Improve or Die

You’ve either worked for, read about or know someone who worked at a company that made a ton of money for a long time doing the same things they’d always done. Then, all of the sudden, the market/industry changed. Now, efficiency and higher levels of customer service and speed are what it takes to compete. Unfortunately, the company didn’t have some or all of those attributes. This was mostly because they spent years or even decades without any quantum changes in their processes. Now what?

It’s time to get on the process improvement band wagon. You know; the stuff you’ve been reading about for years. It doesn’t matter what set of tools you use. My personal preference is to embrace Lean Enterprise because of its common sense thought process regarding waste elimination. I’ve found that every person in the organization can grasp its concepts. There’s also Six Sigma, TQM and a number of hi-bred programs. Get to learning and get improving. Not doing so will seal the fate of your organization.

More to come on this topic.

Health Care and Your Business

The good news, today, is that people are starting to understand the fact that Obama’s plan isn’t going to be cheap and, nationwide, support is waning.  Some of you may ask, “Why is that good?  We need heathcare reform.”  Ok, there are two statements in there.  I’ll address them in reverse order.

We don’t need healthcare reform.  We have the best health care in the world.  Just ask the Canadians who hop over the border to get critical services for which they wait at home.  What we need is health insurance reform and better cost management.  And, before you start, a government “competitive option” won’t help.

As to why the loss of support is good, politicians have to ultimately answer to their constituents at home.  Most of us don’t want any more government debt.  Why, you ask?  It’s simple.  At the end of the day, that debt will come due.  If we don’t shrink the government back to a managable size, you and me and our employers will have to pay for that debt.  If our employers have to do that, they have to find a way to pay for it because they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders (whether public or private).  That means cost reductions.  That means less investment into the business.  That means less growth.  That means fewer (or no) new jobs.  That could mean your job goes away.

The burden of big government is everyone’s problem.  It may not directly impact some of us who aren’t long for this material world.  You can bet your children and grandchildren will have to deal with it, though.  Can you live with that?

Stop the bleading.  Tell your US senators and representatives that healthcare changes not only cannot increase the federal budget, it has to shrink it.  It needs to reduce our costs as individuals and businesses, too.

This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue.   It’s an issue of government and a lack of fiscal responsibility.   Both parties have egg on their collective faces.  We all need to think straighter because Washington certainly won’t on its own.