Insights from The Lab

Escape Your Vortex of Wasted Work

This article from The Lab was featured by Forbes.

There is a common misperception that knowledge work is unique. Executives are reluctant to accept that roughly two-thirds of activities in the office are similar and repetitious. In the early 1900s, competition forced factory managers to overcome the same reluctance. They had to acknowledge that skilled craftsmen’s activities were similar and repetitious. When they did, an Industrial Revolution began…

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Your Finance Group Is a Value Factory

You might want to tour your company’s factory, distribution center or even its office furniture management group before you read this.

Just as it did in factories, a second dose of Scientific Management would deliver breathtaking levels of value in this knowledge worker population. And it is likely to begin in that most valuable and influential knowledge factory of all — The Finance Group…

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The Massive Tax Of Satisfaction On Knowledge Work

This article from The Lab was featured by Forbes.

At a bank’s contact center, a customer service rep is satisfied. He has just finished helping a bank teller complete a wire transfer.

At an industrial products manufacturer, an inside sales rep is satisfied. She has completed and corrected the information needed to release a customer’s order to the factory for production.

They are satisfied with their work, they will explain, because they are preserving revenue, improving customer satisfaction and making the sales force more productive. To them, this activity is virtuous….

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The Siren Song of False Precision

“Measure with a laser beam, mark with a chalk line, cut with an axe.”
– Anonymous

Have you ever watched an improvement project stall out because someone demanded an impossible level of precision in estimating the results? Typically, the detail requested for the project far exceeds the company’s current practice – and does not affect the decision…

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Improvements from Start-to-Finish

Since opening its doors in 1993, The Lab has helped some of the best companies in the world become even better.