Book Review: Five Key Principles of Corporate Performance Management

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As many of you know, I am constantly in learning mode. I am looking to learn the different perspectives of various items to not only help me, but my clients.

Recently, I finished reading ‘Five Key Principles of Corporate Performance Management’ by Bob Paladino. Mr Paladino is a specialist in helping companies to set up Corporate Performance Management offices (CPM). The CPM is a mechanism which can be used to link your corporate strategy, process improvement, and operations.

The strategic side of the CPM deals with the handling of the strategy map and the balance scorecard. The strategy map, as the name implies, maps out your strategy from the perspective of key operational processes to the higher level executive strategy. The balance scorecard is comprised of a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for each step of the strategy map. Based off the two strategy tools, operational improvement projects are identified to be worked on.

Mr. Paladino takes the reader through a number of case studies of actual work he has done as an employee or consultant. It is much appreciated to see how all of these tools (Strategy Map, Balance Scorecard, Lean, and Six Sigma) are used together to help improve a company.

The concepts delivered from the book are great but the book is hard to read. Not because it is too technical but some examples lack certain pieces of information which will help to put the pictures together. In other portions of the book, there are some concepts which are revisited a number of times which make it hard to read due to boredom.

If you are a lover of strategy or process improvement, there are better books out there for you. If you are interested to learn how the two can be placed together, this might be the only book for you to read.

What is your most favorite business book?

Have an awesome and productive week.

Kevin

Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.

Kevin is hosting a workshop series known as Entrepreneurial Community Edmonton. The workshops cover different areas of business, including finance, human resources, and collections. You can find more information at http://www.l6sbc.ca/ecyeg.html

For help with your business, contact Kevin at kevin@L6SBC.ca or 780-868-1867. You can also follow Kevin on Twitter at @L6SBC or Facebook.com/L6SBC

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Why Do You Do It?

Over the next few weeks, I will be re blogging my most popular blogs from the past year.  I will be back blogging about business news and concepts in September. If you have any suggestions for blogs, feel free to contact me.

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In every business, there are a number of companies or groups that you compete against daily. Some of those competitors you know, others you don’t. There are those that directly offer the same product or service that you offer to the consumer. There are also indirect competitors which offer a different solution to a problem.

Think of it this way: Weight Watchers and your local gym compete against each other in an indirect fashion. Both are trying to fulfill the same need for consumers, to lose weight. Weight Watchers concentrates on what you are eating while your local gym focuses on burning energy via high activity level. Depending on the makeup and personality of the consumer, each method can potential help solve a problem.

That lends me to a question. Do you know why you do what you do? Why do you pick the Weight Watchers option via going to the gym? There really is no wrong answer but if you frame it properly, it will greatly help you.

Now think of your business. Why you do something is becoming more important than what you do. When looking at my business, I was able to find 26 management consulting firms within my geographic area. That is only my direct competitors but for many lines of business (strategy development, lean implementation, CFO-for-Contract), there are approximately 100 more firms that I know of.

As you can tell, what you do isn’t as important now because there are various firms that do the same thing as you. But why do you do it? That reason, if projected and harnessed properly, can become your competitive advantage, your market differentiator, and the reason why your customers come to you.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment.

Kevin

Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.

L6S Business Consulting will also be holding 3 sessions in regards to better understanding and using social media (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn). For more information, please email: info@L6SBC.ca

Social Media Seminars

Quotation from http://mattiaskindell.com/why-is-the-answer/

ReBlog: Lean In Action

Over the next few weeks, I will be re blogging my most popular blogs from the past year.  I will be back blogging about business news and concepts in September. If you have any suggestions for blogs, feel free to contact me.

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As you may know, I have been on a road trip through the States of Oregon and Washington. During a three-day stop in Seattle, I took the time to tour Boeing’s Everett production facility. The facility is comprised of three different buildings that manufacture the 747, 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliner airplanes. The main portion of the manufacturing is completed in the largest building in the world, by volume. The other two buildings are painting bays that put on the finishing touch to the planes before they are delivered to the end user.

It is obvious that Boeing has undergone lean activities. All workstations are cleaned and organized. Shadow boards were filled with the appropriate tool in the appropriate place. As you walk around the plant, you can see the flow of the production process.

Lean is now starting to become involved in the design of the planes. Over 6 million rivets were placed into the first 747 planes. With the newest version of the 747, over 1.5 million less rivets are used. Re-engineering of the plane with an emphasis on improving the production while maintaining safety has increased the number of planes made in a year. From the catwalk, it also looked like some engineers are now on the production floor to make it easier and quicker to have questions answered.

As in any company that is following lean principles, there are still areas of improvement available. Only 1 of 4 production lines allows for easy movement of the airplane during the production process. Two different production processes are utilized within the facility. Added training is required for workers to be transferable between the two production processes. Due to the body positioning that workers must put themselves into during the production process, some tasks require two people to complete the task. I also didn’t notice tool kits that could be easily moved in and out of the airplanes. What I did notice was production line workers spending time walking between their workstation and the shadow boards.

A very difficult problem to solve would be to move the paint shops to the same side of the highway as the production facility. As of right now, planes can only be moved to the paint shop at night.

Lean is a never-ending journey in improving your processes and people. Boeing is definitely progressing very well in their journey. Where are you on your lean journey? What projects are you working on?

Have a great week!

Kevin

Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.

L6S Business Consulting will also be holding 3 sessions in regards to better understanding and using social media (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn). For more information, please email: info@L6SBC.ca

Social Media Seminars

Oh Those Lists!

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My usual Saturday mornings consist of checking out the activities from the stock market and learning. I love to read and during the week, I collect my favorite articles from various business publications to find out what is new in the world of strategy, management, leadership, and other things. During the last few weeks, I have noticed a trend which has become stronger and stronger: everything is listed out!

20 Easy Things That Will Make You The Next Millionaire

10 Biggest Motivation Killers and How To Fix Them

Want To Be a Great Leader? Avoid Saying These 10 Things.

7 Habits of People with Remarkable Mental Toughness

10 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Never Say

Do You Have the 10 Skills Entrepreneurs Need?

The above are all article titles from various publications that I found on Twitter. I will admit, I do share a lot of these articles. There is thoughtful and relevant information that can be used, but how many people are able to retain the information to be able to apply it?

The advice in these articles are, of course, very generalized. Take for example, all of the leadership articles that are floating around. You are not going to use the same leadership style for someone that is 50 years old versus someone that just graduated university. The articles need to be taken with a grain of salt, as with any information that is distributed to the masses.

Personally, I do wonder what has happened with asking for feedback or being mentored. I have received my most personalized and applicable improvements this way. It is much easier and effective if someone is able directly let you know how you can improve on something that you just did.

One caveat however: as with anything else, if you are not open to learning or improving yourself, you are not only wasting your own time with reading the articles, you are wasting the time of your colleagues who are trying to help you out.

Have an awesome week!

Kevin

Photo Credit: Set Lists from Flickr Common Community

Kevin MacDonald is a Business Consultant at L6S Business Consulting Inc (www.L6SBC.ca). L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin has his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinic on a bi-weekly basis.

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Receiving Feedback

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When reading different publication in regards to human resources, management, or feedback, it is about giving it out. You can sandwich the feedback with saying something good, something negative, and then something good. You can also tell someone the negative action, tell them how it makes you feel and then give them a possible solution.

Those are all great pieces of advice, depending on the situation and the person that you are dealing with…but what do you if you are on the other end? How do you take the feedback? Do you try to explain yourself?

I enjoy gaining feedback from others. Being a CMA, I believe in constant self-improvement and preparing myself for bigger, more complex situations. When I receive feedback, I like to:

Not Argue: I don’t argue the feedback. I may feel that the feedback is incorrect, from my perspective, but the prospective of the other person, it is warranted.

Listen: I listen to what is being said to me. I also ask open-ended questions to make sure I fully understand the feedback. If I still don’t fully understand the feedback, I try to use the feedback in a scenario with the person giving me feedback.

Thank you: I always try to say ‘Thank you’. The person giving the feedback took the time to formulate and deliver the feedback to me, at the very least, I can say thank you for their effort in trying to make me better.

Apply It: Even if I don’t agree with the feedback, I still try to apply it. It may not work out for me but it doesn’t hurt to try something.

What was your reaction the last time you got feedback? How did you receive it?

Next week, I will be hopefully taking tour of a Boeing plant in Washington. I will let you know how that adventure turns out.

Photo Credit to Armando Sotoca https://www.flickr.com/photos/criterion/

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Professional Development

Professional Development

As kids, we went to school not only because it was expected of us, but to help improve ourselves. With these improvements, we became ready for future challenges. These challenges tested our limits and allowed for more improvements.

These opportunities are always available in the workplace. Making an error has negative associations to it but good things can come out of it as well. Coaching and self-improvement opportunities are available to not only help decrease the error rate, but improve systems and for training of other staff members.

Some progressive companies make a training fund available to their employees. I worked at an industrial construction company where 6% of an employee’s salary was placed in a fund that the employee could use towards professional development. The 6% did not come from the employees pocket but was an investment from the company into their employees. Rarely did this money get spent and oddly enough, most positions that would be a promotion for employees was filled by an outside hire. It is possible for companies to bring their employees down the path of self-improvement, but the employees have to be willing to partake in it.

As you can correctly assume, I am huge advocate of constant self-improvement. I am currently working on attaining my Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification. 5 years previous to that, I completed my CMA (Certified Management Accountant) accounting designation. In between my certificates, I attend various workshops, conferences, and webinars with the end goal of making myself a better employee, manager, leader, and all-around person.

Please feel free to leave me any comments.

Kevin