How a Human Resources Director used Rapid Action - an innovative small team improvement process with a unique action learning toolkit - to solve company problems and develop new leaders.
The North America Group of this global supplier of wood-based paper and related products is no stranger to continuous improvement, with a well-established Lean Six Sigma Deployment in place across its mill operations from Maine to Minnesota. However, Carol Parks, Sappi Master Black Belt, sold her leadership team on the value of Rapid Action based on a commonsense principle in Lean Six Sigma organizations: “Don’t use a sledgehammer when a rubber mallet will do the job.”
According to Carol, the opportunity to introduce Rapid Action was the result of recognizing that this data dependent and long-cycle (six to eight months) project approach is best deployed on problems where root causes are unknown. For problems where the causes are known, a faster, less-training and expert-dependent method accelerates results and increases employee engagement.
Sappi launched Rapid Action with a three-day workshop for a group of nine Black and Green Belts. It will be put to work in the months ahead with teams focusing on plant-specific projects, such as optimizing line mud, developing a roll tracking system, reducing run-together losses and optimizing dioxide titanium.
Can your continuous improvement initiative use an immediate boost in results with an investment that pays for itself within 60 days of deployment? Check out the Rapid Action value proposition for Lean Six Sigma and related continuous improvement deployments.
Located on more than a square mile of waterfront on Tampa Bay, Gulf Marine Repair and its team of experienced ship repair workers scramble every day to meet the company’s 50-year commitment to excellence. The problem: Having to work harder and harder to just maintain the same level of results.
An added challenge was how to deploy Lean methods when traditional classroom training and a full-time Lean Deployment staff are not available. Responding to the call from its new CEO to support a new strategy for growing the business, Leap engaged a team of Gulf Marine frontline leaders and employees in a Lean Jumpstart Event. Facilitated over three days, the Jumpstart Event was employed to uncover waste and create a Lean Operation Vision and Roadmap for the shipyard. This hands-on workshop, supplemented with site observations, produced short-term (60 days) and longer-term (two to three years) Shipyard Optimization Plans. The day following the workshop, six Rapid Action teams were launched and began executing the 60-day improvement plan. Projects included implementation of Lean 5S discipline and smooth flow of materials across the shipyard.
Implementing Lean and developing a Lean culture can be done with surprising speed and on a very affordable budget that quickly pays for itself in better results. Contact us to discuss how we can help your organization deploy Lean with minimum hassle and maximum results using our Team Engagement Toolkits.
A recent survey by Korn Ferry Institute (with responses from more than 7500 executives across industries) indicated a strong level of dissatisfaction with leadership development initiatives. More than half of the executives surveyed rank their leadership development ROI as "fair" to "very poor" and they would throw out and rework half of their current leadership development approach, if they could. Korn Ferry recommends that organizations increase their efforts to make leadership development experiences more context-based (dealing with real-time problems), more engagement-oriented (versus online), and more customized to the organization.
Our experience suggests a big part of the problem is simply a lack of connection. Human Resources functions (tasked with developing formal leadership development programs), Continuous Improvement staff (tasked with deploying Lean, Six Sigma and other methods to improve performance) and Operating Executives (responsible for bottom line results) too often execute their missions in isolation, which wastes resources, confuses frontline and emerging leaders, and produces sub-optimal results.
We have found Rapid Action is a perfect vehicle for bringing these three critical stakeholder groups together to create leadership development experiences that serve multiple objectives, while producing an immediate ROI. Using Rapid Action as the platform for a context-based, real-time leadership development experience brings together Operations to identify opportunities for accelerating strategic goals; Continuous Improvement to consult on project scoping, additional tools integration and results measurement; and Human Resources to manage recruiting, training, coaching, and career mapping for participants.
A growing number of Leap clients are deploying Rapid Action as an action-learning component of their leadership development programs. Read more about Rapid Action as the ultimate "pay for itself" leadership development experience.
Download this case study describing an innovative application of Leap Team Engagement Toolkits to quickly engage the workforce of a national distribution company in a profit-improvement turnaround.