Rather than entering into client engagements with a pre-determined “program,” Karen and her team of experienced business performance improvement professionals tailor their approach to fit their clients’ unique needs. And, to build self-sufficiency as quickly as possible, they focus on developing problem solving, critical thinking, innovation, and continuous improvement capabilities at the same time that they’re helping their clients generate rapid results.
Whether you need assistance in undertaking a full organizational transformation, jump start a stalled focus on improvement, or merely developing a core capability or two, The Karen Martin Group, Inc. can help YOUR company achieve its goals and profit through simplicity.
While our typical client engagement is heavily coaching- and facilitation-based, we provide traditional consulting to assist our clients with transformation-related issues, such as:
- Creating a transformation roadmap
- Developing an infrastructure to support transformation (e.g., dedicated improvement resources in the early stages of transformation, improvement reporting systems, etc.)
- Identifying current workforce capabilities and development needs
- Evaluating how much change the organization can reasonably absorb over specified periods of time and creating an appropriate execution plan
- Developing a communication strategy
- Creating a value stream-aligned organizational structure
- Defining relevant performance metrics and developing an approach for ongoing measurement and creating and executing resulting action plans
In all cases, we work with our clients to create clear, measurable objectives and to secure organizational alignment around the objectives themselves and the approach best suited to meet those objectives.
We facilitate team-based improvement activities, such as:
- Strategy development and deployment (also referred to as hoshin kanri)
- Analytical activities, such as value stream mapping, metrics-based process mapping, and root cause analysis
- Execution activities, such as kaizen events and traditional projects
We also facilitate activities geared to building consensus, resolving conflict, and obtaining consensus.
Building proficiency in any endeavor—whether golf, piano, ballet, or acting—is best enabled by working with a skilled coach. Developing organizational capabilities around problem solving and continuous improvement, personal productivity, and leadership is no exception.
Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement
We coach individuals and teams as they learn the scientific method for getting results known as plan-do-study-adjust (PSDA). Our primary method for teaching the approach and guiding practice is via A3 management but we don’t exclusively use this methodology. When unique conditions arise, we adapt our approach as well.
Here, our personal productivity coaches work one-on-one with individuals who seek greater personal productivity and the increased fulfillment and reduced stress that accompanies it. (We also offer personal productivity workshops, described in the training section.)
In this 4-day program delivered over the course of one year, the areas addressed include:
- Email management
- To-do systems
- Calendar management
- Weekly reviews
- Paper files
- Hard drive/shared drive organization
Our leadership coaches work with managers, senior leaders, and executives to help them build critical skills, accomplish their goals with greater ease, assess and leverage existing strengths, and increase self-insight. Areas of focus often include (but are not limited to):
- Emotional intelligence
- Trust building and communication
- Giving performance feedback
- Work/life satisfaction
- Self-awareness and self-management
- Overcoming presentation anxiety
Following initial assessment and goal-setting sessions, we begin the coaching phase drawing on dialogue, observations, feedback, and assignments. The sessions provide the arena in which to learn new techniques and develop new behaviors. After the client’s goals are achieved, we remain available for periodic refreshers and/or to measure behavior change through assessment instruments and feedback from initial stakeholders (if any were involved).
We offer a wide variety of development programs that produce outcomes that range from gaining general awareness to developing deep proficiency and that are geared to the full range of employees, from senior leaders to the frontlines. Depending on the client’s learning objectives, our workshops and training programs range from brief one-day sessions to our to project-based Lean Practitioner and Facilitator Certificate Programs, during which participants meet for 12 class sessions over the course of four months to build deeper capabilities around improvement tools and core business management practices.
Lean, Six Sigma & Continuous Improvement
Principles & Practices
- The Outstanding Organization – ½ day and full-day overview workshops; four full-day workshops on each of the four organizational behaviors: Clarity, Focus, Discipline & Engagement.
- Lean Overview – ½ day to 2-day sessions, depending on the depth of learning desired
- Lean Culture – includes incentives and measurement
- Lean Leadership – 2 days
- Problem Solving via A3 Management – Project-based; 4 days of classroom work + 4-6 online coaching sessions per project; delivered over the course of 2-3 months
- Value Stream Mapping – 3 days
- Metrics-Based Process Mapping – 1 day
- Root Cause Analysis – 2 days
- Lean Practitioner Certificate Program
- Lean Facilitator Certificate Program – participants must have completed the practitioner certificate program or demonstrate proficiency in the content
- Six Sigma Green Belt
- Six Sigma Black Belt
Countermeasures– all are available in ½ day and 1 day versions, depending on the depth of learning desired.
- Changeover & setup reduction
- Error-proofing (poka yokes; quality at the source)
- Kanban Pull Systems (includes FIFO lane content as well)
- Load leveling
- Work balancing via Takt time (also includes content on creating appropriate job aids)
- Work standardization
- Cross-training and co-location (work cells)
- Kaizen Events – 3 days
- Continuous Improvement/Kaizen
- Key Performance Indicators
- Process Ownership
Essential Managerial Skills
- Presentation Skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Influencing Skills
- Coaching Skills (performance coaching, not improvement coaching)
- Meeting Management and Facilitation
- Personal Productivity
An engaging and experienced speaker, Karen is at once provocateur and motivator. She entertains and informs her audiences with insights on improving organizational performance while creating work environments that enable the entire workforce to excel. Audiences leave Karen’s sessions armed with practical how-to’s, and feeling invigorated and ready to carry out the urgent missions that Karen lays forth.
View samples from Karen’s latest keynote address at the American Society for Quality’s Lean and Six Sigma Conference: