Newsletter – July, 2016

On My Mind
A Kaizen Blitz is typically a small-scoped project activity for incrementally improving a value stream, process, or work area. What if you need breakthrough improvement—an innovation—instead of incremental improvement? Then you should consider conducting a Kaikaku Blitz. The word Kaikaku is associated with making fundamental and radical changes. Here are some keys to success when conducting a Kaikaku Blitz: (1) Start with a clearly articulated innovation challenge, (2) Be guided by an experienced innovation leader, (3) Have people with diverse perspectives on the team, (4) Select a room with plenty of wall space, (5) Prepare thoroughly, (6) Try multiple creativity techniques (e.g., the DFSS toolbox), (7) Conduct several rapid tests of change (e.g., 3D printing, simulations, mock-ups, ad hoc focus groups, etc.), and (8) Use analytics before, during, and after the event. Best wishes innovating with your Kaikaku Blitz.

Interesting Stories
No credit history? No problem—if you are a customer of InVenture. According to the Delta Sky magazine, the company InVenture, which has made more than 250,000 loans in Africa and Southeast Asia, has developed leading-edge loan disbursement capabilities according to its CEO Shivani Siroya: “We’ve developed an Android app that allows us, within a short period, to be able to understand someone’s identity and verify that identity. From the [mobile] device, we pull in about 10,000 different data points on the individual in about 20 seconds. We score them and then we disburse loans directly to them, anywhere from $10 all the way up to $1,000, right into their digital wallets. The entire process takes us under one minute.” We will continue to hear stories like this as companies push the envelope on information technology and analytics.

Company News
The Eighth Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 6, 2016 at the beautiful Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen, MN. There will be twelve presentations within four themes: Strategy, Analytics, Innovation, and Lean Six Sigma. The full brochure will be available on this website around mid-July.

Intriguing Reads
Does it ever feel like your business communications are getting lost in all the noise? How can we be more effective at getting our messages across? The 2015 book titled, “Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters” by Linda Popky can help us improve our communications. The author’s Dynamic Market Leverage Model provides a useful framework for structuring marketing activities. The model has eight components: Strategy, Products, Customers, Brand, Communication, Operations, Sales Channels, and Market Analysis. If you want to be more effective at marketing above the noise, then give this book a try.