A well-tended environment powers workflow

Posted on Posted in 20 Keys

A new facility can quickly deteriorate if the “broken windows” are not addressed. “Broken windows theory” is the concept that each problem that goes unattended in a given environment affects people’s attitude toward that environment and leads to more problems. When an environment is well-tended and problems dealt with as they arise, that also affects attitudes and leads to continued good management and maintenance.   Alida Labuschagne, Manageress of the Powder Coating plant at Wispeco Aluminium, Alrode, and her team didn’t make that mistake but implemented Key 1 of the 20 Keys System, from day 1 – keeping the “broken windows theory” […]

The Kaizen approach could be used anywhere…

Posted on Posted in Kaizen of Operations

According to Wikipedia, Kaizen (改善), is the Japanese word for “improvement”. In business, Kaizen refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain.[1] It has been applied in healthcare,[2] psychotherapy,[3] life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries.   The Kaizen approach is based on the belief that continuous improvement adds up to substantial change over time. When teams or groups implement Kaizen, they avoid the mistakes that often go hand-in-hand with major innovation. Very appropriately the Japanese word Kaizen means “good change.” While Kaizen is typically applied to […]

Is busyness killing our ability to learn and think creatively?

Posted on Posted in 20 Keys

Did you know that one distinguishing characteristic of world class companies is that they have a well-entrenched culture that facilitates the learning of all its members, thereby continuously transforming itself. But, being busy is killing our ability to learn and think creatively. Many organisations are caught up in busyness where there is no time to think about doing things better, more cost effectively, quicker, smarter and safer. We need to balance linear thinking, which we use for everyday tasks, with creative thinking, which is borne out of making time available for thinking and reflection.” ODI’s 20 Keys system has a strong emphasis on creative thinking, especially at the […]

Sustainable Improvement is the pathway to the future

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The famous Benjamin Franklin said that without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success, have no meaning. I want to add to that and say that Sustainable Improvement is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth. Improvements in general and sustainable improvements in particular are problematic areas and in Business, improvements come only from one (or any combination) of the following three aspects: 1. Technical improvements – such as new technology or automation. 2. Process improvements – covering aspects such as quick change-overs, modapts/work study, waste elimination and many […]

Key 3 of the 20 Keys Systems for Operations Improvement.

Are you spending enough time on Key 3 of The 20 Keys System?

Posted on Posted in 20 Keys

“Two, or more, heads are often better than one to solve a problem” is a well-known (slightly adapted) saying. This is exactly what Key 3 of the 20 Keys system for operations improvement is all about – Understanding problem solving by using Small Group Activities. An often overlooked aspect of effective problem solving is the correct definition and understanding of the problem. Quality time needs to be spent on this, as it is the foundation for the next steps of brainstorming possible causes and analysing cause-effect relationships to identify the underlying root causes of the problem. In this picture a […]