This morning’s Academy Award nominations – and the long shadow of the shocking mishap at last year’s Oscars ceremony – are as a good a reminder as any that no process, and no industry, is too good for a little operational excellence.
If you don’t remember, the Oscars ended last February with screen icons Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announcing musical La La Land as Best Picture. As the ebullient acceptance speeches were overtaken by a swell of confused behind-the-scenes commotion, it was revealed that the wrong movie had been announced, a first in the 89-year history of the event. It was a stunning mishap in desperate need of root-cause analysis and some countermeasures, both of which have taken place over the past year.
In the run-up to this morning’s Oscars nomination announcement, the Associated Press and New York Times reported that PwC, the accounting firm that tabulates the votes and hands out the envelopes, has adopted new rules and processes to prevent the snafu from happening again. Countermeasures now in place:
A double-check before presenters go onstage that they have the right envelope;
A confirmation by a stage manager beforehand;
An additional account who has memorized the winners’ list seated in the control room with producers;
No phone or social media use by PwC accountants backstage; and
Worst-case scenario rehearsals of what to do in case it happens again.
As for the accountants who kicked off a chain reaction of confusion by handing Dunaway the wrong envelope last year? They’re not coming back.
Vanity Fair lamented this week that the vibe backstage is likely to be less spontaneous, but it’s unlikely the terrified trio of PwC accountants will mind a little standard work.
The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence’s partnership with the Ohio Manufacturing Institute continues with a new podcast featuring recent event keynote and supply chain expert Robert Handfield.
Handfield (pictured, right), who spoke at COE’s Oct. 20 Supply Chain Symposium, sat down with MFG TMW podcast host Kathryn Kelley while in town for the event. Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University and director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative who also co-authored the recently released book The LIVING Supply Chain.
In the interview, Handfield tackles the changes he’s witnessed in his decades studying the global supply chain, chief among them an explosion of data that’s creating serious opportunity – and serious challenges – for companies.
Leveraging that data with today’s technology, Handfield says, can bring real-time visibility that can offer critical insight in an unpredictable world. To get true value from these tools, though, suppliers and customers throughout the chain need to learn how to coexist, Handfield tells Kelley.
“Companies need to work with their partners to solve problems collaboratively – and that’s the only way we’re going to survive,” he says.
COE regularly partners with OMI to bring speakers to Manufacturing Tomorrow. Past COE collaborations have resulted in podcasts interviewing Snap-On Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk, Executive Director Peg Pennington, and more.
For its first event of the new year, The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence is featuring the chief executive of one of Columbus’ iconic consumer brands.
Serving as the 1 p.m. keynote at COE’s Feb. 9 learning and networking session is David Ciesinski (pictured, right), CEO of Columbus-based Lancaster Colony Corp., which owns and produces the Marzetti food brand and many others. Ciesinski, who joined Lancaster Colony as president and COO in 2016, stepped into the top role this past May.
Ciesinski has spent years in the competitive packaged foods industry, including leadership stints at H.J. Heinz Co. and Kraft Foods Group Inc. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and received his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
In his keynote, Ciesinski will share insights from his decades in leadership roles and offer a look inside a staple of the region’s business landscape that’s growing sales and margins in a transformative time for the industry.
The afternoon keynote will cap a day that begins at 10:30 a.m., when attendees can choose to attend one of three interactive learning sessions run by COE Executive Director Peg Pennington; researcher and sourcing expert John Gray; and Ralph Greco, director of the Nationwide Center for Advanced Customer Insights. After the 90-minute learning sessions, all attendees will converge for a noon networking lunch before Ciesinski’s keynote.
Registration for this members-only event opens Tuesday, Jan. 9.
18 events. More than 60 presentations, workshops, tours and benchmarking opportunities. Countless “a-ha!” moments.
The Center for Operational Excellence’s 25-year milestone was its busiest ever, and plans are in the works for another exciting year of programming designed to connect our members to the latest best practices in process excellence. With the new year just days away, we’re offering a look back at some of our event highlights from 2017 …
January 2017: COE started and ended its year with member Huntington National Bank opening its doors to share how it’s driven transformational change. Huntington hosted the first of four “grassroots” benchmarking sessions, where leaders from more than a dozen COE member companies meet quarterly at a host company to share best practices on a specific topic. Interested in joining the group? Contact session moderator and COE Executive Director Peg Pennington at email@example.com.
April 2017: For its fifth-annual summit Leading Through Excellence summit, COE took hundreds of members to seven different tour sites across the state of Ohio. Here, leaders from member Engineered Profiles show tour attendees best practices in leader standard work, a tour being offered again during the 2018 summit.
April 2017: Buckeyes Football Coach Urban Meyer kicked off the third and final day of COE’s Leading Through Excellence summit, sharing insights from his personal journey and encouraging attendees to always keep a look out for the next great idea: “Always learn. There’s always someone out there doing a great job with something.”
June 2017: How can lean principles apply to a nationally renowned startup culture? And what can big companies learn from it? COE’s popular I.T. Leadership Network series returned with a presentation from Nate Lusher (pictured, left) and Rick Neighbarger from Columbus-based healthcare software company CoverMyMeds. COE is offering a tour of CoverMyMeds’ award-winning headquarters during its 2018 Leading Through Excellence summit.
June 2017: Paula Bennett, CEO of women’s apparel retailer J.Jill, spoke to an at-capacity crowd for COE’s Women’s Leadership Forum series. Bennett, a graduate of Fisher College of Business, recently took the company public, staking out rare territory in the IPO scene: Research has shown that only about 3% of IPOs in the past decade have been led by a female CEO.
July 2017: A pair of summer sessions COE presented in collaboration with three other centers at Fisher kicked off in July with a look at the “talent war,” featuring a presentation from the Brookings Institution on changing workforce dynamics and a wide-ranging panel discussion with human resources leaders from Cardinal Health, Marathon Petroleum, Nationwide and Wendy’s. COE’s collaborative summer sessions will return in 2018 on June 27 and Aug. 8. Stay tuned for programming details.
August 2017: COE’s summer sessions continued with a look at the “Digital Vortex” and how disruptive competitors are shaking up the business landscape for even the most established companies. Cisco’s Jeremy Aston (pictured, above) kicked off the session with a keynote on the company’s research, which has found that, while executives are expecting digital disruption, too few are actively preparing for it.
October 2017: COE’s semi-annual Supply Chain Symposium series held its second event of the year, connecting center member companies with Fisher MBA students pursuing careers in the field. Author and North Carolina State University Prof. Robert Handfield keynoted the session with insights from his latest, The Living Supply Chain.
December 2017: How can we drive cultural change by changing the questions we ask our people? Opening up COE’s final event of 2017, Huntington National Bank EVP and Chief Continuous Improvement Officer Jeff Sturm showed how the organization has instilled leadership behaviors that are helping sustain a years-long cultural change effort. Sturm’s session, along with that of afternoon keynote Tim Judge, is available to stream in full-length and “ShortCut” versions on our members-only website.
How can we drive the results we get as leaders by changing the questions we ask?
What does it mean to be a leader of vision, of purpose?
The Center for Operational Excellence explored these critical leadership questions in its final event of year on Dec. 8, featuring keynotes from a top leader at Columbus’s Huntington National Bank and a renowned management researcher who recently joined the faculty at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.
Both keynote addresses from Jeff Sturm, Huntington’s executive vice president and chief continuous improvement officer, and Tim Judge, Joseph A. Alutto Chair in Leadership Effectiveness, are now available in the Digital Content Archive of COE’s members-only website in their full versions, along with their presentation decks and a 15-minute video cut. The latter version – dubbed “ShortCuts” – is part of a new member benefit being rolled out throughout 2018, in which notable COE presentations will be available in a shorter format, suitable for breaks or team “lunch and learn” discussions.
Access all of these versions in COE’s Digital Content Archive by entering your unique, validated member username and password (Don’t have one yet? Get that here). The Digital Content Archive, which includes more than 100 past presentations, is just one part of the broader Members Only site, which also offers:
Exclusive access to session livestreams;
PDF presentations from COE’s annual Leading Through Excellence summit; and
The Ohio State University Center for Operational Excellence is heading into the new year with a new member on its core team.
Krista Barezinsky (pictured, right) joined COE in December as its member relations manager. In her role, Krista leads efforts to ensure the center’s nearly 40 partner companies receive maximum value from their membership, whether engaging with Fisher College of Business faculty and students or connecting with other member companies to share best practices. Krista also will play a role in member recruitment and coordination of COE’s event roster, leading planning for its Women’s Leadership Forum series and managing Leading Through Excellence summit sponsor and vendor engagement.
Krista joins COE from Columbus-based Event Marketing Strategies, where she served as an account coordinator and oversaw the implementation and sales process for more than 60 corporate partners at the Ohio State Fair and Arnold Sports Festival, two of the largest events in Columbus. She graduated from Ohio State with a bachelor’s degree in communications and currently serves in a volunteer capacity as keynote committee co-chair for Columbus’ Women for Economic & Leadership Development (WELD) organization.
“We’re thrilled to have Krista join our center at an exciting time in its history, having just celebrated the 25th anniversary of our founding and the fifth anniversary of our summit,” said COE Executive Director Peg Pennington. “Our members will benefit from having a central point of contact for accessing the vast resources available in our operational excellence ‘ecosystem’ here at Fisher and in the business community.”
In her role, Krista is part of COE’s core operations team, which includes Pennington; Matt Burns, associate director of marketing and communications; and Jackie McClure, administrative associate. COE also has a number of Fisher faculty researchers and industry experts who serve as center associate directors.
Are you thinking about how your process excellence journey is going to guide your organization – and yourself – through the digital future?
You certainly should be.
A report released this month by the Brookings Institution titled “Digitization and the American Workforce” paints a fascinating picture of how digital technology is changing the jobs we do. Brookings analyzed how the digital content of more than 500 jobs has changed since 2001. According to the report, the share of jobs requiring a low digital skill level has plunged from 56 percent to 30 percent, while those requiring a high level of digital skill vaulted from a mere 5 percent in 2002 to 23 percent last year.
How does that look close up? Brookings assigned a “digital score” ranging from 1 to 100 for the hundreds of jobs it analyzed – a software developer, for example, scores a 94 these days, while a construction worker scores a 17. Tracking the change in less than two decades, Brookings researchers found some jobs have seen a startling spike in their digital score: In 2002, a tool and die maker had a digital score of 2. Last year, that same occupation scored a 51, putting it in the digital skill ranks of nurses and automotive service techs. As for the general and operations managers that make up many of our Center for Operational Excellence members, their digital score grew from 50 in 2002 to 61 last year.
Brookings also tracked digital scores at the state and metropolitan level by sizing up their industry/job spread, finding Ohio’s mean digital score nearly double in a decade and a half, from 24 to 45. Columbus saw similar growth, moving from a relatively low-skill average of 25 in 2002 to the medium range — 42 — by last year.
What does all this mean? On the plus side, Brookings researchers said, it’s driving potential for increased productivity and higher pay ranges. On the minus side, digital skill and the growth of digital technology are unevenly spread across industries and regions, which could be widening pay disparities and stifling job creation in certain sectors.
The bottom line, however, is that digital skill is a must – and training and education programs will need to act accordingly. Brookings researchers recommend prioritizing growth in the high-skill IT talent pipeline and basic digital literacy, the latter to prevent a wide swath of American jobs from being “off-limits” to people who need them most.
Matt Wald runs an organization founded by a group of seven pillars of Columbus’ business and research scene, but some of the biggest challenges they’re facing are formidable for any company, no matter the size or legacy.
It was their desire to collaborate and drive innovation speed that formed the Columbus Collaboratory three years ago, beginning a journey Wald, the organization’s CEO, traced at an November meeting of COE’s I.T. Leadership Network series. Wald’s keynote – an exclusive glimpse inside a company pursuing leading-edge innovation to solve critical business challenges – offered insights on the value of cross-industry collaboration and took a closer look at what’s causing innovation “drag” for companies, holding them back from unleashing the capability they need.
“We’re focused on creating a high-speed, low-drag environment,” Wald said.
The Collaboratory dubs itself a “rapid innovation company” backed by COE members American Electric Power Company Inc., Cardinal Health Inc., Huntington Bank and Nationwide, along with research giant Battelle, retail icon L Brands and OhioHealth Corp. What brought them together? The fact that the promise of advanced analytics, the imperative of cybersecurity, and the burning need for top tech talent weren’t just an insurance issue, or a utilities issue, or a healthcare issue. They all faced these challenges and opportunities – and they knew they had to collaborate to tackle them.
Armed with $4 million from each company and a $5 million Ohio Third Frontier grant, the Columbus Collaboratory launched in 2014, with Wald stepping in the following year as chief executive.
Wald said the Collaboratory is uniquely positioned to observe how companies are executing corporate innovation and – when it occurs – help fight innovation drag. By virtue of their size and success, Wald said, large organizations have excellent abilities to manage cost, manage risk and roll out technology.
“These are great things that make them successful – but they also oppose changes to the status quo,” Wald said.
Over time, the Columbus Collaboratory has worked with its founding members to build a growing library of intellectual property from which they can draw, and also moved a small handful of its innovations to market. Its work has ranged from an app that accurately predicts wait times across OhioHealth’s urgent care network to emergent solutions geared toward fighting the ever-present, ever-shifting threat of cyberattacks.
What can other companies learn from the Collaboratory’s journey? For one, Wald said, collaboration “is easy to say but harder to do. It turns out you need to fit the form of collaboration to the purpose. One size does not fit all.”
Companies of all sizes also can learn from the rapid prototyping approach the Columbus Collaboratory is wielding as it tackles challenges for its partner organizations, Wald said.
“Think of innovation as a portfolio of incremental and transformational projects,” Wald said. “Small improvements can make a huge impact.”
Looking to take your networking opportunities with students through the Center for Operational Excellence to the next step?
COE has rolled out a new benefit for members: Resume books of first- and second-year Fisher College of Business MBA students specifically focused on pursuing careers in operations. The inaugural 2017-18 edition includes 16 first-year MBA students’ resumes and 11 second-year MBA students.
Fisher’s Office of Career Management has fielded the resumes, which are housed on COE’s Members Only website (just click the “Download MBA resume books” button and, if you haven’t already, log in and/or create a COE username).
How does it work? We recommend considering first-year MBA students for project and/or internship opportunities. Second-year MBA students are candidates for full-time employment. If you find a candidate you’re interested in from either resume book, feel free to reach out to them directly.
Have any questions and/or needs regarding hiring/recruitment? Contact Jamie Mathews-Mead in Fisher’s Office of Career Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resumes currently on the website will remain there through the spring of 2018, with a new round posted each fall.
The resume books are one of a number of features on COE’s members-only website. There, you have access to dozens of past event recordings, COE summit breakout session slides, and the portal that offers livestreaming of upcoming events.
In your pocket. On your wrist. In your shopping cart. On your browser.
Data are everywhere, and companies’ demand for workers who have the skills to translate those into insights is only growing by the day. The McKinsey Global Institute has predicted a gap of nearly 200,000 workers in the U.S. with deep analytical skills – just by next year. The gap for data-savvy managers with analytical skills is even wider, at 1.5 million and counting.
The Center for Operational Excellence’s home at Fisher College of Business is responding to this gap by launching a new graduate degree that’s set to offer its first classes next fall: the Specialized Master of Business in Business Analytics (SMB-A). In announcing the program last month, Fisher said the program is built to equip professionals with an understanding of the science of data analytics and its impact on business innovation, productivity and growth. Applications are being accepted now.
“Fisher’s SMB-A program directly addresses this workforce need and the needs of countless businesses and organizations around the world,” said Greg Allenby, co-academic director of the SMB-A program and a professor of marketing and logistics. “Data and data collection is in everything we do — from how we shop, to how we choose our music to how we consume our news and entertainment.
The SMB-A program is the third master’s program Fisher has launched in the past decade and comes just nine years after the debut of the Master of Business Operational Excellence program. MBOE, which launched largely as a result of COE member demand, has trained hundreds of lean leaders since its inception in 2008 and is heading into its 10th cohort next month.
Fisher’s latest innovation, the SMB-A, also represents another example of the college’s continuing efforts to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. After rolling out course options and offering weekend bus service for students in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton this year, Fisher announced the SMB-A program will be a blend of online and weekend classes.
Spanning 10 months, the program has a curriculum built around descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics and includes a “capstone” project using real data from students’ employers or other businesses partnering with Fisher.
Waleed Muhanna, co-academic director of the SMB-A program and a professor of accounting and management information systems at Fisher, called the program a “relevant, high-impact graduate degree that appeals to professionals from across multiple fields and industries.”
“Those who enroll in the SMB-A are taking control of their career development as data-savvy professionals and consultants and are choosing to elevate themselves as leaders in an area that is critical to business now and for generations to come,” Muhanna said.