The Silver Bullet

Jim Williams
Nov 1, 2023

Getting people aligned is TOUGH. I have experienced and heard this from others and in my own head for the 30 years that I have led teams and businesses. Frankly, you can have the right MINDSET, the BEST people who are ENGAGED but if they are not ALIGNED the results you are looking for will seem out of reach.

When working with leaders and clients, many are looking for the “silver bullet”, the one thing that is going to drive the best possible ROI. I always say; “they are out there but hard to find”.

As a coach and consultant, it sometimes works against the “business model” to provide the one thing, the true silver bullet as we consultants are paid for our TIME, the more time with the
client the more revenue. NOW I am not your typical consultant, I see myself as more of a guide to our clients, I am the Yoda to your Luke, the Mickey to your Rocky, the Mr. Miyagi to your Daniel, YOU and your customers are the HERO I am merely your guide.

When it comes to Alignment though there is a silver bullet and I am willing to give it to you, here and now in this blog.... drum roll please, it is LEAN DAILY MANAGEMENT (LDM).

I became aware of Lean/Six Sigma many years ago when I ran a chunk of the service business for Best Buy. As Sr. Director of the Geek Squad business for the eastern U.S., (to this day it may
have been my favorite role) we were taught Lean as part of our service, repair, delivery business and what the value creation (Profit) would look like if we became a more “leaned out” business. We had white belts, green belts, black belts, all kinds of belts. In fact, the six-sigma function became a resource you could “buy/rent” at Best Buy as a P/L owner. This is a story for another day. It was a hot topic/initiative for a period but like many things it became something else to do, so it kind of disappeared over time.

Fast forward almost 10 years later and I am now in the Wholesale Automotive world, yep after 25 years in retail I jumped into a brand-new business I knew NOTHING about as a VP of Operations for the largest wholesale auto auction business in the world, (this will be a great talent blog post so I will leave that story for then). I was recruited to help the business move in to the 21 st century. Essentially, the business was done on paper, millions of cars moved and sold on 5-part forms. In fact, I think the company single handedly kept five-part form and printer companies in business. The goal was to “digitize” the company.

Long story short and this is where LDM comes in. This was a PROUD company built by a PROUD group of people and they were the BEST at what they did. The business was making a fortune by most measures and frankly this was a case of “this is far from broke, why are we looking to fix it”. The transformation effort expected was going to be difficult, in fact it had been tried many times before but as the great Peter Drucker once said; the culture at this proud company ate the transformation strategy for breakfast”.

There were several reasons why this transformation effort, I believe it was the 3rd try was likely to fail too. I will share later all we did to make this go and drive amazing value for our team members, customers, and shareholders. LDM was a HUGE driver of it and likely the single most important piece of the puzzle.

To learn more about how LDM helped transform a 70-year-old, multi-billion-dollar service business hit the schedule a call button.