Why Strategic Planning Fails and How to Get It Right

Paradoxes are an interesting thing.  They simultaneously make no sense at all and make too much sense to ignore. One paradox that exists for many people lies in the feelings that they have when it comes to vacations or holidays. You can be simultaneously excited for your upcoming break and overwhelmed by the amount of preparation that it takes to leave on good terms.  Conversely, when you return from a big break, you can be mentally refreshed from the time off and also stressed by the number of upcoming projects and activities that need your immediate attention. It is this particular paradox that often drives leaders to unintentionally miss the mark on a crucial activity in the life cycle of an organization: the annual reflection and strategy planning process that sets the tone for the next year.

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Up-Skilling a Motivated Workforce

LeanCor's corporate headquarters and Logistics Control Center is located in the state of Kentucky. Horses are deeply associated with the "Bluegrass State," as they are raised, trained and raced throughout the land. There are lots of well-known idioms and metaphors that come from working with horses. One such phrase is "chomping at the bit (also known as “champing at the bit”).  This is usually used to describe a situation in which a subject - whether horse or human - is so eager to begin something that their energy can become impatient or anxious during the wait.

What we have found at LeanCor is that team members, more than ever, are quickly chomping at the bit to learn new skills, grow professionally and advance their careers.  

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How Does a Company 'Do' Employee Engagement?

Have you ever heard a word and realized that you didn’t really know what it meant? As in, you heard it over and over but couldn’t nail down its use to a specific, enduring definition? One of these words for me early on in my corporate services role was employee engagement.  I understood what the word “employee” meant.  I understood what “engagement” meant. But when I put them together, I didn’t feel that I grasped the meaning as well as I should.

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The LeanCor Way Series - Productive PDCA on Performance

Where do you see yourself in two years, and do you see a path to get there? 

This was one of the open-ended questions in a December 2015 team member survey. One response that came back stood out to us:

“Do not know. The path is very cloudy. Pulled in many directions…”

We deemed this response as indicative of missing a strong, developmental approach for performance management. There was no structured format for guiding team members along their career at our company.

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The LeanCor Way Series - Onboarding: First Impressions Are Everything

“Its employees were leaving in droves, as many as 50 to 70 percent each year.” In his book, The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle tells the story of a call center that was facing major issues with employee retention.

To deal with this phenomenon, the call center ran some experiments to improve retention that included injecting a new, personalized approach into its day-one training. What they found through this experiment was that an individualized onboarding program drastically improved retention by fostering a heightened sense of safety and belonging for new employees.

First impressions are everything.

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"Unified Teams, Spirit, Open Environment and Communication"

We opened our doors as a tour site this spring for the 2019 Shingo Conference for Operational Excellence. Conference attendees dispersed throughout our office and spoke to team members about purpose, people, and process. While we always have room for continuous improvement, we're proud to report the positive feedback!

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The LeanCor Way Series: Lessons Learned From Building our Culture

Where does an organizational culture come from? 

Is the tone set from a singular mantra or is it built like a house, brick by consistent brick?  As we wrapped up a marathon of new team member on-boarding activities (growing our logistics specialist workforce by over 40% since January), we realized that our culture will continue to evolve and grow with each new team member’s influence.  How can we create an environment that is bigger than ourselves but also dependent on each individual to make the sum something worth protecting?

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