So, what happens when the Fox answers the Ad “Farmer looking for Hen House Manager”?

It’s a familiar tale, a fox dresses up in a new suit, pin-stripe. Slicks his hair back and walks in confidently to the farmers kitchen. He is prepared: impressive power point deck, names of big competitive farms and all sorts of case studies. In fact, he is so confident that he can help grow the flock, he is willing to guarantee the number of Hens that will be managed.

“No problem” he says, “I know Hens better than anyone, just trust me.”

Fox in Hen House

When the fox’s friend finds out the fox actually got the job, he gets pretty excited. “You mean we have the keys to the Hen House! Its buffet time!”

But the pin striped Fox raises his hand. He’s been around the block a few times and says:
“Now hold on buddy, why have one big meal, when we can live like kings forever!”

“Huh?” says his friend, “how do we do that?”

“Easy! As long as we show the farmer modest improvement and don’t rock the boat too much, he will quickly forget about us. Truth is, he has so many other things to worry about, other responsibilities, other chores taking his time, that as long as we don’t get greedy or stupid, he will never notice all the missing hens, or our growing waste lines.”

“Brilliant!” said the friend, with obvious awe and respect over the wisdom the sharp dressed Fox had just imparted. “Tell me what we gotta do.”

“Well first things first, we need to hire a sheep to manage the day to day stuff! They can do all the little things to make sure things look clean and organized. Because they are sheep and don’t know a whole lot about hens, we can guide them in what they do to ensure our interests are being met.”

“Farmers love sheep, they help out when they can and have very pleasing personalities. They don’t look like foxes at all!”

“Speaking of Foxes, the other priority is to keep the other foxes out. We need to build up the fences around the hen house, cause we don’t want any escaping and we don’t want any other foxes getting in and wrecking our thing. The farmer will like that, bigger more secure fences will help him sleep at night.”

“Sounds like smooth sailing!” says the eager friend.

“There can be a problem though. Eventually our sheep get wise and either fall in line beautifully (ie they become foxes in sheep’s clothing), or they start to work against us. Their loyalty is with the farmer and the more they learn, the more they realize that the farmer is not keeping as many hens as he could if the job was done right! That’s when we need to figure out how to part ways and put someone else in charge.”

“OK! Now I understand how important it is to put sheep in charge of the day to day, and that we have to build up our fences to keep everyone else out, but why do we provide a guarantee? Isn’t that limiting how many hens we can eat?”

“Ah, there’s the best part. Without a guarantee, there is no way that a farmer would put a fox in charge of his hen house! The guarantee is supposed to create trust, where if we start following our nature and start eating hens, then the guarantee will penalize us and force us not to. The guarantee is meant to be punitive, where the farmer can force us to bring in hens from other places to ensure we have met the goal. Truth is, the guarantee is a big shell game. There are so many factors impacting how many hens there are and since we are responsible for reporting the numbers, there are all sorts of methods, tricks and tactics to avoid the punitive side of the guarantee. There’s actually very little risk that we will ever have to give a single hen back, as long as we don’t get greedy. Most farms could produce so many more hens if they just paid attention to the factors that impact it. I am really not worried that we will be able to eat as many hens as we want and still meet our “guarantees”.”

“And, it gets even better!” said the pin striped fox.

“Really?” said his intrigued friend.

“Yeah, they “get us” to sign a 3-year contract! You can eat a lot of hens in 3-years!”

“No Way! Well that really is Smart like a Fox!”

To me, Trust is the most important aspect of any relationship, business or personal. When you can trust someone’s integrity, their intent and their ability to deliver on the outcomes you are after, then there is the opportunity to deliver results and drive improvement quickly and efficiently. We’ve heard the wisdom, “Its not the big that eat the small, its the fast that eat the slow” and a strong trusting relationship is the fastest way to get anything substantial done.

Product independence is a cornerstone principle for our company. We believe it is a critical factor in establishing and validating mutual intent in establishing trust. Product independence offers the opportunity to align our goals and objectives with our clients, which is one of the important trust elements in quickly working towards the goal of maximized productivity at the lowest total cost.

To Download “7 compelling reasons, why product independence is a critical aspect for any Lean Organization looking to minimize waste”

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