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2012 Focus Letter from the President

December 27, 2011

Dear past, current or future client:

The past eighteen months has posed unprecedented challenges to the business that we lead. From the collapse of the credit markets to the fallout from Wall Street spilling over into Main Street, we have experienced more turmoil and uncertainty than I have seen in my forty year business career and there are more challenges ahead. While the "stop the bleeding" cost cutting efforts have prevented an overall collapse of our economic system and allowed several business to survive, the New Year demands a different approach remembering that you cannot cut your way to a high performance organization and long-term success.

Success in 2012 and beyond requires a simple proven and affordable approach to well-planned and fundamental change that everyone (not just a handful of experts) in the organization can understand, participate in and own. When you focus moves from cutting to growing or re-growing your company in the new business environment, a self-sustaining process aimed at improving your key performance measures is necessary. It is far more difficult to grow correctly than to cut cost quickly.

At this critical juncture, our clients have focused on our fourth pillar of a High Performance Workplace, the Short-Term Directed Improvement Process called PRIDE. Our PRIDE process is a much lower cost alternative to lean-six sigma, or external expert driven approaches and yields far greater returns in productivity, cost and quality of your products or services.

Unlike lean-six sigma, which can become increasingly expensive as the corporate support bureacracy grows and the utility of projects naturally declines, PRIDE does not remove valuable resources from their existing jobs, require expensive black and green belt training, or measure success in the number of people trained, projects initiated, teams formed, or often inflated cost-saving projections. Unlike Kaizen blitzes, rapid action teams, lean-six sigma and prescriptive external consultants that utilize highly trained "experts" to scutinize an area, make recommendations and leave, PRIDE is done with your employees, not to them, as it utilizes their knowledge and experience to enhance performance. Unlike expert driven approaches that fail to leave behind high performance leadership or a systematic process to make improvements a way of life, PRIDE is owned by your leaders and employees and provides them time, systems, and structure to become a high performance workforce.

PRIDE is an acronym that stands for:

Picture the flow and steps in the current product or service flow or related jobs

Remove waste, bottlenecks, and non-value added activities and steps

Identify value-added activities or steps currently not being done

Develop the new way of doing business and the correct structure and staffing

Establish Key Measures for ongoing improvement

For two decades and accross thirteen industries, PRIDE has delivered dramatic improvement in key business measures and has bridged the gap to ongoing performance improvement. First, PRIDE quickly removesan average of 30% waste or non-value activities from your product or service flows and from the related leadership and employee jobs. Next, PRIDE indentifies new, value-added steps which enable a previously reduced workforce to achieve enhanced performance, allows for orderly attritionif necessary, or optimizes the work and structure as your business grows to avoid the mistakes of the past. Finally PRIDE frees up time for your leaders to train and verify the workforce in the new best practices and engage them in Continuous Improvement.

Our clients have asked us to lead them through PRIDE regardless of whether or not the have or are utilizing expert driven approaches for the following three reasons:

1. Business results measured in fundamental key measures of an implemented PRIDE process out-strip results from highe cost expert driven methodologies three to one.

2. PRIDE not only removes waste from your entire product or service flow as well as each job, it actuall resolves the underlying reasons why there is waste in your processes and jobs in the first place. Alternative approaches ignore the root cause of waste and simply focus on removing it in small parts of the process. They generate scores of projects seemingly justifiable based on projected savings, but not when the net gain is computed accross the entire process or the overall impact on the business becomes evident.

3. Even though waste reduction techniques appear similar on the surface, the uniqueness of PRIDE is that it integrates with leadership development, employee development, and continuous improvement so that your front line leaders and employees transform into a re-energized and sustainable high performance workforce making improvement part of the way they do business.

If you are interested in learning more about PRIDE or all of the Five Pillar Systems of High Performance, please call or e-mail me personally at (734) 231-0586 or jnora@workplacetransform.com so we can discuss your unique challenges.

We at Workplace Transformation wish you and yours a very happy, health, and prosperous New Year.


John J. Nora
Workplace Transformation, Inc.

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