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Write your actions down!

I sat in my last management meeting yesterday for the year.

They experienced a problem that many businesses have.

The problem has nothing to do with the specifics of their business or their sector.

It is a personal productivity issue.

Most of their staff, during their meetings, don't write their actions down...

Do your team do the same?

Or, have they learned the art of capturing their tasks in writing and then working on them?

None of this is rocket science, but it makes a massive difference to the results in most cases.

I nagged my client's staff yesterday. I refused to start the meeting until everyone had something to write with and something to write on.

We even captured an action log for the meeting, to refer to next time we meet.

I know... outrageous cutting edge stuff!

And here is my prediction. The chances of the team closing out their tasks will be higher. The chances of us closing down the issue they are working on will be higher and the rate faster.

This approach wo…

Get my new book for free today - Effective Root Cause Analysis

I'm pleased to announce that my new book is now available on Amazon.

Even better - it is free to download on Kindle from the 18th of November until the end of the 20th of November.

My reason for writing this book was the lack of results I see businesses get with root cause analysis methods.

The thrust of this book covers two main areas:

1. How to better use root cause analysis methods to solve your business problems more effectively (in one go).

2. How to extend the root cause questions to get maximum impact for your business.

I put a 'warning' at the start of the book as it focuses heavily on personal responsibility. I don't think this slant on personal responsibility and improving control at all levels of a business will bother any of my email readers. I know, however, that some people don't like to look in the mirror when it comes to business problems.




To download your free copy of Effective Root Cause Analysis click on one of these links. If you don't live …

What to do when real life doesn't line up with your continuous improvement plans

How many times have you tried to make an improvement in your business and watch it come to nothing?

For many of us real life doesn't resemble our plans. One of the common issues I see is that the way that we want a task to be organised on paper is difficult in reality. The frequent result from this situation is that the improvement grinds to a halt.

So, how do you overcome this situation?

Firstly, accepting that this is quite normal is a good place to start. When you move from 2D (paper) to 3D (reality) the translation might not always be perfect.

Secondly, be willing to learn from your experiences. Embracing the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act) cycle is a good strategy here. Over time you will become more effective at deploying change, if you learn from your earlier experiences.

Thirdly, approach your improvement from the principles you are trying to deploy. Let me give you an example here to underline this point.

Get your copy from Amazon today

I sat in on a client's meeting th…

Continuous Improvement Success Comes in Cans!

As I drove between clients yesterday I caught part of a BBC Radio 4 programme. The programme's callers were speaking about how disability had suddenly changed their lives.

Listening to the courage and tenacity of the callers was inspiring. One caller in particular caught my attention.

She had been talking about all of the obstacles she had overcome as she tried to regain her independence. There had been a theme through the last few calls around not waiting for other people to hand 'things' on plates. She quoted her mother:

"Success comes in cans!"

She carried on by saying that so many people talk about all the reason that they can not do something rather than finding a way to do something. Her point was that the solutions are there, just the attitude needed to shift.

This resonated with me because of the work I am involved with. There are always a million reasons why something can not happen but it is the results that count.

Some people will find a way and other w…

New book - Effective Root Cause Analysis

My new book is now out...

If you have ever wondered if there is more than meets the eye when it comes to root cause analysis then the answer is "yes!".

This book will show you how a couple of simple twists to 5 Why and Fishbone Diagrams can yield some huge changes to the performance of your business.

Better still, if you ask the right kinds of questions your own personal performance will dramatically improve.

The book includes some real world case studies so you can see exactly how powerful these tools can be when applied with the right mindset and approach.

I have not written a book for nerds... I have written a book that is for business managers and owners that are sick and tired of the control and performance of the business not being where they want it to be.

You can get your copy now from Amazon - click here.

Enjoy,

Giles

About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. G…

Continuous Improvement; direction and progress is more important than perfection!

When I speak to managers about their continuous improvement programmes there is a common concern. ‘Am I doing it right?’ is the question that they often ask me. There seems to be a common belief that there is a right way to do continuous improvement. There isn’t. There are lots of ways to make it better, but there isn’t a single one right way to carry out continuous improvement.

Note – over time you will likely find ways that work well for your organisation in terms of how you manage change. This can become your one best way to implement continuous improvement projects. But if you haven’t got there yet, don’t worry! The Standard Operating Procedure for making change happen in your business can come later.

A path with unexpected turnsOne of the joys of continuous improvement is the learning that can take place. The journey is full of twists and turns. People are unpredictable and that can bring with it new ideas and difficulties. 
Learning from these as you undertake your continuous im…