The Process Mind : New Thoughtware ® for Designing Your Business on Purpose book cover
1st Edition

The Process Mind
New Thoughtware ® for Designing Your Business on Purpose

ISBN 9781482228953
Published October 24, 2014 by Productivity Press
315 Pages 117 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

What if you could double your productivity without additional capital investment? What if you could outperform your competition by changing the way you think? What if you could be fast, flexible, and low cost?

In The Process Mind, Philip Kirby not only opens your mind to these possibilities but shows you how it is done. The book emphatically makes the case that the new thoughtware® of process thinking is imperative if you are to compete in the twenty-first century.

Business performance is rooted in your processes, and superior performance depends on how you think about and run these processes. To improve and sustain performance, you need a process mind.

With game-changing thinking, thought-provoking principles, and eye-opening examples, Kirby brings to life the operating intelligence of a process mind and demonstrates why process is the most innovative product you can build.

This book covers the downside of old thoughtware and the upside of new thoughtware. It sets out the principles on which thoughtware operates, describes its application at every level of work, and illustrates the impact of new thoughtware with real-life examples and case reports.

Kirby presents insights gained through decades of successful implementation of new thoughtware practices across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Kirby’s track record is so exceptional that by following the proven concepts discussed in this book, you can expect a 50 percent improvement in performance.

The game-changing principles and practices covered in this book, from the shop floor to the corner office, make it a compelling and inspiring must-read.

Table of Contents

The Chennai Paradox
See the Process, See the Problem
Extreme Immersion
Paradoxes Abound
Idle Time Is 95% of the Process
The Wager
The New Thoughtware
A Hundred Year Obsession
There Is a Price to Pay
A Précis on How the Model Works

Apple’s Little Secret
Dumbest Idea in the World
Innovation Is an Undependable Process
Process Defined
Reliable vs. Cogent (Valid) Processes
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Process
End-To-End Process Value
Smart Processes: Apple Is Not Alone
The Process Mind at Southwest Airlines
Process Thinking and the Process Mind
Think About It
Old Thoughtware Sticks Like Glue
A Cautionary Tale

History Repeats Itself—Unfortunately

Five Hundred Years of Theories
Crushing Old Allegiances
It’s Not the People, It’s the Functions
Process Thinking Is Not New
The Toyota "Thinking" System
The Quality Revolution
The Evidence Is Underwhelming
Program Addiction
We Got Some Things Right
Total Quality Management and Process Thinking
Keep It Simple
Simple Is Hard
It’s More Than Empowerment

The No. 1 Root Cause
Fifth-Grade Math Exposes the Problems
Lessons from the Shirt Factory
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Root Cause
The Imperative Is Imperative
Upgrade the Organization’s Thoughtware
White Space
More Root Cause: No Problem Is a Dangerous Problem
Cash Flow: The Mother of All Processes

Process Design and Respect for People
Bad Process, Bad Blood
Stop Riding a Dead Horse
Seeing Is Believing
Let’s Go for a Walk
The Engineering Castle
Costs Reduced 44%, Time 74%
Process Capability
The Linchpin: Respect for People—A Right and a Responsibility
Employee Rights
Information, Authority, and Skills
Continuous Improvement Usually Isn’t

The Primacy of Process: Strategy Deployment and Financial Performance Depend on It
A Plan Is Not a Strategy
Process Thinking Begins with Strategy
I Am Not a Strategy Guy
The Primacy of Process
Skills, Authority, and Information
Winning Sports Requires a Process Mind
One of the Most Influential Business Ideas of the Twentieth Century
A CEO Perspective
Value Creation: Manage Workflow, Not Resources
Inventory and Cash Don’t Lie
Interested in a 35% Reduction in Labor Costs?
     Working Capital Productivity Ratio
Experimenting with Credit Cards
Banking on Process Thinking
It’s Not a Matter of Technology

Performance on Purpose
Three Critical Elements
Entitling Your Business Process
The Customer Defines the Purpose of the Process
Customer Demand Defines Customer Value
The Culture of Process
Back to the Future
How We Got Here
Forty Years Later
Real Demand vs. Forecasting
Shareholder Value Is a Contrived Purpose
The Dangers of EOQ Thinking
Stop Making Processes Usable and Start Making Usable Processes
Building Variety into the Process
Reliability Versus Validity
Targets Versus Capability

Measure What Matters, Not What Is Easy
It Isn’t Weather Forecasting
The Navigational Scorecard
     Measures: Lead and Lag
     Purpose–Measure–Action Model
          Measuring Purpose
     Measures: Evaluation and Navigation
     Navigating the Future
     Does the Measure Incite Action on the Process?
A Thoughtful Exercise
What and How Are We Doing?

Action: Experimentation and the Scientific Method
Stop Bumping and Think
The Scientific Method
Fear of Failure Is the Enemy
The Cornerstone of Continuous Improvement

How to Conduct a Treasure Hunt
Economists Hide Problems
Getting Started
     Step 1: See and Learn the Process
          A: Select the Process
          B: Prepare for the Treasure Hunt and Assign Roles
          C: Conduct the Treasure Hunt
     Step 2: Analyze the Current Condition
          Treasure Hunt Findings Report
     Step 3: Visualize the Target (Future) Condition
          Making a Difference
Step 4: Experiment and Learn
          The Freedom of Experimenting
Waste, Waste, Waste … and More Waste
     The Seven "Deadly" Wastes—Plus One
          1. Waste of Overproduction
          2. Waste of Defects
          3. Waste of Conveyance/Transportation
          4. Waste of Over-Processing
          5. Waste of Storage (Excess Inventory)
          6. Waste of Waiting
          7. Waste of Motion
          8. Policy Waste

The Experiment: Creating a Process-Focused Organization
Let the Experimentation Begin
Eight-Step Methodology of Process Redesign
From Bad to Worse
     Step 1
     Step 2
     Step 3
     Step 4
     Step 5
     Step 6
     Step 7
     Step 8
Getting Started

Carrots Aren’t for Everybody
If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It
The Carrot Secret
Technology Is Not a Panacea
Technology Can’t Replace Air Traffic Controllers
What the Process Mind Sees—At a Glance
Think About It


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Phil Kirby is a recognized expert on Continuous Process Improvement. Known as "The Process Guy," Kirby has more than two decades of extraordinary operations management, business coaching, and consulting experience in all business sectors around the world. He has helped hundreds of companies of all sizes—from SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) to Fortune 500s—discover their hidden treasure and save billions of dollars. His engaging presentations inspire audiences worldwide.

Kirby believes your business can be not only fast, but flexible, and low cost. The secret is to focus on your process, not your product or service. He is the author of several books, including Thoughtware: Change the Thinking and the Organization Will Change Itself (Productivity Press, 1997) and The Future: You Can’t Get There from Here (OTI Inc., 2004). He is the founder and CEO of Organization Thoughtware International, Inc. based in Guelph, Ontario, near Toronto, Canada.


We wanted to take our success to a new level and continue to improve WestJet’s on-time performance—critical in the airline industry. Phil Kirby and new process thinking have been instrumental in helping us achieve higher performance. A must-read for anyone who wants to find the only ‘real’ sustainable improvements in their business.
—Brigid Pelino, Executive Vice President People and Culture, WestJet Airlines

The Process Mind
sets out the invaluable thoughtware you need to rejuvenate and revolutionize your organization. It’s a must-read—you owe it to your teams!
—Tony Soumas, Director-Distribution Operations and CI Strategy Consultant, Tim Hortons Inc.