Key elements to becoming a leader
Author Debbie McCarthy, Director of TLC. As Published in The Witness, 5th October 2012
At the age of 28, I found myself heading up a division of an Insurance Company, which was part of General Electric, in the USA. As the only woman on the Leadership team and ten years junior to most of the others I felt out of my depth. What did I know about Leadership? How would I exert my authority and take control? How would I lead my team effectively?
I was about to head down the road of many Leaders, who are ill equipped to take on a Leadership role, and plunder in showing that I had no fear and knew exactly what to do. My Mentor gave me the best advice that Leadership is about getting the best out of people. You need to give up control in order to get it. Don’t rush in pretending to know everything. Be humble, be yourself, listen and learn. If you want Power in your organisation you have to build trust.
After a decade of working with Leaders in the US, Europe and South Africa on business improvement initiatives it is clear that the key driver to a successful change is Leadership. That takes maturity, courage and generosity. I’ve learnt that emotions are wasted on frustration, fear and judgement. Emotionally Intelligent Leaders transform frustration to excitement, fear to courage and judgement to curiosity. It is only when we develop these critical Emotional Skills that we are able to lead in a complex environment.
Lean and Six Sigma - An Overview
As Published in the November 2011 Issue of Management Today by Rick McCarthy
Lean is a Business Management System derived from the Toyota Management Principles and Production Methods. The narrow view of Lean is as a set of tools used for cost cutting and process improvement. The broader view is that Lean is a business management system, a way of thinking. The Lean philosophy is to see the entire enterprise as a system with the objective of driving out waste that leads to costs and delays in meeting customer’s needs.
Introduction to Business Improvement
As Published in the Management Today November 2011 issue by Rick McCarthy
In May 2011, The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) released its World Competitive Rankings for 2011. This is an international measure of efficiency for both Government and Business. It measures, among other things, how well Government and Business are working together in the 59 ranked countries. This is especially relevant now as the latest rankings can be seen as a measure of how well each economy is bouncing back from the recent recession. The IMD reports that South Africa is ranked 52 out of 59 falling 8 positions from 44th to 52nd from 2010. An interesting comparison is that this leaves South Africa as the least competitive of the BRICS countries: Brazil-44, Russia-49, India-32, China-19.
Return to Business Basics
As published in the Witness 1st November 2011 by Rick McCarthy
WHEN it comes to improving business it sometimes appears that we are overlooking the obvious, which is to focus on the basics:
1.Focus on quality
2.Reduce customer lead time
3.Quicken cash flow
4.Reduce cost/increase profit
5.Improve employee morale
With so many options that range from IT solutions and process automation to Lean and Six Sigma promising to help business achieve these objectives, how does one know where to start?
Gain operating efficiency though better problem solving.
As published in The Witness, Tuesday 20 September 2011 by Rick McCarthy
After reading my last article, many of you may be asking “What is Lean? So just to give you a very brief introduction, Lean is the Management system that leading companies around the world are adopting in order to reach a goal of becoming world-class operators. By World-Class, I mean companies that can offer lowest cost, highest quality and the shortest lead-time.
Sustainable Job Creation through better Operating Efficiency
As published in The Witness Tuesday 23 August 2011 by Rick McCarthy
In October 2010, The ANC-Led South African government promised to create 5 million new jobs by 2020. Yet with a looming double dip recession, many business owners are wondering how to keep their current employees on the payroll, let alone add more. In fact, as costs of doing business continue to climb, many business owners are looking for ways to cut costs, and a direct hit to the payroll is usually the easiest answer. The bold promise begs the question: What is the most responsible way to create sustainable employment in a country that is battling with a high unemployment rate?
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