Hearing seasoned musicians perform jazz can be an enjoyable experience. Even if we’re not jazz fans but we can admire the talent that is instantly apparent when melodies are composed in an apparent spontaneity and with notes being soaring together within a common theme.
It’s not clear the exact reason for this performance. There is certainly physical dexterity, the ability to play what’s required on demand. However, playing great jazz demands agility as well as talent — the ability to constantly create new ideas according to the mood that is created by the notes played. Each phrase must be connected with the next to ensure continuity. The integration must take place between ideas and thoughts.
The greatest excitement is generated when musicians in teams improvise to create a new harmony. The musicians have learned the basics, are adept, dexterous, and agile, and are trained to be flexible. In their own words, they “cook.”
If you remove these ingredients, players become unsteady and stumble through their execution. They deliver poor outcomes. The music gets boring, and the listener loses interest. What happens? …….Losing the viewers.
What does this have to do with manufacturing?
Take into consideration how the U.S. has significantly lost market share globally in important industries over the past 15 years. Consider that the face of manufacturing is changing rapidly as a result of an international re-segmentation of the market. With more firms competing internationally, there is a need for U.S. manufacturers to give an outstanding performance by making the highest product of the highest quality in the shortest timeframe feasible.
How do we measure up today to the new standard? We have factory flows that are spaghetti with poor interactions among functional departmental departments, physical barriers as well as classes of workers. Inadequately integrated information systems and component factories that are isolated from the assembly line by state and, occasionally, continents.
This is why we are sloppy when moving components across the floor of our factory, or stale or inefficient when it comes to the introduction of new products in response to market demand, failing in the production process, and having serious quality issues. What’s the outcome? Losing business.
Jazz in the Factory
How do we prepare ourselves to be the best performers in the next decade? We have to start with the basics and the basic skills. Every organization, as an ensemble of jazz musicians, is only as strong as the weakest person in it. When individual abilities are improved and so does the efficiency of the entire unit. It is essential to be prepared and proficient in physical movements. Physical agility is crucial when working as a classical pianist, jazz saxophonist, and also when it comes to the production cycle.
We have to remove the hurdles that hinder us from producing at high speed, such as our setups and the excessive handling of materials and our inefficient physical flow, as well as all production interruptions. We need to streamline our physical flow as well as integrate our processes to eliminate the gaps between production, supply as well as distribution, assembly, and finally, our customer. The focus should be on delivering quickly to the chain of events starting from the moment a client needs anything until he’s satisfied.
We must be proficient in the introduction of new products and swift in introducing them into the market to satisfy the demand. We need to create a connected environment that allows people to collaborate in the process of creating and sharing ideas. Like a jazz musician can choose his notes. In business, there must be a built-in ability that allows employees to experiment and think outside the box.
To foster innovation, in addition to many different things, requires a good arrangement of information. The current procedures and systems were developed over a long period to control a hefty information channel. The functional structures we have are oppressive; the natural and functional conflicts that cause internal conflict hinder the sharing of ideas.
When we can get over the insufferable flow of paper and the disparate computer systems and functional organizational barriers, The idealism of all ideas start to develop at a rapid speed. Connecting computers is a part of the solution, but it’s also improving the flow of information and bringing together the expertise of the creators of ideas. It is essential to arrange to make it easy to share information to foster the sake of innovation.
Music in Harmony
Being able to create quickly on the demand of customers demands an organization that’s fast and efficient. It is dependent on short lines of communication, as well as speed throughout the chain of production. This includes not only being able to perform physical events quickly as well as completing business cycles in a short time.
A jazz stage band can keep the pace by limiting the distance between the musicians. This means there is the least amount of delay in hearing the beat. In the business world, proximity is crucial to generating speed. Every aspect of the business cycle has to be connected with the following to ensure continuity.
Each member should be aware of the general requirements of the market and also close enough to each other to be able to help one another to accomplish the common goal of providing customer service. The team spirit is a fundamental requirement to achieve the results needed to be competitive over the next ten years.
If a manufacturing business is physically adept in its factory and is organized to be innovative and savvy all over, and its employees collaborate towards an overall goal of meeting the needs of a fast-moving marketplace, then it can become an elite competitor, it will have enterprise agility, and this is when it can “cook.”
Richard G. Ligus is the President Richard G. Ligus is the President of Rockford Consulting Group, Ltd. The company is which is located within Rockford, IL., with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of manufacturing, procurement, and transportation as well as distribution. He is a specialist in the development and implementation of strategies for the supply chain management. Rich has published a book and is a presenter who has also developed seminars for his organization, the American Management Association. He has been certified by both The Institute of Management Consultants and The National Bureau of Certified Consultants.
Rich holds earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, as well as an MBA qualification earned from Rutgers University. He is an active member of CASA/SME and was included in Jane’s Who’s, who is in Aviation and Aerospace. He has given talks in IMTS, USCTI, APFA, NEPMA, MCAA, Hand Tools Institute, CASA/SME, and many more. He has been on the air numerous time for WREX-TV, Mid-Morning Magazine.