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Elisabeth Goodman’s 2011 blogging year in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,000 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Customer pain and customer delight – the economy airline way

By Elisabeth Goodman

As a trainer and consultant on Lean and Six Sigma, I’ll find examples of the principles and tools in practice in every aspect of everyday life.  The following blog illustrates the difference between ‘batch’ and ‘single piece flow’ that we might experience when the customer is what is being moved through a process!

Customer pain

Last Sunday I twisted my ankle coming off a pavement in the mad scrum to catch the airport shuttle between Gatwick terminal and my EasyJet flight to a work assignment in Barcelona.

Someone in a yellow jacket and a kind fellow passenger helped me onto the bus, got me a seat, and offered me water and pain killers.  Once arrived at the airplane, the same kind man in the yellow jacket cleared a space for me on the steps leading up to the plane. I collapsed with relief into a seat, bent over with nausea and faintness, whilst waiting for take-off, vaguely surprised at the absence of attention from any of the air stewards as they hurried up and down the aisle. Meanwhile the passenger in the seat next to me had a loud rant about how she hated economy airlines.

This disagreeable experience was an extreme version of my previous unpleasant experiences of being treated as part of a ‘batch’ of customers in the airline process: a system generally adopted by other low cost airlines.

We seem to have relinquished the right to have any form of quality customer service in return for paying a cheaper fare.  Arriving early at our final destination (with a pre-recorded electronic cheer) seems to be the only other point of the quality, time, cost triangle that we have a right to.

Customer delight

3 days later, sitting in Barcelona airport with my colleague, waiting for my return flight (to Stansted this time), I was describing the wonderful queuing system I’d experienced with Southwest Airlines a few years ago.  We were assigned a boarding letter / number based on check-in sequence.  A line of posts at the departure gate reflected the letters and numbers and passengers calmly lined up in their pre-assigned sequence when it was time to board the plane.  No mad scrum.

What was our surprise this time, when we made our way to the departure gate 20 minutes before final boarding time, to find the a complete absence of people and queues.  We showed our boarding passes and were ushered onto an almost empty bus, whilst I carefully avoided twisting my ankle on the curbs (this time?) clearly marked with yellow tape.

There was no pushing or shoving on the plane as several passengers were already seated, and we found 2 adjacent seats and space to store our hand-luggage.  More passengers gradually arrived, and the plane left, and arrived early.  The general mood on the plane seemed relaxed and happy.

A stewardess joked with me about both of us being short as she helped me reach the overhead luggage compartment to replace my laptop that I’d only remembered to switch off just as we were preparing for take-off.

Although a question remains about extra fuel costs for more shuttle trips between the airport and the plane, for us as passengers, this economy flight experience managed to score highly on all 3 points of the quality, time and cost triangle: true customer delight.

A case study of ‘single piece flow’ rather batching?

Whilst the Southwest Airlines approach is simple and presumably adds no additional cost to the airlines, it will still result in everyone boarding the plane at once: in one batch.  So there will still be the queuing on the plane whilst people find their seats and somewhere to store their luggage.

EasyJet’s approach in Barcelona last Wednesday matched the flow of people boarding the plane to their arrival at the departure gate.  Although we didn’t see what happened when the first people arrived at the gate, what I and my colleague experienced was very streamlined, very simple, apparently very efficient and a real delight.  Of course I’ll be expecting something similar now next time I catch one of their flights!  The Kano model  in action..


Elisabeth Goodman is the Owner and Principal Consultant at RiverRhee Consulting, a consultancy that helps business teams to enhance their effectiveness for greater productivity and improved team morale. Elisabeth has 25+ years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry where she has held line management and internal training and consultancy roles supporting Information Management and other business teams on a global basis.  Elisabeth is accredited in Change Management, in MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and in Lean Sigma and is a member of CILIP (Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals), and APM (Association for Project Management).

GSK ‘Working in Partnership’ Networking event – with One Nucleus

By Elisabeth Goodman(1)

As a member of One Nucleus, I had the opportunity to join about 200 delegates from a mixture of Biotech, CRO, Biopharm, Technology, IT, Government, Academic and Business Consulting organisations at an open evening at GlaxoSmithKline’s Stevenage site on Wednesday 8th June, 2011

After an opening address by One Nucleus’s CEO, Harriet Fear, we heard a series of presentations by Damien McDevitt on GSK’s Business Development teams, Nicki Thompson on the Alternative Discovery and Development Group (for virtual and externalized drug discovery), Declan Jones on the Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (Ceedd), Adrian Pritchard on Scinovo (for collaborative drug discovery and development). We also had some closing remards from Nicki Thompson, and a very brief introduction to Martino Picardo – CEO of Stevenage BioCatalyst.

The evening was rounded-off by up to 2 hours of networking amongst delegates, speakers, and other members of GSK who were present for the event.

As Damien McDevitt explained, with 70% of its current late stage pipeline being in-licensed, GSK’s ‘working in partnership’ model is about exploring opportunities for creative deal making with external partners.

Nicki Thompson spoke about how GSK has been moving from the Pharmaceutical model of centralized control and management, heavily reliant on internal resources, to a de-centralised ‘virtualisation’ of drug discovery (and development) relying more on external resources.

Declan Jones said that GSK are looking for companies with strong management teams, a leading position in a specific technology or therapeutic area based on first class science, and more!

Adrian Pritchard explained how Scinovo provides scientific consulting and advisory support from early discovery research, through non-clinical, and clinical development. They have hubs of experts in Hertfordshire, UK, on the East Coast of North America, and in Shanghai, acting as account executives, scientific consultants, and outsourcing managers working with global CRO / CMO suppliers. Access to Scinovo can be via the Alternative Discovery and Development Group (e.g. the Ceedd within it), through the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst group, or directly.

All in all, an excellent opportunity to hear an update on GSK’s approach to working in partnership with external organisations, and to meet and network with others looking to participate in such partnerships.


  1. Elisabeth Goodman is Owner and Principal Consultant at RiverRhee Consulting– a Business Consultancy that helps business teams to enhance team effectiveness for greater productivity and improved team morale. She is also Co-Founder and Principal Consultant at OI Pharma Partners helping the Pharmaceutical industry, academia and the public sector use Open Innovation to accelerate drug development and leverage the power of underutilised Intellectual Property.

NLP steps to success for individuals, teams and organisations

By Lucy Loh1

NeuroLinguistic Programming – being and becoming excellent

You may already have heard about NeuroLinguistic Programming or NLP.  What is it all about, and what can it mean for you?  We introduce NLP here as it is an incredibly powerful vehicle for self development and change.  NLP looks at and models excellence and results – how outstanding people or outstanding organisations achieve their brilliance.  And once we understand how those excellent results are achieved, then those same methods can be taught to others – a process known as modelling.

NLP was originally created by John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, a student of psychology, who modelled three extraordinarily effective therapists.  And using their understanding of how these three very successful individuals achieved their results, they built a very elegant model which can be used to enhance communication, assist personal change, accelerate learning, and (importantly!), increase enjoyment of life.

NLP comprises three elements

  • The Neuro part is about our nervous system : all the information we receive from the outside world comes in through one of our five neurological senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell).  We ‘make sense’ of the information and then act on it.  The Neuro of NLP also covers our mind and how we think, as well as our physiological reactions to ideas and events.
  • The Linguistic part is about how we use language, to order our thoughts, to talk to ourselves and to communicate with others.
  • The Programming part is about the sequence of our actions, the patterns we use to create our behaviours to achieve our outcomes.

Five NLP steps to success for individuals, teams and organisations

i.         Know your outcome.  When you can define the outcome you want in a positive way, then it becomes more achievable.

ii.         Have sensory acuity.  Be alert.  Have all your five senses open and aware, so that you notice what you are getting and what is happening around you.  Where are you placing your attention? How can you enlarge the ‘repertoire’ of what you notice, about yourself and about others?  Acuity helps you notice if whether what you are doing is getting you what you want.   In the words of Eden Phillpotts, ‘The universe is full of magical things waiting for our wits to get sharper’.

iii.         Have behavioural flexibility.  Be willing to change what you think and how you behave.  With enough rapport and enough behavioural flexibility, you can achieve your outcomes.

iv.         Operate from a physiology and psychology of success.  See the skills and capabilities of others, recognise and acknowledge your own.

v.         Take action!  Without action, there are no results … 

These apply equally to an individual, a team or a wider organisation.  Acuity for an individual in a conversation might involve carefully observing and listening to the other person.  Operating from a position of success for a team could be about the positive attitude and commitment to each other and to the outcome from all the team members.  Flexibility for an organisation could be monitoring progress towards the organisation’s goals, and re-planning when required.

Each individual is individual ….

Have you ever had the experience when you have spoken to someone, and discovered afterwards that you have each gone away with a different ideas and conclusions about that conversation?  Have you heard another person describe a meeting you were at, and found that it didn’t resemble your recollections at all?  The answer lies in how we receive, structure and give meaning to our own experience.

Each individual has preferences about how they acquire information – neurological senses.

We each have developed preferences of which neurological sense we use, to acquire information about the world.  If our strong preference is visual, our language will reveal that we think in pictures – “it looks right”.  If our strong preference is kinaesthetic, things will “feel right”.  If our strong preference is auditory, things will “sound right”.

Each individual has different ‘filters’, and has preferences about what information they gather and how it is represented and sorted.

As we receive information, it hits a set of filters.  These have been created from the experiences we have had, the beliefs we hold, what we value, what our attitudes are, the way we perceive language, and many other things.   We each also have different ways of dealing with information and ideas.  Some people have a preference to start with the ‘why’ or purpose of something (the ‘Big Picture’) and others prefer to begin with the detail (the ‘Little Chunk’).  Some people look for how new information is the same as things they already know, and others look for how it is different.  Some people motivate themselves by describing what they want, and others motivate themselves by describing what they don’t want.   So we have different preferences for the type of information we like to take in, and then we process and interpret it differently depending on a myriad factors and invisible thought processes.

Being an effective communicator

NLP has a number of central principles – its guiding philosophy.  They are not claimed to be true or universal.  Instead, they form a set of ethical principles, because you presuppose them to be true, and then act as though they are.  One of the presuppositions is particularly important here :

People respond to their experience, not to reality itself

So as we communicate with others, it’s important that we recognise their individuality, and each person involved in the communication will be creating different meaning from it.

Here’s another presupposition :

The meaning of the communication is not simply what you intend, but also the response you get

This means that you take responsibility to explain what you mean, and to pay attention to the effect your communication has on others – as they perceive it – and react to what you observe.  And as they communicate with you, acknowledge their good intentions.

NLP in personal and team development

NLP has so much to offer as a way to enhance individual understanding, and individual and team effectiveness.  It includes role modelling excellence, the study of subjective experience, a set of principles, a collection of presuppositions to act as ethical principles, a way of using language to influence ourselves and others.

Using the sensory preferences described earlier, NLP can be used to show people what to do, tell them how to do it, and enablethem to perform brilliantly


1. Lucy Loh is an ex-Associate with RiverRhee Consulting. She has 25 years’ experience in BioPharma, where she has held management roles in strategy development and all aspects of performance management, as well as extensive internal consulting. Lucy has expertise and experience in organisation development, benefits management and in designing and leading business change. She is a Master Practitioner of NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP), which enhances her work in change management and individual coaching.

2. RiverRhee Consulting enhances team effectiveness by helping established business teams to make the most of their time and expertise and so achieve greater productivity, quality and satisfaction in their work.  Our consultants are qualified in Lean and Six Sigma, Information Management, Project Management, Change Management, Myers Briggs (MBTI) and NeuroLinguistic Programming.

Elisabeth Goodman’s blog: 2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,500 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 16 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 35 posts. There were 3 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was January 27th with 46 views. The most popular post that day was Fake work – a real opportunity to enhance team effectiveness.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for elisabeth goodman, very powerful quotes, crowdsourcing tagging, elisabeth blog, and medical information survey dia.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Fake work – a real opportunity to enhance team effectiveness January 2010
1 comment


Employee engagement – some interesting data and perspectives for Lean and Six Sigma practitioners August 2010


Knowledge management and creativity / innovation – valuable adjuncts to project management. A case study May 2010


The problem with relying on intuition for process improvement and decision making. December 2009


Business Process Excellence in Pharma, Biotech and Medical Devices – April 2010 – Key Themes June 2010