Using Processes to be Simpler Faster Better
Using Processes to be Simpler Faster Better
In this, The Faces of Business, Bruce Carnohan, Founder, Carnohan Process Solutions, the Process Improvement Wiz, delves into using processes to be simpler, better, and faster.
Bruce has been involved in igniting entrepreneurs, businesses, and high potential lady leaders to run flawless processes that eliminate massive amounts of wasted steps, time, money, frustrated customers, and teams forever.
We discuss things business leaders need to understand to utilize processes that facilitate aggressive growth and operate successful businesses.
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Join us to learn how to enjoy a simpler, better, faster business life!
Since childhood, Bruce has been concerned with cleanliness and apple-pie orders. As a schoolboy, he disliked the muddy patch of the road to-and-fro school for it made his shoes dirty. Through cleanliness, proper order, and organization, he conceived the idea of processes.
Bruce describes that he came from a humble family. He would study and work side by side. He has always been interested in organizing things. He recalls an interesting incident at a foundry that also dealt with scrap. Its owner was losing $10,000 a day in cash flow. Owing to his organizational skills, Bruce managed to turn the table on the company’s rivals.
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Damon aptly adds that people need to understand what process means. In task completion, the process is every little detail we take care of. For instance, going to bed, waking up and getting ready for a job, or even brushing our teeth, are processes. If everything is simpler, organized, and timely managed, it gets faster and better. Mess, confusion, and disorganization consume a lot of energy—mental and physical. If we start our day smoothly, it saves our energy for the rest of the day.
To learn what’s causing a setback to a business, we need to walk the process, from the first plan laid down to the point of delivery. To locate problems, it’s necessary to walk backward. No matter how attractive the façade of the business is, it is very unlikely to grow if services dissatisfy customers. A customer counts every minute. The service provider needs to value the time of the customer.
Bruce expounds his 3-click or 30-second rule. He says success does not rely on technology or manual labor. Besides, it depends on the efficiency and smoothness of the process. If the process is delayed by the clicks, it must be replaced by manual force and vice versa. As the adage goes, “if you can’t be the product of your process, it’s a shame.” Simplicity can be slower, but it will speed up the process.
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The process gives us successful ideas every day. But if we only note them down and don’t execute them following a proper timeline, we might be stacking up a pile of trash. It’s easy to make notes of the right thing. It, however, is more important to execute the process at the right time. If it is in the books but not in the process, it is a waste, resultantly we miss an opportunity to be better.
He also emphasizes that success is time. Time wasted in hassle from here to there to get something done needs to be optimized. Classifying, systematizing, and prioritizing our data–both digitally and manually–leaves a good impression on our clients. This practice ensures that our customers would stay loyal.
Working with so many companies, he has observed that sometimes the problem doesn’t lie with information flow but with the team that doesn’t feel comfortable working with each other. Then, the urgency is to find the technique to defuse the negativity so that the energy of the people could accelerate the process. We have to help people working for us to be successful because that’s adding up to the process and constant improvement, leading to success.
If the productive input does not give us the corresponding output, there must be something wrong with the mechanics of the product. Then, we have to dissect, reassess the whole process, and fix the glitch.
While wrapping up the discussion, Bruce says that he will soon be introducing his six-module course, called “Ignite” to pass on the legacy. In it, he has compacted his experience of 48 years of his life. His Module One will be free of cost as a trial.
The discussion ends with Damon thanking Bruce’s for his time and sharing the information.
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Bruce Carnohan, Damon Pistulka
Damon Pistulka 00:03
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m Damon Pistulka, your host today and with me today I’ve got Bruce Carnahan, the process improvement wizard I’m here today
Bruce Carnohan 00:19
awesome and thanks for using the wizard word I say whiz because people got all that free time right the wizard word sometimes but
Damon Pistulka 00:31
but that’s going there. Yeah, no,
Bruce Carnohan 00:33
you can go there because I know you’d like to go there. So I’m, I love being on video and particularly your guests, Amon. And so part of the story about that when I worked on doing what they call a Lean process improvement, which is based in Japanese culture, and American culture way, way back and somebody came up to me one day and they said, hey, hey, Kiyoshi, you know and I was like, and I looked at them and then I heard the word a cover and I’m like, embarrassed to say and I took this person said What does Kiyoshi mean? He said, Oh, it means wizard in Japanese. So it’s a great honor. Nice. So. So yeah, Kiyoshi whiz. I just know my stuff. So
Damon Pistulka 01:20
awesome. Awesome. Well, today we’re going to be talking about as people might expect, using processes to be simpler, faster, better. And let’s get going. Bruce, talk a little bit about how this process improvement whiz. got started.
Bruce Carnohan 01:39
Yeah, so it’s really interesting, because I just got back from the UK. And it’s funny because I took a walk that I took 61 years ago is a tiny little boy. And it was the first walk I took on my own to go to my first school. And what’s amazing Damon is not much has changed set they want, they made the biggest change, which I used to hate. And that was the last part of the walk.
I used to have to walk on this muddy pathway. And I And it brought back all these childhood memories and I always just slip up on the pathway or junk on my shoes and then and I was obsessed about wanting to stay clean and stay in order so it was it goes all the way back to when I was like a five six year old kid and I just didn’t I just send like dirt on my shoes. And so that was like the foundation for 90 I don’t like uncleanliness I don’t like discombobulation so discombobulation it makes my brain it’s almost like a computer and it defrag move that just makes my brain explode when I don’t have things in order. So being clean and feeling mentally in order.
I mean, I know that’s a stretch. But yeah, so that was actually the genesis of it. And I never realized until I did that walk two weeks ago that that’s really where it all started. And then fast forward to I came from underprivileged family, I’ve done a lot of part time jobs. And I would always do jobs that were either service based or hands on product base, you know, organizing things. So I love to organize things. And of course, I like to organize other people if they got me but yeah. So it goes way, way back. And then fast forward 27 different industry slipped in six different countries. class to do. Unbelievable width and depth of career experience.
Damon Pistulka 03:48
You really have and I think you’ve skipped over this because you’ve worked with some really cool places. Tell us a few of the you know that stick out in your head is interesting places you go, Oh man, this is country, industry specific facility, or some that just stick out in your head?
Bruce Carnohan 04:06
Well, one of them that really sticks out is I’ve never forgotten I was in St. Louis and I was working for an employer scrape and I used to help local contacts I used to help the employers group members see if they were even ready for anything remotely near process improvement, not even an improvement. Right. So my job then was awesome because I used to get to go tour all of our member facilities. And I’m not forgotten a guy called me and said, Hey, we’re members. I just put my son in charge of this business. Come on out. And it was a foundry. So it was I hadn’t been in a foundry for a long time.
So anyway, I drove to a really rough parts of St. Louis and yeah, I mean, you can imagine a lot of rusted corrugated buildings and first thing I noticed I drive up to and there’s one car in the park Okay, Martin has a Porsche. And I’m thinking, that’s really interesting. So am I. So go ahead, and we do the happy glad and, and the son says, Oh, I’ll be with you in a minute. So, so I said, Okay, well, before we get going on, you know whether we think you’re a good fit or not, you know, show me around the foundry. So he said, Okay, hang on. And I said, No, show me around the foundry.
And he said, Oh, I don’t go on the shop floor. So this is the sons owner. And I said, Well, what do you mean? He said, Well, I just, I just come to work in my Porsche. And I sit in the office, and I let everybody else do and I said, you don’t know your way around the shop floor? And he said, No. So he had to get his foreman. So that one stuck out in my mind, of course. Wow. And you know, what Damon, it was, it was sad. But it’s exciting, because the foreman took me right. And I said, Well, you know, what’s going on here, and there are literally holes in the roof. You know, there’s plants growing out of the floor.
I mean, it’s, it was like a throwback to the end of the Second World Wars, when they set themselves up. And you know, nothing has really changed. So exciting, there was a lot of opportunity. Not so exciting, because owner’s son was clearly not going to do good things for the business. So we ended up not working with each other. So yeah. So that was expected. On the reverse side of that, I would say that I did a business turn around with a guy that I’ve done a couple of with, and we went into this assembly facility and talk about having a motivated team. They were awesome. They were losing $10,000 A day in cash flow.
But, man, we’re the team motivated. And on the turnaround, Dale Have a 3060 90 day program, kind of like you do. And, you know, I just briefed him, hey, you know, I’m not here for you to like me, I’m not here for you to get along with me. We were in trouble. And we need to go do this plan. And, and they were amazing. They followed all the steps. They followed all the guidelines, they came back to me when they needed help. I mean, it was like a dream job. And, of course, we did the we did the turnaround pretty quick.
Actually, we did it faster than even the ownership thought we would do it. And six months later, we’re making so much money and taking so much market share from our main competitor that they wanted to come purchase us. So you know, completely different end of the spectrum, but And that’s fine, because eventually they did hostile ly purchase us. So yeah, but an amazing team building talk about motivated group. And we did we did some amazing things for our customers and shareholders and, and we stopped losing $10,000 a day, which was pretty cool.
Damon Pistulka 07:56
Yeah, that is, yeah, that is and that’s, that’s, you know, people don’t understand the power of processes a lot. And when you really do and I mean everything from business process to manufacturing to, you know, how you brush your teeth? It I mean, it is what do you do? What do you do to your process to get up in the morning, your process to go to bed, the process to exercise you process to do the books at the end of the month. There’s everything that they’re understood or processes.
And that’s why, you know, when we were talking about this, and we were talking about using process to be simpler, faster, better. I just think this is it’s a topic that can really help people if they put process improvement to use. So when, when you’re let’s just start out with one of your basic things that you’d like to do when you’re looking at a process. So you’re coming into a place and say you’re looking at something, what’s one of the first things you do,
Bruce Carnohan 08:58
I love that, in fact, literally today I had that experience, you know, I want to meet the key contact, whoever they are, whoever’s been signed to, and I want to walk it, there is nothing better than walk in the process. And what I do Damon is a little bit different is I actually walked the process, what a lot of people would call backwards. So I actually start at the point where the value or the information is delivered to the customer. And then I will walk the process all the way back to where it first starts in that particular facility.
And that’s often in the receiving or receiving and shipping because often there and a lot of payroll was thrown by that right away and I can tell and the reason I do that is a lot of people can’t walk the process backwards. You know, they get they literally get lost because they’re so used to like starting when all the stuff comes through the door and going forwards towards the customer. And but that’s not what the customer sees, right? The customer only sees what they’re getting delivered at the end. And so that’s one of my tricks as it were, you know, not a bad trait, but depending on how well they can walk their process backwards, I know how mature they are.
And I really know how well they understand their process. And then the other thing I’ll look for is I’ve got these 1012, you know, golden questions I have in my bank, I don’t always ask or 10 or 12, depending on how the backwards walk or the process looks and feels like. And then the other thing I will do is I’ll always pretend I need to go to the restroom and the restroom actually out in the facility. Not the really nice one in the lobby. Yeah.
Or not the real nice one in the conference string all the customers may or may not go to, but no, so I’ll go look at you know, I’ll go pretend I need to go to the restroom, right? Right in the core of the business, and I’ll say Hey, can you show me where the restroom is. And depending on how the restroom looks, I also know I also know how they’re treating their people.
So those are my little, I try to have fun with it. I try not the disrespect for. But it’s amazing when you do that, what the customer sees from the process, not what the current company is delivering? When you do it from that viewpoint, it’s an amazing, um, valeur of where the good things are happening, and also where the not so good things are happening is Yeah.
Damon Pistulka 11:41
One, I think a lot of times we deliver what we think the customer needs. But if we really ask the customer that we may be giving them too much, we might be getting most of the stuff and they need a little bit extra that’s really easy to give them. And we start there and asked them you can do a lot better job.
Bruce Carnohan 12:02
Yeah, yeah, actually over processing or over cycling. Some people call it procrastination at an individual level. But over processing over cycling is one of those hidden wastes that most of us, we kind of take it for granted, but you don’t need to over process and you don’t need to over cycle. And you definitely don’t need to procrastinate. Sometimes it’s just about and I had a mentor once he would he I used to drive him crazy with my procrastination. And he taught me one site one day and he said, Bruce, you need to be 51% to move forward.
Right? He said world class because he came from the mergers and acquisitions failed world class, you only need to be 60%. Right proof. So, you know, just give me give me a solution between 51 to 61%. Right, and let’s go. And that was an amazing piece of mentorship number one, but number two, it really cuts through the whole notion of trying to over process or overthink things and just procrastinating because that’s often what happens. You know.
Damon Pistulka 13:11
I love that. 51% right when you’re working in business process. That’s pretty good. That’s pretty good. That’s for sure. I just want to stop for a second say we had Michael Ryan here today. Awesome. Yeah. Anthony Reed. Lo Anthony. Yeah. And then we got Ronald Henderson. Ronald. Yep. And Kenny D.
Bruce Carnohan 13:33
Kenny days. Yeah. Michael Ryan, I’m actually going to meet him for the first time in person after almost a three year online, you know, collaborate relationship. So I’m really looking forward to meeting Michael and we I’m meeting with a couple other people in the Cleveland Ohio their area, and they picked a fun spot for us to meet. So really looking forward to that. That’s going to be nice getting 12 So all right. Yeah, yeah,
Damon Pistulka 14:02
we just had out here in Seattle, Gail Robertson was just out here speaking at a women and aerospace conference, and I got to meet her over the weekend. So that was, that was good. That was really good. Yeah, it’s nice when you can have these relationships, begin these relationships online, you can get to meet people in person. And, and it’s really good. I mean, because it’s like, you know them and it’s just like hanging out with friends. So it’s good.
Bruce Carnohan 14:27
It’s good. That’s where the magic happens. And, you know, people talk about that, but it’s, for me, it’s about you know, can you really make good memories with meaningful connection? And, and, you know, a meaningful connection. And the process for me is, you know, do I know their name, of course, where they live?
Do I have their phone number? Do I have their email? Do I have at least one social media presence and you know, and again, people say me, well, how do you know they’re meaningful? Well, you have to say yes to all of those things. And you know, if you know a little bit about their personality and what they love to do, that’s a bonus. So, yeah. Because everyone else has connections. If you’re not at that five, six tier level of connecting with somebody, they’re really not a meaningful connection. Right?
Damon Pistulka 15:17
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s is, that’s very important to the people that you want to have close to you that you take that time to really understand who they are and what they do. Absolutely. For sure. So when we go back to the process part of this now, the Give me an example where were processes really affected. You’ve seen it affect people personally, because a lot of people just go all business. So we’re going to use continuous improvement on this or that or let’s see this, this talk about a personal use for process improvement.
Bruce Carnohan 15:57
Sure, so. So can I use a recent one for me? Sure. Yeah. So well, actually, too. So I was in the UK. So I’m always staggered by the mismatch between American service delivery and the UK service delivery. So we I went and actually worked with a young lady called Julia and she, she just took the initiative to put a little pop up LinkedIn local together in Battersea UK. So they take this beautiful location. And I’m like, wow, this is, you know, it’s a really, really high end. And I thought up, maybe this isn’t gonna go to anyway, so we walked in. So first thing is, the guy couldn’t find our reservation. Second thing is I said, Well, okay, well, can we just sit somewhere?
He said, Oh, yeah, just pick where you want to sit. He didn’t want to guide us there. Third thing. And so I said, Okay, well, while we’re figuring out what work, can I have a drink? He said, Well, you have to load the app for that. So what do you mean load the app? He said, Well, we don’t do drinks over the bar, you go order it on the app? You can’t you can’t take on I said, You got to be joking, right. So it took 15 minutes to load the app. So it wasn’t three clicks or less. And that’s a blue Goldstein thing. And when we did use the app, we got all the wrong drinks at the wrong time delivered to the wrong table. How about that? Oh, my goodness.
So I, so we use that as a little example around, you know, what, what should we be striving for? Using simpler, faster, better on a personal level, so I just want to talk to faster as well, a little bit, some people don’t realize to go faster, you actually have to slow down a little bit to make sure that you know, you do have simplicity. And you do have better things in place. Because if you slow down all that and work on those two things, the process will speed up. And again, the restaurant example was a great example of they thought they were doing a big favor.
They were for themselves, but they didn’t really do a big favor to anybody. So they didn’t understand the simplicity of hey, the customer experience if you can do something digitally in three clicks or less, to give the customer what they want. That’s ideal. If you’re trying to find something physically, in other words, the table we thought we booked, can you find that in 30 seconds or less? And so those are my to like benchmark standards. And I was asked myself, Bruce, can you get to your critical needed information daily in three clicks or less? Or can you find something physically in 30 seconds, sort of?
If you can, then that is a great opportunity for improvement. And in fact, I recently did that, because I was actually trying to demonstrate that to somebody who was on Zoom. And it was kind of embarrassing, because I said here, I’ll show you how you know where your critical information is because I use them as an anvil. Well, it took me seven clicks to get to their critical information, I dA. So the point of eight nine is sometimes you gotta step back, you gotta slow down.
You gotta just go through the fundamentals again. So I spend one Saturday going through reorganizing all my electronic information or my workstation information. So I could go back then and say, Hey, you remember when I showed you we did this? Well, then I went back and showed them the improved process. But the key thing there is I did a quick lessons learned, you know, what the Bruce learn? What I learned is the old The old adage, you know, if you can’t be a product to your own process, then shame on you. Right, yeah. Always be the product to your own process. Because that’s the whole thing about authenticity.
You know, we told them that that word all the time if you’re if you can’t demonstrate your own product through your own process in the way you want the customer to face it, or your client or friend, or family member it, you know, you’re kidding yourself. So a great example of how an organization impacts a personal thing, because, you know, I was embarrassed, I was embarrassed Oh, yeah, you know, this, this beautiful restaurant, and we got crappy service. I mean, it was just a joke. It really was. And they undermined the location, the location was beautiful.
It’s right by the river. beautiful, sunny day. And yeah, the whole service experience kind of jaded the whole, what could have been a miraculous the unbelievable experience, but we laugh at it. So we didn’t know enough about it. That was good.
Damon Pistulka 20:54
Well, I like your three clicks or 30 Seconds Rule. I think that’s good. And one of the simple things that I just did, because I use process a lot, right? I have a process for when I get up in the morning, what am I going to do? It’s in a planner, I have the steps. I know it’s stupid, because I’ve been doing it for well, that shouldn’t say it. It’s kind of seems ridiculous to some, because I’ve been doing it for a couple years. But if I don’t check those things off?
Yeah. I don’t do it the way I’m supposed to. Sometimes it’s easy to not do it the right way or, or do the things that you need to really do. And I was I had the same thing happened to me in my note taking I’m if anybody’s ever seen, I take notes. I take lots of notes, right? And my old thing was I just take notes, and I stack them up over here. And you know, and then I have a stack about this thick of notes now go through which one should I keep? Right?
Well, what I realized is, I can’t find anything when I want to find it. And, and then I throw away stuff that I think I don’t need, but I end up needing it. And I keep seeing you know, so the whole thing is, I started putting a date, a date and a dash at the top. I scan every one of them now, and I file them by the week. I got them in one note. So I can go back. And if say if I’m meeting with you the last time we met, I go on my calendar. When did I meet with Bruce last? It tells me I go to the week, I look at what we talked about. Yeah, it made a huge difference. And now I have all my notes, not just the ones that I thought I needed. I have them all. And it’s so much better.
Bruce Carnohan 22:32
And you know, it’s amazing, Damon the simplicity of using numbers and letter combinations, because that’s what I do with my file folder, file folder naming, you know, so an, and when I was trying to demonstrate my three clicks or less, which actually were seven, the issue was is I had not gone back and reprioritize my file folder location by numbers and letters.
So it didn’t take that long, but because I let it go for a while I you know, I’d forgotten my own standard work, which is, hey, do regular lessons learn do regular review, you know, I’ve gotten lazy Arang my own protocol that I know helps me be more productive. Yeah, it’s, it is embarrassing, but it’s kind of cool that I was embarrassed into doing it. And the person was very forgiving. I showed and but more importantly, once I showed them how I restructured it. I think they went away and did the same with their own five electronic voting system. So you know, talk about passing legacy forward, right. So yeah,
Damon Pistulka 23:44
yeah. And that’s, that’s a great example of how you can, you know, the regular lessons learned. I just wrote that down, because I think that’s something that if we’re not doing that, often, I missed the opportunity to be better. It’s like, okay, even if things are going wonderfully, what would I do differently for to make it even go better?
Bruce Carnohan 24:04
Yep. And that was actually a journal, which I know I’ve sent you. So this is the mixed journal. Actually, in here, you’ll see there’s places to put up top seven things to bullet point. Yeah, notes and then reward at the bottom of the page. So a suggested reward, and they’re usually no monetary rewards. And that’s the other thing, we are really bad at rewarding ourselves for good productive outputs. Right? Kind of take it we do a pretty good job, usually with other people and we’re working with other people and congratulating them about their productive outputs, but we suck at doing it for ourselves.
Damon Pistulka 24:45
That’s a great point. Because usually if you’re nice and productive, that means you’re going to try to get more work done.
Bruce Carnohan 24:49
Absolutely. Or you attract more work, right? Yeah, right.
Damon Pistulka 24:55
That’s for sure. That’s for sure. So when you come back in And in you look at some of the examples, do you get called in often to work on business process like overall business process end to end from Order to Delivery to customer kind of things? Or is it more in the in a facility? And we’re working on a specific part of it? What are the we’re Where are you typically called in.
Bruce Carnohan 25:20
So both, but where I want to focus, and I’m being very specific about focusing, when I really did my big picture, lessons learned Daymond, and how I did that as I started, and it’s gonna sound braggadocious. But I started with all the recommendations, I’ve got written on LinkedIn, from all the people that have written them. And what I did is I look for common themes inside of that. And what I realized is that my real sweet spot in terms of maximizing the leverage of my time to give other people benefits as in companies that either assemble things or distribute things, because assembly, sorry, distribution is really reverse assembly.
So I’m really strong in assembly and it can be it doesn’t matter if it’s product or service or information. I’m really, really tuned into the assembly of stuff, or the disassembly of stuff. So and that’s actually in alignment with how I put together I was telling you offline, I’ve put together a six module, Ignite improvement, process improvement self paced module six module course. And that’s really geared towards people that are in that assembly or disassembly environment. So I used to, like we’re so used to write samples, I have a textbook that backs it up, that’s, that was written in that environment.
So yeah, so that’s where I want to operate because I left off and I like, because it was in the assembly or disassembly business, you can make some rapid small improvements to have a really big impact straightaway. And the example on that, right, so the example that might best ever sample that is I went to work in a grant processing office in the state of southern Colorado, Carolina, I worked with the executive director, red ice, they were in trouble. And they were processing grants for underprivileged child care provision.
And it took them an average of 63 days, the grant trap was six miles about in its application processing. When we were done, and I gave them the prediction, we’re going to do it in 10 days and less than a week, they said you are nuts, you are just crazier than crazy. When we were done, we actually did in nine point a days average time, and the average turnaround time was four days. So that’s my greatest example. How did we do that? Well, we figured out all of the stuff that was just completely wasted effort.
There was a massive amount of over processing being done. And then more importantly, we freed up a literally a 20 foot by 20 foot filing cabinet room. We got rid of all the paperwork, kind of like your example with the notes. never find anything. Because yeah, it was just it was a massive mountain of discombobulated paperwork.
So we got rid of it. So that’s my great and what was cool though, is we made the executive director become almost like a rock star in our own South Carolina, you know system and they ended up talking about great recognition then being like a model office that all the other executive directors used to go for and walk through and yeah, they did. They did a great job.
Damon Pistulka 29:11
Great, so amazing. When you look at like process like that people don’t think and he talked about six miles and 63 days, people don’t understand what the when you until you walk a process, whether it’s doing something in an office or doing something even at a workstation, the amount of moving from here to here, and here to here and the wait time in between them.
And because we haven’t really thought about how long it takes Damon to fill out that initial paperwork and for Susan to do her part with the paperwork and then Jim or Becky to do theirs. And we have these big mountains and when you can kind of level things out and redo it. And then you take that and get more to a one piece flow How much faster things actually get done? Oh, yeah,
Bruce Carnohan 30:03
it’s amazing. And actually, we also used the concept of an ATM, there’ll be a technology. So what happened is, instead of a lengthy paperwork process being done to actually eliminate the grant applicant from the ground process, we, we set up like a little kiosk, like an ATM and people came. So they actually did a lot of the grunt work that the other people were doing upfront. So it was, and everyone said, Bruce, you’re nuts that people won’t be won’t come to anything, they won’t come to the machine, I said, well, then they probably don’t really want the ground. So they had all these like, blockages in their thinking. And, yeah, it was just a joy to see, to see how it all ended up.
And enough funniest thing about all that was the biggest root cause. For all of the trouble was nothing to do with the information flow, it was to do with the fact that teams wouldn’t work with each other. And the reason the teams won’t work with each other, as they were always complaining about each other’s dress code. And that is the most bizarre root cause experience I’ve ever had. But once we figured out how to fix the dress code, and what people could wear and what people were not allowed to come to the office looking like, consequences of If Bruce showed up, not meaning the dress code, once we’ve solved that problem, everything else happened.
It was unbelievable. Wow, unbelievable. So talk about immersing yourself in the process, you know, you have to be, you can only be there to really discover that that’s what it was. And it was amazing. And I kind of discovered it by accident because one of the processes, four miles of the six miles involves somebody taking some paperwork and driving it to another city office and getting some processes done and come back. I just happen to say that person. Why do you? Why do you drive over there once a week and do it?
Why can’t you? And he said it was a headache? He said the man that’s my only break from all this stuff going on in the office around dress code. And so what do you mean? Wow. So he was the one that figured out the root cause for me, he didn’t know he figured it out. And I said, What do you mean? He said, Well, he said, I just need to get out of there. That’s why I take everything four miles away and do something on it and bring it back.
Damon Pistulka 32:44
Oh, my goodness,
Bruce Carnohan 32:46
once a week, that it.
Damon Pistulka 32:49
It is so interesting, though, what you find as root causes to why somebody does something and you know, you go back to the old is so many old sayings about we’ve always done it this way or whatever, that that destroys you berserk. But it’s really,
Bruce Carnohan 33:06
it was why for him it was some rain. Well, why? You know why? Why do you wish I mean, gas was an imminent spend, are you saying Why do you waste your time and gas? And he said, man, it’s just a break from all this? Yeah, the best part of my week and it’s I went you know, not I started to say, Well, what do you mean, you know, asked a lot more. What do you mean questions? And of course, once I understood what was driving the negative teamwork, or anti team where, you know, I went to the director, and she said, Well, I kind of heard about a few things. And I said, Well, what did you do about?
And she said, Well, I thought it was just, you know, people being people say, Well, you didn’t see the impact, she didn’t see the impact, she was too far away from it to see the impact. Whereas, you know, as a neutral, I wasn’t, I wasn’t invested in their day to day ownership, but I was able to find them out with the guys help so we got it. And they did a great job talk about so that so the solution was one of the most creative I’ve seen as well.
So what they did is they got all these magazines and women, the men and they cut up pictures and they created what was unacceptable dress code on one board. And then alongside they had all these other pictures that says wore dress code. It was right in the lobby where everybody came in. And what happened is that to pass by this desk, that was a receptionist and she basically monitored and if they were good to go, good to go. If they didn’t meet the dress code, they agreed the consequence was they would go home change and not be paid for it.
Bruce Carnohan 34:45
How about that as a consequence? Yeah, yeah, I would have never dropped out that confident. You know, you’re me to try and say hey, this is the constant what it needs to be I would have been a lot more lenient. Yeah. But yeah, Well, that’s, they figured that it was amazing.
Damon Pistulka 35:03
Yeah. Well, if it makes a difference in the productivity, then I mean, you really need to, you really need to do it. Yeah. Their
Bruce Carnohan 35:09
productivity star. It was what it was. The energy in the office changed as well. Yes. Yeah, that was the key thing. I knew there was something off. I thought it was all the paperwork stacked up all over the place that was off. But I would have been so wrong, you know?
Damon Pistulka 35:26
Well, yeah. If you were in a situation that made you uncomfortable, or something like that, it just really is not good. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to work. Yeah, to do your best work. Yeah, it’s, it’s so interesting. Listen to this, because, you know, I started out in engineering and working in the factories and working on processes in the factories, I started out in in high volume assembly, not high volume, like sparkplugs for high volume, but you know, something where you’re making 15 20,000, every shift, day in, day out, or something where you’re making in molding where we are making 30 40 million or something a year.
And when you look at and you take that the minut detail that you have to look at on a process there. And you start to work into the business process, like you’re talking about, it’s really it was that transition to working into a factory and then moving into the business, while you uncover so many things, when you start to look at it, right? And in all those things that you talk about in the factory, like placement of, of tools, and how far you go and workstation design.
Yep, Have you have you seen
Damon Pistulka 36:38
that were because you’ve been working in the factory, it really translates well into what you’re doing with the with Office, or administrative kind of things.
Bruce Carnohan 36:49
So it works the same both ways. So here’s, you know, we all have a power. Yes. Go the other way. Yeah, yeah. So we all have a power zone, right. So that’s it from here, turn around, and then go up and go down. If you don’t have everything you need to add value to your process in your workstation in that parameter, then you have room for improvement. And it is amazing to me how many people I mean, I work standing up for that very reason. I have everything I need. There’s my vision board, literally, I have everything I need in my power zone, I have Phyton boxes underneath me here. So I don’t want to be out of my power.
So if everybody could work in their power zone number one ergonomically, it’s a lot more healthy. Number two, you don’t over process, all that wasted effort. And then the Yeah, and then it just it just makes sure they don’t just add slight breath and light to your workstation. And the reverse of that is I’ve worked in workstations where you can’t even see properly. And there’s no fresh air flow. There’s no you know, so people get set up to fail, because you always get what you design when you design a workstation, guaranteed.
So if you want a high activity, I put workstation, you got to make it so that the person can work. Always in their power. So no escapes, whether they sit stand do both. You’ve got to help them be successful in how they use their energy in their power. So annuity that is a huge thing, particularly in high volume. Oh, yeah, you may you know, where you’ve got 10s 20s Hundreds of people if everyone works in their power, so the savings and the energy that gets released to go make improvements somewhere else is unbelievable. It’s hard to fathom.
Damon Pistulka 38:59
That. That’s incredible advice there too. And the other thing is if you work in that power zone, you’re much less prone to injury if you’re doing a bit more physical work to
Bruce Carnohan 39:10
app say yes, so safety drives that so I, I should have said that, you know, safety first, right? For everything else. If, you know, if you’re not working safely and make safety a priority, then you know, Shame on you as a manager or an individual. It works both ways. So
Damon Pistulka 39:28
yes, yes. Yeah. When we talk about working that power zone, yeah, I’ve got we had some experience one time when back when I was managing facilities where we had someone that was building conveyor belts, and we used to make checkout counters for grocery stores. So you know, you’ve got these belts that are different lengths, and, and they’re there sometimes are four feet, sometimes they’re six feet, well, this person and the company was 60 years old. So it kind of had grown up around this and this one person that done this to do it for quite a while and they had a table where they would lay out all these and start them all right.
And, and when we did the lien event and we started looking at it that person walked like four miles a day or something because the parks were in close and everything else. And I still remember we redesigned it and boy wasn’t quite sure because we said, Okay, now you don’t have four tables, you have one, and everything is right here. And we’re gonna see how it works. And you come back a week later, he’s, this is so incredible, because I get way more done. And I’m not tired when I go home.
Bruce Carnohan 40:30
Right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I It’s like,
Damon Pistulka 40:33
you get it because people don’t, you don’t intuitively think about the fact that you can get way more done and go home with more energy. If you are efficient in the way you though you design your workflows, wherever you’re
Bruce Carnohan 40:47
- And the trick there and people always look at me cross eyed when I say you will always get what you design. So if you’ve got inconsistency in your process, anywhere, it’s something to do with the design, you’ve got inconsistency designed into your process. So and then the other hang that I am always staggered by is the when people know they need to get a different, productive output or change, they are so reluctant to change the productive input.
- It’s nothing to do with the process. So if you want a different outcome, or a different productive output, you have to go look and work on the right productive input that’s creating that productive APL has nothing to do with the process. And people that
Damon Pistulka 41:39
give an example of that, I’d like to hear your example, if you’ve got one you can think of.
Bruce Carnohan 41:43
So measuring. So if you’re trying to make parts, one part that fits into another, they’re not quite jiving? Well, if you go look at what the parts measure when they go into the process, and you will often see that the parts are never designed to go together. Oh, right. So then they do all this process, they might trim it up, they might, you know, blow on it, they might measure it a few times. And then they might say, Oh, now I need to get that part to match for this part. And I’ll put that together. So they do all this processing.
And it’s like, but guys, for those two parts to fit together, they have to observe some basic engineering rules and basic tolerancing. And when you go look at the drawings, they’re not designed that way. Okay, yeah, the productive, the productive input is not giving you what the productive output should be. So that’s a very simple. Now, it’s more complicated than that normally, because there’s a lot of inputs that go into making what you promise to make for your customer.
So yeah, but you have to dissect them, you have to dissect, you know, and then work on the one that’s giving the greatest impact to the output of the process. Or on that one first. Because if you get that one lined up better, and guess what all the other things kind of fall into place a lot better, too. So. Yeah, so tolerancing mismatching and Wrong, wrong parts for wrong things. I can’t tell you how many people how many engineers I’ve seen design, you know, the wrong parts for the wrong use, because they didn’t understand that the customer is rarely going to do this with it when they thought they were going to do this with it.
Damon Pistulka 43:36
Yeah. Wow. Wow. That’s, that’s really cool. So change the input to get better output.
Bruce Carnohan 43:44
Yeah, don’t like the output go look at go look at where the inputs are coming from. You know that you’re doing some process on Where’s it coming from? Oh, another great example. I used to work in like you and the molding. We used to do a lot of engine maintenance and bridge maintenance and all that and ever forgotten. We had some bridge maintenance out in the field and it was somewhere in the middle east.
Well guess well, the bridge mains were designed for temperature range of this. But in the Middle East Yeah. And everyone was saying well these don’t work it’s like well no, they don’t work because the engineering guys who said oh was the right size, it’s the right shape has the right color. We’ll put it on that bridge. Well, they forgot the look of the ideal operating temperature range.
Damon Pistulka 44:41
Yeah, consider and everything to make sure it works. That sort of shirts look the other things. So you mentioned this too, because this is great before we got on it’s so awesome to get to talk to you about process because man I could spend hours talking to you and learning from you. I can see and hear in your mind and see it in your eyes that you’re one of these people that can just walk in.
And you’ve been doing this long enough that you just see things that other people don’t see. Yeah. And your, your that when we before we got on, you’re talking about leaving a legacy and this six module online course you’re developing a, you know, called Ignite. And let’s talk about that a little bit before we finish up today. Because man, I just really want people to be able to learn more about you and learn from you if they can.
Bruce Carnohan 45:35
Well, thank you for that opportunity. So yeah, I have 48 years ish have a lot of processed stuff in my head. And about nine years ago, there was a textbook created, actually, it was modeled off of what we did in that grant processes in business. And but there’s a lot more kind of experience and experiential knowledge that’s in between my ears. And you know, both my parents have gone my sisters have in the UK, I’m single. So it’s like, Wouldn’t it be, you know, and I have this moment, back last fall, where it’s like, Oh, my God, you know, and I’m, I already know I’m going to be cremated when I pass on to another life.
What a shame it will be to have that 48 years of stuff that’s between my ears just go up in flames when I’m no longer hair. So yeah, so then I started to think about, well, how I’m going to do that. Anyway, fast forward, I find Veronica, she’s the V power coach, she’s very prolific here on LinkedIn, she’s got an amazing process. For people like me that have so much experience, they just don’t know where to start. And that was the problem, I didn’t know where to start.
I mean, I have the book, I have my journal that I created, but I didn’t, I didn’t understand how to pull all of that knowledge, aid and put it into sequential, step by step, easy to digest self paced modules that you’re gonna have to account for people’s different learning mechanisms, people learn completely uniquely to them completely differently in their own time. So it’s like, well, you can’t just do that in a book.
You can’t just do that in a series of videos, you’ve got to think about, well, how do you make it flexible? So, that’s what Veronica did, she spent countless hours trying to really understand the way my brain works. And, and she was a main thing he, you know, I would say, you know, I talk a lot when I’m passionate about what I do. I’d say, for instance, she say, So Bruce, you mean to say this, this and this? It’s like, how did you do?
Damon Pistulka 47:51
Well, that’s awesome. Then
Bruce Carnohan 47:52
more sentences, then the three words? Yeah. She said, Well, I’ve been doing it for a while. And guess why I’ve my process, it’s called, you know, it’s called impact. And she has lots of blueprints and lots of processes, and they work, you know, it’s hard work. It a lot of people don’t realize getting all that out of here. It’s been the most intensive internal work that I’ve had to do in my entire life. So it’s unbelievably hard work. But with the right persons help, right guidance, you get there.
Damon Pistulka 48:28
And I’m so when, when do you think you’re gonna have this ready to release.
Bruce Carnohan 48:32
So I’m just vetting the landing page for people to be able to get on like a pre launch, then they’re interested, I fully recorded to the six modules. So I don’t really need to do all six. Because, you know, step by step people need time and effort to. But what I am doing to encourage people and my gift back to people is Module One will be complimentary, but they will have to rent or buy the textbook and the journal. So, minimal investment, maximum pressure, may not be for them, and that’s okay. But just pay for them and, and hey, I might be able to give him 48 years worth of my stuff in six modules.
Damon Pistulka 49:20
Nice. So where can people find this?
Bruce Carnohan 49:24
So I will. I will post the landing page when this goes out. How about that? Okay, well, based on its website, process, clean up.com But the page is not live. So. Okay. I literally sent it out to some people in the network that I know will give me a lot of objectivity last night, and some people looked at it. So I’m waiting a little bit more feedback, you know,
Damon Pistulka 49:52
awesome. Well, I say it’s exciting to see that you’re doing this and I really liked the idea of building a legacy and sharing it with other people, I mean, because it would be, it will be cool to think about after, after, after we’re gone that something like that can be left behind at a library or something like that. And imagine somebody discovering it. And in going, Wow, this is incredible. Ya know, it really is something.
Bruce Carnohan 50:21
Well, and the other thing is, you know, I taught, I’ve been talking more recently about, you know, my, what I call my DJI five. So there are people I jive with, but the hive concept actually came from Dr. Alexandria Rosso, because we were talking about, well, you know, how do you know, the right people to attract them anyway, so Hi, honey, they these high quality honey. So I just put together this thing called Jive hive. And, and the point about the Jive hive is typically they’re a generation younger than me. They’re typically high potential leaders, they don’t know they’re high potential leaders necessarily.
And so another way the Ignite modules are designed is to actually help that person really get clear in themselves about, hey, they are a high potential leader. And if they do all these module, and keep doing all the stuff they’re already doing, they can advance their career in lightning warp speed, was the other piece that suddenly driven into the design of the Ignite modules, it’s to help our up and coming high potential leaders. Nice, very specifically, so. So not only is our legacy around, the knowledge not disappearing, it’s actually passing on the tools for our up and coming leaders that are going to shape our world. So
Damon Pistulka 51:52
incredible. That’s incredible, man. That’s so exciting. It’s so exciting. And I like I said, we’re, we’re running out of time here because we, but I could talk for hours about this with you, Bruce, it’s such a we’ll have to have you come back. And after you get some people through the online modules, and you’re done with that, and you get some experiences, we’ll have to have you come back and we’ll talk about we’ll get some good process stuff and come up with some good things to talk about. But just so good place to find you LinkedIn.
Bruce Carnohan 52:27
LinkedIn is my number one. When I asked you know, I’m a live stream host like yourself, so thank you for letting me have the guest experience. It’s very I’m fascinated our processes are almost identical. So it’s interesting. Cool. Great to have you. Yeah, and then I send to YouTube when I do live stream host and then I’m actually one of those more mature guys playing on tick tock so not quite sure what the strategy is here there. But I have found some it’s gonna help me get to my next level of strategy, but I want to give a shout out to Sri actually forced me to do my first live on Tik Tok, which kudos to her because I did not want to do that.
JMO holen that she showed me and actually loaded my very first fast tip videos out there. And then Mayan Gordon was the person that got me to realize it’s nothing to do with dancing for you, Bruce, it’s about how can you share your knowledge in fast tips in the business and technical and training arena because I didn’t know that tick tock is segmented that way you can decide, you know where your content ultimately ends up by using the right hashtags.
So people don’t gather, they think it’s just singing, dancing, people being goofy, but there’s a serious, there is a serious professional development, management develop, you know, there are some serious players on there, using tick tock very effectively to pass on their knowledge. So
Damon Pistulka 54:09
awesome. Awesome. I did not know that. But I’m gonna be checking that out. So Bruce Carnahan, if you’re looking at him on LinkedIn, he’s the guy in the blue shirt. Remember that? I was thinking about that. When I get on I put on a blue shirt today, and I didn’t even think about but I was gonna, I should have had a different color. So you could be completely shot by a
Bruce Carnohan 54:29
favorite color from prior conversations. So no problem we do. I know you support me and I’m the only guy in the blue shirt I think on there. I mean, but they don’t use that my hashtag but my, my main hashtag is the one in my title hair simpler, faster, better is my method. And do it methodology, case studies, experiences stories, you’re gonna you know, you can search under that hashtag here. You’ll get a truckload of stuff. We’ll be more than you need to rate.
Damon Pistulka 55:03
Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks so much for being here today. Today. We had Bruce Carnahan, we were talking about using processes to be simply simpler, faster and better. And man, did we get a dose of knowledge today? Thanks so much for being here, Bruce. Thanks, everyone for listening. We will be back again. Whoa, it’s a holiday weekend here in the US. Not going to be here on Thursday or Tuesday next week, because we’re going to take a little time off, but we’ll be back again later next week. Thanks, everyone. Thanks
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