PRESS RELEASE: S A Partners Announces Appointment of New CEO, Garry Corbet

13 June 2024

Global training and consultancy company S A Partners, is pleased to announce the appointment of Garry Corbet as its new Chief Executive Officer. Garry who is currently Head of the European Division will take over from current CEO Simon Grogan on 1 July 2024.

Garry joined the Partnership over five years ago and brings with him a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success within industry. Since joining S A Partners he has overseen the growth of the European division and so is well positioned to take on the global role.  Prior to joining S A Partners Garry held several key leadership positions, demonstrating exceptional strategic vision, operational expertise, and a commitment to driving growth and innovation.

“I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Garry Corbet to S A Partners as our new global CEO,” said Simon Grogan, who has been CEO of the organisation for the last 8 years. “His extensive experience and leadership qualities make him the ideal candidate to lead S A Partners into its next phase of growth and success. We are confident that under Garry’s guidance, S A Partners will continue to thrive and deliver value to our customers, employees, and shareholders.”

Garry expressed his excitement about becoming the new CEO and his vision for the future, stating, “I am honoured to lead S A Partners and build upon its strong foundation. I am committed to driving innovation, fostering a culture of collaboration, and delivering exceptional value for our customers. We have such a talented team and I am confident that we will achieve new levels of success.”

Prior to joining S A Partners, Garry held senior leadership positions in the food and IT Industries, he has a BCom and an MSc in Lean Operations.

S A Partners extends its gratitude to Simon Grogan who has been with the company for 21 years, In which time he has shown an outstanding level of dedication and leadership making the organization the success it is today. Simon will continue to work with our clients and will be heading up our Academy Programme. He will also be providing ongoing advice and support to the business and its customers.

-END-

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ailsa Carson
Ailsa.Carson@sapartners.com

+44 (0) 783-222-3453

About S A Partners

Since 1993, S A Partners has been dedicated to helping organisations worldwide achieve Enterprise Excellence. Through accredited training, personalized coaching, and expert consultancy, we empower businesses to build and leverage their capabilities for success. With a global presence and a team of exceptional professionals, we’re committed to driving growth and transformation for our clients.

 

Garry Corbet, CEO S A Partners

Garry Corbet has been a Partner for over six years.  He has over 10 years experience working in continuous improvement using Lean principals and has held several senior leadership roles prior to joining the company.  Garry’s background is in finance and he has over 15 years experience in the food industry where he held many different roles including the Head of Finance & IT, Continuous Improvement and Human Resources.

He also held the role of Director of Service and Continuous Improvement in the IT industry. Garry has an MSc in Lean Operations and is passionate about supporting our customers focus on people and engagement across all levels of their organisation.  Garry also has significant experience developing and managing the end to end (design, develop, submission, audit and claim) Enterprise Ireland Lean training programmes. He is a Shingo Facilitator and supports many of our clients with both training and consultancy support.

The Lean Tech Manifesto

Join us for this one-hour interactive Webinar where we will learn about Fabrice Bernhard’s new book “The Lean Tech Manifesto”

Whether you’re a production manager or CEO, The Lean Tech Manifesto provides what you need to dramatically improve operations and get ahead of the competition. This groundbreaking book written by the celebrated leaders of Theodo shows how to combine Lean strategy with the speed and scale of digital for optimal efficiency. You’ll learn how to:

● Create a culture of problem solving and knowledge sharing
● Scale-up – even when faced by a major increase in demand
● Deploy faster implementation
● Measure client satisfaction
● Improve teamwork between product, devs, and ops
● Recruit good developers – and keep them!

Shingo Forum – Katie Anderson Full Recording

In our monthly networking group, we talk with Shingo Publication Award-winning author Katie Anderson about her book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn. Hosted by Dr Keivan Zokaei

From Concept to Reality: How to Build Your Own Learning Academy

Join us for our 1 hour interactive webinar focused on developing your own Learning Academy.  Drawing from our extensive 30 year experience in assisting organizations in establishing successful academies, we will delve into the intricate process of crafting a learning academy that not only imparts technical expertise but also cultivates the essential leadership and change skills vital for driving business transformation and sustainable enterprise excellence.

Our expertise lies in guiding you through the nuances of building an academy that delivers tangible results, equipping your teams with both the capability and confidence they need to thrive in today’s dynamic landscape. Join us as we explore how a well-designed Academy can not only engage and empower your teams to drive improvement, but how with the right alignment it can serve as a engine to enable strategic transformation.

Lean Management System – LEVEL 1 – Japan Study Tour

23 November – 1 December 2024

Due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly. DO not book flights until we have confirmed the training.

Join the leading Lean Training Programme in Japan this November for an experience of a lifetime.

We are proud to offer you this unique opportunity to gain practical knowledge and experience studying with Toyota gurus for one whole week in Japan.

The Lean Management System study tour covers a comprehensive view of Lean leadership and the Lean Production System. The tour provides you with an opportunity to study in Toyota’s own training centre with direct access to Toyota trainers and Toyota  production facilities.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost your leadership and management skills by learning from the very best in the world. You will also obtain your Certificate directly from Toyota. We have created a study week that combines intense learning with both fun and cultural immersion!

Understand Why and How to use LEAN

This Study Tour will provide you with a deep understanding of how to make the best use of Lean. This is a unique opportunity to visit Japan, Toyota, and some of their suppliers to train in Lean through seminars, Gemba visits, and participating in practical training at Toyota’s own training facility. The objective is to dig deep into the WHAT, WHY and HOW of Lean Thinking. What are the elements needed to run a successful Lean system? Why is it so popular in current thinking and How can it influence your own organization and support growth.

By understanding  the whole lean management system you will get an insight into what these leading Japanese companies are doing to compete in today’s fast changing environment.

You will learn to identify the tools and elements of Lean Methodology that can be applied to your own business to support profitable growth. The week in Japan will also provide an insight into Japanese culture and values.

Study Tour Package Includes:

  • Workshops and seminars
  • Study visits
  • Hotel Accommodation for the entire duration of the study visit
  • Local transfers in Japan
  • Full board Sunday – Friday
  • Farewell dinner

Costs & To Book

  • £6,500 plus VAT, due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.
  • Onsite Host Companies: 10% Discount on all Bookings
  • Group Discount: 10% Discount on 4 or more places

Need Help or Advice?

To book or for more Information:

For full terms and conditions and for details of our Company Insurance Policy please do contact us.

Any questions regarding the training, the travel to or within Japan – please do give us a call on +44 (0) 23 9246 8978.

The study tour is being delivered by SA Partners LLP and Onsite Insights in partnership with C2U Group.

The training week will provide an invaluable insight into lean thinking. You will see it in action at Toyota and other leading-edge companies, where it originated and has matured over the last 100 years.

Learn the original thinking directly from former senior executives at Gifu Autobody, a Toyota-owned minivan manufacturer.  The Japanese sensei’s

(guru’s) will only teach based on real experience.

Time will be divided between the classroom, Gemba and practical workshops. The tour starts in the Nagoya region and ends in Tokyo, going from countryside to one of the largest cities in the world.

Day 1
Departure Europe

We depart from Europe and fly to Nagoya, Japan.

Day 2
Arrival and Tour Opening

Pick up/arrival in Nagoya and since it is a Sunday, we will take the opportunity to recover from jet lag and relax after the long flight by visiting the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology where we also will have lunch. In the museum we can follow the Japanese industrial history from looms to robotics. After the visit we take the bus to travel to the destination of
the day, Kakamigahara, where we will stay until Friday. The day ends
with a common dinner and introduction of the week.

Day 3
Classroom Training

The first day of training introduces the Production System by our host for the week. A Japanese senior manager will lead us through Toyota Production System from a manager perspective. From values, mindset to specific tools and methods. This session will prepare the group in what we can expect from the study visits, from the practice and from the following sessions. Your overall
picture of the production system will be confirmed or completed. In the afternoon we go for a first study visit, guided by our sensei. Q&A.
Group dinner will follow.

Day 4
Plant Tour and more Training

Next day, we continue to dig deeper into aspects of the production system and the Toyota way of managing and leading. How are all the puzzle pieces connected? How is Kaizen work organized and performed? Etc. After lunch, we go for another study visit and if time allows, we will also end with a visit to a traditional knife maker. Group dinner will follow.

Day 5
Training

The fifth day we spend in the Training Center where Toyota train their own people. We will increase our knowledge of Kanban when the group take part in a Kanban Role Play and we will train in how to perform a productivity improvement task following the Toyota methods. Group dinner will follow.

Day 6
Study Visit and further Training

The sixth day will start with a study visit before spending the rest of the day with a final Q&A and concluding the learnings for the week. Presentation by all participants. Followed by our group dinner.

Day 7
Conclusion

The last day ends with a study visit. We do final reflections before we board the bullet train that will take us to Tokyo. Free evening in Tokyo.

Day 8
Sightseeing Day in Tokyo

You will end the tour with a Free day in Tokyo where we will support you with travel advice and sightseeing recommendations. This will be followed up by a team farewell dinner.

Day 9
Departure from Tokyo

We have an extensive network of world class companies and for more than 10 years have been bringing managers to Japan. Our host sites embody World Class Manufacturing and include:

  • Toyota Motors
  • Denso
  • Calbee Foods
  • Asahi Breweries
  • Sekisui Heim
  • Gifu Autobody
  • Nissan Motors
  • Ishii Food Corp.
  • Asahi Motors
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mazak
  • Pfizer
  • UD Trucks
  • Honda
  • Yamaha Marine
  • Mizawa Home
  • Suzuki
  • Isuzu Tokai

To find out more, you can email Ailsa Carson.

Lean Management System – LEVEL 1 – Japan Study Tour – Supply Chain

14 – 22 September 2024

Due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly. Do not book flights until we have confirmed the training .

Join the leading Lean Training Programme in Japan this September for an experience of a lifetime.

We are proud to offer you this unique opportunity to gain practical knowledge and experience studying with Toyota gurus for one whole week in Japan.

Companies all over the world are facing the same challenges with increased material scarcity, increased freight prices, complex demand forecasting, etc. A major topic this week will thus be Supply Chain – how is Toyota working with both internal logistics and with its supplier network, staging bases and distribution centers to optimize their supply chains?

The Lean Management System study tour covers a comprehensive view of Lean leadership and the Lean Production System. The tour provides you with an opportunity to study in Toyota’s own training centre with direct access to Toyota trainers and Toyota  production facilities.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost your leadership and management skills by learning from the very best in the world. You will also obtain your Certificate directly from Toyota. We have created a study week that combines intense learning with both fun and cultural immersion!

Understand Why and How to use LEAN

This Study Tour will provide you with a deep understanding of how to make the best use of Lean. This is a unique opportunity to visit Japan, Toyota, and some of their suppliers to train in Lean through seminars, Gemba visits, and participating in practical training at Toyota’s own training facility. The objective is to dig deep into the WHAT, WHY and HOW of Lean Thinking. What are the elements needed to run a successful Lean system? Why is it so popular in current thinking and How can it influence your own organization and support growth.

By understanding  the whole lean management system you will get an insight into what these leading Japanese companies are doing to compete in today’s fast changing environment.

You will learn to identify the tools and elements of Lean Methodology that can be applied to your own business to support profitable growth. The week in Japan will also provide an insight into Japanese culture and values.

Study Tour Package Includes:

  • Workshops and seminars
  • Study visits
  • Hotel Accommodation for the entire duration of the study visit
  • Local transfers in Japan
  • Full board Sunday – Friday
  • Farewell dinner

Costs & To Book

  • £6,500 plus VAT, due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.
  • Onsite Host Companies: 10% Discount on all Bookings
  • Group Discount: 10% Discount on 4 or more places

Need Help or Advice?

To book or for more Information:

For full terms and conditions and for details of our Company Insurance Policy please do contact us.

Any questions regarding the training, the travel to or within Japan – please do give us a call on +44 (0) 23 9246 8978.

The study tour is being delivered by SA Partners LLP and Onsite Insights in partnership with C2U Group.

The training week will provide an invaluable insight into lean thinking. You will see it in action at Toyota and other leading-edge companies, where it originated and has matured over the last 100 years.

Learn the original thinking directly from former senior executives at Gifu Autobody, a Toyota-owned minivan manufacturer.  The Japanese sensei’s

(guru’s) will only teach based on real experience.

Time will be divided between the classroom, Gemba and practical workshops. The tour starts in the Nagoya region and ends in Tokyo, going from countryside to one of the largest cities in the world.

Day 1
Departure Europe

We depart from Europe and fly to Nagoya, Japan.

Day 2
Arrival and Tour Opening

Pick up/arrival in Nagoya and since it is a Sunday, we will take the opportunity to recover from jet lag and relax after the long flight by visiting the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology where we also will have lunch. In the museum we can follow the Japanese industrial history from looms to robotics. After the visit we take the bus to travel to the destination of
the day, Kakamigahara, where we will stay until Friday. The day ends
with a common dinner and introduction of the week.

Day 3
Classroom Training

The first day of training introduces the Production System by our host for the week. A Japanese senior manager will lead us through Toyota Production System from a manager perspective. From values, mindset to specific tools and methods. This session will prepare the group in what we can expect from the study visits, from the practice and from the following sessions. Your overall
picture of the production system will be confirmed or completed. In the afternoon we go for a first study visit, guided by our sensei. Q&A.
Group dinner will follow.

Day 4
Plant Tour and more Training

Next day, we continue to dig deeper into aspects of the production system and the Toyota way of managing and leading. How are all the puzzle pieces connected? How is Kaizen work organized and performed? Etc. After lunch, we go for another study visit and if time allows, we will also end with a visit to a traditional knife maker. Group dinner will follow.

Day 5
Training

The fifth day we spend in the Training Center where Toyota train their own people. We will increase our knowledge of Kanban when the group take part in a Kanban Role Play and we will train in how to perform a productivity improvement task following the Toyota methods. Group dinner will follow.

Day 6
Study Visit and further Training

The sixth day will start with a study visit before spending the rest of the day with a final Q&A and concluding the learnings for the week. Presentation by all participants. Followed by our group dinner.

Day 7
Conclusion

The last day ends with a study visit. We do final reflections before we board the bullet train that will take us to Tokyo. Free evening in Tokyo.

Day 8
Sightseeing Day in Tokyo

You will end the tour with a Free day in Tokyo where we will support you with travel advice and sightseeing recommendations. This will be followed up by a team farewell dinner.

Day 9
Departure from Tokyo

We have an extensive network of world class companies and for more than 10 years have been bringing managers to Japan. Our host sites embody World Class Manufacturing and include:

  • Toyota Motors
  • Denso
  • Calbee Foods
  • Asahi Breweries
  • Sekisui Heim
  • Gifu Autobody
  • Nissan Motors
  • Ishii Food Corp.
  • Asahi Motors
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mazak
  • Pfizer
  • UD Trucks
  • Honda
  • Yamaha Marine
  • Mizawa Home
  • Suzuki
  • Isuzu Tokai

To find out more, you can email Ailsa Carson.

Developing Leadership Agility

by Dr. Bryan Cutliff FACHE
Leaders today engage in many diverse and complex activities and face a new set of challenges requiring agility.

These could span from accepting new roles and responsibilities to taking organizations to new heights, to navigating tremendous internal and external pressures to adopt new ways of thinking around diversity, equity, and inclusion, or directing the efforts of an organization to divest parts of itself to
make space for a new venture.
In each of these circumstances, leaders might find themselves in situations where the problem’s solution is not easily obtained and is often elusive. Solving them will require the leader’s dedication, perseverance, grit, and personal purpose to motivate themselves and others to engage in the work ahead.

In 2009, Ronald Heifetz, Alexandar Grashow, and Marty Linksy (leading authors in the space of Adaptive Leadership) suggested that the challenges the world faces today, “are not amenable to authoritative expertise, although people might hope that if the right subject matter expert could only be found, these problems would be solved. These are what we call adaptive challenges, gaps generated by bold aspirations amid challenging realities. For these, the world needs to build new ways of being, and responding, beyond the current repertories of available know-how. What is needed from a leadership perspective are new forms of improvisational expertise, a kind of process expertise that knows prudently how to experiment with never-been-tried-before relationships, means of communication, and ways of interacting that will help people develop solutions that build upon and surpass the wisdom of today’s experts.

The answers cannot come only from on high. The world needs distributed leadership because the solutions to our collective challenges must come from many places, with people developing micro-adaptations to all the different micro-environments of families, neighborhoods, and organizations around the globe.”

To develop leadership agility and truly empower those who trust us to care for the strategy of the organization, we must:
  1. Find your personal leadership story
  2. Develop a desire to learn and adapt,
  3. Create personal space for reflection
  4. Build personal resilience; and
  5. Become more empathetic to the world around us.

These may seem like monumental tasks for some, but any transformation, small or large, starts with only a few critical steps.

First, carve out a time to ask yourself the following questions in the coming week:
  1. What patterns in my earlier life were most significant in shaping my current leadership philosophy?
  2. What experiences have I had that helped to develop my current passions?
  3. As I think about a recent failure, what were some of the learning opportunities that failure provided that could help me achieve my
    current goals?
  4. What behavior could I adopt tomorrow to help me answer the above questions?
By participating in this reflective activity, you create your personal leadership story and an adaptive framework where you make it a habit to
look at past performance for clues and opportunities to improve your future performance. One key deliverable from creating personal time to reflect is that you have just started building the first four steps to creating an agile leadership presence. Some of the most inspirational leaders I have met had a strong sense of who they were and what propelled them to lead others. This story and reflection can then be used to create a realistic and personal plan to accelerate our ability to influence others for good.

The last step comes from showing empathy to yourself through this process and then subsequently to others. When we fail, we often assume that we are incapable or trusted to perform at the expected level. This mental conclusion is frequently based on an erroneous assumption, leading to poorer performance. This thinking is also often applied to others (known as the ladder of inference). In that, we assume that a person’s action today is due to some negative attribute we have labeled them with or experienced in the path. This thinking does not consider that each day brings new challenges and external forces that may cause a person to act positively or negatively in any given circumstance.

To interrupt this automatic thought process, we must 1) recognize that this happens in all of us, 2) adopt a mutual learning mindset in that we state what we are experiencing or feeling so that others know the reason for our comments, and 3) adopt an inquiring mind in which we ask the person to clarify the reason for their comments, behaviors, or results. In doing this, we become more empathetic to the situations we often put ourselves in or as we work with others on transformation efforts.
In summary, as we create personal reflection opportunities, we will learn to look at our past successes or failures as an opportunity to learn. With this learning, we will be better positioned to create an individual plan that breaks our larger goals into smaller ones, thus making it more manageable to start the change process. Lastly, we will become more empathetic with ourselves and others. As we reflect, we will start to see things that we didn’t notice now, which will help us to be less directed by negative emotions and become more hopeful about the possibilities in front of us, thus increasing our confidence, capability, and motivation to engage in the challenging work of leading others.
If your Leadership Team would benefit from coaching or mentoring please do contact me:

Factory of the Future or Factory for the Planet?

by John Quirke

The “Factory for the Planet” concept represents a visionary approach to industrial operations that prioritizes environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and long-term business viability. As a business model it aligns with global efforts to address climate change, resource depletion, and evolving consumer expectations for ethical and eco-friendly products and services.

I have seen, heard, and read a lot about the factory of the future. It describes the interconnection of things. The availability of real-time data to allow for accurate and rapid decision-making and process control. It speaks to the seamless way humans will interact with robots or cobots to eliminate repetitive mundane tasks and how data will flow between customers, manufacturers, and suppliers.

Whilst in many businesses elements of this future state have become a reality, in many others it has become yet another source of complexity and waste.  Information technology infrastructure has not been adequately integrated. Processes that were inefficient and overly complex have become more complex and more inefficient. Technical knowledge and skills have not kept pace with the introduction of new equipment and technology. Previous poor practices in maintenance and process optimisation continue and are now exaggerated by the critical reliance on innovative technologies.  Poor validation practices and complex quality management creates a complex web into which the process regularly stumbles.

So, it may be time to pause and rethink the notion of the Factory of the Future and consider what we need from our factories in the future. It is also time to consider what products the factories of the future will make and where these factories will be. Maybe we should be considering not just Factories of the Future but Factories for the Planet.

As the impacts and limits of our current levels of ‘stuff’ making become clear organisations are beginning to respond to market and legislative pressures.  However, while companies are tinkering with the concepts of net zero, biodiversity and social responsibility, the challenges to business will reach a whole new level over the next ten years.

Humans by our nature will always need stuff. Food, cloths, tools, medicines, homes, furnishing, gadgets, and playthings. But what this stuff is, how it is made, and what it is made from will be determined by pending legislative reform to ensure better use of scarce resources and the necessary drive to reduce global warming.

There are many discussions around what the future will look like for business. Imagine your business is given a carbon budget with limits set for the yearly maximum amount of carbon emissions arising from your business activities, all of them. Many products will be banned from the marketplace if they cannot support the right to repair, be recycled effectively or ensure no long-term impacts on the environment. Some business will simply no longer exist.

It all sounds gloomy, and it actually is! The speed at which the necessary changes are being made is far too slow. Vested interests and ignorance are slowing and, in some cases, actively preventing the requisite changes.

If you want to change the future, you must change what you’re doing in the present.

– Mark Twain

It all seems so crazy. 

Imagine you are living in a Martian space station.  The walls and seals of the space station are deteriorating causing precious oxygen to leak out into the lifeless Martian atmosphere.  You have a solution to control the issue, a paste than can be spread over the cracks and seals that will reduce the loss of oxygen, a loss that is accelerating as the system continues to deteriorate.  But the people who fly the ships to resupply oxygen have concerns. What if the paste is toxic to the inhabitants of the space station? What if its colour affects the ambiance of the interior and residents get depressed and start killing each other just like in the movies? The oxygen shipment lobbies their networks and insist on detailed studies on the effectiveness of the paste as a solution.

The paste inquiry and review process take years. But meanwhile, business is good.  The more oxygen that leaks the more deliveries are needed and the more jobs are created flying and building oxygen cargo ships.  Each time the paste control measure is raised the science around its efficacy as a solution is thrown into doubt. Anyway, we need to keep the supply chains going! If we solved the oxygen leak issue, there would be fewer cargo ships and the cost of transport to the colony would increase making the whole project unsustainable. What a tragedy that would be!

The real problem is that there just will not be enough oxygen to continually resupply the Martian colony in which you live.  The oxygen freight companies know this, the government who fund them know this, but business is good, tax is up, and people have jobs and sure are not we funding some genetic research stuff that will help people survive with less oxygen maybe even convert to nitrogen to sustain life, and sure we’ve tonnes of that! All will be good.

But unfortunately, it will not.

It is easy to despair.

But we all have a circle of influence. Now is the time to put it to good use!

Whilst the challenge is immense so are the opportunities.  Humans will always need stuff. The opportunity today is to really consider the ideal factory for the planet and start building foundations now. As a continuous improvement professional or business leader you know all this.

Inefficient and wasteful industries will be rooted out either by their competitors, legislators, or the market. Products that are shipped for thousands of miles by air and sea will need to be sourced locally, creating opportunities to re-introduce or renovate old industries. The circular economy will grow. The demand for repair, refurbishment and upcycling of products will increase creating more opportunity for new businesses and new factories. Supply chains will become more fragile through resource shortage and political instability. Onshoring of both manufacturing of subcomponents and raw material will be a reality. Upcoming legislation will ban some product for public health, resource scarcity or inadequate design. Whilst these issues create significant challenges, they also provide opportunities – but only if companies plan now and begin considering what their factories might look like.

So, what would the ideal Factory for the Planet look like?

It will need to be agile. The future will change, and products will change. A factory for the planet is a system that enables successful manufacturing within prescribed boundaries. We can see situations arising in the market which through legislative controls, will impact an organisation’s ability to bring a product to market. Permission to do so will be dependent on both the need the product is serving, and the extent to which the products manufacture, use and the disposal impacts on a defined set planetary boundaries and associated human and ecological health.

Some key elements of the design and operation of a Factory for the Planet are outlined below:

Energy:

All energy needs are provided through renewable energy sources.  Energy-efficient technologies are used to minimize the efficient and effective use of this energy.  Any surplus energy is distributed to local community power grids with local employees seeing major savings in energy costs.

Supply chains:

Wherever possible raw material and consumable items are sourced locally.  Circular economic practices are present throughout the business, reducing waste and maximizing the use of recycled materials. Factories are co located to take advantages of product repair and recycling requirements. Waste in any form is a resource for another process. Low-grade energy and heat are recovered for alternative use such as onsite horticulture. Factories actively collaborate with suppliers to source recycled and sustainable materials for manufacturing processes and facility construction.

Social Impacts:

The factory is to the forefront of social improvement in its locality. Fair labour practices, employee well-being, and opportunities for professional development are well established.  Outreach programmes within local schools and universities support skill development and learning needed in the area. The voice of the employee is actively sought. Employee involvement in decision-making processes is a defined process which leads to increased job satisfaction and a sense of ownership among employees.

Job creation will include a range of part-time and job-sharing options and will cover sponsored activity with community development initiatives. A strong outreach programme is in place to bring in local students as part of their education programme. Diversity and inclusion will be a cornerstone of the workforce and supply chain. Physical and neural diversity are catered for through sheltered work and occupational development schemes run within the workplace.  These are supported by employees who have volunteered to received specialised training to support these programmes.

As the number and severity of extreme weather events increases, the factory for the planet will have contingency support plans in place for their local community.

During the tragedy that was hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, many factories were the only source of emergency power and clean water and outside communication for their local communities.

Process Improvement and Innovation:

Innovation and efficiency are embraced with a passion. Efficiency will always be balanced with effectiveness. There is no tolerance for efficiently doing the wrong thing! Processes are optimised and simplified not only to create space for alternative products but to allow for greater team development time or paid time for employees in social and community activity.

Detailed and effective process monitoring has resulted in the elimination of waste and rejected products. Any waste that generated which cannot be reused in house enters the circular economy. Process innovation and improvement ideas are driven by work teams who are energetically supported and inspired by skilled and committed leadership teams.

Customer Value:

The level of connection with customer is at a whole new level. Customers in general will be educated on a form of product selection criteria that is based on an environmental impact scale.  This scale not only covers the use of the product during its lifetime but also the impact of its manufacture and its disposal.  To reduce risks of redundancy and failed new product introductions, customer feedback is constantly sought in relation to product design and functionality.

Customers are encouraged to visit the factory and local community.  They are made aware of the environmental and community initiatives and are engaged with these initiatives.  Customers within a specified radius of the factory receive generous discounts on products though the factory outlet which also functions as a product repair and recycling depot.  Customers returning a used product receive significant discount on replacement.

Building Design:

The look and design of a Factory for the Planet will be different.  The orientation and design of buildings will maximise energy efficiency.  The fabric of the building will include sustainable construction materials, green roofs, and other features that contribute to energy and water conservation. Access to the factory will prioritise public transport cycling and walking.  Electric car charging will be available with energy provided free of charge to employee and visitors.

The factory design and construction will include features that make it resilient to extreme weather events and adaptable to changing environmental conditions.

Internally the building fit out will consist of eco-friendly infrastructure to enhance and improve air quality and reduce reliance on air-conditioning and artificial lighting.

Natural Environment:

External spaces will incorporate significant green spaces, preserving natural habitats and promoting biodiversity. This will include green belts, wildlife corridors, and specific areas for native plant species.  Where appropriate there will be clearly defined buffer zones to preserve natural habitats on the property.

Aggressive sustainable water management and conservation measures are in place including rainwater capture, secondary reuse, and onsite irrigation.  Permeable surfaces will be used for parking lots and walkways to allow rainwater to penetrate the ground, reducing runoff and supporting groundwater recharge.

Sustainable agriculture practices take place on the factory’s land. Including community and employee gardens, intense vertical farming activity and other initiatives that promote local food security and local sustainability. Where possible low-grade heat from water and air are captured to heat green houses to extend growing seasons in winter periods or reduce running cost for high intensity horticulture activity.

What can be considered right now to move towards a Factory for the Planet?

  1. Take a detailed look at your supply chain to assess risks over the next five and ten years.
  2. Take steps to reduce reliance on extended air freight and shipping.
  3. Find local suppliers where possible. Higher local cost may be offset by lower inventory holding.
  4. Review each product value stream in detail. Map your material and energy flows in detail. Begin a rootless process to eliminate waste and inefficiency within both the individual process steps, the links between process steps and the surrounding support functions. This process should extend beyond the walls of the factory and deep into the supply chain.
  5. Simplify your product portfolio – With a clear view of product value streams and their associated demand identify and eliminate the ‘dogs and cats’ in your product portfolio. Focus on 80:20. The twenty percent of your products that give eight percent of revenue and profit. A focus on the efficient delivery of the twenty percent will more than cover any revenue losses from the eighty. The focus on the twenty percent will align the business to true customer value which will generate more revenue opportunities for your business.
  6. Technology – Where possible adopt technology but carefully. Consider whether the proposed technology provides the flexibility needed in a volatile landscape. Will existing business systems integrate with information flows and the quality management requirements arising from this new technology? If digital and technology is a route for your business, build the necessary skills for operation maintenance and support internally within your team and get these teams involved as early as possible in the design and selection of the solution. Engage with local schools and colleges to develop necessary skills for the future.
  7. Adopt the latest thinking and innovation during the construction of any new build project and incorporate as many aspects of the design of a Factory for the Planet as discussed in this article.
  8. Focus on Process Efficiency and Effectiveness – Stop making product for which there is no current demand. Instead use the time to develop your teams’ skills and improve your processes. Eliminate complexity and focus on process robustness, simplicity and elegance in work design and work and work instruction.
  9. Identify all opportunities to reduce energy consumption inhouse resulting from manufacturing and data storage. Extend this activity offsite within supplier interactions and communications. Move all remaining energy needs to sustainable sources. Use every opportunity onsite to generate green energy through wind, solar, and heat recovery.
  10. Locally source raw materials and consumable supplies wherever possible. All physical waste from process activity should be eliminated but what remains may provide raw material for other businesses. Seek out these opportunities.
  11. Look at your green areas and consider opportunities for rewilding and forestry. Encourage employees to develop horticulture projects and nature conservation. Bee keeping seems to be a growing trend on facilities across Europe!
  12. Look for opportunities to support your local community in meaningful ways. Education and real opportunities for work experience for youth and individuals with disabilities is a good place to start. Support investment in local recreational and cultural facilities and activities.  All these provide immensely powerful messages to your workforce and your community.

But first. Engage your workforce in this struggle.

There is a considerable amount of misinformation and a degree of fear around the subject of climate change. Individuals feel helpless, unable to do anything to impact this immense problem. Bring your team on the journey.  It is and will be a struggle.  Seek out opportunities, educate and support them and their communities.  Lay out a future with purpose not despair. It is in their interests to help build a factory for the planet in their community. Their future, the future of their community and that of their children will depend on it.

Our future is as certain or uncertain as we make it.

Be bold.

 

John Quirke

S A Partners Dec 2023.

Digital Requirements

For those who have worked with me in the past, something that I’ve harped on about is the importance of ensuring that technology follows process, not the other way around 

I’ve said this from years of experience seeing organisations taking the approach of ‘our existing tools won’t change and we’re not going to get any new ones, so how can we shape our processes around them?’.  The artificial limitations that this approach produces means that you are almost certainly imposing inefficiencies on yourself, deviating away from the path that would result in the best customer results, and you are setting yourself up for failure looking for work arounds (and hence making standardisation impossible).  

The approach that I’ve always championed has been to start by designing your optimised process and then looking for the tools that allow you to perform your process.  

Recently though, I’ve been questioning myself on this. Whilst I think building your processes around the constraints of legacy systems is still the wrong approach, what about when you’re looking for new technology? Does it always make sense by designing your process and then going to market – or might a technology first approach be more reasonable?  

Fundamentally, what tech vendors are doing is selling us processes. Salesforce have a process for us to create and convert leads, Monday have a process for us to manage processes, Slack has a process for us to communicate. Equally Microsoft Dynamics offers a different sales process, Asana has a different project management process, and Microsoft Teams has a different take on how we should communicate.  

The question then becomes, where do we start? Under the old paradigm that I encouraged, I would have suggested that you design your ideal sales process, and then have a look at which of the solutions in the market allows you to most closely execute your process. I no longer think that’s the right approach.  

 

Let’s start by defining a process as the steps needed to convert a set of inputs into a set of desired outputs.  

With this definition in mind, I think what we need to be doing is deciding on what the inputs to our business system are, what outputs the business systems need to produce, any key milestones, and finally the performance targets that we measure the business system against.  

For example, we might decide that our sales business system needs to take contacts (the input) and convert them into new customers (the output) at a rate of 30% within 120 days (the performance target). Along the way, we need to manage the conversion of a contact to a lead, a lead to an opportunity, and an opportunity to a proposal (the milestones).  

From here you should then take these business system requirements, present them to your target vendors, and leave it to them to propose a process for converting your inputs to outputs. You then need to assess and compare the proposed processes and decide which will allow you to most consistently and efficiently achieve your performance targets while balancing any other relevant considerations (such as price and support).  

Would you like to assess the maturity of your ability to identify Digital Requirements? 

The ability to define the requirements of any Digital use case is one of the six elements of Digital Excellence. You can complete a free self-assessment on all six elements, including Digital Requirements here The assessment should take 15 minutes to complete after which you’ll receive an email with your results.  

Please do reach out if you would like to discuss this in any way. 

Ishan Sellahewa 

ishan.sellahewa@sapartners.com 

 

Organic v. Planned Expansion

Process Management initiatives often start in a certain part of an organisation to solve a specific business problem. For example, we may find that our Customer Satisfaction Score is below target, so we prioritise our process management efforts to focus on our customer services processes. This may be the entire scope of our process management initiative, or it may be the number one priority on our way to rolling out to the rest of the organisation.  

Processes don’t sit in isolation; they have dependencies on other processes which produce their inputs or use their outputs which sit outside of the original scope. In our example, if we collected and retained better customer data during the sales process the customer service process would be more effective. So, whilst process management, when limited to a certain part of an organisation, can drive significant value, the real benefit comes where the scope of the initiative is expanded to capture upstream and downstream processes. As a result, eventually the question is inevitability asked, how do we expand?  

Broadly speaking there are two options: organic or strategic.  

Organic expansion involves relying on word of mouth, where people outside of the original scope see process management in action and ask how they can get involved and bring it to their business unit.  

Strategic expansion involves centrally deciding the order in which new parts of the organisation will be brought on, and then proactively approaching those areas to engage when the time comes.  

 

So, which is better?  

The key to expanding is that, to be successful, you need to have the desire of the business to engage. Most people’s day jobs take up 110% of their time, on top of which we all have a backlog of side projects, so unless the people in the business unit see the value in process management this will just get added to the list of projects that are never looked at.  

The organic option then immediately addresses this requirement. If the operations team are chomping at the bit to get involved and get their processes mapped because they’ve seen how it helped the finance team, given some support and guidance they are likely to be your low hanging fruit.  

The strategic option however requires much more effort. Going in, you need to assume that the people within the business unit don’t see the value in process management and therefore won’t want to direct their precious resources to the initiative. Depending on where you sit in the organisation, you may not be the right person to make the ask. Initially this needs to be raised by a strong executive sponsor at as high a level as is possible. This sponsor needs to align process management with the organisations purpose and ensure that priorities and resources are aligned to make sure that the incentives of the business unit are aligned with their participation in the process management initiative (e.g. making sure that the business unit leaders have process related KPIs, ensuring that either something is taken off their plate to free up resources to engage in process management or additional resources are provided).  

With all of this in mind, it may seem like the organic approach is the sensible option. The challenge is that it is very reactive. First and foremost, it relies on the business putting up their hand to get involved which doesn’t always happen without a prod. Beyond that, it also means that you have no say in the order in which you expand. Going back to the idea of the benefits of mapping up and downstream, if you start by mapping your sales process and then move onto your IT Helpdesk processes, while yes you are expanding, you’re not going to see the synergistic benefits that you would if you went from sales to account management.  

If I were to make a recommendation then, it would be to be strategic. From the outset you should produce a game plan for how you would like to roll out process management to your organisation and ensure that you have the support of your executive team including a strong executive sponsor. From there, approach any organic expansion opportunities with care – on the one hand we need to pick the low hanging fruit when it presents itself, but also consider the overheard to support their rollout; the worst case scenario is that you spread yourself too thin by trying to do everything and the group that you’ve identified as high priority loses momentum as you focus elsewhere, and the groups that want to engage lose their excitement when they don’t get the support they need.   

 

Please do reach out if you would like to discuss this in any way. 

Ishan Sellahewa 

ishan.sellahewa@sapartners.com 

 

Are you struggling to automate? Try standardization instead.

Many of the clients with whom I work have identified that process Digitization and Automation are critical to their ability to survive, let alone grow. And as such they invest. They hire teams of automation experts. They train their teams to be citizen developers. They buy automation tools. And nothing happens.  

The problem here is that this approach gives the organization everything they need to use technology to solve process problems but fails to help the organization identify the process problems in the first instance.  

When we talk about problem solving, we talk about a four-step approach:  

 

 

The approach of providing people with the tools and training needed to automate is essentially jumping straight to stage 3, developing and implementing a solution. Jumping straight to phase 3 will result in one of three outcomes:  

  1. Nothing. The business doesn’t identify process problems, so they have no use for the automation tools and techniques that are provided to them.  
  2. The production of Automated Waste. The business automates a process because they identify an ability to automate a process. Without performing a root cause analysis or optimising the process first, they end up simply automating the production of waste.  
  3. Success! Without going through the motions, the business may stumble on the right solution to the right problem. It is unlikely and unpredictable, but it can happen.

So, what can you do to increase the impact of your automation efforts? My recommendation is to accept that you can’t jump straight to automation, rather you need to start with process management. First up is to document your as-is process, stabilize it by eliminating variation, and then standardise.  

In performing this act of understanding how work is done today, your team will be guaranteed to identify problems which will lead to producing ways to incorporate technology into their processes. While this approach will take your team longer to get to the stage of automation, they are almost guaranteed to identify more use cases for automation and, importantly, will end up creating solutions that deliver results.  

For more information on how to achieve standardisation see my earlier blog Process Standardisation and Stabilisation.  

Please do reach out if you would like to discuss this in any way. 

Ishan Sellahewa 

ishan.sellahewa@sapartners.com 

TPM as a system to support your long-term sustainability and cultural transformation goals

By John Quirke, Partner

If you consider TPM (Total Productive Manufacturing) only as a tool in your continuous improvement toolbox you are missing a major opportunity.  TPM provides a core system and philosophy to transform the culture of your manufacturing operation and bring life to your aspirations of greater sustainable environmentally business performance.

What is TPM?

TPM is an aligned philosophy of “critical” asset optimization by engaging people and systems to deliver on business objectives, whilst constantly improving overall results.

TPM is an integrated core system that acts as an enabler to support the optimization of your teams and the assets they use in delivering customer value.

 

What does TPM bring to your sustainability goals?

There are ten key areas where TPM aligns directly with the enhancement of your ability to develop a deeper level of environmental awareness in your business.  These overlaps also create opportunities for deeper learning, engagement, and social accountability within your frontline teams.   Creating greater awareness with teams of overall processes effectiveness, it’s use of energy, raw materials and time is a start.  However, giving teams the skills, tools, time and levels of trust to make a difference brings engagement levels to a completely different level.

TPM also provides a framework to align sometimes disparate areas of focus such as EHS, CI, quality and engineering under a common objective of excellent effective consistent and sustainable manufacturing.

Below we have a gathered the ten areas where we see overlap between philosophy behind TPM and environmental sustainability.  However, there is an important caveat here.  You may be manufacturing in the most effective and efficient way possible but are you manufacturing a product soon to be relegated to the manufacturing dustbin of history.

Many products we see today may struggle for space in markets focused on sustainability, health, and resource conservation.  Everybody needs to consider the hard reality of pending legislative changes, resources constraints and consumer trends and their impact on the services and products they provide.

Your product of today maybe the six-inch floppy disc (remember them?) or the single use plastic bag of tomorrow.

  1. Efficiency and Waste Reduction: TPM focuses on maximizing operational efficiency and effectiveness by eliminating waste in manufacturing processes. This aligns with the sustainability goal of minimizing resource consumption and reducing waste generation, contributing to environmental conservation.
  2. Asset Optimization: TPM emphasizes the proactive maintenance and optimization of machinery and equipment to ensure maximum productivity. TPM also seeks to reduce and improve the maintenance process itself.  Increase parts life through improved design and reducing un-necessary oil and consumable usage. Sustainable businesses seek to optimize resource utilization, including machinery and equipment, to minimize environmental impact and promote longevity.
  3. Employee Involvement and Empowerment: TPM encourages employee involvement and empowerment through frontline operator asset care practices and single point lessons. TPM also creates an environment of equipment consciousness and learning.  Operators themselves identify and largely implement opportunities for improvement.  Engaged employees are more likely to contribute positively to sustainable business practices, including suggesting energy-saving measures, waste reduction strategies, and innovative solutions for environmental sustainability.
  4. Time: TPM focuses on the effective and efficient use of assets within organisations. With this laser focus, TPM identifies and delivers additional capacity within operations.  But what to do with the extra capacity?  Does the organisations produce more stuff? Maybe so.  But this treasure trove of capacity and time also provides opportunities for employee development, community support, R&D or more improvement activity?  Finding additional capacity gives a business choice in how time and resources can be used for the greatest positive impact.
  5. Continuous Improvement: TPM fosters a culture of continuous improvement, where teams strive for incremental enhancements in process performance, productivity, and quality. Sustainable businesses similarly embrace continuous improvement to enhance their environmental performance, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving water and energy, eliminating waste, and adopting sustainable materials and practices.
  6. Quality Management: TPM emphasizes the importance of quality management to ensure products meet or exceed customer expectations. The focus is on delivering only what is needed when it’s needed by optimising flow and reducing inventory levels. Sustainable businesses often prioritize product quality to enhance customer satisfaction and promote long-term relationships, aligning with TPM’s focus on quality improvement.
  7. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE): TPM utilizes metrics like Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to measure and improve equipment performance. By maximizing OEE, manufacturers reduce resource consumption, improve productivity, and minimize environmental impact, aligning with sustainable business objectives.
  8. Long-Term Perspective: Both TPM and sustainable business practices emphasize long-term sustainability over short-term gains. TPM’s focus on preventive maintenance, employee engagement, and continuous improvement aligns with sustainable business strategies aimed at fostering resilience, reducing risks, and ensuring long-term viability. What a potentially powerful message could be presented where instead of reducing headcount due to greater levels of capacity and efficiency, an organisation uses this time to train and develop their employees and actively support the surrounding communities in which they operate.
  9. Life Cycle Thinking: As part of early equipment design and introduction good TPM programs consider the entire life cycle of equipment and products for optimal performance and maintenance.  A sustainable business adopts life cycle thinking to assess and minimize the environmental and social impacts of products and services now and in the future.
  10. Cost Savings: TPM initiatives often lead to cost savings through improved efficiency, reduced downtime, and optimized resource utilization. Sustainable businesses similarly seek to minimize costs through resource efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainable practices, aligning TPM’s objectives with financial sustainability.

Overall, the alignment between TPM and the aspiration of a sustainable business is strong.  Both philosophies share common goals of maximizing efficiency, reducing waste, empowering employees, fostering continuous improvement, and ensuring long-term viability while minimizing environmental impact.  By truly integrating TPM principles and philosophies into their operations, asset reliant businesses will contribute to their sustainability goals while improving overall performance.  It will also uncover the gifts of time, capacity, and innovation.

If you’d like to have a discussion on how we at S A Partners can support you with your TPM or sustainability programs please do contact me John.Quirke@sapartners.com

 

Shingo Week @ Ipsen (Wrexham) Cultural Enablers & Enterprise Alignment

*Workshops can be booked individually or book the full week for a £200 discount*
Join S A Partners and Ipsen (Wrexham) for these two world-recognized SHINGO Workshops.

We are offering you the opportunity to attend Cultural Enablers followed by Enterprise Alignment over four days facilitated by our Shingo expert John Quirke, hosted onsite by Ipsen, Wrexham, UK.

About this Event

Cultural Enablers

   As a participant, you will:
  • Respect Every Individual
  • Lead with Humility

Enterprise Alignment

 As a participant, you will:
  • Think Systemically
  • Create Constancy of Purpose
  • Create Value for the Customer

*DISCOVER EXCELLENCE and SYSTEMS DESIGN are a prerequisite to this workshop.

Senior leaders and Continuous Improvement professionals from enterprises, big or small, from any sector, wanting to understand the essential ingredients needed to create a sustainable business Improvement culture.

Attendees of the Shingo Discover Excellence Workshop give their thoughts on the learning outcomes.

Shingo Enterprise Alignment @ Ipsen (Wrexham)

This two day virtual workshop integrates classroom and on-site experiences at a host facility to build upon the knowledge and experience gained in the DISCOVER EXCELLENCE* workshop. It takes you deeper into the Shingo Model™ by focusing on the principles identified in the Enterprise Alignment dimension:

• Think Systemically

• Create Constancy of Purpose

• Create Value for the Customer

To succeed, organizations must develop management systems that align work and behaviors with principles and direction in ways that are simple, comprehensive, actionable, and standardized. Organizations must get results, and creating value for customers is ultimately accomplished through the effective alignment of every value stream in an organization. The ENTERPRISE ALIGNMENT workshop continues the discussion around defining ideal behaviors and the systems that drive them.

*DISCOVER EXCELLENCE and SYSTEMS DESIGN are a prerequisite to this workshop.

For further information about this course please email: events@sapartners.com

Shingo Build Excellence @ Ipsen (Wrexham)

About the Workshop

This capstone workshop integrates classroom and on-site experiences to solidify the knowledge and experience gained from the previous five Shingo workshops.

The BUILD EXCELLENCE*workshop demonstrates the integrated execution of systems that drive behavior toward the ideal as informed by the principles in the Shingo Model™. The workshop helps to develop a structured approach to execute a cultural transformation.

It builds upon a foundation of principles, using tools that already exist within many organizations. You will learn how to build systems that drive behavior that will consistently deliver desired results.

In this final Shingo workshop, you will:

  • DESIGN or create a system, guided by the Shingo Model, that changes behaviors to close gaps and drives results closer to organizational goals and purpose.
  • ANSWER the question: “How do I get everyone on board?”
  • UNDERSTAND the relationship between behaviors, systems, and principles, and how they drive results.
  • LEARN how KBIs drive KPIs, and how this leads to excellent results.

How this is delivered:

The interactive face to face training consists of:

  • 2x 8 hour sessions (8:00 – 17:00 GMT).
  • Over 2 days
  • 1 hour Coaching Follow Up – post workshop with your regional Shingo Facilitator

Bryan Cutliff earns top Healthcare Management Credential

Brighton, MI – 3 January 2024

Bryan Cutliff, PsyD, FACHE, Partner at S A Partners Inc. – strategy deployment consultants based in Michigan, recently became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders.

“The healthcare management field plays a vital role in providing high-quality care to the people in our communities, which makes having a standard of excellence promoted by a professional organization critically important,” says Deborah J. Bowen, FACHE, CAE, president and CEO of ACHE. “By becoming an ACHE Fellow and earning the distinction of board certification from ACHE, healthcare leaders demonstrate a commitment to excellence in serving their patients and the community.”

Fellow status represents the achievement of the highest standard of professional development. Only 8,866 healthcare executives hold this distinction. To obtain Fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education hours, demonstrating professional/community involvement, and passing a comprehensive examination. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.

Dr. Cutliff of S A Partners, Michigan, is privileged to bear the FACHE® credential, which signifies board certification in healthcare management as an ACHE Fellow.

For more information regarding the FACHE credential, please contact the ACHE Department of Member Services by calling (312) 424-9400, emailing contact@ache.org, or visiting ache.org/FACHE.

 

ABOUT the American College of Healthcare Executives

The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 48,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems, and other healthcare organizations. ACHE’s mission is to advance our members and healthcare management excellence. ACHE offers its prestigious FACHE® credential, signifying board certification in healthcare management. ACHE’s established network of 77 chapters provides access to networking, education, and career development at the local level. In addition, ACHE is known for its magazine, Healthcare Executive, and its career development and public policy programs. Through such efforts, ACHE works toward its vision of being the preeminent professional society for leaders dedicated to improving health. The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives was established to further advance healthcare management excellence through education and research. The Foundation of ACHE is known for its educational programs— including the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership, which draws more than 4,000 participants—and groundbreaking research. Its publishing division, Health Administration Press, is one of the largest publishers of books and journals on health services management, including textbooks for college and university courses. For more information, visit www.ache.org.

 

ABOUT S A PARTNERS

S A Partners are global strategy deployment specialists working with organizations to support them in achieving Enterprise Excellence. We do this through a combination of accredited training, coaching, and consultancy services.  Working together, we support our customers in aligning, engaging, and improving both their capabilities and business systems to ensure they achieve sustainable business improvement and ideal results.

Established in 1993, we have trained and certified over 30,000 people.  We have published numerous award-winning books, including The Essence of Excellence, TPM: A Foundation of Operational Excellence, and our latest Deep Excellence: Seeing and Hearing a Culture of Deep Excellence.  We are official partners and affiliates of the SHINGO Institute, Nintex, Blanchard Corporation, and Soundwave and continue to challenge thinking within Strategy deployment, Leadership, and Continuous Improvement circles.

We have offices in the UK, Ireland, Germany, USA, and Australia and support various multinational companies across 18 countries. Find out more: https://sapartners.com

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Ailsa Carson
Partner; Marketing & Communications
S A Partners

Ailsa.Carson@sapartners.com

Unleashing Innovation: The Crucial Role of Creativity in Modern Business

By Conor Dawson, Head of Ireland Region

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the ability to innovate has become a cornerstone of success. As organisations strive to stay ahead of the competition, adapt to technological advancements, meet looming legal ESG imperatives, and meet the changing needs of consumers, creativity emerges as a driving force behind meaningful innovation. This blog explores the symbiotic relationship between creativity and innovation, highlighting the ways in which fostering a creative culture can unlock unprecedented business potential.

The Foundation of Innovation

Innovation is the lifeblood of business growth and sustainability. It goes beyond simply introducing new products or services; true innovation involves transformative thinking that revolutionises the way a company operates. At the heart of this transformative thinking lies creativity—the capacity to generate novel ideas, approaches, and solutions. In essence, creativity provides the foundation upon which innovation is built.

Creativity is not confined to the realm of artistic expression; rather, it is a dynamic and multifaceted cognitive process that can be harnessed across all business functions. From marketing and product development to problem-solving and customer service, a creative mindset allows individuals and teams to approach challenges with fresh perspectives, leading to innovative breakthroughs.

Adaptive Advantage

In today’s business environment, marked by constant change and disruption, the ability to adapt is a key determinant of success. Creativity equips individuals and organisations with the agility to navigate uncertainty and embrace change as an opportunity rather than a threat. Creative thinking encourages a willingness to experiment, take calculated risks, and learn from failures, fostering a culture of resilience and adaptability.

Consider a tech startup that continuously explores novel ways to address emerging market needs. By encouraging creative thinking, this company remains agile in the face of technological advancements and changing consumer preferences. The ability to adapt becomes a competitive advantage, positioning the organisation at the forefront of innovation within its industry.

Problem Solving and Decision-Making

Creativity is an indispensable tool in the arsenal of problem-solving and decision-making. In a business context, challenges and complexities are inevitable. A creative mindset empowers individuals to approach problems with curiosity and open-mindedness, enabling them to devise inventive solutions.

When faced with a business dilemma, a team that values creativity is more likely to generate a diverse range of potential solutions. By exploring unconventional ideas and perspectives, these teams are better equipped to address complex issues creatively. Moreover, creative problem-solving often involves collaboration, as diverse minds contribute unique insights, leading to more comprehensive and effective solutions. Instead of saying ‘we can’t’ we should be saying ‘what’s possible?’

Fostering a Creative Culture

Building a creative culture within an organisation requires a strategic and intentional approach. Leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the work environment, setting the tone for creativity to flourish. Here are some key elements to foster a culture that nurtures creativity:

  1. Encourage Open Communication: Create an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas without fear of criticism. Open communication channels facilitate the free flow of ideas, sparking creative discussions that can lead to innovative solutions.
  2. Embrace Diversity: Diverse teams bring a wealth of perspectives and experiences to the table. By fostering diversity and inclusion, organisations tap into a rich pool of creativity. Different backgrounds, cultures, and ways of thinking contribute to a more dynamic and innovative workplace.
  3. Provide Time for Exploration: Innovation often requires time for exploration and experimentation. Encourage employees to allocate time for creative pursuits, allowing them to explore ideas outside their usual scope of work. Google’s famous “20% time” is a prime example of this approach, where employees are encouraged to spend a portion of their work hours on personal projects.
  4. Celebrate and Learn from Failure: In a creative culture, failure is viewed as a stepping stone to success. Instead of punishing failure, organizations can celebrate it as a natural part of the creative process. Analysing failures provides valuable insights that contribute to continuous improvement and future innovation. In some companies, a ‘mess-up of the week’ is celebrated and then examined for learning potential.
  5. Invest in Learning and Development: Provide opportunities for skill development and continuous learning. Creative thinking can be honed and refined through training programs, workshops, and exposure to diverse learning experiences. Design thinking is one such module of learning which can lead to user-defined solutions when thinking about NPD/NPI

The Creative Spark in Marketing

In the realm of marketing, creativity is not just a tool; it’s a driving force that fuels brand differentiation and consumer engagement. Innovative marketing campaigns capture attention, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impact on audiences. Take, for example, the “Share a Coke” campaign by Coca-Cola, where personalised labels transformed a ubiquitous product into a highly shareable and memorable experience. This creative approach not only boosted sales but also generated widespread social media engagement.

Creativity in marketing extends beyond advertising to product positioning, storytelling, and customer experience. Brands that infuse creativity into their marketing strategies stand out in a crowded marketplace, creating meaningful connections with consumers.

The Tech Frontier: Creativity in Technology

In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, creativity is a catalyst for groundbreaking advancements. The most successful tech companies recognise the importance of fostering a creative mindset among their teams. Silicon Valley giants like Apple and Google are renowned for their innovative products, and at the core of their success is a commitment to creativity.

Consider the development of the iPhone—a product that revolutionised the way we communicate, work, and live. Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple, was known for his emphasis on design and user experience. The iPhone’s success was not solely based on technological prowess but on the creative integration of technology into a seamless and intuitive user interface.

Moreover, in the realm of artificial intelligence and machine learning, creativity plays a pivotal role in developing algorithms and systems that can think, learn, and adapt. Creative problem-solving is essential in addressing the ethical considerations and potential biases inherent in AI technologies, ensuring responsible and inclusive innovation.

Unlocking Employee Engagement

A creative work environment is not only conducive to innovation but also contributes to higher levels of employee engagement. When individuals feel empowered to express their creativity, they experience a sense of ownership and fulfilment in their work. This intrinsic motivation translates into increased productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being.

In contrast, workplaces that stifle creativity risk disengagement and a decline in employee morale. Monotonous tasks and rigid structures can lead to burnout and limit employees’ enthusiasm to contribute their best ideas. Fostering a creative culture, on the other hand, encourages employees to bring their whole selves to work, fostering a sense of purpose and camaraderie.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the symbiotic relationship between creativity and innovation is a driving force behind success in the modern business landscape. Organisations that prioritise and nurture creativity within their culture are better positioned to adapt to change, solve complex problems, and unlock unprecedented business potential. From marketing strategies that captivate audiences to technological advancements that disrupt how we live, creativity is the spark that ignites the flame of innovation. As we navigate the challenges and opportunities of the future, embracing and cultivating creativity will be the key to staying ahead of the curve and thriving in the dynamic world of business.

Please do contact me if you would like support building Creativity in your organisation.

Conor Dawson

Conor.Dawson@sapartners.com

To find out more about this topic please consider the upcoming Changemakers Conference in Barberstown Castle, Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland, on March 7th 2024 https://eur.cvent.me/QAoY1

Shingo Discover Excellence @ Viatris

This two day SHINGO DISCOVER EXCELLENCE workshop will be delivered onsite at Viatris (Dublin, Ireland) between 10 & 11 April in 8 hr sessions between 09:00 & 17:00pm each day.

About the course

The workshop will be led by experienced Shingo facilitator John Quirke, and you will hear first hand, how Shingo principles drive behaviour throughout the entire organisation to deliver world class results.

DISCOVER EXCELLENCE is the foundational workshop that introduces the SHINGO MODEL, the Shingo Guiding Principles and the Three Insights to Organisational Excellence. With active discussions this workshop will provide a highly interactive experience. It is designed to make your learning meaningful and immediately applicable as you discover how to release the latent potential in your organisation to enable you to achieve organizational excellence. It provides the basic understanding needed in all Shingo Workshops, therefore is a pre-requisite to them.

What makes the Shingo Workshops powerful is that each workshop includes a reflection on an organization (the Host Site). This allows participants to reflect on the theory and apply their learning by interviewing various people in the organisation. In workshops held onsite this usually takes the form of a Gemba walk where team members are interviewed at their workplace.

As a participant, you will:

LEARN and understand the Shingo Model.

DISCOVER the Three Insights of Organizational Excellence.

EXPLORE how the Shingo Guiding Principles inform ideal behaviours that ultimately lead to sustainable results.

UNDERSTAND the behavioural assessment process through an interactive case study and on-site learning.

How this is delivered:

The interactive online training consists of:

2x 8 hour sessions (09:00 – 17:00pm).
Over 2 days

Senior leaders and Continuous Improvement professionals from enterprises, big or small, from any sector, wanting to understand the essential ingredients needed to create a sustainable business Improvement culture.

Attendees of the Shingo Discover Excellence Workshop give their thoughts on the learning outcomes.

What makes a great Deployment Leader?

by Simon Grogan

Great deployment leaders possess a unique set of skills and qualities that enable them to lead their teams toward Enterprise Excellence. Do you have what it takes?

Ask yourself these three questions…

I know who I am, what I’m good at, how I speak, listen, and think, I know what brings me down and I know what motivates me, I am continually looking to better myself.

What best describes you against this statement?

  • I am fully self aware and always operate at my best
  • I know some things about myself and do have the occasional good day
  • I really don’t know myself and I don’t know here I’m going

I know what I have to do and I know how to do it, I understand system thinking, KPI’s, KBI’s, projects, horizons, leader standard work etc

What best describes you against this statement?

  • I understand all those things and I can implement them successfully.
  • I understand some of those things and every now and then when I implement them, they work
  • I have no idea what those things are and the thought of them scares me

 

I understand my team and what we need to do together to achieve our goals, I appreciate everyone is different and no two days or circumstances are the same.

What best describes you against this statement?

  • I am closely connected with all my team; we work as a collective to deliver our goals
  • I quite enjoy working with some of my teams and we have had some success.
  • I have no idea who my team are, I don’t like them.

Most of us go down the middle as leaders, I know bits about myself, my team and what we need to do.

What I  have observed, working with some of the world’s largest organizations is that leaders need to invest much more in themselves.  They need to learn about how they behave and react to situations, develop their ability to lead in all sorts of circumstances.  Essentially, they need to master the art of leadership communication and that starts by openly reflecting their personal traits, and be honest about what they are good and not so good at.

Great Deployment Leaders should role model what they expect from their people, show them humility, respect, vulnerability, and commitment to getting the job done. Next they need to create a system where everyone understands what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.  Go build some systems and  standards.  Your aim should be to make work harder to get wrong than right. The next step is to continuously measure and improve what you do.

Finally, once you know yourself and what you want to do, go work with your people, learn to instruct, mentor, coach and delegate, get the best out of people, make them better than you, delight in their success and not just your own.

Crazy ideas I know but if you think about it, it makes sense, know yourself, understand what you have to do and help your team do it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, please reach out if you’d like to chat…

Simon

Simon.Grogan@sapartners.com

 

5 Great Reasons to Undertake an Assessment

We all need to grow, innovate and compete. To do this we need to have a deep understanding of our organization’s current state – hence the need to build a regular benchmarking assessment into your strategic plan.

We’ve identified 5 compelling reasons to kick start an assessment:

  1. Identifying Gaps

One of the primary reasons to initiate an assessment is to identify existing gaps and challenges within your organization. These gaps can range from operational inefficiencies to skill deficiencies. By conducting a thorough assessment, you can pinpoint these areas and create targeted strategies for improvement. This proactive approach can prevent potential issues from escalating and negatively impacting your business.

  1. Enhancing Decision-Making

Data-driven decision-making has become a cornerstone of successful organizations. An organization-wide assessment provides you with valuable data and analytics to support informed decision-making. Having comprehensive insights into your organization’s current state enables you to make decisions that are aligned with your strategic goals and objectives.

  1. Foster Organizational Alignment

Another key benefit of conducting an assessment is the ability to foster alignment across different departments and teams. Often, organizations face challenges due to siloed operations and conflicting objectives. A holistic assessment encourages collaboration and ensures that everyone is working towards a shared vision. This alignment is crucial for achieving long-term success and sustained growth.

  1. Adapting to Change

The business landscape is continuously evolving, and organizations must adapt to stay competitive. An assessment not only provides a snapshot of your current state but also helps you anticipate future challenges and requirements. By identifying potential risks and opportunities, you can proactively adjust your strategies and remain agile in a rapidly changing environment.

  1. Employee Engagement and Development

An assessment can shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce. This information can be used to design targeted training and development programs, fostering employee engagement and career growth. Engaged employees are more likely to contribute to the organization’s success and longevity.

Embarking on an organization-wide assessment is not just a wise choice; it’s a strategic imperative for organizations aspiring to thrive in today’s competitive business landscape. The insights gained from such assessments serve as the foundation for informed decisions and strategic planning, enabling businesses to navigate the complexities of the modern marketplace with confidence.

After the Assessment

Once you’ve established where you are, and where you want to go then a clear roadmap can be created to get you there. It’s this roadmap that then acts as a map that helps you navigate the journey from A-B and an assessment is a waste of time unless you translate this into a plan of improvement. It’s only then that you can start to bring an Enterprise Excellence journey to life for your organisation.

For a link to our high-level Organizational Assessment CLICK HERE

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss this further:

Ailsa.Carson@sapartners.com

You may also find the following resources useful:

WEBINAR:

Creating a Roadmap for Enterprise Excellence

Shingo Enterprise Alignment @ Utah Transit Authority

This two day virtual workshop integrates classroom and on-site experiences at a host facility to build upon the knowledge and experience gained in the DISCOVER EXCELLENCE* workshop. It takes you deeper into the Shingo Model™ by focusing on the principles identified in the Enterprise Alignment dimension:

• Think Systemically

• Create Constancy of Purpose

• Create Value for the Customer

To succeed, organizations must develop management systems that align work and behaviors with principles and direction in ways that are simple, comprehensive, actionable, and standardized. Organizations must get results, and creating value for customers is ultimately accomplished through the effective alignment of every value stream in an organization. The ENTERPRISE ALIGNMENT workshop continues the discussion around defining ideal behaviors and the systems that drive them.

*DISCOVER EXCELLENCE and SYSTEMS DESIGN are a prerequisite to this workshop.

For further information about this course please email: events@sapartners.com

The Power of Benchmarking

By Ailsa Carson, Partner

Benchmarking is defined as the act or practice of measuring something against a standard, or of testing in order to develop such a standard[i]. Most organizations that are invested in best practice or continuous improvement will use benchmarking either formally or informally to support their journey. It can take place within the organisation, between departments, within local supply chains or business networks (such as the Lean Forum) or more formally through organized visit programs.

When you undertake intentional benchmarking activities either formally or informally you are assessing your organization or an aspect of it such as a process, with the one you are visiting.  You could be looking at a specific process, a problem or a system.

It’s not about whether one is better than the other, its about seeing different approaches to common challenges. It’s about seeing how different processes, systems and people interact with their work. It is a mechanism for continuous improvement.  Seeing how others have developed their systems and processes can be powerful and help drive rapid improvement.  For example, seeing how an organization has developed and deployed effective tiered meetings and how they communicate strategy can drive you to improve your own systems in this area.

Yes every product and company is different in how they operate, but many of the problems they face are common – employee engagement; waste; right first time; health and safety are common to all.

What we see through Onsite Insights[ii] which has been running since the 1980’s is that the benefit is not only for the visitor but also for the host site. Why? Because every person, will look at a process with a different lens. It could be a process or systems lens, a people lens, a health and safety lens, for example.  Visitors will therefore provide input that you may not receive from your own employees as they will be looking at things from a different perspective.

It is also clear that the benchmarking activity itself is not the only thing that provokes idea generation and solutions – its’ the act of immersing yourself in another environment for a period of time that can stimulate fresh ideas and thoughts and enable you to approach problems and challenges with fresh eyes.  Having met thousands of people on visits over the last 20 years, it is common to hear the phrase – it’s just being outside of the day-to-day that helps me think of solutions to challenges.

According to Allen Braun, “walking gives your mind a break. You get to take a pause from being analytical, which allows you to tap into your creativity and problem-solving skills”.[iii]  So benchmarking visits serve in two ways – to release us from our day-to-day to think more creatively and they provide a means to observe how others manage their processes, systems and people.

One site we have visited, Ipsen Pharmaceutical, who were awarded a Bronze Medallion by the Shingo Institute, undertake a program of benchmarking between departments. This has a myriad of benefits. It helps with inter-company communication, the sharing of best practice between departments and employee engagement.  Host sites have often remarked that one of the benefits they get from hosting benchmarking visits is the impact on the team. The visits allow the host company to reflect on how far they have come, what they have achieved in their continuous improvement journey and share with pride the results.  Employees that may not naturally have external networks get to share what they have achieved with like-minded people from different sectors.

Can the tools seen on site visits be taught in a classroom or read in a book – sure! But a real understanding of how they have been applied, what has worked and why as well as what hasn’t work can’t be taught this way.  Seeing process improvements first hand in the environment they were developed for is a powerful tool in seeing how simple changes can generate huge productivity and performance improvements.  It is the essence and power of both Gemba and Jishuken – tools that underpin lean manufacturing and support the pursuit of excellence.

Many organizations with long-service teams, may also find that sending these people on visits stimulates fresh thinking.  It allows people to see different environments and create networks that they can then discuss challenges and problems with.

One of my colleagues says that benchmarking ensures you “Don’t swallow your own bullshit!” I love this even if it is a bit harsh. What it does is provides external (or internal) validation of how well you are doing compared to other organisations either within your own sector or outside of it. I have assessed hundreds of sites globally and it is generally those that feel they still have a long way to go are performing better than those that feel they are at the top of their game.  Not wanting to use another phrase but after all – complacency can breed contempt!

I had a great debate with a colleague once on whether benchmarking leads to complacency. His belief was that if we compare ourselves against others and only seek to achieve what they have we will all only every achieve mediocre results.  I don’t agree, but I do feel, that alongside benchmarking organizations need to be clear and ambitious about their long term vision and direction of travel to ensure they don’t fall into the trap of just performing as well as the next company.

Whilst we would love to see you all on the visit program – Onsite Insights, we also want to encourage everyone to invest in benchmarking in whatever form it takes – set up an internal benchmarking framework (we can help with this!) or visit within your supply chain or customer network.  You can also join more informal networking groups like the LEAN FORUM to gain inspiration from your desk!

Please do contact me for further information or for support and recommendations on potential visits.

Ailsa

Ailsa.Carson@sapartners.com

For information on the visit programme please do contact me or visit our website www.onsiteinsights.co.uk

 

[i]  Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/benchmarking

[ii] Onsite Insights is an international visit programme owned and operated by S A Partners LLP. Established in 2003 the program supports organisations improve through a series of one day visits to best practice sites.

[iii] Allen Braun, WRAIR, https://www.thisiscalmer.com/blog/7-benefits-of-daily-walks-for-your-creativity#:

Shingo Enterprise Alignment @ Ipsen (Dublin)

This two day virtual workshop integrates classroom and on-site experiences at a host facility to build upon the knowledge and experience gained in the DISCOVER EXCELLENCE* workshop. It takes you deeper into the Shingo Model™ by focusing on the principles identified in the Enterprise Alignment dimension:

• Think Systemically

• Create Constancy of Purpose

• Create Value for the Customer

To succeed, organizations must develop management systems that align work and behaviors with principles and direction in ways that are simple, comprehensive, actionable, and standardized. Organizations must get results, and creating value for customers is ultimately accomplished through the effective alignment of every value stream in an organization. The ENTERPRISE ALIGNMENT workshop continues the discussion around defining ideal behaviors and the systems that drive them.

*DISCOVER EXCELLENCE and SYSTEMS DESIGN are a prerequisite to this workshop.

For further information about this course please email: events@sapartners.com

Shingo Continuous Improvement @ Marshalls

Certified Shingo IMPROVE workshop delivered over 2 x 8-hour days 

About this Event

This workshop integrates classroom and on-site experiences at a host facility to build upon the knowledge and experience gained in the DISCOVER EXCELLENCE* workshop.

It begins by teaching you how to define value through the eyes of your customers clearly. It continues the discussion about ideal behaviors, fundamental purpose, and behavioral benchmarks and takes you deeper into the Shingo Model™ by focusing on the principles identified in the Continuous Improvement dimension:

  • Seek Perfection
  • Embrace Scientific Thinking
  • Focus on Process
  • Assure Quality at the Source
  • Improve Flow & Pull

The CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT workshop will deepen your understanding of the relationship between behaviors, systems, and principles, and how they drive results.

How it is delivered:

The course will be delivered Face-To-Face:

  • Over 2 days
  • Start time: 08:00 am BST
  • Finish time: 05:00 pm BST
  • Pre-reading will be provided prior to the course.
  • Booking is essential.

This workshop is accredited by The SHINGO Institute. Following successful completion of the course you will receive your certificate.

*DISCOVER EXCELLENCE and SYSTEMS DESIGN are a prerequisite to this workshop.

Senior leaders and Continuous Improvement professionals from enterprises, big or small, from any sector, wanting to understand the essential ingredients needed to create a sustainable business Improvement culture.

Attendees of the Shingo Discover Excellence Workshop give their thoughts on the learning outcomes.

Delivering Process Improvement

We all want to improve the way that we work. Process improvement (digital or otherwise) doesn’t just happen though, someone has to drive these projects. Whose responsibility should this be? Should we ask our divisions to improve their own processes or do we create a transformation team to do it for them.  

 

To start, let’s quickly recap S A Partner’s Improvement journey:  

SA Partners Improvement Journey 

The model explains that to reach excellence, you need to: 

  1. Standardise the way that work is done 
  2. Optimise your process by removing waste  
  3. Use technology to scale your processes  

While there are more nuances, at a high level it really is that simple. The question then becomes, how, or rather who, needs to support this journey.  

There are three approaches that you can take when it comes to improvement:  

Centralised 

Under a central model, a central team is formed of skilled and experienced people whose day job it is to deliver improvement. These central resources may be employees of the organisation itself, external consultants, or a combination of the two. The division will remain involved; however, they will be stakeholders rather than being responsible for delivering projects.  

Decentralised 

Under a decentralised model, the responsibility for process management and improvement will sit with the division themselves with limited, if any, central support.  

Hybrid 

Under a hybrid model, a central team exists however the delivery work is shared with the division. The role of the central team can vary, and be anything from providing centralised planning and oversight, all the way through to doing the lion’s share of the delivery work.  

As you might imagine, there are advantages of each approach.  

A centralised approach:  

  • Helps ensure that the quality of development is consistent and in accordance to the established standards  
  • Accelerates the development of solutions by providing dedicated resources 
  • Reduces the time and cost of development through specialisation and economies of scale 
  • Helps to prevent shadow IT  
  • Minimises the duplication of work through the creation of reusable assets  
  • Allows the business to focus on their day job  
  • Ability to implement strong governance frameworks  

A de-centralised approach:  

  • Empowers Process Owners and Participants to improve their own processes  
  • May result in higher adoption from the business for solutions that they build  
  • Uncovers use cases that would otherwise have not been known 
  • Reduced the need to wait on a central team to become available  
  • Has lower central resource overhead requirements  

Clearly then there is no one best approach. In making the decision there are a few things to consider:  

  • Your strategy. Is there a business benefit for your division to diverting time from their day job to work on process improvement?  
  • Capability. Do your people have the skills needed to successfully deliver improvement themselves?  
  • Capacity. Do your people have the time to be able to deliver improvement projects while continuing to perform their day job?  

 

Again, while there is no one answer, I can offer some best practice guidance depending on the type of improvement work being done. Broadly speaking, we can split improvement work up into two arms, process management and process digitisation.  

Process Management  

Process Management involves documenting as-is processes, standardising the way that work is done, and improving these processes by removing waste. My recommendation is to decentralise this work.  

There is a huge strategic benefit of the division doing this work – they are the ones with their boots on the ground and therefore have the best understanding of where the process can be improved, what pain-points exist, and what the root cause of the underlying issues are. I would argue that asking your team to do this work is not taking time away from their day job, it is their day job.  

This of course does not mean that there is no need for a central team. You may have some large strategic projects that are too complicated to ask the division to deliver themselves, so you still should have access to central, highly skilled and experienced resources to deliver these projects as well as to support the division as they deliver projects themselves.  

Having agreed that there is a strategic benefit to decentralising this work, we now need to consider capacity and capability.  

Starting with capacity. There’s no point asking your divisional team to perform improvement work if they are already working at 110% utilisation. Something will need to change and overtime you need to ensure that everyone has time formally built into their performance plans to focus on improvement.  

Capability is much easier. Everyone across your organisation should have some amount of process management, improvement, and problem-solving skills; the level to which will depend on the extent to which they are expected to participate and lead improvement initiatives. As a starting point, here is our guidelines for the skills required:  

 

Process Digitisation 

The second arm of process improvement is digitisation and automation. This involves using technology to improve processes which may be as anything from implementing an off the shelf tool, automating process steps, or building custom applications.  

These activities do not necessarily have a strategic benefit of being performed by the division. Once we identify that our process has a step that can be automated for example, there is no strategic benefit for the division to build the automation itself. In this case, you would be better off leveraging experienced, competent professionals to perform the technical build and testing while the division focuses on their day job. There is however a benefit in the division receiving basic training on process digitisation and automation as, by understanding the art of the possible, they will then be well placed to flag where there are opportunities to incorporate technology in their processes.  

In summary then, as obvious as it sounds, if you want to improve your processes you need to consider who is going to perform the improvement work. This decision needs to be anchored in strategy and supported by realistic capability and capacity planning. Finally, this decision needs to be fluid, as your organisation and the environment in which it operates evolves, so too should your execution model.  

 Please do reach out if you would like to discuss this in any way. 

Ishan Sellahewa 

ishan.sellahewa@sapartners.com 

The SHINGO© Model that drives Enterprise Excellence & the focus on Culture & Behaviours that matter

By John Quirke, Author

In 1988 as a recognition for his work across a broad range of industry sectors, Shigeo Shingo was awarded an honorary Doctor of Management from Utah State University.  Over the course of his life Dr. Shingo wrote eighteen books on the improvement of work and the processes that support the effectiveness of work.  Many terms we use widely today such as ‘single minute exchange of die’ (SMED) and ‘go see activity’ or ‘going to Gemba’ originated in Dr Shingo’s writings.  The adoption and expansion of Dr. Shingo’s thinking and philosophy led to the development of the Shingo Enterprise Excellence Model, and the formation of the Shingo Institute, within the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

The Shingo Institute

has drawn on a wide range of expertise and research to expand the philosophy behind the original model to include a critical focus on the quality of leadership, organisational culture, and the critical link between desired behaviours and the impact of business system on these behaviours.

The outcome of the majority of business activity is based on a human behaviour and the actions that result for that behaviour.

The behaviours that count, are the ones that result in an action that we could see or hear.

  • An employee may see a problem but fail to raise it as an issue.
  • A leader fails to react to an obvious breach of agreed standards of work or safety protocols.
  • A supervisor may angrily chastise a team for poor performance.
  • A quality engineer develops a poor corrective action without seeing or ‘touching’ the process.

All the above are behaviours that will result in possible customer dissatisfaction, loss of trust, or loss of integrity.  At S A Partners we refer to these behaviours as ‘NIBs’, ‘Not Ideal Behaviours’.  Consider all the NIBs in your organisation.  How many have a direct impact on your bottom line?

I like to use the ‘two click rule’ to get serious about dealing with NIBs.  If that employee allows the damaged product to pass their workstation (click 1), and that part is missed during quality sampling (click 2), there will be an impact on the bottom line and the integrity of our product in the marketplace.

As an example, we regularly see a focus on generating improvement ideas in organisations.  This is seen as key behavioural indicator.  The idea being, that incremental ideas add together as marginal gains to improve overall performance.  This is a fine a laudable approach when process is stable, and we are seeking incremental improvements.  But when the process is in the red zone of variation and firefighting there are many KPI’s, alarms and often customers screaming at us to tell us what the problems/opportunities are now!  Yes, we need improvement ideas, but these ideas must be focused on the issues and problems at hand.  They require strong direction and good leadership to ensure teams are not distracted and get the time and support to implement their ideas effectively.

So where should focus behavioural measures in the above example?  Good implementation of employee ideas?  Well maybe.  But initially the behavioural measures must focus on the quality of leadership.  Are leaders spending time with their teams to support and understand their issues?  Are leaders appropriately recognising effort and exemplar behaviours within their work teams?  Are leaders actively involved in supporting and facilitating cross functional problem solving.  Gaining control and exiting the ‘red zone’ is dependent on the quality of leadership not on the random improvement suggestions of employees.

The point is organisations can spend a lot of effort measuring behaviours that do not have a direct impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the work that needs to take place to meet customer expectations.  At the end of the day, it is about delivering measurable results.

The Shingo Model’s focus on culture and behaviour is there so that organisations become laser focused on the behaviours necessary to make the difference between winning or losing.

Systems Thinking

An important insight brought by the Shingo Enterprise Excellence Philosophy is that expressed behaviours (actions or conversations) whether they are good or bad are a result of the quality of the systems within the business, or the absence of them.  The employee who passes a defective part may be measured for the most part on units produced per minute.  The quality engineer is driven by a corporate quality system that focuses on corrective action closeout rather than effective problem solving.

“If you need to change behaviour you must consider the systems and processes that drive the behaviour you need to change.”

S A Partners Improvement Journey Model

The power of the guiding principles

Many companies speak to high level values.  But very few connect these values to what is important for business success.  Even fewer translate values into observable effective winning behaviours. The ten guiding principles within the Shingo Enterprise Excellence model give organisations ‘lenses’ through which to view the work that they do and give insight into the necessary ideal behaviours necessary to support sustainable excellent performance.  The principles can be backed into’ set organisational values yet give a firm guide as to what aspirational values need to look a feel like where the value adding work gets done.

Taking some examples:

Does everyone in your organisation feel respected as an individual? Are they are listened to?  If their concerns or ideas are not listened to, if they are not developing as individuals or the organisation is not keeping them safe physically and psychologically, then they are not being respected.

If leaders spend their time telling teams what they should or should not do they are not leading with humility and the team will become dependent.  There will be no organisational learning, and poor leadership habits at senior level will be amplified as we travel down the organisational layers.

Equally if we consider some of the principles within the Shingo dimension of Continuous Improvement, do you see a true Focus on Process within your teams where standards are clear current, understood and regularly reviewed and improved by those who use them?

Or how about Flow and Pull?  Do we have a clear line of sight as to how you flow customer value through all aspect of work?  From sales to delivery and receipt of payment?  Do processes really flow or are they overly complex, bound up in compliance culture and continually prone to error and delay?  The flow of value in response to the pull or demand of the customer, thrives on elegance in process and work design.  It requires detailed knowledge of the work and the factors that impact the speed and reliability of the work.  The individuals who discover and cherish this knowledge are those individuals who are closest to the work. These individuals have incredible leadership who are excited by these discoveries and actively celebrate the constant improvement of the work by the team.

I encourage the reader to read their definitions along with the remaining principles in the freely available Shingo Handbook from the Shingo.org website.

While the Shingo Enterprise Excellence Model is an incredibly powerful approach to developing sustained levels of excellence in an organisation it does bring challenges.  It requires real and genuine commitment for a site leadership team.  They as a team must own it.

Another challenge we see arises from the complexity within corporations and their approach to enterprise excellence.  Often, we see sites who have gone on a ‘solo run’ having gained initial approval for the approach but then find themselves in a sea of confusion as attempts are made to align the Shingo Model with corporate values, improvement systems even branding!

Personally, I see the Shingo Enterprise Excellence model as providing an extremely powerful framework to develop a holistic approach to sustainable organisational excellence.  Many existing programmes and systems can be aligned to a clear unambiguous focus on excellence.  A focus that is supported by leadership skills that enable their teams to be brilliant at what they do.

It is a tough journey, but it can also be extremely rewarding.

Please do, get in touch or join us at an upcoming Intro to Shingo Workshop

Best

John

John.Quirke@sapartners.com


About John Quirke

John Quirke is a partner with S A Partners and is a Shingo Examiner.

John holds a BSc, MSc and BCL degrees and has over twenty five year experience in the area of operational excellence.

John co-authored the Shingo Prize winning Publication TPM a Foundation of Operational Excellence with colleagues Peter Wilmott (RIP) and Any Brunskill.

John has recently published Deep Excellence – Seeing and Hearing a Culture of Deep Excellence, with contributions for colleagues Juliette Packham, Bryan Cutliff and Simon Grogan.

For more information please visit www.sapartners.com and www.shingo.org

 

 

Achieving Excellence: How to leverage process optimisation & automation

Join us for this two part workshop with industry experts Ishan Sellahewa (Digital Transformation Manager, S A Partners); Robin Jaques (Partner, S A Partners) & Justin Short (COO, Synergi) to find out how you can firstly optimize your processes and then automate.

According to BCG, 70% of Digital Transformation projects fail to meet their objectives. While a portion of this may come down to poor implementation, more often than not the problem arises when organisations attempt to automate all of their problems away. While less obvious, the reverse of this equation holds true – organisations who fail to consider process digitisation and automation will be left behind in an increasingly digital world.

Why attend? 

In this webinar you will:

  • Learn how process optimisation can significantly reduce costs and improve operational performance.
  • Gain insights into a tried and tested process improvement methodology.
  • Understand how to combine both optimisation and automation for the best results.
  • Discover how to ensure your process automation is successful.
  • Explore real-world case studies of successfully implemented automation.
  • Develop the skills to ensure both digitisation and automation can deliver results.

Attendees will also be provided with a free assessment and the option of a free consultation with our industry experts.

Align, Engage, Improve with Effective Tiered Meetings

By Sonja Allen Image of Sonja Allen

Have you ever considered…

  • How many meetings you have a week?
  • How many of these meetings could be an email?
  • How many of these meetings have few or no results?
  • How many rabbit holes do your meeting conversations go down?
  • How regularly do you talk about what really matters, in a focused fashion?

And more importantly have you asked if there is a way to ensure you and your team leave every meeting feeling it had value and purpose and moved you forward.

Getting the right team together to make the right decisions at the right time is hard. Often it’s made harder by the fact that we don’t naturally approach communications and decision-making in the same intentional and systematic fashion as we would other business processes.

To sustainably deliver great customer results all organisation must align their business systems and processes to deliver on the organisation’s purpose…

engage all their people into that purpose

and into continuously improving the business processes they are responsible for

In the world of Enterprise Excellence, we achieve this by deploying a Management System – a structured, interlinked set of measures, meetings, actions and decisions which allow us to run today’s business and shape tomorrows. It provides a right time, right place, right focus, right pace decision-making focus at every level of an organisation, or, as we call it at S A Partners: The Align Engage Improve System (AEI for short).

AEI brings all of the elements together to make your improvement journey successful. It aligns teams on the organisational purpose, engages everyone in delivering towards it and surfaces opportunities to improve, which is why embedding AEI into a transformation journey means rooting it in the culture and behaviours that will sustain it.

You may think “HUH?” at this point. How practical is this? The answer is simple – management systems really are at their core just a better way of organising our meetings.

To be effective Meetings need to visually focus on the things that are most important to each team.  To do this we use a few basic principles:

  • Make organisational goals / purpose clear and visual.
  • Help your team understand their personal contribution to goals and track the actions required to achieve them.
  • Show where you are winning and where you are losing.
  • Help your team understand the expected behaviours.
  • Create a standard approach for all meetings across the business.
  • Define clear escalation & feedback pathways.​

Organisations embed AEI or any management system, to align to & deliver on strategic priorities, speed up problem solving and escalation, reduce time spent in meetings, reduce fire-fighting, shape organisational culture in an intentional fashion and engage and empower the whole organisation to become part of their Enterprise Excellence journey.

After you have stabilized your meeting structure you can focus on taking a holistic view of the organization. In this phase you will create a schedule of meetings, also known as an inventory of meetings. This is where you hold information on all regular pulse meetings, attendees, frequency, purpose and  how the effectiveness of the meeting is reviewed. As with all other processes – meetings should be subject to review and refinement. Redundant meetings can cease, duplicate meetings merged – by holding this information in one place the senior leadership team have complete oversight of how the various meetings contribute to the companies objectives.

If you want to find out how we can help you develop and deploy an effective tiered meeting system please do contact me..

Sonja.Allen@sapartners.com

Lean Fundamentals: The Problem with Problem Solving

Across various industries, there has been a consistent demand to improveproblem-solving skills within businesses. Organizations often prioritize theuse of problem-solving tools and approaches, considering probleminvestigation and resolution as critical aspects of regulatory compliance.However, the prevailing culture associated with compliance-drivenproblem solving often leads to shallow investigations, rushed resolutions,and recurring issues.

Lean Management System – LEVEL 1 – Japan Study Tour

13 – 21 January 2024

Due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.

Join the leading Lean Training Programme in Japan this January for an experience of a lifetime.

We are proud to offer you this unique opportunity to gain practical knowledge and experience studying with Toyota gurus for one whole week in Japan.

The Lean Management System study tour covers a comprehensive view of Lean leadership and the Lean Production System. The tour provides you with an opportunity to study in Toyota’s own training centre with direct access to Toyota trainers and Toyota  production facilities.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost your leadership and management skills by learning from the very best in the world. You will also obtain your Certificate directly from Toyota. We have created a study week that combines intense learning with both fun and cultural immersion!

Understand Why and How to use LEAN

This Study Tour will provide you with a deep understanding of how to make the best use of Lean. This is a unique opportunity to visit Japan, Toyota, and some of their suppliers to train in Lean through seminars, Gemba visits, and participating in practical training at Toyota’s own training facility. The objective is to dig deep into the WHAT, WHY and HOW of Lean Thinking. What are the elements needed to run a successful Lean system? Why is it so popular in current thinking and How can it influence your own organization and support growth.

By understanding  the whole lean management system you will get an insight into what these leading Japanese companies are doing to compete in today’s fast changing environment.

You will learn to identify the tools and elements of Lean Methodology that can be applied to your own business to support profitable growth. The week in Japan will also provide an insight into Japanese culture and values.

Study Tour Package Includes:

  • Workshops and seminars
  • Study visits
  • Hotel Accommodation for the entire duration of the study visit
  • Local transfers in Japan
  • Full board Sunday – Friday
  • Farewell dinner

Costs & To Book

  • £6,500 plus VAT, due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.
  • Onsite Host Companies: 10% Discount on all Bookings
  • Group Discount: 10% Discount on 4 or more places

Need Help or Advice?

To book or for more Information:

For full terms and conditions and for details of our Company Insurance Policy please do contact us.

Any questions regarding the training, the travel to or within Japan – please do give us a call on +44 (0) 23 9246 8978.

The study tour is being delivered by SA Partners LLP and Onsite Insights in partnership with C2U Group.

The training week will provide an invaluable insight into lean thinking. You will see it in action at Toyota and other leading-edge companies, where it originated and has matured over the last 100 years.

Learn the original thinking directly from former senior executives at Gifu Autobody, a Toyota-owned minivan manufacturer.  The Japanese sensei’s

(guru’s) will only teach based on real experience.

Time will be divided between the classroom, Gemba and practical workshops. The tour starts in the Nagoya region and ends in Tokyo, going from countryside to one of the largest cities in the world.

Day 1
Departure Europe

We depart from Europe and fly to Nagoya, Japan.

Day 2
Arrival and Tour Opening

Pick up/arrival in Nagoya and since it is a Sunday, we will take the opportunity to recover from jet lag and relax after the long flight by visiting the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology where we also will have lunch. In the museum we can follow the Japanese industrial history from looms to robotics. After the visit we take the bus to travel to the destination of
the day, Kakamigahara, where we will stay until Friday. The day ends
with a common dinner and introduction of the week.

Day 3
Classroom Training

The first day of training introduces the Production System by our host for the week. A Japanese senior manager will lead us through Toyota Production System from a manager perspective. From values, mindset to specific tools and methods. This session will prepare the group in what we can expect from the study visits, from the practice and from the following sessions. Your overall
picture of the production system will be confirmed or completed. In the afternoon we go for a first study visit, guided by our sensei. Q&A.
Group dinner will follow.

Day 4
Plant Tour and more Training

Next day, we continue to dig deeper into aspects of the production system and the Toyota way of managing and leading. How are all the puzzle pieces connected? How is Kaizen work organized and performed? Etc. After lunch, we go for another study visit and if time allows, we will also end with a visit to a traditional knife maker. Group dinner will follow.

Day 5
Training

The fifth day we spend in the Training Center where Toyota train their own people. We will increase our knowledge of Kanban when the group take part in a Kanban Role Play and we will train in how to perform a productivity improvement task following the Toyota methods. Group dinner will follow.

Day 6
Study Visit and further Training

The sixth day will start with a study visit before spending the rest of the day with a final Q&A and concluding the learnings for the week. Presentation by all participants. Followed by our group dinner.

Day 7
Conclusion

The last day ends with a study visit. We do final reflections before we board the bullet train that will take us to Tokyo. Free evening in Tokyo.

Day 8
Sightseeing Day in Tokyo

You will end the tour with a Free day in Tokyo where we will support you with travel advice and sightseeing recommendations. This will be followed up by a team farewell dinner.

Day 9
Departure from Tokyo

We have an extensive network of world class companies and for more than 10 years have been bringing managers to Japan. Our host sites embody World Class Manufacturing and include:

  • Toyota Motors
  • Denso
  • Calbee Foods
  • Asahi Breweries
  • Sekisui Heim
  • Gifu Autobody
  • Nissan Motors
  • Ishii Food Corp.
  • Asahi Motors
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mazak
  • Pfizer
  • UD Trucks
  • Honda
  • Yamaha Marine
  • Mizawa Home
  • Suzuki
  • Isuzu Tokai

To find out more, you can email Ailsa Carson.

Your IT department might be unknowingly undermining your culture

We all know humans are inherently lazy – we tend to take the path of least resistance. This makes sense; both mental and physical activity takes a lot of energy, something that was scarce at the time when we had to hunt and gather for our next meal. For a more recent example, if you put more bins out in the street, people are less likely to litter.

The Shingo Model© reinforces this thinking. The second Shingo insight states that system design influences the behaviour of individuals operating within a system. The model also states:

“Cultural transformation requires a shift in behaviours and systems drive behaviour. In the end, an organization will most likely need to adjust old systems, create new systems, and eliminate systems that no longer drive desired behaviour or are misaligned.”

Harvard Business Review suggests culture “guides activity through shared assumptions and group norms.” (Groysberg, Lee, Price and Cheng, 2018).

Shingo would say that these group norms are heavily influenced by the systems of work that exist within organisations.

However, a neuroscience study published on eLife online suggests that theory could go one step further. It suggests our decision-making abilities can be swayed by the level of difficulty involved in reaching the result. That doesn’t mean we knowingly settle for less because it’s easier – we see the easier result as being more desirable in the first place.

The study explains:

“Imagine you are in an orchard, trying to decide which of the many apples to pick. On what do you base your decision? Most research into this type of decision-making has focused on how the brain uses visual information – about features such as colour, size and shape – to make a choice. But what about the effort required to obtain the apple? Does an apple at the top of the tree look more or less tempting than the low-hanging fruit?” (Hagura, Haggard and Diedrichsen, 2017).

So, what on earth does this have to do with your IT department?

Most IT departments will play a central role in selecting and configuring digital systems deployed in organisations. These systems are having increasingly wide-reaching impacts on businesses, creating rigid frameworks and workflows that inform how teams can work. However, these digital systems can also contain loopholes.

Say, for example, that you have a system through which you manage the procurement of parts. The ideal employee should log the purchase by entering information such as part number, part name, and quantity, which then becomes a purchase record in a database, over time this builds a history of purchasing patterns. This part number should in theory be the individual part number, but the part number isn’t always easy to identify, there’s no system to look-up the part number, and their manager is currently pushing to minimise the time to place the order.

This leads someone to create an umbrella code for miscellaneous parts. There’s no control against this and no guidance in the system to advise against it. Now, despite a fixed system, you have a workaround that allows the purchasers to place the order in half the time. Only problem is, three years down the line, you have no record of what was purchased, severely restricting your ability to make informed decisions.

There are two things happening here.

Firstly, the lack of available solution for easily and rapidly identifying the part number is creating a challenge for the end-user to overcome – it’s making the standard process hard to execute. Secondly, the lack of control within the digital system is providing the option for the end-user to bypass the standard. The human mind is generally not capable of consistently selecting the harder option when an easier option exists, particularly in the face of pressure, stress and other challenges. You have now created an implicit behaviour where the team is favouring efficiency over data integrity.

Now, imagine this is happening in other processes. In other systems. There are implicit behaviours being created in all corners of the business, influenced by challenges and loopholes in digital systems. We are now building a set of behavioural responses and group norms, which brings us neatly back to our definition of culture. The cherry on top of this cake is that all those difficult processes might actually be impairing our ability to make accurate judgements about what our customer values most.

So, what can we do about this?

Leaders and managers should communicate priorities, take time to understand challenges and have open conversations with teams to truly understand the way work is working in their areas. These are opportunities to surface problems and opportunities to improve. By asking genuinely curious questions about ‘how work works’ they should encourage an environment where it is safe for team members to surface frustrations and corner cutting.  It’s also important to map and understand the workflows that flow through digital systems. Once standard processes and expectations are in place, governance and improvement meetings should be wrapped around these workflows, enabling teams to provide feedback where there are challenges.

It’s important to engage the IT department – and any other teams that are responsible for maintaining and controlling digital systems in the business – in the improvement meetings and related activities that work teams use to act on problems and opportunities. This should create a healthy tension, connecting IT service providers with the reality of work, and work teams with the potential and constraints or unintended consequences of IT based changes.

These challenges can then be addressed by optimising, removing waste and simplifying those processes. Automation and specific digital solutions can be applied to remove work from teams or solve complex challenges.

Continuous improvement should be a continuous and open conversation, which delivers results when leaders mobilise teams to identify and address challenges as they are encountered. It’s more important than ever that the IT department is onboard and engaged with these efforts as they now hold the keys to more doors than ever before. It might be time to take your CIO for a coffee…

 

Jack Worboys

Analyst Consultant

jack.worboys@sapartners.com

 

 

Nobuhiro Hagura, Patrick Haggard, Jörn Diedrichsen (2017) Perceptual decisions are biased by the cost to act eLife 6:e18422 https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18422

Harvard Business Review 2018, The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture, accessed 26th April 2023, < https://hbr.org/2018/01/the-leaders-guide-to-corporate-culture>

 

Lean Management System – LEVEL 1 – Japan Study Tour

7 – 15 October 2023

Due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.

Join the leading Lean Training Programme in Japan this November for an experience of a lifetime.

We are proud to offer you this unique opportunity to gain practical knowledge and experience studying with Toyota gurus for one whole week in Japan.

The Lean Management System study tour covers a comprehensive view of Lean leadership and the Lean Production System. The tour provides you with an opportunity to study in Toyota’s own training centre with direct access to Toyota trainers and Toyota  production facilities.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to boost your leadership and management skills by learning from the very best in the world. You will also obtain your Certificate directly from Toyota. We have created a study week that combines intense learning with both fun and cultural immersion!

Understand Why and How to use LEAN

This Study Tour will provide you with a deep understanding of how to make the best use of Lean. This is a unique opportunity to visit Japan, Toyota, and some of their suppliers to train in Lean through seminars, Gemba visits, and participating in practical training at Toyota’s own training facility. The objective is to dig deep into the WHAT, WHY and HOW of Lean Thinking. What are the elements needed to run a successful Lean system? Why is it so popular in current thinking and How can it influence your own organization and support growth.

By understanding  the whole lean management system you will get an insight into what these leading Japanese companies are doing to compete in today’s fast changing environment.

You will learn to identify the tools and elements of Lean Methodology that can be applied to your own business to support profitable growth. The week in Japan will also provide an insight into Japanese culture and values.

Study Tour Package Includes:

  • Workshops and seminars
  • Study visits
  • Hotel Accommodation for the entire duration of the study visit
  • Local transfers in Japan
  • Full board Sunday – Friday
  • Farewell dinner

Costs & To Book

  • £6,150 plus VAT, due to new restrictions we can advise on flights but not book on your behalf, pricing has been adjusted accordingly.
  • Onsite Host Companies: 10% Discount on all Bookings
  • Group Discount: 10% Discount on 4 or more places

Need Help or Advice?

To book or for more Information:

For full terms and conditions and for details of our Company Insurance Policy please do contact us.

Any questions  regarding the training, the travel to or within Japan – please do give us a call on +44 (0) 23 9246 8978.

The study tour is being delivered by SA Partners LLP and Onsite Insights in partnership with C2U Group.

The training week will provide an invaluable insight into lean thinking. You will see it in action at Toyota and other leading-edge companies, where it originated and has matured over the last 100 years.

Learn the original thinking directly from former senior executives at Gifu Autobody, a Toyota-owned minivan manufacturer.  The Japanese sensei’s

(guru’s) will only teach based on real experience.

Time will be divided between the classroom, Gemba and practical workshops. The tour starts in the Nagoya region and ends in Tokyo, going from countryside to one of the largest cities in the world.

Day 1
Departure Europe

We depart from Europe and fly to Nagoya, Japan.

Day 2
Arrival and Tour Opening

Pick up/arrival in Nagoya and since it is a Sunday, we will take the opportunity to recover from jet lag and relax after the long flight by visiting the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology where we also will have lunch. In the museum we can follow the Japanese industrial history from looms to robotics. After the visit we take the bus to travel to the destination of
the day, Kakamigahara, where we will stay until Friday. The day ends
with a common dinner and introduction of the week.

Day 3
Classroom Training

The first day of training introduces the Production System by our host for the week. A Japanese senior manager will lead us through Toyota Production System from a manager perspective. From values, mindset to specific tools and methods. This session will prepare the group in what we can expect from the study visits, from the practice and from the following sessions. Your overall
picture of the production system will be confirmed or completed. In the afternoon we go for a first study visit, guided by our sensei. Q&A.
Group dinner will follow.

Day 4
Plant Tour and more Training

Next day, we continue to dig deeper into aspects of the production system and the Toyota way of managing and leading. How are all the puzzle pieces connected? How is Kaizen work organized and performed? Etc. After lunch, we go for another study visit and if time allows, we will also end with a visit to a traditional knife maker. Group dinner will follow.

Day 5
Training

The fifth day we spend in the Training Center where Toyota train their own people. We will increase our knowledge of Kanban when the group take part in a Kanban Role Play and we will train in how to perform a productivity improvement task following the Toyota methods. Group dinner will follow.

Day 6
Study Visit and further Training

The sixth day will start with a study visit before spending the rest of the day with a final Q&A and concluding the learnings for the week. Presentation by all participants. Followed by our group dinner.

Day 7
Conclusion

The last day ends with a study visit. We do final reflections before we board the bullet train that will take us to Tokyo. Free evening in Tokyo.

Day 8
Sightseeing Day in Tokyo

You will end the tour with a Free day in Tokyo where we will support you with travel advice and sightseeing recommendations. This will be followed up by a team farewell dinner.

Day 9
Departure from Tokyo

We have an extensive network of world class companies and for more than 10 years have been bringing managers to Japan. Our host sites embody World Class Manufacturing and include:

  • Toyota Motors
  • Denso
  • Calbee Foods
  • Asahi Breweries
  • Sekisui Heim
  • Gifu Autobody
  • Nissan Motors
  • Ishii Food Corp.
  • Asahi Motors
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Mazak
  • Pfizer
  • UD Trucks
  • Honda
  • Yamaha Marine
  • Mizawa Home
  • Suzuki
  • Isuzu Tokai

To find out more, you can email Ailsa Carson.

Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz (DACH)

Mit einer Gesamtbevölkerung von über 100 Millionen Menschen liegen Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz sowohl physisch als auch wirtschaftlich im Herzen Europas.

S A Partners Deutschland unterstützt Unternehmen aller Branchen dabei, Spitzenleistungen zu erzielen. Wir tun dies, indem wir mit Organisationen zusammenarbeiten und transformative Veränderungen entwerfen, um ihre Ambitionen zu erfüllen und ihre Erwartungen zu übertreffen.

Wir lösen unser Markenversprechen “Together, the power to improve” ein, indem wir definieren, wie Erfolg aussieht, und dann die entsprechenden Systeme, Fähigkeiten und die Kultur mitgestalten, um ihn zu erreichen.

Wir konzentrieren uns auf die Bedürfnisse des Kunden, um die Ziele der Organisation zu entwickeln, ihre Prozesse auszurichten, ihre Mitarbeiter einzubinden und nachhaltige Verbesserungen zu erzielen.

Von unserem Büro in Dresden aus werden die Geschäftslösungen in deutscher Sprache von in Deutschland ansässigen Beratern geliefert, die natürlich auch in englischer Sprache liefern können. Wir verfügen über eine unübertroffene Expertise in der Unterstützung von Führungskräften und Organisationen bei der Erschließung von Potenzialen und der Umsetzung von Verbesserungen. Wir bieten Beratungsleistungen an, um Ihr Unternehmen wachsen und gedeihen zu lassen, und Schulungen, um Ihre internen Fähigkeiten auszubauen.

Wir sind Europas größter SHINGO-Partner und unsere Schulungen sind von der LCS und der Cardiff University akkreditiert.

Implementierung

Unser Beratungsansatz basiert auf dem Enterprise Excellence-Modell und seinen sieben Elementen, und wir haben ein Beratungsteam, das unsere Kunden weltweit zu Enterprise Excellence führen kann. Mit einer sorgfältigen Analyse verstehen und bewerten wir Ihr Unternehmen und erkennen so mögliche Tätigkeitsschwerpunkte. Daraus wird ein Implementierungsplan entwickelt. Wir begleiten die Umsetzung des Plans, – durch Training und Coaching Ihrer Mitarbeiter werden wir so nachhaltige Verbesserungen erzielen. Enterprise Excellence bietet uns einen Rahmen für nachhaltige, erfolgreiche Veränderungen, indem es sowohl die Umsetzungs- als auch die Organisation ertüchtigen.

In Verbindung mit dem Journey-Modell (Implementierungsplan) hilft es uns zu verstehen, wie die Verbesserungen genau aussehen sollten. Diese setzen wir dann gemeinsam mit Ihrer Organisation um. Auf diese Weise sind wir in der Lage, Transformations- und Roadmaps auf der Makroebene der Organisation bzw. des Systems zu erstellen und umsetzen.  Ein gezieltes Change Management zur Transformation wird die Veränderungen mitarbeitergerecht begleiten.

Wir haben diese Überlegungen in unserem Umsetzungsmodell zusammengefasst, das die folgenden vier Kernelemente kombiniert

  1. Schulung, Unterstützung und Akkreditierung von Führungskräften
  2. System-, Prozess- und Aufgabenberatung
  3. Schulung, Unterstützung und Akkreditierung von Prozessbegleitern
  4. Programmdurchführung und -steuerung

Führungskräfte auf allen Ebenen sind sich ihrer selbst bewusst, verstehen, was von ihnen verlangt wird, und sind in der Lage, ihre Teams zu motivieren und zu führen

Systems Consulting Model

Die aktuellen und zukünftigen Anforderungen an Systeme, Prozesse und Aufgaben sind klar definiert und es gibt Pläne zur Optimierung der organisatorischen Leistung

Mitarbeiter auf allen Ebenen sind in der Lage, ihre Arbeit im Einklang mit den aktuellen und zukünftigen Bedürfnissen der Organisation zu verbessern.

Es gibt ein Programm, das sicherstellt, dass sowohl der aktuelle als auch der zukünftige Bedarf der Organisation gedeckt wird.

Hier sind einige der Kunden, mit denen wir in Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz zusammengearbeitet haben

Treffen Sie unser Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz-Team:

Kevin Phelan

image of sonja

Sonja Allen

Rachel Doyle

Image of Armin

Armin Gruber

Egbert Boersma

Gina Liebe