Insights from The Lab

Look With Your Mind

Look With Your Mind

“People only see what they are prepared to see,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said.

And so it is with business improvement, particularly in the realm of the “knowledge worker.” Prepare your mind to see more and you will find improvements that can increase the value of your business by 15-20% or more…

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Lean Finance Transformation 101: Finance Process Improvement by Reducing Management Report Mania

Finance Process Improvement by Reducing Management Report Mania

Ever watch a copy machine go berserk and start spewing paper out all over the floor? Would you consider this a model for running your finance department?

Well, the finance department of one Fortune 100 company generates more than 10,000 internal, regularly scheduled management reports. Ostensibly, these are used to decide how to optimize revenue, margins and, ultimately, market value…

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The Unbelievable Value of Disbelief

Value of Disbelief

“Every man prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman Philosopher, 4BC – 65AD

Most business executives will scoff at Seneca’s observation. And they will find it inconceivable that it could apply to them.

But confront those same executives with unpleasant facts about their business. Perhaps a large percentage of their product lines are unprofitable, or many of their internal processes are needlessly complicated. Then you will see Seneca’s statement spring to life…

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Improvements Too Big to See

Improvements Too Big to See

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

Scientists, artists, mathematicians and stock traders have long cherished all types of errors as tools for discovery.

Business executives view errors less positively. Executives and employees alike usually interpret errors personally rather than objectively, often getting defensive when these are pointed out. They tend to see errors more as ‘grounds for termination’ rather than ‘portals of discovery’…

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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.