Departmental Silos:  Breaking down Organizational Barriers

Organizations need, well in a word, organization. We need and like to put our work into neat compartments. We divide work into first, big compartments, then increasingly smaller ones as we get closer to the actual work of making the things we make. Clearly we need to organize our work. But equally clear sometimes we

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What Business are We In?  Keeping your Company Focused

The world of wood industry companies began its remarkable journey of change in the mid-nineties and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, the rate of change has increased all the while. For more than twenty years, industry companies have struggled to adapt to a continuous cycle of dying markets, emerging opportunities and ever-changing technology. Think about

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Internal Improvement Projects: Getting the most out of your team

Ever feel that despite all your hard work, you’re not making progress with projects to improve the performance of your business?  Seems like no matter what you do, these projects don’t get done on time (if ever sometimes), they’re over budget or aren’t producing the expected results. My guess is when your sleep is interrupted

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Regulation: Understanding the cost impact to your business

Regulation by the federal government of our manufacturing businesses is an insidious problem. No one argues the need for reasonable environmental and worker protections, but unquestionably, regulatory costs are significant and they are inhibiting the relative health and growth of industry companies. Federal regulatory costs include not only environmental and worker protection, they also include

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Productivity – Six practical ways to ramp it up

Productivity is a word widely used in the vernacular of the wood products manufacturing industry. The word is used in many contexts and carries with it many meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Fort this reason, any discussion about productivity should begin with a definition of the word. For purposes of

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The Common Sense of Charitable Work

Among the many hats worn by business owners, the ‘keeper of the culture’ is one worn daily. Yet culture is usually not an aspect of the business that has developed from deliberate actions or behaviors. Your business culture takes its shape gradually, growing and refining over time as your personal values become woven into the

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What To Do When…You Don’t Know What To Do

Show me the leader that has never encountered at least one problem they didn’t know to solve and I’ll show you a guy from another planet. It’s a universal fact that just about the time you thought you’d seen every possible problem in running your business, you get blindsided. Something totally new and unexpected drops

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