BTOES Insights Official
February 07, 2022

Digital Workplace Transformation Live - SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT: Creating frictionless employee experiences to foster positive culture change, drive innovations, connected experiences

Courtesy of 3M's Michael Muilenburg below is a transcript of his speaking session on 'Creating frictionless employee experiences to foster positive culture change, drive innovations, connected experiences and better user adoption' to Build a Thriving Enterprise that took place at Digital Workplace Transformation Live.



Session Information:

Creating frictionless employee experiences to foster positive culture change, drive innovations, connected experiences and better user adoption

Innovation and Digital Solutions driven by systemic problems or crisis - how do leaders drive digital solutions, capture value, create positive culture change, and guide employee experiences to truly transform operations.
  • Defining the problem and the value proposition
  • Identifying and testing solutions
  • Deployment and change management
  • The employee experience

Session Transcript:

Very excited Hour of our next guest.

He is a true global leader of excellence and innovation, and I'm talking about Mike and Muhlenberg, who's here with us. Michael is currently the Director of Operational Technology for Free AMS, Engineering Materials and Process Technology Division. He leads a high performance teams specialists supporting global manufacturing operations, researching and piloting leading edge operational technologist, to drive improvements in stability, capability, availability, flow, and pull.

I hear a little bit of Lean coming through here, he is an advocate for excellence and innovation in manufacturing as a practitioner, speaker, teacher, and author. Michael, what a pleasure to have you with us.

Thank you so much for sharing your leadership experience and expertise, at three am with our global audience today.

Thank you, Josey, It's my pleasure to be here, and as I always say, It is a great day to talk about innovation, and it's a great day to talk about digitization, because that's the topic that's on everybody's mind these days.

So, we're going to jump right in and talk about digital transformation, kind of the journey, maybe a few different aspects of the journey, the innovation piece, addressing the culture. We're going to spend some time talking about the employee experience, Often neglected both the people deploying and the people that are the users of this digital transformation aspect of our work.

And finally, creating value, creating value for our customer, creating value internally for, for our employees as well.

So, as you mentioned, you know, I've been with three, I'm 35 years, actually. Over 35 years now, and a lot of different roles, but there's one common theme in all my roles, and it's about driving innovation and improvement.

If there's one thing I can say, I've spent every part of every one of my jobs trying to improve things.

And it's been really fun. It's a great time to be in, in the improvement area.

Everybody needs improvement. I'm going to talk about some specific business situations that require accelerated improvement, and how how we would respond to that.

So again, thank you for the invitation to speak today. And it's my pleasure to be here.

Let me give you a little background on three M for those that don't know. Actually, our earnings call just ended a couple hours ago. Earnings looked really great.

Also really, really proud of our results. But just a few stats. You know, we're hovering around 30 plus billion dollars.

I'm in sales annually.

So that's, that's kinda the customer side. That's what we do for our customers and the revenue regenerate.

I'm really proud of this, this R&D and related investments.

We spent almost $2 billion last year, just an R&D investment.

So, we are still an innovation company, despite changing our moniker to to being a science company.

We also have capital investments, also one point five billion dollars investments. So we're putting our money where our mouth is.

We're not just talking about innovation. We're actually implementing buying equipment, building factories.

And investing in that, today, we stand it just over 90,000 employees. About 40,000 of those are in the US, and the rest are international.

So that's kind of a snapshot of who we are, um, you know, one of the larger companies around one of the more diversified companies around, and again, I've had a great run of 35 years working in a lot of different areas on a lot of different products.

Something that we keep putting out there for our vision these days, is not just innovation, and not just revenue, and not just spending, but, really, our goal is to improve lives through all the different products we offer, through all the different business groups that provide those products and services to our customers.

We're organized into four main business groups. I don't want to dwell on this, but, but obviously we're very diverse.

Being everything from Safety, Industrial, Transportation, Electronics, Health Care is a fast growing area. It's been, been that way for many, many years.

And probably the most notable is the consumer, the posted brands, the scotch brite, the things that you can find at your at your local retail store or or hardware store.

The magic of our, you know, kind of, our innovation and go to market pipeline is, is really this, this chart right here.

It's our people working as teams.

No, you will talk a little bit about our innovation model, but it's, it's really how we're structured, how the teams work together.

It's those insights from customers, markets, and even insights from our internal employees, who are both employees and possibly customers.

And then the most famous thing is the periodic table of our 51 technologies over here on the right.

That we're actively engaged in developing and leading worldwide these technologies.

So this is kind of our go to market strategy. This is how we make products. This is how we invent stuff.

This isn't necessarily how we improve operations, but it has some strong parallels, and we're going to talk about that today.

Again, how do you, how do you work as a team? How do you get insight from your customers and your employees?

And how do you use technology to advance, you know, your efficiencies and your overall operational effectiveness.

So just a couple of quick quotes here, to jump over to the digital realm. So Digital's, in the news, it's been in the news for a long time.

I love some of these quotes. These are, these are all very current.

You know, 92% of leaders are working on transformation strategies and they're trying to enhance the consumer experience.

I would also add they're trying to enhance the employee experience.

Down below on the left, 8 and 10 organizations fast track their digital transformations in 20 20. Think that might even be higher during the pandemic.

What we're seeing now is that 2030 is going to arrive, and 2021 love that quote from the Mayo Clinic.

We're reshaping our culture and the policy around the use of technology.

And then finally, on the bottom right, Basic automation and machine learning are very important. They're moving toward commodities.

Screenshot - 2021-07-31T184737.879But really, what's important is these unique human skills, so that it becomes a more valuable package.

So I love that quote as well. So very inspirational, it says, hey, we're having fun, we're working in the right area. There's, there's lots of potential here.

But the flip side, the reality of it, is that CEOs, directors, and executives, really are worried about risk. That's their number one concern.

And so it all sounds good on paper, you can read inspirational quotes and read case studies, but are we willing to take the risks to jump in?

Besides that, 70% of all the disruptive technology and digital technology initiatives don't reach their goals and account for over 900 billion in waste.

So can we really, even afford that?

And so we're gonna balance those two things. Is it really real? Is it really going to benefit? What about what about the effect on our company and our culture and our employees? And how do we avoid this pitfall worrying about risk and not reaching our goals?

So a summary of what we're going to talk about today is we're going to talk about opportunities. What opportunities look like?

How do we identify the problem? How do we build a team to go after that problem? And what does that team look like?

We're going to talk about finding solutions.

That's the, that's really the innovation model, identifying options' testing, and we'll talk a little bit about deployment in the examples at the end.

And then, really connecting the dots, not one size fits all, not one solution, Works for everybody. There's a phrase that says, Copy, Exact doesn't really work. So, we're going to talk about how you connect the dots to make a solution that's unique for you, and then we're gonna talk about the employee experience. I want to emphasize this, the, you know, the digital culture, what people expect.

What leaders should expect from their design team and what leaders can do to support the users and the frontline.

OK, so part one, defining the problems for this, this is really often harder than it looks, but I'm gonna give you a couple of examples to talk to you about talk through how problem statements and opportunities are identified.

So I'm gonna go way back 40 years ago.

Does anybody remember when Mount Saint Helens, erupted, and Spewed Asch, all over Washington?

Well, I remember vividly because my high school was across the street from the plant that made respirators for three hours.

And so I applied as an 18 year old for a part-time job working in the second half of second shift, actually assembling respirators to ship to Washington to protect people from the ash.

So, I would call that a crisis. And our response was to make more respirators.

Year and a half ago, there was an outbreak of this, or this respiratory illness, called the Novel New Coronavirus. Anybody. Remember that one?

So, again, very similar. Our response was to make more respirators.

There was a global supply chain issue, people, people thought their best protection was using a respirator and protecting the frontline workers in the medical field as well as is just people in general.

And so, these things have some some things in common.

Both crisis involve respirators. Of course, that's that's the product we're talking about.

but Mount saint Helen's, required new equipment.

I was actually across the street from the plant that was installing new equipment to ramp up to support the efforts to help people on the Mount. saint Helens eruption.

Lots of overtime.

I got all the overtime that I wanted to strap to put these little straps on this on this respirator, Lots of new employees. We added part-time people. We added full-time people at the plant, grew immensely during that time period.

And the focus was on uptime.

Keep the machines running, keep the product going out the door. The demand was huge.

Now if you look at the coronavirus situation, it's exactly the same except there was a focus on employee safety. So we had to do all those things.

And we had to keep our employees safe, not just from the equipment and the work, but from each other and from the virus. So that was one little twist with it with the coronavirus.

So all along Lean organizations and Josie, you mentioned some of the lean things in my bio. Yeah. I do believe that Lean allows us to be more resilient and adjust to these abrupt changes.

And ultimately come out on top.

Now another kind of thing is just growth, OK?

So you can have growth related to a crisis, but you can also just have growth products.

We have our famous scotch blue tape, the field Treat Box Ceiling, lots of medical products. Some of these are driven by, by shifts in the market.

Btog CTASome or shift has shifted by just what the, what the consumer expects, You know, maybe maybe a new product scotched blue was revolutionary in the painting business, just because of the performance.

Some of the medical technologies that we have now. I would, I would say, at the same, they're growing, because they're just great products.

Um, but the, the resulting problems or opportunities, depending how you look at it, are exactly the same, involves new equipment, lots of over time as you scale up, new employees being onboarded, focusing on uptime and a focus on employee safety.

So, whether it's a, a, an explosion of a Mountain, A, Coronavirus, or just a growth opportunity, these are the, some of, the types of, problems, and, or opportunities that you may encounter.

So I looked at this and said, well, how do we typically respond, And these gray boxes are no responses to these, these opportunities.

You know, New equipment often allows us to introduce new technology. These days, we ask a lot of questions about sustainability, Is our equipment going to be environmentally friendly, sustainable, maintainable?

Over time, we talk about automation, but more importantly, we talk about a flexible workforce.

New employees training, onboarding, standard work, making sure they come up to speed, and they're very confident and productive and improving every day.

The uptime usually that that revolves around rapid problem solving, but also has a strong tie to total productive maintenance.

And finally, employee safety, there's a lot of education. There's alerts, they're sensing.

Again, just a, just a heightened sense of communication.

So the question one has to ask as a problem solver is, do we go analog, or do we go digital?

And I think over the years, we've solved many of these problems with analog solutions methodologies, no paper forms, three ring binders, you know, good old fashion.

No hard work.

But these days we're looking at digital solution.

How can we automate, how can we connect the data to the workforce and ultimately make the team more productive?

So, I guess the moral of this story has become a change ready organization. Change is going to come at you with crisis or growth opportunities.

And whether it's analog or digital, you've really gotta go beyond just deploying a tool or process.

You gotta build your culture, you gotta have communication, and you really have to have a strong sense of adapting to that change, and we'll talk a little bit about that with the employee experience later on.

So, finding solutions. Um, you know, I talk on this a lot. ...

has a really unique innovation model, and it's, it's each element is maybe not unique.

But maybe over our 100 plus years of history, we've put these elements together in kind of a unique fashion, because a lot of people understand the pain points and scout possibilities and share knowledge.

But, we put them all together, and then we put on the bonus of the 15% time, and today, I would say, we're very, very creative in how we build our teams to go after this innovation.

And, I've taken this innovation model, which is, which is known for product development, and introducing new solutions to the world, too, innovation in operations.

And so, even my title, operational technology, I want to innovate and bring technology to the shop floor, all the way up to operations management.

So, we're going to apply this innovation model two operations.

Now, the digital focus, that We'll talk about today, and some of the filters we use to know whether we really need to go down the digital path or not, they revolve around customer.

Quick question one: is: Will it solve the problem? Is it just a nice shiny object? Or will it will actually solve the problem, or maybe just part of the problem?

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (17)-1The innovation questions we ask for digital: is it a proven solution, and can we get a sponsor?

Not that we're opposed to start ups, but often, having a track record or a proven case study really gives us more confidence. And that also helps.

It helps us sell it to our sponsor and get buy in, because there's still a lot of selling in in innovation and improvement.

A digital filter for culture, is the team ready?

We'll talk about some of the employ interactions later on, but just a simple question. Are we really ready for this revolution? Are we ready for this new technology?

Will it fit into our current culture or will it help change the culture?

And the last one is connecting and it's really connecting the dots. Does it simplify the work? Are we asking the question holistically?

About the end to end work?

Are we just isolating it into into 1 little 1 little part of the work and will it really improve the work?

I get questions all the time. How do we justify digitization and digital solutions?

And sometimes we can measure the result, and sometimes it's a little bit harder.

But in all cases, we come out and we say we really need to define the expected outcomes both in results and behaviors. So you get your business value and you and you start creating that new improved culture.

We're constantly comparing alternatives, competitors, um, playing the game of, you know, who's better and now we've got, we've got all kinds of decision matrices and evaluations that we do, and it always comes down to financial justification.

It may be a little bit squishy upfront, but we have to turn it into business value eventually, and that really applies to whether it's an analog solution or a digital solution.

I would like to brag about my team. This is kind of a busy slide, but I'll just quickly go through this.

So, so I use a tipping point model, the law the few for a Malcolm Gladwell as I built my operational technology team. And at the core, we want innovators.

I want people that are looking for creative solutions that think outside the box, that aren't afraid to try and aren't afraid to fail. And so that's just a basic core competency. But I also, I love gladwell's law, the few the connectors, the mavens, and the salesman.

So the maven is the person that brings information to people and it could be trivia, it could be deep knowledge.

It could be any, any information that might help others do their job better and improve.

At the bottom right, you get the salesmen.

Salesmen are the persuaders their charismatic they like to negotiate They're not there to sell you something you don't need, they're really trying to connect solutions to people and then finally at the top, you've got the connector, and that's the people to people part.

No there They know large numbers of people. They're not afraid to go and shake hands and start a conversation.

They bring a lot of energy, a lot of confidence, and Again, it's it's, these are these are rare, social gifts. So all three of these, you don't find these on, everybody.

And so as I built my team, I had to craft my interview questions, and my, and my search around these things. And it's taken years to do this, but I think we've got a pretty good model.

And this is critical to create any tipping point or major major change. Again, applies to analog or digital solutions.

You gotta have the right, the right team to make your innovation model work.

So finally, transformation is about connecting ideas, tools, methods, and practices into solutions. As I mentioned, it's also about having the right team that knows how to do that and constantly looking at that customer value equation.

And I said this before, but Capi exact rarely works.

So a lot of our job is connecting the dots.

It's connecting a methodology with a new tool with something that might be digital and a lot of change management, a lot of convincing people, a lot of handholding, but connecting all these things together to provide this, this ultimate solution.

So let's jump to part three. The employee experience, and I really wanted to dive into this there. There's a lot of stuff we can talk about here.

You know, everybody's experiences is different.

Everybody's perception is different. But, together, as a company, this, this, the employees, are, what make up the culture of the company. So I'm gonna talk about two different angles on this.

The first one is the System Designer.

So this includes people that are on my team, um, as well as other people that are, that are kinda close to providing those solutions and working on the problems.

So as, as leaders, we need to encourage these system designers to lead with precise problem definition.

one of the biggest mistakes I see is that we jump to solutions, and we haven't really defined the problem, which is, which is problematic.

It doesn't allow us to communicate to advance our stakeholders and convince our employees that were, we're doing the right thing. But it also wastes a lot of time and energy solving a problem that maybe doesn't exist.

Screenshot (4)As leaders, we need to give our teams the freedom to explore and the freedom to fail, and real easy to send people out on exploratory missions, and a lot harder to say, hey, it's OK if that didn't work out.

So that's, that's something leaders really need to focus on to make us work.

We need to encourage the analytical skills and the attention to detail.

When you jump from analog to digital, there's a lot more details. There's a lot more analysis.

There's a lot more parties that want to want to voice their opinion. You know, one of our sayings is, we've got, we've got over 90,000 employees that can say no to a digital solution.

So, have we really analyzed it? Do we really have all the details?

Do we have all the all the things that we need to to communicate that?

And then, as, as I mentioned, communication skill, both up and down, commuting, communicating to executives, commuting all the way down to the users and the frontline.

And here's, here's one that I think, as it comes from the IT world, you hear this a lot with sap deployments, But leaders need to expect their teams to provide on-site support, like, we call it hyper care, on the Frontline.

So, as you deploy a solution, a digital solution, do you have a help line?

Do you have a help chain?

How do users solve simple problems? Like, how do I connect? I lost my password.

My system shut down. I'm getting garbage. You know, in my, in my data field.

You know, all those kinds of things like that, lots of potential problems that can be solved with a Help line and hypercard.

So now let's, let's turn to the users, and I like to call it the frontline.

So as as leaders and as deploy ears of, you know, problem solutions and digitization, a lot of personal coaching, a lot of conversations, a lot of building consensus.

And there's a Japanese world, new word, NEMA washy that captures this pretty well, which is, it's really building consensus.

A lot of one-on-one meetings before you actually make the change, and so I just love that concept of the hallway conversations, the casual conversations.

You know, just the what we used to when we used to have water coolers hits the water cooler conversations.

You know, next is getting ideas and ownership from the users, and much, much harder than it sounds. You know, you don't. You don't put out an idea box and you don't do surveys. You really have to do this, this personal interaction.

And we're trying to avoid that. It's not my system, you know, I didn't, I didn't give input. I don't care. I don't want to be a user.

And so we really want to connect the frontline to the solutions and get that, not only not only that, not only having them use it, but having them own the system and even owning the improvement of the system.

And I love these last two bullets, you know, give, give everyone the same information.

You know, the frontline does not need to be, you know, kept in the dark with, with some of these digital deployments.

I'll show them the tool, explain it, to let them play with it, and then likewise, give them access to the same tools and technology.

You know, one of the examples, I'm gonna give you in a moment, we deployed more hardware, more mobile devices to the front line than we did to the staff, or even, even the, even the people doing the problem solving. We gave them more advanced technology, because that's where it belongs.

And I think that was it, that was a big bonus for us, it really helped this employee experience people reacted by saying, Wow, I, I've got this, this hardware, I've never had this before, and it's mobile, and it works, and thank you. You know, I'm willing to try this now.

So, between these two, and there's many more, I just wanted to hit a couple of bullets on each of the things that we've learned as we've deployed various, you know, solutions and various digital solutions.

This is not a comprehensive list, but it's just some, some nuggets from from recent experience in this space.

one other thing I want to just comment on is, is part of our innovation model is how we share information.

And historically, that's been project reviews, peer-to-peer conversations, mentoring, one on ones, poster sessions, or science fairs, but we're actually moving into kind of the social media area, though, The Wiki, the Yammer, know, instant messaging, Microsoft Teams.

And that's actually trickling down to the front line as well.

Our frontline's got access to some of the same social media tools that the rest of the staff does, whereas maybe they weren't as connected to project reviews and poster sessions.

So I think we've still got a long way to go here, but, but it's a start, and it really follows our innovation model well, and it's just, it's part of the equation.

Now, this is also a very busy slide.

And I really wanted to just use it for an illustration saying no matter who the employee is, you really have to develop some sort of a journey map.

Screenshot - 2021-07-31T184737.879And this could be for the developer, it could be for management, it could be for the frontline, and it's just to illustrate that there's an awareness phase identifying the needs, discussing learning together, if there's an initiation and a participation, hey, let's try this.

Let's get, let's get the, you know, the frontline involved.

And then there's the application. The broader deployment is a couple of feedback loops.

And I just want to use this as a way of illustrating that that it's, it's kind of a never-ending map, and you may introduce something new and have to start over back at the beginning. But this is a vision, a visual that I like I like to use just to sort of get my head around what employees are going through the change management process.

You know, even even the problem solving process, even though learning a new job process, you can use journey maps for a lot of different purposes.

So just a high level view of that.

OK, a couple of examples as we bring this in for a landing, people are always asking me for it for examples, OK, this is great theory. They're beautiful slides, some some catchy little quotes but, but show me, show me what it looks like in practice.

And so I've put together a couple of examples here at the end.

Um, the first one is, you know, let's go right to the frontline, the shop floor and let's talk about standard work.

You know, let's, let's talk about onboarding training, the continuous improvement of our work and historically, I think I think most people can relate to this, there's lots of tribal knowledge. We're losing that at a very rapid rate.

Lots of three ring binders, hidden away, Sometimes locked up, sometimes fading, because they're so old.

They're often obsolete. They're not improving.

I found a recent one that was, I think was 12 years old and it was all frayed and kind of turning yellow. I'm sure there's ones that are even older than that.

What's very consistent is, there's too many words, too many pages, and they're not visual enough. It's just not how people learn. And so we go through a digital transformation process.

We start digitizing the work instructions, digitizing the improvement process, using checklists, and certifications, and the training process.

And we really end up with it with a better, a better knowledge base, it's really collective knowledge.

It's all the experts come together to build the standard work, how to do the work most effectively today.

Then, we talked about how to improve that, as well. It's available everywhere. It's mobile. You can get it on a PC.

You can get it on a mobile device, You can bring it out to the line, and you could scan a QR code as shown in this picture, and actually bring up the standard right on the spot. So there's no searching and hunting and looking for it.

It's also brief, visual, brief, and visual.

And it includes videos, photos, and guided process walkthroughs that are not very wordy.

Um, so our journey looked like this.

Know, we had that we had to go back and kind of redefine what standard work was and what are the basic elements that we wanted to include, You know, how do we train on board and create a standard?

We moved into a digital space, as I mentioned, videos, photos, colored annotations, brief text.

Also, mobile, available on any mobile device, and we're providing mobile devices to our workforce.

And then we're at this phase now, where we're looking at the improvement cycle. We're looking at how to make it more collaborative.

We're using hololens and AI AR VR.

We're capturing audio and translating that into text using natural language processing.

We're also translating into multi languages.

You know, are, we're a global company, and so we want our work instructions and our standard work in multi language.

And so, we're kind of at the end of this tale where we're, we're asking, how do we accumulate the knowledge faster? How do we deploy it? How do we improve it?

And that's kind of our journey on that one, and it ends with a lot of digital applications. There's a lot of things that work together to make this go.

The next system we'll look at is daily management, also, right down to the frontline, you know, digital tier boards.

Yeah, we spent years and years and years of running around, collecting data, and making charts, and putting them on one whiteboards and corkboard. Lots of untapped potential, all that busy work. Just distracted people from actually solving real problems.

Or trying to improve their work.

Lots of rework, both on the data side, saying, You know, that's the wrong data, That's the that's the wrong graph, that needs to be updated.

Let's do it again, as well as re solving the same problems.

Solving them over and over the data is not driving improvement.

So, we create a lot of rework, and I'm not saying we're digitizing everywhere but there's opportunities, especially with the coronavirus, to work, remotely work, distantly, and to share data and stuff digitally.

This includes the continuous improvement process, the accountability process, the communication process, I'm sure I'm showing some graphs and charts here, but we can really digitize the whole thing, and you automate as much as you can. You focus on the problem solving, instead of making graphs and charts.

And you have a single source of truth.

Um, the digital environment provides that, so there's no arguing about, you know, is that the right data?

Know, it's, it's, it comes from the same source every day, and it doesn't lie. So, our journey there, looks something like this. You know, we went way back 10, 15 years ago, and started studying principles, Systems behaviors. What do we want? The tier process.

And the commitment to that process look like.

What does winning look like? What does leadership do?

How do you close the loop on ideas and loose action items, and reds on your charts? We spend a lot, many, many years practicing analog style tier meetings on whiteboards or flip charts.

We had small ones on clipboards, we had large ones that were, I don't know, 16 feet wide, but it just took practice, and lots of iterations and lots of coaching Before, we were ready to jump into the digital space.

And now, we're starting to do that, especially at the upper tiers and some all the way down to the shop floor, to drive clarity in the metrics and the dashboard.

Everybody understands it, the connectivity, all the data, all the action items. Everything is inter-connected.

The consistency, it looks.

It looks the same every day, It's It's easy to follow, easy to train, too, and really start driving the continuous improvement activities that are associated with the with the tiered process.

The last example I'll give you is process optimization.

Event Email Graphic Virtual Conferences (17)-1And being a former process engineer, you know what the good old days we used to pull data manually, we used to look at logs and type it into the computer by hand, very limited datasets.

We had to do very rudimentary statistics, no mini tab version one. Does anybody remember that?

And so we, yes, we still use many tab, but there's lots of automation and analytics that we can do.

And back then, I would say, you know, we were, we were pretty good at doing all that stuff, but we hit a knowledge threshold.

We couldn't get enough data, we couldn't understand all the interactions, and our ability to do statistics was very limited.

So now in the era of industry four, digitization, digital twin, modeling, neural nets, all kinds of things like that, right?

We've got automated data pull and sorting. So we take the burden of that off, off of the, the person doing the analytics.

The datasets are almost unlimited in size, the tools themselves do a lot of analytics and interpretation for us. So we don't need to have degrees in statistics.

Maybe as much as we had to in the past, and we really, it allows us to break through the knowledge threshold.

Now the downside of this is, you can overwhelm, you know, your process, people, too much data, too much information, too much analytics, You know, too many things to look at, all at the same time.

So over time, our people have to adapt to this new world where they have unlimited information and analytics and it'll take a while for them to catch up with the capabilities of the computers.

So again, our journey looks something like this. Back in the day, we started even pre six Sigma but we used to do a lot of process maps and matrices and stats.

PPE stands for product and product under process and product understanding, which is just a giant multivariate throwing all the all the data into a blender and seeing what comes out.

You know, while back we got it into response, surface neural nets, all kinds of really fancy analytics, but done manually, add, or at an individual workstation.

And so now we're moving toward automated data collection, data on the cloud, the digital twin, and a lot of optimization, and, again, lots of learning for our people here on the right.

We're just getting into that space and finding out how we can add value with this highly digitized process.

So, a couple sobering thoughts, you know, less than 1% of data and businesses actually analyzed and turned into benefits, and that's from our friends at sap. So, really, our responses. we need to digitize, meaning collect, automate, analyze. We've gotta, we gotta continue doing that. But we really need our people to turn it into a benefit.

And so, know, if, if, if we're at 1% today, maybe we can be 5% or 10% next year.

If we continue doing this, digitizing and turning our people loose to grow and adapt to the new, new reality.

So with that, I'll close, and I'll open it up for questions.

Thank you so much for participating today, and I'm going to turn my screen off here, and Joseph, do we have any questions?

Fantastic, Michael. It's all is a master class with you, Michael.

Your appearance, your expertise, you know, of course, three, am, you know, such a rich history of excellence, such a rich history of innovation.

And, and the digitalization is is, is part of this new era, where you're bringing all of this capabilities that you have developed for many decades to bear. Now. The first question that I have is a theme question from the audience, which is, You know, we all know that the essence of great strategy is choosing what not to do.

When it comes to digital transformation, there is too much that can be done in an organization of the size of freedom.

I cannot even imagine the thousands, if not hundreds, of thousands of opportunities that you could be tackling and things that you could be digitizing.

So I'm curious if you could talk a little bit more about how do you prioritize, what needs to be done and you know, it's a value, its speed, what are, what is the framework that you use to go from the trivial many to the critical feel? Improvements and innovations that you want your organization to focus on?

Yeah, I love it. And the same could be said for product development.

You know, how do you, how do you know which products to introduce and you know, where to invest and grow? It's, it's the same kind of question.

I'm gonna give you two answers, one is very personal. It's, it's how my team operates.

We, we go to the factories and we talk to them, and we talk to them about their strategies.

But we also go out on the shop floor and we walk around and we talk to operators, new operators, people that have been there for 35 plus years and say, What are your pain points? How, how can we make this job better? How can we make you safer?

How can we capture your ideas faster, because you're full of ideas?

We can, we can hardly keep up and know that that inspires us to get the list.

And, you know, to score that in such a way that we kinda can figure out what the priorities are. And those three examples I gave you, those rose to the top in the last five years. And we're still working on those.

Those are some of the big ones.

And there's, you know, 25 more in queue, but really going to the users, the frontline, and, and, you know, getting that input, observe, observe the paint.

You really have to go see it.

And it's, it's hard to do. You have to travel. You have to spend time. You have to.

I was just in a factory in a flame retardant suit. And it was 120 degrees, and I had to go into production just to talk to people.

But you gotta do it.

Maybe a higher level, I think, we're, we're constantly evaluating tools. one of my favorite is the PUE, Concept Selection Matrix.

Screenshot (4)It's a way of evaluating alternatives. Once you've agreed on the problem, then you have to sort out the solution. So there might be 25 different ways to solve the problem, 25 different vendors, different approaches.

And so we might start with a few concepts selection to do some ranking, ask some basic questions, get it through the first pass, then it's back to the slide that I showed. And, you know, will it fit into our culture?

What does it connect to?

Do I have a sponsor?

And, you know, that's the second door, secondary filter, really to decide what you're going to pursue.

Lastly, I'll say that, you know, you can get a long way into this.

And you may have to bail and say, you know, it's not as good as I thought. Priorities have changed. Maybe another solution sneaks up behind. You you've got to be bold enough to pull the plug on something and not get emotionally attached to the solution.

And so, that's, that's also harder than it sounds, because you, you get onto a program, and you want to see it to completion.

But letting go of certain things, is also part of the process.

Those are great insights, Michael, thank you. So, thank you so much for that. And then following up on this, Anti Martinez has a question. That's just as great presentation advice. Thank you. That's a common thread that I'm seeing here.

And what, what she says that, what would you say, two leaders who, despite all the value of that technology may bring and digitization, could bring?

They're still, they still have hesitation.

How how are you getting your executives on board on this digital workplace journey?

Yeah, that's that. That's part of the culture, right?

You know, the culture of change management and stuff is it goes all the way to the top of your organization, and it goes up to your leadership.

And, you know, change is hard on the shop floor on the front line. It's also, you know, it's, it's, it's hard with the directors of the VPs.

You know, my strategy over the years is really relying on that sponsorship, number one, finding, finding an executive, finding, a sponsor that will, that will listen, be objective. That gets excited when you get excited.

That gives you a really long leash for trying things, and gives you, gives you just support.

Like, like almost without trying. they they trust you to the level of.

They're like, yeah, you usually bring the good stuff, So I'm going to trust you and have them use their influence with their peers.

So, they're going to be talking Vice President, the Vice President, And I think that I think that's a huge thing, you know, A, You can you can, you can pitch ideas all day long. If you've got an executive sponsor that's talking to their peers, I think that's part of the equation.

Um, here's one other approach and, again, sounds very simple, but I won't say I had a naysayer or a skeptic, I just had somebody that didn't really know and wasn't really excited.

And so, with this digital shop floor training, I actually got a meeting with one of our Vice Presidents.

I brought him to our shop floor, and I had them interact with the users, with the frontline, people being trained and people developing new training material on a brand new piece of equipment.

And when he saw the excitement of the division engineer, the person designing the equipment and the users, the people running the equipment, It just was contagious and somebody said to them, you know this, developing these standards and being trained is actually fun.

And I think he just was taken aback.

He's like, no digital.

Digital is not supposed to be fun, but that was the reaction of the person, and it really made a mark on this executive.

And, and so, I think we, we built an instant advocate during that, during that visit and during that conversation.

That's, that's fantastic, Michael. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your expertise, Tremendous track record and the author accelerating, excellence, innovation, digital transformations, for value creation for all stakeholders. It's a, it's a pleasure. It's a gift to have you sharing that with our global audience, and we're very grateful for that.

Thank you so much, it's been my pleasure.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was Michael Muilenburg, the Director of Operational Technology, and the Strategic Planning at three, am sharing.

He has his vision, practice. And on how to accelerate excellence, innovation, digital transformation for value creation. I real Masterclass, and that you can you'll have access, of course, for the full recording of this session. And his lines. Once we do the post-production at it and send it to you via e-mail and password in the next couple of weeks.

This has been fantastic. We have heard from cross industry, leaders of excellence, innovation and digital transformation. And we're going to be taking a break in wrapping up at the top of the hour with a tremendous leader of digital transformation and a global scale, and I'm talking about the Deputy Chief Executive at Deloitte in Africa. That's ...

Jordan, who'll be with us, speaking directly from the Continent and sharing his wisdom and expertise on the journey of digital transformation and Deloitte and the many clients that Deloitte supports around the globe. So, we are looking forward to that at the top of the hour. We're taking a break now. You can always interact, comment, thank our speakers, thank our sponsors, and ask follow up questions on the LinkedIn posts that I have under my name, and you'll see the conference posting there. So, thank you for now. I'll see you back at the top of the hour.


About the Author

Michael Muilenburg-1Michael Muilenburg,
Director, Operational Technology and Strategic Planning,

Michael Muilenburg is currently the Director of Operational Technology for 3M’s Film and Materials Science, Engineering, and Technology Division. He leads a high performance team of specialists supporting US and OUS manufacturing operations, researching and piloting leading edge operational technologies to drive improvements in stability, capability, availability, flow, and pull. He is an advocate for excellence and innovation in manufacturing as a practitioner, speaker, teacher, and author.During his 35+ year career at 3M, he has worked in manufacturing operations, process development, product development, Lean Six Sigma and supply chain. He is the primary author of three U.S. Patents focused on the process and applications of micro-replicated super-abrasives.


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