Volume 16 Number 4 - April 3, 2018


In my August 2017 newsletter I wrote: "But tax laws or immigration policy or tariffs can change on a whim. They are not within your control. Be prepared to leverage changing conditions, but do not build your business relying on factors outside your control."

Since then congress has passed a major revision to tax laws and President Trump has announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum. He's gone from "no exceptions" to "okay, several exceptions." This significant uncertainty is why most companies today hesitate to make large capital expenditures or permanent compensation changes.

Perhaps this example clarifies why employees refer to "the book of the month" and "this too shall pass" when executives announce some new big change. How certain can they be that committing to your latest idea is worthwhile? That you won't read a different book or attend a different seminar and change course next month?

Change is a requirement of success. The ability to quickly implement important change is essential. You can't afford to wait months for others to take you seriously. The easiest way to get the buy-in you need is to ask for it only when you are committed to the new direction.

One of the reasons why Lean is so difficult to live is that the arrival of any new CEO can eliminate it. ThedaCare was the poster boy for outstanding lean healthcare, but a new CEO has everyone wondering.

No one likes uncertainty, but we all face it. It's up to you to ensure everyone knows why you are changing the direction of the organization, and how they can have confidence you'll stick with it. If you were wrong, explain that and change direction again. If you're merely bored and want to try something else, don't.

Transforming Operations. Transforming Business.®

Let's discuss how Manufacturing Greatness can help you become a better manufacturing operations leader. Additionally, my latest book, Start Smart, Finish Strong: Forging Your Path to Operational Excellence and Long-Term Success in the Manufacturing World is available at Amazon, Kindle, and iBooks.

Building Employee Confidence in Your Leadership

The Starting Pistol

Ellen Parr:
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"Lead a curious organization, but never a confused one."

April 23–27, 2018: Hannover Messe, Germany: If you want to learn about Industry 4.0 all in one place, this is the conference for you. Cobots, smart supply, machine learning, AR/VR and much much more. Exposure to global actions and potential will vastly improve your decision making. The rapidly changing ways we produce and learn will change the requirements of leadership. Start the process!

April 23–27, 2018: Oxford, England: We can learn from anyone. This is an opportunity to learn from and with a small group of your peers in a rich experiential environment. Oxford University's Scenarios Program is a 5-day deep dive into strategic scenario planning. Leading your manufacturing company into a very uncertain future with success and confidence requires preparation for unstructured environments. Non-college-credit course with application required.

May 9, 2018: Lincoln, RI: The Rhode Island Manufacturers Association will feature Becky Morgan as its keynote speaker at its annual breakfast and meeting. Her topic is "Is Smart Manufacturing Smart For You?"

May 8–10, 2018: Raleigh, NC: Industry Week will host its annual conference in North Carolina this year, no doubt reflecting the substantial growth of manufacturing in the SE states. You can count on the high quality content and exhibitors, as always.

Check out the Events page on our website for more information.

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