Volume 19 Number 11 - November 2, 2021

My mission is simple. I am devoted to enabling people working in manufacturing to recognize and achieve their potential; through that each of you contributes to an improved quality of life for all you touch. Mission matters. That of your business, and yours personally.

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Is Anything Going Right?

I’m in Kansas right now helping my 91-year-old mother empty her home and prepare to move into a senior apartment (like assisted living, except without the word ‘assisted’ said out loud) about 40 miles away. This is a very difficult emotional effort for her.

She has lived in Wellington her entire life since the age of 14 (she was in a nearby even smaller town prior), and in this home for about 45 years. My parents traveled extensively, and their home is furnished and decorated with memorabilia from their many trips. Deciding what she will need, what she really wants to keep, what can be given to someone, what goes to the Mission Thrift Store, and what is trash is a very difficult process for her; both making and remembering the decisions.

The overwhelm of these activities has created confusion that is unnerving to her, and frustrating to me as I try to execute decisions made but forgotten or changed time and time again.

Many of you are feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless impacts of Covid-19. You learned how to handle the schedule changes to keep workers safe, the physical rearrangements for the same reasons, and the variations in attendance resulting from school and childcare challenges. But that was only the beginning.

If the words “supply chain” don’t send shivers up your spine you may not be paying attention.

Not quite sure if demand will plummet or skyrocket, if orders on the books will be cancelled or not? Not sure when your orders from suppliers will arrive and what will be on the truck?

Oh, and don’t forget. You need to implement Industry 4.0, hire and upskill workers, create new innovative value for the markets you want to serve, and continually improve processes while making step-function improvements in critical areas.

Cash may be King but there are a hell of a lot of Queens.

Juggling many balls is one thing when they rotate within the laws of physics, but something entirely different when rogue winds roar, and gravity seems a false theory. But juggle them we must.

It may feel to you, as it does to my mother, that absolutely nothing is going right. But this too shall pass for you and for her. We’ll get her moved in, she’ll recognize what she does need and what she doesn’t, and she’ll make many new friends to keep her mentally active. The supply chain will stabilize through communication and coordination, Covid-19 will remain but become much less disruptive than we’ve experienced during our learning curves, and automation and innovation will continue unabated.

As with my mother, you and your stressed-out team members may feel much better by simply acknowledging the many things that are going right. The concept of gratitude is one you may find exceptionally valuable now.

Let me know if you would really like to have someone to talk with, someone who only cares about the best interest of you and your organization. Several owners/CEOs/COOs have reached out in recent weeks, needing strategic advice, someone to listen, someone to bounce thinking against, or simply ongoing access to expertise.

It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. If it feels that way, do something about it.

The Starting Pistol

Chuck Yeager:
"If you can walk away from a landing, it's a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it's an outstanding landing."

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"There are risks in everything we do. Prepare, surround yourself with reliable talent, and decide. Some days will be good, others outstanding. Don’t let a bad day change your focus. Instead, learn from it and continue moving toward your mission."

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