Volume 12 Number 8 - August 5, 2014


Fed-Ex, a company often held as an example of excellence, is facing federal charges in a drug trafficking case for (allegedly) continuing to handle shipments of illegal drug distributors after the company was was aware of the problem. This follows a not dissimilar case against UPS last year.

Pilot Flying J, a large chain of truck stops owned by the same family that owns the Cleveland Browns, was raided by the FBI in 2013 and continues to fight fraud charges. Settlements with the government and customers already exceed $100MM, and several high-ranking employees including the former President have left the company.

General Motors, Hewlett Packard and Walmart are just a few of the other global companies currently known as much for scandal as for products or services. The "pink slime" headlines caught the attention of many beefeaters at the expense of processors, grocery stores, and restaurants. Many small businesses are equally fraught with integrity lapses. The vast worldwide list of current legal actions for unethical behavior boggles the mind. Assuredly more will be publicized soon.

Whether it is compensation systems that reward untoward behavior, profit pressures that lead to unacceptable substitutions, or simple gamesmanship that utilizes the measuring stick of personal gain, people in responsible positions can make stupid decisions. No better than the foolhardy teenager, they believe they will not get caught. Or that everyone does it. Or that winning the game for a while is better than not playing it at all.

That shiny wall plaque describing vision, mission, core values means nothing. Behavior means everything.


Recently a plant on the entrance road of an industrial park housing many companies – two of them clients of mine – caught on fire and then exploded. A full evacuation of the surrounding area was ordered.

Be prepared should that happen to you.

The Starting Pistol

Albert Schweitzer:
"The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"If business policies and practices knowingly harm others, they are not ethical."

August 14, 2014: Tonawanda NY: Effectively cascading strategy to the shop floor is not easy. Invest a day learning at Hebeler Corporation in the Connecting Hoshin Kanri and Daily Shop Floor Management AME workshop. After the plant tour, discuss the tools that Hebeler is using, what they've learned along the way, and then brainstorm ways to improve the effectiveness of these visual management tools utilizing Gemba Walks, Leader Standard Work and Daily Huddles.

August 19, 2014: Chicago IL: Productivity Press is sponsoring Norman Bodek in "One Day Introduction to the Harada Method Workshop" Norman is one of the few remaining guys to have invested time with Shingo and Ohno and will share his understanding of the powerful Harada Method for developing people day-to-day.

October 19-21, 2014: New Orleans, LA: The annual APICS conference starts Sunday morning and ends Tuesday evening, with multiple general sessions and presentations in between. Tracks include S&OP, Supply Chain Risk, Supply Chain Innovation and several other important topic areas. Certification points are awarded for attendance.

November 10-14, 2014: Jacksonville FL: The annual AME international Excellence Inside conference will have outstanding presentations, workshops, keynotes and tours that attract over 2000 attendees each year. This is the first time it will be held in the SouthEast United States since 2001. Arrive early to enjoy the Sunday and Monday evening networking events, including a cruise along the river.

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