Karla Jo Helms’s picture

By: Karla Jo Helms

Disruptors are defined by several characteristics. They see beyond the existing status quo and challenge it by visualizing improvement and the outcome of that solution. Innovators do not provoke anger for its own sake, but they are not afraid to upset the competition or even potential allies. They are pioneering that solution not only to help themselves but also fix an issue that has long been plaguing their industry.

Although these can be seen as positive characteristics, innovators typically have their weaknesses as well. For one, their commitment to a solution is often too zealous for their own good. They develop a kind of tunnel vision, driven so strongly by a belief in their solution that it blinds them to the pushback on their amazing idea. That leaves them vulnerable to criticism and wholly unprepared to defend against the figurative arrows that will inevitably be launched against them.

Lisa Apolinski’s picture

By: Lisa Apolinski

According to Harvard Business Review and the post-Covid CMO survey, social media marketing spending saw a 74-percent lift in 2020. In addition, traditional marketing activity was projected to decline during the same time period. Digital marketing is becoming more of a budget focus for companies, and rightly so. With the pandemic, the importance of a digital focus has come sharply into view for many organizations. These same companies are looking to expand their digital growth.

When it comes to digital growth, there is no “silver bullet” to achieve the growth companies want or need in a post-pandemic world. If digital grow was easy to achieve in the digital space, everyone would do it and do it well. Anyone who tells companies that digital growth should be easy do not understand that proper digital growth requires a long-term strategy.

Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

Fear of losing their innovative edge pushes many leaders to reject hybrid and virtual work arrangements. Yet extensive research shows that hybrid and remote teams can gain an innovation advantage and out-compete in-person teams by adopting best practices for innovation, such as virtual brainstorming. What explains this discrepancy between leadership beliefs and scientific evidence?

Having consulted with more than a dozen companies on a strategic return back to the office, I discovered the root of the problem. The vast majority of leaders tried to pursue innovation during the lockdowns by adapting their office-based approach of synchronous brainstorming to videoconference meetings. However, they found that videoconferences aren’t well-suited for traditional brainstorming, and thus felt the need to go back to the office.

Gregg Profozich’s picture

By: Gregg Profozich

Apprenticeships have a proven track record of producing strong results for both employers and workers. Apprenticeship programs offer access to hundreds of occupations in high-growth and emerging industries, with an average annual starting salary of $72,000 for employees who complete a program and a 92-percent retention rate for employers.

The differences between a manufacturing apprenticeship and an internship

Manufacturing apprenticeships are, essentially, a quality workforce development solution. If you have a need for talent, an apprenticeship provides a framework that can be built around a training program that can produce the talent you need.

Apprenticeships typically have five hallmarks:
• Employment
• Related instruction
• On-the-job training
• Mentoring
• Scheduled wage increases throughout the program

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

Luddism is, as depicted by Henry Ford, “...the theory that there is only so much work in the world to do and it must be strung out.”1 This dysfunctional paradigm is shared today by otherwise highly capable people such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg, while former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for a “robot tax” on employers who introduce automation. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang has called for a universal basic income (UBI) to compensate for jobs lost to automation.2

These proposals can, if taken seriously and acted upon, do nothing more than derail almost limitless growth and a high standard of living for all Americans. They are, in fact, just variations on Luddism as depicted in a song for the Children’s BBC series Horrible Histories. It begins, “We were weavers highly skilled ‘till things were mechanized...” and goes on to describe how machines purportedly displaced workers. The result was a revolution in which the Luddites smashed the machines in question; robot taxes are simply a nonviolent modification of machine-breaking.

Bryan Christiansen’s picture

By: Bryan Christiansen

Learning from past failures is the best way to understand and prevent future equipment breakdowns. In practice, that learning process falls under the umbrella of failure analysis.

These days, there are plenty of failure analysis techniques to choose from. They all come with a specific set of advantages, challenges, and use cases. Let’s see what is available, what steps you need to take, and what are the right techniques for your situation.

What is failure analysis?

Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing failure data, usually to identify the root cause of an asset malfunction or breakdown. This information can be used to improve machine and component design, adjust maintenance schedules, and improve maintenance processes. Ultimately, its goal is to improve asset reliability.

The failure analysis process is generally done after a failure has already occurred. It is an integral part of the root cause analysis (RCA) process. However, it can also be used to determine various factors that could cause a potential failure, so we can select and apply the right prevention methods.

Kiley Becker’s picture

By: Kiley Becker

I was recently on a trip to visit a manufacturing facility for one of our clients. My connecting flight didn’t arrive on time, which delayed my arrival and put me on a tight schedule.

When I got to the rental car agency, I saw more than 20 people waiting in line, and my heart sunk. “Should I call them now and let them know that I can’t make it on time?” I wondered.

But as soon as that thought was over, the line moved up a space. Two minutes later, up another space. I could see the envy in my neighbors’ eyes as I flew past the other lines.

What was going on?

Efficiency, party of one

My next thought was, “This must be the most efficient rental car agent in the history of airports!”

When it came to my turn, the process was smooth. The agent was confident in her work and performed it with speed and agility. Five minutes later the keys to my sedan were in my hand, and I was on track to meet our client—right on time.

While I was checking out, I made a comment about the efficiency and she told me, “Thank you, but things have actually been chaotic lately. We were all just hired, and a lot of other people are struggling to get up to speed.”

Gleb Tsipursky’s picture

By: Gleb Tsipursky

How should organizations—including their quality departments—reshape office space to maximize productivity in the future of work? What will the new workspace—from the office to homes—look like in the future? We know it will be different. But to survive and thrive in the post-Covid world, you need to adopt best practices on returning to the office.

Our hybrid future

Surveys say two-thirds to three-quarters of employers plan to operate on a mainly hybrid schedule after the pandemic. Some big corporations even transitioned to having all of their employees work from home permanently.

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

Aquiline Drones Corp. (AD) quips that, “All roads lead to AI.” Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) integration make that statement hard to argue against, and the astute application of AI to AD’s cloud-based services also makes a lot of sense. So, smart drones are a real thing. But are they smart enough to solve problems and create a return on investment?

I’ve already written about AI in relation to the supply chain and automation, and with good reason. According to a report by Grand View Research, worldwide revenues for the AI market, including software, hardware, and services, are forecast to grow 40.2 percent annually, topping $997.77 billion by the end of 2028. Now, with AD acquiring ElluminAI Labs, I’m exploring AI in the realm of commercial aerial drones.

Jill Johnson’s picture

By: Jill Johnson

People who achieve career success often talk about having had a mentor who guided their career. Whether the mentoring relationship evolves naturally or is a planned relationship, it provides a sustained link between the two individuals.

Everyone needs help learning new skills and imagining things they could have never conceived of on their own. Yet there are three other types of people who can have a profound impact on your ability to achieve success besides someone who is actively mentoring you. The key difference is that the level of their involvement in your life or career often differs significantly from that of a mentor. Knowing that you can benefit from a wider range of advisors will allow virtually everyone you meet to inspire and guide you.

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