What sport taught me about manufacturing productivity: by Steve Murphy

The very fine “Legacy” documents in 15 pragmatic lesson why the All Blacks are as great as they are. I would recommend it to anybody who wants insight in what it takes to move from good to great.
But being of a certain age the 1971 series win by the British Lions in New Zealand points to a series of useful lessons. The All Blacks take this kind of setback seriously, very seriously.
I discovered their response on introductory training course for coaches in Edinburgh. One of the sessions was by a specialist in sports conditioning and he explained one of the lessons the All Black took. In order for the best players to be fit enough to play consistently they needed to not just be fit but conditioned enough to perform their role. Muscle groups had to be in balance, the criterion for props was different for the criterion for wingers. Soft tissue had to be protected by muscle. The All Blacks asked Auckland, the best team in New Zealand at the time how they achieved this. Well they said, football had the same problem so we asked them. So from football they discovered how to build programmes for player groups that ensured the maximum player availability.
This has nothing to do with playing skills or talent; it is required in addition to these. As the game at the time was amateur this work had to be executed in two two hour sessions every week. Quality sessions, no more no less. The players had jobs, families, rest and rugby training to fit in. So the criterion for each position were worked out, the players understood and bought into the programme and the hard work started and did not stop. They built on it over the decades. They had to because others watched and caught on.
When you see the All Blacks playing you don’t see this. You see them fall down and get back up, accelerate from seventy percent to one hundred percent of full speed in an instant and stay standing longer while the opposition tried to pull them to the ground. All this is only possible for eighty minutes because of their conditioning, the hard yards few people see.
Manufacturing productivity has always seemed like this to me. Borrow ideas from wherever you have to,. Understand you can’t turn the factory off and start again so dedicate a certain time to it each week. Each part of the organisation has different plans focused to make their part of the team the best it can be, day in day out. Remember the hard work never stops.
The customer may never see this. They buy from you because your new products arrive on time, your prices represent great value and you love what you are doing.
By understanding productivity in manufacturing and giving it the status it deserves in our operational and strategic planning we can start too move UK manufacturing towards where it should be, from ten percent to fifteen percent of GDP.
Be like the All Blacks

by Steve Murphy https://www.linkedin.com/company/steve-murphy/

#manufacturing #quality #jobs #productivity #sports