Coaching, Consulting & Training
for High Value Personnel

What Others Are Saying

Rob is a "driver" personality of legendary proportions. He has a phenomenal capability to drive consensus amongst people of various perspectives,can move complex business issues forward, and has the ability to get people to engage and meaningfully commit in order to make important things happen. He's also one of those rare people of great integrity and character. I cannot recommend Rob more for work that taps into his multitude of professional talents.

Elizabeth Allen, Principal, MarketSmartz

*Note: our work is customized to each client's needs and specifications. These results are meant to provide examples of how we work with our clients and what they then achieve. They are not meant to display a "set" approach, nor do they necessarily detail all of the results achieved by this client.

The Fir Problem

One of our associates was running a workshop for the Southern Pines Division of this client. It was relatively early in the workshop. They were just into their second Deviation Analysis (DA) application. The participants were having difficulty finding good Deviation Statements. Our associate notice that many of the deviations they identified looked promising until one of the participants said, and here’s a direct quote, “Oh, we can’t work on that. That’s part of the Fir Problem!” This associate asked, “What is the Fir Problem?” There was a flurry of answers. But, it was distilled to, “Whenever our chip suppliers don’t do a good enough job of screening out the fir, the wood fir, it makes it virtually impossible for us to make good product. Purchasing is working with the suppliers, and finding new ones willing to screen out the fir, to address this problem. Until then, we are stuck!”

Given how promising and diverse the “shot down” application opportunities were, our associate did not buy that explanation. She literally said to the group, “Let’s put DA on hold for a few minutes and look at the Tactical Tool we call Status Assessment (SA).” So she did the SA teach on the spot. For SA application she led a full group session on the Fir Problem. The result? When they broke the Fir Problem into its Manageable Elements, they filled 6 (that’s right 6) easel sheets with clearly defined issues related to fir wood in the chip supply.

Status Assessment
Status Assessment

Based on the (now) clearly defined issues which they identified, they jumped right back into DA application. Once they had clear, specific issues upon which to work they made real progress in DA application. Before the workshop was over, they had identified Root Cause for 7 of the Fir Problem elements and had specific follow-up actions assigned for about 5 others.

Although there really was a problem with fir wood in the chip mix, another group of participants attacked the fir issue. They traced the presence of fir wood in the chip mix to their own wood yard, not to the suppliers of purchased chips. The fir wood was in the “round wood” they purchased. They worked closely with the round wood suppliers and virtually eliminated fir from their wood supply.

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