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Lean Thinking and its importance in a our current world situation

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

JT Badiani shares how Lean Six Sigma can help you manage your business and help it save money and drive growth 

Welcome and thank you for tuning into the John and learning and development podcast. We invite guests to share their knowledge, wisdom and truth for our listeners to learn. It's with this that we want to ignite then inspire to continue growing and developing with positive intent. Enjoy. Hello and welcome to this week's podcast. My name is Puny John Sary. I am a father, husband and son, and I'm also a speaker, facilitator and coach. I'm super happy this week to have jat as our guest. Jayt is, I guess, dialing in all the way over from Canada, so I think he's our guest. That is the furthest away from us, but he's very, very close to us and I'm soon blited to have him one because he is going to be talking to us today about something that's really important, and it's really important based on the current situation we're going around, and he's going to be talking about lean thinking, which is something that I think is really important because it talks about I'm not going to claim my own lots about it, but I will by the end of this podcast, but it's about efficiency, it's about eliminating waste. I'm going to invite jt to introduce himself in a moment. But JAT is definitely focused on helping companies in sorts, all sorts of ways. But, as you know, I'm a keen fan of the magic number of three. So there's three things that Jay z helps companies with. One is help them to achieve their goals, the second is to help them to succeed and the third one is to certainly tap into an organization's growth mindset. And, as you know, we're always growing and always learning. Anyway, enough for me, jat. Thank you so much for joining and welcome to the podcast. I'm going to hand over to you so you can just do a quick intro so the listeners can understand who's in the room. Over to...

...you, JC. I'll thank you for it. Thank you for having me. And yes, all the way from Canada I lived. We lived just outside of Toronto in a small town called Oldville, Ontario. Like you, I'm passionate about family, so I'm a father, a son and also I have a couple of kids. What is interesting is I'm a chemical engineer. I worked in industry for about twenty years and roughly about seventy years ago I fell into consulting. It was not something that I was planning to do, but I fell into it. So what I try to do in is bring that mindset of execution, mindset of delivering goals aggressively and working with a company as a partner and a trusted advisor. And so if you look at the last, you know, several years of work that I've done, that's exactly where I've tried to focus and try to achieve that growth, you know, for those companies. And just getting back to something you said about passionate, I'm also a very passionate car enthusiast, and maybe this is something we can talk about leader, but in another podcast. But you know, I love cars and we've been working on a one thousand nine hundred and sixty six Ford Mustang. So I can tell you the story of, you know, breaking my finger and, you know, scraping my hand all over all the rusted parts and all the pain that we went through to get the car up and going. So we can talk about that another day. Jac You're not going to have to twist my arm too much about talking about that another day, because I think that would be absolutely delight delightful to to invite you back on to talk about I've seen some of the pictures on social media and I thought they looked absolutely fantastic. So, without shadowed doubt, let's definitely invite you on in the future to talk about that magnificent machine, which is a one thousand nine hundred and sixty six Ford Mustang. So, Jat, let's get...

...into what we're here to talk about today. So, as I've said, we're going to be talking about lean thinking or lean six sigma, and you know, in the past, Jat, I've associated belts with certain martial arts. So you know, whether it's a yellow belt or a green belt or a black belt, I've always associated with martial arts. But I also want to know that some of these belts are associated to what you do. So I think it would be really, really useful right from the get go, Jat, to understand what is lean six sigma all about. Okay, so you are right. You know there's belts associated with lean six sigma. They have paralleled the acronyms or the words associated with martial arts. But let's start from you know, the foundation right, and lean six sigma the way, the way I was taught in one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine by a bunch of master black belts from GE was. It's a combination of using tools from the lean methodology and tools from the six sigma methodology and combined. Depending on what type of project you're working on, you pick the right tool kit to execute. And it's not it's lean is better than six sigma. It's focusing on waste reduction, focusing on variation reduction and then combining those two skill sets to drive improvements associated with a target that the company has set up or a major initiative. And so as a master black belt, my job is to get folks to a certain level. So, like you said, a yellow belt, which is roughly three days of training and working at process improvement part time, a green belt gets between five to ten days of training and working again part time to drive improvements and a black belt typically gets about three...

...weeks of training and drives about a million dollars worth of savings annually or more, depending on the size of the organization. And folks like myself go in and and know the tools, know a ton of statistics and using data to drive a cultural change within a company or major initiative. So if I step back and look at sort of the the major programs I've led, they've all been companywide. They've been focused on driving, you know, cost, quality, quality or delivery, and also changing the behaviors of the folks, and that's what leans six sigma to me. It means to me, and it's three words that really pulled out for me towards the end and that was cost and quality, and the last one just completely escaped group. Did deliver. Yes, I cost, quality and delivery. so that's absolutely fantastic. That give me a better idea about what leans six sigma is. We evil work in a variety of different industries and I guess in my head, rightly or wrongly, I think I've probably come across efficiencies and lane more in the sort of motor industry and obviously you mentioned your Mustang earlier on. But my question is, what industries does lean six sigma apply to? So lean six egment goes across pretty much every industry. So over the past several years I've worked at, you know, the municipal government, I've done provincial governments, worked in pulp and paper, automotive farm you know, I've touched engineering companies. You know various types of food industries. So it crosses a number of sectors. It touches pretty much every sector. You know, if you, if...

...you get a chance, you know, you can even go to a great site that's in Washington state which talks about how you know the state of Washington has used a lean the last fifteen, twenty years to make improvements within the government. You know, I've seen you know, American Express, Walmart, Ge, you know, honey, well, allied signal, now, you name it, all these major companies have used it. What's really interesting is, and now I'm seeing, you know, the smaller companies, the medium size companies, starting to adapt the lean, suc sigma thinking and using it in their businesses. And what what I try to do is I don't I don't try to go in there and say here's, you know, the full spectrum of tools. You got to use every single one of them. I try to coach them and guide them into what is adding value for their company. If the if tool one doesn't work, let's try tool too. But you know, it's not to say you need to know every tool. Is just what is the right tool to use for that company. And that sort of what I try to bring is a grounded approach to applying lean six sigma. HMM and and I'm what I'm also hearing, though. It's got to be the right fit for the for the organization as well, which is as obvious as it sounds. I think that's the best way, you know, to have this tailored approach. That's something that's relevant to that particular organization, to that particular industry. So, JT, I will not claim to be, you know, knowledge around this area, but I'm going to make an assumption and please tell me if my assumption is wrong. I'd imagine there are other efficiency models and tools available. So my next question she is you know what is so great about the lean philosophy itself? So I'd look at it as it's a way of approaching not only your business but how you work with your employees. And Lean thinking says, you know, you have to be...

...humble, you have to be, you know, focused on the employee, you have to be focused on health and safety as paramount right. And then it's the process thinking. It's using logic to approach a problem, solving problem and getting employees engaged. It's getting, you know, middle and top management out of their offices and going to where the problem is. So go to Gemba. It's getting everybody to think consciously about how can I make the improvement today that will you help us tomorrow? And often when I go into companies, what I'll say to them is if every employee gets engaged and makes one improvement today, whether it be small or big, doesn't matter. Just think in a year's time how many improvements will get implemented. And if you have a company of fifty people, in two hundred days you'll get a thousand improvements made. And that's what I like to encourage, is getting people excited about making change. Now, there's going to be folks that are not going to make change. You know that's that's fine, but let's work with the ones that are really engaged and get them actively, to get them energized and get them thinking about why we need to make this place where we work that much better. So, getting back to your question, it's lean thinking, it's getting employees engaged, focusing on the right goals and getting them activated and charged up. So it's taking their whole cycle and it's managing people the right way, giving them data, giving them focus on what to look at. I go to a company, I've been helping them for the past six years and what they do is they have a morning meeting and, and here's a great example of of that concept, is they have a stand up meeting every morning for about ten fifteen minutes. At the end of that meeting they ask every employee that's in that meeting how is their day yesterday? So it's a thumbs up or thumbs down, and what are they going to focus on today?...

As simple as that. All right, and if it's the thumbs up, why was it a thumbs up? Again, it's a one or two sentences. And if it's thumbs down, why was it comes down and as as the facilitator the meeting, which rotates throughout the group, they ask hey, how can we help you? Right, if it was a thumbs down day, what can we do to help you? And I look at that and I was standing there and I went wow, this is a really cool simple concept of getting employees and gays and helping others that are struggling or that are excited, to help right and get them motivated to go further. So it's a really good simple concept that they do every day and and like I said, I'm you know, I would never claim to know lots about it, but I'm learning about this even as you're talking. And you know, I guess for me in my head right there, wrongly, before you said what you've just said, this was lean six sigma. In my head was more of a process thing, more of a quite a clunky technical thing. But I've just I've just loved the way that you've some of the words you've used. Use, you know, about people being more conscious, people being engaged. This example you just gave around, you know, people talking around the table with this thumbs up, thumbs down and what can we do? You know, all that stuff is is completely, you know, in my realm of people and working with people. So that's delightful to hear. That's absolutely fantastic. You may have already alluded to this, but I really want to dive into a bit more about what it does for companies. JAT, so jat, how does lean six sigma actually help companies? So the way, the way lean six sigma works as a provides a structure. So I look at this as if you were a soccer team or football team, you know, speaking in European terms, if you're a football team, you need to...

...have a system of which you play your game. How you going to go on the attack? Are you going to play defense? How you in a structure your team? What are the roles that each player or position has? And as a coach, what are you going to do and not do right? And so teams that do really well and execute and win every year are ones that have a great system. And so what lean six sigma does is it helps companies develop that system. And Lean thinking, excuse me, has evolved into this more newer concept which is probably about five to ten years old, called lean management systems. And so it takes the philosophy of lean develops a structure of how you execute, how you drive accountability, how you focus on problems and how you solve those problems using process thinking. And so it provides a playbook that you can use. Now, I'm not saying that you use this playbook at you know, it's a rigid playbook. No, it's a way to think, it's a way to act as a leadership team and and also everybody on the shop floor or you know, and at the lower levels of the organization are all leaders. So how do you get them to behave a certain way. How do you get them to act and how do you how do you get them to focus on the right things? And that's what what lean thinking and lean management systems do for you. And you mention another that l word, and that was, you know, everyone being a leader. And again, that completely resonates with with my thinking and I think it's really important that we all embrace this concept that absolutely we are all leaders and we can all do things differently. So, Jat, I'm sure that eliminating waste, doing things more efficiently, engaging employees, I think it's fairly obvious to say that's always, always, always, important, no matter you...

...know, no matter where about you are in life. But we are going through special and interesting circumstances right now in the world. So, JAC in your opinion, why is lead six sigma important right now? So a couple of couple of reasons. Number One, if we look at where we are in the world, there's a ton of uncertainty right and you know my whenever I've entered companies that required turnaround, I try to bring some level of structured, sorry, certainty through driving a structure, so driving processes. So you want to take people that are worried about the outside world and when they come into work it's a safe place. So what are you going to execute every day? How you going to get things done? What do you have to do and take take that uncertainty and create certainty? That's number one and also a lot of companies are struggling. What the companies are wondering what's going to happen six weeks, six months, you know, down the road. And what lean six sigma does is it focuses people on where the waste is. How do you get things done so that these barriers that prevent flow of product or information or service out the door happen much more faster? Now is the time to execute well, and once you can execute well, you can meet your market or take over the market and meet your competitors, and lean helps you do that. Lean focuses on what's important and attack the problem and knock it dead, but controls in place so it doesn't come back. And so you know if you're if you're a company that is you know, did really well, covid hit you and now your sales are down or your ebudos down or your financials are not trending in the right direction. This is the right thing to use to get things moving right and again I love this fact that...

...you said it's focusing on the important things and often, you know, organizations can those lots of good things, but it's not always to the important thing. So that's great. Jat where there or they're about in times of time, there will be people, our listeners that want to find out more. I want to discover deeper information, and I'm hoping that they'll do that via you. So if people want to find out more, how how can they get in touch with jt okay, so a few few ways. Number One, you can contact me on Linkedin. So if you, if you Google my name where, search my name up on Linkedin, you can find me. So it's j batty any on Linkedin. We have a website, so focus improvement dot sea. We also have a facebook page which we just launched. So if you've if you if you search up focus improvement consulting, you'll find us there. So you know three different ways that you can get in touch with me and you know, I'm gladly have a short discussion with your email transaction so that we can share concepts and ideas. That's great. Jat, we are at a time. But I do have one last question for you. If we think about the world right now, there's lots of stuff in it and there's lots of things that that are in abundance, but if we flip the coin, there are also things that we need more of. So my last question is a bit more broader and a bit more general. But in your opinion, Jayt, what does the world need more of right now? I think if you it's funny you ask. We I had the conversation with the client on Thursday this past week and we were talking about what what is happening today, and I think we need to sort of take the information that we're seeing and really ask ourselves, is this real or not right, and find out the true facts. With so much misinformation out there,...

...it creates that anxiety and and propels people to be a you know, in a different way. I think we need to start looking at what we're seeing and really ask is this real, and, you know, do some do some basic research. Not Everything is the truth and, you know, let's look beyond that. What I what a wonderful way to finish up. I think to be a bit more conscious and to look a bit more deeper at the information that's out there. Jat, I want to thank you so much. I know that you have recorded this fairly early hour over where you are, so thank you so much for joining us and being a guest on the podcast. So thank you, jat. I want to thank our listeners for tuning in again for this week's podcast, and I also want to thank you for tuning in in the future and for subscribing as well. Until we speak again to our next guest on the PODCAST, stay say folks, goodbye. Once again, thank you for tuning in, listening and learning. We invite you to subscribe and share. Until next time,.

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