Is Behavioural Waste the missing link to Lean Programmes Succeeding?

Why do Lean Programmes fail?

Research suggests that over 70% of all lean programmes fail. If you’d like to see some research about what might be the why then this link is useful

Yet during my years in the oil&gas, construction and retail industries I’ve implemented many successful lean programmes. Not all were perfect, but all were successful and some were done in record time. Some teams were forced together, mostly multi-disciplined by need, many given what seemed an enormous task again driven by the demanding nature of the business.

We also had no real concept of the origins of lean programmes in Toyota and our approach was focused on our business – it was simply known as a Business Process Review, BPR.

So why did we have success?

The simple answer is people made it happen. It’s all too often that Lean Programmes know that people count, but do nothing or not enough to make the people effect have the right or the best impact. The focus is all on the process and assumptions are made that people want the change, or are prepared to change but they are are assuming something that may actually not be there.

The issue as we now know is what we term Behavioural Waste™, and organisations have so much of it that before you enter a change programme, you need to change attitudes and behaviours first. If you eliminate or significantly reduce Behavioural Waste™ , any improvement is possible and innovation, creativity, engaged employees, inspired leaders become everyday norms not exceptions.



Recyling Behavioural Waste™

The great thing about our behaviours is that if we want to change them we can – we have a choice. The hardest part is to define or assess what we actually do and then simply by raising our awareness we can then decide to do something different to improve.

You can therefore recycle the bad stuff and improve. To show you what’s possible this new book is for you.

Recycling Behavioural Waste Cover

Key Messages from this book:

1. There’s no point in trying to grow your business if you are currently busy doing the wrong things. You won’t have time to adopt new approaches. Begin by reducing wasteful behaviour to create the space to grow purposeful behaviour.
2. People like doing lean, fixed systems or efficiency exercises because it focuses attention onto processes, which are seen as impersonal, and thus avoids the issue of having to change your behaviour. Behavioural Waste™ is the largest hidden cost that businesses fail to account for.
3. When people talk about culture, they don’t realise that they may have already chosen to fail because talking about the culture of an organisation doesn’t help solve the problem of what in particular, needs to change. The real cultural issue is everyone’s contribution to the accumulated Behavioural Waste™ that is collectively strangling your purpose. If you have  purpose that is meaningful, you can empower people to say “no” to futile, wasteful working,
and to innovate usefully.
4. Behavioural Waste™ is parasitic. The old Parkinson’s Law quotation that work expands to fill the time available for its completion is only partially true. In reality it is unchecked Behavioural Waste™ that expands to cripple meaningful purpose.
5. When people understand their own Behavioural Waste™, as well as the consequences of that Behavioural Waste™ on other people’s behaviour, and begin to control and reduce it then new capacity for growth begins to appear and people have time to consciously think and to innovate.

If you’d like a free digital copy then email us at with your organisation’s details.

As ever you have a choice.

  • want to Recycle Behavioural Waste?

  • continue to do what you do?

  • do something else?

What’s your choice?

Is Recycling Behavioural Waste your missing link?




Mindfulness v Mind Fitness – Same, Similar or Different

Mindfulness v Mind Fitness

We’re often asked the question

What’s the real difference between Mindfulness and Mind Fitness?

so we thought it would be best to make things clear.


“Mindfulness and Mind Fitness  – Same, Similar or Different – by Graham Williams”




Mindfulness is a form of meditation that was little known in the West until recently. According to Buddhist thought, individuals have a tendency to ruminate about the past and/or rush towards an ungraspable future, which never materialises. It is a 2500-year-old Buddhist meditation practice that according to the Dalai Lama asserts that this behavioural tendency of ‘not being fully present’ can distort an individual’s perception of reality and lessen their ability to consciously participate in the moment.

In the West Mindfulness has been taken out of its traditional Buddhist setting and is now linked with many negative personal conditions including anxiety, depression, behavioural addictions, attention deficit hyperactivity and coronary heart disease. It is also seen as an essential element of human well-being.


What is Mindfulness and its methods?

Definitions – Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside our selves, moment by moment. Prof. Mark Williams

Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally. Kabat-Zinn

The primary focus in Mindfulness is meditation which involves breathing control. Its primary goal is a calm, non-judging awareness, allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go without getting caught up in them. This creates calmness and acceptance, and a sense of well-being.

In the West, Mindfulness is the process of engaging full, direct and active awareness of our immediate experiences and to maintain them in a sense of calm. Its use as a cognitive based therapy is growing and is now advocated by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) for the treatment of recurrent depression.

Methods of developing personal Mindfulness are varied and include 8 weekly sessions each of 90 – 180 minute duration where participants are taken through guided Mindfulness exercises, as well as one-to-one discussion based therapy. Mindfulness:

  • Is fundamentally concerned with becoming more aware of the present
  • Can be practices during everyday activities
  • Is generated more easily by a ‘meditative anchor’
  • Is a practice that requires deliberate effort to sustain meditative concentration
  • Is concerned with observing sensory and cognitive affective processes
  • Generates a sense of well-being


Mind Fitness



It originated out of concern for the poor transfer of management and other training into behavioural change and tangible results in organisations. Although there is a significant evidence to show that learning rarely leads to people taking action over a sustained period of time, knowledge training remains at the forefront of people development in areas that include leadership, team working, personal development and change. Even Donald Kirkpatrick, whose evaluation of training methods that have been around since 1959, acknowledged in a book he wrote in 2005 “there is a devastating disconnect between learning and behavioural change”.


A new approach was needed that focused attention on developing the right attitude and behaviours, linked to performance to deliver organisational imperatives, rather than knowledge and learning. This new method adopted a holistic approach including some that are used by Olympic athletes today that produce people with a winning mind who persistently put in focused effort to succeed despite the odds, even after repeated knockbacks.


What is Mind Fitness and its methods?

Definition – Mind Fitness is choosing to use our natural abilities to perform to our optimum in different situations; through a ‘Can Do’ attitude and a ‘winning mind’. Graham Williams

The purpose of Mind Fitness is to develop active ‘Can Do’ people who deliver results for their organisation as well as themself. It uses a whole brain approach and includes the:

Mind Fit Ltd - Developing 'can do' people.

  • Thinking brain – the ability think pragmatically, flexibly, innovatively and focus appropriately
  • Feeling brain – having positive energy, being emotionally competent and mentally tough
  • Driving brain – committed with a clear sense of purpose
  • Social brain – able to connect, build and maintain meaningful relationships with others


The process, the core of which takes place in one day, is designed to raise a persons awareness of them selves enabling them to assess their own attitudes and behaviours and the impact they have in different context. Today, this self-assessment is aided by the use of a mobile APP. It is an inside-out process rather than knowledge in and is driven by the participants and not the Mind Fit coach.  We use a variety of methods to achieve attitude and behavioural change that include use of the Mind Fit Map®, stories, thought provoking activities, low level physical activities and exploring behaviours and their source. Once the behaviours have changed a second day is added about a month later, that is aimed at providing practical tools, which a person can use at work, linked to organisational needs, or as a life skill.


Can Do people consistently operate effectively in a highly demanding and unpredictable work environment, to perform to their optimum and deliver results. They also know how to manage their energy levels so that they can relax when necessary or peak in different areas when required which is why our Mind Fit team includes people from both business and sport.


Same, Similar or Different

Are Mindfulness and Mind Fitness the same?

As you have discovered from above the answer is definitely ‘no’. Are they similar? Yes when it comes to focused attention and being in the moment however, that is where the similarity ends.


They are in fact very different. Mindfulness is very much about the individual and is used to develop well-being as well as treating some physical and emotional issues. Mind Fitness is about people having the right attitudes and behaviours to perform to their optimum in their context. This requires focus attention and energy. Today, we are not only using it to improve organisational performance but also in the world of education.


Both approaches have their place in today’s complex and highly demanding world and both are essential however, they mainly operate in different environments

  • Mindfulness being driven by the need for calm
  • Mind Fitness providing the energy to deliver organisational results.


As always, the choice is yours.


Want to know how Mind Fit can help your organisation?

Call us on +44 (0)2071 486187 or email 



  • Buddhism – Dalai Lama – 2001
  • Mindfulness: Finding peace in a frantic world – Danny Penman, Mark Williams & Vidyamal Burch – 2011
  • Mindfulness for well being – NHS choices – 2014
  • Mindfulness in psychology – a breadth of fresh air – Edo Shonin, William Van Gordon & Mark D Griffith – 2014 (The Psychologist – vol. 28 no 1, 2015)
  • Mind Fit for Success – Graham Williams 2012
  • Personal Power – Graham Williams 2010
  • Transferring learning to behaviour – Donald L Kirkpatrick & James D Kirkpatrick – 2005

Attitude is Everything – New Self Assessment App

Attitude is Everything

Mind Fit Self Assessment App now out for iPhone CLICK HERE   and for Android CLICK HERE



Mind Fit Self Assessment App



Self Assessment App is Easy to use

  1. Select New Situation

  2. Type in Your Context – Answer 4 Questions

  3. Choose Intensity on the Slider

  4. Click Review – Today and Progressive

Give us FEEDBACK? This is a Beta test so please contact us via email

  1. Let us know what you thinkMind Fit Attitude

  2. What can be better?



When developing people – don’t we need to start from the same place?

Developing People

When it comes to developing people at work the assumption, probably made unconsciously, is that we all start more or less from the same place.

Senior staff makes a decision that to increase business performance people need training for example leadership, time management, sales, team working or change management.

The learning and development team are mobilised by HR and the desired knowledge training programme or workshop is born; or more likely a ready made one is taken off the shelf. Some organisations may also seek external providers and the web is awash with them.

This same pattern relating to people development to improve business productivity has existed for years yet very few providers, internal or external look beyond delivering the topic specific knowledge. They fail to ensure that the input transfers into behavioural change and tangible business results. Today, other than technical training, we know from research that the transfer of knowledge back into the workplace is poor. The training may have been great, people return to work with good intentions, then old attitude and behavioural habits kick in and soon they are back doing what they have always done. Most of the training has been a waste of time, effort and money.

There is a growing amount of evidence available today that shows the gap between knowing and doing is as wide as ever. Even Donald Kirkpatrick of training evaluation fame admitted in 2005 that there is a “devastating disconnect between learning and behaviour”. People know about theories, facts, information and so forth that are supposed to change them but in the main, it doesn’t. It is as if we are trapped in dead and obsolete maps, models and processes that cognitively we understand and can regurgitate when asked; yet we fail to take action.

A fresh approach

Fresh approach

It is crucial for both business performance and growth in today’s highly demanding world that we acknowledge we are all unique and through our different experiences, it makes us complex. Whatever the business challenge we face we all start from a different place and therefore, the journey to the point of convergence that relates to the specific topic in the context of our work, will be unique to each and every one of us. This may not be the case when it comes to providing technical knowledge, which can be learnt cognitively. However, anything that relates to attitudes and behaviours (soft skills), the input needs to start with the individual and their needs so that the journey they take is in the right direction.

As we all know, it is the games driven by negative attitudes and behaviours of people in organisations that cause so much waste in time, effort and money as disengagement surveys consistently bear witness too.

Universities have probably acknowledged they need to get everyone aligned and use the first year of a degree course to enable students to adjust to the new environment to make sure that they all start the second year from the same place. Parents will hear about their children in  the fresher year saying ‘I’ve done this at GCSE why am I doing it again?’ – to get you all on the same platform will be the echoed response.

From a different perspective Olympic 100 metres champion Usain Bolt is a fraction faster than his fellow Jamaican athlete Yohan Blake – by just over one hundredth of a second. Physically they are poles apart and therefore their training regime and methods of running has to take this into account. Even so, they both perform to an almost identical level of speed.

The importance of a good map

standard-tube-map_Page_1If a group of commuters travel to work in the centre of London via the underground, the probability is that they would all travel in from different directions.

All they need to know is where they are, where they are going and which direction they are travelling. Each person will take responsibility to get to his or her destination. They may even join colleagues at convenient parts on their journey. This is the power of having a specific map. It is obvious and occurs thousands of times each day.


This approach of people taking responsibility and making choices within clear parameters is the key to personal development and business growth. We all tend to know it, but unfortunately it doesn’t happen nearly enough. If a business has a very clear destination point relating to performance, productivity and profit then we need to devise an approach that initially allows people to make their own development and performance route that leads to success. Later, as they begin to converge, individuals can link up with fellow travellers and move forward together.

Building the foundation – reducing behavioural waste

Creating and Performance attitude and culture

Our approach is to build the foundation that might be termed ‘the prequel’ to enable people to achieve this by developing their own attitude and behavioural map – the Mind Fit Map. Once they become aware of where they consistently operate from on their map they can identify those routine behavioural activities that they do that either cause wasted effort and underperformance or those that cause increased performance. Once they recognise where they are and what they do to keep themselves in a particular place on the map then they can choose to change direction if they need too. These insights occur during the first day of exploration so their convergence takes place rapidly.

Simply by stopping those activities that lead to poor performance (behavioural waste), which may include prevarication, conflict, poor timekeeping, underperformance or disengagement they will immediately have a meaningful impact on productivity. All these activities can be costed so that by stopping them it will simply demonstrate the effectiveness and be valued against the cost of the development programme. Then, by replacing that behavioural waste with positive performance focused behaviours linked to business needs, will lead to business growth – and real added value compared to the cost of the development programme. It really is that simple.

However, people need to acknowledge where they are on the map first and once accepted, they can choose to change.

Only we can choose for sustained change:

  • The direction in which to travel
  • To change and influence our performance
  • To become who we are capable of becoming and not who we believe we are

We need to accept that any change has to be inside-out rather than someone else deciding what we need if we are going to make an impact on people and the business. Each of us needs to self assess to understand where our personal journey is starting. Then we can choose to travel in the desired direction.

Is it now time for organisations to change their approach and start with attitude and behaviours?

Eliminate behavioural waste?

The Map is there, the choice is yours.

What ONE thing ALL Great Golfers have?

Is it a great swing? No, some great swings don’t produce the results the golfer desires, and that is frustrating.

Is it a fabulous putting stroke?  No, because if you still don’t sink putts, you don’t succeed.  If you really want to get on your knees and learn some more technical skills, then fine.

However the real answer lies in having a great mind set – resilient, adaptable and able to block out negative thoughts and negative self-talk.

Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You’ve got to believe you can play a shot instead of wondering where your next bad shot is coming from.

Jack Nicklaus

Thanks Jack, but we don’t need you to tell us, we know it! It’s common sense and we tell ourselves all the time. So why does it work sometimes and not others? The simple answer is if you were Mind Fit we guarantee it will improve your golf – great golfers also need to develop the technical part of the game. It is all about focused effort and practice, and so is being in the right mindset when on the course.


It works like this; if you believe that the shot you are about to take is doomed to failure and your focus is on the ball going where it shouldn’t, then that is what is likely to happen. A friend said that he knew that his ball was going to go into a bunker and I could hear him rehearse failure. He was right. It was a perfect shot into the bunker!


Now in addition to imagining failure, many people who play golf focus on the technical side of the game and get annoyed to varying degrees when they are unable to put together in one stroke all the variables that make up a successful action. If that’s you, you’re acting on information overload. You can only focus on one thing, not a hundred things simultaneously.

Be honest, how often do you know exactly what you did that led to a poor shot? Did you blame your stance, your club, the ball, the course, the weather, the ducks …?

We use a process of natural learning to make this clear.

For a moment, can you imagine ( or remember) the amount of focused effort a 4 year old needed just to hit that plastic ball with their first plastic club. Through encouraging them and their unbridled enjoyment, within ½ hour the ball was being hit with every swing. That’s natural learning.


Natural learning is action based and used successfully by the top performers and one of the simplest examples is when we learn to ride a bike. We get on it and do it – sometimes with assistance at first with stabilisers, or a friendly helping hand. Technical knowledge to improve your bike riding comes later. Olympic athletes use this form of learning and spend most of their time practicing one aspect of their sport until they get that part right. Then they put it all together. Most golfers unknowingly, go to play an unsuccessful game. They don’t practice or focus on one input variable at a time so there can be no improvement, and you are setting yourself up to fail. If a shot goes well they put it down to luck – or ‘I’m feeling good today!’

Success depends almost entirely on how effectively you learn to manage the game’s two ultimate adversaries: the course and yourself

Jack Nicklaus 

We can’t help you with the course, but we can with help with you. By being Mind Fit, you have a learnt ability to perform to your optimum in different situations, through ‘can do’ attitudes and behaviours. So it will help your golf, your work and in fact all parts of your life. Most of us like to think we are ‘can do’ people (have you ever said I can’t do that?) but there are other options. Despite being unique and complex people, there are only three options relating to how we behave and perform. You’ve met the first. The other two, ‘can’t do’ and ‘won’t do’ attitudes and behaviours demonstrate a mind where effective performance will be curtailed significantly. So be honest with yourself, what state do you operate from and where would you like to be?

You can go from poor, to good, to great so if you want to play a better game start by conducting your own reality check. Identify exactly what you do at the input end that leads to the result you either want or don’t want. If you don’t know what you are actually doing how can you improve? And one thing, if you believe you’ll be shouting ‘Fore!’ a lot, you best take extra liquids as you’ll be delaying your visit to the 19th.

Mind Fit is about performance and leads to better results.

Get your head right then your game will improve.

If you don’t believe us or Jack Nicklaus, there’s always another bad day on the golf course that might convince you. 

Want to be one of the great golfers? Start with you.

To check where you operate from download the Mind Fit Map. 

If you are on Linked-In, come and join our group Mind Fit Golfers and find out more. We intend to hold some learning events on ranges and courses, and perhaps hold some tournaments – when you’re ready!

How Mind Fit is your team?

Behavioural waste is burning a permanent hole in your most valuable resource – people.

Businesses today are cutting down on behavioural waste at source and hiring on attitude and behaviour and not on skills and knowledge – according to recent research over 96% of companies now operate this way.

It’s ok for new hires to be ‘can do’ but how will they fit into your organisation? Have you a ‘can do’ culture already? How do you know?

There’s a simple questionnaire you can do yourself and see how Mind Fit your team are, download the Mind Fit Map here

What attitudes and behaviour prevails in your organisation?

  •  General lack of drive or energy
  •  People tend to be compliant
  •  Present at work but functions without involvement
  •  Easily overwhelmed with workloads or change
  •  High level of sickness

If that’s the case a sense of hopelessness pervades  – Can’t Do = helpless attitude and behaviours – behavioural waste pervades

or maybe here?

  •  Managers and leaders doing their own thing
  •  People have a cynical attitude
  •  Blame culture dominates
  •  Bullying and aggressive behaviours are too common

If that’s the case – Won’t Do = defensive attitude and behaviours – behavioural waste pervades

or maybe everyone is here?

  •  We’ve a happy, focused team
  •  Clear sense of purpose
  •  Driven to succeed by seeking opportunities to add value

Can Do = Mind Fit attitudes and behaviours

or as in most cases you have a mixture of can do, can’t do and won’t do? 

If you want to know where your organisation fits and see how Mind Fit your team are, download the Mind Fit Map here . 

When you’ve had time to assess your organisation, ask yourself:  how much behavioural waste have we got to deal with?, and just how much is it costing us, financially?

How do your Leaders compare?

With great ‘can do’ leaders in your business do you stand a better chance of success?

Stupid question, of course you do. A common sense thing to say and what’s more, we all believe we’re great leaders.

So why do some of us struggle? Not only when dealing with our own people but when dealing with our clients and suppliers? Maybe it’s because common sense doesn’t imply common practice.

In these changing and challenging times, a business actually needs most if not all employees thinking and acting like winners. But all too often we see activity where employees are throwing up their hands in defeat or metaphorically curling up in the foetal position. Commonly referred to as ‘learned helplessness’.

Don’t think that business life has the monopoly here – we don’t vote in elections because we can’t be bothered or it won’t make a difference even if we can be bothered. At the last council elections less than 30% actually voted – that’s the value of democracy. Politicians sometimes count on that apathy.

People are not like computers, thank goodness, but we are far more complicated beings and there are many reasons why negative and disruptive behaviour can lead to apathy, can’t be bothered and then worse, paralysis. Even great leaders may find that state a bridge too far.

How do you compare?

There are simple things you can do to see what environment you are fostering. A quick reality check – take a walk around your organisation, watch the behaviour and listen to the language. Is it a ‘can’t do’ (learned helplessness) or a ‘can do’ engaged atmosphere?

What to look for?

It’s really easy to see the difference if you focus and know what you’re looking for. One of the techniques used in the armed forces and security services is to look for abnormal, or unusual behaviour. They have trained themselves where to look for dangerous situations and can therefore react to those effectively and efficiently.

What if you asked your employees “what goes on here?”, what answers would you get?

Would you get these answers? “Our managers say their primary goal is transparency, but their idea of transparency is …so, here’s what’s going to happen.” or “we always are asked for ideas but we are never given a chance to even discuss them.”

There are no prizes to be won here – you’ll know you have a ‘can’t do’ or ‘won’t do’ organisation. The more that type of activity happens the more rooted it becomes – eventually you’ll freeze, stagnate, lose your best people when the opportunities arise.

So what has your trip around your business told you? Have you leaders who lead?

“Managers are people who do things right [but], Leaders are people who do the right thing”  Warren Bennis, 1989

Do your leaders

  • have the confidence to lead?
  • know how to ‘be’ and ‘do’ leadership in the real world?
  • link people with their performance goals?
  • know how to be results focused yet people driven?

…if they do you are on the way to success.

So that’s a relief – phew, you have great leaders.

Now what about the other half of the equation, you, the supply side? The demand side – how do your clients stack up?


Are they ’can do’ leaders or do they block your progress?