Insights from The Lab


When Waste is Virtuous

Executives at a global brokerage knew that errors crept into new account setup and paid a costly staff to correct them. Sound familiar?

Everyone at the brokerage thought the sales force was the cause of this “insignificant, unavoidable” cost of doing business.

Although less than 20% of applications included errors, 60% of the staff’s time was devoted to correcting them. And since staff members found their tasks satisfyingly challenging, and executives perceived them as unavoidable, this “virtuous waste” remained hidden in plain sight…

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Lean Finance Transformation 101: 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

“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 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.