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Mike
(“The Professional Provoker”) is the Founder and President of Empowered Performance, LLC a worldwide management education and consulting firm. Michael has extensive international experience working with companies of varied sizes and industries helping them implement strategies to attain World-Class levels of performance. Michael has developed expertise in “Enterprise Excellence”, Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management (ERP/SCM), Lean (Toyota Production System), Team Building and Problem Solving, Six Sigma and Reengineering Business Processes. He is considered an expert in helping companies develop and implement Strategic Business Units and fast response customer service production units.

The Gemba Walk

by mstickler on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:16 AM
The Gemba is where the true value-adding activities to satisfy or serve the customer are performed. Gemba is a Japanese term meaning “actual place”, the place where truth is found. The ‘Gemba Walk’ is an activity that takes leadership to the front lines to look for waste and opportunities.

There are typically three types of Gemba walks...

Lean
Operational Excellence
Leadership
Gemba

Selling Top Management on Business Process Improvement, Creating a Sense of Urgency!

by mstickler on Thursday, July 31, 2014 8:19 AM

Time has shown that there is one key ingredient common to all successful Business Process Improvement efforts: they are led from the top down. Yet, many operations managers, supervisors and workers are struggling to launch and maintain a bottom-up improvement campaign. Although they have identified and believe in the benefits that such a program will bring to their organization and to their daily work environment, they obtain only marginal involvement from top management. Unfortunately, this means that their efforts will only be marginally effective.

 

So how do you get top management involved? 
Management
Involvement
Improvement Campaigns

Supply Chain Management

by mstickler on Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:19 AM
Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to discuss Supply Chain Management with a number of companies. I was surprised that many of them were taking a beat the supplier up for a “BETTER PRICE” approach. The good news is that in many cases they are seeing a reduction in prices up 5%. Now the bad news: incoming quality has dropped over 10% and delivery performance has dropped to below 80% on time.
Supply Chain
Quality

Must Have FOCUS! Turning Competencies into Breakthrough Opportunities

by mstickler on Monday, February 17, 2014 8:59 AM

Over the past few months we have been working with a number of companies helping them with their strategic planning process. From company to company the process to develop/update their strategic plan is quite similar, however the results differ.



Based on discussions with clients, the common problem that prevents forward progress is a lack of focus.  Almost all of these companies had too many improvement projects on their plate and, to borrow a phrase from an old movie, “a point in every direction is the same as no point at all.”



Here is how to narrow down the number of improvement projects.

Operational Excellence
Strategic Direction
Alignment
Leadership
Strategy

Red is GOOD, in fact it is VERY GOOD!

by mstickler on Monday, September 23, 2013 9:10 AM
I just had the opportunity to revisit a business that I started working with a few years ago. I must say I was impressed with the progress that they have made over the past few years. Their operating performance and financial performance has improved dramatically! It was truly a pleasure to visit them and to review the results of their efforts. They have embraced workplace organization, performance management, and schedule adherence down to a daily timeframe. As a result, their Corporate KPI’s are improving month after month.
Work \ Life
Operational Excellence
Leadership
Coaching
Performance
Implementation

Structuring Your Lean Transformation Implementation Plan

by mstickler on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:10 PM
The development of the Implementation Plan consists of defining the steps needed to achieve the design objectives and creating the control infrastructure for daily and weekly implementation activities.
Operational Excellence
Alignment
Plan
Leadership
Coaching
Transformation
Strategy
Performance
Implementation

Actual Implementation

by mstickler on Sunday, June 23, 2013 6:30 PM
In a site-wide Lean transformation, success depends upon the use of a structured approach to deployment. Ensuring this success is a process of moving each value stream through the 5 basic steps of deployment: Stabilize, Flow, Takt, Pull, and Sustain. Let’s define each of these...
Work \ Life
Operational Excellence
Alignment
Leadership
Transformation
Strategy
Performance
Implementation

Lean Transformation: The Implementation Planning Phase

by mstickler on Thursday, April 04, 2013 2:37 PM

The Implementation Planning Phase of a Lean Transformation is dependent on the quality of the Diagnosis Phase. Don’t start the Implementation Planning Phase unless the leadership of the business agrees and signs off with the Design Phase document. The sign-off on the Design Phase document is a public statement that confirms ...

Operational Excellence
Alignment
Plan

Manufacturing Can Save Us!

by mstickler on Friday, March 22, 2013 6:28 AM
Lately, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not manufacturing can save the US economy. Many say that, due to the increasing levels of automation, manufacturing doesn't create a significant number of jobs and therefore isn’t the powerful force it once was. Some of that is true. Fewer jobs are created today due to automation and technology advances, but we can't forget that there are many supporting jobs created by every manufacturing job.
Jobs
Economy

Wade Norton Joins Empowered Performance as Vice President of Business Development

by mstickler on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 10:00 PM
Mokena, IL March 13, 2013 – Empowered Performance, a national manufacturing consulting and training company, announced today that Wade Norton has joined the firm as their Vice President of Business Development.
Press Release
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