Finish Strong® Podcast Series The journey to excellence is not a simple one, nor does it follow a straight line. This podcast series addresses issues important to manufactures worldwide. Becky's insights include commentary on global, strategic, and tactical issues, as well as observations on current challenges and opportunities in manufacturing businesses. Feel free to suggest topics of interest to you; no doubt Becky will have something to say that will make you think.

Decide. It Will Hurt Much Less.

Managers who delay necessary actions often do so out of a distaste for conflict. I’ll bet you can think of 2 or 3 decisions you should be making right now, but you’re hesitant to do so. Examine the reason why you delay the action you know you should take. Lack of confidence? Fear of handling it incorrectly? Being 2nd guessed by your boss?

Why Finish Strong®?

Your business will be most successful when you consider it a culmination of a series of races, some run simultaneously, and each one that you and your team must finish strong. Sometimes finishing may mean pulling up lame and preparing for the next race, sometimes it may mean making a significant course correction, sometimes it may mean changing your relay partners.

But you, and your business, can only win the race to your vision when in each effort you repeatedly Finish Strong.

Stop Wasting Time!

Most of us are sick and tired of Zoom meetings. The quick move from office to work-from-home changed the way we communicate and develop relationships. Sadly, we are using a valuable tool (Zoom for most of us) to replace meetings, instead of vastly improve them.

Ask yourself, what other technology advances are we using to copy our previous methods rather than actually improve our business? That describes many ERP implementations, and many other “software solutions.”

Technology is not a solution.  It is an enabler.  People still have to think.


Changing the System

As we find ourselves fighting COVID, an economic crisis, limited travel, and protests on the street, The Boston Globe has announced a new hiring plan for 2021 interns.

The actual document says “reframe our summer internship and training program to a diversity internship and training program in which all participants will be students or recent graduates of color.”

A company committed to being the best, to being operationally and financially excellent, cannot afford to exclude any viable candidates.

I Decided to Fly

My 89-year-old mother lives a 2-day drive away, and asked that I visit her. During COVID, the standard risk assessment had picked up another key variable.

As with most decisions, there are options, variables, and the probabilities of occurrence and severity of any specific risk coming to fruition. In business and in life, it is rare that “throw caution to the wind” is a valid path forward. But also in both, “do nothing” is rarely a valid path forward.

I decided to fly.

Your Dreams Were Just An Illusion

The aftermath of COVID-19 and the associated socioeconomic impacts have thrown ice water on the dreams of most manufacturers. Markets are gone; competitors are arising from the most unexpected places; agility is a requirement. People will always eat food, yet the family farm is largely gone. Nothing lasts forever. So what steps are critical to escaping the quicksand of despair and creating a new future?  Invest under 5 minutes here.


Is Your Supply Chain Broken?

The front pages are shouting about broken supply chains as the world fights COVID-19. But are they broken?  I suggest they are not; they are performing as designed. Strategy, risk assessment and financial analysis led us to this point. Few manufacturers carry extra everything on the small chance that their market will triple overnight. That decision means that when a tripling happens, the supply chain will not meet demand. The risk was deemed acceptable in the trade-off with financial investments.  Be sure to understand the problem before rushing to solution.