In October 2020, I published the inaugural issue of “The Manufacturing Leader”, a newsletter aimed at small and mid-size manufacturers.  The newsletter is 4 pages long, with 4 articles, and it will take about 10 minutes to read.  Click the link below, and it will pop open in a PDF reader. The Manufacturing Leader –…

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I’m reading the book “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar” by David Sandler and David Mattison.  The book is mostly about sales, although I think it has lessons that extend beyond the selling profession.  At its core, the book is about the hard work of practice. I grew up…

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It’s mid-October, and as I write this I’ve had an item on my to-do list for a month that says “Update 4th quarter plan”, and another that says, “Prepare 2021 plan”.  My brain tells me that I should do it, but I always seem to find something else that is supposedly more pressing to work…

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I hear it all the time.  We’re losing our tail on this product.  Should we kill it?  The question is well-intended, but often the analysis that leads to the answer is misguided.  Companies that rely on standard cost systems to understand product costs, which is the vast majority of manufacturers, can easily fall victim to…

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Bla-bla-bla

Jargon and acronyms fill the business world.  Lean has an entire vocabulary such as 5S, kaizen, Kanban, and hoshin kanri.  EOS™ uses terms like rocks and Level 10™. Then we can throw in the acronyms: DOH, OTD, DSO, PPM, TTM, CAGR, PM,  just to name a few. We could go through every department in a…

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This weekend, I started reading a book about behavior change by James Clear called Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Early in the book, Clear comments on how frequently people and organizations try to achieve better results by goal setting, pegging this as the default approach…

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We’re often asked to rate things–surveys, people, presentations, and even meetings. For those familiar with EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, you know that every meeting ends by scoring it, from 1 to 10. Have you noticed that some people struggle to rate anything an unequivocal 10? It’s almost a matter of principle to them. They…

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Ribs

As I write this post, it’s the beginning of February. One month of the new year is already behind us. How are you progressing against your 2020 plans? Are you meeting all your goals, or do you have some areas that are struggling? I’m always amazed at how easy it is to get off track…

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I’ve been focusing a lot on customer service these days, and the impact it has on buyer loyalty. While there’s most likely a marketing guru out there with piles of data on this subject, I prefer to share examples from my personal experience. Recently, I’ve had a few encounters with excellent employees that have cemented…

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We know what to do with our rock star employees. We show them the love. We also know what to do with our worst employees. We show them the door. But what should we do with middle performing employees? Sometimes they have moments of brilliance that leave you thinking, “They’re okay. Let’s keep working with…

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