The Right Kind of Problem Solving with Lee Campe

The Right Kind of Problem Solving with Lee Campe

by Patrick Adams | Apr 26, 2022

In this episode, I talk with Lee Campe about some of his favorite problem solving examples. This is Lee’s second time on the show.  Previously, in episode 56, we discussed how to maintain a high standards in Lean and Six Sigma.  Today, we talked about his experiences in problem solving with many different industries.

 

What You’ll Learn This Episode:

  • Are PDCA and A3 the same as 6 Sigma
  • What’s the best way to identify the 8th form of waste
  • Do we still need a team of people to do a project
  • Why does a continuous improvement program often fail
  • Lean and Six Sigma from a People perspective
  • What then are the tips for a successful roll out

 

About the Guest: 

Lee Campe, is the President of Performance Excellence Inc. He is a Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Lee is a proven Lean Six Sigma deployment leader with a wide array of expertise in all facets of business and Continuous Improvement. He also is one of the few instructors with extensive experience in Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) and Innovation through design thinking. Lee also served as a US Army Ranger.

Prior to starting Performance Excellence, Lee was a Master Black Belt (MBB) for the  Home Depot, where he was responsible for coaching employees and mentoring projects  across the US. Projects Lee mentored provided the company with over $200 million in  savings. Prior to the Home Depot, Lee was the Vice President and Master Black Belt for JP  Morgan Chase in New York. His responsibilities included coaching and training  Champions, Black Belts, Green Belts, and management in the DMAIC and DFSS  methodologies. During his tenure, Lee trained over 100 Champions and mentored three  enterprise-wide projects that identified over $20 Million in potential savings. As an MBB and Director at Cordis Corporation, a $1.3 billion Johnson and Johnson  company, Lee was responsible for driving the implementation of Six sigma  companywide. Charged with the goal of making Six Sigma part of the corporate culture,  Lee was ultimately responsible for saving the company over $6 million annually. He also  built the company’s transactional Six Sigma curriculum; developed the Six Sigma project database using DFSS for all of Johnson and Johnson; and trained and certified a J&J acquisition in Haifa, Israel.

Important Links:

http://leecampe.com/

http://www.linkedin.com/in/leecampe

 

Full Episode Transcripts: 

 

Patrick Adams 

Welcome to the Lean solutions podcast where we discuss business solutions to help listeners develop and implement action plans for true Lean process improvement. I am your host, Patrick Adams. The most dangerous phrase in our language is we’ve always done it this way. There are an awful lot of posers out there. People that do Lean because they’re mandated to do it. They think it will work. How stable are you today? What are your goals? are you generating small sample improvements? There are very few people that embrace lean with their full heart had an emotion. Let’s imagine that your current output is top notch. Is that enough to stop innovating and stop reaching for more? Patrick’s book uncovers the essence of what those organizations look like, and what the posers look like? Caution. Are you in the fake zone, or the real zone?

 

Patrick Adams 

Welcome, everybody. Our guest today is Lee Campe. Lee was previously on our show back in episode 56, where we discussed maintaining high standards in Lean and Six Sigma Lee is the president of performance excellence, Inc, and a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Among many other accolades, Lee served our country as a US Army Ranger. And I always love hearing his stories of how he applies the learnings from the military to the work that he does now as a as a change agent in industry. Welcome the show, Lee.

 

Lee Campe 

Thank you. Thank you. I’m glad to be back again. It’s not a surprise, as my mother said, I’ve got a face for podcasts. Here I am.

 

Patrick Adams 

That’s always a good one. Yeah, I love it. That’s why I do podcasts, you know? Yeah. I actually I almost introduced you as a former Army Ranger. And I’m not sure if you guys use the term former or not in the army.

 

 

Lee Campe

Yeah, at that time, you got one meal a day and one hour sleep at night and a guy, which I’ve done these days, I’ve kind of made a point of trying to go around to the Ranger bases and get my get my picture taken in front of the sun and show my daughters what daddy did, but a guy was walking through and I go, Are you a ranger, he was a civilian. He was there to you know, just rehashing his memory and he said once arranger, always arranger, so former military service member veteran, but yes, you can’t take the Ranger tab away.

 

Patrick Adams 

 

No, you cannot know that it’s the same thing in the in the Marine Corps that the that’s exactly what you hear from any, any veteran that’s that when you hear the term former. They’re like, No, no, no, no, no. Once a Marine always a Marine.

 

Lee Campe

So now you could say formerly had good knees.

 

Patrick Adams 

There you go. That’s a good Oh, yeah. I like that. Well, thank you for your service. Lee, I always love talking to fellow veterans. One of the things I want to dive into today I am back in episode 56. When we were together, we talked a lot about Lean and Six Sigma and your we talked we you gave us a couple of case studies and examples of different projects that you’ve been able to work on and help coach other lean leaders through. So I thought today we could dive into the topic of problem solving, specifically structured problem solving. And there’s many different problem solving approaches that are out there. PDCA DMAIC, or MD AIC as you as you teach. And we talked about in the in the last episode, eight D, a threes, right? And many times you hear that PDCA and a three are the same as a Six Sigma approach. What do you think about that?

 

Lee Campe 

Unfortunately, I find there’s some old school lean folks, the Toyota way etc. And they just refuse to sort of acknowledge that six sigma has anything to offer. And that’s why I actually wrote an article recently on LinkedIn about the Six Sigma doesn’t fix anything. And I agree with you. And that’s because it’s simply mean six standard deviations from the mean. It’s not It’s nothing. It’s just a mathematical term. But Dimmick, DMA I see, absolutely fixes stuff. It’s it’s a, it’s a methodology that your doctor uses inherently your mechanic. Usually you don’t want a mechanic when you bring your car and say, it doesn’t start for him to say, well, let’s rebuild the engine. And you know, you go why you do that? He goes, Well, the last car that didn’t start I rebuilt the engine and it started. So you know, you, you want him to go through this process of identifying the root cause of the problem. So I often get from that group. Oh, well, you know, a three is the same thing or PDCA does that. And so, one of the things I’ve found is maybe in my disagreement with that, as I’ve over the years, I’ve learned it has to do more with the training of the black belts. So what I’ve noticed Kepner Trico for example, there’s this neat philosophy from the 70s called cabinetry ego which is I’m a huge fan of they have this The thing called distinctions and changes where you look for sudden changes in the process to identify root cause. But what I noticed in the A threes and all those things is I don’t see anywhere in the training for hypothesis testing. What I see is a section that says what’s the root cause. And the assumption that just because the person said it’s the root cause it is, right. And what I see in again, not all green belts are trained in, you know, sort of mini tab or something like that. But a good black belt program spends time on two sample T test ANOVA regression, you know, just because, you know, someone says that sales are down because we don’t smile at people. And then suddenly, you have like, some of the retailers here in the US, you have a greet the customer process, right, you know, and now I gotta walk in, there’s a local gas station here, and you walk in, and they go, welcome to blank Welcome to blank. And then when it’s really busy, they just go, oh, you know, you just you just hear words, and actually asked the manager one day, I bet you guys are measured on whether or not you agree customers? And he said, Yeah, we are. And then I told him of one of the retail organizations I worked for where I will, I was able to disprove any correlation between grades and sales. So I do, you know, they all have a section that says root cause, I guess my major segue from that is where is the training to prove that something is a root cause right? Now, there I teach, when I teach, there’s two ways to prove a root cause there’s trial and error, you can try it. But in that example, a lot of times, like I always use weight loss as an example, you know, you’re 240 pounds on January 9, and you want to be 225. So you join the gym, you buy new shoes, you change your diet, you meal plan, you get it, but which one of the four is the root? Cause? You don’t know. So that would be the major thing. I think in DMAIC, a good training program does put an emphasis on hypothesis testing. Sure, and just because you say there’s a root cause doesn’t mean it is right

 

Patrick Adams 

absolutely. So what would you say, would be the process that you would go through to to get to root cause when you talk about hypothesis testing, you know, you know, even if we use the use the weight loss example, you know, maybe or another example that you might have, but what would be, you know, maybe high level, what would be the steps that you would go through to get to the root cause?

 

Lee Campe 

Well, and that’s where, before I forget my train of thought PDCA, we use I say we use in the approved phase of domain, you’ve come up with a solution, that’s your plan, you do your pilot, that’s the do, right, you check for the results, and then the action and then I bring back in CCNA for the control phase, what as a leader are you going to continue to check for to make sure your solution has stayed in place right. Now in terms of, you know, the way the way I teach domains, you know, the, the the analyze phase is where you kind of you could fishbone diagram, you know, all the great font, you could have FMEA you know, we love to throw our acronyms around. But you could come up with all sorts of root causes to a problem. Really, there’s two ways I mean, surely you have the trial and error approach, which might be something you So in that example. Here’s something I did with some supplements that I was taking, I realized one day that I had become my dad I had like 40 vitamins and minerals that I was taking in the morning. And I realized that I bought into a lot of that Guilty as charged just from reading an article. And so I did the trial and error approach I stopped taking all of them and I introduced one at a time for a period of a week to two weeks to see if I had any noticeable impact now the noticeable impact is opinion data it was based on how I felt you know, I didn’t have any like hard measurements none of that had to do with like a distinct correlation of weight loss or something like that, but actually found a couple of supplements that definitely had some improvement in sleep and I had a few that didn’t see anything so I was able to save some money so you have the trial and error approach that might be something that a mechanic might take you know your your my daughter’s car this morning she’s on her way to Midas because the front end is shaking, and I would hope a good mechanic will say Well first let me check the tires you know that the leading hypothesis is that you have tire wear that can cause the front end to shake versus I hope he’s not just going to call me up oh, I threw it up on the machine. I want to do a front end alignment right you know, because now front end alignment bad tires, you got nothing right now on the flip side, you’ve got you know, a major US retailer I work for again, one of the things I’m known for that students give me feedback for you know, I don’t want to toot my own horn and they’d say, you know, Professor camping I love how you tie Lean Six Sigma in my personal life. I get a lot of examples where I continue to use this today in my personal life. One student messaged me the other day, my wife law As you because I five s the garage. But I’m also known for there’s an old kids book called encyclopedia Brown. Okay, you know, we’ll get into this when we talk about teams, you know, do Lean Six Sigma projects need a team, well, Encyclopedia Brown, the books were titled, you know, The Case of the Missing library book. And he didn’t need a team, he pulled in people as needed. And he asked people questions. So this was the case of why does one group of stores make less profit than another. So one group of stores had 2% profitability, and another group of stores had 3% on EBIT up. And we as a team, we brainstorm the fishbone diagram, and this is one of the neatest cases I think, for your question. Somebody identified, the rule was that stores could have no more than three, I’m no more than two assistant managers. Okay, so we dug into the HR data for number of assistant managers by store, I did a Pareto chart, I want to say 60 out just swag it you know, the great saying 86% of statistics are made up on the spot, but that’s 60% of stores were compliant, they had to about 30% of stores had three. Okay. And then there were some stores 4567, which we agreed as a team. Alright, that’s an operational definition issue. In order to give someone a raise, they probably gave them the title of assistant manager, but they’re not really so we threw that out. Okay. So what’s the knee jerk reaction? When you find out that 30% of your stores have one extra System Manager?

 

Patrick Adams 

Knee jerk would be? Get rid of them.

 

Lee Campe 

Yeah, because the project was about profitability. Right, right. Well, fortunately, in this case, we pulled someone out who was a, who was a manager of stores had become a VP. And he said, Well, now wait a second, maybe those stores are run better. Maybe we need three assistant managers. So this was a classic hypothesis test example. Sure. And it turns out when you dug into the data, and you got the stores that had three assistant managers versus the stores that had two and you did a two sample T test and includes median, the stores with three outperformed on profit the stores with two. Now we know correlation doesn’t mean causation. So in order to present to this is a major US retailer, so we’re presenting to the board we dug into the data. And it turned out when you factor for training hours, office meetings and things like that a store with only two assistant managers had 40 hours a week where there was no manager present, we kind of took lean, the eighth form of waste, you know, you know, if your cashier isn’t at the cash register, it’s non value added? Well, we said if the store has no manager, it’s non value add. And we’re able to show management 40 hours a week, there was no manager there. And the it was probably never able to kind of prove this with data. But the assumption is with no manager in the store, it was a free for all. And that third extra manager was able to manage those costs. So that was an example of digging into the data using hypothesis testing to prove or disprove a hypothesis versus just trying something right.

 

Patrick Adams 

That’s amazing. such it’s such a good example. And I think that sometimes you you find that there is, you know, one root cause and sometimes there’s multiple root causes. But the only way to really know which one is having the greatest impact is by letting the data determine the answer to that right versus feed.

 

Lee Campe 

Yeah, and that’s, that’s where you get the great hypothesis test the design of experiments, you know, so many, even in manufacturing today, they’ll rely on the experience of the engineers and change, they’ll turn five knobs on a machine and say, Look, we did it, right. But But what maybe one of the knobs didn’t need to be turned right.

 

Patrick Adams 

And then next time that you have the same problem, you have no idea what to do, you’re gonna try to turn five knobs again, and not know which one is actually having an impact.

 

Lee Campe 

I’ll give you a fun story. I have a client that makes machines for the paper industry and we were doing a project, they have to basically take a roll out of the paper machine and grind the coating off and put a new coating on. Every type of paper has its own coating. Well, I know more about industries I’ve never worked in just from doing this career. That’s what we do. Yeah, I work in a poultry plant one day, a paper company, the next a bank. But we were following the process because this one area took longer. And so the guy who sets the machine up and then all of a sudden he pulls out a calculator. Know what nobody else is doing this. He’s he’s punching the numbers in a calculator. He’s write something down, then he adjusts the machine. Like everyone else just adjusts machine. What are you doing? Oh, well, I have to take this piece of paper, I have to enter these numbers. I have to get this number and then I typed it in. We didn’t know what he didn’t know why he was doing that. This is a great, you know, people are taught to do whatever the last guy told him to do, right? We called a guy that had retired. And he said, Oh, we did that because there’s a piece of equipment in the machine that bent 14 years ago and older that we couldn’t get apart. So in order to compensate for the part, I developed an algorithm, oh, wow, this this thing held up, like let’s just say $10,000 a year in interest revenue from grinding machines, and it was a $900. Apart, we were able to get the part FedExed in the next day and Romania process away.

 

Patrick Adams 

that’s amazing.

 

Lee Campe 

But you know, as a late, you know, as a continuous improvement person, there’s so much value, and that’s going to the gemba is a great example of, hey, this is so odd. What do you do?

 

Lee Campe

Yeah, oh, no, I have another example that goes right along with that one with an organization that we were working with, we had in this goes along with why it’s so important to talk to everyone that’s involved in the process, not just for shift, but also talking to second shift and third shift, if if that, you know, if there are multiple shifts, but we had first shift was, there was a machine that they were, similarly they were packaging parts, and I think it was, there was a box maker and a wrapper, and inside of this one piece of equipment, and the first shift operator was having problems with ramp up after they would change over and he just could not get his ramp up, you know, within the timeframe that it needed to be and definitely not anywhere close to third shift. Third shift was just blown it out of the water. And, but we wouldn’t have known that unless we collected the data, which they didn’t have at the time. So we collected the data on on ramp up times and looked at each shift. And then we’re like, whoa, wait a minute here. You know, why is third shift doing so well, and first shift, you know, can’t can’t hit the mark. So we and in this machine, when they did the changeover, they had multiple dials that they had to, you know, they basically would get some standard work that would give them you know, okay, change it to this dial to this numbers down to this number, this dial to this number, push start, and you should have a good product, right? So we went to third shift. And we’re like, Hey, why are your ramp up times so good? Like, what are you doing, and we watched him do a changeover. And what we saw was that every time he would look at his his standard document for what to the dial should read, he would say, Okay, this one needs to be eight, and he would start turning the dial. And he would always go 20, clicks past the number, and then come back to it. And he didn’t say anything about it. We were just watching this at the gamba. Go to the next one, he’d go 20 clicks past come back. 20 clicks past on every dial. And this was something that obviously we when we observe first shift, he was not doing that. So we saw the difference. And we asked him, Why do you go 20 clicks past and then come back was like, well, the machine has a ton of slop in it. He’s like, if you don’t go 20 clicks past if you just go to the number, the slop is it causes you to to be completely out of range. So you have to go 20 clicks past and then come back. So again, a very simple example. But just by going to the gamba and observing what was happening and asking the right questions. We were able to then, you know, communicate that back to first shift and what and you just made a great case for doing the Measure Phase first, right? Yeah. Yeah, you can’t, you know, you can’t do anything without that data. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s so yeah, that’s fascinating. Yeah, it was that was that solution, the first shift to say everyone needs to go 20 clicks and come back. No, no, no, later do a project to reduce the slot.

 

Patrick Adams 

Exactly. You  know, that was a temporary fix that we put in place right away to, you know, get everybody to within the ramp up time. But then obviously, yes, we obviously knew there was a deeper problem, a deeper root cause, right, that needed to be fixed within the equipment that one has to go back to early conversation.

 

Lee Campe 

That’s a great example of two ways to do hypothesis test. Right? You got hypothesis number one, everyone do the 20 clicks in the short term so we can get that equality across? And that’s, you know, because that’s another thing companies do is they try to do the detailed hypothesis testing on a process. It’s out of control. Right? Right. You know, and you, you just if your yo yo dieting and your weights all over the place, you’ve got to stabilize that first, right?

 

Patrick Adams 

You can’t improve chaos.

 

Lee Campe 

No. And by the way, for all the manufacturing soliciting manufacturers listening. One of the things that and you’ll probably agree with this, one of the things I’ve always asked my clients, I is set back and we’ll just sit back and watch a shift change. And immediately when second shift or third shift comes in, they’ll start turning knobs, right? Oh, absolutely. I’m like, well, now hold on a second. I thought second shift had this under control by the end of the shift. Why would you even touch it up? And so I actually had a client by the end of this, he got on a shift change. He told all the operators, I want you to simply stand back from the machine. And if you feel like you have to change something, raise your hand and I want to come over and ask you what it is you’re going to change and why I love that he Yeah, he found some uh, well, I got to change it because Bob didn’t quite, you know, yeah. And he found some cases where the operator was right. And he found some cases where they were wrong. So it really led to some real good consistency in the product.

 

Patrick Adams 

Love that. That’s a that’s a great idea. And just just some really good conversation, I’m sure but you know, between the leader and the the machine operators. Yep. Very cool. Lee, I want to go back to something that you mentioned earlier. You mentioned the eighth waste, non utilization have talent? What do you think is the best way to identify that, that form of waste when you’re well, and it’s just, uh, I mean it.

 

Lee Campe 

This is where maybe sometimes we can be a little too, you know, politically correct in the sense of terminology and stuff like that. But it, you know, oh, I don’t want to say that my employees are our waster. And well, that’s not what we’re saying. But what I do is just say, Listen, what did you hire the person to do at its simplest form, and I just use the example of a nurse every time a nurse should always be aware, and all my patients will tell you with a patient, I mean, all my clients will tell you that they should be with a patient, right? And so then you can just stand there with a piece of paper and a tip sheet. And just anytime the nurse is not with a patient, what is he or she doing? Right? And this was a lateral great project for one of my healthcare clients. Well, she and 90% of us nurses are women, she is outside. I like to use the Georgia joke with me mall waiting on people to pick her up. And so and then you go, Okay, you have a $60 an hour resource with benefits fully loaded, standing in a parking lot waiting for someone to come pick up somebody? Is that what you hire that person to do? Right? And so and that’s really I found very useful for clients, they surgeon should always be performing surgery, right? And then you if they’re not, what are they doing? And then you step back from that you do your little tick mark. And certainly there’s going to be some things that we we say, well, I know he’s not in surgery, but I do want him over here washing his hands. Okay, that’s fine. But let’s do some in the healthcare field, it’s led to some reduction in paperwork, because where’s the nurse, she’s at the nurse’s station. Or in the case of one of my clients, the nurses looking for drugs, because the dam that had the pills, and it hadn’t been restocked, which then led to a pharmacy project on the cycle time that it took to restock. The pharmacy bin, right. So you know, a you a UPS driver is should be either in a truck or walk in a package to the front door. Anytime they’re not it’s non value added. So it again, the person is always value added, but you’ve got them doing something you didn’t pay them to do. That’s right, absolutely. And now on the flip side, that also helps you identify, I need that step done, but doesn’t have to be done at $65 an hour. And in the earlier example, my client ended up and this is where you get to one of the things I teach in the improve phases, a technique called challenge the rules and get rid of excuses. So challenge the rules. And you’ll know this is Oh, well OSHA requires that. Well, HIPAA requires that, you know, it’s like the guy’s got a nine point harness and a three hour process to climb a ladder to change the light bulb. OSHA does not require that OSHA says he has to be secured from falling above a certain height, you’re the one that came up with this ridiculous process, right. And so in that one example, oh, oh, a registered nurse has to be the one to take the patient outside. And whenever someone throws a wreck at me, I say show me the reg. Like, I don’t want what your hospital wrote, I want the one from the government. Right? And it’s not in there. It just says qualified medical care. That’s right. And so we were able to outsource that to a third party and $15 an hour who now takes the patients outside and keeps the nurse at the patient. That’s it. Now you get into cost benefit. Oh, but I’ve added a $15 labor resource. No, what you’ve done is you’ve Another project we worked on, you’ve increased bed availability, because now you can turn the beds faster, so that people aren’t waiting in the ER to get up to a to a bed. So it all sort of ripples together. But it all starts from identifying what am I paying this person to do versus what they’re actually doing? That’s right.

 

Patrick Adams 

I love that great, great examples. I love the examples. And also just because we have listeners from all over the world that are, you know, different industries, too. So the fact that you’re giving examples from the healthcare industry, from manufacturing from, you know, all these different large box stores and things like that, definitely personal life.

 

Lee Campe 

And that’s why I really try to beat that negative stereotype that Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma is only for manufacturing. Right? I take two approaches to that. Well, we’re all manufacturers, if you do something more than once you’re a manufacturer. You know, hospitals manufacture hopefully a healthy patient, right? And then of course, we can measure we can measure success with the readmission rate. That’s one of the hugest biggest metrics in healthcare right now is the readmission rate. Right?

 

Patrick Adams 

Absolutely. Let’s go back to projects Lee. So let’s talk specifically let’s dive into project. So one of the things that we were talking about before we hit record was when to actually kick off a formal project I guess, and I say that in quotations, a formal project versus you know, just doing a in a PDCA cycle and learning something and putting solutions in place on a channel And I gave the example of, you know, one organization that I worked with where an individual came up to me and he said, Look, I have a scuff on a bottle that’s coming down a line. And, and he said, Do we gotta pull a team together? And work on this, you know, as a team and try to figure out why the scuff is on the bottle. And so I asked him, Well, how many? How many bottles? Have you found like that? And he said, Well, this is the first one. And so I was like, Well, no, of course not, you know, think through go through the PDCA cycles in your mind, and what can you do to try to, you know, make sure that that problem doesn’t, doesn’t come back again. And he, you know, as he was thinking, he said, Well, I could adjust the rails. And so he went and adjusted the rails, and the problem went away, right? So now, another example was where the scuffs and the bottles, you know, became a higher severity higher occurring problem that was occurring regularly. And, and they they kept having the issue, no matter how many times they adjusted the rails, or how many times they approached it, and you know, did different things to you know, change the bottle size, or whatever it was, they kept getting these scuffs, and they kept getting worse, and they didn’t want them to get to the customer. So at that point, you know, was it time to pull in some other people? Right, and so I want I guess I say all that because I want to put that question back on you. When do you know, when do you pull a team together? And it what does it mean to actually pull a team together?

 

Lee Campe 

Yeah. And then to tie back to our earlier conversation of hypothesis testing, the statistician and may might have said to that guy, well, that bottle could be an outlier. Right? Maybe you don’t need to do anything. Right. Oh, yeah. Ram, just some special cause very, here’s a guy upstream scratch and labels off because he’s mad is

 

Patrick Adams 

Yeah. I said, let’s wait. I think in the actual example, I’m sure it was, it was a few bottles, but yeah. But you know, we got comes with one I’m like, Well, you know, wait it out?

 

Lee Campe 

Let’s see, it’s just random. Yes. But um, I so you know, I started at GE, in the, in the 90s, you know, early when it was just six sigma, and all you had to have a charter, and you had to have a team. And you know, that myth has still permeated the industry, with a lot of just find a lot of people are teaching Six Sigma, still from the 90s. You know, the men that I see that Lean Six Sigma is process improvement, and oh, you got to do a process map and the measure phase, I go all right there in the 90s. That’s what we were talking about in the 90s. Why would I map out a process? If my problem is 8%? Employee absenteeism? Like, what am I even going to map? So I’ve also gotten away from this this form, you have to have a formal like someone needs to say, yes, you can work on that, right? Someone has to say to an employee, I will give you the time to work on that. So I do agree, but does it have to be this document with five signatures? Right, right now that could depend on you know, a local plant level machine operator versus someone who’s got to travel around the US to four, four of our sights and work on something. But I’ll give you an example. I was the vice president of Lean Six Sigma at a bank in HR. And they had whoever had brought the program to them had done all this formality. So there was a black belt working with another NDB that, to be honest, I don’t think was really an MVP. And I knew this because when she did her kickoff meeting for her project, there were 40 people in the room. Wow. It was like, is she doing a class? Is she doing a lecture? Oh, no, this is her team. She’s getting them together? Well, my black belt because they had already been trained. When I got hired, my black belt that was reporting to me came to me and said, I here’s my list of like, 30 people go oh, absolutely not. Absolutely not. You can have five. And then you can pull in others as needed. She was done with her project in about two months, the one that had 40 people on the team, I think was still in the Define Phase. So today, I teach and my students will tell you this, I tell them, and this is back to the encyclopedia. Brown example. You are a detective for corporate America. It’s been very difficult sitting on an airplane. When someone says to me, what do you do? I go, Well, I teach business people how to be more like a doctor and not jumped to solutions. And then a lot of times I say Well, I’m a detective for corporate America. And it’s not a body on the floor. It’s the case of 8% EBITDA when we thought it would be 50. And so I think you play detective and if you watch 48 hours, which is a that’s a neat statistical example where they say if you can’t solve a crime in 48 hours, the probability of solving it drops dramatically. But if you watch all these detective shows, the detective goes out. He assesses the crime scene, that’s the measure phase. And in that example, he pulls in some additional resources, right? We’ve got this group that comes in so I’m a big believer and you pull in resources as needed.

 

Patrick Adams 

Wait a minute, and he said he You mean he doesn’t he doesn’t try to solve the the case from his desk.

 

Lee Campe 

He goes to the gambler Oh yeah, I forgot that part. But he also doesn’t call in, you know for duty patrolman and and CSI, you know, with their advanced statistics that don’t exist. Sure television, you know, that detect it because there could be someone waving their hands going I did it. I didn’t like that, you know, and the problem is solved. So I have I have just really, and what I’m seeing, to be honest, is my clients now consult project 3060 days. And when and listen, I came from the old team based approach, it used to take six to six months, we used to tell people four to six months to do a project. And so I’ve completely gotten away from the team, you are a detective, you do need a good leader to be there because that person might need to help you get someone for finance to give you like, yeah, my average Greenbelt doesn’t know how to calculate cost benefit analysis at a detailed level. But, but you know, I don’t need a finance person on my team right now, until maybe I get to the Improve Phase, and they can help me run some cost benefit analysis. So now, so and I’m at the I can be snarky on LinkedIn. I agree with that. So I you know, occasionally I’ll see the picture of someone look at us in a conference room, there’s 20 of us. And we just did a Value Stream Map in four days. And I’ll post Yeah, but I could have done that value stream map and a half a day I did the I did the value stream map of a major US corporations accounts payable process and a day and identified all the waste. By the way, we found like a million dollars a year just in FedEx costs, they were getting invoices in they were handwriting issues with the invoice and FedExing them back to the plant. The plant was taking 120 days to get the invoices back which at this point, they’ve missed their discount. They’ve already missed the net 45. And you know what’s happened? The vendors already send another invoice. Now, but so I want to back up, though, I don’t want to be too elitist in the sense that there is a case for getting 20 people in a room and doing a Value Stream Map if your objective is to train others. Sure, sure. So that’s where I distinguish between the need for a team versus not, do you want your project to also be a training program, then you might go ahead and add in a little of that, like two day value stream mapping in a conference room? Or are you more of the military mindset, I need to accomplish this objective? We need profit to go up, then you probably shouldn’t be getting a team together right now, you should probably play detective and let the data take you to where you need to be.

 

Patrick Adams 

Yeah, I like that. And, you know, and that makes a lot of sense, especially for, again, people that are listening in that probably the majority, you know, are brought up in organizations where that is the case. So I think it’s very helpful to think about, you know, even even as, as the world changes, as technology changes, as you know, organizations change, we have to be willing to be flexible. And, you know, so again, people that are listening that go well, that’s not the way that I do it, I would challenge you just think about, you know, I do every day when I talk to people like Lee, and I think about okay, well, that’s not exactly the way that I do it. But you know, what I can see where that would have been beneficial in this circumstance? Or, you know, let me let me experiment with that and try that and see how that goes and see the benefits of it myself. So again, I would  just, you know, challenge people to really think about the way that you approach improvement in your organization, and are there things that you can apply directly, you know, to, to how you approach problems, specifically, or your, you know, lean or continuous improvement journey in general. So, with that said, I want to I want to get a little bit more general with you, Lee, and I want to I want to back out a little bit. And I want to think about, you know, organizations that do decide to adopt lean or continuous improvement as, as a methodology, many of them fail, many of them struggle. What would be your advice, or your thoughts on why do organizations tend to struggle with, you know, continuous improvement methodology within their organization?

 

Lee Campe 

Yeah, well, and change in general. This is where one of the blessings I guess in working with GE is we had a wonderful change methodology called the change acceleration process, which was tools for change, not theory, or changes important, but very specific tools that you could use. And I still today train it’s about two days of training on people with that. But number one, I would say is all the way back to our conversation of hypothesis testing. Someone brought this into the organization because they thought it would fix something. So they them’s Oh, sales are down. Let’s do Lean Six Sigma. Right, or we have a lot of scrap in the plant. I’m going to start a continuous improvement program. Well, certainly other companies have proven that that’s a good hypothesis. But what did they do to make it successful that you’re not doing you know, we just found just on a high level of former CEOs of GE Companies GE back in the day when it was really successful, their success, once they left GE was very low. And we found in doing some research around it, it was culture. They couldn’t they were not successful in their new company like Bob Nardelli, when he went to Home Depot, he really struggled because Home Depot did not have the same culture as GE. Right. GE was very, you know, you make decisions, you know, we didn’t have a lot of meetings at GE, you made decisions. So, but I would say in my experience, you know, we spent millions of dollars at GE, studying why change failed. And one of the things we found was a failure to mobilize commitment. But here’s the key that exceeded the resistance to the change. And that’s what people seem to forget. People don’t like change, right. And there’s this arrogance that I’m just going to bring something up not arrogance, there’s also just an innocence or a naivety or naivete. I don’t know, I don’t know what language to speak. But there’s this failure to realize people don’t like change. I when I when I guess speak sometimes I’ll ask two people just to switch chairs. What you know what I really can’t be welcome, Hey, would you mind switching? Oh, just the pause and the looking around. And it’s it I know, you probably don’t want to switch chairs do you’re comfortable. And I need to create a reason why you need to switch chairs that that exceeds your resistance to it. Right. So that’s number one, we think change is easy. We think it’s going to be accepted. People don’t like change. So number two, what we fail to do then is we fail to tell the people impacted by the change the bare minimum that they need to do for the change to be successful. You know, we give them flyers and bulletin boards. How about this? Listen, I’m implementing five s. I know you don’t like the idea of having to stick a tool on a shadow board at the end of each day. That but that’s all I need you to do right now. Could you just take this tool and stick it on that shadow board? And here’s the key and let them do it grudgingly let them mumble under their breath. Don’t Hey, what are you? What are you saying over there? You know, just let them do it. And then here comes the next part, you’ve got to reward them for it. Okay, now reward doesn’t have to be monetary. You know, one of the things we know in psychology is people love attention. So it could simply be Hey, Everybody gather around before we leave today, Bob over here has been knocking this out. He’s been sticking this thing on the shadow board all week. And we’re just going to give a Certificate of Excellence and shadow boarding, you know, but the fact he’s up there, she’s up there and everyone sees them. And you know, so that’s the big thing. People don’t like change, you expect there to be no resistance. If you do that the resistance goes underground. I actually put up a flip chart paper when I do some things and tell me why don’t you like this change? posted up? Yes, stick it up. We don’t have to see it. Right, and then come up with ways to counter that narrative or as you know, many times there, right, right? Well, if you put the five s, you put the shadow board in the wrong location, I have to do 57 steps to go over there. You know, I love my client Yamaha. They actually do projects, one of our projects was and I won’t give away their date, I’ll just make up a number that currently it takes 60 steps for an operator to complete a task, reduce it to 20. You know, by the way, you don’t need a team for that. Would you agree? Yes. Just follow the person around all day and go Where on earth are they going? So people don’t like change? Go ahead and let them beat let them grumble listen to what they’re talking about. Tell them the bare minimum they need to be successful. A Charles with your kids you know, you know, this is where executives need to stop with these lofty vision statements that people one of my favorite clients is he said this year everyone I walked in and my client my students know me I was doing training in January and my classroom like November was there and I walked into the lobby there’s there was signs it was cupcakes with eon and I was really cool. I knew HR was involved once you see a party hrs and Bo and one of my students run over he goes oh, you’re gonna love this Lee and I go What’s up look on the look over there at the banner. Bring your A game. So the CEO had said this year I want everyone to bring their A game. And I go well, this isn’t going to do anything. And he goes I know remember what he talked about class? I go Yeah, no one knows what he’s talking about. Or people think they’re already bringing their A game so how I do this I tell executives go home until your family what you’re telling your employees because your family will call you out. Right so one of my students did it he went home that night. He just randomly just do it just like the employees just randomly show up say everyone gathered around. So he called the wife and the kids he goes for the rest of the year as a family we’re going to bring our a game and then he walked away. Because that’s what I told him and later Daddy, what are you talking about? What do you mean bring your A game. So that’s another way play area we dropped the ball we sort of say you know A customer focused on my favorite is think safety. Well, then I use that earlier example, then no one should be working because they should all be taking the position of the thinking man and thinking safety. Hey, Bob, why aren’t you grinding? Right now? I’m sorry, I’m thinking safety. I can’t, I can’t do that. So you also what, in that example, you also have to, again, here’s my example of the bare minimum. This year at my company, we’re going to bring our a game that’s fine. The executive close to you probably know what you’re talking about. Sure. But now make a poster for the rest it says and what that means is, you’re going to be on time for meetings this year. That’s right. If you’re not, if you can’t be on time, you’re going to let someone know at least 15 minutes prior. Right? And give these very behavioral and then what did we say? You got to start rewarding them for it? Wow, this person has been on time for every meeting. This quarter since we started this initiative, we need to honor that.

 

 

Patrick Adams 

That’s right. I love that.  I love the examples. You know, if you haven’t, how does behavior or you know, what are the actions that are going to give you the results? You know, the CEO is saying, Okay, this is the result that I want, I want you to bring your A game, but what does that actually take and breaking that down? So that measurable, right? Yeah. So if you want people to know how their work rolls into that very easily, you know, and again, I’m actually going to take your example I’m going to think about something. Actually, I might take something that I say to my team today and I’m gonna  bring that to my family this weekend. I’m gonna let you know what comes out of that.

 

Lee Campe 

I just kind of drop it on him like don’t set it up just so I had a client once i co said jumble is doable. So you got went home to the family double is doable. Just walk away. Yeah, double the grocery list. Double chili, right.

 

Patrick Adams 

Love it.

 

Lee Campe 

Well, the family example I use is what that means is the grass will be cut every Saturday by noon. We will be on time to church on Sunday, we won’t sneak in when the music is playing. You know, the kitchen will be cleaned out. And I’m not saying the wife has to do it. The husband can have to do it, whatever. But the kitchen will be cleaned every night before we go to bed and clean is defined as Hey, at least here, bear at least everything’s a dishwasher. You don’t have to run the dishwasher. But at least Everything’s in there ready to go for the morning or something?

 

Patrick Adams 

Absolutely not. I love it. Lee, this has been great. I think we could talk all day. And I’m definitely  want to have you back again, for a third episode. We’ll continue having these conversations. This is why I love podcasting so much. Because I actually started this back when COVID hit. And I just grabbed a couple of people that I was already having these kinds of conversations with and I was like, Hey, we should start recording these conversations that job.

 

Lee Campe 

I liked the technology and the output looks great.

 

Patrick Adams 

Well, I appreciate that. I mean, we’ve done a lot since those first days. But you know, I guess I just say that because just a conversation with you, Lee just it just gets me so excited and energized to go out and do something. And, you know, again, I just hope that people that are listening are getting the same energy, you know, that I’m feeling you know, from you. And I just appreciate what you do and what you’re doing with your clients and organizations. If anybody wants to reach out to you, you know, if they want to pull you in, or they have questions or whatever it might be, how would they get ahold of you?

Lee Campe 

What’s the best way for them? Its  real simple my last name is spelled, I’ll do the military way, Charlie, alpha, Mike pa echo. So it’s Leecampe.com you can email me Leecampe.com and your more than welcome to add me on LinkedIn. I get on there occasionally. And I have a YouTube channel under my name. But with which has a lot of the training videos I do. In fact, there’s a whole section on hypothesis testing. However, don’t leave the E off because apparently there’s quite a popular comedian named Lee camp.

 

Patrick Adams 

That’s funny. There’s also an actor named Patrick Adams. So I have the same issue people Oh, no. Are you an actor? No, no, no.

 

Lee Campe 

Yes, I act like a continuous improvement expert. Right? Good job at it.

 

Patrick Adams 

All right. Well, we will  drop those links into the show notes. So if anybody wants to reach out to Li You can go right to the show notes and find his link there to head out to his page. Otherwise, like you said, LinkedIn is another great place to get a hold of him. Lee, it’s been great to have you on the show again for the second time. If those of you that are listening in if you loved what you heard today, go back to Episode 56, where Lee and I discussed maintaining high standards and Lean Six Sigma. He gave us some great examples of case studies, other case studies that he’s worked on that have had some really amazing benefits. So Lee again, thank you. Appreciate you. excited to have you on again another time. Thanks for being here.

 

Lee Campe 

All right, man. Thank you.

 

Patrick Adams 

Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the lien solutions podcast. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to subscribe. This way you’ll get updates as new episodes. It’s become available if you feel so inclined, please give us a review thank you so much

Meet Patrick

Patrick is an internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for his unique human approach to sound team-building practices; creating consensus and enabling empowerment. He founded his consulting practice in 2018 to work with leaders at all levels and organizations of all sizes to achieve higher levels of performance. He motivates, inspires, and drives the right results at all points in business processes.

Patrick has been delivering bottom-line results through specialized process improvement solutions for over 20 years. He’s worked with all types of businesses from private, non-profit, government, and manufacturing ranging from small business to billion-dollar corporations.

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