[tweetmeme]PepsiCo just launched their first Pepsi ad campaign in 3 years. The new ad campaign is really good and features none other than the iconic Coke drinker, Santa Clause. The Wall Street Journal reports that they were planning to launch a new low-calorie soda this summer but were convinced by the various Pepsi bottling companies that they needed to focus on, well, Pepsi.
It sounds like the bottling companies were right. Diet Coke has taken over the number two position for soda consumption while PepsiCo focused on healthy foods. This puts Coca-cola and Diet Coke ahead of PepsiCo’s namesake brand – an embarrassing development in the cola wars.
Did PepsiCo take their eye off the ball and neglect their #1 and namesake brand? It looks that way. So what does this have to do with Lean Leadership? Lean Leaders can easily take their eye off the ball too. Life in today’s manufacturing plant is very hectic and there is more to do every day. Regulatory requirements keep mounting while plant staffs are expected to do more with less.
While there are many projects and initiatives that sound important, attempting to do too much will be counterproductive. A Harvard Business Review article notes that companies with fewer company wide initiatives are more profitable that the ones who attempt to do more. You have probably seen the same thing at your level. You can’t take your eye off the ball. It is critical that Lean Leaders today are able to focus on what is truly important to their business. This can boil down to Safety, Quality, Productivity, Cost, and Delivery for many manufacturing plants.
Lean will help you to deliver on the basic Key Performance Indicators at manufacturing sites. Lean Leaders must be able to prioritize and must know when to say no.
[tweetmeme]PepsiCo appears to have their eye back on the ball heading into summer. It will be interesting to see if their renewed focus will help them close the gap between Pepsi and either Coke or Diet Coke. Have you seen other examples of companies who seem distracted? Have you seen a company regain its focus with good results? What about your organization? 2011 is half over already. Maybe it’s time to assess your team’s focus on the critical issues to your business. Are you distracted by less critical initiatives or are you keeping your eye on the ball?
Written for the Consumers Goods Club
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