Rob's latest thoughts and wonderings.

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Lego Serious Play - A Case Study

How do you get a bunch of Electricians interested in strategic conversations?  That was the challenge put to me by an owner of a local electrician business. The business has a good reputation and has been growing from strength to strength. However the owner recognised the need to engage the team around the values of the business. But how do you get a bunch of tradies excited about conversations that will express what they thought were important values?>  These guys are the happiest ...

September 18, 2020

What Would I Do? - Episode Two

Another recent experience occurred recently where it prompted me to think once again, “what would I do?”.   From a customer perception, this situation wasn’t a terrible howler like the first example in this series. This interaction could be one that as a customer, be brushed aside and justified as acceptable actions. However, I think this is a great example of an industry that has seen some massive improvements and changes in the way it delivers its services, yet there is always ...

August 26, 2020

Brick by Brick - Episode Three

Today's episode is another great conversation, this time focusing on the real challenges of a small & medium business in NZ. Damian brings to the table some of the challenges he has running an electrician business based in Hamilton, NZ. During the conversation we explore how the small frustrations such as filling in the timesheets can be managed by looking at the big picture. In this case it is about staff engagement, empowering them to set and manage the standards, expectations and ultimately t...

July 16, 2020

Stuck in 2nd Gear

You know this feeling, pushing hard down on the accelerator while the car is stuck in second gear.  Sure, you can go at full speed, well maybe but only for a short time before the whole engine gives in.  The situation is only sustainable for a short time.  The only solution is to fix the problem - making sure the engine is working properly so it can perform to its maximum potential. Leading an organisation follows the same philosophy.  By just trying to work harder when all t...

June 29, 2020

Brick by Brick Podcast Episode Two

Today's session is a great conversation around what business owners can do to prepare, train and support first time leaders. We explore issues such as communication, organisational culture through trust and even discuss the challenges of learning disabilities that are faced by many staff.  Rae MacDonald is a trainer based at Responsive Trade Education in Hamilton. They are a Private Training Establishment that provides three core programmes to 'Build people's knowledge and skills' within th...

June 8, 2020

What would I do - Episode One

I find reflecting on real experiences can often be the best way to explain Lean Thinking.  Having a perspective on when situations, processes go wrong, can we then better understand what excellence may look like.   Which is why I have introduced the series “What would I do”. Those moments where I was the customer receiving less than optimal service,  I can’t help but wonder how I would help the team or business improve their service if I was invited to work with them. Last w...

June 1, 2020

Five Principles of Lean Leadership

I could really drop the term ‘Lean’ out of the heading, but being a Lean practitioner, I should at least align it to my specialty.  When work feels like it is getting complicated, you are having difficulty working out where to start, these principles are there as a guide to help you get better as a business leader.  Adapt them, add your own thinking to them, but keep true to the philosophies. Lean Leadership Principle 1: Lean is a Journey One thing an business owner that truly unde...

May 20, 2020

So you have set the direction, now what?

If you are like me, you are sitting there, champing at the bit to get on with it.  You have just set your plan, you know what the goals are and you are getting pretty excited about it all.  The clarity is there, now let’s get out there and do it! Stop. It is one thing to have gone through a great planning process and celebrate this.  It always surprises me how many SMEs in NZ don’t have a documented plan - so you are already ahead of much of your competition. You have set the ...

May 13, 2020

Brick by Brick Podcast

This is the pilot episode of Brick by Brick.  In this episode I talk to Craig Oliver, business advisor and owner of Project HQ and O2E Business Academy.  Craig also hosts his own podcast - 'Talking Better Business'.  We cover some of the common challenges small business owners face when running a business and discuss some ideas on how they can over come the issues.  Topics range from business planning, creating your support network as a business owner and other practical issu...

May 7, 2020

Something Old, Something New, Borrowed and Blue

Don’t panic, this isn’t me turning all nostalgic and mushy, this is still a business blog with a real focus. It is, however, a reflection on how I have seen businesses time and time again try to ‘change things up’ whilst using the same processes, approaches to planning, invariably resulting  in achieving the same thing. As Einstein quoted “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  It may be the world's biggest understatement whe...

May 5, 2020

Have you got two plans?

Life is certainly different in a C-19 world. Please note, it’s not going to be post-COVID, because whether or not we like it, this will be life as we know it. At the time of writing this, New Zealand is about to head back into a space where businesses can operate with Level 3 restrictions. Though this approach comes with restrictions and guidelines not too different to Level 4. Coming out of a Level 4 lockdown, I am sure there are 100’s of things an owner, manager, team member wants to do.&n...

April 22, 2020

Productivity for the People

Making productivity real for real people - this is my big hobby horse for 2020 and probably for a few more years after that! Following the impact of COVID-19 it has become more critical for the survival of small, medium businesses (SMEs). Before I start into my rant about this topic, let’s start at with a simple question, well two actuallyWhat is productivity?! What does it have to do with your business? Because, at the end of the day, all of this is pretentious bullshit if SMEs aren’t achie...

April 20, 2020 Posts 1-12 of 12 | Page

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