Two BUSINESS BOOKS with almost 40 Case Studies about
Management Challenges with Change and Optimization

Mini-Books that Summarize MiningOpportunity Concepts

 A CHANGE MANAGEMENT BOOK about the People Side of Improvement

“BUILDING AN OPPORTUNITY CULTURE: Addressing The Barriers That Steal Profits and Prevent Sustainable Change“ (2008)

What one executive had to say about this book:

“Top executives have lost contact with day to day operations and corporate offices are out of touch with the underlying problems at their operations. Companies could increase financial stability if they were aware of the losses that these problems were generating. This book raises awareness about those losses and the underlying controllable issues that steal profits and process efficiency.”

Gordon Barker, CEO, In-Roc Development

This book gets personal with improvement by honestly examining every company’s challenge with sustaining change. Nearly 40 case studies about success and failure with improvement are combined with the author’s anecdotes and perspectives on behaviors and paradigms to raise awareness about cultures that sustain intentional change in large and small organizations. 

NOTE: There are TWO EDITIONS of this book… a Mining Edition and an Edition for all other Industries.


  • Welcome to the “People Side of Improvement”
  • The Link Between Improvement and Culture
  • Perception is 9/10 of Reality
  • Fear in the Workplace – A “Deal-Breaker” for Improving Processes and Changing Culture
  • Your Definition of Opportunity Determines What You Fix, Measure and Talk About
  • The Management System – An Overlooked Link to Opportunity
  • Execution: “…the act of following to the end”
  • The Role of the Individual
  • Other Elements of Success
  • Getting Personal with Failure and Opportunity
  • The “WOW Factors” of Awareness
  • Designing A New Beginning For Change

Why do so many improvement initiatives fail to deliver the expected benefits to the bottom line and the culture?

Why are companies replacing their existing improvement program with a new program every 2-3 years?
What was missing from the last implementation?
What can executives do to increase their credibility when recommending initiatives or promising results to shareholders?

The information and incites in this book will help answer these questions, recognize hidden improvement barriers and create a comfort zone for addressing the issues that prevent you from achieving your improvement goals. You will learn how to build an “Opportunity Culture” that works holistically to create value and sustain improvement across the company for years to come.

A Personal Note from the Author:

“I wrote this book to raise awareness about invisible pitfalls and organizational challenges in many workplaces and to honor those who have broken barriers to achieve unimaginable success. I am anxious to learn how this book helped you solve problems and remove barriers where you work. Please send me an email telling me how it changed the way you think and work. Thanks and all the best!”                                                                                                                 Kay Sever

TWO EDITIONS: Purchase Here

1) The EDITION FOR ALL INDUSTRIES addresses barriers to improvement that challenge people in all career paths in large and small companies. Includes an improvement supplement that provides additional insights into improvement, opportunity and culture. 296 pages. AVAILABLE ON-LINE NOW!



BUY NOW For shipments outside the USA, click here.

2) The
MINING EDITION discusses the same improvement barriers that occur in mines and downstream plants and includes an improvement supplement specific to the mining industry. 255 pages.


BUY NOW For shipments outside the USA, click here.

BOOK REVIEW – Jack Caldwell’s Blog “I Think Mining” on 09/25/08:

Kay Sever on mining and financial failure

Kay Sever’s new book Building an Opportunity Culture is about process improvement in mining. If you want to make your mine operate more efficiently, I recommend that you read the book. Or better still engage her to consult to you; get her to evaluate your mine’s processes; and get her to work with you to remove those bottlenecks to efficiency and profit. In the current times the money may be well spent and a necessary route to profit or even survival.

I have been reading the book in the echo of TV filled with reports of failed and failing companies. Much of what I read in her book helps explain some of the mess that the financial markets now seem to be in. Take for example, the chapter The Management System. This chapter helps us understand why the management system at many financial organizations was not sufficient to see the wreck a-coming.

She tells the story of her son, and I quote (and edit for brevity):

My son is very knowledgeable about performance cars (Viper, Lamborghinin, Porche, Ferrari, etc.) and their stats (horsepower, torque, zero to 60, turbo power, psi, paddle-shift transmissions, tire size, brake type, etc.) He drives an “Evo8,” a Mitsubishi performance car that requires his full attention. His car displays real-time engine and turbo stats. He can hook his laptop up to it and download the operating manual and historical data on component performance. It takes a skilled driver who is intimately familiar with the engine/drive train features unique to the Evo to safely maximize its performance.


An analogy can be drawn between my son and his car and management teams and their companies. Like my son, management teams need good information and the right skills to maximize the performance of their companies. They need to see data that reflects improvements over time and reveals new improvement opportunities. They need to know when they have exhausted the capacity of the current infrastructure and where capabilities could be hidden by poor work practices. They need to be able to manage improvements like they manage operations. How else can they optimize performance and sustain improvements year after year?

Here’s the link to the full text:

Truth Trust & Tons – Let’s Get Started


If companies are serious about optimizing performance and culture, they need to read this 60-page mini-book. It reveals the connection between the freedom to talk about problems and profit. It also reveals barriers in the management system and management team that prevent trust from forming, “trap” potential profit, and prevent real culture change. Hidden barriers to change are revealed for the very first time. These barriers steal profit, hurt culture and management credibility, and interfere with projects. They are NOT ADDRESSED by change initiatives but work behind the scenes sabotaging your efforts to improve. You will learn that most of the barriers to change reside in the management system, which has been ignored or overlooked for 100 years in process improvement work. It’s time to change that and this little black book starts the process!

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The Performance-Culture Connection – An Executive’s Perspective

The connection between performance and culture has eluded executives for decades. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, you make decisions based on EXPECTED outcomes. Your credibility is measured by the degree to which your projections become reality. YOU PROMISE that things will change, but WHAT IF the benefits you promise DON’T MATERIALIZE and you have to EXPLAIN THE SHORTFALLS to the board? Your CREDIBILITY SUFFERS and your career is at risk!

All of your experience has made you qualified for the job at hand. If change was not so hard, you would not have this problem and your job would be a lot easier. This 36 page mini-book contains insights into why change is hard and why the credibility of executives is at risk during the change process. “The Performance-Culture Connection” exposes the secret to accessing the profit potential that is “trapped” by culture and hidden barriers to change.

Text from the INTRODUCTION: You cannot drive fast on a road filled with downed trees, traffic cones and potholes. If you removed these barriers, you could go a lot faster, use less gas and save your brakes. The trip would be less expensive and take less time. You could even enjoy the scenery instead of watch for hazards at every turn.

Roadblocks make it hard to drive… barriers make it HARD TO CHANGE! You make promises about the benefits of change WITHOUT BEING AWARE of the barriers that can sabotage your efforts. Recognizing and removing the barriers that hold you back is a skill RARELY TAUGHT but DESPERATELY NEEDED by management teams everywhere. Learning about The Performance-Culture Connection is part of that training. Let’s get started!

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OPPORTUNITY: The only element with an infinite atomic number and weight. An odorless invisible element defined as a hidden or substandard set of circumstances in business that, when not acted upon, creates invisible losses that reduce profit. These losses can be eliminated by management when linked to beliefs, behaviors and numbers that drive the corporate culture, yielding a desirable green substance found in financial institutions.