Posted by: Knightbird | January 14, 2017

How to Survive Rejection Slips


My philosophy of life since 2008 is this: “I want to use Lean Management and Prevention/Healing From Childhood Acquired Trauma (Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE’s) to help children and adults learn to thrive.”

Lean Management is the most effective method for delivering the high-quality services needed to help individuals to recover from the negative impact of ACE’s on their lives. And my research tells me that ACE’s are the major reason in our country for poor health, a shorter life and great unhappiness. Combining the two can be a pathway to a better world.

I have found that being a Lean Consultant in Alaska requires incredible persistence. I can’t tell you how many CEO’s, Presidents, managers and others I have tried to interest in Lean Management. Another colleague of mine write to many corporations about doing an assessment and seeing what could be done for their organization. Results: zero interest.

If a CEO and board buy in to Lean completely, we can reduce their costs by about 25% and improve the quality of their work substantially. There is a long learning curve for implementing lean correctly. And most CEO’s don’t have a reason for being curious enough to investigate the proper way to implement Lean. Without a CEO on board, the prospects for success are slim. I spoke to one CEO who referred me to their COO and CFO. I knew right away that I was traveling a dead-end road. Very few CFO’s understand Lean. And most COO’s don’t want to be told that their methods aren’t working as well and other methods.

Adopting Lean Government is also a pathway to providing the supportive services needed by many trauma victims. Because of perennial budget issues, efficient and high quality services are necessary.

If you can interest a company of government in Lean, protective instincts assert themselves. After all, you are where you are because of what you have done. It’s hard to learn a new way of doing things with it requires a long-term commitment, extensive training and trusting your employees to do the right thing, all under the leadership of experienced Sensei’s.

Finally, most CEO’s would benefit by thinking more aggressively. Why do I say that cost reductions of 25% can be achieved in a company that hasn’t used Lean methods before. Because that is the common experience. We can increase productivity by looking at the entire organization, not just manufacturing, or troublesome spots. We can get significant gains when we understand where the trouble spots are, and then working downstream from there. We want to find the major process(es), start there and work our way back through supporting processes. Most CEO’s have a troublesome area they want to address, and aren’t willing to listen to advice.

So even if you interest a client, your path to success is difficult. I am one of a fortunate few that had a board, executive team (for the most part) and staff that bought into a transformation long term. For now, rejection is a way of life, despite having knowledge that could literally transform workplaces. I would love to find an organization hungry enough for meeting a mission and willing to try Lean.

In my view, the benefits to society are worth the rejection. Finding a hungry, innovative and forward thinking organization will be worth it.

In the meantime, I take comfort from a story I read about cartoonists, who have a rejection rate of about 96% of their submissions. They draw multiple cartoons every week and submit to multiple potential clients, and have very limited success. Apparently, a 10% success rate means you are wildly successful. Another success is worth the wait. It’s only been 6 years of looking, So I don’t think my rejection rate is too low yet.

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