Hard to believe that a year has passed since I made the decision to leave Flexco after 23 years and strike out on my own as a business improvement consultant. So how has it been? Well, like most consultants, I was under-employed in 2010 but that allowed me the time required to build the foundation of my new business. My time was spent forming an LLC, creating a blog and a Mail Chimp newsletter, collaborating with a developer to build a business website, doing volunteer work for AME, engaging in social networking (Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and spreading the word about Lean Safety - my book that was released right about the same time I changed careers. I had the opportunity in 2010 to present on the topic of Lean Safety in a variety of forums that allowed me to meet and talk with many great people who deeply care about safety and business improvement. Here are a few comments I received from some of them in follow-up messages.
• My work-based dissertation is investigating the implementation of lean, 5s and 6-sigma in my workplace (aerospace engineering) and whether this has had a positive/negative impact on workplace safety.
I just wanted to write and tell you that you’re recent book "Lean Safety: Transforming your Safety Program with Lean Management" has been a massive help.
It's a great reference for me as I was having muddled thoughts on the matter of lean - that lean and safety should not be viewed as separate entities but through lean, safety is enhanced and improved.
• I just recommended your book to our corporate HSEQ colleagues. I'm hoping to use your book to promote my goal of wider implementation of lean.
• I have already emailed my plant manager about your book and your theory that lean safety is a way to anchor lean into a culture.
• I want to thank you for your contribution to opening my eyes. It is my hope that we will also learn more about lean through our safety program and carry that knowledge into our manufacturing processes.
Obviously comments like these were more rewarding than money so I feel as if 2010 was a very successful first year for RBH Consulting LLC. My goal, to help people impact business results by engaging their workforce in safety improvement, has not changed. My 2011 business plan reflects a growth in business just as I hope yours does. If January is any indication I believe it will be a better year for all of us. Current opportunities may allow me to facilitate Lean Safety workshops in Shanghai, Melbourne, Saskatchewan and in the US. I am excited about the future and look forward to meeting and engaging many new people, as well as old colleagues, in discussions about the inextricably bonds between safety, business improvement and business culture. I hope our paths cross in 2011.