At his State of the State address last week, Governor Kasich said, “So here is the thing with manufacturing – we got the people, we know how to work, we know how to make things, we’ve got a legacy of it. Secondly, we’ve got location.”
I couldn’t agree with the governor more. Ohio has the assets it needs to grow manufacturing in 2012 and beyond, and there’s no time like the present. Manufacturing is the topic of the week here in Cleveland, with the International Manufacturing Conference & Expo at the Galleria on Feb 14th and 15th, followed on the 16th by Smart Business’ Evolution of Manufacturing 2012 Conference.
The theme of this year’s Smart Business conference is “going lean”—how manufacturing firms have increased global efficiencies to better compete in a global market. No one will dispute that in order to stay competitive, lean is the name of the game. There is no middle point – you either “own lean” or you might as well not begin the journey.
In order to reach maximum effectiveness, manufacturers need to embrace lean as a strategy and lean their operational processes. But they also need to focus on behaviors – transparency, accountability and sound decision-making, to name a few – that will take their operations to the next level. This type of behavioral leaning isn’t a one-time event, but an ongoing process that creates lasting, sustainable change.
The iconic P&G brand, Pringles, had done a brilliant job of leaning their operating procedures in their plant in Jackson, Tenn. Bright Side has been working with them to get even leaner, with a focus on strategic behavioral change. The plant is now exceeding everyone’s expectations. You can read more about our work with them in “The human side of the performance equation.”
As Dustin Klein lays out in the article “Accelerated change,” American manufacturers need to be willing and able to respond to changing conditions in order to stay competitive. I would say that manufacturers need to embrace change – in other words, to not simply accept it, but own it. This means a readiness and willingness to redefine not only an organizational strategy of lean and lean operating processes, but the human and behavioral elements of the business as well.
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DONNA RAE SMITH is a guest blogger for Smart Business. She has forged a career, enterprise and an applied discipline on the practice of teaching leaders to be masters of change. She is the Founder and CEO of Bright Side Inc., a transformational change catalyst company with an emphasis on the behavior-side of change. For more than two decades, Donna Rae Smith and the Bright Side team have been recognized as innovators in executing behavioral strategies coalesced with business strategies to accelerate and sustain business results. Bright Side®, The Behavioral Strategy Company, has partnered with over 250 of the world’s most influential companies. For more information, please visit www.bright-side.com or contact Donna Rae at
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