2019-January: Operational Excellence by Design eNewsletter

Monthly Newsletter
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January 2019




Monthly Musing


By now, most of us have made and broken our “New Year’s Resolutions”.  But I recently came across the idea of a “dream-map” which might prove to be more useful.  It’s similar to an A4 exercise found in Lean.  But instead of being forensic and detailed, it is notional.  It might consist of pictures (drawn or cut-outs), phrases, and whatever else might represent what you would like to see happen or otherwise accomplish in 2019.  You can pin it to your wall and let it serve as your “lighthouse” for the year.  What will your “dream-map” look like?


~ Joseph Paris


Founder’s Corner


Build Organizational Capacity and Capability – For Free 
by Joseph Paris

I was coaching one of the national oil companies in the Middle East, offering mentorship to the director of their operational excellence program.  He was frustrated because he had invested considerable funds building a team of sixty Lean Six Sigma Black Belts over a nine-month period, and they had not yet worked on-much less completed-any project nor had they realized any benefit to the company.  Even worse, while these newly-minted Black Belts were sitting idle without the opportunity to use their new-found skillsets, some became frustrated themselves and left the company-taking the company’s investment with them.

Never mind the fact that a person should not be considered a Black Belt without completing at least one project and leading a few others-demonstrating their comprehension of the materials learned and command of applying these skills-I was left wondering why the company was investing in the training at all.  In essence, the company was building inventory for which they had no requirement.  One of the primary rules of Lean is to not build inventory unless its needed, shouldn’t this rule also apply to investing in building skillsets in people?

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Featured Events

2nd Annual Business & Operational Excellence Summit 
June 5 – 7, 2019 | Vienna, Austria
The founder of the OpEx Society, Joseph Paris
, will be delivering a special workshop
at this superb event as based on his bestselling book “State of Readiness”.

Featured Article


Reaching the Strategic capability to empower your Business
by CERM Risk Insights


The increasing complexity and dynamism that the markets have today, but especially those where organizations operate using Information and Communication Technologies as the core of the business, as well as the resulting uncertainty thereof, suggests that the Strategic Development in those Organizations should be based on the usage of traditional processes as well as other emergent strategies that arise from internal processes and daily activities.


There is no doubt that technological progress is rendering the possibility to deliver new services to customers. But the value added by this technological progress depends on the way of providing them and this in turn, on the intrinsic factors to the use of IT Assets, factors that are equally dynamic.

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Thought Food

Get things done with Smaller Teams

 The symbiotic relationship between organizational health and safety
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A manifesto for renewing liberalism


 Producing the Results Your Organization Needs

 Through Continuous Improvement


 Money got tight and we weren’t getting the results we needed.

We were forced to make adjustments in how we worked and

they weren’t well received. From a management perspective

we needed to look at how we were performing and what we

needed to improve. To do that we examined ourselves in terms

of these two essential issues:

  1. Money suffocates creativity
  2. Leadership is tested by necessity

 We were challenged by both. In the past our budget hadn’t

been too much of a concern and we really didn’t spend much

time considering the consequences of an economy that wasn’t

in good shape and may not really recover for some time. We’d

been challenged operationally and administratively, but not

from a crisis mode. We were a government agency and

funding would always be there. We may not like or agree with

the level of funding, but the budget would always be there to

some workable degree…


by Bill Cooper


Trust me…


Operational Excellence Society

Contact the Editor

“Thank you for being a valued reader. 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments related to this publication – or if you might be interested in submitting 
an article for consideration in 
our eNewsletter.”
Gretchen Lubbe – Editor






Don-kwondo:  We welcome Don Burshnick, President of Alpha-1 Technologies LLC to “The Outliers Inn”, where we will learn of the importance of preventative maintenance and the conflict that exists between maintaining equipment so that it runs in an optimal state and a company’s reluctance to invest in the proper maintenance of their equipment and being satisfied with keeping their machines running, even if they are producing crap.  An we will learn of a new discipline in martial arts – called “Don-kwondo” where the kata’s are trained, but it’s also acceptable (even encouraged) to have an occasional Scotch and cigar.

Listen Now!

In this episode, I interview Peter Evans, Continuous Improvement Director for Lego Group.  I have known Peter for a couple of years.  And we seem to keep running into one another at Operational Excellence conferences – which are the circumstances of our first meeting.  I have always found Peter to be an affable gentleman and have always appreciated his insights and the experiences he shared.


I grew up with Legos.  Loved playing with them.  My sons loved playing with them.  It seems children all over the world love playing with them.  So, if you’re like me, you must wonder; “Is Lego the coolest company in the world to work for?”


    Connect with us…

   Calendar of Events


OpEx Vault

Operational Excellence for Facilities Management




Question: What immediately comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Facilities Management”?
If you are similar to the average person, you immediately think of “Janitorial Services”, “Property Maintenance” and other comparable and rather mundane tasks associated with the more superficial aspects of maintaining a building and its surrounding property.  You might even think of routine preventative and remedial maintenance of infrastructure items within the building itself.
And you would not be entirely incorrect in answering thus – just grossly incomplete.
According to a
paper published by the
Royal Academy of Engineering, one can conservatively expect that the building maintenance and operating costs be five (5) times as much as the construction costs of the building over the lifetime of the asset.



Get Ready, Be Ready, Stay Ready.

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