Accelerated Strategy Development
The company of today has its supply chains and finances stretched further around the globe than ever before while simultaneously having increasing pressures to drive value across a complicated and fluid set of metrics and deliver innovations, products, and services more quickly and reliably.
The competitive advantage belongs to the companies that can quicken their vision-building and strategy-execution efforts—the ones that can identify challenges more swiftly and accelerate their decision making so they are better able to formulate and deploy responses decisively yet with greater agility.
To successfully accomplish this, companies will have to prioritize creating a culture of leadership that strengthens communication skills and emphasizes systems thinking by building capacity and capability that cuts across the business smokestacks and permeates the entire organization.
About The Author
Joseph F. Paris Jr. is a recognized thought leader on the subject of operational excellence, an international entrepreneur, a prolific writer, and a sought-after strategist, consultant, and speaker with engagements from around the world.
With over 30 years of experience in international business and operations, he is routinely called upon to offer guidance to C-suite and senior executives and business-operations and -improvement specialists who wish to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of their organizations. He is highly valued for his ability to provide strategic insight and tactical analysis—and to convert these thoughts into reality by successful engagement and execution.
He is forever seeking ways to improve businesses and the circumstances of those who work there. With an understanding that culture matters, he always approaches challenges with empathy; from their perspective and in their context. He is patient, but pressing as he helps guide companies and their people through transformational change.
Although he is an expert in the more granular facets of the discipline, he places a special emphasis on the cornerstones for success: the engagement of people and instilling a leadership culture as part of the company’s DNA. His end-goal is to help create high-performance individuals working in high-performance teams for high-performance companies.
His vehicles for change and delivering the promises of operational excellence include the following:
In addition, Paris serves on the editorial board of The Lean Management Journal and the advisory boards of the Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department at the Watson School of Engineering at Binghamton University, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers’ Industry Advisory Board, the New York City Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.
These organizations have chosen the State Of Readiness to be a core component of their curriculum and operational excellence programs.
Robert J. Szczerba; Senior Fellow Emeritus, Lockheed Martin
Joseph F. Paris’ State of Readiness offers an engaging and provocative look at effective strategies to prepare businesses for the harsh realities of the 21st century. He artfully challenges the core belief that eliminating waste and optimizing processes are still the main factors of operational excellence, as they were in the last century. Paris shows how companies now also require quick decision-making processes, effective communications, and a thorough understanding of cultural differences (both internal and external to the corporation) in order to survive and then to thrive. High-performing companies will be those that use operational excellence in a proactive manner, and not wait until the next crisis is already knocking at the door. They will need to develop the capability to identify and react to challenges quicker than ever before. Whether a C-Suite executive or an operations manager, State of Readiness is a great way to help determine if your company is ready to face the new business climate that lies ahead
Jonathan Taurman, Director-Global Lean/Ops Excellence at GE Healthcare
State of Readiness – looks beyond the traditional Lean process improvement to enterprise-wide strategy in system performance. This is next level thinking, moving from isolated standards and abnormalities, to creating a proactive organization that is developing predictive-outcome systems. With the 4th Industrial Revolution upon us, Joseph Paris has taken Operational Excellence to a new level and leaders that are serious about competitive advantage need to do more than smart manufacturing, and create a State-of-Readiness in their company.
Bob Summers; Brigadier General (Retired), United States Air Force; Deputy Director of Operations, Air Force Space Command
Want your company to be a high-achiever, nimble enough to handle new opportunities or threats? Or are you that high performing nimble company now? If you need to improve, “State of Readiness” will help climb to the top. If you’re at the top, it provides a thought-provoking check to ensure you retain your pinnacle of performance.
Paul O’Brien; Director of Business Excellence at eBay
State of Readiness is a must-read for any serious Continuous Improvement professional involved in the deployment of operational excellence! Joseph Paris questions why so many experts on operations management tend to “glorify the supposedly unmatched performance of Japanese companies and their management techniques” and provides compelling evidence and a fresh perspective as to why this might not be as true as generally believed. In doing so, he explores the lessons learned from the past and how organizations of today need to go beyond what is known towards designing and building world class operational excellence programs in order to truly become a high-performance organization in the 21st Century – providing a template and roadmap for organizations to evolve beyond the traditional emphasis on processes to an emphasis on “systems thinking”.
Donna O’Leary; Chief Information Officer, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Joseph Paris is your Operational Excellence Sherpa. And his book, State of Readiness, will passionately inform and challenge you as it seeks to help you guide your organization’s transformation from disjointed pockets of processes to an integrated sea of systems. Timely yet timeless, it is a thought-provoking read and will often challenge what you think you know. Paris does not set goals that are lofty and theoretical states which are intangible and largely unattainable. Rather, he explains why a State of Readiness is vital to an organization and offers visionary insights balanced with pragmatic approaches – with ample story-telling and often light-hearted content that will keep your attention. For some it will serve as an introduction to Operational Excellence and its importance, for others it will be a how-to book, and still others will find it a regular reference as you endeavor to transform your organization to face the challenges of today. Whether you are in operations or an executive of a global conglomerate, this book hits the mark and will appeal to a diversity of readers – and providing this book to key team members will certainly derive beneficial results.
Jeff Naglestad; Director, Operational Excellence at Sanofi
From beginning to end, State of Readiness by Joseph Paris, educates and entertains through a lively narrative. Joseph clearly differentiates Operational Excellence from Continuous Improvement, yet aligns both towards establishing a state of readiness in and organization as it pursues its vision. Whether you are a wizened expert or just beginning your professional journey, this book is a must-have for your professional library. You could wait until tomorrow to get started but as JP challenges, “how many tomorrows do you have… “?
Donald Kuk; Vice President Global Business Transformation, AIG
In “State of Readiness”, JP skillfully shares his experiences and wisdom in enterprise transformation and leadership. His uncommonly visual language conjures vivid mental images and makes the book such a tangible and rewarding experience for the reader. Threaded throughout are many examples and anecdotes that are common sense but at the same time demonstrate that, as Voltaire said so many years ago, “Common sense is not so common.” The book strikes a perfect balance between enterprise-wide thinking and line-of-business thinking and every reader will come away blessed with a vision of what operational excellence is, and the indelible and positive impact it can have on a business and those who work there. It is a must read for every executive and manager that aspires to sustainably change the operational performance of their company.
Helmut Welke; Material Flow Design Manager, Deere and Company (retired)
Joseph Paris clarifies and defines what ‘Operational Excellence’ means in the real world. His book, “State of Readiness” is a very good read and resource for those striving to understand their business as a single “system” based on a common culture, use of methods and goal alignment. Sometimes amusing and sometimes blunt, JP pulls no punches in offering a solid review of concepts and tools for performance improvement. He includes many anecdotes and historical examples of companies that were ready for change and others that were not. If you want your business to be “ready” and able to meet future challenges successfully, then this book is for you.
Jonathan Escobar Marin, Director Global Head of Lean Management HARTMANN GROUP.
Joseph Paris’, “State of Readiness”, is a very entertaining and educational book that creates a path to understanding what is necessary to become a high-performance organization. There are many examples drawn from personal and professional perspectives that help make the insights inside the book tangible, vivid, and a real guide to creating a business operating system. Throughout the book, Paris clearly demonstrates the whole of an organization is greater than the sum of its parts: customers, employees, associates, suppliers, partners, society, and shareholders. And if the organization knows and hones its capabilities and capacity – that all these parts are synchronized and aligned across the business smokestacks towards a clearly communicated vision – there will exist state of readiness that is a requirement to becoming a high-performance organization. You got the right things right, Mr. Paris. In the end, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet: “the readiness is all.”
Jamie “Jay” Guttenberg; PhD (ABD), Director of Operational Excellence at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.
An exceptional book encompassing all areas of the OPEX discipline! This is a great starting place for leaders when embarking on their OPEX journey. From Lean Six Sigma to Hashin Kanri, Joe provides an excellent and comprehensive OPEX guidebook for all types of organizations. State of Readiness is a must read for leaders that want to become true OPEX practitioners and leaders of high-performance teams.
Carsten Hurth; Global Director of Operational Excellence, Gerresheimer
“State of Readiness” describes in an exact, but also an easy to read way, what is meant by the term “Operational Excellence.” It will be obvious for anyone who reads JP’s book that achieving operational excellence is not about following one set of tools or considering one single improvement approach as a bible for achieving substantial improvements in an organization. In reality, achieving operational excellence is as about the joint focus on creating a culture of leadership, processes, people, technologies, and behavioral change – and using the appropriate tools and methods from Kaizen via Lean Management to Six Sigma as warranted – but always with a mindset of building capacity and capabilities to create readiness. JP offers excellent examples of what happens to a company if it is following one way of achieving improvements, but are not ready for (or willing to) change. They simply fail.
Pavle Sabic, Global Financial Risk Manager, Fortune 500 Companies
Reinvigorating the industry’s view of operational efficiency with a witty and charming narrative; State of Readiness, outlines key components that should be addressed to become a high-performing organization. The reader will also come away with a ton of business analogies that will help in their communication of complex ideas and hold court in any professional environment.
Benjamin Taylor; Chief Executive, Public Service Transformation Academy
Joe Paris has produced a kind of atlas of operational excellence thinking, infused with his own characteristic humorous, insightful, and enthusiastic style. It gives a solid and grounded overview of the history and current state of the field, taking in everything from individual responses to change to historic comparisons between nations. And it adds JP’s own sometimes surprising sayings, reflections, and inspiration. I recommend this to any established or aspiring manager or change expert – it’s like having a wise and friendly old uncle, full of energy and mischief, as your personal adviser and consultant.
Patrick Veenhoff; Sales Performance Coach, Swisscom
Joseph Paris is the first to define what Operational Excellence means – not only in theory but also in practice – in his book “State of Readiness”. This well-structured and accessible read offers layman and expert alike an insight into the positive impact that embracing Operational Excellence can have for your business. The many examples contained in the book make it easy for the reader to connect how to effectively implement the various concepts into their everyday life. More importantly you will understand what it takes and learn how to execute change inside an organization, which for me is the key to any successful endeavor. JP’s wit will keep you engaged and put a smile on your face when you least expect it. An excellent read with keen insights waiting in store for you.
David Deutsch; President, David N. Deutsch & Company
Joseph Paris is a strategic thinker and process improvement expert extraordinaire, and his State of Readiness is nothing short of ground-breaking. In his well-researched guide, JP questions the wisdom of all-things-process and offers keen insights into the achievement of true “operational excellence.”
David K Schneider; President, David K Schneider & Company, LLC
We read daily about spectacular strategic organizational blunders. We never read about the small execution failures filling our everyday lives. Yet businesses with perfect strategies blunder into oblivion from continuous execution failures, lacking a steadfast commitment to operational excellence. In his book State of Readiness Joseph Paris demonstrates, with the repetitive nature of the unreasonable man who cares, this is not an issue of missing standards but an issue of missing leadership to define and assure operations standards. Clearly JP traveled the marathon journey, surmounting “Mt. Stupid”, leading beyond the resistance, making Vision become Reality. If you are a leader that recognizes the need to improve, but don’t know how to make it happen, this book is the best place to start.
Steven Stanton; New York Times Bestselling Author and Managing Partner, FCB Partners
State of Readiness is a timely and powerful book. It both defines today’s challenges and provides pragmatic solutions. It’s well written and well-researched. Every reader will find ideas and actions of value within its covers.