— Manufacturing Industry Insights —

Talent System Series, Part Three: Your Talent Pipeline Strategy

As I discussed in my last blog post, establishing a workforce you can be proud of starts from within by assessing your company’s talent brand status. Once you’ve done that, the next step is determining the strategy behind your Talent Pipeline. Determine Your Talent Pipeline The term “Talent Pipeline” is shorthand for the target population…

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Assessing Your Talent Brand Status

Talent System Series, Part Two: Assessing Your Talent Brand Status

We often think of a company’s logo and color scheme as representing its brand, but brand is much more than aesthetics. It represents people’s impression and thoughts about your company—what is called brand status. A company’s reputation is everything in a highly competitive market. When beginning the process of recruiting and hiring talented workers, ask…

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Solving Talent Systems Problems

Solving Talent Systems Problems for Successful Factories

Over the next few months, I will be writing about talent systems that will highlight specific parts of the talent pipeline. For any factory—and any place of business, for that matter—success is directly correlated to the talent of the workforce. Having a methodical, deliberate approach to hiring, onboarding, and retaining the right people is imperative….

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The Importance of Supervisors in the Manufacturing Industry

A production supervisor has perhaps one of the most difficult and thankless jobs in a factory. I learned firsthand one summer as an intern at a GM Factory in Saginaw, Michigan, where I filled in for vacationing supervisors. There I was, a 21-year-old college kid supervising a bunch of grizzled workers. It was daunting at…

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What Letting Go of Emotions Means for Making Business Decisions

What Letting Go of Emotions Means for Making Business Decisions

I have an 18-year-old son who is on the autism spectrum. This morning, he boarded a flight by himself to go visit his grandparents in Florida. My wife and I know that this is an important step for him. It’s a milestone in the transition from being a child to an independent adult, but our…

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The Appeal of the Group: How Groupthink Affects Change

The Appeal of the Group: How Groupthink Affects Implementing Change

One of the most powerful forces that can inhibit the willingness and ability of people to change their behavior is the effect of groups. Humans are social creatures, and we want to be part of and identify with a group. It may be a church group, sports team, work team, book club or even a street…

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Joy to Work: A Fun Work Environment

Joy to the Work: Making the Job Fun

There’s a carwash in our community that does an excellent job. They vacuum the interior, wash the inside of the windows and hand-dry the exterior. It is staffed mostly with high school students who bust their butts, and I applaud them for that. I often bring my dog Lily with me when I go to…

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Leadership Change

What a Few Sardines Can Teach Us About Embracing a Leadership Change

When there’s a leadership change or different direction embarked upon, folks at your company may not be quick to embrace it right away. It’s not uncommon and is often the natural course of things. But we can learn from nature, too. Take, for example, the story of the blue whale and school of sardines. The…

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Lean Operational Excellence Easy as BBQ

Lean and Operational Excellence in the BBQ Pit

Over the past couple of years, BBQ cooking has become a hobby for me. I enjoyed watching BBQ Pitmasters on TV and it led to the purchase of a wood smoker to do low-and-slow barbecue. After a lot of experimenting, I’ve developed some decent tried-and-true recipes, but I wanted to learn how to move beyond…

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Three Things to Help Drive Successful Sale

The Three Key Things for an Old-Fashioned Sale

I often find inspiration for business and life lessons in my everyday surroundings. For example, I have a cabin in northwestern Wisconsin. It’s a great retreat for my family because the area is both beautiful and quiet, and the fall colors were amazing this past weekend. We have some modern luxuries, like indoor plumbing and…

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