The Achilles Heel of Process Improvement

From a fairly early stage in my career I have been involved in process improvement activities. While at Chevron in the early 1990`s, I served as a Quality Training Consultant teaching organizations, among other things, process improvement tools. The goal of the training and the efforts overall were to improve quality, reduce waste and take existing work processes and make them better.

These ideas certainly didn`t start at Chevron.

Experts, notably W. Edwards Deming, have long used statistical analysis and process improvement tools to transform Japanese companies and eventually the entire economy. It was from this transformational success that American companies began looking to process improvement in the 1980s and beyond.

I have enormous belief in process improvement. There is no question that process improvement (and it`s more current cousin Six Sigma) can create massive improvements and efficiencies in any business.

But, like anything else, its great strengths are counterbalanced by a weakness that too often goes unnoticed.

Let me explain with a hypothetical example:

Imagine in the 1980s, when process improvement was really starting to catch on in the United States that the leading maker of pay phones decided that process improvement was the key to the company`s future.

They invested heavily in training and support for process improvement methodologies. And, as they hoped, they found major improvements in their key work processes.

These improvements reduced costs, improved efficiencies and added money to the bottom line. . . for awhile.

With the advantage of hindsight, we now know what happened to our imaginary company. They got better, more efficient and produced a better pay phone than anyone, but soon no one was buying them because everyone had a cell phone.

And THAT is the Achilles heel of process improvement.

Process improvement skills are wonderful, but even the very best process improvement experts often don`t ask a fundamental question:

Do we need this process at all? Or, even more importantly, should we be doing something entirely different to start with?

Once we are sure this is a valuable and needed work process, we should definitely work to refine and improve it. But these skills alone don`t automatically lead us to ask that fundamental question.

Just as using all of your leg muscles in unison gives you better results (and doesn`t injure your Achilles tendon), using all the tools of process improvement is important, but those skills alone can`t lift your business to the highest heights by themselves.

It is your responsibility as a leader to use these tools intelligently, supporting your teams in using themArticle Search, and ALSO asking if the time calls for a breakthrough or the creation of something new instead of the ongoing refinement of what exists.

Choose Professionals For Countertop Kitchen Renovation

When choosing the right countertop kitchen renovation, there are a variety of factors to keep in mind. The countertop kitchen renovation is a visual focal point of every kitchen. Each countertop material also comes with its own maintenance requirements, budgetary impacts and thickness options. So remember that should all be considered before making a final selection. In this article, we will take a brief overview of some countertop kitchen renovation selections and the important factors related to each.

Granite countertops are natural stone, very durable and boast a high scratch, chip, and heat resistance rating. In fact, these natural stone surfaces are so scratch resistant that you can even cut on them with a knife.

In addition to these functional benefits, granite countertops look great as they have a sleek and smooth surface that is also unique for each installation since the countertops come cut from natural stone. Granite boosts the resale value of your house as it can visually renew even the most outdated kitchen.

While granite boasts excellent stain and scratch resistance, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. Granite is one of the most expensive countertop selections and is also a porous material, so it must be initially coated with a sealant in order to protect the surface and then re-coated every six months to two years (depending on manufacturer recommendations) to maintain the seal.countertops.

The good news is that once sealed, granite countertops will keep most liquids from staining or being absorbed, and require only cleaning with a mild detergent and warm water. With that being said, take care not to leave spilled wine on your granite countertops as they still can stain if not properly sealed. Also, avoid vinegar-based and acidic cleaners on granite as they can damage the sealant. It is best to think of granite as resistant to stains, not impermeable.

Quartz slabs are man-made and engineered from a combination of ground quartz, binding resin and color pigmentation. Quartz is very durable and thanks to the pigmentation, is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns during manufacturing. In addition, quartz requires no sealant as the binding resin that is used in the manufacturing process makes the surface non-porous.

In terms of thickness, quartz is similar to granite as the most popular choice for the kitchen.

Even harder than both granite and quartz, quartzite is another beautiful natural stone countertop option.

Quartzite is a natural stone that often features beautiful patterns and color options not found in granite due to the presence of natural minerals, iron oxide and impurities found in the stone. These give each quartzite countertop a one of a kind natural look and pattern that can really make a kitchen come to life. This beauty comes at a cost, however, as quartzite is an even more expensive kitchen countertop selection than granite.

Just like granite, quartzite requires sealing prior to use in order to protect the surface from staining and additional sealing on an annual basis to preserve the sealant. Also like granite, abrasive or acidic cleaners should be avoided in favor of a simple solution of mild soap and warm water.

Both are very durable, however, quartzite is natural stone and more expensive and has the visual appeal of a natural stone whereas quartz is man-made and has the advantage of a wider selection of colors and patterns as it is manufactured.

While quartz requires no annual sealant due to the resin, it is more vulnerable to heat damage as this resin is plastic-based and can melt in high heat, so never leave a hot pan on your quartz kitchen countertop without protection underneath.

Your kitchen is one of the focal points in your home. We all know that it deserves a lot of attention and expertise for it to look its best! Instead of trying to complete your countertop kitchen renovation as a disorganized DIY projectFeature Articleschoose Unica Concept. We’re here to help you with our quality craftsmanship and superior results at extremely competitive prices. Call us today at (844) 746–2226!

How to Keep Your Money Safe During Turbulent Times

One essential financial decision every smart and money-conscious person must make, asides from how to make money, is how to save their money. Of course, you have endured all the hustles and bustles involved in gathering wealth, and you finally have some money to your name. 

One essential financial decision every smart and money-conscious person must make, asides from how to make money, is how to save their money. Of course, you have endured all the hustles and bustles involved in gathering wealth, and you finally have some money to your name. You deserve some congratulations. But then, you should also know that the hustle does not end there. If you wish to sustain your accumulated wealth for a longer time, you must also consider saving up your wealth. 

In the old days, people considered safety deposit boxes as their best option for saving their wealth, and they used to put jewelry, cash, and other valuable items in such boxes. Indeed, these boxes were efficient in keeping valuables in those days, except for the government who wielded the right to come in when a person dies. Nowadays, however, the government can use any flimsy excuse to freeze your safety deposit box.  

A couple of years ago, the UK government froze people’s safe deposit boxes across various financial institutions. Their excuse for such action was that there were in search of terrorist ties. The accounts were frozen for three months, and no one could access valuables during this time. Many people could not travel during this period because their passports were held in the safe deposit box. Everyone was agitated by the fact that they couldn’t access their valuables for that long. But then, there was nothing tangible they could do. 

More smart people are recently looking for better ways of saving their precious belongings and avoiding these occurrences. This article will highlight some saving options and techniques that might prove to be better for you. 



Safe deposit boxes are still considered amongst the best options for saving valuables in recent times. However, people are becoming smarter in their decisions to save their money, jewelry, papers, etc., through this saving method. Many people prefer to split their precious items amongst different banks or financial institutions for safety these days. This is so that a problem in one of the banks does not affect the whole of their assets. 

You can adopt this strategy for saving your money or other items too. It is even better to split the belongings across countries if you can afford that. 



Suppose you decide to save up your valuables in banks and other financial institutions. In that case, it is best to always read through the terms of the contract agreement very carefully before signing. This is so that you can fully understand all their terms of partnership and ensure it suits your requirements and situation before signing. Also, watch out for any hidden charges before you sign. It would be best if you hired a lawyer to guide you through the agreement processes too. 



Because currencies are sometimes unstable, saving your investments in them might not be the best financial decision for you. This is because the currency you are saving in might begin to devalue after you have deposited your savings. Instead of saving up in cash, it is better to keep your valuables in more stable investments like gold, River, etc. 


It has already been established that saving your wealth is as important as making wealth. In this articlePsychology Articles, we have discussed some of the best ways to keep your money safe in turbulent times.


Hiring Your Ideal Handyman / Contractor


When it comes to finding a reliable handyman contractor, it can be difficult to weed through the mass amounts of potential candidates. Hiring someone who is unfit for the position can effectively cost you a bit of heartache, time, and cash. In this article, we will outline the steps to finding your new Mr. Fix It. Step 1 – A sure-fire way to find a quality handyman, is through other people. By asking friends and neighbors for recommendations, you can figure out who is worth contacting and who to avoid. Ask questions in regard to fees, whether they were prompt, and if they would hire them again. Step 2 – Hop online and gather information regarding workers in your area. There are many resources available pertaining to reviews and experiences. Check these out and create a list of candidates based on what you find. Step 3 – Check to see whether your state’s attorney general is able to provide a list of licensed contractors in your area. In order to become licensed, individuals are required to meet a series aspects of service and maintain a level of consumer satisfaction. Step 4 – In addition, you may even decide to check the yellow pages under “contractors” to find a few extra candidates to choose from. However, basing decisions solely on advertisements is a risky game and should be avoided at all costs. If you decide to use a phone book, be sure to check references. Step 5 – Once you’ve gathered a list of potential contractors, pick your top three and give them a call. Have a list of questions ready and take notes of the responses. Inquire as to various fees, licensing, and specialties to gain a better understanding of what to expect. Step 6 – Based on your phone experiences, have potential hires out to the house to provide estimates and evaluate the situation. Make note of how they interact with you, whether they show up on time, and how they present themselves. Step 7 – After your meeting, you should be able to tell whether or not you have found the contractor that suits you needs. Evaluate all information before making your decision and call to inform them of the good news. In the case that you still have not found someone you feel comfortable with, start the process over. It may take a bit of time, but if you’re truly invested in finding someone long term, it’s all worth it.



Help around the house can be hard to find sometimes, especially if you’re looking for a handyman/contractor in Martinez. There are ways to find the ideal candidate to suit your needs. For more information visit

2 Google Strategies To Earn More Income With Your Internet Small Business

Google has become a major element of the modern Internet world. They are constantly coming out with revolutionary products and methods to help any Internet small business to succeed.

Two items that have greatly contributed to the success of Google, namely Adsense and Adwords, are the subject of this article as they are an important addition to any Internet small business.

1. First, let’s talk about Google Adwords. This is a pay per click advertising platform and you can use it to get instant traffic coming into your website.

You don’t want to just jump into using Adwords without doing some learning first. Initially, you will need to learn things such as, how to find the right keywords to bid on, how much to bid on each keyword and how many clicks it will take you to generate a sale.

Very often, people will just start using Google Adwords without learning how it works first and they just end up throwing away money. What you want to do is proceed with the learning, then start with a small campaign and finally increase your campaign as it becomes more profitable.

If you want to succeed with Adwords, you will need to learn how to bid on the right keyword phrases. Online, you can find lots of free tutorials, videos and ebooks that will show you how to find keywords which are less competitive and are likely to convert well. Ultimately, you want your bidding to be as low as possible.

2. The other Google related item to discuss is Google Adsense. When you put Adsense on your site, ads are generated by Google that are relevant to your site content. Whenever anyone clicks on any of those ads, you will automatically get paid for the click.

Each year, millions are paid out to webmasters by Google for hosting Adsense on their sites. Many of the most popular blogs online today have Google Adsense running on their blogs.

There are several easy to follow tutorials on Google’s site which show you how to upload Adsense to you website. It is actually very easy to do and it is free too. If you check out your competitors, you will find that many of them are running Google Adsense ads on their website.

A good strategy for increasing your Adsense revenue is to keep adding extra pages to your site and make sure that Adsense is on these pages as well. As your website keeps growing in size, your Adsense revenue potential will grow with it.

These are 2 ways that you can use Google to earn extra money with your Internet small business. Both Google Adwords and Google Adsense have already proven their reliability and worth onlinePsychology Articles, and a large percentage of Internet marketers use them today.

Home Insurance Quotes: A Necessity


The term home insurance quote is relevant to the freshest price on which an insurer or insurance company and the potential customer have agreed upon which leads to the contract regarding a home insurance policy.As a matter of fact, the best home insurance quote offered by an insurance company may not be appropriate home insurance quotes can be determined only after conducting a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the constraints and particular requirements of the customer. Moreover, home insurance brokers and agents can help the customer to a great extent in finding out the correct home insurance quote.As a wise customer, each customer opting for the home insurance for his or her home should keep in mind some of the issues as discussed below:§    The location of the home in order to take into consideration about the local risks and the vulnerability of the surroundings which includes climatic and criminal dangers.§    Security systems installed in the home if any§    The additional objects that the customer wants to cover up with the home insurance§    Most importantly, any more home insurance policy bought through any other insurance company. In fact, the insurance of the also depends upon the cost of replacing or re-development of the house. So, one should choose the correct policy for their home insurance.In point of fact, home insurance is a time based agreement which means that the agreement holds good for a determined period of time.Home insurance quotes are easily available on the internet and one can easily avail a discount of nearly 10 to 15 per cent on the home insurance deals. In addition to this, you can also self check the details entered. However, all the hard work has to be done by the customer itself.In the end, it is advisable to all that one should always insure his or her home using home insurance as it ensures safety and security to one’s home. In fact, it is also advisable to have a reliable and secure home insurance policy.



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Office Cleaning for Set Up and Long Term Sanitation


A business’s offices are critical to the performance of much of its image and branding presentation. It is the space that they conduct their sales and acquisitions. It is the space where they present their products or services. It is the space where they conduct their business’s integral customer service. So to present themselves and their product or service well, regular performance of office cleaning is important to sanitation for employee safety and a clean polished appearance for the attraction of their clients. Yet, different companies are at different stages so they require different amounts of office cleaning throughout the life of the business. First, before a business can even start up it has to undergo renovation and cleaning. Everything from the air/ventilation system and paint application to the flooring and equipment has to be updated when opening a new office location. After all of that work, the space has to have a polished appearance for its final presentation to the community that the business intends to serve. So if the office is within a building then it can be cleaned by the buildings contracted janitorial services on a regular basis. But if it is a standalone store front then the management can hire a maid service company to take care of the odds and ends of removing spilled paint, cleaning windows and surfaces to pristine glory and sanitizing the washrooms so that the employees and clients will be comfortable. The services required are only as specific as management outlines. If the company is joining the fold of the other offices in the building then they can simply request the same care for their space. However, if certain rooms are not to be cleaned or sensitive material needs to be handled with care or delicate equipment avoided then those specific instructions will guide the maid or janitorial services that will be performed within that office. After the initial cleaning and set up and office is open for regular business and will be in needing regular cleaning thereafter. Depending upon the type of business, office cleaning can be required daily or only several times a week in order to meet building code or in order to create or deliver the product or service that they intend. Office cleaning can include clean-up for the equipment, paper waste, the staff kitchenette, the flooring and all glass surfaces in order to keep the room(s) clear of a great majority of germs and bacteria that can hinder productivity or customer safety. Office cleaning is just as important as the services that they provide to the people they serve.

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Tips To Repair and Maintain Your Home


Here are some of my best tips to help you repair and maintain your home’s systems and fixtures:First you’re the master of your home. It means that you need to control most of the things. Two areas to control: plumbing valves and electrical breakers. Please check those 2 points of controls right now because one day you will need them and when you will need them, you really have to know where they are and how they work to control rapidly the on-going situation.Basics tips to follow now are your smoke detectors. Do not presume everything is OK because you have never used them. Check them at least once a year to see if it is working or not. Sometimes they are obstructed and you will have to clean them. I hope you have some smoke detectors. It really helps, especially if you have children. Extinguishers should be put in your kitchen and near your rooms.As we’ve seen before do not underestimate water in the wrong place or uneven power flows.Unfortunately, nothing last forever and you have to know the life cycle of your appliances and systems. You know if you do nothing, one day your castle will be a ruin and small home improvements will be a real nightmare and huge amount of spending. Your roof, for example is intended to last twenty years. A carpet eight year. A fridge fifteen year. An important one is the paint: 4 years. Plumbing twenty five years and the electrical wiring twenty years. Those are very important data to consider, and you really have to maintain them and to repair them regularly.Home warranty can really help you to maintain and to repair various systems of your home if you have a small budget. Do it for one year if you buy a home and do it if your house is old because you know that life cycle is not infinite.Buy a serious and reliable toolbox to do the job yourself. And if you know nothing, most of the time, you can find a local workshop, some are free, to learn basic skills. If you do not have money, take the time to follow some lessons because a professional handyman can be really expensive. What you need to learn is how to replace a damaged window, tighten screws, stop running toilet, replace tile grout, and clean the gutters and so on.Do not hesitate to keep the business card of referred contractors and handyman services because when an emergency will arise, believe me, you will need something serious and honest to fix the problem without spending a big budget. This is a really important point to do. Ask around you in some occasion.Make a small budget, especially for your home maintenance to cover quickly any unexpected degradation or break.



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Your Home as a guide to Self Improvement

Spring is the perfect time to transform the things that may not be working in the home. With every change that you make in the household, there is a distinct change to your mental well-being that not only promotes positive and healthy growth within the home, but in all that you set out to do.

In most homes there are places that accumulate mess, piles of paper or objects that cause clutter and chaos. This can be a reflection of an area of your mind that needs uncluttering so to speak, and can often be attributed to having a lazy mental habit in a particular area. This mess is a great reminder and prompt towards positive action and change.

For many Australians – around 1.1 million – the mess becomes much more than just a pile or two of old newspapers, bordering on the much more serious habit of hoarding. The larger the mess, the bigger the underlying issues. Dr Paul Cullen advises, “ for extreme cases, relief can be found through medication, but it needs to coincide with counselling to be of any effect in the long run. Healing the emotional difficulties and isolation caused by hoarding is really important”. Control can play a large part, and hoarding becomes the only thing that they feel they have any control over. There are areas that they feel they cannot actively participate in and therefore decision making becomes next to impossible. “Attachment to objects can cloud judgement and makes parting with them very painful and difficult”. In this way, nothing is ever decided upon, piles of paper get bigger and nothing is recycled or thrown out.

Naturopath Tammy Safi has found with many patients over the years that the long-term outcome of hoarding or leaving rooms as they are can lead to depression. “It can also bring about apathy, lethargy and loss of hygiene. Using hoarding as a means to coping with situations that are otherwise too difficult for them to deal with, even though, it can end up being messy and ridiculous. I encourage my patients to look inward as a way to begin the healing process and in clinic I use the Bach flower “walnut” to begin the first stages towards movement, to help with becoming unstuck”.

One of the best ways to work out what the underlying problem might be is to actually get physical and set upon the task of cleaning the area of the house that is crying out for attention. You will find that throughout the process, or indeed soon after, you are able to see more clearly what it is that has been holding you back and in the place of a clouded mind, there will be a clear indication of what is you need to do in order to instil change in the area that needs it.

It can feel a little overwhelming at first, but with help closer and easier to find than ever before you don’t need to do it alone.

Eco Organiser and Home Styling director Tanya Lewis works with the emphasis on responsible living and has over time developed the ten R’s. Refuse, rethink, responsible, restyle, research, reorganise, reduce, reuse, recycle and reward. “My main goal is to reduce the amount that we send to landfill, to rethink – do you need it, do you love it, how would you feel without it? And more importantly how do you dispose of a product when your finished with it? Life is too short to be looking for stuff, I believe that people shouldn’t be wasting their time looking for things when their time could be better spent on more important things” she says.

With careful consideration and planning you need never again look upon an ‘accumulated mess’ with dread, not only enabling you to spend more time with your family and friends, but with a clearer mind and a stronger sense of focus. Spring helps to prepare you for the next six months. It rejuvenates your thought process and readies you by clearing away any old habits that might have settled in over winter.

Living Room

Ideally the living room should meet the needs of all family members equally. This is a great way to check to see if your family life is in balance. Too much clutter here is suggestive of an imbalance in the amount of quality time your family shares. The room needs to be free to create an inviting atmosphere to talk and engage as a family. Keep in mind, schoolwork and other similar items should be kept to a minimum and have their allotted cubby-hole or area. This room provides the greatest benefit when it is not too cluttered with children’s toys; this in itself constructs an unhealthy balance for parents and older siblings. With winter over, couch cushions and throw rugs would have collected a lot more dust than usual in last 3 months. Giving them a good airing in the sun is akin to shaking off any remanets of old thoughts and habits linked to winter to mentally prepare you for what lays ahead.


Where the lounge can sum up the needs of the whole family, it is the Kitchen that goes one step further in the balance stakes by representing your own personal inner order. You will find that the underlying cause of clutter is attributed to poor time management. An untidy bench is showing you in more ways than one that discipline and structure is missing from your daily routine. Begin by compartmentalising everything in the cupboards; there should be nothing that is not stored correctly, from cans to open packets of pasta through to pots and pans. The cleaner the kitchen, the greater your time management skills will be in the other areas of your life.


General untidiness in the bedroom is largely linked towards personal relationships with partners. If clothes are jumbled and there appears to be no obvious division of space, you may want to look at each others personal needs and if they are being met. Are you giving each other enough space to pursue personal goals? By giving each other space in the bedroom, and by separating clothes, shoes and personal items, you are acknowledging that you respect and support their choices in their chosen career and interests. Untidy clothes indicate a need to look towards your own personal drive and commitment to projects. The underlying issue tends to be career oriented. You need to recycle or give away any clothes that you no longer wear, by holding on to them you are holding onto old thought patterns connected to your career choices. By reorganising this area you can then turn your attention towards other achievements. Order in this area shows that you have great personal strength in achieving your own set goals.


Storage areas can easily become the dumping ground for any unused or broken items around the house and can too easily equate to an unnecessary burden. It is equivalent to holding on to all the things that may have upset you in the past, things that you can’t let go of. Alleviate the unwanted stress that you probably never knew was there by making the most out of hard rubbish days. Re-organise the area by adding extra shelves and hanging things on hooks. Order here shows that you are not sweeping issues under the carpet that you are willing as an individual to deal with problems as they arise. It shows that you do not hold onto to old issues or problems, but let them go. The sense of satisfaction and mental clarity derived from spring cleaning will be reward enough. It provides you with the impetus for a new and improved way of livingFree Web Content, because deep down you know that things can no longer go on the way that they have and you yourself are ready for a change. Spring is just the right season.

Written by writer and psychic medium Tammy Moir.


Have You Created Your Business Plan?

For any aspiring entrepreneur, building a successful business plan can seem daunting. Many small businesses ask themselves: Do we really need a plan? Well, if you have a business or want to start a business, you NEED a business plan! “Winging it” never worked for any successful business. Even well-established businesses need a business plan, or need to drastically modify their business plan when the situation changes.

The first step to building your business plan is determining your goals and objectives for your business. Imagine where you want to be in a few years. Do you want to remain a small business, or are you more adventurous? Also, consider your personal goals and objectives. How much work are you willing to put into your business? Is this a business that will provide a livable income, or more of a hobby? What tasks and jobs are you willing to delegate to your employees?

Second, determine what you bring to the customer. What distinguishes your business from your competitor? You must come up with the key attributes of your business that will draw customers to you again and again. Without proper brand development and recognition, your customers will glaze over your website and you won’t have appropriate levels of business to sustain.

Third, consider your budget. How much money will you need to start up your business? Are you going to take out a business loan, or find investors? Do you want to allow investors in on your important business decisions? Also, consider what happens as your business changes and grows. How are you going to spend income? Are you going to re-invest in your business? Finally, how much income do you need to support your personal lifestyle?

When you have these essential elements, you can consider your business strategy. Basically, this is a plan of how you’re going to market, design, and operate your business. In any business plan, you will usually open with an Executive Summary and Business Description. After that, you get to the “meat” of your plan.

The third section of your business plan is your Marketing section. Consider your target audience and how large your customer base may become. Then, consider how you will reach your market (how feasible it is to actually contact your customer base). Will you use website only? Or perhaps television and paper mediums? This will help define your pricing, distribution, promotion and marketing methods. Once you have this section completed, you can see how you measure up with your competitors. You should aim to outperform and outlast your competitors, and draw their customers to your base.

The next two sections are the overall design and operations plan of your business. How will you design your business’ brand? What are your most visible attributes? Also, how many employees do you want, and how will your business flow? Will you delegate tasks or handle most of it yourself? A lot of this section is highly personal and gives you a chance to show your passion about your product or service.

Finally, you must come back to your finances and determine what is feasible for your business. Also, try to examine what your future financial goals will be as the market changes and your business grows.

With a business planArticle Search, you can ensure your business has a solid foundation in reality and what you can feasibly expect from your venture. This is essential to business success and will maximize your profits!