Volume 15 Number 5 - May 9, 2017

Destroy Enemy Lines

I started to call this article "cross enemy lines" but I quickly realized that by itself, that isn't enough. There is no purpose for enemies, there is no reason for enemies, and having them simply saps resources that could be more productive otherwise.

Look first internally. Operations second guesses Sales because their forecasts are always wrong. Sales adjusts the forecast, and order due dates, because they don't trust operations to perform. They behave like enemies, even though they both want to achieve the same objectives. This friction precludes the very speed your company seeks.

While it's a very good start to switch roles of your VP-Sales/Marketing and VP-Operations, it won't be enough. While it will demonstrate to each the challenges, greatness, and intentions of the other arena, the alignment needs to grow even from there. Those enemy lines must be destroyed. That's one of the many advantages of value-stream teams. Without internal trust, your customers suffer. (PS: If you don't think the VPs are capable of successfully leading the other area, you don't have leaders; you have functional experts.)

Externally? Your competitors, customers and suppliers, and yes even the government are not your enemy. Or at least they shouldn't be. You may accept my beliefs for customers and suppliers, but not always behave as if they are integral partners to your success. But competitors and government? Executives often tell me I simply don't have the killer instinct when I share this thinking. It's true. I do when it comes to eating and sports, but not business. I don't need to kill my competition. If they are high quality and ethical, their existence helps my industry. If they are not, they eventually go away of their own accord, or serve a market of no interest to me. The same is true for your business.

I encourage you to identify enemy lines, both internal and external, and destroy them. The lines, not the folks on the other side. They are people too, who are generally trying to do a good job. If they don't fit that description, simply move away; don't waste time or energy fighting them.

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.

Defining Strategic Profits

The Starting Pistol

Abraham Lincoln:
"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"And am I not destroying enemy lines by having no enemies?"

May 11, 2017: Elyria, OH: TheAME Cleveland Consortium is hosting How to Gemba Walk at Nelson Stud Welding. The one-day workshop is open to all. Gemba walks provide an opportunity for the walker to get more in touch with reality, to coach team members and to elevate the effectiveness of performance improvement activities. You will participate in two walks, learn how to structure them based on the purpose, and see how visuals improve the process.

May 15–17, 2017: Seattle, WA: Boeing is co-hosting the 5th Annual Smart Manufacturing Summit. Great speakers, tours of both Boeing and MicroSoft, and a superb learning opportunity.

May 23–25, 2017: Phoenix, AZ: Disruptions large and small confront today‚Äôs supply chains on a daily basis. The Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference is an opportunity to meet with the best to be exposed to their transformational strategies.

June 19–21, 2017: Barcelona, Spain: The 19th annual EMEA Supply Chain and Logistics conference is limited to 600 attendees. The global economy impacts all manufacturers, as we impact it. Take advantage of this great opportunity to talk with your peers. Speakers are from ZTE, Ikea, and other well known global companies.

October 9–13, 2017: Boston, MA: AME's annual conference is in Boston this year. Over 2,000 of like-minded operations leaders and followers will be there. Check out the workshops, tours, keynotes, and practitioner presentations.

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

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