Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 41 To our clients and friends May 24, 2005
When You See Opportunities for Improvement, Speak Up
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Small changes can make a big difference.

Don, a fork lift driver for a wood products company in southern Oregon, told Session 7B of the Leadership Development Lab:

“At a recent crew meeting, two or three people said that I speak too loudly on our new two-way radios. I make it a practice to speak loudly because of the high level of noise in the plant. I want to make sure the saw operator on the other end can clearly hear me. My job puts me in the middle of many schedule changeovers that need to be checked and verified. If there is poor communication, we lose time and have to do the costly rework of physically moving materials from one storage place to another, sometimes more than twice. Having to move stacks more than one time costs labor dollars and is frustrating to us all. Of course, the more often we move product, the greater the risk of it being damaged. If we put inventory in the wrong place, there is more risk of accidents and injuries when we have to climb back and forth over piles. Using the radios for better communication between the saw operator and the forklift operator makes the job easier, faster, safer, and more efficient. The radios works well, keeps me better informed and helps me make improvements in my job performance. The radios, though sometimes loud, are a small change but a big improvement to productivity and safety.

The lesson I learned from this experience is that one small change can help to make two jobs easier and more efficient. Working together makes our team more effective there

are some who want to improve with teamwork and others who don’t seem to care. A new innovation may be threatening and there is a natural resistance to change. I would encourage a policy of any new hire having to complete the Turbo training before they come on the floor. If they can shed their insecurity, they will be less resistant to change, embrace and champion innovation, and become a better team player.

The action I call you to take is look for and accept every idea for improvement you can find or learn about. Be an advocate for change and improvement even if it is the smallest thing.

The benefit you will gain when you make continual small improvements with team buy-in is total teamwork. You will increase trust, relieve stress and control tempers. Teamwork helps everyone, makes every worker important, and opens the mind to be accepting of new ideas.

The ultimate benefit is improved safety and increased productivity that insures your enterprise’s success in this increasingly competitive business climate.”

If you or anyone you know is a motorcycle enthusiast, they will love the excerpts from Larry’s newest book, Motorcycle Meditations – A Vision Quest to Alaska, which can be found in the June, July and August issues of Twin Magazine. The June issue goes on sale at newsstands May 10th. Pick it up, read it and share it with your friends!