Tag Archives: production


Since my last post on recognising stress. I have been asked if I have any more tips on dealing with stress. Here are a few more of my thoughts, They may not tick the box for all of you reading this. However it might help you to create your own strategy – after all if you ‘own’ the strategy, then you will have more change of success. If these do tick the box for you, then start that change process – NOW!

If you look at my previous blog, the main thrust of it, is that someone has a need to recognise the symptoms that are actually stressed. This in turn will then enable that individual to make two choices. Address the stress or simply get on with it. Remember me saying, that we all need a bit of stress to make us function as Humans, to create and achieve our goals for ourselves and our loved ones.

There are some simple things you can do to de-stress yourself:-

1.) Exercise.
This might take the form of joining a gym. When you do go, work at your own pace, do what you want to do. Be yourself and work to your needs not the people around you. Or simply put on your coat and go for a walk – whatever the weather.

2.) Take a snap shot of your life.
Simply look at some of those things that could be causing your stress. A sudden shift by you will not be sustained, as you will revert back to type in time. A small shift on a regular basis is all you need. Remember that phrase “If you do what you have always done, you will get the same result.” Therefore if you don’t tackle stress – you will still end up feeling stressed.

3.) Me Time.
When do you ever have ‘Me Time’? This is very important as you can give yourself some quality ‘Me Time”. By the very fact you are assigning yourself this time – will give to yourself a huge feel good factor. ‘Me Time’ can simply mean listening to music, going out with friends and/or socialising, or doing a bit of mediation or reading.

4.) Give yourself a Challenge.
You might decide to enrol at College and do a basic language course 1 evening a week. If this challenge is a physical one – this will tick this Challenge Section – the ‘Me Time’ Section and the Exercise Section. A win – win – win.

5.) Accept the things you cannot change.
This might be the most challenging aspect. Some things are completely out of our control, there is nothing we can do about them. So why stress about it? Accept the fact and work with it.

These are just some ideas to ‘kick start’ your thinking. If you want me to help you think through your new way of thinking – simply contact me via this blog.

This is your life – your body – your mind. You owe it to yourself to ‘own it’.

Have a great stress free day.
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Richards Arrows

For those of you who have looked at my post MIND OVER MATTER. Here is a little something extra.

Over the weekend I was clearing some stuff from my loft at the house. I can across an old bag. In this bag were these broken arrows. I had a wonderful memory of how these became broken. The story of which I will share with you now.

We have all heard of the ‘Fire Walks’ or ‘Walk of Trust’ or whatever people call them. This is where you walk across hot coals. I am sure we have all seen this done in various website and you tube clips. These types of things can be very empowering when done in the right way.

There some people who do workshops on this theme. Where they get them to break a piece of wood that is in front of them. The basis of this is, the mind says, that woods too thick, and it essence it is only as strong as you think it is. So, when you go to break the wood you are hitting through it – focussing on what is behind the wood.

I had a similar experience with these arrows. These are wooden arrows, not knowing much about them. All I can tell you is that the name on the side is CAJUN Archery Inc and it says BOW WT. UP TO 35#. They have feather flights with a plastic knock on the end. On the other end they have an aluminium arrow head. The length is around 63 cm or 25 inches. You only use wooden arrows for this.

How I broke this arrow is very strange and interesting. I was asked to think of a current challenge in my life – which I did. I stood face to face with another person. This other person put the end with the plastic knock against a square piece of wood. This was to hold it in place. Then I was then asked to put the other end of the arrow (the aluminium head) against my throat, near to my Adam’s apple. I was asked to walk forward on to this arrow.

Yes – you are reading this right – stepping forward on to this arrow shaft with its arrow head to my throat.

It snapped, thus breaking or exploding the myth or belief around my views on this challenging situation. I was quite stunned as to how quick it broke.

Do you know, when I reflected on the challenge that I did have in my head. It was no longer a challenge at all – it was quite diminished. I faced my fear about being hurt by this arrow and by doing so helped me with my challenge at the time.

I must stress, that this was done in a controlled environment with qualified people. I do not recommend that you do this yourself.

We all have to face things in life; we have to deal with all sorts of ‘stuff’ day in day out. The best way to sort this out is to actually deal with it and not put it off anymore.

Simple Mind over Matter – Do not take my word for it, try it yourself.

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Do Your Work Colleagues Work And/Or Think In Silo’s?

I visited a potential client the other day, who was a manufacturer. Had a tour round the plant by one of the Directors. Very clean, very organised – no out of date memos on the notice boards – you know the thing I mean.

I was collected by this Director in their reception area. We started our factory tour by putting on our high visibility vest, safety hat and ear plugs. I was shown one area near to the reception, where some goods are delivered. All quite neat and tidy.

We then went into another part of the factory, which in fact was another part of their manufacturing process – a storage area. There was a difference, still tidy – the notice boards were still organised – and it had information only about that area of the business – nothing else. I would go so far as to say, that the staff had a different attitude to the ones I had previously experienced.

My factory tour continued into the main production hall. The noise level here was higher than the other two areas – not surprising as this was the main hub of the whole plant. I noticed that the floor and corners of this area were not as clean or tidy, when compared with the previous department. There was a lot of shouting, and quite ‘robust’ language, people being quite aggressive with each other. They were not arguing or fighting – just a bunch of guys constantly in each others faces.

The final part of my tour was the distribution area. Once again there was a marked difference to the production area. I went with my host to the boardroom for a coffee. He asked me what I thought about his plant. I said that my first impressions were that there seemed to the four businesses under one roof. The delivery area, the storage area, the production area and the logistics side of the business.

The Director was interested and asked me to give to him more detail about what we were discussing. The main point that I made was that each area was so different to the other. Yes – we must have some differences. What I was alluding to was the attitude of the work force in those areas – the way they came across as I walked passed them.
This Director thought about what I had said and after some discussion he realised that the four areas reflected the Manager that ran them. In essence the guy running the production area was a former military man before he came to industry. His department reflected his management style, as did the other three departments.

These four Managers had created their own Silo’s or how that part of the business worked for them, It is important to have individuals who are what they are and not clones of each other. So that they are different as I am different to my host Director.

He then told me that they were having ‘communication problems’ between departments. That is why he contacted me and gave me the factory tour. He knew there was something not right, yet, could not put his finger on it.
I devised a plan to ‘De-Silo’ the Managers – the benefit will be that communication will be better. Thus ensuring that the needs of the external customer are put first – not the internal Silo’s. Quite a challenge – however, I will achieve a result for him.

If you need silo’s removing – then I can help you.

Have a great day.

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By Doing The Same Thing – You Will Get The Same Result

We humans are very complex things. Our bodies maintains itself, it moves us around the planet. We use our intelligence to work things out and invent things. It even repairs itself. For our part we might exercise to keep it working and put in fuel to keep it running. Some of us take this level of performance for granted; some of us just do the silliest things.

Think about this point – have you ever tried to change the channel on your TV with the remote, and, it did not work! What did you do then? Most of us would do the same thing – and push the button down even harder! We would never think to change the batteries – that is too simple.

If you have tried to change the channel with this remote and it has not worked again (all very frustrating) have you taken the battery cover off and used your thumb to roll the batteries, while they are still in the remote – then put the battery cover back on – then tried to change the channel. All logic says that what you have done is a meaningless task. Yet, you still did it.

When I was in industry, I worked for a large expanded polystyrene manufacture of food packaging. I remember one shift made 5 tonnes of eps foam. Each roll of material weighed something like 200 kilos per reel. These reels went into stock, in readiness for it to be made into burger boxes. When the time can to use this foam the order for the customer was getting quite urgent. The reels of foam where then used – however, the resulting product was not forming correctly. The decision was to make another 5 tonnes of foam ASAP. This was planned in – made, then used on the machines. Once again the burger boxes did not form correctly.

The upshot of all this was that 10 tonnes of foam had been produced – that could not be used. In the example above no-one addressed the original issue with the first batch of foam. Remember if you do the same thing you always have done, you will end up with the same result.

So, if you are not getting what it is you want – then change something. Re-evaluate the big picture, hear some of those things that can be different, feel how the new outcome or end result feels to you once you have ‘imaginered’ it in your mind. Once you have tweaked this frame of mind – things will change, because you have altered something. Therefore the result will be different. It may not give to you your end result straight away – however it will put you on the right path. You might even engage an executive coach to facilitate this change in you.

Don’t believe me try it for yourself.

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Influencing in Business

Influencing in Business is vital to its survival – that’s obvious I hear you say. Well here are some thoughts for you to ‘wrestle’ with.

The OED sees the word influencing as:-

“The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.”

Influencing to some is about one person telling another what to do and how to do it. I can remember countless examples of this in industry where a Manager has adopted this approach. It might stem from them being higher up the ‘food chain’ than the person being ‘influenced’. The person on the receiving end of this ‘influence’ does not question or seek greater understanding. They may be concerned that if they asked a question they would be considered stupid or not on board with the company policies. They could in fact be fearful that they will lose their job. So they carry out the allotted task to the letter, they may simply do what is asked of them and no more. This creates behaviour from that other person. I am sure you have heard “I did exactly what you asked me to do!” The co-worker has not failed the task or has not completed it. However they have not had any input as to its outcome and could be disengaged. The result is a behaviour that is not helpful.

On the other hand, the person doing the influencing, takes on board the other persons skill set and works with their motivations. The result will be much better. You do this by stepping into their world. This way you use what they are about to best effect. I am not an expert in martial arts – however there is a school of thought that says – use the others persons momentum, not your own, for you to gain the upper hand. This is the same technique when you are influencing – use their momentum to best effect, to get the job done – to achieve the outcome. The influencer is using the character and development side of the OED definition seen above.

If a person is a mover and shaker – then use that attribute.
Remember not to squash this with your own stuff. Work with their energy and drive to get the end result.

If a person is a thinker – then that is their strength – so use it.
You may have some of the answers, and they might have that little nugget of an idea that will make all the difference.

If a person is a process person – they will have a methodical approach to the task. This is their strength – it may not be yours – so again, use it to best advantage.

Just taking the three examples above – you may not see yourself doing these things. However, if you can step into their world – influence – then step back from their world. You will find that they will walk through a wall for you. By doing this technique you might feel that you are not influencing – maybe you might think you do not have control. In fact you have all the control – as you are conducting the orchestra – not the other way around.

Have a good and very productive day!

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Healthy Entrepreneur – Healthy Business

The health of people in a business or organisation is very important. A business is generally described as being ‘healthy’ when it posts good profits. However what about the people running and working in that environment?

I am 55 years old and in my experience we tend to look after and maintain things that are important to us. The $64,000 question is – “What to you do to keep you healthy?” For example most of us own or have access to a vehicle. That vehicle has to be looked after – we put oil, water and petrol in the engine. We may even send it to the garage for a service. In the UK every car has to have an MOT (Ministry of Transport) certificate, to show that the vehicle is healthy. New cars are exempt from this MOT for the first 3 years of its life. This legal requirement forces us to do this annually as without it you cannot tax and insure your vehicle. If we check our cars over every week – we will notice those little scratches – bits of rust, little jobs that can be dealt with there and then. If we do not check the car as often – and only put water in it when a light comes up on the dashboard – you might have more issues with your car than you had first thought.

I used to work for a multinational company, based in the UK, that made food packaging. They had a whole line of machinery that produced packaging 24 hours a day – almost 365 days a year. They would produce 40 x 40 foot trailers of product per day. As you can imagine a very hectic schedule to maintain. They used to run the machines until they broke down. Then the OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) of that machine was lowered because of this issue. Down time = lost production = customers are let down.

They then changed their approach as this was clearly not sustainable. They brought in a system where they had diagrams of every machine in the production hall. I am not an engineer – so forgive my terminology – they looked like ‘exploded diagrams’ with all the parts identified and numbered. Every single breakdown was recorded, the part replaced and the part number was also noted. This in time enabled them to build up a picture of what parts would fail after say XXX hours of running that machine. The production planning team then set up a TPM (Total Preventative Maintenance) system and planned into the production schedule TPM downtime to change the part BEFORE it broke. They used my car story to clean down the machines every shift and noted everything – the benefit of this was that they did not get ‘rusty holes in their bodywork’.

Taking this analogy further. There are some of us who maintain our bodies in a similar way – there are some who do not. I am sure, that as you are reading this you will know people who may take vitamins, eat organic food and exercise. This is helping to maintain or TPM our ‘machine’, our body. There are some who do not TPM their bodies and they run and run until they break, the individual becomes ill or worse.

So how does all this fit in with a Healthy Entrepreneur I hear you ask. If you maintain and nourish your mind and brain – you are TPM’ing the whole. Simple things like having a coach or mentor. To make time for yourself to connect with the real you. (That may sound very ‘tree huggy’ – not the case.) We have to evolve and nourish our bodies and mind right through the day. (Lets face it there are some of us that only get time to themselves when we are in the bathroom!). To recognise, and work through those unhelpful behaviours that are getting in the way of you having a better performance at work or with loved ones at home. Just chilling out. This list can go on and on – it will be different for each person. Why? – our individual needs are different. What works for me, will not work for another.

This article on this blog – is just to stimulate your own thoughts and ideas as to what you can do to maintain the wonderful you. I have received coaching and it helped me. So much so 8 years ago I changed my career path to go into 1-2-1 coaching and team development all over the UK. This coaching enabled me to give my old self back to myself. I am a lot happier and more content with life.

So, a healthy entrepreneur, both in mind and body are wonderful attributes to have either for yourself or for your colleagues and co-workers.

Have a great day.

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