Manufacturing Executive Martina Kuhlmeyer Had Too Many High-Priority Initiatives

Manufacturing Executive Martina Kuhlmeyer Had Too Many High-Priority Initiatives


Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.

My guest for Episode #187 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Martina Kuhlmeyer, the Founder of Power Up Your Team — and she’s the host of a podcast with that same name.

As Leadership Coach and Team Building Strategist, she is guiding CEOs and Founders in high-growth companies to build a resilient team so they can scale and win in the marketplace. 

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Martina spent 30+ years working for small and several fortune 100 companies, including General Electric, Textron, Fidelity Investments and Liberty Mutual. Martina held a variety of executive roles focused on continuous improvement AND driving large strategic change initiatives. As P&L owner, she managed the successful turnaround of a $1.3 billion asset portfolio management company. 

Martina was born and raised in Germany.

In this episode, Martina tells her favorite mistake story about starting to use a management process called “strategy deployment,” and how she overcomplicated it by having too many “high-priority” initiatives. Why did she and others on her team make that mistake? How did they recover? And how did they work to create a culture that adjusts and learns from mistakes?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • We were introduced by Karyn Ross from Episode 3
  • Her “Love and Kindness Foundation
  • “Strategy Deployment” (or “Hoshin Kanri“)
  • What was the Impact of this mistake? – over processing
  • What did you learn and how did you adjust? — “reflection and insight”
  • A mistake to think you’re going to do something new in a perfect way?
  • Mistake of having too many “high priority” initiatives?
  • How do you create a culture in an organization where learning from mistakes is a reality?
  • Mistake to use too much jargon around continuous improvement?
  • “Strategy alignment” vs “strategy deployment”
  • Mistake to have a large scale initiative (like Lean or Six Sigma) when the CEO isn’t full leading it?
  • Tell us about the podcast

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Martina on social media:

Watch the Full Episode:


"[My Favorite Mistake] has to do with not understanding the purpose of a process. And that was a mistake that I made along with many of my peers at the time." - Martina Kuhlmeyer
Martina Kuhlmeyer"[Building a culture of learning from mistakes] starts at the top with values? If learning is not an expressed value of the organization, then it will not happen. But it doesn't end there. It would then go down to leadership behaviors, where leaders are open to acknowledge mistakes or share how they learn."
Martina Kuhlmeyer"The worst thing that can happen is that problems are swept under the rug and hidden, right? And then there is no learning. And then, operationally, I think they need to be the mechanisms to allow people to learn and experiment in a top down culture."
Martina Kuhlmeyer"It's very important to allow the space for employees to get stretch assignments, to experiment, and then share the learning in a community or in a forum. That's one of the underpinnings of every continuous improvement program."

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.