When we try to improve productivity and efficiency, seldom are sustainable results easy to enact. We can attack the specific problems on limited areas but we need to look at the possibility of systemic changes. Efficiency improvements are not gained on a long term basis by “block and tackle”. We tend to chase a metric and not the root cause of why we are not improving. Sustainable improvements can be only gained by culture, vision, strategic planning, employee enhancement, lean processing, standard work, mistake proofing, cross training, and employee recognition. That sounds too large to tackle at times but as long as we direct the business to attack each area in small bits, the long term gains will sustain for years to come. Management does some of these well but lacks in others. A vision needs to be shared and a strategic plan presented to the entire organization for inputs and confirmation. If we do not take those steps, culture will flat line itself. Engaging employees on the understanding of lean techniques and how they fit into a vision is essential for success. Many leaders know the tools to improve efficiency, but have we educated the workforce why we are doing things? Success comes easier when you have the entire workforce driving the business down the same path. The resistance and failure of most consultant companies is the lack of embracing, educating, taking input, and reacting to employee suggestions. Changing a business effectively comes in small steps that add up to a dramatic overall change. There are no easy answers and nothing in the text books that reveal a hidden secret. The answers are right in front of us and in the heads of our teams. We can teach them new techniques, but they already have the real answers to success. They will drive the change because they want to be part of success. Change the total package and you will attain double digit productivity improvements year after year.