The Journey to Operational Excellence | A blog by Business Butler

The Journey to Operational Excellence

Dr Anthony Kenneson-Adams specialises in teaching the tools and building the culture and leadership that underpins Operational Excellence (OpEx), drives sustainable lean manufacturing, Reliability Centred Maintenance and organizational development. In this blog he breaks down the journey to operational excellence in an easy to follow step-by-step guide.

Values x Expectations

Values are the heartbeat of your organisation. They set the character of your business and are unchangeable. However, are your stated values the lived experience of your employees? Expectations change over time, but is leadership planning those changes?


Culture is the foundation of the social order that we live in and the rules that we abide in. However, is the culture that you publish around the business the lived experience of your people?


Behaviours are driven by values operating within your culture. Day to day behaviours are the best indication of a business’s success in nurturing its desired culture.


The job of leadership is to ensure that by their actions or inactions that they are not demotivating their employees. Project 7, 20/20 leadership will set up your business for success.


  • Every interaction is an opportunity.
  • Coach don’t tell.
  • Nurture teams with truth and organisational justice.
  • Effective dialogue.
  • Treat individuals with kindness.
  • Leadership is for the long haul.
  • Set standards and hold themselves and teams accountable.
  • Model and influence authenticity, fairness, honesty and integrity.
  • Build collaborative then participatory relationships.
  • Demonstrate integrity, humility and respect.
  • Extra effort when needed to benefit the individual and the business.
  • Find motivation to lead.
  • Develop a reflective practice.


The journey to Operational Excellence is not completed without robust and focused intent.

Without daily attention, intention will not become reality.

Mission & Vision

Mission and Vision statements have been devalued by businesses who use them as slogans not statements of intent. Take time to make them force multipliers for your business.

Change Model

There are many good change models available, but few are people focused. The Project 7 RESPECT model respects, engages, and maximises the value of your people through a change program.


  • Realise where you are.
  • End state needs to be fully and empirically articulated.
  • Survey and celebrate the milestones.
  • Plan for continuous participative change.
  • Engage and empower change.
  • Coach through change, ‘participants in’ not ‘victims of’.
  • Timed goals - this is business after all.


Once your culture, leadership and teams are in place, commit to the tools of Lean Manufacturing and 6 Sigma. The tools are proven to work when sustained by engaged people.

Operational Excellence

If you commit to employing the steps above on the journey to Operational Excellence you will be successful.

Strategy Into Action

If you need help with setting your values, nurturing your culture, building leadership competence, employing Lean Manufacturing tools or building a strategy to achieve Operational Excellence, then click here.

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