Had a busy but rewarding week last week. Two clients with vastly different businesses, but very similar needs. This week focused mostly on visual management systems and two very different mindsets.

In Phoenix, we’re working on capturing goals in a platform called Betterworks. After a lot of wrestling, we defined seven broad corporate objectives. The cool thing about Betterworks is that now all the senior managers can login, see the corporate objectives and set their own goals to support them, and each successive level can cascade their goals from that executive level. The leaders can then clarify and refine them in back-and-forth discussion often called “catchball,” all done online so even remote teams can do this easily.

In New England, we are building a tiered visual management system that’s a little more like those you read about in lean books. A few months ago, we started with refining information kiosks at the team/workcell level, emphasizing the information needed by the team. That quickly exposed a need to track certain measures at the supervisors level, and the managers’ level. We spent a couple of days defining the different tiers in the company and who needed to huddle where and when, standardizing through the entire company. This turned out to be a radical departure from their previous way of doing this – and in a good way. This week, we reworked the tier 4 information board and got it aligned with their balanced scorecard. We went from this:

To this:

…in a little less than 3 hours. There’s still tons of work to do to refine the way they present the metrics they want to track and rework the tier 3 and tier 2 boards to align better, but theirs getting closer to that full line of sight from the value creating level down to the executive level of the company. Pretty exciting to be able to help them put these together and be able to clearly see gaps they can focus on.

If you’re struggling a little with getting the right leader behaviors, this focus on the measurement system can really help. If you think you need some help, send me a note and let’s talk.