No one of us is as smart as all of us.

I was reminded Ken Blanchard’s quote* ‘No one of us is as smart as all of us’  this week.

While it’s always a delight to work with a company’s front line experts, it’s unusual for these triagers to all be serial entrepreneurs and start-up mentors.  Generally, process triage teams are task experts in technical matters, such as sales, customer onboarding, manufacturing, customer care, or administrative support — the customer facing performers.    The occasion was a triage of one of Kansas City’s business start-up accelerators, SparkLabKC, led by Kevin Fryer, with his triage team picked from his mentor pool.

You can imagine how opinionated and passionate a group of successful entrepreneur coaches might be on the best way to qualify and accelerate a start-up.  So I was, again, pleased to see the Process Triage Protocol pull their all of us-quality thinking to the task.  The result was a triage map they can use to manage their client’s expectations and accelerate their start-ups as far as possible within their time constraints.

Hat tip to Kevin and his team!

322-1 Team Pix (Best)

* The Heart of the Leader; Blanchard, Carew, & Parisi-Carew, 1990.  This is also phrased ‘All of us are smarter than any one of us’, quoted in Brandon Webb’s The Red Circle, describing a sign on the wall at a SEAL sniper training facility.

 

 

 

Don’t Delay Process Improvements Waiting to Establish Baseline Measurements

Mark Shwartz, a case-study quality triage host at RCF Technologies (Vadalia, GA) raised the subject of base lining some process measurements before kicking off some Small and Big Now process improvements.

To the point, the answer is No!  Don’t hold up the improvement efforts, just start measuring as you improve.

The reason you shouldn’t wait is supported by some now famous, almost 100 year-old organizational behavior research known as the ‘Hawthorne Effect.’

A good summary was published in The Economist here:

The Hawthorne Effect recognizes that workers who perceive their work is being watched are more productive than before the were observed. So if you don’t already have process performance measurements in place, as soon as your staff recognizes they are being observed (by management or their improvement team peers), they will perform more focused. That suggests your original baseline behavior, before observations began, won’t be reflected in new measurements.

Remember, you’re after a TREND of continuous improvement, time period over time period. So just start measuring and focus on consistent measuring. Your ‘Process Manager Voice’ is looking for improving trends until your Process Capability Goal (PCG) is met, then stable performance afterwards.

You should see some welcome improvements early on because of another phenomenon called ‘The Learning Curve’, a subject for another blog.

A Shout-Out to Triage Host Duane Turnbull @ Nationwide Learning

Here’s a shout-out to triage host Duane Turnbull at Nationwide Learning. He forwarded the following post-triage update, since his July triage.

“… I know you are curious so I will start off by letting you know that we have all the Small’s from our Triage complete and 80% of the Big’s with more Big’s in process and the best part of it all is we are seeing great results due to the implementation of the ideas that resulted from the Triage!”

Nationwide Learning has this really cool product memory book products for schools.

Chad Zimmerman is the CEO / Triage Sponsor and a member in one of Jeff Hutsell’s Vistage groups.

Update (2/16/15) Chad reports the post-triaging efforts by his team have delivered an 18% decrease in seasonal labor (their largest cost driver) and a 12% bump in revenue.  Excellent, and not surprised really.  Chad and Duane ‘Get it.’

A TED Talk echos the Process Triage protocol

Hat tip to triage host Catherine Cates of Pat Murphy Electric (Atlanta) for mentioning a TED talk given by Tom Wujec on ‘Making Toast.’

I laughed out loud when Tom explained how everything is ‘nodes’ (circles) and ‘links’ (arrows); a process mapping style I’ve facilitated for 20+ years.

Here are some triagers working collaboratively on their process sketch.

319-1 Wall Work (2)

What Tom is doing is impressive. His body of work offers additional explanation why the Process Triage protocol has been so successful theoretically.

Tom and I are now connected (Linked-In) and perhaps PT can help him with case studies.

Thanks Catherine!