Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Answering No The Right Way

When making decisions, you need to decide on what's right. If it's the right decision, it's the easy decision.

Before shutting down the manufacturing line for the holidays, multiple last minute production requests were being filled. The team who has worked super hard this past year made one request- Can we leave early Tima?

After a demanding quarter (including my Master's coursework) all I wanted to do was walk out early, myself.

So I flowed the request upstream to my manager. And for the first time the answer wasn't 'No'. At least- not directly.

The facility runs 24/7 with four different shifts supporting the goals. So the 'No' I received was in regards to fairness. The other shifts didn't get to leave early so why should we. There were exceptions that could have been argued but the bottom line was to be the model for the organization.

"The best inheritance you can leave your kids Is to be a good example." ~ Barry Spilchuk

Often times we lose touch with our brand and what's right because we do what others do. We forget to set the standard- the right standard, that is.

If you stand at the top of the mountain and look over the entire organization, it becomes easier to make decisions consistently. And at the end of it all, people start to appreciate the fairness.

So yeah we had longer breaks the last day and our productivity was probably a record low. But the remarkable part of it all was the team bonding that too place because of it.

"Let them just hang out. And chat," my manager told me. After giving him a funny look, he continued. "let them talk to each other, that's more important than the goals itself you know."

And indeed it was. One of the team members had brought extra decks of UNO cards and people were playing during their breaks. There were individuals playing and joking that have never said a word to each other in the past. The energy was high and the holiday spirit filled the air. People brought pizzas, cookies, and pumpkin bread and it felt like one family reunion.

So although we couldn't call it quits early, the hours spent on campus made it the best day of the year through demonstration of Trust and Respect by all the team members.

Happy Holidays and remember to do what's right. Someone will look back and be grateful for it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's the Holidays

So the holiday season is this amazing span of 6 weeks from thanksgiving to new year- with Chanukah (Hannukah), Christmas, and Kwanzaa in between.

We're on shopping crazies, sugar cookie binges, and broken records of Christmas songs.

The aroma of Peppermint Mocha lattes fills the room of any cafe you walk into.

We're kind. We're sweet and we slack off. Then January 2nd hits! We're determined to make our resolutions and be on full throttle all over again.

Shouldn't everything be in moderation? Every year I push myself hard from January to Novemeber because I know Decemeber will bring that awesome 10 day work/school break. But why can't i work in a break each month to not be run down when the end comes?

Now I'm not saying this is a resolution of any sort because I have been working on Life balance solutions for quite some time (more to come). But in general, let's ensure we take some of our post-holiday energy and it store it for a rainy day

Make every moment count- don't get me wrong on that.
With my appendectomy two weeks ago, I missed my one 2012 resolution- which was to sky dive.

So maybe in June- when I've used hopefully half of my energy, I'll go and jump out of a plane to gain the necessary adrenaline to recharge. Anyone with me?

In closing-
Be kind all the time. Smile all the time. Not just during this "holly jolly" season. But at the same time-relax.

"The man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does." ~Napoleon Hill

There's 365 days ahead of you to use up that energy.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gitty Over Green

While studying innovation, I had to research two products that were considered sustainable. The characteristics I looked for when searching for sustainable products were good quality, durability, acceptable cost and reduced environment impacts. In class, we learned that the product is sustainable when it’s “developed for today’s needs without compromising the ability of the future.”

The first product is FilterPave1. The material is a new type of porous pavement made from 100% post consumers’ glass and the major environmental benefit is that it reduces storm water runoff. Each year, storm water runoff is water that flows into lakes, streams and other gardens filled with the atmosphere’s containments of the Ozone layer. It is good quality since its flexible and architecturally aesthetic and the composition of the material can account for light-heavy loads, which make it durable. Since little maintenance is required because it doesn’t need resealing, crack filling, it makes up for some of the cost incurred up front. The FilterPave makes up for approximately 95% materials that are typically landfilled.

The second product is gDiaper2, a partially re-usable diaper with an insert that can be flushed down the sewer system where it belongs. It turns out that each year 20 billion diapers are disposed in the US landfills3. The inside gRefills are 100% disposable which is great for the environment. Some of the wet gRefills can be decomposed and used for agricultural composites. The material on the inside is durable and made from cellulose rayon & fluffed wood pulp which is a non-toxic water absorber. The cloth lining on the outside is a combination of polyester, hemp and cotton. As it may be slightly more expensive than traditional diapers, the outside cloth that can be re-used is a plus for most consumers and the ability to decompose in the sewage system is a major benefit to our environment.


1. FilterPave: http://www.prestogeo.com/downloads/NPBeqP8MZqS4SucY7mqnFJv9tDaTwigCjAtz87OoPI70lU7N8n/FilterPave%20Overview.pdf
2. gDiapers: http://www.gdiapers.com/environmentally-friendly-diapers/gdiapering
3. TriplePundt.com: #4 is gDiapers: http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/02/5-green-products-to-watch-in-2011-2012/

Friday, December 7, 2012

To Commit or Not To

Anyone can make commitments. But few meet the commitments consistently. I had my appendix removed on Monday 03Dec and said I'd be back to work Friday. Thursday night I was tossing and turning from the pain. 10pm. 11pm. 1am. The clock kept ticking and I hadn't gotten any shut eye before my 4:30am alarm would go off. On three different occasions, I grabbed my phone to notify my manager that I'd be late. Finally I decided to do it and when I opened my email to send him a note, I noticed one about an issue we were working on. Without hesitation, I put my phone down and had intentions to be there at my normal scheduled time which was 530. 

Planning to stay off my feet for the day, I spent the first 5hrs of my shift pacing across the manufacturing floor ensuring the teams were all aligned to the goals that needed to be met. Every so often someone would stop me and ask if I was okay or If I needed to sit down and I kept going.

I was also asked multiple times why I went into work today and I said: I needed to be here. (something about being a couch potatoe watching NetFlix not being my thing either)

I had committed to be there and with the issues that we were facing I felt obligated to be there.

Commitment is a big word. It takes a lot of positive impacts to earn respect and to be deemed reliable. And it takes only one to destroy that.