What Mistakes Are: Barriers or Opportunities?

Although many of the discoveries that led to progress are due to errors or were made by mistake, we still consider mistakes or problems as obstacles. Let's analyze two common ways to approach 'Mistake' (error) of a process or in our daily life: First (and most common) approach: A. Is 'mistake' a problem for which…

Although many of the discoveries that led to progress are due to errors or were made by mistake, we still consider mistakes or problems as obstacles.

Let's analyze two common ways to approach 'Mistake' (error) of a process or in our daily life:

First (and most common) approach:

A. Is 'mistake' a problem for which we have to find the guilty person and punish him / her?

What is the benefit of this approach? Find and punish the guilty, but because the root cause of mistake remains, the same mistake can be repeated by someone else!

How many times have you heard expressions like “Things go wrong so that those in the lower hierarchy (whatever name) are not good and make mistakes?”

What follows this statement? NOTHING.

Things continue in the same way, with the same abilities to make mistakes or, worse, with new ways to hide the mistakes.

The second approach is:

B. Is the 'Mistake' an opportunity to improve the system where we live or work?

I believe that this approach opens many opportunities for improvement. Approaching a mistake in “Today I had this problem. What can we do to not let it happen again?” create a system of continuous improvement and also avoid further losses due to that mistake.

But, this second approach requires work, commitment, respect for people and desire to improve the working system (which is never perfect, by the way!). Actions that should be made to answer “What can we do to not let it happen again?” is recommended to follow this structure:

a) Analysis of the causes of the problem. After this analysis the root cause of the problem should be identified. For this analysis the recommended methods are 5 WHY (personally prefer this method) or Ishikawa diagram (fish bone);

b) Identify actions to eliminate root cause – identified at point a);

c) Implement the measures to eliminate the root cause;

d) Verify the results of the identified and implemented measures. If you will not have the required results, start again the cycle abcd (maybe the root cause was not correct identified or the countermeasures were not the right ones).

This is an approach that opens a self-perfect system, where the signal for improvement is dropped from the open issues. At the same time, this way to treat problems increase flexibility of work (by simply recognizing that what is good today, can be changed to be better tomorrow) and the degree of innovation of the organization.

Addressing to the 'mistakes' (problems) in this way, they are sources of ideas and endless opportunities for improvement.

The 8 Vectors of Organizational Change

When I was back in college and thought I was smart enough to become an engineer, I remember learning all about vectors in physics class. A vector is an arrow that represents direction and force. As I work with organizations to help them manage change, the same concept comes into play. When a business is…

When I was back in college and thought I was smart enough to become an engineer, I remember learning all about vectors in physics class. A vector is an arrow that represents direction and force. As I work with organizations to help them manage change, the same concept comes into play. When a business is trying to become something different, better or more effective, the leaders in the business must manage all of the different forces that are affecting the change to ensure that they are all exerting pressure in the same direction. In most cases, organizations concentrate on one or two vectors and the remaining vectors are actually pushing back against the change they are trying to initiate.

There are countless ways to think about organizational change but in my experience there are 8 different vectors that can push for, or against the changes that are being made in any business. Certainly the size and complexity of the business can increase the challenges but even in small businesses the vectors are all present.

Clarity

In order to successfully execute change it is critical to know the goal of the change, not just at a high level, but with details that help everyone in the business understand how it affects them, their job responsibilities and their own behavior change. People do not resist change. They resist change they do not understand or they do not agree with. The first step in that process is to clearly define the change so that people will know how to think, act, and prioritize in the new state.

Communication

Often, businesses create a series of memos, documents, and communication vehicles that tell the employees about the change. What they sometimes fail to do is help each department or function work through the process of what that communication means for them as a team. People do not gain the level of understanding they need to act differently from communication directed at them, they only get there through a series of iterative conversations that are had with them.

Culture

Every change in an organization Touches the very culture of the business. Culture might best be defined as the set of organizational habits that currently exist, and habits are hard to change. People will need to think differently, interact differently, learn new skills, create new processes and become less comfortable, at least initially, for change to be successful. That means significant thought needs to be given to how the culture must shift to execute the new strategy or focus.

Leadership

If you want people to be different then leaders have to go first. One of the largest reasons organizational change failures is that leaders want others to change, but the leaders themselves continue to operate the same way. This sends a series of conflicting messages to the organization that essentially tells employees change is not important and they have claimed permission to keep doing things the old way. Leaders have to define and execute their own set of new leader behaviors if they want to have a catalyst for change and growth in the business.

Coaching

Ultimately, organizational change comes down to individual change. No business becomes different if its people do not think and act differently. The greatest lever any organization has to change individual behavior is effective coaching. Businesses with great coaches adapt more quickly, build skills and capabilities faster, improve performance more consistently and achieve greater results. If you are trying to drive organizational change, without effective coaching both outside of the business as well as internally, you are working way too hard and your chances of success are dramatically eliminated.

Structure

As organizations grow, structure must grow with it. Silos and functional turf wars can develop and changing the structure is part of the way businesses break down these walls and facilitating innovation, communication and collaboration. Businesses should decide on how the organization should be built to maximizeize success and minimize internal chaos, and use that blueprint to support the changes they are making.

Process

Often organizations profess that they want to operate differently, but leave processes in place that actually inhibit who they say they want to become. We can say that we want to put customer service above internal policies but if we have processes that mean a lot of work to more effectively serve the customer, our employees may choose the path of least resistance and forego the better service because it requires more effort . There are countless examples of an organization being its own greatest enemy when it comes to what they want versus how they are organized from a process standpoint.

Talent

There has to be a strong link between who you want to become as an organization and who you hire to help you get there. Do you want risk takers, risk avoiders, complex thinkers or intuitive adapters? You may need all of these types of people depending on the function they work in. In that case it's critical to recruit leaders who can fully engage a diverse employee population and move them forward. Too often, businesses try to lead change without giving enough thought to what the talent needs to look like in the future and they keep recruiting using yesterdays philosophy, while they try to build tomorrows company.

Change is not easy in any organization. By definition, a business is built, trained and organized to act exactly like it does in its current state. But if you plan for change keeping these 8 vectors in mind and get them all exerting force in the same direction, you can make it happen faster and easier than if you are fighting against the very organization you are trying to change.

How Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence Will Make You More Effective in Business

More and more the world of coaching witnesses how frequently a lack of Emotional Intelligence (EI) defines the difference between a merely good businessperson and a successful one. What we mean by 'successful' in this case is one who is confident, strong, emphatic, effective, productive, inspiring and efficient at managing time and stress levels. Such…

More and more the world of coaching witnesses how frequently a lack of Emotional Intelligence (EI) defines the difference between a merely good businessperson and a successful one. What we mean by 'successful' in this case is one who is confident, strong, emphatic, effective, productive, inspiring and efficient at managing time and stress levels. Such a person will feel and act as though they are truly comfortable at work.

Today the concept of EI is having quite an impact on the business and corporate world. It is now accepted that a well-developed EI allows a manager or team member to restrain less productive feelings and focus on their goals with more positive feelings. Such a person will be a self-confident, open communicator who inspires other people; anger, self-doubt and stress will not be in evidence.

Emotional Intelligence is defined as having the ability to recognize and understand emotions and their impact on behavior and attitudes, especially in others. Those who have a high degree of Emotional Intelligence are able to understand their own feelings and thus tune into how others are feeling with the result that they can act on their perceptions in a truly productive manner.

Having Emotional Intelligence includes possessing a level of awareness in the areas of: Self-Management, Self-Esteem, Motivational Skills, Empathy, Interaction Skills, Self-Confidence, Optimism, Relationship Management, Stress Management, Time Management and Emotional Self-Awareness.

An individual's EI affects almost everything they do. For example, if you work in a systematic setting, the quality of your work is determined by your self-esteem and self-confidence; both help in keeping you motivated, and inspired.

For those in the corporate world in search of leadership and change, various studies show that CEO's make many of their decisions intuitively, mainly because in this fast moving world there is not enough time to wait for all the facts. Thus a leaders' best thinking and decision making is grounded as much in their EI as their IQ. There is significant evidence that the skills a person with a high EI rings to bear has a significant impact on organizational performance.

The good news is that whilst the IQ is reliably fixed, Emotional Intelligence can be developed. For this reason more and more companies are hiring Psychologists and Life Coaches to improve the standard of their management by increasing the EI of their managers.An organization that fails to recognize the need for Emotional Intelligence in its culture does so at its peril.

“Some people just get along with others, respond carefully even in the face of challenge, and certainly connect with people. skills called Emotional Intelligence, or EI. ”

'The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence', Joshua Freedman & Todd Everett

Resistance to Change and How Successful People Deal With It

Business executives usually come up with a wayward and unmanageable problem of resisting change. A resistance like this can illustrate itself in many forms. For example: a persistent decline in productivity, chronic ongoing quarrels and arguments, some hospitality and intermittent requests from employees relating transfer. These are only scraping the top of the barrel. While…

Business executives usually come up with a wayward and unmanageable problem of resisting change. A resistance like this can illustrate itself in many forms. For example: a persistent decline in productivity, chronic ongoing quarrels and arguments, some hospitality and intermittent requests from employees relating transfer. These are only scraping the top of the barrel.

While this is a psychological problem that occurs almost daily; successful people have created an ideology of their own which they apply historically and are strictly ever before to failure. Let us review some of the ways in which changing change can be easily managed.

First, it must be known that if you are bringing a change you must make an analysis diagram. This diagram puts those who want the change on the right and those who do not want (or will will resist) the change on the left. Subsequently, you will come to know what the relative strength is that you need and which areas require the most focus.

Once you come to know the forces against the change, it is a healthy idea to soften them and to devote your time and energy in order to abate the force that you are expecting to confront as resistance. The people who you have marked as those who are willing to change are essential elements to weaker down the forces against change by counseling them and telling them the benefits that they can get by this change.

The fiercest resistors are those who should be confronted face to face by the central executive member. He / she should tell them the benefits that are awaiting them with the help of this change and show what personal gains they can get from it; for example salary bonus, recognition, or a nice status.

On the other hand, they should also be told what the disadvantages may be, which will be faced by them if this change is not brought into accomplishment. Give them certain examples such as financial losses or delay in gaining a good status.

Never overwhelm your decision on the resisters. Give them time and room to decide what is best for them. While managers often resist this idea, it is still healthy to construct a team of researchers and give them time to review the decision and give their own verdict on it. Typically, this idea works the best after you have individually consulted with every particular resister.

It must also be said that change should never be brought into play individually. It requires the ideas of everyone in the firm. Conduct broad and wide scale meetings where resistors and acceptors of change should sit together. A consensus should be reached by the entire team, and if you are the boss, keep your heart open for a neutral decision to be put forward by them. Finally, with the change program, make your employees view the horizon of the promised benefits of that particular change. Co-operate with them and they will certainly smile to acknowledge the change with open hearts. Honesty is best in the change process and when to management and executives get involved in managing this change and communicating this change to the employees, the resistance to change will be a lot smaller.

What’s Your Vision of Your Personal Goals in Life

All children have visions at one time of another Of how they see their future as an adult. it is only as children mature into adults that they lose their ability to be creative. This is because as you become an adult you conform to society and the role society assigns to you. This does…

All children have visions at one time of another Of how they see their future as an adult. it is only as children mature into adults that they lose their ability to be creative. This is because as you become an adult you conform to society and the role society assigns to you.

This does not mean that you can not learn to become creative again and have a vision of yourself in a future that you really want. You just need to learn how to think like a child does– that the world is at your feet and open with new adventures.

Life changes us based on the experiences we have growing up. Some people become more guarded, while others become more open and responsive to new experiences. Which category do you fall into. If you are concerned can you learn how to become a more open?

For someone who has experienced success in business, it is easy for them to believe that they will have success in the future in their own business. For someone who is struggling to grow a business, they fear failure and the future and find it difficult to think outside of the box especially in this new economy.

It's just a matter of learning a new skill sets, and hiring a coach or mentor to help you strategize and plan a business, and then hold you accountable to implement the plan to build a successful business. The vision comes when you start visualize yourself implementing and building a successful business.

The first step is to reassess your lifestyle and determine what it is that makes you happy– being financially secure, living in a big home, or the ability to travel and see places you have not been to before and only dreamed about all watched in movies. Once you have accomplished this vision of what you want in life, then write down a plan of what you should do to make this vision a reality.

If your vision for yourself is financial security, then look at what profession you can do that will give you the financial security you desire. Here is a question to ask yourself which will give you an idea of ​​where your passions lie.

If you had all the money in the world and free time, what would you do?

Would you live in a different house?

Would you drive a different car?

Would you give more to charity?

Would you spend more time with friends and family?

If you can not get that with what you're doing now, you have to change gears and look at another opportunity.

Every business has a system that works with in the model of that business. Whatever you have a passion for, there is always an opportunity to build it into a successful business if you understand the system that works of that profession. Whenever you were working in a profession doing something that you really love to do then it is not work. This is why actors are some of the highest paid professionals. Everyone likes to act, but not everyone can be successful or photogenic in front of a camera.

What are your unique qualities that you can utilize and build a business around? Once you understand where your skills lie, then when you are working at something that you truly love to do, then you too can become successful. Then when someone asked you about your business the excitement was show up in your voice and you will be able to sell yourself and build your clientele for your business. Once you have begun to experience success, then you will feel as though you were not working at all because you were doing something that you really enjoy doing.

Many of people work 80 hours or more to have the income they desire while working for someone else.

What if you could be doing something you really enjoy doing and spend half of that time on the job and earn the same income?

Would that make you happy?

Sponsoring Effective Change

Are business leaders providing the compelling reasons for the change with sufficient emphasis on the risks of not changing? Building awareness of the need for change requires the following components to be addressed: What is the nature of the change and how does the change align with the vision for the organization? Why is the…

Are business leaders providing the compelling reasons for the change with sufficient emphasis on the risks of not changing?

Building awareness of the need for change requires the following components to be addressed:

What is the nature of the change and how does the change align with the vision for the organization?

  • Why is the change being made?
  • What are the risks of not changing?
  • An impact analysis of the change
  • What is in it for me?

Emotionally intelligent leaders have a knock of establishing and maintaining reliable, mutually satisfying relationship, characterized by positive expectations. The importance of reliable relationships can not be overstated because staff and stakeholder awareness of change depends on multiple factors such as:

  • Their view of the current state
  • How they perceive the problem
  • The credibility of the leader
  • Access to misinformation or rumors
  • Contestability of the reasons for change

There is a difference between awareness and desire. It is often asserted by business leaders that by building awareness of the need for change, in so doing they have also created desire for the change, and as a result, there is surprise that there is resistance to change. Emotionally intelligent leaders have the capacity to understand other people's feelings and thoughts. They listen well and take account of the perception of others.

Energy goes where attention is given so by giving attention to four factors that contribute to an individual or staff desire to change. The four factors are:

  • The nature of the change (what the change is and the impact it will have
  • The economic, political, social, technological and environmental context of the change
  • The staff personnel situation – mobility, financial security, career aspiration, personal events and past successes within the organization
  • What motivates staff – what drives each of us to change is unique and falls along a broad spectrum of motivators. Personal motivation includes what we value and our internal belief of what we can or can not achieve

When the awareness of the need for change is broadly achieved and the desire to participate and support the change is established, knowledge is the next building block for realizing the change. Knowledge includes:

  • Training and education on the skills and behaviors needed to change
  • Understanding of new roles and responsibilities associated with the change
  • Detailed information on how to use new processes, system and technologies
  • Addressing the blocks to change

Several factors can affect staff ability to implement change, including:

  • Psychological blocks
  • Physical limits
  • Intellectual capacity
  • The time available to develop new skills
  • Inadequate personal development
  • The availability of resources to support the development of new capacities – often this element is overlooked. The process of developing new skills and abilities is enhanced by the presence of support structure for staff.

Transformational change occurs when there are links between the model of awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement underpinned by personal development and executive coaching to achieve the outcomes of change.

To Conclude:

Awareness represents a person's understanding of the nature of the change. Why the change is being made and the risk of not changing. Awareness also includes leaders being in tune with their Emotional Intelligence leadership competencies and the ability to enter into positive relationships with other people.

Desire represents the willingness to support and engage in a change. Desire is extremely about taking responsibility and it is about personal choice to support and participate in the change. Desire is strengthened by Personal review:

  • What is happening within my personal inner environment to facilitate the change
  • If I understand the need for change, am I willing to change?

Knowledge represents the information, training and education necessary to successfully achieve the outcomes of the change. Knowledge includes information about behaviors, systems and processes, tool to enable the change, clarity of job roles and responsibilities. Knowledge of personal insights regarding:

  • Feelings about the change to change
  • Personal styles, team role and partnership skills?
  • Personal preferences – How am I linking with others?
  • Knowledge of personal roles and and responsibilities including personal mindset of how one will show up in the role

Ability represents the realization or execution of the change. Ability is taking action, turning knowledge into action that secures successful outcomes. Ability is achieved when capabilites are employed to implement the change at the required performance levels. Ability draws on required skills and coaching behaviors to achieve performance outcomes

Reinforcement to sustain the change reviewing what constitutes success including personal and professional appraisal, personal resilience, change mastery and staying power. Reinforcement represent those internal and external factors that sustain a change.

Accountability for continued performance is one of the strongest forms of reinforcement

Change is reinforced when recognition and rewards are meaningful to staff. Many project teams overlook the potential of celebrating small successes. When changes are new and when the difficulties of changing are at the greatest height, opportunities present themselves for celebration. If peer pressure is opposed the change, the resulting negative consequences becomes a barrier to change.

Organizational Change – Seeking Out Change In Business

As I sit here and watch the Republican Debate, I am thinking about the much-needed change in Government. What we have been doing in Government has not been working, and it seems that we are getting ourselves even deeper in debt. Change is needed. You may be able to apply this same thought process to…

As I sit here and watch the Republican Debate, I am thinking about the much-needed change in Government. What we have been doing in Government has not been working, and it seems that we are getting ourselves even deeper in debt. Change is needed.

You may be able to apply this same thought process to your business. So many times businesses spend unbelievable amounts of resources on process that just do not work. They are so blinded by their personal opinions and thoughts; they believe that anything can get better just by throwing money at it. This is obviously not the case. Change is needed.

Sales people invest a lot of time in themselves, and in their processes. Many times they are sitting back trying to figure out why what they are doing is not working. They continue trying to perfect their same processes over and over again rather than changing things up completely. They too are so blinded by their pride that they blame the economy, or the people they are selling to. Change is needed.

The biggest problem in these cases is the blindness of those looking at the issues. Government, businesses, and salespeople are always looking at things from a foot away. Rarely do they take a step back and seek out the opinions of those that are on the outside. They resist change, and refuse to admit that what they are doing will not work. Change is needed.

Every company I have worked for I have shook things up as soon as I walked in the door. In doing this you can make friends very quickly, and you can make enemies just as fast. So many people spend so much effort resisting change rather than entertaining it. This mindset needs to change. I on the other hand, seek out change. I look for ways to change things up weekly until I find something that works. Even after I find something that works, I change parts of it up to perfect it. Change is in my daily vocabulary.

My company decided to hire on a private outside consultant to help us in initiating even more change. He is helping me in changing more marketing materials, changing our processes, and even changing myself. He is our change agent. This is something that I would definitely recommend for those companies that are not performing to the level they would like. I would also recommend this for companies that have employee's consistently resisting change.

Change is a dirty word in many places, and we need to change that mentality. Offer incentives for those inviting change and coming up with great ideas. Create focus groups or change committees to find ways to change. Always be looking for ways to change what you are doing. These ideas may not all be good ideas, but if you are always looking for change, you will always find that phenomenal idea that takes your business to the next level!

Before I close this out I want you to think about where we would be today if everyone avoided change. Would we have the efficient production lines that we do today if Henry Ford would have resisted change? Would we have any of the luxury products like computers and smartphones if everyone resisted change? If everyone were to avoid change we would not be where we are today. It's bad enough that we are already years behind the technology of Japan, let's not continue down that same road. Seek out change, and always look for ways to continue improve your products, your business, and most of all yourself!

Change is needed!

How to Keep a Sustainable Competitive Advantage For Your Business

What is your competitive advantage? If you do not already know the answer to this, then stop reading and check out my other articles, as this is not the place to start developing your advantage. This article is showing you how to keep and sustain your competitive advantage in the turbo boosted business world of…

What is your competitive advantage?

If you do not already know the answer to this, then stop reading and check out my other articles, as this is not the place to start developing your advantage.

This article is showing you how to keep and sustain your competitive advantage in the turbo boosted business world of today.

Employ a Business Strategist

Similar to a strategic management position, but very specialized field as this person will need to know how to establish strategies focused on what the customers will want from your industry in the 10 year period. They will be required to perform these types of duties.

1. Monitor and analyze your competitors, all the time

They will constantly review all your competitors, direct and indirect to watch for any projected shifts in market position. Skills in Competitor Intelligence will be required and combined with indepth industry knowledge of your products to be able to forecast what the competitors changes will mean for your competitive advantage.

2. Stay current on all technology advances

Improvements in technology will have the most disruptive ability to remove any business competitive advantage so your strategist needs to be able to research and understand what all the forecasted technology changes will mean to your business.

3. Survey and listen to all your customers

Excellent nonverbal and consumer behavior skills will be required to recognize and understand what the minority shifts in consumer behavior will affect your competitive advantage in the immediate and short-term future.

Imagine if you will, that you will need to have a skilled employee watching a crystal ball every minute of the day looking for the small signs that warn your business that you are about to lose your competitive advantage.

4. Conduct a indepth analysis of the components of your advantage

They will be able to deconstruct your competitive advantage to analyze all the required components. This will enable them to develop strategies to sustain each of these components into the next 10 years of your business life.

For example, if qualifications are why your business holds the advantage, they will look ahead to see what the new qualification will be and how your business will obtain them first by establishing a professional training program each year.

If the speed of your production is why you hold advantage, they will research all the new technology, worldwide, that could improve the speed of production and set besides sufficient budget resources to make that purchase before the equipment is on the general market.

In military terms, they are the advance scouts seeking out your enemies weaknesses and makes sure they are always weaker than your organization by keeping it two steps ahead and free of obstacles seen in the future of your industry.

Diversity, A Noble Experiment Gone Out of Control

Sometime during the sixties and seventies the idea of ​​diversity began to take hold. The conventional wisdom was that our companies and institutions would be far more efficient and effective if they included people from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and everyone maintained their ethnic purity. It only made sense that planning,…

Sometime during the sixties and seventies the idea of ​​diversity began to take hold. The conventional wisdom was that our companies and institutions would be far more efficient and effective if they included people from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and everyone maintained their ethnic purity.

It only made sense that planning, organizing, goal setting and execution would have been enhanced by the diversity and richness of diverse thoughts, opinions, beliefs and experiences that would have been provided by various races and ethnic backgrounds. To that end “Diversity” was adopted as a mantra in college admissions, employment, political elections, board appointments etc.

The ideas of assimilation and the great melting pot, cave way to maintaining ethnic and racial identity in a cultural mosaic. Similarity and homogeneity were looked on as limiting creativity and innovation. Diversity was viewed as bringing a variety of beliefs, values ​​and mores together producing dynamic synergism and enhanced decision making.

How has it worked out so far? The United States Congress was historically made up almost exclusively of white male Protestants until the 1970's. Then diversity gradually took hold and grew to its present makeup of the House of Representatives that includes, 75 females, 42 African Americans, 27 Hispanics, 6 Asian Americans, 31 Jews, 3 open gays, 2 Buddhists and an Atheist.

It is hard to find evidence that this now diverse body has enhanced capabilities of planning, organizing goal setting and execution. In fact gridlock is more the norm. Conflict has reached unprepended levels and ideas are killed because of their source and not their value.

Employers have been plagued by lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits for a broad assortment of discrimination claims both real and imaginary. Special training programs are necessary to insure that employees know how to talk to each other in a legally safe way.

Instead of coming together and sharing their unique gifts and perspectives to solving common problems and creating new opportunities, each diverse group tends to form their own caucuses, coalitions, clubs, associations, etc. to pursue their own interests and stand their ground against all others.

Colleges and Universities have had similar experiences. Rather than diverse individuals coming together and adding to the richness of the education experience for all, self segregated groups formed for the purpose of presenting a united front against all who would oppose them.

While student and faculty populations became more diverse as to race, ethnicity, religion and gender, diversity of ideas suffered. Rather than providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas, which is the justification for faculty tenure, strict limits on correct speech are imposed on many campuses to prevent one group from offending another.

There is no doubt that the diversity movement is an effective means of combating minority discrimination in hiring, but it fails to live up to the romantic notification that group dynamics are improved when people of dissimilar beliefs, values, morals and goals coexist with all their differences intact.

Jonathan Haidt, Social Psychologist on the Faculty of the University of Virginia, in his recent book “The Righteous Mind” said that in order to increase the effectiveness of any organization it is necessary to “increase similarity not diversity.” To make a human hive, you want to make everyone feel like a family. So do not call attention to racial and ethnic differences; make them less relevant by ramping up similarity and celebrating the group's shared values ​​and common identity. people are warmer and more trusting towards people who look like them, dress like them, talk like them, or even share their first name or birthday. sea ​​of ​​similarities, shared goals and mutual interdependencies. ”

Now, more than ever, we need to pull together. Our unassimilated diversity has created a nation of multiple feuding factions. We are separated by things we do not even know how to define. We seem to care more about demeaning people who are not like us than we care about solving problems and making progress. We delight in finding ways to blame bad things on people on the other team and hold ourselves above it all.

We will all benefit by recognizing that we have more similarities than we do differences, that we want pretty much the same things out of life, that we have the capacity to achieve good things together because our valuable beliefs, values ​​and morals are shared among us . We can and must dispatch diversity as we know it, to the museum of unsuccessful social fads and beginning recognizing our similarities and build the life we ​​all want.

Shorten Your Business Lead Times and Win More Business, Just Don’t Drop the Baton!

One of the common searches on the Internet is for 'lead time reduction'. A staple in most business' list of goals and objectives, this focus can bring great rewards when achieved, most notably from winning more business from satisfied customers. The route people take to achieve lead time reduction, however, could often be much more…

One of the common searches on the Internet is for 'lead time reduction'. A staple in most business' list of goals and objectives, this focus can bring great rewards when achieved, most notably from winning more business from satisfied customers. The route people take to achieve lead time reduction, however, could often be much more straight forward, if only they would take time to ensure that their improvement activities focus on areas of their business that yield the largest benefits for the least amount of activity / effort.

A lot of attention is paid to the individual processes within a business, but the interactions between functions and departments can often yield far greater results. For a long time now the work that people have been involved with has been scrutinized and evaluated to the point that most businesses have individual processes that are fairly slick. Computer programs and better tools to do the job have allowed individuals to become far more productive than they have ever been before. As their productivity has increased so has the complexity of the work that has been won by the business. This newfound multiplication of variety and dependence on others to get the job done has extended the lead time of a business' processes.

In the title of this article I refer to 'dropping the baton', and a relay race is a great example of what I am talking about. When you have a team of fast sprinters, all with the objective of winning the gold medal as a team, it does not matter how fast they are individually if the team is unable to execute slick hand overs. I see the same situation arise in many businesses. They are technically excellent at what they do, processes have been clearly defined and they still do not perform when it counts. When you look at the overall picture it is the interfaces between the stages, between the departments, between the functions where the lead time is expanding. The baton has been dropped.

An example that is viable in my mind goes back to my Operations Management days. The lead time through our manufacturing plant was growing and getting towards twenty weeks. This was accepted within our industry as batch sizes of production were dropping and variety was increasing. What was actually increasing was the confusion within the businesses operating in that sector. If you mapped out the process it only really needed two and a half weeks from material release to shipping. By working with the teams and working one handover at a time we found better ways to share information and to work together. After three months our lead time for production had shortened to less than four weeks. Still some way to go at that point to our view of perfection, but the major reduction in lead time was from simplifying how work was passed from one part of the business to another.

If you are looking to reduce the lead times for products and projects through your business then consider looking at the hand overs that take place within it. You can spend a great deal of time working on complicated process maps and team events, but if you are short of time and need to do something to quickly improve how your business works then remember the relay race and find ways to avoid dropping the baton.

Capacity and Success Are Not One and the Same

Business people all too often became comfortable in the wrong way and for the wrong reason. How and why is that? Well since this week's edition focuses on small-scale assisted living we will restrict our dialogue to this business model. Let's just imagine you are operating an eight, (8) bed program. Finally you have reached…

Business people all too often became comfortable in the wrong way and for the wrong reason. How and why is that?

Well since this week's edition focuses on small-scale assisted living we will restrict our dialogue to this business model. Let's just imagine you are operating an eight, (8) bed program. Finally you have reached capacity, every bed is full.

Of course we know we are dealing with humans so there is really no constant. Some residents die, others require a higher level of care or move simply due to a change in personal or family preference. It happens every day, all day long.

Similarly with the automobile and those who sell them. Sure its nice Chrysler, LLC has sold more vehicles laTely than even itself expected but do not think for a moment they are comfortable with where they are.

The same has to be true of the small businessperson in assisted living program which brings occupant capacity. Considering so many variables could affect your capacity at any given time, your first and more important expense has to be the ongoing marketing campaign to keep those referrals coming.

So if your assisted living program serves seniors who can not live alone, here are a few questions worth of consideration:

1. Do you know how many seniors live in the 5 to 10 zip codes surrounding your assisted living program?

2. How many of these households have you reached out to?

3. Do you know how to find this data so you can reach out and develop a waiting list of people to use your program?

4. Have you investigated all applicable waivers to the Medicaid program in your state and made contact with the waiver agent to discuss contracting with them?

5. Have you obtained a list of skilled nursing centers and introduced your program so you can be consulted when a patient needs to be transitioned back to the community?

Some may quickly answer no and be sitting back relaxing until 2 residents are discharged in a matter of days and income takes a significant dip. Our advice is for you to be a forward thinker, a futuristic entrepreneur with discernment who will not allow yourself to be financially victimized by issues you could have easily been prepared to face.

A system can be developed that lets you track to whom you reach out to, how often, the results of the contact and more.

Real success is measured by how often and how profitably the ship can sail, not its being full one time around. Are you ready to be truly successful? Keep marketing a priority.

Thanks for allowing us to share.

Future of Leadership

According to Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker's management principles accurately apply to the leaders who have evolved and are at the top of human development. These leaders have met all of their requirements in life and their needs are fulfilled. The strategies purported by Peter Drucker neatly fit the lifestyle of the prototypical leader. Applying Peter…

According to Abraham Maslow, Peter Drucker's management principles accurately apply to the leaders who have evolved and are at the top of human development. These leaders have met all of their requirements in life and their needs are fulfilled. The strategies purported by Peter Drucker neatly fit the lifestyle of the prototypical leader.

Applying Peter Drucker's principles to leadership is an effective way to operate with efficiency and success. However, these tactics are only effective for a small minority of leaders.

Today, leadership is not based on old-school principles of preformatted industry soldiers with similar executive knowhow who replace each other with symmetry. Rather, the leadership role has embroidered different styles and types of individuals that compliment the change in society at large. Tomorrow's leadership will continue to diversify and change in lockstep with the ever adapting economy. The knowledge economy has shifted responsibilities of leadership to a new breed of self-starters and entrepreneurs who do not possess the skills required from a leader who fits into Peter Drucker's leadership principles.

Employees are more informed, consumers are more informed, the media keeps leaders honest, and the distance between yesterday and today is vast. Differentiated leaders will be the norm, and differentiation will be the requirement for continued economic success. The leadership dynamics have changed in some places, and will change in most places in the near future.

Leadership is not an isolated position as it once was, but rather, an all-inclusive “lead from the center” task that requires more interpersonal sophistication and greater self-awareness than ever before.

The landscape of leadership is not a “one size fits all” equation and all the gimmicks such as the top five qualities list will not suffice for enhanced effective leadership. Rather, leadership is simpler than it may appear. Leadership is at times scripted because people are still sensitive, but the old playbook has evolved into a more advanced scheme.

The power distance has deteriorated which has exposed the leadership position to increased scrutiny. The general gap once highly guarded at the leadership position has been removed and the unassuming are taking the leadership reins. These young guns are not the prototypical leader of the past. They have to fill the leadership role with effectiveness in order for success because the leadership position is a critical component to the operations of the business.

The youngger leader has to meet the leadership demand with attentiveness and ingenuity that requires a set of prior needs to be met that comes with experience. The time has not been amassed to produce the life satisfaction needed to bring desirable competency to the leadership position. Regardless, the leadership task needs to be met and alternative methods need to be addressed to compensate for the lack of life experience. These are weaknesses that need to be developed into competency and designed strengths and need to be maximized and leveraged to achieve leadership success.

Implementing techniques to facilitate the learning sequence using a shortcut method is the ideal approach for today's young leader. A bold prediction follows: The leaders of today will surpass the leaders of yesterday because there are more weapons available for development, there is more openness for accepting failure, and the leadership role has expanded to include those from any race, creed, or color. The talent that is allowed to develop today is far and wide. The internal competition will fuel results and the inclusion will empower the once excluded into our super leaders of the future.

It It Ain’t Broke: Getting a Sense of Urgency for Change

You may be familiar with the idea of Establishing a Sense of Urgency when managing change – this is from John Kotter's 8-Step Model for change. It's the idea of ​​getting people to feel the need for change; creating a 'burning platform' 'because it's only when people are convinced that change needs to happen, and…

You may be familiar with the idea of Establishing a Sense of Urgency when managing change – this is from John Kotter's 8-Step Model for change. It's the idea of ​​getting people to feel the need for change; creating a 'burning platform' 'because it's only when people are convinced that change needs to happen, and soon soon, that things will start to move. I wholeheartedly agree with this, but how do you go about doing it?

Leaders at the top levels of an organization have a strategic view and understand the business drivers behind change, but are so often reluctant to share this information with everyone else. They feel it's their job to deal with issues and protect the organization from them. Recently we heard Sir Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, saying “we could have done more, we should have shouted from the roof tops” to make people aware of the crisis looming in the banking sector. That certainly would have helped create a greater sense of urgency sooner.

To build momentum for change, I believe people need to understand the reasons behind change; the WHY has to be clear, so they can buy into it. This helps them really “feel it in their gut” as well as understand it intellectually. Just think about this for a moment on a personal level. If you have ever thought about getting fitter, losing weight, changing jobs – I bet what spurred you on to make it happen was not just that it seemed like a good idea at the time or because somebody told you to. You would have needed a strong enough reason to tip you over the edge and actually start making it happen. Perhaps it's because you had your wedding coming up and wanted to lose weight for that, or you wanted to be able to run around with your kids and were struggling with just a walk to the park, or you were told your job was at risk and you could not afford to be without one.

It takes a lot of energy to shift away from the status quo and move towards what you want instead. And the greater the challenge the more compelling the reasons need to be. This applies just as much to change initiatives in organizations as it does to us at a personal level.

What is the sense of urgency on your change program and is this clear to everyone?

How To Create Wealth

Most of us have had trauma of some kind in our lives and live with the day-to-day scars that have directed. Cleaning out those experiences that have become part of the brain's structure can be incredibly healing. We do know that thoughts create our reality and our moment-by-moment thoughts exert a powerful healing effect on…

Most of us have had trauma of some kind in our lives and live with the day-to-day scars that have directed. Cleaning out those experiences that have become part of the brain's structure can be incredibly healing. We do know that thoughts create our reality and our moment-by-moment thoughts exert a powerful healing effect on the brain (thoughts such as love, gratitude, compassion or they can work to our detriment (thoughts such as anger, frustration, hate. same is true for past experiences that have become wired in the brain.

One of the most exciting lessons that I have and seen operating in other people's lives is: that people can change their brains and change their lives by engaging in regular brain-healthy habits such as correcting negative beliefs by using commands to remove negative beliefs and command for what they want to change or improve in their lives. My hope is for this knowledge to be greatly understood and that people wake up to the fact that they are more powerful than their circumstances, class or position at birth. In teaching the six structures of belief and the six steps of using commands I want people to move from knowing to knowing how to bring about changing changes in their lives. I have seen people release old mental and emotional wounds that stop them from being themselves, resolve difficult issues in relation to money, relationships, health and a lot more and gradually create new opportunities that opened up exciting careers, peace of mind, wealth and security .

We are at a point of human history when as individuals we are wakening to our greater reality, we are part of an ocean of change. Our current systems of reality are breaking down we can learn and change in a state of pain and suffering or we can evolve in a state of joy and inspiration. The exploration of the nature of reality and using commands starts with knowing the quantum you.

The Quantum You – The observer effect in quantum physics states that where you direct your attention is where your energy is placed. In other words what you focus on in your life will expand. Energy flows to where the attention is focused. If you focus on pain, difficulties and lack, you will have more pain, difficulties and lack. As a consequence you affect the material world (which is made mostly of energy). If you entertain that idea for a moment, you might start focusing on what you want instead of what you do not want. You might even find yourself thinking: if an atom is 99.99999 percent energy and .00001 percent physical substance then I am actually more nothing than something! So why do I keep my attention on that small percentage of the physical world when I am so much more? Is defining my present reality by what I perceive with my senses the largest limitation I have?

To Change Your Life, Change Your Beliefs About The Nature of Reality.

Until you break from the way you see your present reality, any change in your life will always be haphazard and transitory. You have to overhaul your thinking about the way things happen in order to produce enduring and desired outcomes. To do that you need to be open to a new interpretation of what is real and true.

Overworked, Overstressed, Too Busy to Get Organized – How to Transform a Growing Business

I can see it coming. Maybe I'm developing a sixth sense for it. I run an operations management business and I regularly get calls from business owners saying; “I need your help. My business is taking off and I feel like I'm losing control.” The first question I ask always seems to be the toughest…

I can see it coming. Maybe I'm developing a sixth sense for it. I run an operations management business and I regularly get calls from business owners saying; “I need your help. My business is taking off and I feel like I'm losing control.” The first question I ask always seems to be the toughest for them … When can we get together to talk? I've learned to expect that they will cancel one or two appointments before we're actually able to meet. I plan for our first meeting to be away from their office so I am able to get their full attention.

Their business has typically been operating for three to five years, which means their business model is working for them and has begun gaining traction. They've passed the infant mortality point where many new businesses fail and have had some taste of success. They're now at the point where they're starting to think about taking their business to the next growth plateau.

The business operates in a mostly ad hoc mode. Up to this point they've managed to keep things on track by shear force. They're beginning to realize that they can not do everything themselves and they continue to hold things close because they feel they have to maintain control by personally making every decision. They're not willing to delegate anything but the most trivial tasks. “My entire life is tied up in this business and it's succeeding because of the energy I put into it.” They have in fact become the operations infrastructure of their business and they're beginning to realize that they have now become the primary constraint on the growth of their business. Take a vacation, a sick day, a coffee break … Not likely!

Transforming these businesses requires an objective look at two areas: their organization and their operations. I start slowly by trying to find some activities the owner is willing to offload to others.

Businesses at this point in their development are usually organized on the “Conestoga Model”, meaning their organization chart looks like a wagon wheel. It's a person centric organization model where the owner has become the hub of the wheel with all of the other functions circling around the hub. They may have made some attempt to change things themselves but I often find that they were unsuccessful because they delegated responsibility without being willing to also delegate the authority to do the job.

The next step I take with clients in these situations is to begin transforming their organization to a more traditional hierarchical model. This is a difficult step for them because it means that they have to be willing to delegate the authority to complete tasks along with the responsibility for completing them.

Completing the organizational change requires more than simply creating an organization chart. The new organization has to be designed to meet the businesses needs and to make best use of the resources at hand. Each block on the organization chart should have a defined mission statement and a set of goals. Owners who are already over burdened often revolt at the thought of doing all of this “useless paperwork”. “We have real work to do.” This is a great place to recommend they bring in their new first line managers or supervisors to help and it also lets these people take ownership of their new roles. This is the point where I usually have to expand my role from working with the owner to working with their staff. Including the first level managers and supervisors in these activities has an amazing effect on the culture of most businesses once the staff realizes that the owner is saying I trust you and am relying on you to help grow my business. Kicking off the new organization can be difficult. “You mean I work for her now? But I used to work for the owner.” You have to plan to hold a lot of hands and mend some hurt feelings as you go through this exercise.

After the organization is in place you need to define a sustaining operations infrastructure for the business. You do this by assessing the businesses operations, identifying weak areas needing definition or improvement. I begin this by formalizing the workflows of the business. Remember, the operations infrastructure has to be able to support the restructured business in the future. I divide the operations infrastructure into the nine areas described below. Each area controls a major workflow through the business so, by definition, each infrastructure area crosses organizational boundaries. Do not, for instance, limit the sales and marketing infrastructure to the sales and marketing department.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION : The customer satisfaction infrastructure has to be designed as an integral part of the business operations and not simply included like a facade over the front door. Every employee needs to learn their customer satisfaction role. The customer satisfaction infrastructure defines the role of functions such as product support, requirements definition, and quality assurance.

PRODUCTION / SERVICES : The production / services infrastructure defines the methods that will be used for the delivery of all products and services and ensure that this is being done in a safe, compliant, and consistent manner capable of bringing all products and services fully to market .

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT : It would be a tremendous understatement to say that all businesses today are information intensive. The information management infrastructure includes the IT systems but can be much wider in scope.The information management infrastructure defines the methods for protecting all business data, the electronic tools that form the backbone of the business, printed material and all media that is used to support the business. All personal privacy and security controls need to be addresses here.

SALES AND MARKETING : The sales and marketing infrastructure supports the businesses primary goal; to sell products and make a profit. It defines the methods used for everything from pricing and lead flow needed to support the sales pipeline to the methods used to develop new products and markets including the use of competitive and strategic analysis as assessment tools.

ORGANIZATIONAL : The definition of the organizational infrastructure includes the formal and informal structure of the business. It includes the organization chart that forms the command and control structure plus the informal structure that becomes the culture of the business.

PERSONNEL : The personnel infrastructure defines the working relationship between the business and its employees and between employees including the roles and authority of the management team. It defines the benefit strategy and compensation plan plus the procedures for hiring, firing and everything in between.

FINANCIAL OPERATIONS : The financial operations infrastructure forms the framework for all financial operations of the business. It defines all financial authority and controls including AP / AR, payroll, cost account and project management, plus the definition of methods to be used for budgeting and projections.

LEGAL OPERATIONS : The legal operations infrastructure forms the framework for all legal operations of the business. It defines all legal authority, professional licensing and controls needed to support the business on a continuing basis. It defines all activities used to protect the business from legal risk and liabilities and to ensure the compliant operation of the business.

INSTITUTIONALIZED PROCESSES : The institutionalized processes infrastructure includes the definition of all formalized policies, procedures and methods that guide the businesses operations. Methods such as ISO, CMMI, Six Sigma, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Lean or Quality Management Systems (QMS) where the business needs certification to qualify for a market driven process are defined.

It is important that the infrastructure areas be documented but this does not mean it has to be a voluminous set of policies and procedures or that it has to be completed overnight. The infrastructure needs to be formalized to be effective and repeatable but applying the “Keep It Simple” approach works well here. Complex procedures do not get read so plan to start light and build as needed in the future. After base lining each of the infrastructure areas (and training employees on their use) the final step is to establish a continuous process improvement program so that the infrastructure will continue to evolve along with the business.

The actions described in this article can be intense for a small business because it strikes at its culture. The cost of relocating the business to support its next level of growth will be offset by the improved efficiency and through the resulting decrease in operations risk. It may not be an immediate goal of the owner but these steps are an excellent way to position the business for a future M & A event or to raise investment funds to support the additional growth.