State of readiness and operational excellence

State of Readiness and Operational Excellence – Thought Leader Interview

Welcome to our third instalment of the Thought Leader Interview series in which we interview Joseph Paris. Joseph is a keynote speaker, writer and consultant in Operational Excellence who shares his insights on the State of Readiness in Operational Excellence and how organizations can build up execution capabilities, accelerate their decision making and stay competitive in the challenging business world.

Points discussed in this interview:

  1. State of Readiness – what is it and why is it important for operational excellence ?
  2. What are the key foundation steps of achieving the State of Readiness?
  3. What are the typical obstacles that organisations face in their journey toward State of Readiness?
  4. Recommendations on how to get executive leadership to support improvement initiatives?
  5. If I want my organization to become a high performer – where do I start?

To learn more about the concept of State of Readiness, visit Joseph Paris’ State of Readiness book website.


Paul Docherty
    Founder of i-nexus, the leader in cloud-based software for strategy execution. Respected thought leader, adviser and co-architect of the Strategy Execution 2.0 "Business System" that is rapidly becoming the de facto blueprint for how large organizations successfully deploy and execute their strategic objectives.


    Eduardo Muniz

    Eduardo Muniz Feb 15, 2018 at 10:59 PM

    Hi Paul: Whoever made the first comment above just made strong point!

    How about using NE Patriots performance in last super bowl game to illustrate what “state of readiness” means? or the Mike Tyson’s knock out by B Douglas in Tokio? or Manny Pacquiao being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez?

    How about vast majority of Organizations struggling to deploy sustainable Business Transformation/LSS/CI initiatives?
    Why Japanese companies were able to maximize E Deming’s capabilities utilization (and most non Japanese still can’t) to achieve Quality in sustainable fashion.?

    It is called awareness of Organization preparedness/readiness to maximize all strengths and address any vulnerabilities to deploy sustainable Change..

    Jul 6, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Hi Paul….Not for the first time I have to confess that I am confused by some of the outputs from Joseph. It is clear that he is a deep thinker and is passionate about what he preaches however I am often left thinking what is that he is preaching and how is different from other Improvement …Gurus ?. The very first question you asked him was to describe “state of readiness ” …..his answer was confusing because he used the example of an ( American?) football team and how they plan and then when the whistle goes “it all goes out the window” ….really ? It doesn’t happen in Rugby , Cricket….stuff happens but the team that manages to come back to it’s plans and sticks to it’s processes will win . They will have modelled various strategic changes in case the original plan does not work or the weather changes…they do depend on the individual skills of each member but do not immediately fall back on individualism. Secondly the Opex Society’s definition of Opex is ” Operational Excellence is a state of readiness attained as …….” Socratically one would conclude that if my organisation is ( or trys to be ?) Operationally Excellent then I must be in a state of readiness ? Which is it ? ……and later in the definition ” is a precursor to becoming a high-performance organization” Does this mean that a total organisation ( note total) can be operationally excellent , in a high state of readiness for any challenge and still not ” high performing”…….that would imply it as actually doing nothing?
    I have worked with a few Operationally Excellent ( regonised and accredited as such) organisations . If someone asked me about what characterised such organisations ) I would say everyone has a clear connection to strategy 2) Top Leadership through to ordinary employees speak a common language and 3) Leaders are visible and at the Gemba ….any Gemba 4) Continuous Improvement is measured and has a place at the “top table” along with other KPI’s . Yet during the film Joseph talks about the need for CI professionals to “get on the calendars” of senior execs and “speak their language” . These are presumably the same execs who commissioned the improvement initiative ? ( did they ?) …..The scenario that Joseph addresses is not an operationally excellent one and the sentiments are addressed to the wrong part of the organisation if it is to become operationally excellent…….

    Confused!….Not really ……I am used to sorting through streams of consciousness. I am certain Joseph’s book will be easier to understand but I am not certain whether it will contain any new insight.

    Leave a Reply