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    Renewal as Resurrection – an Eye to the Future Open your eyes to a new level of performance – where 50 to 80% improvement is possible!

    The topic of renewal and the synonyms it conjures up: regeneration, rejuvenation, restoration, resumption, revitalization, revival, awakening, recommencement, refilling, reformation, replenishment, resurrection, recharging, and reopening, are more prevalent during certain times of the year (i.e., the New Year), and periods of significance (i.e., milestones, major changes, etc.), in our lives.

    Why RENEWAL, now?

    Leaders, consider the power of the renewal process, especially when undertaken during pivotal times in your business cycle, and the impact it can have on the overall growth of your organization:

    Renewal as Resuming – following (an) Interruption

    What better example of the need for renewal following a prolonged break than a global pandemic? With so many disruptions impacting workforce dynamics (fewer workers doing more, reduced hours, remote working, etc.), many organizational leaders found themselves having to rebuild morale, reestablishing a favorable working environment and workplace norms, and renewing fundamental skills training, as employees returned to a changed workplace.

    Renewal as Resurrection – an Eye to the Future

    Exploring what is next is essential to staying ahead of the competition. What are customers’ expectations after a 3-year pandemic period? Time and energy for planning and innovating must be allocated and adhered to; otherwise, it is too easy to get caught up in the demands of day-to-day operations, or worse yet, trapped in constant fire-fighting mode, while the bigger picture gets overlooked. The stronger your organization, the better positioned you will be to drive new customers and new business.

    What are you consistently doing to:

    • Renew contracts? What processes do you have in place to wow existing clients, keeping in mind the theory that it is easier to retain clients than it is to generate new business?
    • Upsell? How do you anticipate the needs of existing clients to continually exceed their expectations (and thereby the likelihood of word-of-mouth referrals)?
    • Seek new business? How are you evolving and expanding your marketing efforts to draw new clients? Build your brand?
    • Innovate? Are you committed to innovative thinking to create new products/services? How will you accomplish this?

    An ongoing process of strategic, tactical, and transactional renewal is necessary to revitalize organizations, just as ongoing renewal is essential to personal, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

    Renewal: “The How”

    Strategic Renewal

    Because all organizations need clarity, fundamental to any company renewal process is Strategy/Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri), an ongoing process of aligning strategic goals and objectives with daily workplace activities.

    Hoshin Kanri begins with leadership bringing clarity on priorities and establishing corporate growth objectives. Then processes such as the X-Matrix and Catchball are used to structure, share, and deploy the strategic plan, managing what needs to be done to execute objectives, and facilitating communication and feedback between organizational tiers. This process of renewal takes place on a predetermined basis (i.e., annually with a 3/5-year horizon), or whenever needed to ensure optimal alignment and buy-in.

    While strategic renewal, like all change, is uncomfortable because it involves disrupting the status quo, it provides a sense of purpose to the organization and connects with the company’s values. The beauty of this process is that it allows leaders to stay abreast of and quickly react to changes, obstacles, and opportunities, rather than maintain an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude while products become obsolete in the process.

    Operational Renewal 

    The strategic renewal process is conducted to clarify the Continuous Improvement/Lean/

    Operational Excellence Strategy. How can you continuously improve your internal resources and operations: reskilling and upskilling people, improving your administrative processes and manufacturing flows, and upgrading and replacing equipment, to allow you to best serve and delight your customers?

    Supported by leadership, a focus on decisive strategic resolve to work better and faster and constantly remove non-value adding activities in the organization, while reinforcing the company’s execution capabilities (integrating technological, digital and Supply Chain changes), is critical in renewing vital areas of the organization:

    Renew your operational processes to:

    • get rid of Waste*, work better and quicker for customers, reduce employees’ burden, and generate a sense of satisfaction.
    • improve your production and laboratory flows to reduce waiting time and improve quality and lead time.
    • engage your teams in redefining standard work, improving the workplace (5S*) and solving problems (A3/Problem-Solving).
    • revisit the replenishment system (Kanban*) in the context of the new supply chain.

    Renew your equipment management strategy

    Equipment is one of your company’s top assets. Revitalizing your TPM strategy is paramount to: ensuring equipment is running when you need it (be sure to stay on top of preventive and predictive maintenance activities), improving operators’ experiences, improving safety, optimizing the use of energy, and reducing scrap and its impact on the environment.

    Renew your transactional processes

    • Keep an eye on the customer experience to build a strategy of no-waste in the Value Stream (VSM).
    • Remove silo thinking and implement a performance management system which helps detect the need for further improvement, and highlights opportunities to strengthen the customer relationship.

    Renew project management 

    Create a collaborative environment and processes to accelerate and improve the quality of your new products/services (have dedicated 3P teams and an Obeya* room in place). A benefit of bringing new products to market more quickly is it creates an opportunity to retain and attract new business, and strengthen the company brand.

    Put all the pieces together!

    The improvement operating strategy renewal is a holistic strategy used to reinforce execution capabilities. It does not just happen! Renewal is about (re)building your Lean / OPEX capabilities in a coordinated effort:

    • Reinforce the Lean knowledge and skill of your people (educate and implement)
    • Make it happen: learn by doing – test and improve (PDCA)
    • Go see – reinforce “The Why” improvement is good. Celebrate. Encourage. Build management confidence!

    The cycle of PDCA allows for collaborative experimentation which encourages teams to learn and improve quickly and effectively, which is especially helpful when complex problems are involved. Plans are tested and retested, evidence is evaluated, and people learn to see

    new ways of doing and suggest new, innovative ideas: the ongoing cycle of continuous improvement repeats, creating a powerful strategy renewal process.


    Renewal presents an opportunity to reflect on your organization’s progress and make adjustments to align with strategic objectives, and personal and professional growth. 

    Renew the Spirit 

    A worn spirit can be just as detrimental as run-down parts and equipment. We have all heard about the oxygen max theory: we can only be of optimal usefulness to others if we don our own masks first. The same can be said for renewal: consistently engaging in rejuvenating activities (i.e., mindful meditation, yoga, getting outdoors, volunteering…think OOTB, be creative! It is not so much what we do, but that we do it consistently), allows our minds to reset, develop new perspectives, and contribute more meaningfully, purposefully, and productively to all areas of life.

    The more effective and productive we become personally (at home, with family, and friends), the more we can bring our A-game to work to become better leaders, team members, and coaches.

    Open your eyes to a new level of performance – where 50 to 80% improvement is possible!

    A renewal cycle creates huge, short-term benefits and long-term sustainability, resulting in a workplace that has:

    • an enlarged base of satisfied clients and is better positioned to attract new business
    • increased efficiency and safety, and reduced lead time, waste, defects, and breakdowns
    • a drastic value stream cost reduction
    • improved communication, customer service, employee satisfaction, and morale
    • a more engaged and productive team-based workforce
    • improved margins and corporate growth

    Catherine Converset
    Président Productivity USA | Senior Lean Consultant | Lean Speaker | Lean Teacher

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