Offload Your Way to Massive Success

Are you ready to chart a course toward business success by reducing your workload? If so, join us for this episode of the MFG eCommerce Success Show where Frans van Loef, Founder, Freecapacity and seasoned expert in strategy execution and leadership development shows us how eliminating work can be the key to your success.

Are you ready to chart a course toward business success by reducing your workload?

If so, join us for this episode of the MFG eCommerce Success Show where Frans van Loef, Founder, Freecapacity and seasoned expert in strategy execution and leadership development shows us how eliminating work can be the key to your success.

With over 20 years of experience as a driving force behind strategy execution, business growth, and profitability for international companies, Frans shares his insights and strategies. His entrepreneurial journey includes two Management Buyouts with a Private Equity investor, helping him become a resourceful and original thinker in solving new and existing challenges.

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Frans brings a wealth of knowledge from working with overcommitted teams and executives across various sectors like pharma, biotech, energy, IT, and education. He delves into the critical topic of his upcoming book “Offloading,” and how it can drastically change performance.

Frans’s approach focuses on unlocking and adjusting organizational capacity, aligning it with strategy execution, and helping teams accelerate toward a limited number of goals.

Damon and Curt express gratitude for Frans’ presence on the show. Terming the Livestream as a therapeutic session, Curt mentions Frans’ upcoming book and introduces the episode’s theme: offloading for success. The host poses a personal question about Frans’s childhood heroes and inspirations.

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Frans describes his uncle as his childhood hero. He was the inventor of a product called Kooker, a tent that instantly heats water for various purposes. Frans narrates how his uncle, who rose to become the Global R&D Director of Unilever, developed a product they call Cooper Soup. Frans admires his uncle for playing the long game and proving that success is attainable with genuine belief and persistence.

Curt asks Frans about the influence and impact of his uncle on him as he started his career.

While talking about his uncle’s influence, Frans maintains it wasn’t necessarily tied to specific actions but rather the impact of having an ultra-focus on a goal, as demonstrated by his uncle. He shares that people might have had other grievances during his time as a CEO, but they acknowledged his unwavering focus.

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Curt invites Frans’ insights on how to help individuals offload new responsibilities.

Frans suggests two key solutions to addressing overload. Firstly, individuals must be honest about meeting expectations and delivering timely results without recurring delays or excuses. Secondly, he advises asking people directly if they can take on additional tasks. This opens up a dialogue, allowing individuals to express their current workload and prioritize or defer tasks accordingly.

To give further clarity, Frans shares his career journey, chronicling a pivotal moment when he unexpectedly found himself running a company in Germany due to a manager’s burnout. Despite initial uncertainties, Frans discovered he had a talent for quickly understanding and focusing on key issues.

Frans also discusses the surprising speed with which capacity could be unlocked in organizations, saying that many tasks were often trivial and draining energy rather than contributing positively. His journey into offloading and capacity management evolved further when friends invited him to share his experiences at their board meeting, leading him to discover a passion for helping others.

Damon praises Frans’ journey, particularly transitioning from working in a company to private equity.
Frans describes his entrepreneurial journey, expressing that from day one, it felt right. Before starting, he sought feedback from around 15 to 20 people, asking if there was a demand for his offloading and capacity-unlocking concept. All respondents, without exception, confirmed the relevance of the idea.

However, the guest humorously recounts that despite the widespread interest, during the first year, he had about 30 to 35 meetings with various companies, ranging from small to large, and none of them took any action afterward.

Curt appreciates Frans for making the world a better place with his work on offloading and freeing up capacity. He seeks insights from Frans on guiding small executives or entrepreneurs in taking steps toward effective offloading.

Frans refers to the need for a clear and compelling “why” because, without a strong motivation, people have no clue to put in the effort required to make offloading happen.

The guest reveals that his journey into offloading began with a desire to accelerate strategic actions, and this clarity of purpose was crucial for him.

Frans draws an analogy between manufacturing processes and the concept of offloading in human resource planning. The common practice in manufacturing is not to plan production lines for 100% total capacity. This allows time for maintenance and improvement.

Similarly, he suggests that in human resource planning, there should be an acknowledgment that individuals need time for growth, unforeseen requests, and other factors, advocating for a more realistic approach similar to manufacturing practices.

Curt asks Frans about his expertise in strategic execution and how to identify the right projects to prioritize or park.

In Frans’ view, there should be clear criteria for decision-making in project initiation and offloading. He provides examples of offload criteria, such as whether a project aligns with the company’s goals, has a clear business case, is still needed, or can be done better by someone else.

Damon, impressed, draws parallels between Frans’ approach to offloading in business and lean manufacturing principles.

Frans advises regularly assessing one’s activities to identify areas for intensification and elimination. He advises removing things quickly to create room for progress and attract new opportunities. Frans encourages others not to fear stopping initiatives, as many opportunities are vast.

At Curt’s request, Frans describes his love for talent mapping and matching exercises with teams, aiming to effectively tap into their collective capabilities. He asks team members to identify and share their talents, creating a positive environment where colleagues acknowledge each other’s strengths.

Curt seeks insight from Frans on how he encourages two-way dialogue, and fosters trust within teams.

Our Guest
Frans van Loef

Frans believes offloading should be viewed as a habit rather than a one-time project. He parallels the concept of habits discussed in the book “Atomic Habits” and stresses the need to incorporate offloading into daily routines rather than treating it as a temporary initiative.

Frans departs the parting words of wisdom. He discusses the issue of burnout in organizations and mentions the systemic problems contributing to it. He notes that organizations often fail to recognize the collective impact of overloading individuals because burnout is an individual problem. It is of great importance to address the root causes of burnout on the policy level rather than focus solely on managing the consequences. He suggests that this is an interesting and important topic to explore further.

Frans is an alumnus of Global Coach Group.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/freecapacity/

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52:20
SUMMARY KEYWORDS
offload, people, friends, year, great, call, company, love, burnout, project, day, capacity, happen, talking, france, clue, damon, started, organization, franz
SPEAKERS
Frans van Loef, Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson

Damon Pistulka 00:03
All right, everyone, welcome once again, it is Friday and you know what that means? It’s time for the faces up. No excuse me manufacturing ecommerce success. He thought I was going down the wrong road, right? We’re talking about the manufacturing ecommerce success today and we are talking with Well, first of all, we’re going to be talking about offloading your way to massive success. And I’m going to let my friend cohort partner in crime over there, Curt Anderson, announce our guest friend, awesome person. We’re gonna be talking to you today. Damon,

Curt Anderson 00:41
thank you, dude. Happy Friday. Glad the weekend is here, man. I’m glad. I’m glad you I’m glad you know where you are. Right. So

00:46
yeah, it’s good.

Curt Anderson 00:49
The weekend or not So hey, you know, even though it’s still Friday morning for you. It’s Friday like lunchtime for me. Yeah, a friend here. It’s like it’s even past happy hour for this guy. So yeah. Franz van LWF. Here today, coming to us live from the Netherlands France. Happy Friday. How are you? Dude? Yeah, six,

Frans van Loef 01:08
four, if I didn’t really guy said that. I really, really enjoyed being here. And as you said, it’s It’s dark here on the outside. But I’m kicking in life. And what? Welcome through to Georgia guys to share some insights on offloading. Well,

Curt Anderson 01:23
thank you for sacrificing your Friday evening. We are honored we are blessed. You are a repeat offender. My goodness gracious. You were on the show back in October. We were live together in New York City. Now you are across the pond. And so we are honored and privileged to have you join us here on a Friday evening. So friends, we have a ton to cover. And to be frank with you, Damon, the only reason we’re doing this is that like this is really a therapy session. For me, this is why we’re doing so this is the this is why we brought friends on. So guys, you’re out there, drop us a note, let us know where you’re coming from. You want to absolutely connect with fronds on LinkedIn, he puts out all sorts of great content. He has a new book that has on the streets, it’s going to be hitting the United States this week, or I’m sorry, this year. And so we’re gonna be digging into that this is book number three friends, before we dig into how do you offload your way to success? Question for you, my friend, as a young boy, growing up in another islands as a young boy growing up in the Netherlands? Who was your hero? Who did you look up to? Who did you admire? Who really inspired you as a young guy growing up?

Frans van Loef 02:31
Well, that’s an uncle and this uncle of mine. He was the inventor of something that’s called Kooker. I don’t think so it’s in the US. But Kooker is in is a tent, which immediately have incidents in a cookie water, and also sparkling water and cold water. They tell you very briefly, you know, my uncle did with the move up to the global r&d Director of Unilever. And then they they did develop a product, it was called Cooper soup. I don’t have a code in the US of this. Like, it’s probably the same. And then he said to the marketing people, guys, I mean, this is either a disaster, or it’s going to be huge success, depending on how quickly can you pour boiling water in it. And so YouTube ever was not interested in that kind of stuff. So he decided to quit. And he started in his own house in the cellar to work on these kinds of ideas. And to make a long story short, everyone, every single person who knew him, was convinced he’s going to die in the cellar and will never ever go to see this Cooper. I spent one year as a student in at our home and I had to kick him out of the cellar every evening to have at least some dinner. But he succeeded after 10 years. I mean, he was totally indepth, you know, no single euro sale sale there. But he was so convinced that he could make it work. And in the end, you know, it’s funny, he there was one last piece that was missing. And then one of his three sons decided to join him. And his son was a lawyer. Very interesting, but he thought Laureus, I mean, just not only bad people but bad business. So he did quit. He did join us that in the cellar, and great product came came out. And so now as huge success in Europe, but what why I like him is because he was so convinced that he could make it work and everything was against it everything and everything a bit, but he did prove that if you really believe it, and you can basically play the long game. He succeeded. So that was my hero.

Curt Anderson 04:46
Man, what a red is inquiry right there. What’s your uncle’s name? France?

Frans van Loef 04:52
How Patri Yeah, he passed already away quite quite a number of years ago, but that’s amazing. It is an amazing story. Wow.

Curt Anderson 05:02
So just like just sheer persistence, relentless drive, just an eye, and this is going to really tie into our conversation today. From I’m going to go here, I wasn’t planning on it, but let’s share, like, what that his influence how he does it his influence and impact or reflect on you as you’re kind of starting off your career as a young person?

Frans van Loef 05:25
Well, you know, it was, it was not as much that it comes, you know, can link it to an action or a move I made, but just effect that, you know, if you, if you really want something, you know, you need kind of ultra focus, because that’s, that’s what he was doing. I mean, anything else, but the Kooker was not coming in the cellar, and we’re not coming out with the seller. And then for something that that’s really stick to my system, you know, if I, if you’ve ever been running a company, the CEO, if you ask people that I’d be working with, with the rare exception, they were all say, you know, there’s a lot of stuff that we are glad he’s not anymore here around. But one thing we didn’t love about France that he had always focus, and he didn’t always bring back the focus. And that’s also related with worrying to lay away I’m going to offload stuff kind of developed, you know, because I was always surrounded by by people who love to pile up, you know, and who I mean, if I just did understand the first proposal there already, the third proposals in front of mind, you know, that was a fragment. So the focus was really what I would stick to me. And it’s faded me and because your brains need a little bit to support that. Yeah,

Curt Anderson 06:32
I love that. So we’re gonna die. Alright, ultra focus, man, this is going to be such a good session, I want to dive in. Alright, so a question that came in to us. Alright, so if let’s just say hypothetically, that there’s somebody on this stage that is notoriously and overloaded, or I’m just asking for a friend? What advice do you have for somebody that is an overload? Or? I’m just kidding, we’re talking about this guy. So how do you how do you help these people that are just constantly bringing out new tasks?

Frans van Loef 07:02
And two key questions. One is, they have to be very honest with us, you know, they have to really ask ourselves, the people I’m basically overloaded, you know, do they meet expectation in terms of their their results? And deliverables? Or do I see that there’s always an excuse? We’re always kind of delayed? So that’s the first thing you know, do we deliver what we promised this once? But more, more important? The second question, and I did also learn by myself, you always ask your people, you know, are you capable of doing it right now? And if they because then you have all the spots, you’ll get the right discussion, I’ll tell you a little froms. You know, to be honest, you know, I’m already pretty loaded, and I don’t see outward, or they say, I can start with it. But then please, you know, just join me. And let’s look together. One of the other things I’m already working on, we should basically kind of put on hold or even stuck, right, the key quit the key question, Are you capable of doing it? Because it’s too sick? It is content driven, but you also show the human element in it. Right? Right. Okay, that’s for sure. And of course, people have to trust that you are really interested in the answer. Because if you just ask, I say, glad to know, but we should we go through anyway, that it doesn’t make sense that you’re just telling the killing

Curt Anderson 08:31
stuff. Well, guys, so if you’re just joining us, man, drop us a note. Let us know you’re out there, give friends a big warm hello, connect with friends on LinkedIn, you will thank us later, we’re going to dive in. I don’t know if anybody wants a show of hands. How many people out there chase that shiny object syndrome problem and always, you know, going after the next great thing, friends, I’m gonna go back in time. So we talked about your uncle being a wonderful hero to you. Next step is you were ticking off your career. Did you know that you like what was there an aha moment? Did you know that you’re going to become the offloading expert? Are there things that were going on in your early career? They’re like, Man, this isn’t going well walk us through the history and the story of how you kind of became this offloading expert.

Frans van Loef 09:13
Yeah. Well, you know, it’s funny, you know, because I did run into it immediately, but didn’t recognize it. So it took me quite a while. So basically, what happened to me was a little bit of my career where I, I was, I was starting in Germany, and then the meat factory and the plant manager. They go on holiday, but he never came back. You know, he will see service nowadays. He had a burnout. I did happen to be there. And so the, the county manager asked me, could you kind of take care of the plant for just, you know, whatever, two months because we’re going to recruit someone else, and we’re going to find someone new. Well, that two months turned out to be 18 months and out of the blue. I was running in Yeah. Yeah. And I can tell you this would be impossible in Netherlands, you know, because the possible he didn’t No, no one would accept me as the kind of whatever you know, to be in Germany is difficult. Okay, if you were to implement Panama you are even though you don’t know anything, you know, I have no clue at them. They accepted. And I immediately told them, you know, the core team, I need you badly, because I have no clue. You know, I can make decisions, which were to tell me what position I had to make. So this was started. And then I will go quite quickly, then, after a year, and I find it it was someone there. And then the there was another issue Germany, and so they shipped me over there. So it turned out that I was, so for sure. Oh, discovery, you know, I did find out that besides all the stuff that I’m very bad at, and I ended up cable doing, and find out or two things that I that really did fit me one, I could very quickly understand what a dish is. I didn’t know what is it all about it is and the focus helps. And so I could really answer the focus of your work does really matter here. What are the what are the chairs, because you and secondly, I could really connect with people, because that’s what you need in this kind of situation. So before I knew what was happening, I was just basically sent from one channels to another challenge, you know, and that was fine. I did like it. And that was that was going well. But then, all of a sudden, I was in the company and then a private equity company did that, buy a company, I had no clue what the hell private equity was no clue at all. Yeah, and never heard about it, you know, and whatever. But then literally, then I didn’t find out that so I was already running that company. And then outside I realized, I think within two or three months, I said I don’t know what happened. But it feels like I have four days a week additional all of a sudden, because before that, I felt like I was only you know, as a managing director, I was only reporting and explaining and repair plans. I wasn’t working I was only talking about work but not working. And all of a sudden from FDA, they weren’t really interested in listening to me they didn’t want a big report they want me to deliver you know, it’s your front porch Are you going to do and don’t tell me 10 things because you’re not going to deliver on it. So that kind of loss from being an extremely valuable step. But then I realized that because in the company before I was running, I mean it was quite normal to have great targets for a year and of course you know Miss most of them you know come close or they’ll come call with me that was fact of life and they have a lot of explanations and reports the next year start is works differently. So then I realized so I have to make sure that we accelerate on execution of our strategic plan actions and then I had no clue how to do it so and then at some point of time and it took me a while guys then all of a sudden I had an experience I wasn’t again new at another company I was three months there we had we had kind of adjusted the strategy with the team was was for me new and after three or four months off site they and then I wanted to prepare it and then my head just blocked and I thought what the hell is going on? And then I have assets well I didn’t know what we were going to do with on the strategic stuff I think we didn’t move an inch nothing really there. So I said okay, I can make a great plan for the off days but this works I said I have only one one agenda item and it is Am I crazy or do you guys see the same no moving on it. So we did spend all day it was very constructive session because you know we discussed about the market about competitors about our own pie right anything you can imagine we pass by we checked what we have wrong assumption whatever. Even I of course had to try to figure out myself I mean, are they really believing what we agreed on? Or just to the sake well this France you know a year from now is gone you know so we’ll survive you know that pretend that we do such work so at the end of the day, we had discussed everything but I still felt we didn’t touch the real thing right no clue what it was but I did so then it took again a little while and an answer something you guys know exactly how it goes. I was not at all thinking about all the sudden I realized I think I know what it is. You know when we start when we talk about like a new plans for a year or virginity, we discuss at length the financial consequences you know, do we need more money do we need to invest it? I mean, we spent hardly two minutes on the human capacity we need to do it. We just pray we just assume okay with the Dorito canal but no know how to do guys, but I never ever had a person walking up to me Thursday morning and say, France, I’m ready for the week, the session worked for me, you know, never ever, but we pretended as if we could just, you know, throw in a letter, you know, number of big thing. So then I realized we have to free up capacity, if we add stuff to whatever we do. That was the first thing and I think I was already working like 10 years. So I had a slow starting insight on this. But then also I realized, and then there were two really interesting things would happen because of what when I realized that I said good metaphysical you’re right, you know, we don’t think about and it’s not possible, then I had two very interesting observation, which probably a lot of people are now in the show will record themselves. The first one was that I started to see what where, where can we all look at ICT and interested in seeing as you know, it could be everywhere. In every corner after company I was reading I was fine. And I must say there were two things important because I asked everyone I just asked people not sure. Are you doing stupid work, you know, are usually I ask everyone the following question. I need you a day per week, as of next week, would you think about what work could you drop or stop? So that I can start using you on this new exciting initiative where we want to work up? And I said, there’s only one small addition to my request your you can, you know, basically delegate your work to someone else. But not by adding it, if you do it, you have to figure out with your colleague what he or she can get rid of. So it’s a zero sum thing. And then yeah, it was a town of things that came up. And but what they said were two things important. One was they trusted me. If they don’t trust you, they’re not going to tell you because then you say, well, France is looking for layoff opportunities. So that was one thing. And the other thing was equally important that I had attractive alternatives. You know, so I had something which was really exciting that people are I love to work with it, or at least to contribute to it. And so that was the sort of first thing that there was so much stuff that was we could stop to give you one example, guys. And at some point, if I ask people, for example, if you look at your top five projects, you are involved, some not everyone’s equal to five per se. Could you tell me? Is there any of this project where you would kind of like to withdraw step out? You know, what happens? I don’t know exactly. anymore, the exact number. But there were several projects where all participants did sign. Take me out of here. That’s quite interesting. You know, yeah, whatever. I’ll say that. So then the second thing is that because when I knew, Okay, there’s a lot of capacity to unlock. The second thing that was that took me by surprise, because when I knew characters, what can we do at fault, it’s going to take a year, you know, to be unlock it. And this was again, a really worry for me. And then again, it turned out that I think the first time I was dealing with it, I think it took it took us eight to 10 weeks to ASIC offload, probably 80% of this stuff. Everyone was involved. And you know what’s interesting, because I always felt, you know, why was it so? So easy? or white? Quickly? Do a quick? Also here, I think there were a few insights that help one, of course, a lot of it, people already didn’t really think why are we doing it, you know, so it’s also very easy. And the second thing is most of this was already becoming kind of trivial stuff was more in the energy drain corner than in the energy game quarter. So people would love to get rid of stuff that is already kind of energy drain. So too, and then over time with ups and downs and stuff that they totally screwed up a single word. Well, I became more and more experienced in this kind of, you know, basically what I would call offloading or relocating human resource. But I had no clue how the outside work looks like. And then a couple of friends of mine, we added kind of evening discussion about what was going on. And then of course, everyone’s started with alsco Great with us, you know, as you’ll hear, I just go and then we wait a few more drinks and we get really get in real discussion. And then also I heard this stuff. Well, you know, videos saying, you know, that worries me, you know, we don’t make choices. You know, we tried to do everything at the same time and stuff that was so familiar to me, but it was really eye opening because I was never thinking about how is it different in other organizations, I was only focused on organization I was involved in at the top, this kind of how this can help offload stuff does kind of evolve and grow. And then at some point in time two people ask me, could you come to our, to our board meeting and explain us in an hour? How do you do it? But the interesting thing is, you know what to add to it, but front one thing, we are tired of models, so don’t come with a model. You know, and, and don’t come with too much. We just are your only interest. How do you do it? And that’s basically starting from where I said, Hey, I kind of enjoy it. I’ve got any more. They’re in charge. But I did see I did kind of feel passionate to help others and then decided to stop start this new journey. That’s already 10 years on his way now. Yeah, yeah. We

Curt Anderson 20:46
gotta go ahead, Damon. Oh, we’ve

Damon Pistulka 20:48
got some got people in here. So I want to just say hello to Gail. You’re here today. Gail. We got nya. I hope I’m pronouncing that right. Thanks for being here today. Got Harry. Harry. nother great leadership guys always producing good content. Mary. Glad to see her today. I know Gail is liking this because she is curious. And, you know, Chief curiosity officer. Right? What you’re doing frons is so cool. I mean, your your story in your background by working in a company and then moving into private equity that was similar to me. And man, that is like a life changing experience to make that transition because it’s about results when you get there. And like you said, you have to figure out how do we focus? How do we get absolutely every bit of the junk out that we don’t need to do so our people can be working on the best and the brightest things to create the results. Right. So cool. So cool. And we got a viral to thanks, Alvaro.

Curt Anderson 21:51
Hey, guys got it. Happy Friday. We’re here with Franz. He’s coming to us live from the Netherlands. So it’s evening. He’s taking his sacrificing his Friday evening with us friends. So you launch your entrepreneurial journey 10 years ago, been a big corporate guy, you had a wonderful career? What was that? Like? Was it exciting? Was it scary when you took that leap? Of like, you know, find your own flag? What can you just kind of for folks that are out there? Like, and I wouldn’t mind jumping into that entrepreneurial story as well. What was it like for you? 10 years ago? family obligations? What what did that look like?

Frans van Loef 22:24
Now, from day one, it felt like this is right, no immediate and funny things here. Because before I started, I did the edit check with maybe 15 to 20 people who I know but they are at a distance. So I knew if I asked him, they will give him how shaded and honest answer another friend letter. So I asked him, Hey, guys, I have an idea. I just want to kind of move on and start with this kind of offloading and unlocking capacity thing. And I took credit. So what do you think that there was a demand for it? Or is it just my, it’s just my imagination? Secondly, do you see me developing some sort of businesses, I’m not interested in getting a rich everybody, I just love to be successful with this. And all of them without an exception. They said Fox is great, because I see it everywhere. And so I said, That’s, at least that’s promising. And then I started. And then of course, as you probably all some of the people here online will have the same fears. Then it was hilarious, you know, because I said, Okay, so it’s everywhere, and everyone was waiting for it. And then I had I think in first year like 30 or 35, you know, encounters with, with people running company from very small, you know, from a guy who has your physiotherapist as center with 10 people to, to a stock market company with 12,000 people in that range. And the funny thing is, everyone was interested in a kind of meat meet with me on a topic. None. Were interested afterwards doing anything with me zero. So that was hilarious. And there were two reasons for it. You know, the first reason is smaller. They said immediate I you know, it’s for me, it’s those blind spots. It’s a huge eye opener, but I can do it myself. And then of course, my answer was an honest entry say, Listen, I mean, I’m not going to tell you that I can something that you can’t do. So you’re 100% Correct. But that’s not the question. The question is, are you going to do it? Yeah. And the big companies, that was another issue there, you know, they they thought also was really interesting, but there were two things I heard a lot. And that’s hilarious. One thing, I think, would you say is really, really relevant to our company. Unfortunately, I don’t see that we have time available to do some sorting. So they set you though, I have no room to unlock capacity. It’s

Curt Anderson 24:59
sad to free up capacity.

Frans van Loef 25:01
Yeah, we really want to hurt any of you guys have to say me. The other thing was that with a number of them that at some point in time they started with name dropping, and it was clear a firm’s two beds if you would have been from McKinsey, you know, I mean, odd spot to start with. Yeah. So that was that was. So in the first year and a half. I did help everyone, but I was doing nothing in terms of I had only unlocked my agenda. That was that was true.

Curt Anderson 25:29
That’s, you know what? That would have totally been me, David, I’d be like, hey, Franz, could you come in and help me with capacity? I’m like, Oh, we don’t have time to do that. I could just Yeah, well, so I’m gonna go ahead.

Damon Pistulka 25:41
No, go ahead and go,

Curt Anderson 25:42
I get a ton of questions like this. Yeah. This is such a great topic. Friends, I Yeah. This really is like your Dude, you’re just making the world a better place. You mentioned the word blind spots. Okay. So like a lot of companies, whether, you know, again, like that small manufacturer, you know, a small company, 10 employee, you know, 10 employees, you know, as an employer, you want to keep people cranking, you don’t want to, you know, pay people to not be busy. But how do you help people avoid those? How do you help them identify those blind spots, and then move out of that, because I know you talk a lot about, you know, again, guys, we’re connect with friends. He’s got great content on his LinkedIn, he’s just put out his third book. It’s all about freeing up capacity, offloading great information that you put out, how do you help that small, you know, executive or that entrepreneur to take those steps to get that offloading going?

Frans van Loef 26:30
Oh, you know, you know, the key, isn’t it? That’s really step one, you know, is discussed with him, why do we want to offload because we all know, you know, it’s not attractive enough, they will never put in the effort to make it happen. So the first thing is why you do because for me, it started because I want to accelerate on some strategic actions, we had to accelerate. So there was a very clear thing I wanted to do. And that was aware I can only do it if I. So that’s the first thing and what where I will go

Curt Anderson 27:01
real quick. Right? So so the when I get them into, like, let them see where you want to go, let them see the hero at the end of the story first, and then you kind of work it backwards? Is that which is? Is that what you’re saying? Yeah,

Frans van Loef 27:13
yeah, that’s the second most interesting, you know that. And also, probably you have to say my experience, usually people like like, like at board level, or people who own a smaller company, they always say, France, my team needs it. I don’t need it, that’s also disabled, especially how they tell you, I’m fine. You know, but my team needs it. And then this also is interesting, because they say, well, probably your team needs its details, we need something from you. And then I shared with you a share within my own experience, you know, because when I was CEO, you know, one of the ways that I had to kind of have my own wake up call, I started to realize that I was non stop over asking my people, very simple reason for it. You know, they didn’t like me. So they did not say to me, France, you get out of here. You know, I like what you’re saying. And the second. The second reason was, because I was not executing myself, I had no clue what I was asking. I have no clue. If I came up with an initiative that takes two people, you know, two weeks of work, or that I was basically activating 1000 Men hour, I know. But no one told me that it was the other side of the coin. And this is not only one direct, it’s also how do you make sure this is what I said, make sure your people are informing you about you know, am I able to do it? Or do we need more resource for it if I can’t handle it, if we will, or, and that’s sort of always two sides from this. It’s not only the leader, but it’s also the people read it. Yeah,

Damon Pistulka 28:46
that’s a that’s a key point. Because that relationship you have to develop for those people that tell you that that’s like listen fronds, I want to do this. But I’m already at 95% capacity. And this runs me to 130% capacity, we need to figure out some things just so that statement back to the leader in some companies is is a death sentence. For those people, you have to make it so it’s it’s a start of a great conversation to be able to go okay, let’s figure this out. Let’s offload this get things done that that can allow us because that strategic goal is definitely more important that some of that 90% that you’re working on now.

Frans van Loef 29:31
Yeah. And then I like to add one since resistance since we’re in a manufacturing audience. Interested very, very key thing it might also be I’ve also been running manufacturing companies in the past, you know, but you know, if you talk about a production line, we all know you never plan a production line for 100% full capacity. Oh, yellow, because you know, you need time for maintenance. In this unique time for improvement, if you’re in a business where there were a lot of I don’t know, how you call it, like, a sort of proper English way, but you know, I call it like a quick orders, I know for you know, orders that you just come and you have to do, we all know, it means probably I just say a random number for this prediction line, I can plan for whatever, 86% Because I need this 40% for this stuff. What do we do a human being with the human production line we did we plan for 120% up for 110. So we ignore that you will be the maintenance human being need, you know, time to grow. There are always unforeseen requests, but they come. So that’s that’s also the interesting thing is that we don’t apply the same thinking, but it’s totally equally relevant. Right.

Curt Anderson 30:53
So let’s go here your expertise is in strategic execution, if I’m not mistaken, right, strategic? How do you know, you know, what’s the right project? You know, you know, Damon, we’d like to call them like those profit killers, those time wasters, you know, hey, we’ve got a new shiny object. What if that shiny object is like the future of the company? My friends is? Or do you have any tips or strategies on like, how to identify what are the best projects? Either to park or? Or to prioritize? That’s, that makes sense? Yeah,

Frans van Loef 31:26
no, totally, you know, divert are two things. And I think they they are two sides of the same coin, one hand, you know, it’s always, when you have project initiatives, you need a relatively small number of criteria, which you use for decision making, you know, how do you because otherwise, what you what’s happening a lot, you get discussions, when should we do this or not. And then you have, for example, five people in the room, they all have different assumptions. They don’t speak it out. And there is not a shared list of criteria. So you can get incredible difficult alone discussions, which for to large extent, are not needed, if you clarify upfront, I mean, based on what criteria we go to designed to, to, to start something or not. The same is on the other side. In offload. I call it offload criteria, they give you a few examples. I think also in the US, I came across a term like kill criteria, but it’s exactly the same. And so we will go with about offload criteria for what are examples. If something doesn’t fit anymore, the company goal or strategy, it’s stop? Well, that’s, that’s that’s all thrown Korea, or, for example, if that’s very common, you know, there’s not a clear business case, you know, get rid of it, because for many projects, we don’t have it, or it’s no longer needed. And because for new technology, we don’t need or, for example, someone else does it better. Right. So So these credits, I think people underestimate, you know, because offloading guys is very simple. You simple, and you don’t, you don’t need the newest ID that surrounds, you only have to apply some very simple things in a very consistent way. And that’s all about offloading. Right?

Damon Pistulka 33:16
Yeah, it’s, it really is go real quick. This reminds me of simple principles that somebody told me I can still remember the day that somebody told me this, it was a person that was trained here in the US about Lean Manufacturing from, from some of the people that went in and taught it at Ford. And and he said, we have that we have the time in the day. And we look at the things we do throughout this time of the day. And they in Lean Manufacturing, you know, they call it value added and non value added work. And he said the value added work is just a little teeny bit of the day, and all the rest of the day like 90, and a lot of times over 90% is non value added work. He said we don’t try to go faster on the 10% we just try to drop some of this 90% off for there to be able to do more of that value added work during the day. And what you’re saying aligns with that so perfectly because I used to I used to run CNC machines, companies right there CNC machine milling and other kinds of things that used a lot automation. And they would talk about well we got to speed up the programs to go faster and you would look and you say well, how many hours is it actually cutting and you go well out of 24 hours we’re cutting eight hours or something like that, or 12 hours so that’s pretty good. I said we don’t need to speed anything up we just need to make sure we’re running more hours. But you know, it’s getting rid of that other things that really aren’t aren’t aren’t causing you to be able to be productive in these companies. It’s so cool how you’re teaching people how to do this because in the office environment or the in the administrative and engineering and all these other replaces that layer on top, they’ve done it in manufacturing so long in the process when they’re making things and really worked on that. But oftentimes, they just ignore the business part of it. And that’s where your most, your most expensive and the biggest benefits that really can drive long term success happen. When

Frans van Loef 35:18
you do what, and just refer to what you’re saying them, what I did, what I didn’t see a lot of time is that they feed myself, for example, I’m running whatever food manufacturing company I have, or whatever 60 products and we all know, a number of products are getting to the more end of lifecycle stage, you always know what’s happening that sales guys go to tell you, we still have to keep producing it because it still makes money. So in my budget, the budget, the business development person says hey, you know, get rid of it, because I need resource I will spend. And we can see too often in organizations, they they pay too much. They overemphasize what you’re going to miss, and they pay too little attention to what you can gain. And this was a critical way of thinking, flip it around, you know, you have to kill quicker also, you know, products or services you are you have two units. What’s interesting about the software company that we worked with, fairly successfully, you know, what they did? And I think is great. Every year, they have a number of consumer panels. Yes, that’s right way of saying it. Yeah, yep. Yeah. And they asked, they asked him Okay, guys, what do you need? What do we have to add to our software? And it’s an HR environment software. And of course, they they get a lot of stuff. And then they ask, okay, we can do it. Also, what are three things we like to add that outcomes, they simultaneously had n number of extra customer panels. And they ask only, what should we get rid of which ones is what you’re not using them. So what is really amazing, the old they did not only add stuff, and we all know as a girl knows to work for us, at some point of time, you start creating needless complexity, because you only add stuff and add seven adds up. So what they did, it also removes or removes removes. So by doing that, they kept it simple. You know, it didn’t get too complicated. But it was a great example. needless

Curt Anderson 37:23
complexity, you know, it’s the kiss, right? Just keep it simple. Yeah. Do for folks out there that are solopreneurs maybe work on their own work at home, maybe, you know, if you’re, we were talking about our dogs before we went online, if you eat your own dog food, if you would that I don’t know if you guys use that expression in Netherlands and that kind of a gross. You know, any any advice for solopreneurs? out there? How do you really have that harsh discipline? To say no to things and stay in your lane? Any any advice there for our solopreneur? Man?

Frans van Loef 37:54
Well, I mean, I do myself all the time, you know, and I’ll explain to you every year I kind of take your momentum to kind of see okay, what, from what I have been doing last year, what am I going to intensify? What do I want to get rid of? Because I you know, you you can’t know if I always add some stuff to find out with the adding is not the issue. But the issue is you have to you have to again, remove our stop much quicker than you’re used to do. And by doing that, I always create room to really move forward. Or SEK here is really attraction here. If it’s something going on, everyone should do that. And don’t be afraid to stop stuff. Because the number of opportunities isn’t endless ocean. Yeah, yeah. So

Curt Anderson 38:44
just really just discipline relentlessly seeing no, you know, you use the word. Ultra focus was a great word earlier. Friends, I want to be mindful of your time. I know like you’re coming in, you’ve got wild plans for Friday evening. I know you do. Right. So I caught it. I want to we’ll start winding down here. I caught a video of yours recently, where you had a great topic in your talk about how to prevent offload or like for companies out there that are caught. And so you gave three tips. And you were talking about you know, how do you offload? Number two, what you just described the simplicity. And number three, how do you tap into those into your talent? How do you really tap into the resources that you do have to offload and free up capacity? Can you touch on that talent piece a little bit?

Frans van Loef 39:34
Quickly? What I do is I always want to work with teams, I always do what I would call an talent mapping and matching exercises and it’s incredible energizing. I think I’ve done it with over 50 teams over the past two years. And some very tough nuts in between the way you basically do you ask all team members to right now What are your talents? You know, what, what is something you’re really good at? And don’t be too specific? No, it can be skills can be capability, get some stuff. But asking, then, of course, you know, you always have to say it’s not a it’s not a game, you know, it’s most of it. And, as always, I can say to you guys, I always make a joke, you know, because I did it yesterday in the in management team. And I said, Guys, don’t be too shy, you know, because then as we say, Read Out. There’ll be too much to say. And then I tell them, of course, I said, Well, you know, when they do it with a ust there are only two papers. But anyway, go back to so that’s the first the second step is that we I asked everyone to share what they wrote down with the rest of the team. And then they asked the team, what, you know, talents, what really good stuff. Do you recognize a Kurt, which he didn’t mention himself is incredible. Without it’s just an estimation in the past few years with his 50 teams, I think I think on average, you’re around 10 people, 500 people, not a single person had a silent moments. Everyone gets from the colleagues, more staff, hey, but girls are really good at this. So that by itself is already an amazing experience. Because yeah, how often does it happen? That you tell each other? Hey, you’re really good at this. And then my therapist, the first sort of step in it, I then asked the team, what for each person, what are two talents of either just take again, current as an example, what are two tenets of career that we should use much more in the current stage. So then I start activating the and I get unlimited and because usually, you know, people are easy 10 1214 a good thing. But a bring a narrow it down to what are two things that we should really do make much more use of as a team. So for example, yesterday, I was in a pharmaceutical company, and they’re, you know, they love complicated stakeholders. And one of the issues was often to kind of tell financing in a simple, convincing way. But there were two brilliant storytellers in the group, and everyone knew it. But so far, they had never, ever falter if for me, it was difficult. So I have to go to Kurt Kurt to help out. I mean, you are so good. It makes me write so and so this is me. And then the last thing that I read to the offer, I’m also always challenging, you know, who is to offload or in the room, because you always find someone by nature, who has no privacy, we’d say, Hey, guys, I think we should stop this. You know, this makes sense that no failure, but that’s you have to activate in T because not everyone has this talent to see or to also to another guy. Stop it. I say, and you don’t stop because it’s stupid, because people don’t start stupid stuff. But you stop it because there’s better stuff around. Man,

Curt Anderson 43:05
drop the mic right there. That is just what a brilliant strategy. And what you’re doing is you’re kind of you know, you’re almost doing like that personal internal. SWOT analysis, right? What do you what are your strengths? What are you in by taking it individually? Now you collectively can say, alright, this is what our team is absolutely best that we are really not good at x. Why are we wasting our time, energy and resources? X? Let’s get out of it. So we can focus on doing something else better. So, man, I love that. Right? Yeah,

Frans van Loef 43:35
what maybe one couple because you you guys know that? I always hear from people in large companies say, oh, no, we know that guy. We know that because we have done all this kind of Management. Dr. Tesh and Curtis fairy, Rhett’s and Devin is green and blue and whatever. Yeah, that was saying, Guys, that’s great stuff. It has nothing to do with these. I mean that stuff more than I understand how Kurt behaved. And second way we sometimes have a little struggle, because it’s more about our drives. But it has nothing to do with what I just said. What I just said is there’s an incredible toolkit here in the in the team, and we have a tendency to not use the tools. Let’s start Yeah.

Damon Pistulka 44:12
All right, man. Use the tools of the team.

Frans van Loef 44:14
Yeah. Exactly. All right.

Curt Anderson 44:18
Let’s, let’s do it. Let’s recap on a couple of things here. Right. Yeah, we

Damon Pistulka 44:21
got to start winding down. I know. It’s awesome. So

Curt Anderson 44:25
again, like for our friends and family out there at the manufacturers, you know, I love what you’re saying friends like hey, geez, you know, that machine, it’s not realistic to run the machine. 100% Why are we running our people 120% And then on top of it when we’re bringing in that new, you know, and I want to recap on you’re talking about that two way communication. I love what you’re saying, Damon, we’re like, you know, hey, if somebody’s at 95% in this project is gonna put me at 100% You know, to have the freedom and the flexibility and like you said, friends, it’s that trust that environment of trust is just critical for me to come back say cheese friends, I would love to do that. that project what, what? What’s on my plate right now? Can I take off? Yeah, so I can do that project that you’re proposing. And do is when you’re coaching your teams, are you encouraging that two way dialogue and try to create that environment of?

Frans van Loef 45:13
Absolutely, because it is the only way because you need to people are going to embrace this. Because once again, like to say you don’t I think there is now a great book out, I had no chance to still read it is from a guy from Stanford. It’s name’s Robert Sutton and a secret colleague, row, if I write, if I say write the book called friction habits, the friction habit, it’s a great I think it’s great book, because it’s also very much related to the to the same topic. So good. But what I like to say is that, you know, offloading is not a project. You know, offloading is a habit. And that’s the key difference. So one thing that people have to understand, as I say, most people here will know the really great book, atomic habits, it’s a lot of, absolutely, by far best books I read in a couple of years. This is also you have to make it a habit, and not and not kind of, okay, we are going to start an offload project. If people ask call me say phones, we need you because we want to start an off road project and say you have dialed the wrong number. And then I expect you and so I don’t say that out of arrogance with an angry saying this project, if you’re looking for it. Let’s do this one off. And I say you can count days till you’re again fed up till year, which said and you’re back where you started. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka 46:36
needs to be a continual process that you’re incorporating a habit you’re putting into your day.

Curt Anderson 46:41
Drop the mic again. Right. Yeah. So love it. So trading a culture and environment of of offloading. And, you know, for our solopreneur friends out there, just really having that discipline to know your strengths, know what your lane is, and just the ability to say no, friends. First off, man, I want to thank you again, this was just really a therapy session for me today. That’s, you know, I don’t know who else but I’m sure everybody loved this benefited. Thanks so much. Boy, just please, please, please go back, hit the rewind button. If you miss anything from the beginning, go back and replay this whole thing, Francis dropped tons and tons of golden nuggets to make your just your day just so much easier. And we didn’t really get in, we didn’t dive deep friends, we’re going to have you back. We didn’t dive deep into the burnout aspect of what you know, unloading overloading can cause just like freeing up that that motional and that mental capacity, and you know how much more productive folks can be? You want to join? Quick?

Frans van Loef 47:41
Yeah, okay, we can we can discuss another time because you know, what, one thing that’s also kind of spin offs, let’s call it like that, you know, because what I did discover was that I wouldn’t be surprised for us to have been saved you know, what happens in an organization if someone you know, kind of drops off with the kind of burnout the person is immediately isolated from the environment where it didn’t happen, his or her boss is kind of more or less disconnected because all of a sudden other people take care of it. And what is the issue here? I did find it over and over you know, see that a significant part of burnout is caused by organizations it’s not an individual issue is caused by the root cause is irritation but it’s a total blind spots and I can tell you why the reason is by we because we You can’t compare one person with the other person I might have a little you know, issues also at home or I might be small kids you know, ask a lot of attention so what doesn’t happen is in a certain part of organization a note for example, your ministry is non stop overloading and basically they just push people either into burnout or they quit is that it never happens that are Monday morning. They get nine calls and nine of their team members all say you know my family doctor said I have to stay home and burn out so they don’t recognize the pendant because it’s are all individual sitting. So what happens for I know the West Loop happens off a lot it says you know organizations are concerned about burnout about about you know, you know as to be careful this we don’t overload people, but usually what they what they come up with is it kind of I know if that English way or us way of saying they come up with an ala carte menu and add a card menu not to not to deal with a cost but how do you treat the consequences? Okay, so I’m going to show you how to be a little bit more mindful, you know, you can deal better with the situation, but that doesn’t, you know, touch the root cause of the root causes on the policy side so we can discuss very interesting topic as well. Really again to overload and overload, well,

Curt Anderson 50:03
great way to wind down and again guys out there, you know, I’m not a expert on this subject whatsoever. But boy, if you’re feeling a little bit of burnout yourself, you know, again, if you’re a solopreneur, or you’re feeling burnout at your company Corporation, and just take a pause, you know, take a pause, talk to a friend, talk to an ally, you know, just get your plate, you know, you’ve got one you, you know, and if you don’t have that, you know that burnout can really be an ugly culprit. So, guys, let’s wind down, Hans. Thank you, my friend, we appreciate you. We commend you, we applaud you. We just this was just such a great session. And like I said, if nothing else, this was, this was a great session for me. I want to thank everybody that joined us today. And boy, just like we love to say week in and week out, just be someone’s inspiration, just like Franz was for us today. David out on a big round of applause for friends, man for just hitting the ball out of the park. Everybody out there, give friends a big round of applause. Have a great weekend, Damon, man, we got two great guests next week. But go ahead, brother, God bless ya out there. Take it away, my friend. Yep.

Damon Pistulka 51:07
Well, I’m just I’m super excited about this conversation before we started. And while I’m even more excited now after talking with fronds for for 45 minutes or so here, because these are simple things you can do to make a huge difference in your organization and your personal life, and offloading the things that aren’t really giving you value right now, or you just need to get rid of as a huge, huge thing. If you can even make those changes. I just love talking with friends about it, because he’s helping something and many people do it. And like you said, Kurt, if you’re listening to this now and you’re catching us at the end, roll back to the beginning. There’s a ton of ton of great golden nuggets in here that you can you can glean off of this to help you your organization. And just thank everyone for being here today. Thanks so much. So all the people Gail and Nya, and Harry and Mary, and Alvar. How Varro excuse me, I’m tongue tied as heck today for dropping the comments. We would love having you guys with us. We’ll be back again next week. Have a great weekend.

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