Growing Productivity One Meeting at a Time: And Self-respect

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I wanted to thank Rachel Feintzeig from the Wall Street Journey for her article on how meetings are conducted at United Shore Financial Services.

Rachel Feintzeig writes, “The chief executive of the Troy, Mich.-based wholesale mortgage lender noticed that his leadership team often zoned out during weekly senior-management meetings. The breaking point came when one leader repeated another attendee’s comment, not 30 seconds after he said it, clearly showing he hadn’t been following the conversation”. I bet you can recount a similar personal experience; I know I can.

No Technology Allowed in my meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CEO commented on the flow of emails, texts and other distracting matters buzzing attendees’ smartphones and popping up on their tablets. So, he barred laptops and iPads and attendees were instructed to leave phones in their pockets, if not at their desks.

We have all become so comfortable checking our email almost every minute. The next time you are at the airport, just watch those around you. Everyone is checking their email. Boy, we have lots of really important people who the world will stop without someone responding to their email within a few minutes.

I understand the mental adjustments needed to support this approach, but it’s an approach that not only helps drive improved contributions from the attendees, but also greater signs of respect. Personally, I began taking this approach about two years ago when I decided to not bring my laptop or my phone to check my email in my 30-minute or 60-minute meetings. I found I am more engaged and actually listen and can offer better and thoughtful contributions.

 

Meeting Policy- no technology open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I challenge you to watch your next meeting. Most will be checking their email and texting. I view this as a sign of disrespect or lack of interest. Maybe that’s why meetings last so long. Also notice, that when the boss is speaking, everyone stops their email and texting, out of a sign of respect. I’ve seen a really bad example when it’s just two people and the senior person is reading their text messages. Hello, is the person in front of you so unimportant that you can’t pay attention? If not, why meet? Just send an email.

The article closes with an interesting statistic. The CEO estimates that on average the approach saves 15% to 20% of attendees’ time. Could you use 15% to 20% more time in your day? I know I could.

No distractions. Greater respect for those around you. Shorter meetings. What a concept!

Try it yourself today. It’s not as hard as you might think.

Change is Not Always So Simple- It Takes a Team (Not a Village)

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Over the weekend as I was catching up on some LinkedIn posts, one really caught my eye and made me smile. I happen to work at Honeywell, an organization that truly believes in change and fully embraces, a culture of change. So when I got to the third picture within this cartoon, I know that doesn’t represent Honeywell. As a Honeywell employee, my only ‘constant’ is change. We are always looking to improve our efficiencies and effectiveness to drive increased revenues and shareholder value which is at the core of our Six-Sigma-based process improvement culture.

who wants change

It made me think about an ongoing global process improvement effort to ensure that businesses leverage existing Honeywell technology internally, when logical and a business case can be justified. It’s amazing that so many companies never internally evangelize their own technology. As an almost $40b company, we have lots of amazing technology that can help our more 127,000 employees drive greater efficiencies and effectiveness and help increase our value to shareholders. And in true Six-Sigma process improvement style, we measure everything.

 

 

 

 

 

The chart below shows the results that numerous internal Honeywell “customers” have achieved through implementing various Honeywell technology solutions this past year. I’ve removed the project team and “customer” names to protect the internal information. However, my point is that Honeywell is able to measure the positive impact of ‘enhancing’ its technology infrastructure.  While culturally, no one wants to “change”, making ‘enhancements’ and seeking to get more out of an investment is an easier way for some to accept what is at the core – change.

Honeywell using its own technology for process improvemet

 

 

 

 

In addition to being a business that embraces change, I think Honeywell’s success is due to a few reasons:

First, we always equip the “team” leading the change with the resources needed to enable success. Second, we provide visibility to the ongoing efforts well beyond the core change team. Keeping additional internal stakeholders and teams updated is critical to ensure we can measure performance and endeavor to understand the results. And finally, we look to use these measurements to improve our processes to extract greater results from our efforts for our customers.

Change is a way of life at Honeywell – it’s the way we all challenge ourselves to be better; it’s the way we ensure we never become complacent; it’s how we win market share; and at the end of the day, it’s what excites the really talented people at Honeywell.

How do you handle change?

 

 

Manufacturing Excellence in America- the converging of the digital and physical worlds

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I spent the last few days visiting with Honeywell Value-Added Distributors and numerous Honeywell customers using our market leading sensing products. While many of us know that the manufacturing industry in America has been hard hit by the changing global economy, there is a manufacturing evolution occurring that is quite impressive. And after my visits this week, it’s easy to understand the growing excitement and momentum in United States manufacturing.  Momentum that is happening with very little media coverage.

I wanted to see how IndustryWeek, a leading publication covering the $2 Trillion U.S. Manufacturing Industry was providing coverage and was surprised to learn that they are now predicting that the United States will once again take the top spot globally in manufacturing by 2020 (http://www.industryweek.com/competitiveness/top-10-manufacturing-countries-2020#slide-0-field_images-192471) .  Pretty amazing forecast.

IndustryWeek 2020 US Back to number 1 in Manufacturing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My meetings helped me believe that this forecast is real and credible. Manufacturing in the United States is being driven by advanced technologies and as IndustryWeek states, “the converging of the digital and physical worlds”.

  • Revenue up 19 percent from prior-year period
  • Segment operating profit up 27 percent
  • Order backlog up 39 percent year over year

Impressive statistics. The numbers I share above are from one of Honeywell’s customers using our market leading sensing products. It’s a customer, who by the way, that anyone who flies these days have seen in action… the deicer below is from John Bean Technologies (www.JBTAerotech.com) and one of the many products from JBT that use Honeywell sensor technology. I must admit, this is one of their products that I hate to see. It means my flight will be delayed.  Ever fly through Chicago in January?

JBT Cargo loader JBT deicer

 

 

 

 

 

It was interesting to learn how JBT uses sensing technology to provide superior performance in the field. I was really impressed on my visit to learn each of the cargo loaders is built to order per customer specifications. I had thought that every cargo loading deck was the same. Boy did I learn.  Amazing technology.

At the other end of manufacturing spectrum and another great example of the converging of the digital and physical manufacturing worlds, is Velocomp (www.ibikesports.com). Velocomp is unique because they have developed for those using bicycles (think about the size of that total global market opportunity) a “power meter” with their PowerPod product that not only measures your power, but helps you learn WHY and HOW you produce it. And with the help of Honeywell sensing technology, a pretty amazing product with a very bright future…PowerPro Image on Bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

The product also provides great analytics. I was fascinated to learn that the blue graphic image below shows the impact on  power usage when “drafting”.  For those of you familiar with NASCAR, you always see the drivers drafting to increase their power usage. Well, Velcomp has technology for the bicyclist.

PowerPod Metrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed myself this week learning more about how manufacturing is really leveraging Honeywell sensing technology and thriving to win.

It’s clear to me that US manufacturing is staging an amazing comeback lead by innovation.

Surprised?   Let me know your thoughts?

I Finally Went to the Masters- Excellent Example of Brand Management

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I was able to live a lifelong dream and be one of the lucky ones to visit Augusta National and attend the Masters tournament last week for the Sunday round.

And to prove it, here’s a picture with my “entry badge”.  By the way, you do not take them home… they are returned to the owner.

Scott Deutsch at 2016 Masters

For those of you wondering about attending the Masters, it is everything you think it will be and then some. As a marketing professional (at least I think I am…), and you wanted to how to best manage a “brand”, this is the place to go and learn. It’s a shining example of how a brand manages every facet of their communications and customer experience.

Let me give you some highlights that I witnessed first-hand.

  • No wires! I have been to many golf tournaments and some have been majors (I have been to 3 U.S. Opens) and many smaller events (such as Doral, Honda, Bridgestone) and none of them can compare on how Augusta National grounds are presented.   At Augusta National you never see any of the wires around the course that is required to support the TV broadcast and there are no camera cranes or blimps (sorry Goodyear or MetLife). All the wiring is buried at August National and beautifully done. The camera stations are all permanent, so all CBS has to do is bring in their cameras and plug it in.
  • No litter! I was amazed at how clean the property was. Thousands of people and a spotless environment.   People were cleaning up everywhere and plenty of trash receptacles around the course.

Augusta National Image of clubhouse

  •  $1.50 sandwiches! That’s not a typo. Wow. What a pleasure to be at a place that had sandwiches for $1.50 to $2.50. And the quality was first rate.   By the way, my first pimento cheese sandwich.
  • The birds really do sing. If you ever watched the Masters on TV, you will always hear birds chirping. Well, I am here to report that the birds really do chirp at Augusta. Those microphones are probably in the woods, but you can hear the birds singing.
  • No cheering for a single player. What is that you say? While clearly everyone has their favorites and “cheers” for them, I have never been to a tournament where you are asked to “please refrain from cheering for a single player”. They literally have people walking around within the crowd to ensure proper “behavior” from the attendees.   By the way, I doubt anyone yelled “baba booey” at Augusta National.   They would have probably been promptly escorted off the grounds. (Howard Stern fans will understand that reference).
  • No porta potties here. The nicest restrooms you will you ever see at an event with this scale. Well managed, well maintained and running water with paper towels.
  • Organized seating. The course had ample seating.   Ranging from well-organized and roped off areas for those with “proper masters chairs”… only Masters chairs allowed… to plenty of well-placed grandstands.
  • Scoreboards everywhere. I love those traditional scoreboards vs. the digital scoreboards you see at every golf tournament. These are part of the Masters tradition. I hope they never change…
  • Easy access to branded merchandise. Ok, the first thing I did when I got to August National at 8:30am was buy my shirts and stuff (I love that Masters’ logo!). Here’s what I was impressed with. Right as you got on the grounds they had a smaller store that had enough of a selection to meet my needs.   I do not think I was in line more than 5 minutes to pay. If you ever have been to a golf tournament, you know this is an amazingly fast. Now here’s the best part: I was able to walk back to my car (about a 10 minute walk) and put the gifts away for safe storage and not worry about carrying them the rest of the day. Nice. Oh, and yes, the main store (it is very large) was on the core Augusta National grounds with longer lines.
  • Beautiful grass and grounds everywhere. My final thought on building a great brand experience was how spectacular the grounds were outside of the fairways. The areas you walked were as manicured as the main golf course. I think the areas you walk around the course are probably better fairways than 90% of public or private courses. It was that well maintained.

Augusta National does not miss much when it comes to brand management. And I suspect the players and their families love the environment almost as much as the audience does.

Now I could not end this without talking about golf at the 2016 Masters.

My day started by walking around to see “August National” before settling on sitting on the grandstands at hole #11 green, which is where you also watch them play #12. This is such a pretty and a scary spot…I think I sat there for almost three hours and watched 33% of the players put a ball in the water…more on that later. Any golfer can picture for themselves almost every hole that they have watched on TV over the years.

Biggest surprises at August National:

  • How hilly the course really is.
  • How small the “landing areas” are on the putting surface to give yourself a chance at making a putt.   After seeing the course myself, I wonder why there are not more 3 putts.   The movement on the putts was even more pronounced than I thought they were from watching on TV.
  • Those greens are fast! What other tournaments to you constantly see pros hit the ball 4-5 feet past the hole with consistency?
  • The roars on the back nine that they always talk about are real! It is amazing to hear from a distance the building of the roar to the final crescendo. The roar from 3 holes-in-one that Sunday was amazing.   It was another really neat part of the Masters atmosphere.

Jordon Speith after birdie on 9th hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After sitting at #12 for two hours, I decided to follow the leader.   I followed Jordan Spieth, the leader and defending champion from #2 through #12…  Here’s a picture of him after making his 4th birdie in a row at #9.  An amazing run. By the way, he really took his time before hitting each and every shot.  On the 9th fairway, he changed clubs 4 times.

It was unfortunate to watch him bogie #10 and miss a 4 footer on #11 for two bogies in a row… but now the rest of the story.

Remember that I said that I had been sitting on the tee box for #12 and watched a third of the shots end up in the water?

Jordon Speith painful second drop image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, Jordon was added to that list. He hit his shot so fast compared to all his other shots that day. And then his second shot also ended up wet.   His 5 shot lead was gone. His hope for victory gone. His march toward history on this day, gone. And my day. Over.
Jordon Speith painful image on 18th with Caddy

Everyone was in a state of shock. I recall watching Jason Day and Dustin Johnson watching the scoreboard as they walked to their balls on the 16th fairway. They both looked and looked again and then at each other. They too were stunned.

This picture is from the 18th green with his caddy trying to console him.

I will never forget my day at the Masters. Nor will I ever forget the stunned silence after Jordan hit his second ball in the water. 20,000 people and total silence. You could feel the anguish. People were in tears… in disbelief. Shock.

Augusta National is magical in many many ways.

I am so glad I had the privilege to attend.

 

Working in an Agile Digital Marketing World

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Deutsch_Scott_25aThe greatest change that has occurred in marketing over the past two years is the need for “real” agile digital marketing. While everyone talks agile, too many marketing activities still follow traditional waterfall (serial) approaches. This approach for certain marketing efforts just takes too long to determine execution effectiveness quickly. Welcome to a world where readers have 10 second attention spans and 140 character communications are standard.

The need for speed and feedback was addressed by many technology development teams over the last ten years by adopting an “agile methodology”. This was in response to bloated and delayed projects. If your business is using an agile development methodology, they probably have “SCRUMs and Sprints” as well.  Here’s a link to learn more about the agile SCRUM methodology http://scrumreferencecard.com/scrum-reference-card/. To align marketing with the business, many of us are adopting this approach. One of the most effective areas that I am personally seeing great success leveraging this agile methodology approach is in the areas of public relations and marketing communications.Agile Image for Scott Blog April 2016Our efforts now are focused on obtaining feedback early and often. Being in market quickly and getting results really makes a difference. Perfection in marketing is not realistic or acceptable, as it often takes too long for that last 5%. And the lost time in market becomes our greatest obstacle to success. I found the graphic below (I cannot recall the source- or I’d give them the credit…let me know if you locate it) which helps begin to crystalize the changing communications behavior needed to complete and win in today’s fast changing online world.

Agile Change of News Cycle- Scott Blog April 2016

I found this graphic to be a wonderful example of how agile digital marketing really makes a quantitative difference. This is the approach we are working to standardize across Marketing Communications at Honeywell S&PS. The exciting aspect about this for me is that it really challenges the team to execute rapidly and forces decisions fast.  I’d rather fail fast than spend weeks and months reviewing elements that at the end of the day, really will provide limited impact on our results.  It’s amazing how projects get side tracked for really no good reason. This approach is helping our marketing team learn and learn fast.

By the way, our product management and development teams now smile at my marketing communications team when we talk scrum and sprints. Who ever thought Marcom could learn best practices from a development team?

Why is Southwest Airlines Disrespecting Flight #93?

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Deutsch_ScottYesterday started like many other travel days. My 4am wake-up call to catch a 6am flight. Off to the airport I go, like many other days of the year. It is a beautiful day for travel on this warm early October day. The 6am flight is on-time and I actually have an empty seat next to me, which is rare on a Southwest flight. I am heading to Atlanta for a connecting flight. Again, a typical travel day. We arrive in Atlanta early. That’s what happens when you depart at 6am and not 6pm.

Once in Atlanta, I locate the gate for my connecting flight. My next flight is on-time and I’m in the proper terminal, so no long stroll will be needed on this fine Tuesday morning. Now is when my day ends being any typical day. I look at my ticket. It’s flight #93! I did a double take and then a triple take. My brain starts going in many directions. My emotions are racing. Do I even get on the flight? For those that know me, they know that I am somewhat superstitious. I do not fly on Friday the 13th or make big decisions on that day, nor do I fly on September 11. Those are set in stone for me. And now I am about to board flight #93.

Flight #93 has great significance, since it was the flight number of the plane that on September 11th 2001 crashed into the western Pennsylvania countryside on that very sad day. I am so disappointed in Southwest Airlines (the owner of this AirTran flight). And why hasn’t the FAA retired this flight number out of respect?

I must admit that so many memories of that fateful day are running through my mind right now. It’s as if that day just happened. I was working in North Jersey then and I recall the receptionist coming into our regular Monday staff meeting at 8:45am telling us that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. No one at that time ever thought of a “jet” crashing into the buildings. It had to be one of those small prop planes. We would learn otherwise.

Airtran Flight 93 at airportMy wife and I visited the Flight 93 memorial, about an hour east of Pittsburgh a few years ago. It was in the middle of no place. This big field with its small memorial telling the story of the planes passenger bravery. One of my good friends from college, Bill Voltmer has been a big supporter of the Todd Beamer Foundation and has been helping to make sure we never forget and that we leave a lasting memory for all those innocent people. I’m proud of him for doing such fine work. I recommend you try to plan a trip to the Flight 93 memorial site. It is quite moving and they have done a fine job at educating visitors.

Oh, by the way, the plane is half empty which is very rare for any flight these days. So maybe others noticed the flight number long before I did and decided to take a different flight option.

Southwest Airlines and the FAA should be ashamed of themselves.

I think they should retire the flight 93 call number immediately. And we’ll they are at, retire the flight call numbers for the planes that struck the World Trade Center (American #11 & United #175) and the Pentagon (American #77).

 

Cost Savings Roundtable with Canada’s Leading Supply Chain MM&D Magazine

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Scott Deutsch- Honeywell- Voice SolutionsI had the pleasure last week participating in a 90-minute roundtable discussion lead by Editor-in-Chief Emily Atkins, Materials Management & Distribution magazine (www.mmdonline.com) on the subject of  cost saving. Any time for a conversation around talking how to save costs in a warehouse is a good time for me, since it is a cornerstone to the Vocollect Voice value proposition.

MM&D did an excellent job at bringing together diverse perspectives on how businesses could save with various approaches. What I found to be unique about this discussion was that we had point of views ranging from real estate (Colliers International) to automation (Dematic) to floor design (3D Storage Solutions). We also had a leading Canadian 3PL (Direct Distribution Centres, a division of Canada Cartage System) at the roundtable representing the customer view. These various areas of expertise made for an excellent roundtable engagement with lots of opinions.

Emily Atkins- MM&D Magazine Editor at a PanelWhile different in our perspectives, a common set of themes seem to resonate with the group. The core themes we discussed  were about:

  1. Business flexibility- We discussed this subject in terms of real estate and facilities, as well as having flexibility within the four walls to support a changing future driven by the growth of omni-channel and ecommerce. The group also discussed the need for shorter (and less costly) investments that had paybacks greater than 24 months. It was especially noted that the lack of modern facility inventory with 36’ clearance was also forcing businesses to think about investment options.

Scalability– The warehouse of the future is driven by customer change and no one has 100% confidence in knowing what exactly the future holds. The growth in the “world of eaches” has forced businesses to think differently about how they organize their facilities. No longer could businesses view their ecommerce order fulfillment as a stepchild. So “hiding it” in the corner of the facility was no longer going to be viable option. Ecommerce is here to stay and will only grow as a percentage of overall business, for most. We discussed the need for a business to be able to scale up and down to meet changing customer needs as well being able to cost effectively support the demands of business seasonality.  You would be correct to the linkage of flexibility and scalability going hand and hand. As a group, we did agree that inflexible infrastructure investments would have fewer business opportunities.

Workflow process optimization– We spent the largest amount of time talking about how outdated processes are a barrier to lower operational costs. Changing the status quo is never easy, but necessary in order to challenge the business to perform operationally more efficient…. now. One of the points I raised was that sometimes it is a matter of perspective. If we could show how we could improve their “as-is” state from an audit of operational processes (often capturing video of their actual processes) and compared it to a possible “future state”, how can a business say no? The use of re-engineered and optimized processes with technology such as voice has gained wide market acceptance (and growing rapidly) because we are able to show a true and quantifiable ROI breakeven in less than a year. An interesting point was made that very few businesses in Canada have the business scale to justify large-scale projects with a multi-year payback. I do not think this perspective is limited to the Canadian market.

Measure for success– It was resoundingly agreed that measuring activities was vital in order to ensure that key KPI’s were achieved and the business was able to focus on key areas of success. The ability to properly measure with engineered labor standards was viewed as a good operating procedure to help a business reduce costs and ensure their worker output was maximized. One of the beauties of voice is that we measure and track very detailed task results. This data is extremely useful to help the business better understand their facility layout and organization.  One of the benefits of voice is that it helps provide great feedback to help annually reslotting activities to help reduce wasted travel time.

Safety and Worker Performance– While everyone was in favor of cost savings, it had to properly balanced against potential safety risks. This has always been a core strength of the Vocollect Voice solution (www.vocollectvoice.com) value proposition. The heads-up and hands-free nature of a voice solution helps keep a worker focused on their task and helps reduce their distractions. This also positively influences damaged inventory as well as worker safety.

As you can probably tell, I enjoyed myself. It was group of very knowledgeable industry professionals and I am glad to have had the opportunity to spend quality time to meet and discuss a subject that I am passionate about. Thank you to Materials Management & Distribution (MM&D) for having Honeywell at this industry thought leaders roundtable.

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