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January – March, 2015

Volume 5, Number 1

In This Issue

·    Another Year of Record-Breaking Results?

·    The Power of Negative Thinking

·    Do You Know Tim?

·    New Training Opportunities

·    Featured Link

·    On Selling Behavioral Change

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Another Year of Record-Breaking Results?


2015 is off to a cold, but rip-roaring start for many.   Already, several new highs and lows have been noted.   At this writing, the DOW has just hit a record high (as have some snow accumulation records in the northeast).  Couple that with some record low temperatures and it’s an excellent year if you are in the snow-plowing or road salt business!

The great thing about a new year is that it’s another fresh slate on which to write your future.   Who knows what opportunities await?   It’s up to us to be prepared to jump on those as they emerge.  I know you are ready and I hope some great things come your way.

At JCG, we have an exciting opportunity this year as one of our larger clients Motorola (creators of Six Sigma) decided to route all their external training and consulting requests to our practice.   This has changed our business model (described in an article below) and prompted us to create an additional web site www.LSSCert.com which I hope you’ll visit.

So, until warmer weather comes our way, stay safe, warm, and productive.  It’s going to be a great year.


Have an excellent quarter!



Jeff Cole


JCG Management Consulting

The Power of Negative Thinking…

Are you a “glass half-full” kind of person?  Norman Vincent Peal’s 1952 classic “The Power of Positive Thinking” has helped thousands over the years to adopt a more positive outlook on life.   There is something, however, to be said about negative thinking if you ask many experts in operational excellence. 

I’m referring to a very valuable tool called FMEA – Failure Modes and Effects Analysis.   While its tone is decidedly not optimistic, its overall intent is.  FMEA is a tool in which you look at your processes or products and determine how they might fail.  This, in turn, allows you to proactively “bullet-proof” those processes so they never fail.  Here are the questions FMEA has you ask for each step in a process:

  • What could go wrong with this step?  How might it fail?
  • If it failed – so what?  What would the impact be on the user?
  • How severe is that impact?  (FMEA uses a 10-pt scale where high numbers are worse than low numbers)
  • What are the potential causes of the failure?
  • How likely are they to occur and cause a failure? (1-10 scale)
  • What controls are in place to detect or prevent a failure?
  • How detectible is the cause or failure?  (1-10 scale)

The severity, occurrence, and detection scores are then multiplied together, giving a Risk Priority Number (RPN) ranging from 1-1000.  Higher numbers indicate greater risk of failure and help you prioritize your efforts to error-proof a process.

Click here to download a free FMEA template from the American Society for Quality.

Do You Know Tim?

Have you ever met Tim?   TIM-P-WOOD that is.  If not, you should.  He is actively stealing a lot of money from your company.   You see, TIM-P-WOOD is the acronym often used to remember the eight categories of waste.  In Lean, waste is the enemy.  Think of this as a “search and destroy” mission for waste in your business.

Here are the eight waste categories which are a huge hidden cost in many organizations.  How many of these do you see in your organization?

·         Transportation (excess movement of parts, equipment or materials)

·         Inventory (Keeping more inventory on hand than what is needed)

·         Motion (Searching, non-ergonomic movements – twisting, bending, etc.)

·         People’s Minds (Not engaging the workers in improving the processes)

·         Waiting

·         Over-Producing (Making more than is needed)

·         Over-Processing or Over-Servicing (Doing more work than is necessary)

·         Defects (Anything not done right the first time)

Click here to learn more in a podcast hosted by Close Quarters Business, wherein Jeff Cole is interviewed about the eight wastes.

New Training Opportunities

Six Sigma was developed at Motorola in 1986 and has stood the test of time as one of the most powerful process improvement methods created.   Motorola has long been looked at as the gold standard for Lean Six Sigma.


Motorola has been a client of JCG since 2003, and Jeff Cole serves as their lead instructor and co-author of their material.   In late 2014, Motorola Solutions decided to only focus their training on their internal employees, and refer all external training and consulting to JCG Management Consulting. 


To handle this change, JCG is pleased to carry on their legacy by providing public workshops in both LSS Green Belt and Black Belt.  Our on-site training and consulting continues, and all are 100% compliant with the methods, tools, experience, rigor and standards used by Motorola. E-learning is coming soon.


As part of this, we have launched a new website  www.LSSCert.com where you will find information on Lean Six Sigma, resources, and information on our public workshops.    We hope you’ll visit the site, and if we can assist you in any way, please let us know!

Featured Link

For years, Inc. Magazine has been a great resource for small business owners.  (Not to be confused with Ink Magazine, which is for tattoo artists).   While their focus is on small business, they have tips applicable to us all.

This issue’s link takes you to their free website where you can see a lot of leadership tips in a minute applicable to all forms of organizations.  Click here to see Inc’s Leadership Tips.

On Selling Behavior Change

Are you in sales?  Trick question… We’re all in sales.  You may not be selling a product, but if you are in the world of operational excellence you sell behavioral change on a daily basis.   “Improving” a process is simply a code-word for “changing a process” which in turn is a code-phrase for “Hey buddy – stop doing things the old way and start doing them the new way”. 

So, how are your sales?   If they could use a boost – here’s a quick tip.  Top salesmen for ages have known this:  People “buy” based on emotion and justify it based on logic.  Think about it in three parts:  ERCN, LRCN, and DRAC.

·         Demanding Reasons to Avoid Changing (DRAC) – If you approach someone with a process change, you may hear “Yes, but…” followed by a short list of dominant reasons this person has to stay with the old way.

·         Logical Reasons to Change Now (LRCN) -  This is often the counter-argument that many business people, engineers or scientists are programmed to give.   Time to parade out the spreadsheets and powerpoint slides…

·         Emotional Reasons to Change Now (ERCN) -  If your “sales pitch” stops with the logical reasons you will often lose the sale or have a tougher sale.  Experts tell us that those who uncover and appeal to the emotional reasons for change are significantly more successful in getting process engagement.   (Think of 1 slide appealing to ERCN to be as powerful as 10 slides appealing to LRCN).

What can you do to improve sales starting today?   Start by reading this short column that provides four tips on appealing to the emotional reasons for change.  (Click in the next 30 seconds and you may receive an additional set of ginsu knives J)   Click here to read our column on selling change.


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