I don’t travel on airplanes often. For me this is a good thing. The airport routines of parking, security checkpoints, boarding, and rental cars typically leave me feeling like herded cattle. For the most part, all the players involved in each of these steps do a good job moving masses of people onto the next station. But this past week I was reminded about one of the peculiarities of air travel that makes me ask wonder why doesn’t someone change this. The airplane boarding process My experience: About 20 minutes prior to the first call passengers start forming a mass of people near the gate to board the plane. First call is for those needing extra assistance or time to board. Second call is for families traveling with small children. Third call is for the premium cabin ticketed passengers. Fourth call is for priority status members. Fifth call and subsequent
In 2015, I started on a lean production system journey. My aim is to improve my personal level of leadership by learning to focus on reducing waste activities and increasing customer value-add activities. One concept in lean philosophy is leader standard work. It’s not easy to set a baseline for metrics and desirable activities without first having a play card for leaders to follow. Without a play card, the actions of a leader will be random and more subject to putting out the fires that pop-up each day. I documented my first draft of leader standard work by first writing down all of the recurring activities that I already do. Then I examined each activity to see how they aligned to lean principles and noted what visual controls I have to measure and control each activity. If my activity didn’t align to a lean principle then I eliminated it.
Labor Day is a tribute to the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The US Congress designated the first Monday in September as a holiday in June of 1894. On this Labor Day, after completing a do-it-yourself home fix-up project, I reflected on my day-off from work. A look behind me. I appreciate past relationships with co-workers and managers because the experiences with them shaped and molded my professional career. When I think about my past teams, I am reminded about interactions, coachable moments, managerial decisions, and putting laborers in the right job to contribute to team results. I appreciate my first manager who hired me after college graduation. He gave me a chance. He extended trust and let me establish a work routine. I appreciate the manager that removed me from an assignment when I was failing and repositioned me to
Last week I started a two-post blog about examples of marketing communication letters to customers. I chose two examples that show when a marketing group is out-of-synch with the operations group of an organization. The letters are good case studies about syncing instructions, or the call-to-action, to a customer to provide a better customer experience. Last week was the Takata Airbag recall. This week is about a letter I received from Ackerman Security Systems. Quick background. I use Ackerman Security for my home security and monitoring system. I’ve been a customer for over six years and thankfully I’ve never had to use them in a real emergency. Several years ago, when we removed our home phone land-line, I switched to their wireless monitoring service. Fast forward a few years. One night our security panel made a noise we had never heard. It wasn’t an alarm signal, but it wasn’t normal.
In my next two blog posts, I’m taking a couple of businesses that I buy from to task. I received a letter in the mail from each business that did not properly describe what I should do as a consumer of the product/service. The letters are good case studies for marketing communication groups about syncing the instructions, or call-to-action, of a message with the operations of the business. This week is about a letter I received from the American Honda Motor Company. I will preface my Honda letter experience by saying that I’ve purchased multiple Honda vehicles in my lifetime. I am a repeat customer for Honda with no plans to change. In March of this year I received a letter about the Takata airbag recall. The letter has many strong points: “Important Safety Recall” is in an enlarged point size that is all caps and red. – That caught