2019-September: Operational Excellence by Design eNewsletter

Monthly Newsletter
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September 2019

Monthly Musing

I have recently come across several missives that place various management methodologies on an unassailable pedestal – elevated to near religious standing complete with dogma that is seemingly beyond question or challenge.  This is a mistake – with the risks being the loss of credibility to those who hold such strong beliefs. There are laws of nature and laws of man.
… Of the latter, “There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche



Founder’s Corner


Reading is fundamental, but comprehension is important too
The art of debate has devolved.  No longer is it used as a tool of discovery, understanding, reconciliation, and progress.  Today, it is a tool used to beat one another into submission – with the wholesale surrender of the beliefs and values held by one party over the other being the goal.


What’s worse, the intolerance of an opposing view leads to “confirmation bias” – which is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that affirms one’s existing beliefs or hypotheses.  This leads to people disassociating themselves with those who do not share their positions – which serves to only widen the chasm and amplify the intolerance and extremism.


It reminds me of a book I read some decades ago, “The games people play“, by Dr. Eric Berne.  The book itself delves into people and their individual and personal uses of game-theory in everyday life.  It details the variety of games, their thesis, antithesis, and game dynamics.  You can find a summary of the book and the various games at Dr. Berne’s website.
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by Joseph Paris

Operational Excellence is…

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Featured Article

Batch Plant Performance Improvement in Chemical and Life Science Manufacturing
In the process industry, three things can impact your productivity; machine downtime, variations in batch cycle times and losing a batch because it is out of specification. In either case and simply put, when your equipment is down or it’s not reliably producing product, you risk missing production targets – in every case – are losing money.  It’s very easy to delay revenue realization and fall behind the competition with inefficient production.
The root causes might be due to environmental factors, a faulty gauge, non-conforming raw materials, human factors, or a myriad of other causes.  If you happen to be on-watch when this occurs, you, and everyone around you, is going to have a bad day.  And there is real peril to the health of your company if the problems are chronic enough or if a dramatic event were to occur.
I worked with one company that batch-manufactured sterile materials for the healthcare industry.  They had a chronic problem during manufacturing which was traced back to one part of the process that involved a few steps and required that all the equipment was sterile…

by Veit Hora


Featured Events

State of Readiness Masterclass & Workshop
2nd Annual Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Summit
Nov 6, 7, 8, 2019 | Frankfurt, Germany
Join Joseph Paris preceding the main Summit, for his highly- regarded Masterclass & Workshop. As a participant, you will receive a signed copy of the book, “State of Readiness”, and dinner and drinks are also included.


Then, from November 7 – 8, you are invited to join us at the main Summit. Key industry leaders will share their insights, and grant you the opportunity to gain and discuss Business Transformation and Operational Excellence experience.




Thought Food




Featured Article

Quality Standards – Simple but not Easy
There are tens of thousands of books regarding management,  leadership, and culture. They all boil down to a list of base principles that are key to running a sound business. Simple to understand, very hard to execute. We should beware to confuse simple with easy. In fact, most of the behaviors that make us healthy and happy, that create our personal culture, are simple; eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, be organized and manage stress. We all intellectually understand the value of these behaviors , however, why can’t most of us  deliver on them consistently? Because it is hard! Lack of time, too many easy, unhealthy options around us, committing to too much, lack of focus, lack of will, lack of clarity……the list goes on.
The same principles apply to our organizations. The culture we have is based on the behavioral expectations we communicate to our employees. If we do not communicate our expectations a culture will still form. It just may not be the culture we want.  So, how do we as leaders create the culture we desire? Well that answer is much longer that the space I have available for this article, however, I would like to share with you one of the “secrets” that Disney Parks and Resorts uses that is the foundation of everything we do to build culture, The 4 Keys, also known as our Quality Standards.

by Dan Cockerell

Trust me…


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“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
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                 Gretchen Lubbe – Editor


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I welcome Tyrone “Ty” Muse to this episode of State of Readiness.  Ty is the CEO and President of Visions Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial institution with $4.2 in assets and he will share the journey of his career from working with Jack Welch at GE Asset Management, to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Goldman Sachs.  But in particular, Ty will share the challenges he faced when he joined Visions; changing it from what it was, to what it is, towards what it will be.


In my interviews, I try to remain unbiased – and I think I do a pretty good job in this episode also.  But I have to disclose that I do have a bias.  Of all of the business leaders I have met over the years and those I have interviewed, Ty stands out as one of my most favourites.  Certainly he has drive and he has vision (pun intended) as all good leaders must.  But his real passion, core values, and “true North” is helping people and it’s unmistakable…



Topic: An eclectic bunch of visitors visited The Outliers Inn sharing a myriad of challenges. It was another successful Open Mic Night at The Outliers Inn.  Word is spreading of the new format of having random call-in guests is taking hold with the guests being greater in number and in energy.
We start with Antlerboy and JP talking about attending and participating in conferences and whether they are worth it.  Generally speaking, the consensus supported by experience is that the expectation should be a longer runway before a connection becomes a transaction – but that keeping in front of people and share (and gaining) wisdom is essential.  The exception might be (the evidence is anecdotal) those who attend and are selling a specific and tangible solution (like software or some widget).


Then JP goes on a rant about how people don’t read the words of what they are reading – they just skim.  Then they inject their own bias and pre-conceived notions of what should have been written and engage in a rather impolite way – playing a weak game of “Now I Got You, You Son-of-a-Bitch (NIGYYSOB)”.  JP reminds us that reading is fundamental, but comprehension is important too…

Listen now!

OpEx Vault

Are you High Mix and Low Volume? Do you have poor forecasts? Predictive analytics can still help – with a few tweaks!




The authors were faced with a mounting problem:  Sales forecasts were continuing to deteriorate and Corporate was mandating a traditional application of Sales & Operational Planning (S&OP).   This application relied on forecasts and static data.  Static data is sufficient where forecasts and run-rates are consistent, though that is simply not the case in the Business Unit the authors currently reside. Working with short product life cycles and high demand volatility, clean static data alone will not produce an effective S&OP. Thus the authors began experimenting with a number of analysis tools to assist with improving the S&OP input.



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