iBL Graduate of the Month: May

Since we missed April's graduate of the month, we will be doing a double feature of graduates this month. First, we want to congratulate our 1st May 2017's iBL graduate of the month...Mr. Tom Wolsey of Weyerhaeuser.

Quick Thoughts on Leadership

The following are just a few thoughts on leadership that I keep discovering...
Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Be Prepared: 
If we as leaders show up without preparing or with the appearance of being unprepared then we create a bad experience for the team or group from the start.

Do not let thank you be a set of words heard only once per year:
They are simple words that mean a lot so we must use them.


Do not ask for more without first using what your team has given you: 
If we ask for a new report or document to be created take the time to look at it before asking for more. If it is not important enough to devote our time to using it then maybe we should have thought about it more before we ask for it. This can be true of resources, time, or money. We must remember not to waste any of them if we can.

We must do the little things for our team:
They both remember them and enjoy them. Don't just send that boiler plate company birthday card, take the time to write a special thank you greeting for their birthday. You should remember what is important to them and see how you can feature it though out the year. If they are big music fan maybe you send them a few itunes credits or tickets to a concert. Personalization is a powerful thing. 

If we as leaders do not provide for the team's and the individual's needs then they may not be able to hear ours:
Take time to see how things are going with your team and the individuals. What do they need? What road blocks can you help with? This extends to their personal life as well because if they are focused on the outside problems then they will not be focusing on the needs of company or the team.

Pull on the introverts and push on the extroverts:
We need to take time to insure that we are collecting the great ideas from the quite part of the team and sometimes that means we may need to hold back on those "gifted in expressing themselves." 

Demonstrate what you expect:
If we like a certain trait we must make sure it is feature in our style.

You do not have to like it to learn from it:
Whether it is presentation style, content, or the message as a whole we do not have to agree with it to take a few new thoughts or perspective from it. If nothing else you have learned how others see the world and what you must work around or through to be successful.


Leaders must remain learners :
We must not stop the study of life once we "reach leadership". Sometimes we need to hear it said "shut up and learn"

Leaders Listen  
True leadership requires asking questions and actively listening to the answers. New leaders should spend time talking with the team and understanding the situation before creating new policies, procedures or requirements. In short, Listen more talk less.

Education Without Application Is Just Entertainment: 3 things that can help create a return on education.

Having spent the better part of the last 15 years educating people from all over the world in topics like reliability, problem solving, software, and leadership, there is one thing that I have noticed. Many companies are buying a lot of expensive entertainment. Why? Ask yourself this simple question: Of the last three training sessions you attended, did you actually use what you learned to make a difference in the way your business performs? If you did not use what you learned then I can not see how that class was anything more than two... three.... or five days of entertainment.
How many Planner Schedulers have attended a class only to go back and function as a parts chaser and relief supervisor?
How many root cause analysis classes have been sold where the attendee never once performs and documents a root cause solution?
So here are three ways to help your organization create a return on your educational expenses.
Retention: To increase the amount of new knowledge your learner bring back to your facility make sure that the instructor is familiar with your process. Work to ensure the material is tailored for your processes, business situation and most importantly your audience. That off the shelf class may be part of your entertainment problem. If a person is attending software training don't send them through 5 days of training when they only need a day. This lead to a tuned out non-learner who will more than likely miss the parts that they need to know just out of sheer boredom. Take the time to map out the skills you need the person to have and the learning objectives associated with those skills. Then the training can be customized to only provide the points and topics they need to be successful. This will limit boredom and increase retention.
Application: Once a student has seen a new way to do something in the training environment they must apply the skills nearly immediately. This helps with the previous topic of retention but it also creates success and real world examples that can be used to continue the change process. We use project based learning where each student has a charter with goals and metrics that they drive by applying what they have learned and generating success and a return on our training effort. They also have a coach that works with them virtually to help with that tough transition from learner to practitioner.
Culture manipulation: As the student create success this will breed a desire to have more success. This is one way to help with cultural change.  The second is to ensure the leadership both understand the goal of the training and what process and behaviors that the training should change. This allows them to ask the right questions of the student to propel the implementation forward. "What is important to my boss is important to me." We again use the learning project charter to facilitate the discussion with the manager and the student and their project coach who is helping them along the way. With a pull from leadership and the success of quick application you can begin to manipulate the culture into the the target state.

Here are my three ideas. What other things are you doing to make your education something more than entertainment. 

Five elements of sustainable cultural change

Change dynamics, leadership, risk identification and management, communication, and project management all must be addressed.

By: Shon E. Isenhour

iBL Graduate of the Month: March 2017

Andrew Morgan started his career as an industrial electrician after attending Okanagan College in 1984. He then began his current career at Weyerhaeuser where he has been with since 1992. He went from electrician to electrical supervisor and is currently a Maintenance Manager at his plant.

Andrew takes pride in both his work and his education. He has continued his education in various

 

courses such as Autocad, PLC, VFD, PEMAC, Leadership, Computers, etc. and is about to receive his RMIC certification from University of Tennessee with the completion of his inspired Blended Learning: Reliability Engineer curriculum.

 

“I would like to say for the most part that I have thoroughly enjoyed the iBL program. It has had its up and downs over the last 15 months. To all those that have offered encouragement over the last 15 months, a big thank you. I have found it very informative and has helped me understand more from all sides of the business and the maintenance side of things. I am very data driven person by nature and look forward to using these tools in the future. I have had a great time talking with Allen and Brandon when I have had difficulty trying to figure out what was being asked on some of the assignments. It was a great week on the ship in November 2015. I try to learn something every day as it keeps your mind active and it can be fun and rewarding at the same time. “

Congratulations on your many successes and may you continue to have many more!

A Valentines Day Message About Mismatched Communication

Mismatched communication plagues a lot of organizations and affects the implementation of new initiatives and organizational changes. This video shows a demonstration of the concept.

Graduate of the Month: February 2017

We want to congratulate our February 2017's graduate of the month...Mr. Joel Wheeler of Hollingsworth and Vose. Congratulations on your many accomplishments throughout your inspired Blended Learning curriculum and may you have many more successes to come!

iBL Graduate of the Month: January 2017

 We want to congratulate our January 2017's graduate of the month...Mr. Chuck Knowlton of Hollingsworth and Vose. Congratulations on your many accomplishments throughout your inspired Blended Learning curriculum and may you have many more successes to come!

Chuck started working after electrical trade school wiring paper machines for Black Clawson. When demand slowed, he started learning the art of building machines as well. Then, he went to work for St. Regis paper Company/Champion/ Deferiet Paper Company as Instrument/electrician for 22 years. He has been at Hollingsworth & Vose for 15 years; the first 5 years was instrument Technician and was promoted to Maintenance Supervisor.

 "I wasn’t sure what or if I would be able to learn taking this class. I haven’t done anything more than a week’s training in forty years and definitely nothing online with a 12-18 month agenda. In the opening session, Darrin Wikoff taught on the ship (USS Yorktown)  and gave me enthusiasm to learn more.  With historical data, you can put real numbers to any failure and know when maintenance is needed to prevent failures. Calculating work order backlog can be used to justify hiring more people or if you have too many people.  I like numbers and this all made sense. If I had questions Allen and Brandon were always there with great analogies to help clear my old brain. Thanks to IBL for opening my eyes."

iBL Graduate of the Month: December 2016

We are excited to announce our December's iBL Graduate of the month, Tyler Wulterkens. Tyler graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He got a job as an applications engineer at Ludeca, a family owned company that  provides training and tools for preventative and predictive maintenance. In this position he traveled across the United States teaching mechanics and engineers how to perform laser alignments.

Near the end of 2015, Tyler got a job as a reliability engineer at Mosaic Co, a phosphate fertilizer company. He worked in the central office providing support to the several concentrate sites. In Mid-2016, Tyler was offered a new position with Mosaic Co as a reliability engineer with the dragline services team. In that position, he has focused on improving precision maintenance and gearing practices on the draglines through Mosaics Florida mines.

"IBL has given me the tools to methodically break down machinery into its pieces and create optimized maintenance practices. This should help our reliability to ensure we aren’t over maintaining or under maintaining assets. Its broken down well into modules and examples that are easy to pick up and understand."

Reliability Begins with Effective Job Plans: A guest post from Coach Allen Canaday

Are you still using a job plan that doesn’t contain performance standards for proper work execution?  You know, performance standards, the technical information the job plan conveys to the technicians performing the task. This is the specific knowledge required in order to ensure the step is completed without introducing an error or failure.  I’m talking about such “trivial” information as torque specifications, belt tension, alignment tolerances and pressure settings to name a few.  Oh, you don’t need it?  You have a very experienced and talented work force who is overflowing with tribal knowledge? Why spend the time and money to research the correct performance standards?  After all, I don’t want to insult my technicians by implying their knowledge and skills are no longer adequate.  We’ve done it this way for years.
OK, so you don’t have performance standards in your job plans and don’t really see the value of taking the time to research and document them in the job plans.  Your current technicians understand what is required when they read statements such as “replace as necessary”, “adjust as needed” or “inspect for normal wear”.  You’re in great shape as long as most of them remain healthy, content, well-paid or never retire.  Have you considered these possibilities?  Oh, don’t forget about the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility opening across town next year.  A new facility, modern equipment in an ultra-clean environment with salary ranges far beyond anything your facility can counter-offer.  Are you still confident with your tribal knowledge database?
The status quo will change, bet on it!  “Build it and they will come” was the famous quote from Field of Dreams.  There is tremendous competition in today’s marketplace for skilled technicians.  When the new facilities are built, and they will be, they will recruit the best of the best.  Some of those best will be yours!  The color of loyalty today is “green”.  If you are unable to compete in the salary and benefit arena, you will lose tribal knowledge!  How will you prepare for the “loss of knowledge” while there is still time?  In many cases this loss of tribal knowledge can be compared to your CMMS crashing and there is no back-up data. 
Invest in your job plan library without delay!  Why?  Because it’s the right thing to do.  Accurate job plans not only help capture tribal knowledge, but will force you to research many facets of your asset base that haven’t been explored.  The development of good job plans require research utilizing OEM documents and the inclusion of tried and true methods your technicians have developed over the years.  Other benefits of updating job plans include time estimate accuracy for each step of the plan, proper sequencing of the tasks, updating warnings and cautions as safety procedures may have changed and a review of the BOM’s. 
Your workforce’s skills and experience are dynamic.  As experienced employees leave they are generally replaced with less experienced employees, certainly less experienced in your facility.  Keep this fact in mind as job plans are reviewed and developed, the job plans have to be written to the level of understanding, training and skills of your workforce.  As the number of more senior employees leave the company the level of detail in the job plans may certainly have to increase to ensure continued or even improved performance can be attained.  Are you sure you can’t make a plan to update your job plans?

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