We don't have to change. Survival is not mandatory. -- W. Edwards Deming

For more than 25 years, The Cumberland Group has been transforming organizations via effective performance improvement. By focusing on the key ingredients that are missing from most performance improvement initiatives, TCG consultants set in motion a sustainable process for creating significant progress in key business-performance and operating metrics and becoming an elite performer.


The basic improvement tools (Lean, Six Sigma, etc.) are very good ... but they are not sufficient to change your competitive position.  Our experience has shown:

  • Eliminating waste ≠ Creating more value
  • Most people are not highly engaged in their work
  • Performance metrics can do almost as much harm as good if not developed carefully and adjusted as the business changes
  • If leaders fully understood business performance improvement, they would lead in a radically different way

Two major developments came from that experience:

  • Business Process Model — This puts customers, products, services, processes, and support systems in context, so improvement happens in the right sequence. Typical responses are “Now we know why this didn’t work before.”
  • Improvement Maturity (IM) Model — Weak or missing ingredients typically doom continuous improvement initiatives to mediocre results.  Your organization gets better, but your competitive position does not change. If you wish to move to an elite level of improvement effectiveness, you must do something different than your (and competitors’) past practices.


People-based differentiators (vs. technologies) are difficult for competitors to copy. That truism is embedded in everything we do. Client reactions are usually “Wow, this cut our project time in half with better results!”


The Cumberland Group was founded in 1981 as an internal service group within Armco Steel (now AK Steel) that needed to improve its business performance fast enough to survive an economic recession and retain its industry leader status. That success drew TCG into consulting with Armco’s customers (Pratt & Whitney, Carrier, Otis Elevator, and others). Since then, we have assisted clients in wide-ranging industries with every popular acronym initiative (Lean, Six Sigma, TOC, QFD, ERP, et al). We know how to get best value from them for specific business needs.