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Posts Tagged ‘LEAN’

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a study on deferred gratification. The experiment was conducted in 1972 by psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University. In the study, a marshmallow was offered to each child. If the child could resist eating the marshmallow, he was promised two instead of one. The scientists analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallow, and whether or not doing so had an effect on their future success.

The purpose of the original study was to understand when the control of deferred gratification, the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants, develops in children. The experiment took place using children around the age of four to six as subjects. The children were led into a room, empty of distractions, where a treat of their choice (Oreo cookie, marshmallow, or pretzel stick) was placed on a table, by a chair. The children could eat the marshmallow, the researchers said, but if they waited for fifteen minutes without giving in to the temptation, they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow.

While a few children would eat the marshmallow immediately, only one third of the children could defer gratification long enough to get the second marshmallow.  Deferred gratification, self control and self-discipline are essential attributes for success.    

What are the marshmallows in your life?  What are your dreams and goals? What are the things in your life that are worth waiting for?

What things seem to tempt you most? What things have derailed you from achieving your goal? What things have you wished you would have waited for?

I wonder what the results of the test might have been if the subjects had a coach in their corner. Someone to encourage…Someone to hold them accountable….Someone to keep them focused on task…..Come on, you can do it!  Only a couple more minutes…It will be worth it…you can do it….Stay away from the temptation….Remember, the ROI!  Stay the course…hold it steady…

Got a coach?  Get one!  A performance coach can help you bring people and process into alignment with strategy and help you develop the leadership potential within your organization.  Raising the leadership quotient in your organization leads to improved results.  Patrick Frazier, CBC, is the performance coach that can help you raise the bar and lift your team to greater heights.  The Coaching Authority is the place to go for help….which by the way, in the last 5 years, we have helped over 25 different companies in our community get quick results and build a long-term competitive advantage.  Don’t delay. Call Patrick Frazier at the Coaching Authority today!

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Sort of gives “Long Live the Queen” a new meaning — doesn’t it? 

 Have you ever noticed that some things in life just seem to never go away?  Take for example, business processes. “Bad processes”, in particular, just seem to hang around forever.   We have good intentions, developing and installing new, efficient and effective process.  Over time, things change, but our processes don’t keep up.  Old processes, outdated methods, and old systems often obstruct new direction, new goals, and/or new people.  Results are often not what we had hoped for.  Success seems elusive.  Progress grinds to a halt.

A Certified Quality Facilitator partners with organizations to help them solve business problems and achieve higher levels of success in their business.  By helping organizations eliminate bad processes and align people and process with strategy, a business coach can help you and your organization obtain greater profitability, increase market share, decrease time to market, decrease process variation, decrease employee turnover and increase on-time delivery.  

Just because the Queen ‘may’ have been around forever, doesn’t mean bad processes have to linger for eternity.  Helping businesses get quick results and build a long term competitive advantage is what we do at Five Star Performance.  So don’t delay. Contact The Coaching Authority today.  He can be reached at Patrick.S.Frazier@Comcast.net (or more information can be found at www.CoachingAuthority.net )

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One afternoon, I happened to notice the tires on my car seemed to be wearing out, unevenly.  Not being particularly mechanically gifted, I drove my ailing car into the local Sears Auto Shop.  It wasn’t long until my friendly mechanic, came back with the diagnosis. “Yer, car is out of alignment.”  The out of aligned condition, resulted in accelerated, uneven wear of my tires.  It also was the cause for other steering related issues, I’ll not get into here in this blog.

However, the entire incident did cause me to think about other areas of misalignment.   In particular, organizations seem to have a tendency to get ‘out-of-alignment’ from time to time.  And when they do, the consequences can show up just as quickly as a bald tire.  While there are many consequences of an unaligned organization, here are six that come to mind:

  1. STRATEGY – If strategy is missing, unclear of not agreed upon, THEN Confusion results.  No common direction, working on different priorities or lack of criteria for decision making and empowerment.
  2. STRUCTURE – If structure is not aligned with strategy, THEN Friction results.  Silo mentality exists and fractionalization of efforts and lost opportunities prevail.
  3. PROCESS – If processes are not coordinated with strategy and structure, or left unchanged, THEN Gridlock results.  Lack of collaboration across departments, long decision making cycles and difficulty in sharing information and excessive waste occur.
  4. REWARD –  If rewards don’t support the strategy, THEN Internal Competition results.  Things like frustration and turnover, low standards and wasted energy, and lack of team work exist throughout the organization.
  5. PEOPLE – If people don’t have the proper skills, attitude and/or knowledge, THEN Low performance and low morale result. For example Effort without result, lack of employee satisfaction and excessive meetings with no results plague the team.
  6. RESULTS – If results being measured don’t support the strategy or are to numerous, THEN lack of focus occurs.  Goals that are not relevant to the future strengths of the business and often lacking a customer focus more drive by the P&L are symptoms that often occur.

Leadership is what makes it all work.   Lack of inappropriate leadership: is visible thru the existence of constantly changing priorities, focusing on “wrong things”, to many measurements, over use of authority, turn-over of key employees and fear.  According to John Maxwell, “everything rises and falls on leadership.”

Are you seeing confusion, friction, gridlock, internal competition, low performance/morale and/or lack of focus in your organization?  What would your organization accomplish if it were free of these alignment errors? What is the cost of doing nothing? What are you going to do about it?

The Coaching Authority is here to help.  With tools like DIALOG (organizational assessment) we can help you and your organization measure alignment.  With hard data supporting alignment, blind spots, and opportunities, we can help you get quick results.  With our leadership development processes we can facilitate the learning experience within your organization building a long-term competitive advantage.  Don’t delay.  Call Patrick Frazier, from the Coaching Authority, today!

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Start with a cage containing five apes.

In the cage, hang a banana on a string and put stairs under it.  Before long, an ape will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.  As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all apes with cold water.

After a while, another ape makes an attempt with the same result – all the apes are sprayed with cold water.  This continues through several more attempts.  Pretty soon, when another ape tries to climb the stairs, the other apes all try to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water, Remove one ape from the cage and replace it with a new one.  The new ape sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.  To his horror, all of the other apes attack him.  After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five apes and replace it with a new one.  The new comer goes to the stairs and is attacked.  The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.  Again, replace a third original ape with a new one.  The new on makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.  Two of the four apes that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest ape.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original apes, all the apes, which had been sprayed with cold water, have been replaced.  Nevertheless, no ape ever again approaches the stairs.  Why not?

Because that is the way they’ve always done it and that is the way it is always been around here.

And that is how company policy begins..

Remember. Bad processes kill good people – every day!.  Are you ready to stop monkeying around with bad company policy?  Call the Coaching Authority today to help you discover ways to get quick results and build a long-term competitive advantage.   As a trained total quality facilitator, Patrick Frazier can help you and your organization eliminate inefficiencies and reduce process variance. Don’t delay. Call the Coaching Authority today!

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The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet 8.5 inches.

WHY?

Because that’s the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were build by English expatriates.

WHY did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that is the gauge they used.

WHY did they use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

WHY did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing?

If they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old long distance roads, because that is the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

WHY were the wheel ruts that distance?

Ahhhh. Now we are getting somewhere. The first long roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions.  The roads have been used ever since.  The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots.  Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome they were alike in the matter of wheel spacing.  Thus we have the answer to the original question.  The US Standard railroad gauge, 4’8.5”, derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman chariots where made to be just wide enough to accommodate the backbends of two war horses.

But wait.  There’s more.

When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.  These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs.  The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah.  The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit bigger, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.  The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains.  The SRBs had to fit through the tunnel.  The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.  So a major design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a horses rear-end.

Keep this in mind.  Specs and bureaucracies live forever. The next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse’s behind came up with it, you may be exactly right.

Got a Coach? Get one today and learn how performance coaching can help you challenge the status quo and help your business grow.  As a certified total quality facilitator, Patrick Frazier can help you and your organization get quick results and build a long term competitive advantage.

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What does ‘Explosive Growth’ mean to your business? What would it mean to you personally to see your business grow exponentially?  What is keeping your business from growing?  What needs to happen to overcome that obstacle?  These questions (and many more), are questions that a business coach might use to help you and your team determine the right action to get the right (explosive) results.  Here are some obstacles that may be holding you and your organization back:

No common direction, working on different priorities

Lacking criteria for decision making and empowerment

Silo mentality

Fractionalization of efforts and lost opportunities

Lack of collaboration across departments

Long decision and innovation cycles

Difficulty in sharing info, poor efficiencies, excessive waste

Frustration and turnover

Low standards and wasted energy

Lack of team work

Effort without results

Lack of employee satisfaction

Excessive meetings with no results

Goals that are not relevant to the future strength of the business

Often lacking a customer focus more driven by the P&L

Of course there are many other possible obstacles, but which ones are keeping you from getting the results you had hoped for.  Stop hoping. Start planning.  Got a coach?  Get one! Call the Coaching Authority, TODAY! And get started building that plan to get quick results and explode ahead of the competition!

Take our Quick Poll: Where is the responsibility for achieving organizational goals?

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Ever wonder exactly what is in a ‘Twinkie’.  Probably not. But for those of you that have wondered, but never new where to look – click here.  If you knew the ingredients, then they might not taste so good going down.  Apparently there are 37 individual ingredients that make up that cream filled cake wonder. A list of ingredients or pictures of individually measured elements really doesn’t look or sound so good.  However, put the right amounts all together and then you have a culinary delight!

A Strategic Plan is sort of like that.  You can make an outline or list all the elements of a business strategic plan and it seems lifeless, tasteless and without purpose.  Get the right people focused on the right things, at the right time, to get the right results and you have something to behold. A strategic plan helps a business do exactly that.  A certified business coach can help you pull together all the right ingredients for a sound strategic plan.  For more information on the Strategic Planning process call The Coaching Authority.  Call today, and they might even throw in a free twinke to sweeten up the deal.

Do you have a written strategic plan?

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