- Tech Insights
CEO Edward Gubeno founded EDJG Consulting LLC. to fill a need for world-class operations or operational excellence (OPEX) consulting. There was a need to simplify the implementation process.He notices clients looking shortcut the implementation process due to today's fast-paced world. The complexity, time and resource investment needed to implement the "traditional" OPEX approach generally drives his clients to seek out faster and cheaper approaches all while seeking bigger and immediate returns. Reading how-to books is easy, but implementing the method is daunting and can be overwhelming. EDJG has simplified the approach, but this does not mean they will take shortcuts. It means everyone from the CEO to the janitor can understand, learn, and adopt the methods.
Edward has always wanted to help others. He was just out of his undergraduate studies when he became a production team leader for a large manufacturer. His supervisor, Trina Jones, with 10 years of experience, was seasoned and poised; they became friends. She couldn't advance without a degree, and all other plant managers needed her in her current role. Her 20 years of experience made her unbeatable. After 10 years, Edward returned as the new plant manager. They discussed her plant management ambitions. In two years, he supported her ambitions and provided the mentorship to enable her growth into a plant management contender, and later she became a plant manager as he moved up to direct five plants.
Something Edward wants to discuss is his journey to becoming a leader. His inquisitiveness about his "why" and his journey starting EDJG Consulting in September 2019, started from a Simon Sinek TedTalk about the golden circle. He wonders why he's here and what his purpose is. As a child, he would lie awake in bed at night and pray to God to let him see, do, and touch everything in the great world. Well, that bleeds into his undergraduate studies. Later, business management 101 taught him about employee-employer relations. He doesn't remember the details but felt to him at the time that it favored the employer. He tried everything to change that story. He thought he needed to be a big-company CEO. Life is unpredictable, and after 12 years in leadership, he got an MBA in organizational development and joined a top OPEX consulting firm. He enjoyed his current employer's OPEX trainers. He wanted simple methods and equal teamwork experience. His "why" was to help everyone be their best, since he was addicted to helping others succeed.
He explains that Hurricane Katrina in 2003 wrecked his life and he was able to recover from the help of others. Later, the talent surrounding Edward in 2011 humbled him. He was back at the table with his idols and could achieve more now as a consultant. He realized his "why" later in life. After leaving the consulting firm to work for a manufacturing customer, a divorce sent him spiraling, costing him his career, home, and more. He decided to start a company that was truly his own and needed more for his company, and in 2019, with the help of his mentors, family, friends, and former colleagues, EDJG Consulting came into existence. Following the pandemic and facing financial challenges, he came up with a strategy that made him the most sought-after subcontracted consultant for his prior consulting company. He hired them for pandemic survival, and now this is his third successful recover. Two major losses taught him that he would always triumph.
In terms of his guidance for newcomers, he provides a lot. Since he has had many mentors, Edward values mentoring. He understood that not everyone has a great leader, coach, or mentor to help them learn from their failures and successes. This led him to create ACOLAI.com, a job-related mentorship network that will launch in May 2023. Edward got a seat at the table with some of his career's brightest and proposed to become your best start with yourself. Start small by leading a project without being a boss. Other considerations include clichés that are true. "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know," says the Dalai Lama. Through this quote, Edward explains that since you have two ears and one mouth, you should listen twice as much as you talk or learn nothing new.
"A Leader does not exist without followers," impacted Edward. He wondered, "Why would anyone follow him?" He took the time to reflect and remembered that his friends liked him because he listened and was there for them. He invested in them as they did in him, and yet he found this was not as strong of a concept with his clients. He advises being authentic with everyone.
Subsequently, he wants to be the best, which drives him, but he adds that he is not always the best. Nobody can be perfect, but we all can strive to be "Better". During his MBA he learned a lot about leadership and recognized he has even more to learn. Reading about leadership and self-development, understanding the global technological problem, networking with like-minded individuals, and getting a seat at the top table with a worldwide consulting firm humbled him and drove him to take action to become “Better”. This reignited his desire to help as many people professionally as possible.
EJDG was formed on the concept that humans are the glue; nothing beats humanity, as people make companies great. OPEX implementation neglected The Human Factor. Edward believes that this approach can turn any firm around, but prioritizing and sticking to it is difficult. To show this he shares that all EDJG clients who implemented OPEX in 2022 added leadership development programs in 2023. Since leaders hinder success, these leadership development programs bridge the gap between creating relationships, developing others and successfully implementing OPEX.
"DIRECTING CLIENTS TO DESIGN, INTEGRATE AND IMPLEMENT OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE"
Edward supports peer, direct report, and leader feedback. Many firms conduct annual 360-degree analyses. Private 1:1 sessions should be customized and frequent. He reminded leaders that offering family and friends feedback helps them progress and is done from the heart to support without ulterior motives. In the workplace he has observed the feedback to be based upon building better employees, not better people. To build a great relationship to deliver results it is progressive to consider the individual's best interests, even if it's bad for the organization. Work environments can become toxic by holding individuals back and making them resent their managers.
One approach for their feedback method is BEST, which can be used as a positive or corrective. The leader should begin by describing the behavior observed, not gossip provided by someone else. Then state its effect on others, and you. Next, solicit the receiver about their thoughts on the observations. Finally, you can agree to take actions for future conduct. For instance, I saw you pointing your finger and talking loudly to an employee on the production floor. This resulted in the employee not engaging in the conversation and others around were too busy listening to you than performing their work. What's your thoughts on that? Discuss how to avoid this issue in the future. Here, the relationship between the two parties matters. Is the person ready for feedback? Is it timely? Have you built trust before providing this feedback? When receiving feedback, consider any feedback a gift; the person providing the information and later what you choose to do with it is your choice.
Edward makes decisions based on his gut feeling because he understands how our brains protect us. He researches, digs into the facts and figures, and talks openly with colleagues and respected professionals. The limbic system in the brain helps animals fight or flee! He advises heeding your body's warnings. Do it when you are in! This isn't fail-safe, but he's never subscribed to the idea that success is guaranteed. People learn from their failures too. If Edward and the other employees agree, their gut speaks volumes.
Admitting that he is not perfect, Edward explains that teams can reach perfection. He expects others to do what he's willing to do himself. Showing respect and acting first, leaders must give people trust, an environment, and the tools to excel. He focuses on their strengths and how they fit into the team. They may never match their strengths if they focus on improving their weaknesses. "Putting people in the right place to use their abilities will make work exciting and allow for personal growth while developing business and clientele." Their strength is their decades of experience and ability to adapt to customer needs. They use a customized, client-specific strategy.
EDJG specializes in manufacturing. Doctors, attorneys, and IT businesses now employ them. They've helped small and Fortune 500 companies. Some sites employ thousands, others just 25–30 employees. Family-owned enterprises are treated the same as multinationals. They can aid any business because they know they must help organizations that prioritize process standardization and employee development in any order. He can predict a customer's success in 15 minutes based upon the actions of its’ leaders. His mentor, Mark Goodwin, said, "Culture eats strategy for breakfast!" Edward sees it with every new customer and believes leaders must change culture to succeed.
Edward's writing may lack the meat and grit readers want. After 25 years of running organizations, he has found that a human approach works better than micromanagement and a militant attitude. He said his team follows him because he invests, works, and commits daily, and this garners his followers. He advises his team on clients. Edward thinks clients listen, follow, and act when they know their consultant takes ownership in the client outcomes. Edward's client had problems running a production line for longer than an hour. Every hour, they stopped, replaced a gasket, and restarted. This 20-year-old issue was unsolvable, but he had a multilevel team at the client. He trusted their abilities and respected what everyone gave to build a fluid partnership. A line operator provided a solution for all facility and company lines after the team carefully followed the methodology. They saved millions in time and material and made the client profitable again.
Edward is also excited about EDJG University's video-based learning. The goal is to create a video library of all OPEX simplification concepts, workshops, methodology training, and culture development. This subscription-based video library requires only one license per company, and EDJG Consulting will launch this branch in early 2024.
Edward believes the epidemic affected the world and the consulting industry, and he adapted like others. Consultants like face-to-face customer support. The pandemic introduced remote support as it minimizes travel costs and allows customers to learn; they now offer on-site, remote, or a mix. Access to training videos, virtual 1:1 visits, on-site visits and exams, books, and other customized developmental resources tailored to each client looks like the best place to be now and in the future! IE
Edward Gubeno, MBA
Founder & CEO
EDJG Consulting, LLC
Revolutionizing the Operational Excellence/Continuous Improvement efforts through simplification and a focus on the human being and sustainability of efforts that drive your business forward. Integrating designed behaviors into TPM, Lean and Six Sigma efforts.