Volume 1 / Issue 13 / September 12, 2016
Worthy tips for improvement
Those preparing for the largest North American Lean conference in Dallas October 24-28th – should be preparing right now. This practitioner-to-practitioner hands-on conference is recommended for any company facing lean transformation challenges... If you have a problem, check it out!
How to extract more solid value from any conference this fall.
Begin before you go!
• Begin with the right mind-set!
• Is there a clear vision you can defend – along with a clear purpose in mind?
• Can you state the precise outcomes you want?
If you can say yes to all three – here’s how to get the most Value for you and your company:
• Brainstorm what you want to know
it keeps you in control (Look at the event as a gold mine of knowledge, with great relationships to be mined).
• Get excited or don't go!
And don't approve anyone else going, either, who is not excited.
• Quick self-test:
Can you write down the benefits to your customer you'll achieve in measurable terms?
• Does the “end" you have in mind align with the vision of who is paying the bill? What's the win-win? For whom?
• Go with a team:
we learn more by exchanging & testing views with folks who also have a clear vision.
• Establish simple measures, such as:
specific data gathered, numbers of people talked to, names & phone numbers of contacts gathered, etc. All help confirm benefit in tangible terms - the more tangible the better, to be established before the team goes.
• File a flight plan:
Have each person complete his/her schedule and then check out the overlaps and the missing areas. Plan to meet as a group at the conclusion of each day to discuss and reinforce the day's learning.
• File a landing date: Before you go,
commit to a date for a presentation that you will make upon return to share what you learned with those who couldn’t go. Teaching is the highest form of learning as it requires that you develop a deeper level of understanding. Conference delegates will attend with the mind-set of absorbing enough knowledge to share back at the plant rather than just being intellectually stimulated for a few days.
On site - make every move counts... keep looking at how others think...
• Do a quick “Reccy”:
Do a fast walk-about early to put it all in perspective. Don't talk to folks until your strategy is in place and you have the big picture - then go for it!
• Schedule regular team briefings during the conference. These exchanges will detect the holes in your thinking so you can re-gather what you missed before you leave
• Keep control of your conversations
by focusing on the solutions you want - not on the “wow” stuff that will distract you
• Bring sales folks and advocates down to earth:
Ask, "If I bought this, could I make the payment of my PO conditional upon your solving my problem fully?" Watch the increased desire to listen to your needs.
• Go with your instincts:
If something arouses your interest, be sure to gather data on it
• Keeping a “learning” journal is a proven way of learning.
Use it every day. Afterward - consolidate and leverage the gains!
• Take leadership:
Upon return, take the initiative to make that presentation to your peers about what you learned and saw. Learn from their questions
• Summarize what you learned:
Use a 'Learning Journal' - or any journal - to capture ideas and express your own thoughts as you add to your growing event file and networking (knowledge supply chain) list
• Strengthen your knowledge supply chain:
When you return, make quick calls to all of the folks you met who have knowledge you may need. Let them know you appreciated meeting them. Remember, what you are really doing is ensuring that they will remember you when you call later with a real problem or for some specific information.
• Put your new-found knowledge to work quickly:
Let “use-it-or-lose-it” be your guideline. By making this lean learning... others will be influenced by your leadership and will do the same