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Establishing the Target Condition

This 7-part video series with Brandon Brown on the Toyota Kata was a lot of fun for me. It allow me to discuss some of the finer points of the Toyota Kata versus staying at the 20,ooo foot level. This particular video, Establishing the Target Condition is an example of the depth that we explored in the remaining videos. This is based on Mike Rother’s work on the subject of Toyota Kata. Toyota Kata is documented in his book Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results.

The series will consist of these videos:

  1. What is Toyota Kata
  2. Using Kata for Alignment
  3. Establishing Target Conditions
  4. Picking the Obstacle to Overcome
  5. Overcoming the Unmovable Obstacle
  6. The Coaching Kata
  7. Putting the Kata to Action

Brandon Brown delivers tangible and sustainable continuous improvement results as a Toyota Kata Coach and Lean Instructor/Facilitator as an Associate for the W3 Group. Since 2006, Brandon has been a Professor of Operations Management at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville teaching courses in the Industrial Engineering department such as Lean Production and Leadership Principles and Practices for the Master of Science in Operations Management degree program. Brandon is a Southeast Region Board Member for the of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. He is also a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Teacher, and Speaker.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info)

Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.

Where Learning Becomes Doing: Purdue Foundry

Purdue Foundry is a hub to transform innovators into entrepreneurs. It is a place that Purdue faculty, staff and students find fast, effective ways to move their ideas to the marketplace. The Foundry focuses Purdue’s vast resources to accelerate and improve advancement of Purdue ideas and innovations that are changing the world. My podcast guest next week is Juliana Casavan a Training Manager at Purdue Foundry where she creates and facilitates workshops that concentrate on first step of looking at a business and helping them identify their value proposition.

Excerpt from next week’s podcast:

Joe:   We’re all familiar with the software and Apps guys, and with those being developed using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup. I think most of us get that, we see how that’s developed. But you discussed some things where the idea is like five years, six years out of trying to prove some of this technology, that to me seems very challenging.

Juliana Casavan: Yes, it is. To me, it’s one of the coolest parts of the jobs because I get to see these technologies that won’t be the market for however long it takes them to get through FDA approval. It’s kind of an 8 to 12 year trajectory for FDA approval most of the time, I kind of get to see these things like super early when they’re just at the lab bench coming up with their proof of concepts kind of phase. It does create a challenge for us because the runway is so long, so as far as how long they stay with us or the client and the customer, is very much extended because we work with them through that entire process.

I find that the core principles Lean Launch and business model canvas, the methodology still applies though. They need to get an understanding of the industry and how does the industry operate in their sciences. If they have a cancer therapeutic, they need to understand how Merck, and Pfizer and Eli Lilly actually make these decisions about who they’re going to acquire or how long are they going to wait to actually do an acquisition, what are they looking to see with the technology before they would be willing to start having those conversations.

We really get to kind of see the early phases of that and the early developments and we start conversations obviously much earlier in that industry than we do with the software and Apps because that’s very quick to the iteration.

Joe:   The main difference, it’s a much longer program, do you take a different type of ramp, a different type of acceleration with something that extends that far out?

Juliana: No, we really don’t. Actually the approach is very much the same. They go through the LaunchBox program, still just the same 6-weeks program, and again it provides some kind of orientation to the world of business and commercializing their technology versus publishing a paper about a finding kind of thing. Then they go the entrepreneur and residents just as they did before, and the entrepreneur and residents just works with them for a longer period of time. It’s pretty much what happens.

We really look for more funding for them. We know that the software and App companies need funding as well but the high sciences where we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of investments before they actually even gain their first revenue kind of situation. It’s just more preparing them for that kind of value depth with funding and making sure that we’re filling it in and providing them the resources that they need.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info): Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.


Brand Marketing with Mintz

Laurel Mintz, CEO of Elevate My Brand has built a career that blends her deep personal passion for food, wine and lifestyle with considerable Laurel Mintzbusiness acumen and legal expertise. Her love of food and wine began during her college years in Santa Barbara, pouring wines and producing events for Geisinger Winery.

Laurel then moved east to attend Rutgers University, where she received both her J.D. and M.B.A. and began to expand her taste buds nationally.

Laurel is a renowned marketing professional with both an MBA and JD. Her company works with global brands such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Nestle, and Popchips. She’s an expert on everything marketing, digital strategy, social media, and events.

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Putting Job Instruction to Work

As a System Director of Performance Improvement at Baptist Memorial Hospital,  Skip Steward (a TWI Job Instruction Certified Trainer), drew this handwritten  that shows his thoughts and process about using the Job Instruction method of Training Within Industry. Skip will also be presenting at the upcoming Training Within Industry Summit this May in Jacksonville,  Fl.

Related Podcast and entire Transcription: The Tao of Training Within Industry

Below is Skip’s Description of his Diagram: Skip's TWI

Skip Steward: Under the umbrella of TWI, of course, you have Job Instruction, Job Method, and Job Relations. I believe there’s another one on Safety but we specifically started with Job Instruction. What’s interesting is that little cartoon, you can tell I call it, I baptized it because behind each character is part of our Baptist logo and that in the far left corner of that little cartoon that I drew up is a person sitting at a desk behind the computer. Unfortunately most of the time, that is where people start with some form of standard work, away from what we call the Gemba the actual place where the actual value is created, away from the Gemba, good intentions, good people but that’s where they start. The product of that effort will be normally something like a standard operating procedure.

My argument and that’s why I drew this little cartoon is that’s not where we should start with, maybe that’s perhaps where we should finish. As you move to the right of that little diagram, there’s a Job Instruction, that’s the area that we focus on at Baptist and with the Job Instruction breakdown. In my mind there’re 3 pieces to TWI when it comes to Job Instructions. One is the breakdown; one is the 4-step how to instruct card and then a third piece is, especially in healthcare I see people overlook, is the training timetable. They always focus on one piece but in my mind all 3 of those tools make up the TWI JI system. It’s both the breakdown, the how to instruct 4-step card and the training timetable.

We first start by going to where the actual work is and we actually breakdown the job. It’s almost like breaking it down in a skeleton, trying to understand exactly how this job should be done. Every single time that we have done that over the last year and a half in all of the experiments we’ve been doing. I call them experiments. I don’t refer to them as implementation. I think that would be flaw thinking. But, in our experiment, every single time we break these jobs down whether it be drawing blood or taking blood cultures or getting into a complex computer system program or doing hourly rounding or washing your hands or any of the jobs I could keep on talking about, every single time we find a tremendous amount of variation from nurse to nurse to nurse or any other discipline and that variation allows errors and mistakes to occur.

Once we go through the breakdown, and it’s not about the form. It’s about the thinking behind the form. I have many people, many consultants go on a copy of the Job Instruction breakdown form, and I see many consultants use them in the wrong way but it has nothing to do with the form, it’s the thinking behind the form. But, once we apply that thinking and use the form to break it down and polish it up, there’s a lot that goes into that. We then, we actually go out and train someone for the very first-time one-on-one. There are even times when that first-time things will come up.

You’ll notice that in the little diagram the arrow is shaped like a road because that’s the term we use, we call, we took that from Patrick Graupp, we called it Road Testing it. Let’s go Road Test it. So, we’ll Road Test it even before we train our initial person. We want to make sure all the bugs are worked out, that it’s polished up. But, on the first initial training effort, what normally takes the longest and we’ll do some training then we’ll have a follow-up session and you’ll notice that there happens to be in this diagram 5 follow-up sessions. We took that from, as a random arbitrary number that we took from Virginia Mason. They use that number. They wrote a book with Patrick called Getting to Standard Work in Healthcare. I think most people in healthcare know some of the great work that Virginia Mason’s done out in Seattle. But, we road tested and you’ll notice that the very first follow-ups have questions. Well, those who have questions both from the instructor and the learner but sometimes they’re questions that end up making you revise your breakdown to the next revision.

Every breakdown that I’ve ever been involved with over the last year and a half of experimenting, we normally run the second, third, fourth or fifth revision by the time we actually start training one-on-one. Then, we follow-up again. Once again, there could end up being more adjustments needed. Then, we have to follow-up again. What we chose to do is a weekly follow-up, whatever people are assigned to me, I am attached to those people, and those are my responsibility. But, sometimes when we follow-up we’ll find that maybe someone’s reverting back, and so we have to explain what the standard is again. Then, we’ll follow-up again, and we may discover some more improvement and hopefully eventually you’ll see on the very last follow-up we’ve got a stabilized, process what’s going on. At the very end then if you want to create an intellectual document known as a Standard Operating Procedure or something, I would say that that’s a place that could be helpful. I would say a SOP, or whatever you want to call it. It could be helpful, it shouldn’t be, and it shouldn’t be your main focus. Instead of starting there, I would say that we should end there.

What you see right in the middle of that little diagram is an iterative process of plan, do, study, act because if you think about it. If you just look at this diagram and think about how it works, it’s inherently built into it. It’s built into the actual process. It’s all based upon that assumption is the worker hasn’t learned, the instructor hasn’t taught, which is quite interesting because I actually pointed out at the beginning of the conversation, I’m a certified JI instructor, and normally people are very polite, and they won’t challenge that motto if a worker hasn’t learned, the instructor hasn’t taught until about Wednesday. The class is Monday through Friday, 2 hours each day. It’s not real intrusive. But, normally that Wednesday, someone will finally push back, and they’re polite on the first couple of days and they push back is always the same. It’ll be something like to the effect of “Well, aren’t there certain people that you just can’t train? Aren’t there certain people that have a bad attitude?” or something of that nature. My experience over 24, almost 24 years has been “There are different types of people and there’s always could be someone like that but I rarely ever seen someone that couldn’t be trained.”

I can relate to that because one of the things that most people won’t realize is I’m dyslexic and what most people don’t realize about dyslexia is it’s a language processing issue, and there’s always different forms of dyslexia. But, that’s how it helped me have a much better appreciation for not labeling people as, well, they’re just slow or that one just catches on a little quick. The ones that we say that catching on real quick are actually what my experience has been is many times they’re faking it.

TWI has been just a wonderful discovery for me and I’m still learning by any stretch of imagination but I learned a lot from the TWI Institute and friend Patrick Graupp on just the real skill set of breaking a job down and you layer it back into the learner’s mind because a learner can’t handle the feeding with a fire hose. They have to have it layered back into the mind. It goes along with my high school and college wrestling training. It goes along with the concept I also believe in what’s known as Toyota Kata. It goes along with a lot of just common sense. There are so many books out there, whether it be the 2009 book of known as the Talent Code or books about habits or anything else that talks about how to learn, how people learn. TWI, I think, has been out there for so long, and people are writing books today about something that’s been out there for decades.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info): Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.

Developing the Customer Relationship with Lean

In a past podcast, I asked a General Sales Manager of a global Fortune 300 chemical company of how they used Lean when a customer seemingly can find any product at any time for any price, and you can’t take the statements literally but there’s a little bit of truth in that. Have you seen how Lean can help in a demand economy?

An Excerpt from the Podcast:

Eric:  The Lean is the tool that creates the customer-owner-vendor relationship. That customer-vendor relationship at the end of the day can really provide a lot of stability. Because organizations or at least large organizations as they operate their business, they always have to factor in the risk part of it, right? We have many customers that could get our products that are faster, cheaper tomorrow, but maybe only for tomorrow. The risk part is not understanding how well the other competitors out there can react to what the current supplier reacts. So as you become a more entrusted supplier, I honestly believe that all other competitors become less competitive because that history and that limited risk allows the current set?up, the current customer, the current vendor to be much more focused on creating value for both organizations.

Understanding that every part of Lean is not about getting that answer, it’s about making the process or the Value Stream better. Once you’ve figured out how to make the process of the Value Stream better, the next step is to figure out how to do it again. We focused a lot of times in our world at finishing the task and finishing it well and moving on to the next task. If you want value creation, you really need to pick a task and allow that task to continue to improve while engulfing other parts of the business or other parts of the Value Stream, always building on top of each other.

You might start with addition and subtraction and by the end of the day you are doing calculus. It’s a similar progression. It’s not one event in time, its many events that are interconnected that lead to a really strong Lean organization.

Eric first worked as a Facility Manager and soon became a Lean Deployment Manager. He transferred those skills to Sales and Marketing. Eric Haberkern can be found on LinkedIn.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info): Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.

Architecture is about Visceral Emotions

I  seldom post Ted Videos anymore to my blog but this video speaks to how the interaction between user and designer (this time an architect) in something as massive as a building has changed. A wonderful description that I hope you enjoy  as much as I did.

An excerpt for the video:

Because it doesn’t matter if a cow builds our buildings or a robot builds our buildings. It doesn’t matter how we build, it matters what we build. Architects already know how to make buildings that are greener and smarter and friendlier. We’ve just been waiting for all of you to want them. And finally, we’re not on opposite sides anymore. Find an architect, hire an architect, work with us to design better buildings, better cities, and a better world, because the stakes are high. Buildings don’t just reflect our society, they shape our society down to the smallest spaces: the local libraries, the homes where we raise our children, and the walk that they take from the bedroom to the bathroom.

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Be Realistic About Where Your Dollars Can Take You

Laurel Mintz, CEO of Elevate My Brand is my podcast guest next week and below is an excerpt from the conversation. Laurel is a renowned marketing professional with both an MBA and JD. Her company works with global brands such as Susan G. Komen for the CureNestle, and Popchips. She’s an expert on everything marketing/ digital strategy, social media, and events.

An Excerpt from the Podcast:

Joe:  What do you see as one of those things that most people don’t really understand about marketing?

Laurel:  The time and money it takes to actually do it right. I mean that’s the easy answer, right. I think people feel like marketing should be a magic bullet, and ultimately marketing is about strategy and planning. I think when companies come to us and they have really high expectations, we have to kind of bring them down to earth sometimes and let them know, “You’re starting from zero. You have X number of dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. This is really the output you should be seeing from this, and we have to kind of pull them down from the clouds. Because, as you were saying earlier, you know, Facebook is what everybody would love to be but very few companies are that, so I think being realistic about where your dollars are going to take you is probably the biggest issue that we see, and I would say secondarily developing the right messaging and content. Content is so critical as you know in this day and age and people just don’t spend nearly enough time crafting the right message, making sure that there is consistency in content and sending it out on the right platforms.

 Joe:  I think one of the big fallacies people have and you can agree or disagree with me and expand on it is that they think social media is free marketing.

Laurel: Right. I’m probably being a traitor to my industry right now by saying this and agreeing with you. It isn’t necessary evil. I think social media’s here to stay. I think if you are a new company, you need to be on it, as we talked about earlier it’s a really important customer service tool. It can be a great PR tool. But, you also need to make sure that you’re utilizing the advertising components and spending some money on it as well and not just spending money on advertising but spending money on the right graphics, spending money on the right content. There are so many other pieces that are built into developing a proper social media campaign and that’s why there are so many agencies out there like us that have a million people dedicated to doing that every single day because it’s so content, it requires so much content.

Marketing with PDCA (More Info): Targeting what your Customer Values at each stage of the cycle will increase your ability to deliver quicker, more accurately and with better value than your competitor. It is a moving target and the principles of Lean and PDCA facilitates the journey to Customer Value.