New Future Formula was invited to visit Prague on 8 June 2017 by the Czech Association for Business Excellence. We met with leading business people who not only listened attentively to our presentation of the CBI principles but also – with a smile – launched themselves into the morning’s challenging exercises. This is a brief account of our experiences.
New Future Formula are building bridges across Europe with CBI - with a smile.
The Charles Bridge can be found to the left and the headquarters of the Czech Association for Quality and Business Excellence to the right.
One morning in early June, Ellen, Peter and I were enjoying the sun as we made our way through the city centre of Prague. More specifically it was 8 June 2017 and we walked from Hotel Kampa with its homey feel of bygone days across Charles Bridge. Just a few metres after the bridge, we entered the headquarters of the Czech Society for Quality and Excellence and its training facilities. In one of the oldest buildings in Prague, the top brass of some of the leading companies in the Czech Republic were awaiting our arrival with hopeful anticipation. Thanks to our multiple visits to Prague over the past 12 months, it was a moment of happy reunion. These sessions have given us nothing but pleasure since we are always embraced by curiosity and good energy. This was also the case on 8 June. As we reported in an autumn newsletter, the work taking place in the Czech Republic these years is a scholarly example of how to benefit from Excellence – efforts that involve the country's top management level, with the President and the Prime Minister at the helm.
For this June session, New Future Formula had been invited by Klára Fousková, Executive Director and Development Manager of the Center for Excellence, to introduce business managers to CBI – Continuous Business Improvement. Klára Fousková’s efforts to organize the event are highly appreciated – including arranging for an impressive room with an interested audience, tasty coffee and Czech delights.
Managing Director Petr Koten opened the session with a warm welcome to everybody. We immediately set about covering the walls with illustrative posters – and soon we could feel the good vibes mediated by a brief "encounter exercise”.
And then things really took off.
Through examples, business cases and a recurrent exercise involving a ball, we demonstrated how CBI constantly generates process improvements and better results in an active organization.
A ball exercise served to let the participants live and deliver CBI in practice. Four rounds of good teamwork and dedicated process optimization resulted in an almost 80% reduction of the through-put time as well as smiles, recognitions and improvements. See for yourself from the photos below.
The morning was rounded off with a Q&A session. The many wise questions and interesting comments were evidence of a group of highly qualified participants.
One question we would like to share is, “The CBI principle – it’s scope goes beyond production processes? In our experience, CBI is relevant for every single core process of a company. In fact, the largest potential is often to be harvested outside of the production environment; within R&D, procurement, sales, logistics, service – and across these functions.
Ellen G. Andersen rounded of with the conclusion that CBI builds bridges between three widely differing demands; 1) the demand for specific and easily digestible improvements, 2) the demand for verified financial gains from the improvements and 3) the demand for continuous development of the organization and the people in it.
It makes us proud to be able to help building bridges between our knowledge and experience and the brains and hearts of some of the best qualified and most forward-looking industrial managers in the Czech Republic. Following the next steps of this journey will be very exciting.
Photos for this newsletter supplied courtesy of Svatoš Zdeněk, photographer, from the Czech Association for Quality and Business Excellence.