Hell’s Trainer

He has no website. No newsletter. No facebook page or twitter handle. You can’t just drop in on one of his classes to see what’s up. If you somehow manage to track him down, he only communicates by phone.

He’s 6 feet tall, 200 pounds with less than 7% body fat. His abs have abs. In photographs, he wears a mask, making him look like a modern-day ninja warrior.

Meet Frank Matrisciano. Hell’s Trainer.

By all accounts he’s the best in the world at what he does. And what he does is an extremely intense brand of strength and cardio conditioning that push the limits of human strength, power and endurance – and inspire superhuman results and change.

Hell’s Trainer is also counter-conventional. His methods and approach are unique and ultra-effective. He doesn’t keep track or measure anything for his clients. Doesn’t know how high they jump, how fast they run or how much they can lift. He has no idea how much they weigh or what their body-fat percentages are.  He doesn’t care.

His goal is more lofty and, significantly, more important. He will change your mind. Your mental model regarding health. He will make you silence the demons inside you that say you cannot do this or that and help you forever change your thinking.

His approach focuses not only on grinding you into submission physically, but coaching, proding and giving you real life-and-death scenarios that force you to change your mindset.  And, changing your mindset is the only way to sustain success.

Our philosophy is eerily similar to Frank’s – albeit with respect to supply chain planning processes.

Years ago, in our very first design and implementation of retail supply chain planning processes, most people thought we were nuts.  We didn’t really care about forecast accuracy. Or inventory turns. Or any other conventional measures of supply chain performance.

We were concerned with changing the minds of people, specifically the planners and the merchants.  Converting them from firefighters to planners. Getting their hands off the crack-of-ordering wheel and firmly on the planning wheel. What emerged was a deep understanding of the following:

  1. Most projects can get short-term results by just implementing new supply chain planning approaches/technologies
  2. Only projects that focus on changing the collective mindset of people can sustain and improve on these results

What we developed was a series of timeless, supply chain planning principles that we instill in every team with work with. Principles that shape the design and guide our thinking. Principles that will stand the test of time.

It takes time and effort to instill these in people but it’s the only way to ensure long term success.

Think about Frank’s situation and personal training.  Did you know that something like 90% of people that hire personal trainers, buy workout DVDs, subscribe to online training programs, etc, don’t sustain any results they achieve? It’s because the training is focused on the wrong spot – the body, not the mind.

Lots of folks can implement new planning systems and get short term results, only a few can actually help people change their worldview. Why is that? Because most of the learning and training is on mechanics (how to press the “right buttons”) – not on understanding (instilling the knowledge of why). It’s the difference between training and education.

So, how does it happen? By co-designing new processes with people, ingraining and instilling the principles along the way. By listening to people on the team as they talk their way to the new solution.  Are they adhering to these principles? Is the principles core to their thinking? If so, you know their minds are changing or have changed.

And you also know that the results will stick. If not, more education and coaching…just like Frank – presenting scenarios and situations that force people to think differently.

The real measure of success would be to re-visit planning projects a number of years later and see how people think.  Do people still adhere to the principles? Do they understand the process and the principles that guide it? If so, then results will have been achieved and sustained.

Most supply chain planning implementations would fail horribly judged this way. Most have focused on the body, not the mind.

Fundamentally changing planning processes and the way people work and think is tough.  It requires patience, hand-holding, education, coaching, and, above all… One hell of a trainer!

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