Book Recommendation – Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits Across the Organization

A book recommendation from Dan Beaulieu:

Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits across the Organization

By Andrew Miller

Copyright 2014 Amacom

Price $27.95

Pages: 246 and Index

What’s the problem with Lean Manufacturing? What’s the problem with Six Sigma? Easy they do not include people. They take into consideration only processes rather than people they are only a small component of Operational Excellence rather than the entire solution.

According to Andrew Miller in his new book, Redefining Operational Excellence: New Strategies for Maximizing Performance and Profits across the Organization, “Operational Excellence is about empowering employees to use judgment on the front lines. But often an organization uses methodologies that preclude having to use judgment. The methodology (Lean or Six Sigma) becomes a crutch.” And to me said methodology creates a “leave your brains at the door” mentally when it comes to people. And this is why I love this book.

Full disclosure I have always been vehemently against any process methodologies that attempt to “lobotomize and “robotize” people. I am a great believer in people and t her amazing things that they can accomplish. I have always believed that Six Sigma, Lean and every other theory of the month ideologies were bad for business so that is why I am in full agreement with Andrew Miller. And if you feel the same way I do then you will too.

When I saw this book come across my desk my first reaction was “Oh, oh here comes the next version the latest ideology of the month,” but once I opened the book I honestly could now put it down. This guy makes sense. This guy has brought the people to the table which is what has always been needed.

Miller had me from the very first paragraph when he writes, “Operational Excellence is the relentless pursuit of doing things better. It is not a destination or a methodology but a mindset that needs to exist across and organization. Operational excellence is not about perfection or performing activities. It is about dramatic improvements and financial growth.”

I believe that the author has it right when he says, “Fix the process then implement the technology.” So many times we want to implement new technology into a flawed process. It just does not work. If the basic structure is not sound then technology will only allow you to make “bad decisions faster” Why don’t people get that?

One of the biggest problems with programs like Lean is that they want to treat everything as though they are the same. They assume that the people are the same and even the customers are the same; which of course they are not.

“Instead of focusing on standardization, organizations need to focus on customization. Every customer is different and requires a different solution. Organizations need to focus on learning more about their customers and on collaborating with them to provide the best solutions.” And to that I say a big Amen and thank you to Andrew Miller.

If you agree with what the author is saying in his book then you need to read it to get the facts and strengthen your arguments against the “Leaners” in your organization. And if you find yourself not agreeing with his theories then you’d better get out there and get this book right now because it’s critical to you, your career and your organization that you see the light, and sooner rather than later.

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