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Simplify For Better Understanding August 22, 2016

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Uncategorized.

Business decisions and strategic plans depend on people for implementation, but leaders and managers are often frustrated and disappointed by what people actually do, which can delay implementation or make strategies less effective.

One of the companies that I worked for did a significant amount of manufacturing at a wholly-owned factory in Shenzhen, China. Quality was a persistent problem from this operation. There were a lot of incidents of missing or incorrectly-assembled parts, and the local production managers were unsuccessful in their efforts to improve the situation. I flew over to have a closer look.

It turned out that all of the assembly work instructions were written in English. I asked the head of the operation why the work instructions weren’t written in Chinese instead of English. He was indignant: “We only hire people who can speak English fluently.” I told him that was fine, and if he wanted to make that requirement I didn’t really care, but I insisted that the work instructions be written in Chinese, or, if he thought it was necessary, in both languages. Shortly after that we starting seeing a significant improvement in quality.

Why make it hard for our teams to understand what we want? If employees seem confused and unfocused it’s possible that they’ve been bombarded with information, sometimes mixed messages that represent competing priorities. Business leaders have a responsibility to communicate clearly, consistently, and simply. My starting point at work is that everyone is trying to do the best work they can. Let’s not make it difficult for them to understand what’s important.




Writing Again, At Last November 1, 2013

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Uncategorized.
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It’s been too long. My only excuse is that I’ve been very busy, and now I’m not as busy. I’ve been taking notes along the way, topics for future posts based on my recent work leading a quality team at a mid-sized firm. And, I’ve learned some lessons that I don’t want to forget. More to come.

LinkedIn Usage June 10, 2009

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Uncategorized.
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I’m curious to know how often people check their LinkedIn account. See my poll at  http://polls.linkedin.com/p/42111/ucnjo

Work-In-Progress May 11, 2009

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Uncategorized.
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Yes, I’m now a blogger. I’m not crazy about the title, but this is a work-in-progress and you have to start somewhere. I already know that my biggest critic/editor is the one that sits between my brain and my fingers on the keyboard, so I’m just going to dive in.

Topics? I’ve learned a lot over the years about management, leadership, and strategic thinking. I’ve gotten some very positive feedback on those topics, so I’ll start there. I’m sure other things will creep into the posts from time to time.

Why? I’m work-in-progress, just like this blog, and I’m always looking for good dialogue on my favorite subjects.

Stay tuned. To be continued.

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