Keys to a Winning Team: Part 5

Keys to a Winning Team: Part 5

keys to a winning team


Keys to a Winning Team

  1. Strong Leadership
  2. Common Goal
  3. Rules of the Game
  4. Action Plan
  5. Support Risk Taking

Lastly, the final key to a winning team is 100% Involvement and Inclusion.

Throughout this series, we’ve elaborated on a client success story. Our client, Chad, had a compelling vision that energized and aligned his team. Together, they all understood the concept of constant and never-ending improvement and how it could positively impact the workplace.

Specifically, the team implemented the Plan, Do, Check, Act model, which set into motion a process that was extremely effective.

Watch the vlog to learn how Chad and his team were able to ultimately remove $100 million of costs from their division!


All right, welcome back, we’re at the final ‘Key to a Winning Team’, and that’s ‘100%, Involvement and Inclusion’. And if you missed the first three or four vlogs, then jump in there and catch them. Because there’s some great stuff in here we’re continuing on. 

So, Kaizen is Japanese for ‘continuous and never-ending improvement’. Actually, it means change is good. But change is good. And so businesses back in the 2000s, and probably even today, were doing what they called Kaizen events. And as a consultant, I was heavily involved in a number of these. Kaizen events were usually week-long, discrete events that fixed the workplace, 5S was a common Kaizen event. A bit of an oxymoron to do discrete events that fix things one time and don’t set up continuous improvement, and call him Kaizen events. 

What was unique about Chad, and his vision, and his team, and their vision, was that they got Kaizen. They got the concept of constant and never-ending improvement. And they set about it in some really brilliant ways. You see, this idea of Plan, Do, Check, Act, set in motion, a process that was awesome to behold. And so you take any of those critical chain tasks, and each one of them was analyzed. So we had a work plan. And that work plan consisted of a work order that specified content and sequence and timing and outcome. And sometimes they miss the mark. In fact, sometimes they miss the mark in a huge way. In fact, two of the tasks on the initial critical chain, were way off the mark, one of them resulted in a two-day delay in the project, and one of them resulted in a half-day delay in the project. So major, major misses. 

So what do you do with that? Well, you check what happened? Why did we do that miss, and you look back, and you look at what went on that led to that miss, what happened in the pre-shutdown, planning inspections. And so coming out of this outage, as they started looking at the specific tasks, all of a sudden, issues, in Work Identification, and Work Planning surfaced. 

And they were surfaced, not in the general, well, this is a problem. But this is a specific problem that cost us money. A lot of money, and therefore we’re going to fix this. And the irony here is Chad’s Corporate maintenance boss, was for two years, trying to get people engaged and interested in Work Identification and Work Planning. That comes first. And Chad, in his first iteration of one of these shutdowns, drove an engine that created a huge demand for that work, because all of a sudden, there were critical tasks, where the planning, and the inspections and the things that happened before the shutdown, had problems that were identified during the Check, and they enable the organization to Act and set a better plan. So those errors don’t happen again. 

And so, by tying all of this together by having the crews analyzing the work, the crews analyzing the toolboxes, the maintenance organization, analyzing what went wrong with the pre-inspections work, we created a massive amount of synergy. This wasn’t Chad and two mechanics, and a planner and a supervisor that made up the team. It wasn’t them. It was them, and a couple of 100, really motivated, really excited guys and gals out on the shop floor that started working started realizing, Holy Moses. We just had a huge win and there’s more to be had!

How big a win did they have the best outage on this piece of equipment and the prior years that we could find 14 days. In their first outage, they committed to 12 days. They executed in nine days. And as I mentioned earlier, there were two and a half days of ‘oh craps’ that happened other critical chain that delayed the project. So they knew they knew at the end of that first shutdown, that the next time they had the possibility of doing it in seven days. Seven days when the best they had done was 14 days. And the typical was closer to 21 days. And what was that project work to them? What was that one outage worth to them? A million dollars, according to the Controller of that plant. 

A million dollars an extra times, pushed out the door with no cost. And it launched a continuous improvement process that engaged, first just Chad, then Chad and a small team, then Chad in the maintenance organization, then Chad and the operation organization. And then it grew and it grew and it grew and ultimately spread to every single plant in the iron ore division of this company. 

And so that’s what happens when you have a winning team. When you have strong leadership and a common goal. You can energize your workforce and engage them in meaningful work. It’s necessary to have rules of the game and understand what’s okay and what’s not okay. And put that together in a detailed action plan. And most importantly, engage, involve and support risk-taking. 

People will rise to the occasion. Because remember one of the core rules, everybody is worthy. And there’s always a win-win situation. So get out. Get yourself leading your organization. Start with getting an inspiring vision that you can engage your workforce, and I guarantee you, you will have a winning team. This winning team set a culture that ultimately removed $100 million in costs from this business from the division of this business. Zero capital spent 100% of it out of the minds of the individuals from the shop floor, all the way to the top floor. 

My name is Rick Phelps. I’m an ActionCoach, business coach and we would love to help you build a winning team in your organization. Have a great and profitable day.

Rick Phelps coaches business owners and their leadership teams to create and sustain cultures and systems with the goal of providing spectacular results.

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