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Liddy bakker Marshall Goldsmith and Geerten lengkeek at WOBI Sydney
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Get to know our consultants – Liddy Bakker

Liddy Bakker at her desk at the office

Liddy Bakker

Liddy’s role at Productivity People is Knowledge Management. Her role is to extract knowledge from our expert consultants and make it understandable for our customers. That’s why, when we decided to document our method and create the Productivity Programme online Portal, Liddy was the perfect fit.

During COVID-19, Liddy sat down with our consultants to elicit the tacit knowledge from their heads. She wanted to know what they were actually seeing when meeting and advising our clients. Initially, we translated this information into PDF format, and then eventually converted it into an online format for the Productivity Programme Portal.

She’s particularly proud of what our online Portal has become. There’s nothing else quite like it on the market. Our online Portal allows businesses to do so much more themselves with the same amount of feedback from our consultants, so it’s great value for money.

Utilising her teaching expertise for Knowledge Management

As one of the Directors of Productivity People, Liddy has been part of the team from the very beginning.

Before working for us, Liddy was in science and education. She has a PhD in science, which is all based on the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle (PDCA). According to Liddy, this is the underlying principle of how scientists improve knowledge. Lean also uses this method. So, we do the same for business.

She’s always been interested in learning. She was a university lecturer, and when her children were young was involved in the Playcentre education. She later became a high school teacher. She started working in the Lean and productivity field because Geerten identified the need for an operator capability programme to develop a Vertical Start-up for a new Fonterra factory opening in Clandeboye, South Canterbury. Liddy’s teaching background made her the right fit for the project.

They were given a year to develop a learning programme for the process operators so that when the factory opened, they could avoid a drop in production. Fonterra wanted to involve the operators in the building and commissioning of the new factory. The dairy workers needed to understand the Science and Math behind the production. Liddy has a natural ability for lateral thinking. When training the Fonterra operators, she drew on her expertise as a teacher, using hands-on experience to help them understand the process. Unlike traditional staff training where people stand in front of the staff and use a PowerPoint presentation, they tailored the training to be interactive and hands-on.

For example, the operators needed to learn about the cheese-making process and the machinery that makes the cheese. So, she asked them to work as a group to draw a sequence of each kit in the operation and talk about what happens to the milk at each stage of the cheese-making process. For large firms, a drop in production by 10 – 30% could cost millions of dollars. A Vertical Start-up ensures that there is no drop in productivity that is characteristic of traditional turn-key commissioning.

Does she miss teaching? Liddy says she misses the kids, but when she was teaching math and science in a low decile area, she often felt she’d lost the kids before they even came in the room. With her role at the Productivity People, she now teaches adults who have a genuine desire to learn.

Empowering Businesses

Liddy says that the Productivity Programme online Portal creates ownership for an organisation. It’s not just a consultant telling you what to do and when they go away, you easily forget how to do it.

As part of the Portal subscription, we offer remote calls and support. This means that businesses can read the information at their own pace and in their own time, and if they have questions, we are there to talk them through it. We are in the business of Lean, so we are always looking for ways to do less, more often.

We set up the online Portal because we wanted to go from being the people who tell businesses “This is what you should be doing” to empowering and supporting them to do it themselves. That is our point of difference.

Productivity People is the only New Zealand-owned Lean and productivity improvement company of our size. The Productivity Programme is exclusive to our service. Do you want to know more? Contact us today.