Kaizen Blitz: A Game Changer

In the past 15 years, we have had the opportunity to work with some of the best facilitators and trainers in the country.  One the best is Lisa Rueth, President of Trinity Solutions.  She is  certified in LEAN, Six Sigma and Kaizen Methodologies, Lisa teaches the principles of eliminating waste and activities that add no value with careful attention to Customer and Employee Experience.

The following is her view on Kaizen and why Montara Farm is the perfect place to hold  Kaizen Events:

Are you tasked with pulling off a miracle next year?

Are you doing more with less, and needing to take it even farther? Do you need to get the best and the brightest in a room to imagine something that will truly set you apart from the competition? Is the spirit of continuous improvement and innovation stifled because people are still smarting from the last wave of change? Are you all waiting for performance, and the economy, to bounce back? Have your last few attempts at “kicking off a game changer” fizzled into the dust of daily firefighting?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, it may not take a miracle, but it could take a fresh approach. LEAN, Kaizen, Office Kaizen or Kaizen Experience could do the trick!

The legendary LEAN methodology, kin to the incredibly successful Toyota Production System (TPS), has improved manufacturing productivity by 30-90% (cycle time, inventory, quality, on-time delivery etc). But since only about 10% of the US workforce belongs to a manufacturing team, the methodology was evolved to address administrative, engineering and office environments. Kaizen, a Japanese word meaning “ongoing good”, is more than just a process improvement methodology which seeks to eliminate waste in the energy spent, processes used, information passed and efforts spent, it can be the catalyst for a cultural change rooted in a relentless spirit of continuous improvement.

Because Kaizen is a philosophy, a leadership style and a set of tools that work together to improve performance and provide consistent, long-term repeatable excellence, it actually hinges on thinking about what we do, in a new way.

How you know that your team could benefit from something like Kaizen?

  • Customers complain about the same issues, despite endless task forces or process improvements to address it
  • Internal stakeholders struggle to communicate about key issues and make improvements that avoid those same problems in the future.
  • Blame Shifting is prevalent in the organization when deadlines are missed or errors discovered.
  • Employees aren’t excited about what they do and the delivery of service is not world-class
  • Employee efforts are often focused on serving the organization, taking away from serving customers.

 What’s in it for my employees? Why will they adopt this one and not the others we’ve tried in the past? One of the most important elements of the Kaizen philosophy is an effort to make work easier on employees to accomplish, while simultaneously ensuring that our efforts are focused on getting customers what they need. When the barriers to success are removed and people are empowered to keep looking for ways to own the experience, happy employees translate into happy customers and profits.

 What about service environments?

Kaizen is typically kicked off with a structured, multi-day event or “Blitz” that seeks to attack a single problem, like an area that the competition is winning in, the length of time it takes to get something out the door, or to collect money owed. However, when those things need to be looked at as symptoms of an overall mission to re-engineer the Customer Experience, what you need is a Kaizen Experience Event!

Our facilitators have evolved Kaizen even more to ensure that your culture morphs into the experience delivery machine your customers are asking for. Using the Kaizen methodology, we systematically remove barriers to World Class Service and Innovation with these principles:

  • Deep and intentional, Root cause analysis with proven tools (5 S, 5 Why’s, etc)
  • The elimination of overly hard work or non-value add (to the customer) activity that prevents delivery of your vision and frustrates employees and customers
  • Experience Engineering using customer, employee and stakeholder data to define measurable outcomes and map implementation milestones
  • Customer Touch Point Analysis, process alignment and skill development planning
  • Employee empowerment to perform experiments on their work to eliminate imperfections
  • Transition Management and Change Mapping for implementing

Why is Montara Farm the perfect place for a Kaizen Experience® Blitz?

For one, Montara Farm is the only place you can find the hybrid Kaizen Experience. A “Blitz” is a multi-day event, systematically facilitating your brightest cross-functional team through a journey to reinvent and innovate the things that will minimize costs and maximize ROI. This requires distance from the endless distractions, focus on the right issues and a comfortable balanced environment that promotes the best brain work.  Montara has all you need onsite to maximize time and effort, while providing an exclusive and balanced environment in which to work.

A private estate just 65 miles north of Atlanta, tucked in the foothills of the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. The estate is exclusively yours for your kick-off to greatness.  As a  facilitator,  Montara staff worked with me to customize a program for my clients, and helped me meet their  needs  through the Kaizen transformation.  If you are already working with another Kaizen expert,  they will work to complement his or her efforts with program activities and energizers during this all inclusive retreat.

If it is time for something new, a real game-changer, contact  Montara  or me,  Lisa Reuth at Trinity Solutions, lisa@teamsolveit.com.  We will provide a free Kaizen Assessment and customize a retreat that will kick off your next miracle, leaving you with the skills and tools to get a team fired up and making endless daily improvements.