objectives – Mission Statements – Whether it’s for personal use or professionally, having a defined mission is very important. This article walks through what a mission statement is comprised of and provides a couple of personal examples to help demonstrate.

 

Setting Personal and Professional Goals and Objectives – Goals & Objectives – Providing both personal and organizational examples, this article outlines how to create strategies, goals and objectives.

 

Setting Personal and Professional Goals and Objectives – Tactics or Action Plans – Once again providing both personal and organizational examples, we review the steps to take to develop robust actions to achieve your goals & objectives.

 

If you'd be interested in a complimentary Lunch & Lead Series topic on Setting Personal and Professional Goals and Objectives, leave us a comment or contact us to let us know your interest.

 

HPL also facilitates the annual business planning process for our clients.  If you're interested and want to learn more, please contact us to discuss your needs.

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Mary Kay Ash built the global cosmetic empire Mary Kay which is now a $3.25 billion company. (Some of you may recall Mary Kay’s signature pink Cadillac). 

 

She built the empire based on the following leadership and problem solving approach:

 

1. Follow the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you – in dealing with team members and employees.  If you help them get what they want, they will help you get what you want.

 

2. The people are more important than the plan.  Make them feel important, praise them, listen to them and let them contribute.  In return you will get their best efforts and their support.   Managers get their best ideas from their teams.


3. Manager must lead by getting their hands dirty.


4. Managers have a responsibility to their employees.  They must instill in their employees a sense of pride and pleasure in the work and try to provide a low-stress environment in which people can do their best.  All employees are called by their first names, regardless of title.


5. There are no ‘little people’ in the organization. Everyone is important to the organization’s success. (When Mary Kay was alive, she met personally will all new employees within the first month). 

 

Please let me know your thoughts.

 

Thank you

Scott

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‘Good is the enemy of great’ – Good to Great, Jim Collins. 

 

If we are already good, then why change?   We tend to react to crisis and take immediate action to lessen the impact or improve the situation (our current crisis is a prime example of this).  If things are ‘okay’ we tend to leave them. Why spend the effort if things are good?  What we may not realize is that not taking action has a cost.   

 

A typical first step of an improvement journey is to stabilize the way we do our work.  For example, a simple exercise in workplace organization will stabilize an area or process and help improve the ability to see abnormal conditions.   The ability to see abnormal conditions will allow for immediate problem identification and stop the problem from progressing. The first reaction - So what? We find the problems eventually, don’t we?   

 

Here is some quick math on the cost of not taking action.  What if not catching the problem right away results in additional time to contain and fix the problem?   What if that results in an additional 20 minutes in your day? (Most people spend more time than this daily just trying to find stuff).  When you do the math, 20 minutes daily results in 11 days over the course of a year.   If you have 100 people in your organization that experience problems, that could be up to 1100 days of lost capacity, not to mention the additional frustration and negative impact on your customers. 

 

Part of Continuous Improvement is having everyone identify improvements and take the step to implement the change.   What if we got everyone on our teams to identify and implement an improvement that could save 20 minutes a day?  Think of the cost if we don’t.        

 

Maybe things are not as ‘good’ as once perceived. Don’t let good be the enemy of great.

 

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One of my favourite management thinkers is Peter Drucker.

 

One of his many philosophies is “The best way to predict the future is to create it”.     

 

In simple terms, it is up to you on how your future will unfold.  By coming up with ideas about what you want to achieve, you begin to plan. As you plan, you begin to take action. As you take action, you begin to create your future. 

 

As we approach the new normal, it is more important than ever for both individuals and organizations to embrace this thinking.  

 

Keep improving. 

Scott

 

 

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LeadWell Series - Gemba Walks

 

Combining HPSC’s “build strong” and HPL’s “lead well” philosophies, the two companies collaborated to launch the “LeadWell Series” on 29 January 2020, to deliver short burst skill development opportunities for leaders.  Starting the series with the topic of “Gemba Walks”,  30 leaders representing over 10 companies participated in a gemba walk skill development segment, best practices sharing, and a gemba walk at Baylis Medical to practice their skills and to “go & see” the linkage between Baylis’s tier 2, 3, and 4 level leader boards. 

 

The LeadWell Series is intended to provide leaders with opportunities to improve their skills rapidly (3-4 hours) in areas of most interest and importance to them and then put them into practice at their operation immediately.  Topics are selected based on leader input and requests.  Each LeadWell Series topic is structured around

 

3 key pillars:

  1. Short burst skill development on a topic of leader interest
  2. Bench marking and best practice sharing
  3. A commitment to implement a best practice

 

What attending leaders are saying they liked about this “LeadWell Series – Gemba Walks”:

 

“Real-life examples”

“The guidance provided during the presentation of best practices for effective and ineffective gemba walks which framed the ‘go and see’ element of the event.”

“New ideas and concepts I can try right away”

“Interacting with other leaders to discuss do’s and do not’s, lessons learned, and strategies that have proven successful.”

“Seeing what everyone is struggling with despite the company they belong to.”

 

Special thanks to Baylis Medical for hosting and sharing their boards and progress with everyone!

 

Leave a comment and let us know what LeadWell Series topics you would be interested in?

 

 

 

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Leader Standard Work & Hitting Targets

 

Combining a robust leader standard work routine with setting and hitting targets can be a powerhouse that delivers results!  It's not just a shot in the dark!

 

If you have followed my posts, you'll know that I've been a strong proponent of leader standard work (LSW) for a long time, however, I was reminded recently of the power of combining standard work and the setting and hitting of targets.

 

Each month I reset my standard work for the new month.  It starts by reviewing the previous month and reflecting on what worked, didn't work and why, and identifying any new priorities.  Then the baseline is revised by making some adjustments, adding or deleting tasks, or changing the frequency of some tasks.  I also include certain non-work items within my LSW.  These are things that are for personal or professional development, important family responsibilities, or when I'm trying to create a new habit.

 

Although this is a personal example, it still shows the power of combining LSW and targets.  At the beginning of last month when I was doing my LSW review I found that I was not happy with my daily exercise results.  It had been very inconsistent.  Although I was running, the frequency was very intermittent and inconsistent.   There were always reasons why for each miss, but when seeing the results for the month, none of them mattered, the result was the result and it wasn't what I wanted.  So,  I decided I needed to do something about it!  First, I added a "Daily Exercise" task to my LSW, and second, I set a distance target for the month.

 

The month started off well.  I was exercising more regularly and I was well on my way to achieve my distance target.  It was working!  Then, by conscious choice, I missed about a week.  With about a week to go in the month, even if I got back to my routine, I wouldn't make my distance target.  At least, not doing what I had been doing before the break in the routine.  I couldn't make up for the days I didn't exercise, but I could do something different for the days remaining in the month.

 

I changed the time of day when I would exercise.  This helped overcome some of the challenges (a.k.a excuses) that were creating barriers to my daily exercise.  Then, I started running further than I had been before to make up some of the distance.  Some may consider running further than usual was somewhat cheating, and perhaps it was since the intent was not the distance per se, but rather to exercise regularly.  However, on more than one occasion in that final week of the month, I exercised when I probably wouldn't have.  I had a strong desire to hit and exceed my distance target, AND, I wanted to check off my LSW each day indicating that I had exercised.  It worked, I exceeded my distance target with a day to spare, but I ran the last day of the month anyway so that I would have exercised every single day for that last week.

 

Maybe a simple personal example, but combining LSW and targets is a powerful tool and is equally effective in a business environment.  The target will give you the motivation to keep working at it and to find ways to achieve it, while the LSW will give you the reminder and sometimes push to take the necessary steps, or to complete the appropriate tasks, necessary to achieve the target.

 

In summary, here's a few key points to consider:

 

  • Reflect on your LSW each month and reset it based on lessons learned and new priorities.
  • LSW can include personal and professional items.  It's yours, so make it work for you!
  • Set challenging targets, then look at how to combine with LSW to assist in achieving the targets.
  • Don't beat yourself up for missing some LSW items when looking back, but rather figure out why you missed them and implement mitigation actions to achieve them going forward.

 

See more of Glenn's posts, HERE

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A highly engaged and motivated employee is the most formidable weapon that an organization can utilize to compete and win. An engaged and motivated employee is more focused on doing their work, more productive, and is more likely to have a better work and home life.  However, less than 30% of an organization’s people fit this category. Less than 5% of organizations sustain high performance over the long term. One of the limiting factors may be your management system.

 

Here are a few simple steps to start to build a strong management system.

 

First, it is important to understand the purpose of a management system. In simple terms, your management system is in place to make sure you are dong the right things for your customers (or clients or patients). It does this by connecting everyone in your organization to your vision, strategy and big outcome measures to allow everyone to understand how they can impact the vision and connect to the big outcomes. The management system engages our humans through solving their own problems. The most effective way to do this is through 'low tech, high touch' planning and measurement white boards.

 

Here are the steps to start building or improving your management system:

 

1. Identify your customer and understand what value they need from you.

 

I find in a lot of cases, there is not a strong understanding of who the customer is.   Your customer is who gets direct benefit or value from what you do. For example, in health care, the patient receives the direct value from the care they are given.   If my role is a support operation in manufacturing, such as engineering that develops product drawings, it is the people who build the product from the drawings.    If my role is production, I deliver value directly to the end customer for the product.

 

2. Understand how you can easily measure the value you provide to the customer.

 

Our customers are easy. They want simple things.  They want their stuff NOW. They want it PERFECT. They want it WASTE FREE. They may also want a good experience during the process.

 

I recommend you start with NOW as it is the easiest.    We should all have a plan to deliver what our customer's need when they need it.   My customer needs their drawings today to build their product.   My patient wants to continue to get better.  All you need to do is measure how well you delivered on your plan.   I would also recommend using a planning white board to show your commitment to your plan.

 

3. Graph your results to understand how you are doing.

 

What does a good day look like?  Did we have a good day? Typically it is getting done what we need to accomplish for our customer.  If you started with NOW, on your next white board - performance board - graph how well you are doing.   Measure for a few weeks so you can start understanding a longer term trend in performance.

 

4. Start understanding why.

 

Why did we not have a good day? If you did not have a good day and did not accomplish what you needed to do for your customer, start understanding the  reasons that are blocking your performance.  You should start seeing some recurring reasons.  For each reason, understand how bad it is by adding a bar or Pareto graph under your performance graph to track the number of occurrences.

 

5. Run some experiments to make it better.

 

Once you have a good understanding of the reasons why you are not having a good day, start running some simple experiments to fix the problem.  Below your bar graph, document the experiment and indicate when you started the experiment on your performance graph. This will allow you to see if the experiment had the results you hoped for.  If it did, adopt this as a new why to do your work. If it did not 't, try new experiments until you learn what does work.

 

6. When you are ready, add your other measures.

 

NOW, PERFECT, WASTE FREE.   Keep it simple and do not add too many additional measures.  Fewer measures are better, but it is important not to have a lonely number so you need to provide some balance.  For example, if you measure NOW, balance it by making sure you are also delivering what you customer needs PERFECT.

 

Remember - a strong management system is elegantly simple and is driven by the daily connections we make with our people. 

 

 

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