Art Koch's - Unlock the Art of Change™ - We're Not Building a Rocket Ship

We’ve all been there. The dreaded mandatory problem solving session.

The facilitator say’s we going to solve XYZ opportunity. There is a “brainstorming” mind dump of the issues, an excel file with filters and pivots, and to cap the meeting off, someone has a data visualization software they are eager to use. And before you know it you’re trying to Boil the Ocean or Solve World Hunger. Everyone forgets why we’re there in the first place…

This scenario occurs too often. Why? Because we like to think are problems are unique, difficult and we’re afraid someone will ask? If it was so easy why hasn’t it been fixed?

How can you avoid these pit falls?

  • Do the brainstorming and collect data.

  • Start with a manageable subset of tasks.

  • Keep it simple.

  • Set stretch yet, achieved goals.

Build knowledge and momentum.

  • Again, keep things simple. Remember, Rockets in their basic form are extremely simple.

  • Use incremental improvements

  • To build step functional innovation.

Lastly, remember; You’re usually Not Building a Rocket Ship!


Art Koch's Profit Chain™ - The Dream Team

Currently I’m working with a client to implement the Demand Planning, Inventory Optimization and Replenishment Planning solution, SO99+ from ToolsGroup.

After several months of hard work by the core team we successfully completed a significant milestone; Conference Room Pilot-CRP. I could not be prouder of a group of people

Looking back we could have not reached this point with out team work. But what’s team work? With this team I found three key elements they managed through.

  1. They respect one another. They might not alway agree with one another. However, they listened, tired to not make each other wrong and delivered joint solutions

  2. Worked to each others strengths and weaknesses.

  3. Individual Leadership. Several individuals stepped up to lead without being asked.

This past week someone started calling them, The Dream Team.

The Dream Team

The Dream Team

When I take a look at the core team we had members from by clients IT and Supply Chain Management and the solution providers implementation and IT teams. Additionally, team members are from eight different countries and four continents. Just think about this diversity!

It didn’t start perfect and it took several months for The Dream Team to “jell”. During early meetings people sat as departments, (the silo effect), and there was almost a “us” vs. “them” atmosphere.

Challenge was to make sure all team members felt included, without making a big deal of diversity.

At the first opportunity we arranged a team building activity, group dinner and the Chicago Lockout. At dinner and walking to the Lockout Rooms, individuals stayed with their respected departments. However, once at the lockout rooms, we made certain they were split into diverse groups. Afterward, people literally were walking arm and arm in diverse group. Success, we have the making of a team!

Team Building Events held in conjunction with significant milestones.

  • Lockout Room - required team problem solving

  • Bowling Night - required laughter and encouragement

  • Dinner and open bar celebration - required to mix and just enjoy the fellow team members.

As subtle as this is, it’s about being certain the environment is safe for team members to feel included and non threatening. Once the stage is set, they will deliver unexpected positive results.

If you let them they will become; The Solution!