Skip to main content

Just Admit To Your Production Losses

Last night whilst choosing something to watch on TV I caught part of an episode of 'Secret Eaters' on Channel 4. The part that I watched was where the so called secret eaters watched themselves in dismay as the real level of eating was revealed. Each time they saw themselves munching away on something they would provide a running commentary of "no, don't put that in your mouth", or similar.

There is a parallel to running a business operation. If things aren't going as well as you hoped then you need to be honest and detail everything that isn't going well. When you do this you can fix your problems and improve your performance a lot more quickly.

Like the secret eaters it can be simpler to be glib and smooth over the cracks with excuses. It's always been like that, you can't make that change here, we don't have time etc... Lying to yourself doesn't get the results.


When the problems are exposed they are fixable. When they are hidden they are often just lived with. When the eaters come face to face with their problems they can come up with a plan to change what they do. They get a dose of reality (and usually some information about just how much they really are eating) so that they can reflect and develop a better way of eating. Our business can do the same; get real and then get a plan.

I guess the part for many viewers that is most interesting in the programme is the part when you watch in disbelief that they don't recognise just how much they are eating. Having robust and meaningful Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is one way to keep track of what is going on. If your business can measure what is going on then you can use this information to make proper decisions and effective business changes (and not just get depressed!).

So, like the secret eaters, is it time for you to get a dose of reality about your business? Find the handful of factors that are important in your business. Measure them and then come up with an improvement plan. Business process improvement can be that simple, as long as you are willing to have a look at the bits that aren't working well as well as the bits that are.

Take a step back today from your day to day business and see what's really going on.


Giles Johnston
...fixing MRP systems and re-engineering business processes

Popular posts from this blog

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w

Kaizen projects: being honest about being off track

Projects, especially improvement projects, have a tendency to get off track. There is often a clear distinction between projects for customers and projects for ourselves. If our improvement projects fall behind then our customers won't be barking at us; it is no wonder that if something is going to slip it is our Kaizen endeavours. For some people this can be a tough conversation to have. No one wants to be a 'failure' and pride often gets in the way. In my experience it seems that it is believed to be far more credible to ignore the requirement to improve than to admit that we aren't making progress. So, if you find yourself (and your business) in this situation, what can you do about it? Let me share with you two options to increase the visibility in your business around progress with projects and four options to help get your projects back on track. Increasing visibility Ok, no more hiding the status of Kaizen activities . This also means no more being precious about

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is