Distance, Flatten, Pivot, Advance

Published on: June 19, 2020
By: Murray Sittsamer

If you haven’t done anything different and learned something new over the past three months, you’re living under a rock. From COVID-19 to the tragic death of George Floyd, our daily lives, businesses and ethos have been impacted. Have you pivoted? Are you advancing?

A Time for Forced Change, and Time for Reflection

I’ve learned a lot. From the simple — like stopping my home desk chair mat from sliding on the carpet and how to disinfect groceries, to more challenging — like how to run a workshop giving breakout groups a virtual whiteboard for collaboration and process mapping. In the past few months I’ve advanced from being a Zoom and Teams novice to being quite proficient with breakout groups and holding participants’ attention in live-virtual training events.

I’ve also learned more about epidemiology, racism, and listening to other’s points of view and experiences.

Pivot and Re-Open

After initial cancellations due to the coronavirus, I’m very appreciative that The Luminous Group is coming back-to-work stronger. We’re planning for a very good year.

We used some of our downtime to revise our Project Planning training and we completed development of an updated Process Improvement workshop (because not everything is a Six Sigma project!).  This training includes tools to understand customers’ needs and core concepts to apply Lean thinking and innovation. We’ve dusted off and updated our Process Mapping training workshop to help client teams accelerate process improvement in an era of COVID-19.

We’re Helping Clients Advance

We’re seeing a resurgence in organizations wanting us to help them inspire process excellence. In the past few weeks we have helped clients re-think how to conduct judicial court hearings with heath screening and social distancing, we’re helping a manufacturing company reduce die changeover time for a stamping press, and consulting with another client to minimize delays in their order-to-cash process.

Other projects that clients have asked us to facilitate in the past two months include:

  • Redesigning a new product development process to reduce risk, clarify responsibilities, reduce searching for documents and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Implementing Layered Process Audits (LPA) to verify that defined processes are followed to ensure safety and quality.
  • Internal Audits for ISO 14001, Regulatory Environmental Compliance, and IATF 16949.
  • Training to improve managers’ skills for coaching their employees to improve performance.
  • Training for skills in stress management and personal productivity.

Since mid-March, we’ve put more energy into our partnerships with the American Society of Employers (ASE), Michigan Manufacturer Association (MMA), and Schoolcraft College’s Small Business Center, to bring their member companies resources and checklists to help them pivot, reopen and advance.

Where Will You Advance?

Process is more than machines and procedures. My team and I believe you can ‘manage’ process and ‘react’ to problems; but for a company to excel, employees must be ‘led’ by supervisors, managers and leaders who build trust and engage the workforce.

Consider what you’ve learned the past few months and how you will pivot and advance. There are new challenges — and I believe a lot of new opportunity — for work teams to do things more efficiently and effectively.