Manufacture Your Day by LEADING IN TIMES OF CHANGE

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.”

~ Mark Twain

Change has become a constant and it won’t go away. If companies want to be and/or stay globally competitive, they have no other choice but to go through operational improvements.

I meet so many managers, supervisors, team leaders and workers who are frustrated, resistant and fearful when it comes to change.

They have absolutely no idea how to cope with all the changes that come their way. People have to learn to be comfortable while being uncomfortable.

What can change? 

The goal can change, the teams change, the playing field, team roles, materials, strategy, time constraints, the level of challenge, processes, systems, expectations, management, customers, suppliers, and the list goes on and on. 

Would you like to learn how to guide your team during times of change?

Here is my simple analogy when it comes to the image above:

  1. Provide Information: When people learn about any kind of change (personal or professional), they first go through shock and denial. In this stage they have to understand “why” change is happening. Allow them to process their emotions by expressing their fears, frustrations and concerns. Helping them to explore the benefits will definitely help. 
  2. Provide Support: People often get stuck in stage 2 (frustration, depression, resistance) because they don’t get full management support. They have to have the tools in order to succeed. Unfortunately top management is often disconnected from the plant level. Saying things such as “make it happen” or “don’t ask, just get it done”, doesn’t allow them to get to the next level. It is unfortunate but this may evolve into a “Groundhog Day” experience. 
  3. Provide Direction: Where are we going? What’s the vision? How can we work together to make sustainable improvements? It is important to make the distinction between acceptance and commitment. Management often let it go too early, being certain of successful adaption. If people accept change, it doesn’t mean that they are at the commitment stage YET. 
  4. Provide Encouragement: If people admit it or not, everyone needs encouragement to see things through. Pay close attention to effort and progress, and make sure to celebrate small wins along the way. This is key to make change part of your new normal. 

Leaders today have to get a good understanding of what people go through emotionally in order to make change sustainable. 

It is a skill that can be learned. Be mindful and you and your team will thrive on change. 

I believe in happy endings. Do you? 

Manufacture Your Day by SERVING OTHERS

Happy Monday!

Here is to another week and another chance to get in right. 

On this picture you see me writing my daily messages. This is my labour of love for all the hard working people in the manufacturing industry, and I am very grateful for all my regular readers. 

What is it that you do to serve others? 

This is not a question of position, rank or department. 

Do you focus mainly on your everyday tasks, or on the long-term value you add for your organization and the difference you make for the people around you? 

Nothing can be more fulfilling and rewarding. 

Here is some quick tips on how to be a servant leader:

  • Seek out others’ input and ideas
  • Help people who deal with personal challenges in their life
  • Know that having a title comes with the responsibility to develop your team members
  • Think about the long-term consequences of your decisions for the company and the team
  • If someone is kind, pay it forward and be kind to others yourself

Robert L. Stevenson used to say, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”

Now go and plant those seeds.

Manufacture Your Day by REMEMBERING 12 THINGS

I think we can never go wrong with some Friday wisdom.

I have decided to post these 12 things in my office and thought I would share.

Which one do you connect with most?

Which one should you remember most? You know which one speaks to you.

We all know these things but as simple as they may be, at times we seem to forget – especially when we are stressed, frustrated or anxious.

Stress has the ability to bring out a completely different side in us. Some people become aggressive, others shut down. This overwhelmed stage can lead to brain freeze and it can get to the level when we can’t think straight anymore.

No matter how bad it is, tomorrow is another day. 

Save these 12 insights on your phone or on your desktop so that you have something positive to focus on when things get out of control. It can be truly important to spend a few minutes in order to remind yourself what really matters in life – your Happiness, your Health and your Well-Being.

Enjoy your well deserved weekend!

Manufacture Your Day by PUSHING YOURSELF

Every message you receive from me is written from the heart with the sincere hope that it will help you to create positive improvements in your life. 

People who know me closely are able to confirm that I do my very best to practise what I preach. 

Today I would like to encourage you to push yourself more than the people around you. 

Every new communication tool and every technique to improve your thought process will help you to become a better person, a better mom, a better dad, a better employee, a better manager, a better business owner.

From personal experience I know that you have to practise certain disciplines each day that will help you to get further faster. 

Today I would like to share mine: 

  • Get up early – depending on my daily schedule I either get up at 5 am or at 6 am during the week. On the weekend I “sleep in” until 7 am. 🙂 My mom used to say “The early bird gets the worm” and that’s how I have learned to live my life.
  • Exercise – either running, swimming, cycling or the gym; I do my best to get in my workout first thing in the morning. It energizes me and releases stress. 
  • Do what you say – I don’t make promises if I know that I can’t keep them. I like to stay true to my word. 
  • Meditate – I would like to say that I do it daily but I don’t (hopefully one day I will be discipled enough). However, I meditate before each workshop and coaching call. It helps me to release judgment, be mindful and fuelled with positive intention.  
  • Strive to be the best you can be – I have learned so many lessons over the years and every mistakes has helped me to become the person I am today. I think I am very coachable and that’s also why I work with a coach. I think every person who is interested in reaching his/her full potential should work with a coach – coaching helps me to keep my thought process clear and focused and it makes it easier to control my emotions.
  • Passion and Positivity – my passion for the people in the manufacturing industry and life in general helps me to live life to the fullest. Positivity helps to see the opportunity in every problem. 
  • Set goals – I think goals increase your zest for life. I am a continuous goal setter in different areas of my life. 
  • Have fun in whatever you do – smiling and laughter is part of my daily routine. I always make sure to make my clients smile and to create life enhancing experiences for me and for them. 
  • Be grateful for what you have – I write down my thoughts at least once a week. 
  • Strive to be joyful and happy each day – that’s what it is all about. When I am happy I feel every challenge can be handled so much easier. 

This is quite a long list and I haven’t always been so aware of what’s important to me. These are habits of thought and disciples that I have developed over years. 

Now go and ditch that snooze button on your alarm! I believe that you can if you want to.

Are you getting ready to start your daily disciplines? Excuses or Results? The choice is yours. 

Manufacture Your Day by UNDERSTANDING WHY MINDSET MATTERS

One of the things that I have noticed in the corporate world is that everyone seems to be searching for the causes of failure. I have to ask myself why no one seems to be searching for the causes of success. 

“Understanding the cause of failure is important. Understanding the cause of success is far more powerful.”

~ Ed Oakley

Focusing on targets, profits, numbers and facts is the norm in the majority of workplaces and most leaders seem to forget that in order to get the numbers, they have to have their employees on board. 

A while ago a General Manager said, “Karin, we know what has to happen and what needs to change, but what we know and what we do are two very different things. There is simply no sense of urgency and as long as we can drag it out, we will.”

Today I want to ask you:

  • Why don’t we think that the pursuit of perfection is everyone’s job?
  • Why have we settled for mediocrity? 
  • Why are we trying to secure the right answers instead of pursuing the right questions?
  • How do you think the bottom line is impacted when employees are negative, frustrated and stressed? 

Be determined to have the mindset to win, to succeed and to start serving your team. After all, your team is the secret to your success. 

What are you waiting for? 

(excerpt from my book “How Can We Make Manufacturing Sexy?”)

Manufacture Your Day by GETTING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON “5S”

I have created an exercise that is called “5 S for Culture Change”. This simply means that the “5 S”  (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) are applied to people instead of workplace organization. 

This is just one of my creative ways to bring people’s attention to people.

Every time I facilitate a workshop I learn something from the participants. 

Today I would like to thank Milan, Ruban and Jeff because they brought this exercise to a whole new level. They started to think about how to “5S Your Mind”. 

Isn’t this amazing? 

Then they continued on a second flip chart and started the application process with the word “concentrate”. The group explained that you could apply this to any other word that needs more of your attention. 

Let’s take a look at the Standard on the Application Flip Chart. I always suggest to find a positive way of saying this. 

So what could be a different way of saying “I don’t allow distraction”? Maybe “I set guidelines to work in a distraction-free zone “. 

How can you make “distraction-free” a reality? 

  • Visualize the perfect working area for you
  • Brainstorm with co-workers HOW to make this happen, and HOW you can support each other 
  • Let people know in advance if you work on an important project and communicate WIIFT (what’s in it for them)
  • Put up a sign such as “Important Work in Progress”
  • Communicate WHY this is important for you 

This was a 20 minute exercise and it just gets to show how creative people can become. Thanks again to Milan, Ruban and Jeff for being so creative!

“5S Your Mind” could become an awesome way to create a mental strategy. As long as you’re intentional anything is possible.