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A Consortium of Problem Solvers Podcast of Len Bertain's Audio Books
20 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 95 - Conclusion - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
SUMMARY (The 90 Day Schedule)How to win the War on Waste in 90 days? Having read the book, you can now ask me again: “How can I win the War on Waste in 90 Days?” First of all, you sign up with me. Or do it on your own with a consulting phone support from me. Or you just do it and if you get in trouble, call me. It really is pretty easy to do. I also have training manuals that you can buy to follow the program. Calendar Action to be Accomplished. Day 1 Just get started on an 8 week program (4 days a week)Class Day 1 - During these first 16 workdays each team goes thru the War on Waste 6 steps. It isn’t a lot of time but it is enough time. It isn’t about being precise; it is totally about making your point. Day 29 Presentations to management:Class Day 17 (Note that the Calendar day is a running clock, while class day is only while an employee is in class) - All participating employees make their presentations to the CEO or local managing director.Just listen to the rest of the process and you will appreciate how direct and simple this whole process is. Just focus. Best, Len  Len Bertain, Bertain Consulting Group, email@example.com, Cell: 510-520-8011.
12 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 94 - Chapter 11 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
The 7 things listed below are items that you need to do to make the War on Waste work successfully. Begin the 6 Steps of the War on Waste! Of course, that is what this whole process is about. Start it up and stand back. This is really a fun process. Use the tools of the War on Waste. Tools of the War on Waste were explained throughout the book. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 describe a number of tools that we use extensively as we deliver the War on Waste. Check in often with each team personally. Do this before they do their presentations. You need time to digest their suggestion and maybe even to think of things to make their project work better and more cost effectively.d Push the teams. People who have done the War on Waste with my remote support have all said that they didn’t push the teams hard enough to get their projects ready for the presentation day. Integrate your Mission Statement. You want to follow the guide defined in the process. Each idea needs to be weighed against the Mission Statement. Integrate 5/67 tThinking into your daily routine. We absolutely believe that the 5/67 Rule is an important tool to be used in key management decisions. Understand what I wrote about it earlier and take it seriously. Set up the TKC. As I noted earlier, I don’t care what you call it but set up a center where ideas can be collected. The concepts that are described in Chapter 9 may help you set it up. Just do it. I hope you find this book of value, but I still have one more task to do, and that is to show you the time line of How You Win the War on Waste in 90 Days.
7 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 93 - Chapter 10 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
10. FAQs Have you ever done a company like ours? This is one of the most interesting questions that I get asked. The answer is pretty easy. Probably not or if I did one like yours, it still wasn’t yours. And that doesn’t matter a bit. The War on Waste is about fixing a company’s processes. It doesn’t make any difference what business you are in, the first question that we ask in the program is, “What do you do here to make money?” That is what determines waste in the company. If for instance you are a bank or finance company, this is not an easy answer. Do you make it only when you take in savings of your customers and invest them? Or are there other things that you do? So getting clear on this is the very first thing you do in the War on Waste. Once you know how the company makes money, then the whole process flows from there.Other questions: When can I ever do the War on Waste?How much does it cost?Of course there are a hundred questions that we get asked but the bottom line is the target of 50 to 1 for small companies and 100 to 1 for large companies worth it. If we can do that all day long, the War on Waste is a good deal.
10 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 92 - Chapter 9 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
9. The TKC The War on Waste creates the ideas and a process to get ideas into play. But it still requires a formal process to get new ideas into the system. Once the War on Waste is completed, the company still wants new ideas to continue. When the War on Waste is over, the implemented ideas need to be tracked. That is achieved with the Tribal Knowledge Council, the subject of this chapter. The TKC is the control point for the input of all ideas. Its purpose is to be the clearing-house for change and new ideas. It serves as a touchstone for the CEO and his Executive team. They use it to keep track of ideas as they move through the system. It is not managed as much as it is a monitor. It is an automated function with a dashboard. The dashboard tracks the progress of results. A word of caution here: this council has no direct authority. Nor should it. It merely facilitates the process of putting ideas into play. If authority is given, it will create two problems. One, it will conflict with line management authority. And two, it will create an artificial elite status. This will dampen participation.Just a note: I wrote this book 10 years ago and had not gotten my on-line business going. With the on-line business, there is a demand for an opportunity to participate in the program and so the management of the ideas using the TKC is no longer required. The system morphs in response to new ideas and continuously does so. It has been an amazing process. Try it out: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best, Len
16 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Episode 91 - Chapter 8 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
8. Strategy This is not a chapter to compete with other treatises on strategy. There are a number of great tomes on the subject. This chapter is merely to place it in context within the War on Waste. The War on Waste led to the idea that strategy became aligned with process in the program. We referenced Michael Porter, who is the pre-eminent strategy scholar in the United States. But this observation is not Porter’s. It is ours. This came out of our field research. It was a remarkable outcome. And we didn’t see it coming. But it happened with all of our clients. Now, it serves as one of the anchor tenets of the paradigm. We would like to explore that a bit. Who cares about this? Why is this important? To answer these questions let us get back to basics.  Op. Cit., Porter, p 11
15 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Episode 90 - Chapter 7 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
7. Tools of the War Over the years, we used tools of the trade in unique ways. We borrowed tools from friends. And we made up our own tools. Some of these are worth noting. 120/20 Rule of Profits.There is a corollary to the 80/20 Rule. A business “turn around” consulting friend showed us this rule. We have all seen it. It is the 120/20 Rule of Profits. · 120% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the customers. · 120% of profits from 20% of the salesmen. · 120% of the profits from 20% of the products or services. We call it the Bibeault 120/20 Rule of Profits, in honor of our consultant friend who pointed it out to us. This rule is a good tool to develop an effective customer-driven strategy. It allows us to focus attention on those customers, salesmen or products that deliver the most profit. It may also help understand why. Why are some more profitable?The 5/67 Rule (1 Sigma)The 5/67 Rule is a subset of the 20/80 Rule or 80/20 Rule. We discovered it during the War on Waste. We were always in a hurry to get projects completed and we didn’t have time to look at 20% of the problem demanded by the 20/80 Rule. But we did have time to look at 5% of the problem. When we did that we kept seeing that we were getting about 60 to 70% of the targeted benefit. We called it the 5/67 Rule without really knowing much about it. It just seemed to work but it didn’t make sense. Yes/No ChartsOur unique tool to measure and guide problem behavior (like things happening late).World Record ReportsA unique way to achieve continuous improvement. Don Bibeault is a venture capital investor now. In his former life, he was management consultant. He specialized in turning around distressed companies.
10 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Episode 89 - Chapter 6 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
6. Value-adding There are a number of ways to define this term. We define it simply as “what customers are willing to pay for.” In any business, everyone needs to understand why the business exists and how it makes money. As we do the War on Waste, we ask a very simple question, “What does this company do to add value?” The answer to this simple question serves as the basis for the War on Waste. So the question “what is waste” is intimately tied to the company’s value-added activity. There is an interesting thing that happens in the War on Waste. As employees start to identify waste, they are reflecting the effectiveness of a company’s ability to deliver value. All those things that occur in a company that keep the value from being added efficiently are wastes. During the War on Waste, we look at a company’s value-added proposition very closely. And the process for doing that is very thorough. What we have found out is that very few employees of companies have any clue as to what the company does to add value. When we ask a typical employee of a machine shop, “What does this company do to add-value?” it is amazing that most of them have never thought about it. After a few minutes of discussion, someone notes that it is obvious that a machine shop makes money only one-way: when chips are being produced. But then some wise guy asks if they are adding value when they do assemblies for their customers. Of course, they do. Customers are paying a small fee for the assembly. And then one of the ladies in the quality department asks “what about our military customers that also pay to inspect their parts?” Best, Len Bertain
9 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
Episode 88 - Chapter 5 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
5. Using the Mission Statement We made an observation early on. It wasn’t a life changing experience but it was part of many of our conversations. We noted that the Mission Statement is rarely involved in decision-making. Once a few bright MBAs put a Mission Statement together, it goes somewhere to die. It just isn’t involved in the daily routine. So we wondered why? Why is so much time spent on developing a “Mission Statement” and it isn’t actively used in running the business? It is almost as if it were part of a checklist for executives. It is the third thing on the list every CEO must do: Do we have a Mission Statement? If so, “go to the next item. If not, make one.” We actually thought that many of the Mission Statements that we had seen were pretty good. They weren’t perfect but they were good starting points. So why weren’t they used to guide business decisions. They could somehow be part of a touchstone that related a decision to the Mission of the company. Enjoy. Len
8 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
Episode 87 - Chapter 4 - Part 2 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
No Excuses The No Blame motto was developed to encourage employees to come up with ideas. It serves as their protection from the Black Knights that fight change in the organization. But there is a downside. When an employee invokes “No Blame” there is no accountability and that’s why we came up with the idea of “No Excuses”. When an employee team fails to measure up to its capabilities, they accept the consequences and report the data honestly. They do so with the understanding that “No Blame” is the operating philosophy of the company. And that is what we want. However, a manager has the right to investigate the reason for the low performance under the banner of “No Excuses.” In other words, the workers use “No Blame” and the managers invoke “No Excuses.” We call this “accountability.” Enjoy the read. Best, Len
9 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
Episode 86 - Chapter 4 - Part 1 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
4. No Blame The War on Waste (waste is anything in the company that keeps money from being made) begins with an idea. It doesn’t matter the size of the company, if you want to find out what’s wrong with the company, listen to an employee’s idea. The idea is not just any idea; it is an idea that identifies a waste in one of the business processes. In our definition, the War on Waste is a company-wide affair. Everyone participates. And all parts of the company are open to review. No part is spared. It is one of those times that it is OK to pass judgment on the inefficiencies of a neighboring department. The War on Waste methodology brings teams together of different work groups to look for waste. It guides these project teams on how to analyze a waste by finding out how much inefficiency it contributes to the company in actual dollars. In fact, we believe so strongly in this concept that we trademarked “No Blame.” The trademark symbol is intended to symbolize to our clients and their employees that we are going to drive change at their company and we do it by invoking “No Blame.” It is change without reprisal. Best, Len
15 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Episode 85 - Chapter 3 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
3. The War on Waste The War on Waste consists of the 6 steps noted in the previous chapter. We would like to expand on them a little bit here. If the program is a company initiative, the CEO or top Exec needs to announce the campaign and require that everyone get on board. If it starts with a single team, working a project through the Internet eWOW program, the team can influence the company to follow suit and get others involved. Engage – En Garde! Phase 0: House Cleaning/Fast Cash Generation. It begins when all employees engage in an urgent house cleaning. This is the War on Waste. This program looks at hurdles to the delivery of value. It looks for low hanging wastes that are easy to fix. Employees learn to answer the question: “What is the value-added product or service that they sell?” This question creates focus on the client and how to best deliver high value products or services. Anything that is not creating value is waste. The goal of this process is to find and get rid of waste. This will create a great cash flow, focus on the core, and improve Know How. And it creates a whole bunch of other benefits. Listen in to find out what they are. Best, Len
11 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Episode 84 - Chapter 2 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
2. How I Got Started The story began twenty-nine years ago, as I stood in front of a group of employees who had been forced to attend a class I had been contracted to deliver. It was a training program that introduced a small manufacturing company to the principles of the Toyota Production System (TPS). The Toyota Production System is the basis of current Lean Manufacturing and 6-Sigma programs. In essence, I was teaching a method for identifying and eliminating waste in business processes. To illustrate my thoughts about how this system should be applied to American industry, I had prepared over 160 slides, including charts, graphs, illustrations, text and checklists. I was to show these slides in conjunction with a series of interactive lectures scheduled to run for ten weeks at the rate of three one-hour sessions per week. As with all of my projects, the entire company was required to attend—everyone from the custodial personnel to the CEO. But about 15 minutes into the class, I hit a snag. Listen in to find out what it was and how I charted a new course for my consulting business. For you listening pleasure. Best, Len
15 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Episode 83 - Chapter 1 - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days - Audio Book
1. What is Waste? In the Toyota Production System, Taiichi Ohno, its developer, identified 7 major wastes:· Waste of over production (largest waste) – making too much of a product and not being able to sell it. Idle inventory is a waste. · Waste of time on hand (waiting) – of course this would be waste because while a worker is not adding value, he or she is costing the company money.· Waste of transportation – while products are moving around the factory floor, no value is being added to them and that is a big waste.· Waste of processing itself – when Taiichi Ohno looked at many of Toyota processes, he found that they were not very efficient in delivering value. They were wasteful processes.· Waste of stock at hand – if you have stock in inventory waiting for production. That is a big waste. It is the foundation of just in time to deliver material to a work process just before it is needed – “Just in Time – JIT.”· Waste of movement – whenever you look at a factory and see a worker or a pallet of materials moving around a factory, that is a waste. People can’t add value walking around and material can’t have value added to it, if it is moving around the factory. · Waste of making defective products – this is almost obvious but it was the foundation of the thinking of Total Quality Management (TQM) a number of years ago. Phil Crosby and a number of quality gurus became phenomenal successes by focusing their efforts on reducing quality defects. This has, in turn, led to the current 6-Sigma craze.These are all well and good but…they don’t cover all the areas of waste in a business. They certainly can be guides for how a piece of paper moves through an office. If it waits at any stage, it is a waste of movement. If a worker has a pile of work at her desk and the others in the office have no pile of work, maybe there is an imbalance of work in the process. Listen in to find out how we have broken the process down to make it an enjoyable and profitable process for all involved. Enjoy. Best, Len Bertain
7 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Episode 82 - Introduction - How to Win the War on Waste in 90 Days
I told a client about the title of this book and he laughed. “Len,” he said, “I grant you, we got the processes under control and we made a lot of money as a result of your efforts in less than 90 days. But it is an ongoing effort. Paying attention to our inefficiencies is a continual struggle. But we know how to deal with them. And that is what the War on Waste did. It gave us the system to deal with the wastes and we keep our antennas up. It is management’s responsibility to pay attention to new wastes. When we were done with the initial effort, we knew what to do. We kept a focus on wastes and maintained an efficient operation. And that is what any business needs to do. We won the War on Waste and had the system to keep it under control.” He was successful but was there more to it? Find out by listening in. Enjoy. Best, Len
17 minutes | May 17, 2021
Episode 81 - War on Waste Paradox - Conclusion - Audio Book
I love delivering the War on Waste over the years. We have recently migrated the program to the Internet and call it High ROI Problem Solving. There seemed to be some problem with people and the term "War on Waste." And we have changed the name of our Internet company to "The Consortium of Problem Solvers." We really have a consortium of Problem Solvers with our facilitators. They delve into their various projects with the same verve that Dr. Elbie did in the book. You can't help it. it is an intoxicating feeling to realize that you are moving people to understand their business from a new perspective. And this is really exciting.I was asked recently to deliver a TEDx talk on the Black Lives Matters issue and my problem solving program. Actually I suggested the linkage because when you get into one of our problem solving gigs, color, race bigotry goes out the door. You only are focused on the problem and its solution. As one of my clients described me, I am like a Norden bomb sight focused on solving one of his problems. Actually, I liked that because that is what all my client employees do. They focus without Blame or racial differentiation. Just the solution, Man. Just the Solution.
12 minutes | May 17, 2021
Episode 80 - The War on Waste Paradox - Chapter 19 - Part 2 - Audio Book
As I have delivered the War on Waste for 25 years, I have watched CEOs become shocked as their employees dissected their companies with laser precision as they developed and presented proposals to management. Many CEOs were flabbergasted that their employees could be so smart. Others knew the talent was there but didn’t want to spend the time to fix their companies. The observation of the War on Waste Paradox has given me a chance to revisit the story that I originally wrote over 17 years ago. I made several modifications but the story still stands up as a good example of what happens when we do the War on Waste. I hope you have enjoyed it.
9 minutes | May 17, 2021
Episode 79 - The War on Waste Paradox - Chapter 19 - Part 1 - Audio Book
14 minutes | May 16, 2021
Episode 78 - The War on Waste Paradox - Chapter 18 - Part 2 - Audio Book
At the end of the War on Waste, Mr. Grimes will have completed the first phase of the process that is required to create an innovation culture that we call the “Quantum Leap Company.” The War on Waste is Phase 0. It gets the company started but that’s all it does. If the process dies out after a couple of months, which most lean manufacturing initiatives that we have observed seem to do, then that is too bad. But we put the CRB into the system to make sure that change and innovation become an integral part of the company. There is a funny comment by Mr. Grimes in this chapter. He is complaining that he couldn’t get information out of the assemblers. If you listen to that you think that he is stupid if he couldn’t get an answer to that question. This is where secretive Tribal Knowledge is tricky. You don’t need to know why but lots of stuff makes that happen: Mr. Grimes could ask out of curiosity and not have a sense of urgency and gets distracted each time he asks. You could come up with a million reasons why he couldn’t get the answer. But as you will find out after the War on Waste, those questions are a lot easier to answer.
12 minutes | May 16, 2021
Episode 77 - The War on Waste Paradox - Chapter 18 - Part 1 - Audio Book
In a political war, treason is a capital offense punishable by death. A similar rule applies to the War on Waste. In a recent engagement, one of the CEOs who really understood what the War on Waste was about, stood up on the last day of class and gave a rousing speech to his employees. At the end, he said, “I am the General of our War on Waste. We are at war with our competitors who want to take business from us. There are some of these competitors who want to steal your jobs from you. As we go forward, I want everyone on board my train. It is leaving the station. If you aren’t on it, you are committing treason. And you know what I will do with an employee who commits treason?” I loved it because he really understood what WOW was about. In our story, Mr. Grimes, the CEO, is the General in his company’s War on Waste. He had to deal with Mike Cain who was his Black Knight from the beginning. His behavior in leaving an employee out in the cold was inexcusable and was a rebellious treasonous offense. Now Mr. Grimes is driving the train and everyone is getting on board. Mr. Grimes is doing what we want leaders to do. He is respecting his people as partners in his business; he is giving them a sense of purpose; and he is driving the strategic direction of the company in response to the operational input from the workers. And more important, he is there to witness the profound changes that are taking place in his company.
13 minutes | May 16, 2021
Episode 76 - The War on Waste Initiative - Chapter 17 - Part 4 - Audio Book
A number of different types of initiatives have been sponsored by different CEOs. For instance, Ray Dolby of Dolby Laboratories has a culture that flourishes on the energy created by the company’s fixation on audio sound system perfection. That environment creates its own sources of energy. Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines creates energy initiatives with his Wing Ding flings. He gets employees excited to deliver their services to their customers. The CEOs job is to find that New Energy Initiative. In fact, we believe that this is one of the CEO’s job responsibilities as defined in the Quantum Leap Company. In this chapter, we also see 2 separate discussion sessions between Dr. Elbie and Mr. Grimes on the subject of the War on Waste Paradox. Mr. Grimes is starting to see the presence of the paradox corollaries but he is getting impatient to get to the answer. We’ll make some progress in the next chapter.
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