013: What A Waste

013: What A Waste

What do you think of when you hear the word waste?

There are certainly a bunch of different images that could come to mind. For whatever reason, for me, the image of food on a plate that wasn’t finished seems to come to the surface.

Maybe that’s because as kids it was ironed into us that we better finish everything on our plates so that we don’t waste food.

And then as parents we grab that baton and continue the tradition with our own kids.

It could be the kid who asks for a huge serving and then barely touches it. Or the one who is battling to the end to win the fight against the evil broccoli cheddar soup… remind me to tell that story one day.

There’s really only one food that I’m OK wasting. Liver.

Yep, that slimy, foul-smelling cooked organ… that somehow my father-in-law loved. I’ve never understood that.

But for anyone else, if I served that onto your plate you are more than welcome to immediately walk over and scrape it into the garbage. Yuck. Even mentioning the word makes my stomach churn.

There are, of course, lots of other images that come to mind when we think of waste. I’m sure you can think of several within your business that you could list off right now.

And when we’re talking about work, elimination of waste truly is at the heart of becoming more efficient and doing more with what you have.

In the manufacturing world, there is a popular system of thinking known as Lean Manufacturing. There is a lot to it (and we’ll be digging into many of the aspects of it in future episodes), but at its heart is the concept of seeking to eliminate waste… in all of its forms.

Now, it’s that last part that has been interesting to me, working to implement Lean Manufacturing concepts for years. Because in manufacturing they have identified eight main areas of waste.

Each business is different and yours will be different from so many others.

But digging into these eight types is an exercise that will uncover waste that you didn’t even know existed. Waste that you wouldn’t have even classified as waste.

So, here are the eight types of waste:
– Defects (product or service that doesn’t meet customer expectations)
– Overproduction (making more than customer demand)
– Waiting (could be in a process or anywhere)
– Unused Talent (so much untapped potential here)
– Transportation (moving products unnecesarily)
– Motion (unecessary movement by people)
– Inventory (excess that isn’t processed)
– Extra Processing (more work or higher quality than needed)

We’ll go deeper into these later, but each is a way to help you look at your business with a different lens and spot the wastes hiding in the shadows. So often, the issue is maybe just misindentification. Waste that went undetected or was seen as necessary or just the way things are.

One warning about Lean thinking and implementation: it is not for the faint of heart. If you really want to dig into these ideas and let them bring change to your company, toes will be stepped on, feelings possibly hurt, long-held ideas and systems challenged.

But in the end, you’ll be better for it and can become more trimmed down and able to withstand the storms and grow in the process.

As for withstanding a plate of liver…. that might take a much bigger effort. Good luck with that one.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode.

I can’t wait to connect with you again tomorrow

012: It’s All About Love

012: It’s All About Love

Humans are wired in pretty unique, amazing ways. One of those is the different ways in which we receive love.   Find out why understanding your love language and the languages of your team members is so important.   And find out more about the Five Love Languages at 5lovelanguages.com   

We were made to be loved. Each one of us.

You. Me. Your family. Friends. Team members. The Amazon Prime driver. Even… the person who cut you off in traffic… that you “loved” with your horn and a hand signal.

Each one of us has been designed with a deep desire to be loved, appreciated, valued, needed and so much more.

I love the visual that I first heard about from my daughter’s school years ago.

They talked about being a bucket filler in the lives of others, pouring into their bucket as we loved them in various ways.

But have you ever wondered why some of your efforts to show love or appreciation might fall flat on one person but be gobbled up by another?

Or maybe you’ve experienced tension with a spouse or friend who has been trying to show you love… but you’re just not feeling it.

Years ago, I first heard about a concept that has been transformational in my life and in the lives of so many others.

It is the idea of love languages.

Now, I’m sure there have been variations of the concept dating back through history, but I love how Dr. Gary Chapman pulled it all together in his book The Five Love Languages.

After reading that book, it was like I saw everything in a totally different light. So much made sense about me, about others. About my wife and kids. Friends. Coworkers.

You see, Dr. Chapman explains that there are five fundamental ways that we give and receive love, and that we have  a few primary love languages and then some that aren’t as pronounced. You can find out more at his website 5lovelanguages.com

Here are the five: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch.

The whole thing is actually pretty amazing when you start to dig into it. Almost like looking at a secret code with special lenses and seeing what you couldn’t see before… even though it was right in front of you.

For each of us, one or two of these will be the main ways that we receive or feel love best, whereas the others might not pack the same punch.

For example, I’m a big Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch guy. So, for me, words of genuine appreciation or praise (and I emphasize the word genuine here – I despise ata boys) go a long way to fill my bucket. Just below that would be physical touch. And that could be a hug, fist bump, an arm on the shoulder, etc. 

But the other languages don’t carry as much weight. I love spending time with people I care about, I like when someone does something nice for me and I like getting gifts. But for whatever reason, none of those fill my bucket like the top two.

Then, there is the flip side –  how we give love the best. Sometimes it’s the same languages that we like to receive. Other times it’s different. Think about which of those five really make you come alive when you’re wanting to show someone else you care about them. Maybe it’s writing a note of encouragement, doing something for them in secret, buying the perfect gift, just being with them or holding them.

The bottom line is that this is a huge concept to grasp and can transform your relationships at home, at work and elsewhere.

At work, once you understand better how your team members and coworkers receive love best, it not only helps you get to know them on a deeper level but it also helps you maximize your efforts to appreciate them using the languages that really resonate with each one.

So, a great place to start is for you to take the love language quiz at 5lovelanguages.com. It will give you an idea of what your top languages are and help you better understand yourself.

Then, you could try having some of your team members take one as well and discuss your findings.

I think you’ll find it pretty eye-opening and putting this new knowledge into practice can go a long way to helping hang on to quality people as well as create a culture that attracts new talent as well.