Leadership: Ordinary to Extraordinary
Experienced owners of companies that have been in business for years can easily describe in great detail all of the dysfunctions going on in their businesses on a daily basis, yet they may have never considered this dysfunction as WASTE and therefore never analyzed it. They consider this dysfunction as “normal” or business as usual.
A short list of waste:
- Jobs reworked and misused raw materials (obvious!);
- Downtimes, due to miscommunication from one department to another;
- Slow-downs, due to not collecting all specs from a customer at the beginning of a job in order to complete their order correctly without multiple calls or e-mails;
- Stoppages, due to vendor errors;
- Bottlenecks, due to poor equipment maintenance;
- Schedule backups, due to missed deadlines;
- Log jams, due to shortages of materials or the final product;
- Traffic jams causing overtime pay, due to not reconciling Actual vs. Estimated times; and
- Too many un-chargeable hours, i.e. employee breaks, waiting on one thing or another, and plain ol' “lollygagging,” etc. etc. etc.
There’s a lot more, as you well know.
3. “Comfortable living with problems they haven’t solved...”
This part really puzzles me, and many times I get pretty angry if I see this happening in our organization. My sons, who work in our business, would tell you I have been known to describe this syndrome in the following way:
Imagine stepping in a pile of horse manure, tracking it all over the office, then stopping your fellow cohorts and saying, “This stuff really stinks!”—as if others can’t smell it. (Believe me, they know it stinks!)
Then, imagine going right back to the SAME pile of dung, stepping in it again and again tracking it all over the office or plant and commenting again to the ones around you, “These horse droppings REALLY, REALLY stink!”
Now EVERYONE is stepping in the horse manure—and somehow the one(s) supposed to be in leadership are not inclined to stop and clean it up!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.