Topical issues

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PDF: Making work visible

Over time, as work becomes more electronic or managed via computers, the visibility disappears. And along with it, the tension that outstanding work provides, as well as the satisfaction of clearing an in-tray. Visual systems are intended to facilitate ‘status at a glance’ and be an effective means to communicate progress and performance across management levels and the team. View PDF

PDF: How to Increase Employee Engagement and Boost Productivity

If Employee Engagement is such an enabler of improved organisational profitability, productivity and safety - why are the elements that drive employee engagement so scarce in organisations? The research is so comprehensive, and so many organisations conduct employee engagement surveys, but the operating model or management operating systems does not support the factors that support engagement. View PDF

PDF: Managing Across the Generations

It's not uncommon for today’s workforce to employ as many as five generations; this poses significant challenges for how we manage such a diverse team. View PDF

PDF: Being ‘good’ is just not going to play anymore

How the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship program helps talented young musicians manage themselves within a high-performing team. View PDF

PDF: Becoming fit to handle significant growth

How Coxswain Alliance led a global emergency management company through an 8 week process of lifting its delivery capability to become ‘match fit’ to absorb forecast growth. View PDF

PDF: Establishing the Productivity Capability

A worked example of improving management capability to realise greater levels of operational productivity and competitiveness. View PDF

PDF: Superior Customer Experience

The power of a superior customer experience – and how to create it View PDF

PDF: Does one percent really matter?

By focussing on a series of small improvements, you can have a massive impact on your organisation’s performance. Are you leveraging your 1% opportunities? View PDF

PDF: Workplace stress – and an organisation’s role in mitigating it

Lost productivity, claims paid, impact on customer experience: all are costing organisations significant amounts of money. This article explores the relationship between workplace stress, the role that cognitive fatigue has on this, and how you may work to mitigate it. View PDF

PDF: MOS in sport

In sport, success is driven by how well the athletes and their management manage the various stages of a match: the preparation, the match itself, and then the post-match analysis and action. This is sport’s version of a MOS. View PDF

PDF: Achieving successful implementation – the ‘Why’ is as Important as the ‘How’

Change is, and has always been, disruptive. But how we go about implementing change has transformed significantly over the last few decades. Today, the ‘why’ is as important as the ‘how.’ View PDF

PDF: Creating a culture of engagement – why Now is the time

Recent research indicates nearly 80% of business leaders name retention and engagement as urgent or important priorities. A culture of engagement can give your business an amazing competitive advantage. View PDF

PDF: Business Improvement – the ‘new normal’

From mining in remote Western Australia, to serving a retail customer or processing a banking transaction in metropolitan centres, business improvement is crucial to every organisation’s growth and survival. Coxswain Alliance has worked with in-house Business Improvement teams across various industries, and discovered that the challenges they face and the causal factors are common across all sectors and industries. View PDF

PDF: Adopting Lean and Six Sigma – for operational excellence in Services

Why are manufacturing techniques like Lean and Six Sigma improvement methodologies gaining attention, but struggling to be adopted in the Services Sector? Coxswain Alliance takes a look at how these fundamentally sound methodologies are relevant to any industry. The key is to be able to internalise the core messages and experiences of those who have spent decades developing and refining these techniques and be able to interpret them into your own environment. View PDF

PDF: Change Management in a governance and risk management framework

The breadth and duration of effort required for effective change management is often underestimated resulting in a less than successful implementation program. While introducing change into an organisation can be highly challenging, Peter Braithwaite, principal of Coxswain Alliance, contends that good leadership provides the key to more successful outcomes. Download MP3 View PDF

PDF: What can Australia do about its great productivity challenge?

The Grattan Institute’s Saul Eslake and Marcus Walsh research, Australia’s Productivity Challenge, examines Australia’s current position with relation to productivity gains, examining what has driven them over the last twenty years but more importantly, what risks face us as a nation going forward. We have taken one assertion in the paper and examined it from our perspective of having worked at a site level across most industries in Australia. We provide our views on what Australian business can do NOW to address the looming productivity threat. View PDF


Article: Adopting Lean and Six Sigma improvement methodologies

Globally, organisations from many industries, including the Services sector are adopting a ‘Lean Six Sigma’ strategy. This is particularly true of organisations that previously focused on Six Sigma. General Electric, one of the pioneers of Six Sigma, is now incorporating a Lean Six Sigma approach to achieving rapid transformational change at lower cost. Why Lean More

Article: Lean Principles

Lean principles have been enhanced and developed by Toyota to create the Toyota Production System. Toyota developed Lean in the 1950s based on the work of Frederick Taylor and W. Edwards Deming, both industrial engineers. Toyota does not refer to the term ‘Lean’, this was coined by Womack in ‘The Machine that Changed the World’. More

Article: Six Sigma Principles

Six Sigma is a process improvement methodology developed at Motorola in the 1980’s to reduce defects in its processes. Its goal was to achieve a level of performance equal to a defect rate of 3.4 defects per million opportunities – this is a virtually defect free environment i.e. Six Sigma performance. Similarly, Motorola Inc. Six More

Article: Comparison of Lean and Six Sigma

Lean and Six Sigma are process-based improvement methodologies: both were developed in manufacturing environments, both have proven their effectiveness. Current emerging trends are indicating that integrating the best elements of both methodologies offers a better option. More

Article: Case study: The Toyota recall – has Lean failed?

The faults related to the recall of vehicles are dramatic, but more a reflection of a global supply chain and a manufacturing business of huge scale. There is nothing new about this issue in cars from many manufacturers, but the sheer size of Toyota and the global spread make it a significant event. In the More

Glossary : Terms, definitions and references

For an explanation of terms related to Lean and Six Sigma, please click here.

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Making change happen

Making change happen is more than just sound theory. It requires an ability to translate this to action. Here we explore some topical issues, focussing on pragmatic execution. Should you wish make a comment on these topics or to know more, please send us a message at