All posts by James Connor

James J. Connor is a transformative, CEO-level global business executive with over 40 years of experience leading and advising companies through strategic transactions, operational transformations, and turnaround situations. He has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer or President of industrial, primarily public companies for a combined 14 years and draws upon his diverse experience to craft meaningful and practical strategies for complex business situations. Connor presently serves as Managing Director of Alderney Advisors. - See more at: http://businessthinker.com/#sthash.a49Il9rw.dpuf

Another View of Culture

TECUMSEH PRODUCTS COMPANY CONNORJim Connor: is a former CEO of several public companies, and served at C – level positions in Fortune 500 organizations. He is viewed as a change agent and a common sense executive that feels as comfortable on the plant floor as in the board room. See Author at end of this article.
It seems apropos that Merriman-Webster named “Culture” the Word of the Year” in 2014. They concluded that there had been more interest in the word, either through look ups, internet searches, speeches, published articles, etc., than any other word. In C1our more limited field of business and organizational behavior, certainly nothing could be more true. The word probably has led the popularity list for years in the business world, although the definition has tweaked a bit over time. There’s reason for this. A company’s culture is the heartbeat of the organization. It is the way things get done, it is the culmination of ideas, it is the process through which they are generated, the creativity that is exercised, the methodology deployed providing these ideas to the leadership team and the way they eventually get implemented. There are almost as many books written on culture (organizational behavior, processes, whatever you want to call it) as there are on strategy. And that is not a small number! We could easily argue that a company’s culture is the most important factor that should be considered as organizations strive to be a successful company.

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Where Did We Fail in the LEAN Manufacturing Transformation? LEAN to LEAN.2 and How to Get There


TECUMSEH PRODUCTS COMPANY CONNOR
James J. Connor is a transformative, CEO-level global business executive with over 40 years of experience leading and advising companies through strategic transactions, operational transformations, and turnaround situations. He has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer or President of industrial, primarily public companies for a combined 14 years and draws upon his diverse experience to craft meaningful and practical strategies for complex business situations. Connor presently serves as Managing Director of Alderney Advisors.

“I’ll tell him I need it in a week on my desk! We’ll make sure we’re lean! We’re the best after all, our Ops guys will get this done.”
If you truly feel this way, then sadly, you’re not LEAN. You’re part of the problem. Volumes of papers, books, trade articles have been written on the positive effects of LEAN. Ever since ”LEAN Transformation” by James Womack in 1990 , and “The Toyota Way” by Jeffrey Liker in 2001 there has been a clamoring toward that illusive “LEAN” approach as U.S. companies embraced the philosophy.

After all, why not? The statistics show LEAN processes bring dramatic improvement in costs, productivity, lower scrap and in virtually all important metrics. Information boards went up on plant floors, employees were informed on all kinds of statistics, the steady and sometimes incredible accomplishments of LEAN were broadcast. Awards were given for “The Best LEAN Company.” At Alderney Advisors we were among those early proponents of LEAN. Educating ourselves with our Sensei at NUMMI, the epitome of LEAN at the time, we reviewed systems in Toyota plants, Honda plants throughout the world and specifically in the US. We watched assembly line changes from right- to left-hand drive vehicles in less than one hour. It was mind boggling when it was taking us 6 hours to change a complex stamping die. These Japanese guys really got it. Right? They cleaned our clock in the auto industry. Early skepticism turned to embrace.

Continue reading Where Did We Fail in the LEAN Manufacturing Transformation? LEAN to LEAN.2 and How to Get There