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About Karen Martin
Karen is a Forbes contributor and the two-time Shingo Award winning author of The Outstanding Organization and Value Stream Mapping (coauthored with Mike Osterling), and co-author of The Kaizen Event Planner and Metrics-Based Process Mapping. Her latest book, Clarity First, was nominated for 800-CEO-READ's 2018 Business Book of the Year.
For more information, visit www.tkmg.com. To subscribe to her blog and/or newsletter, visit www.tkmg.com/subscribe.
You can also find her at:
Twitter - twitter.com/karenmartinopex
LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/karenmartinopex
Facebook - facebook.com/karenmartingroup
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The first of its kind—a Value Stream Mapping book written for those in service and office environments who need to streamline operations
Value Stream Mapping is a practical, how-to guide that helps decision-makers improve value stream efficiency in virtually any setting, including construction, energy, financial service, government, healthcare, R&D, retail, and technology. It gives you the tools to address a wider range of important VSM issues than any other such book, including the psychology of change, leadership, creating teams, building consensus, and charter development.
Karen Martin is principal consultant for Karen Martin & Associates, LLC, instructor for the University of California, San Diego's Lean Enterprise program, and industry advisor to the University of San Diego's Industrial and Systems Engineering program.
Mike Osterling provides support and leadership to manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations on their Lean Transformation Journey. In a continuous improvement leadership role for six years, Mike played a key role in Square D Company's lean transformation in the 1990s.
Winner of The Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award!
After two decades in the trenches of helping companies design and build better, more efficient operations, Karen Martin has pinpointed why performance improvement programs usually fail: Chaos, the sneaky but powerful force that frustrates customers, keeps business leaders awake at night, and saps company morale.
In The Outstanding Organization, Karen offers a toolbox for combating chaos by creating the organizational conditions that will allow your improvement efforts to return greater gains.
Proven, practical, and surprisingly simple, Karen's system focuses on four key behaviors for organizational excellence--Clarity, Focus, Discipline, Engagement--that, once instilled into a company's DNA, open the door to sustainable growth and profit. This well-organized, inviting-to-read guide reveals everything you need to know about:
- How the lack of clarity and focus adds millions of dollars of unnecessary labor expense and slows progress on all fronts
- How you can gain a competitive edge by adopting the type of disciplined behaviors typically found in the military, science, law enforcement, sports, and the arts
- Why you should stop worrying about employee satisfaction--and start concerning yourself with employee engagement
- Why adopting various improvement approaches without building a foundation for success won't solve your problems--and will likely create more chaos
Although you don't like the chaos that you're currently coping with, you've probably come to accept it. You don’t have to if you follow the path Karen lays out.
This no-nonsense book helps you get to the crux of the problem, so you can inject the sensible, disciplined calm that enables the levels of performance and innovation mandated by today's business environment--and help your organization become truly outstanding.
Praise for The Outstanding Organization
"Too often, outstanding performance seems out of reach. Karen Martin explains, with elegant simplicity, why so many organizations 'can't get there from here.' Better yet, she provides clear, actionable advice on building a foundation that will allow anyone to achieve excellence."
-Matthew E. May, author, The Laws of Subtraction
"This fast-moving book gives managers a series of practical, proven strategies and tools to improve performance to get better results immediately."
-Brian Tracy, author, Full Engagement!
"It is within our grasp to create an outstanding organization, but it won't happen without focus and attention. Karen Martin explores organizations that have made this transformation, and she unlocks their secrets for you. Read this book, apply the principles exposed, and you will achieve similar success."
-Richard Sheridan, CEO, Menlo Innovations
"Karen Martin shares her extensive experience assisting companies in their improvement efforts and identifies capabilities common among organizations that have achieved sustainable outstanding success. Especially noteworthy is Karen's discussion of the Plan-Do-Study-Adjust management cycle. Adapt it as you need, adopt it because you must.
Award-winning business performance improvement and Lean management expert Karen Martin diagnoses a ubiquitous business management and leadership problem—the lack of clarity—and outlines specific actions to dramatically improve organizational performance.
Through her global consulting projects, keynote speeches, and work with thousands of leaders, Karen has seen first-hand how a pervasive lack of clarity strangles business performance and erodes employee engagement. Ambiguity is the corporate default state, a condition so prevalent that “tolerance for ambiguity” has become a clichéd job requirement.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
In Clarity First, Karen provides methods and insights for achieving clarity to unleash potential, innovate at higher levels, and solve the problems that matter to deliver outstanding business results. Both a visionary road map and practical guide, this book will help leaders:
•Identify and communicate the organization’s true purpose
•Set achievable priorities
•Deliver greater customer value through more efficient processes
•Provide greater transparency about true versus assumed performance
•Build strong problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities throughout the organization
•Develop personal clarity to be a more direct, purposeful, and successful leader
Eliminating ambiguity is the first step for leaders and organizations to achieve strategic goals. Learn how to gain the clarity needed to make better decisions, lead more effectively, and boost organizational performance.
When it comes to leading an outstanding organization, every great leader needs Clarity First.
Kaizen Events are an effective way to train organizations to break unproductive habits and adopt a continuous improvement philosophy while, at the same time, achieve breakthrough performance-level results. Through Kaizen Events, cross-functional teams learn how to make improvements in a methodological way. They learn how to quickly study a process, identify and prioritize improvement opportunities, implement change, and sustain their gains. Most importantly, they learn how to work with one another to solve problems rapidly and in a highly effective way.
In The Kaizen Event Planner: Achieving Rapid Improvement in Office, Service, and Technical Environments, authors Karen Martin and Mike Osterling provide a practical how-to guide for planning and executing Kaizen Events in non-manufacturing settings, and conducting post-Event follow-ups to sustain the improvements made.
Geared to continuous improvement professionals and leaders within the office areas of manufacturing, the service sector and knowledge-worker environments, this book provides the methodology and practical tools for generating measurable results, while building a motivated workforce and laying the foundation for continuous improvement.
The Kaizen Event Planner provides those responsible for improving office, service, and technical processes with the skills to effectively scope the activity, engage the right people, and facilitate successful Events!
An accompanying CD provides immediate access to a number of Excel-based tools.