Version: primary March 2016 - Gemba Marketing

10 Inspirational TED Talks to Transform Your Day From Meh to Marvelous

Some days, inspiration is hard to come by. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed and no amount of coffee will remedy the lack of motivation you have to get through the day. Or maybe you stayed up too late the night before watching How I Met Your Mother reruns with a bottle of merlot at your side. Or, perhaps, you’re too appalled by the fact that tomorrow is April and your New Year’s resolution checklist remains devoid of checkmarks. It’s fine. We’re all in the same boat. Promise. Whatever the reason may be for your lack of inspiration, we get it – inspiration is fleeting, and sometimes it takes a little more than twelve cups of coffee and a Pinterest board to put some momentum back in our creativity wheelhouse. To help, we compiled a list of some of our favorite TED Talks that are guaranteed to inspire, inform, and brighten up your day. 1. The power of vulnerability, by Brene Brown Golden nugget: “We associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love. Vulnerability is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.”   2. A rich life with less stuff, by Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus Golden nugget: “Take a look at what eats up the majority of your time. It is checking email or Facebook? Or watching TV? Is it shopping online or at retail stores? It is working hard for a paycheck to buy stuff you don’t need? Things like that won’t make...

Lean Series: Never Burn Your Popcorn Again, & Other Important Things

Last week we explored the basic fundamentals of lean manufacturing. We looked at the 8 wastes and the ways in which they apply to almost every aspect of our lives, including the arrangement of coffee materials in our kitchens. Have I refreshed your memory? Did you rearrange your kitchen? Good. Moving on. This week, we’re diving in a little deeper and dissecting one of lean’s most important productivity tenets for continuous improvement – standard work. Simply put, standard work is an agreed upon set of work procedures that effectively combines people, materials, and machines to maintain quality, safety, and predictability. It aids in sustaining and improving order, and generates a boatload of world-class consistency. It’s like a checklist on steroids in that it provides a list of procedural tasks to check off, but also explains how to do them, where to do them, when to do them, and who to do them with. Here at Gemba, we live and breathe standard work, and sometimes we even dream about it. Basically, we’re standard work wizards who’ve developed a standardized process for almost every single procedure in our office. How do we do it? It’s simple – we identify a process that’s lacking consistency and efficiency and follow these 7 steps to create standard work:       1. Create a template and indicate the following: title, numbered steps, process description, photos (optional) *This template will be used every time a new process needs standard work 2. Identify the standardized steps for accurately completing the particular process 3. Collaborate with outside stakeholders to determine best practices for the process being standardized 4. Input steps into template...

Organic Snacks, Wine, & Trade Show Domination

Last weekend, we traveled to warm and sunny Anaheim, CA where we attended the Natural Products Expo and ate all the things. The annual event is a marvel of a trade show, featuring over 3,000 food and beauty brands looking to network and sample their hearts out to over 77,000 attendees. It’s a must-see for basically anyone and everyone, especially folks who enjoy snacks. There were so many snacks. Speaking of snacks, apparently protein bars made from cricket flour is a thing, and was one of the many organic products featured at the event (chirp chirp!). There was no shortage of organic ice cream, black bean hummus, and freeze-dried fruit, either. And let’s not forget about matcha tea, the super drink of the decade. Also, wine made an appearance because obviously. Anyway, the point of this blog post is not snacks or wine, although that would be fun. Instead, we’re focusing on something slightly more important – trade show goals and how to stay sane and focused while maneuvering your way through the gazillion booths and vendors that speak to your sample-loving soul. Here, our top five tips for #winning trade shows: Prepare: Do your research. Scope out the exhibition list and the convention floor plan, and determine who you absolutely NEED to shake hands with before your time is up. Create a daily plan and come up with a few overarching goals you want to achieve each day. The more prepared your are, the less likely you’ll be to get stuck in trade show limbo and lose your mind. Pack smart: Do you really need to pack six pairs of shoes? No, you don’t....

Lean Series: Eliminating Waste at Home, the Office, & Beyond

A few weeks ago, I attended a work seminar on the basic principles of lean manufacturing. What’s lean manufacturing, you ask? At its core, it’s a systematic process designed to improve workplace productivity by eliminating all types of waste, resulting in reduced lead-time and increased customer satisfaction. Basically, it’s a crazy awesome way to efficiently produce higher quality products and boost business revenue. For the next several weeks, we’ll dive in to some of lean’s major principles and explore the strategies we can use to successfully implement the lean ideology into our busy lives. First, let’s take a look at one of the most important components – the 8 process wastes of lean – and how they can change the way you look at almost everything you do. Under the lean ideology, the elimination of “waste” does not refer to physical trash we throw away. Rather, “waste” represents anything and everything that does not provide value to the customer. In an interview with our company president, Matt Bulloch, he labeled waste as any type of annoyance that exists within the workplace environment. Those “annoyances” are categorized into 8 different buckets: defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilization of talent, transportation, inventory, motion, and extra processing. By systematically fixing the annoyances that exist within these 8 categories, you continuously improve every essence of your business. Lean was initially developed for manufacturers by manufacturers. But it applies to all workplace environments, including creative offices and agencies, and almost every aspect of our lives. My house, for example, (and probably your house, too) is covered in “waste” and lacking lean best practices. Think about your kitchen. What steps...

Where Have All the Real Hobbies Gone?

What do you do in your spare time? In preparing this blog post, I asked myself the same question. What are my hobbies? What do I do for fun when all the work is done, the family is fed, and the dog is walked? I could tell you I spend my evenings locked away in my elaborate art studio, creating beautiful masterpieces just for the heck of it. I could tell you I sit in my study and write motivational essays that I’ll later publish in prestigious literary magazines. Or I could tell you I crawl into bed at 8:30 every night and snuggle up with a cup of tea and a good book, reading the night away until I fall asleep with a drool-stained book on my face. But I’d be lying. I don’t do any of those things. Heck, I don’t even like tea. So, what are my hobbies? I suppose it depends on the definition of the word. Merriam-Webster defines it as a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation. If that’s the case, then I have loads of hobbies. Binge-watching Downton Abbey and Dexter, for example, is pretty much the most relaxing thing I’ve done in the last three months. Scrolling through my Facebook feed before bed every night puts me in a sort of meditative state. And mindlessly double-clicking pictures on Instagram is something I definitely do outside my regular occupation. But, wait. Why do I feel an incredible sense of guilt building up in my stomach? Why do I suddenly have the urge to toss my phone out the window and run...