Doing More with Less 

 May 13, 2014

By  Howard Cooper

The US Department of Defense (DOD) and the US Congress, dealing with Sequestration, Economic Downturn and National Debt Crisis are all saying to their suppliers, “We need to learn to do more with less.”

In our jobs, in our companies, in the products we produce, the services we provide, we need to start doing more with less. Why? Because we can. And because the market demands it. If we don’t our competitors will. Thus we will get left behind. The market, the economy and our customers have great affinity for the lean service, and the worker or contractor who can do the job for less. “But,” you say, “That will eat away my profit and I can’t work for nothing.”

The goal and purpose of this blog and the i3DAYinnovation.com website is to bring interested readers and clients the process and the tools of innovation, so that you can invent, innovate and implement continual improvements along with the best companies, and most likely more consistently. We will discuss how Apple should and could continue to out-do Steve Jobs, and so can you! I will discuss applicable ideas from my up-coming book, how Edison, Einstein and Altshuller have given us the behavior patterns, the thinking, the processes and the tools to empower your invention and continual improvement well into the next century. We all can do more with less, which will fuel our individual and collective wealth over the next decade and the next generation.

We stand at the crossroads, as did America in the depression of 1930’s. At the Crossroads, one road lead from 1935 to the end of that century where generational poverty locked several Americans into living on minimum wage or on social welfare. The other road led to the end of that same century, with the largest middle-class and wealthy class ever to existed in the history of the world. The community in which you found yourself at the turn of the century was determined largely by which road your family decided to take in 1935. The lock of generational poverty is tight. There is no key and the lock cannot be picked. It is a “combination lock”. Enter the right “combination” and the lock pops open. Then, with some effort and persistence, you can follow the path (road) that leads directly over to the other two communities mentioned above.

So, three roads: Two leading from the past to present and one road to cross over from one community to another, in the present day.  The current day “call”, to do more with less means we are now at another crossroads—a new crossroads.

This blog will focus on Lean initiatives, Six Sigma methods, continual improvement and Structured Innovation tools to help any reader cross over to and progress forward on, the “higher road”.

Next time I will talk about the two powerful technologies that put us, now, at a new crossroads. I will also talk about the crossroads of the 1830’s which empowered or created the higher road to the “roaring 1920s”. The more we understand about roads and which road leads to the destination we seek, the quicker we can “Get on it, and follow it”.

As Robert Frost put it, in 1920:

The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both, And be one traveler, long I stood,
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Actually, if you implement “Lean” thinking and use structured innovation methods, you are increasing your profit margin, your market share, or both. Individuals and companies who do this habitually, on a regular ongoing basis are implementing kaizen or continual improvement. These are the companies, products and services that dominates in their market sector.

About the author

Howard C. Cooper is a Design for Six Sigma Black Belt, Systems Engineer and founder of i3DAY Innovation. Over the past decade he coached 26 different product development teams at General Dynamics through solving their most critical challenges; design constraints, safety, reliability, etc. All 26 design and development projects were accepted in critical design peer reviews. All 26 were adopted by the U.S. Army, currently saving $233 million per year, over the legacy systems they had been using.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}