Operational Excellence – Repeat Prescription

Operational Excellence is a state of readiness attained as the efforts throughout your business reach a state of alignment for pursuing its strategies; where the corporate culture is committed to the continuous and deliberate improvement of company performance and the circumstances of those who work there.

Who are you?

 Someone seeking guidance on OpEx programs: My client, the patient.

Who am I? 

Your OpEx “psychologist” – ready to write you a repeat prescription

My job as an Operational Excellence psychologist is to forever seek new ways to improve your business and the circumstances of those who work there. I do this by exploring and addressing the opportunities and challenges of today and illuminating and predicting those of tomorrow.

My clients view me as an integral part of their team, essential to their success, as I provide strategic insight and tactical analysis that converts their thoughts into reality.

A state of readiness

Partnering with my clients, I help and support them in their pursuit of Operational Excellence, providing them with a comprehensive, end-to-end, program that will enable them to pursue Operational Excellence by design – and not by coincidence.” 

Establishing a Culture for Transformational Change and achieving optimal and sustainable performance is, however, an ongoing process, where a good relationship, open lines of communication and frequent contact is required to truly realize the benefits of working together.

Is a monthly retainer right for your business?

Moving ahead, I can help to provide the overall leadershipand direction at all phases of execution; including training and coaching internal leaders so that your company can become a High-Performance Organization.

From group workshops, to one-on-one meetings, phone calls, emails and more, these repeat interactions, while infinitely valuable, can quickly add up. From experience, I know that when people are billed by the hour and it makes them think twice before picking up the phone to speak to me, which undermines any progress we’ve made towards operational excellence.

On repeat…

With a retainer, you pay a set monthly fee that is reflective of the amount of time you require every monthly. My retainer clients pay three months in advance, so I am not only able to offer a generous discount, but I am also able to guarantee you of my time and dedicated attention, while devoting the agreed upon number of hours you require to keep your business on track for achieving Operational Excellence.

What do you get?

I have found that clients who engage me on a retainer:

  • Use my services more frequently
  • Develop stronger relationships with me
  • Exponentially improve their Operational Excellence
  • Are more accurately able to budget for my services
  • Save on the amount of money they would have paid on an hourly basis

Get in touch with me today to find out more about my retainer arrangements.


“Your brand is the single most important investment you make in your business.”  

Steve Forbes

I offer the following workshop either as a companion (add-on) event or a standalone event. The duration of this unique workshop can be tailored to be delivered in 4 hours, 1 day or 2 days.

Introduction:  The ways and means of businesses operating around the world have been increasingly optimized over time, even while supply chains and finance have become more complex and stretch further around the globe—in pace with advances in transportation and technology.  But what has really changed in business—and even in our own lives—is the incremental, relentless compression of time.  More specifically, that we and our companies need to accomplish more in order to remain competitive and relevant—even viable—in a continually decreasing amount of time.

How does a company accomplish more in less time and not spin out of control? The challenge is increasing efficiency while also increasing effectiveness.  We have to manage multiple (often competing) priorities.  We need to recognize opportunities and threats to our strategies, and we must formulate and deploy effective countermeasures to maintain control over our own narrative.  We need to make sound decisions quickly.  And we need to do all of this in real time.

This is the nature of operational excellence and the essence of its importance: The organizations that pursue operational excellence will achieve a state of readiness to quickly identify and decisively engage opportunities and threats and more rapidly develop and execute their strategies.  In doing so, they will become a high-performance organization.

Part-1: Operational Excellence

The Operational Excellence Maturity Model

Review a definition of Operational Excellence.  Discuss the three stages of Operational Excellence maturity, from Logistical, through Tactical to Strategic; the characteristics and expectations of each level, how to evolve from one level to the next, and the necessity of mastering one level before progressing to the next.

Lean and Six Sigma, Reality or Myth?

What is the history of Lean and Six Sigma.  A basic compare and contrast of the two disciplines; Are they the competitive advantage today as they once were?  Have they reached a ceiling?  Have they delivered on the expectations?  Is there more hype than substance?  How can an organization leverage all that is good and break through to the next level?

Decisions, Decisions

Progress does not come until a decision is made.  How and when do we make that decision?  Is accelerated decision making the competitive differentiator for the 21st Century company as Lean and Six Sigma were the competitive differentiators for the 20th Century company?

Part-2: Leading Change

A Culture of Leadership is Essential

Discuss the basics of leadership.  What are the characteristics of an effective leader and the characteristics of an ineffective leader.  Discuss how culture and customs, whether corporate or of people, matter; the impact of differences in culture and customs; and how to face these challenges.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is critical to being an effective leader and creating alignment.  Discuss the importance of being clear and concise.  Debate and argument is healthy, even necessary – but how do we engage in a constructive manner?  How do we master the art of persuasion?  What are logical fallacies and how do we avoid using them?  How do we recognize when they are being used on us and the countermeasures that should be considered?


The Captain on the Ship is the advocate of the mission, getting the ship and all souls safely to their destination.  And the Ship’s Crew are advocates of their respective duties within their functional smokestacks.  But the Ship’s Steward is the advocate of the Ship.  Discuss the roles, responsibilities, and benefits of stewardship within an operational excellence program.

Part-3: Preparing for Change

Lessons from Mt. Stupid

Experience is the hardest teacher, for first she gives us the test, then teaches us the lesson.  Change often fails because we set expectations based upon what we do not know.  The more arrogant in our ignorance we become, the greater the height of Mt. Stupid – inevitably, we will either roll down a gentle slope or fall off a cliff.  How do we recognize the peril?  How do we avoid the peril?  What does it look like?

Assessments: The Rally Point of the Journey

Discuss requisites for success; where are you going, where are you now, and what will you need (and when will you need it) as you move from where you are to where you are going.  As insiders, do we really have the ability to see the details?  Do we assume to much or not ask enough questions?  Every battle is won or lost before it is fought.

Guerilla Transformation

We can’t do this alone, we will need the support of the entire organization – but we won’t have it when we start.  How are the various ways that we can cause people to defect from one set of beliefs to another?  Where do we start?  How do we avoid failure?  What is the pace we should set?  What are the challenges and how do we recognize them and overcome?

The Best Way to Build Capacity and Capability

Discuss the various approaches to building capacity and capability across the enterprise, comparing and contrasting each for investment requirements and benefit.  When the training and education is more comprehensive and intense, how do we ensure the knowledge gained is retained and promptly put to use?

Part-4: Strategy Execution

A State of Readiness

We live in a world of disruption – whether technology, competition, globalization, and geopolitical – that is occurring at an accelerated pace from just a few years ago.  It will not be the company facing disruption or causing disruption that will prevail, but rather the company that is in the better state of readiness that will prevail.  In this session, we will explore the importance of building an organization that is nimble, understands its capabilities and limitations, and is proficient in accelerating the decision-making process as a strategic advantage.

The Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness Model

In this session, and building on what we have learned to this point.  We will learn about the importance of red-teaming and debriefing.  And we will discuss an organizational development model for building capacity and capability across the enterprise as we evolve our organizational readiness from process excellence through systems excellence to operational excellence.

Changing and Initiative into a Global Program

In this session, we conclude the series.  We understand that building a high-performance organization will take a lot of investment in time, effort, and resources – that we should prepare for a marathon and not a sprint (and set the expectations accordingly).  We review all that has been learned and understand for the designing and constructing of an Operational Excellence Program that will have your company in a state of readiness to see further beyond the horizon than it presently does so that it can better react to the challenges it faces and the opportunities that exist.

Should you or your company be interested in hosting this workshop as a companion event, or if you would like to attend a stand alone event, contact me today…

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude

Ralph Marston

You have a vision to pursue but conflict and competition abound, even within your own organization. So how do you turn your thoughts into deeds and realize your purpose?

How do you create a State of Readiness and become a High-Performance Organization?

There are far more resources at your disposal than you realize. This intense and intimate roundtable workshop taps into over 30 years of my personal Operational Excellence experience, as we explore how things are within your organization, how they could be and what it will take to get from where you are, to where you want to be.

Limited to 12 attendees, vetted to ensure no two participants work in companies that are in competition with each other, the afternoon workshop is a group discussion of the real life challenges you face. It demands your total investment in the process. It will take time and effort. And it will be hard work. If you believe otherwise, then this workshop is definitely not for you.

Who should attend?

You are an executive in a company who needs to accelerate the realization of your vision and recognise that you need the help of others to accomplish this, if only…

You are in operations or part of the continuous improvement efforts within your organization and feel you could do so much more, if only…

If only what?

The answer to that is why I conduct these workshops. I empower you with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over 30 years so that you might not have to pay as much tuition to the University of Life as I have.

So, if you need your company to become a high-performance organization and believe in moving the ball down the field in a deliberate, continual, pragmatic and measured manner – day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year – then this workshop will offer some keen insights that could prove invaluable on your journey.

Typical Agenda for the Day

08h00: Registration, coffee & crullers

09h00: Morning Session, Theory

What is Operational Excellence?

  • What does it mean for you and your organization?
  • What are the principles, systems and tools you need?
  • What it will take to get from where you are to where you want to be?

The Maturation Stages of Operational Excellence

  • What are the stages and how to recognise them?
  • What processes and procedures should you implement?
  • How can you leverage the process across your enterprise?

The Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness Model

  • How do you create strategic alignment at all levels?
  • How do you deliver results that are measurable, sustainable and replicable?

Achieving a State of Readiness & Becoming a High-Performance Organization

  • What goals and priorities should you set?
  • How do you build capabilities and capacity across your enterprise?
  • How do you optimize performance of business units?

12h00: Lunch

13h00: Afternoon Session, Practical

Deployment of your Operational Excellence Program

  • How do you roll out the program?
  • What resources should you train and deploy?
  • How do you maintain your achievements and sustain momentum?

Case Studies

  • The Good, the bad and the ugly
  • What worked and what didn’t?
  • What can you learn from them and apply to your organisation?

Group Therapy

  • Discuss your challenges
  • Offer your insights

17h00: Networking Reception

For more information on the Operational Excellence Round Table contact me here or download a brochure

You have so much to offer; years of experience to be shared and a new dream to pursue. But how can you help other businesses unlock their success when you’re still learning how to unlock your own?

Owning a business is rewarding, challenging, exciting and exhilarating. There are many good reasons for wanting to start a consultancy business. The consultancy industry thrives, consultants add value and clients need consultants. But it’s also hard work – and getting to know exactly how and where to start, run and grow your consulting business can be challenging.

There are a few things you need to consider before you begin your journey.

Some preliminary questions include:

Do you have what it takes? Do you have the knowledge and experience necessary to run a successful consulting business? Are you organized and capable of multi-tasking? What roles will I have to perform that I don’t perform now?  How will I finance my start-up? What will my business plan look like? Do you believe in yourself? Are you 100% willing and able?

A certain degree of competence and specific character traits are essential for starting a consulting business.  You surely have strengths and weaknesses, and it will be important to consider the impact of your strengths and weaknesses on your ability to run a business.

When you have completed your consideration of the issues surrounding your competence and character, you next need to consider the circumstances you find yourself in. Are there circumstances that would restrict your ability to move forward with plans to start a consulting business? Constraints can come in various shapes and sizes. They can be legal, financial or personal.

Finally, you need to assess the various keys to success in consulting. A successful consulting business doesn’t just happen. There are several, inter-related keys to success.

So, if you want to understand exactly what it means to be a consultant, how to define your offering, identify your ideal target market and need actionable advice on how to actually run your business, then this workshop will provide you with the road map you’re looking for as you begin your journey.

These are just some of the thoughts and concerns we’ll be unpacking as part of the Success in Consultancy workshop.

Do you want to fulfill your purpose and live your dream? 

During the course of this two-day workshop, I will share the lessons I’ve learnt over 30 years of consulting. Together, we will take a look at the key factors involved in building a successful consultancy business and explore the challenges and opportunities that exist that will ensure your fledgling consultancy takes off with the best chance of success!

So, if you want to understand exactly what it means to be a consultant, how to define your offering, identify your ideal target market and need actionable advice on how to actually run your business, then this workshop will provide you with the road map you’re looking for as you begin your journey.

Who should attend?

You are a frustrated corporate executive who dreams of being your own boss and sharing your years of insight and experience with others, if only…

You are an expert in your field and you want to know how to monetise your years of knowledge and turn them into a career, if only…

If only what?

The answer to that is why I conduct these workshops. I empower you with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over 30 years so that you might not have to pay as much tuition to the University of Life as I have.

Typical Agenda

Day 1


Being a consultant – Your clients will look to you to add value to their businesses by sharing your insights and knowledge with them. From what it takes to be a consultant, to the different roles you will have to take on when you start running your own business, we’ll explore what it means to be a consultant.

Your offering – Defining who your ideal clients are is essential to knowing what you can offer them. Together we unpack your areas of knowledge and expertise and, perfect your “elevator pitch” and make sure you know exactly what you’re offering.


Structure – How will you structure and operate your business? Will you need to hire support staff to help you run your business while you’re out consulting? Together, we’ll figure out which operational matters you need to be taking in to consideration when setting up your business.

Legal & Accounting – Have you thought about what type of business entity is best for you? If you’re starting out on your own, then a sole proprietor might be the simplest route to consider but if you decide to set up a Limited Liability Corporation, there are a whole host of legal and tax compliance issues to bear in mind. We’ll give you the advice and guidance that will make all the difference over the life of your business.

Contracts – From defining your service offering, the number of hours you’ll be consulting, your fee structure and more, putting everything in writing at the start of a consulting contract will prevent any unnecessary disputes later on. We’ll take a look at what you should include when drawing up a contract.

Day 2:


Sales & Marketing – Setting off on your own requires more than just a good reputations and excellent skills. It may get you your first client or two, but how will you grow your client base without putting a very deliberate marketing plan in place? From networking to cold calling, to traditional and digital advertising, we’ll help you figure out how to promote yourself.


Delivery – Your clients’ satisfaction will be key to the success of your consultancy. And key to that is communication. Making sure you’re both clear about your expectations and deliverables and staying in touch throughout the duration of a contract is essential to delivery. Together, we’ll take a look at what good service is all about.

Follow-on time:

This workshop is designed to give you all the advice you need to set up your consultancy, but to ensure your success, you will also have access to a series of one-on-one mentoring and coaching sessions with me for the next 12 months:

  • 2 Hours/month for 6 months
  • 4 Hours/Quarter for the next 2 Quarters

Get in touch with me today to start your climb to the top as a consultant!


Public speaking is my Gemba, (a Japanese word that means “the real place”)…

Keynote sessions I can deliver are outlined here:

Lessons from Mount Stupid

Continuous Improvement Programs continue to fail – and they fail at such a rate that the sound of the successes are drowned-out by the din of the failures.  They fail at such an alarming rate as to challenge the very credibility of the premise of Continuous Improvement.  Yet the methodologies that are leveraged (Lean, Six-Sigma, ToC, TQM, etc…) and the associated tools (5-S, VSM, Kaizen, Statistical Analysis, etc…) are all tried and proven.

In this session, I will explore the deployment of a Continuous Improvement Program from the perspective of the people responsible and the people involved.  I will discuss the psychology of the “Dunning-Kruger Effect” and its parallels to the “Hegelian Dialectic” – and how understanding this can help minimize the negative impact of that first (inevitable) failure by enabling you to see its approach, and how a successful program might be built as a result of the experiences gained.

Learning Objectives:

Why do Lean / Continuous Improvement Programs fail to achieve their potential?

What is the psychology behind failure and success?

How can we work towards becoming Stewards and being the servant-leader?

Guerilla Transformation – Turning an Insurgency into a Movement

Each of us belongs to a community, or network. The individual members of a network have a shared commitment and affinity to the kernel.  As such, they will behave in a predictable manner since there is nothing to gain by any individual changing their position unilaterally. In reality, to disturb the predictability never even crosses the mind of the members.

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”  — Niccolo Machiavelli

In essence, a Nash Equilibrium exists – named after John Forbes Nash, who proposed it. A Nash Equilibrium basically states that each member of a network is supposed to know the natural objectives of the other members of the community, and no member is able to gain by deviating from a predicted behavior on their own. If all the members of a network share these common beliefs and no member of the network can gain an advantage by changing their behavior while the other members continue on as they always have, then the existing state perpetuates and constitutes a Nash Equilibrium.

“Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Try, instead, to work with what you’ve got.”  — Peter Drucker

As such, the equilibrium that exists in a community will not be disrupted by a threat originating from within the community – but rather a disruption that is introduced to the community from the outside. Some examples of such a disruptor might include; a merger, change in the “C-Suite”, a surprise competitor, the loss of a key customer, and a near global economic melt-down.  When such an external disruptor is introduced, the resultant transformational change that occurs in an organization happens nearly lightning-fast.

So how can an internal disruptor be engineered and deployed in a controlled manner so that transformational change can occur when YOU want it to occur?

Applying Game Theory and the Nash Equilibrium, this session will investigate the circumstances under which change takes place – and when it does not.  And finally, we will discuss the creation of an effective disruptor and how it can be deployed in a controlled and sustainable fashion.

Learning Objectives:

Why is there resistance to change?

How can a credible threat / a disruptor be engineered and properly deployed?

How can the acceleration of the disruptor be controlled?

What can go wrong and how can it be avoided?

The Operational Excellence Enterprise Readiness Model

Who are we?  What are our values?  Who is our customer?  How do we best serve them?  What about tomorrow?  What are the opportunities and what are the threats?  When we close our eyes, who do we see ourselves as?  Where are we now?  How do I get from here to there?  What do I need?  How long will it take?  Where do I start?  How do I get everyone else aligned with the vision?  Do they understand?  Do they even care?  Are you ready for the change?

In the pursuit of Operational Excellence, we need to understand the circumstances in context.  We need to learn to Observe the parameters of a situation.  We need to Orient ourselves and the resources at our disposal to engage.  We have to condition ourselves to assess a situation and Decide the course of action quickly and decisively.  And we need to Act.
… All the while building wisdom, which is the sum of all applied knowledge.

Learning Objectives:

In this talk I will discuss what is needed to cut-across the corporate silos and become a cohesive unit. I will show how to define, then communicate the goals (future state). I will explore a model for creating the necessary state of readiness to pursue those goals.  And I will discuss how to achieve a condition of preparedness to effectively and efficiently address opportunities and threats that might present themselves during the journey.

Enterprise Readiness and the “High-Performance Organization”

Is there ever enough objective data available to ensure that the decision you make is the perfect decision with an outcome that is guaranteed?  If so, how much data is that?  If not, how can the decision be made?  If the data is objective, then are all decisions also objective?  If not, where is the border between objective and subjective?  And if some decisions are subjective, at what point to we make that “leap of faith” and under what circumstances?

In this session, we will investigate the decision-making process cycle from inception to execution.  We will learn the appropriate use and interoperabilities of OODA-Loop, PDCA, and DMAIC.  And, most importantly, we will simulate ways of becoming a “High-Performance Organization” by accelerating the decision-making process cycle to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage by being to recognize opportunities and threats earlier and take effective action in a meaningful manner.

Learning Objectives:

How to recognize opportunities and threats sooner

How to evaluate situations in-context and make strategic decisions more quickly

How to recognize when there is enough information (data in context) to make a decision

What to do when things go wrong – and things always go wrong.

I invite you to join me at my next speaking engagement to learn from each other, debate, and discover together. And if your organization has an upcoming event, let’s discuss your topic ideas for a keynote address, panel discussion, or lecture to challenge and energize your participants.

Contact me here


I offer to you my services as Panel Moderator at conferences and events near you. Having moderated 100’s of notable business and OpEx related conferences & events, I offer my utmost professional panel moderating skills.

My panel moderating “mantra”…

I make sure to really engage the audience. I make the audience want more because the conversation is kept lively, the content is informative, and I keep them part of the conversation throughout.

I give approximately 25% of the panel’s total time to the Q&A. Since the audience is investing their time and money, I make sure to give them a great ROI.

Thorough – and balanced – preparation is invaluable. I make sure to prepare both myself and the panelists, but also making sure not to “over-prepare” them.

How do I prepare to moderate a panel?

I prepare for a panel by firstly answering the question: “What are the goals of all the key players involved? This includes the organization running the event, the panelists and the audience.


By researching the panelists and the panel topic, because logically, the best way to sound like you know what you’re talking about is to actually know what you’re talking about. Even in cases (most cases) where I am an expert on the topic, I make sure to study the presentation styles of the panelists so to better manage their different personalities.

By customizing the flow and content of the panel discussion based on the panelists and the audience. It’s not one size fits all. I am aware of the real possibility that what worked for a panel at one event will most likely will not work for a panel at another. Each event is unique, and I respect this.

By preparing questions to ask the panelists and have extras for jump-starting the Q&A. Questions are kept short and to the point.

There is a saying that goes… “The problem with speeches isn’t so much not knowing when to stop, as knowing when not to begin,”  by American author Frances Rodman.

I believe this also applies to moderating a panel. Luckily, my presentation skills are star quality, and my intro always sets the tone.

With that said, I, as the moderator, am never the star. But, in doing my job well – I make every member of the panel feel like one.

I don’t over-prepare the Panelists.

A few days before the panel, I email panelists with any updates and reconfirm the time and place we will meet.

Last but not least, I always arrive and end on time!

If you would like me to serve as panel moderator at an event or conference near you, please:

Contact me here


I offer my professional services as Chairman of conferences, meetings and business-oriented seminars and events worldwide.

As experienced and credited Chairman of over 300+ conferences worldwide, I consider myself to be always inclusive, organized, selfless, attentive, firm yet gracious, positive and uplifting…

I take pride in delivering the following Chairmanship responsibilities:

Personal Introductions

I come prepared to give a short introduction to the session, and, of course, introduce myself. Then, I review the abstracts of the talks and give a succinct summary of what will be presented. Regarding the speakers, I introduce each one before they begin, providing their background and highlighting their major accomplishments. Speakers love to be properly introduced and the audience likes to know the person behind the voice. But for the sake of both the timing of the session and the speakers, I keep things brief.

Monitoring presentation time

I consider my main role as Chairman to “keep things moving”, or more specifically, to keep the meeting running on time – and ensure that the timeline is adhered to as closely as possible to the timings indicated in the schedule.  I understand that time is a strange and elastic concept when people are under pressure… Therefore, the allocated time for each presentation is made clear to the speakers/presenters in an encouraging fashion.

Reminding the speakers/delegates how much time they have to speak, how much time to allow for questions, and how I will let them know time is up is sure to avoid unnecessary confusion later on.

Audience Interaction

Whenever appropriate, I like to make the occasion as interactive as possible. To initiate an audience discussion, I have my “ice-breaker questions” on hand as these are usually needed to spice up the debate.

As the appointed Chairman of an event, I deem my role extremely important as to ensure an interactive, interesting discussion for speakers and audience alike – never without a touch of my own peculiar sense of humor…

If you are interested in having me chair an event near you,

Contact me here