I’m perfect the way I am

December 26, 2011

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What exactly is a new years resolution?

December 26, 2011

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Five new year resolutions for top management

December 26, 2011

By Miriam Boudreaux   Article

“The resolutions I propose in this article go a step further from the average “we all need to improve” type of goals. These resolutions seek a fundamental change in your behavior as part of the management team and leader of your organization, in order for deep seated improvement to actually happen. …

Start with the Basics: Metrics
Most organizations nowadays have some kind of objectives, metrics or KPIs that are used to measure a certain area they want to improve. … having metrics is a fundamental and basic step to measure improvement. The old premise “if you don’t measure it, how do you know you are improving”, holds very true for any organization. …

Involvement of People

It is time you bring relevant information and knowledge out from the groupies into the sea of knowledge-hungry employees in your organization. You must involve all the people in your continual improvement efforts, from shop floor employees, to Accounting, to Human Resources, …

Use Leading Indicators of Customer Satisfaction

If your number one way of seeking customer feedback is through customer complaints, quantity of products returned or the amount of money paid in credits, then you are strictly measuring customer satisfaction through lagging indicators. You need to shift your focus from being reactive to actually being proactive, by using leading indicators of customer satisfaction. …

Promote the use of Root Cause Analysis tools

Imagine a customer returned one of your products because the cable was too short and all you say is “Let’s not waste our time in research, let’s just get the right size cable, fix it and send it back!. … when you don’t take the time to actually contain and investigate the true root causes of a problem, then problems are bound to resurface or happen again. …

Last but not Least: Management Commitment

“Leaders must demonstrate quality excellence by their own actions”. ….”


New year’s resolutions vs. new year’s goals

December 26, 2011

By    Article

So what is it going to be this year? Same old resolutions to:

 Lose Weight, Pay off Debts. Save More Money, Provide Better Income for Family, Spend More Quality Time with Family

Or maybe some business-related resolutions for the new year:

Cut Expenses, Increase Sales, Improve Product Quality, Build Partnerships with Suppliers, Reduce Short-term and Long-term Debt

Well, they really aren’t all that different, are they? We all vow each year to try harder to do the things we know we should do – get in better shape, physically, financially, emotionally. …

First, the easy part – Decide what you want to achieve; what you want to make happen; what most needs to be done. Then, the hard part – Set your GOALS.

Set Specific Goals

Setting goals is important. That is how you convert good, but ephemeral, IDEAS (cut expenses, increase sales) into specific, measurable TARGETS (reduce G&A expenses by 5% before the stockholder meeting in May; increase sales of the retail brands by at least $60,000 per quarter). …

Set Measurable Goals

In setting your goals, it is important to be as specific as you can. Nobody knows your business like you do. Nobody knows what your people are capable of as well as you do. And only you know what is really important to you. So you have to be the one to set the goals and communicate them to everyone else.The more specific and more measurable your goals, the easier it will be to tell when you reach them. …

Rewards

Don’t wait for this time next year to sit back and look at this list and see how you did. Post your goals where you, and everyone else, can see them. Measure how you are doing against your goals, and adjust as necessary. Do this at all the measurement points you built into the plan (monthly, quarterly, whatever intervals you selected).”


Seven new year resolutions for project managers

December 26, 2011

By Dr. Andrew Makar  Article

1. I will update my project schedule weekly and share the updated plan with the team.

The project schedule is one key document that needs to be revisited every week as project teams report progress. Project schedules are not intended to be cast in stone but rather serve as a forecasting tool that can adjust and incorporate re-planning. Spend 30 minutes to an hour a week updating the project schedule, reviewing it and obtain input from the team on scheduling changes.

2.  I will document meeting minutes and send them out by the end of the day.

I know we all abhor meeting minutes, and transcribing them from scribbled notes into a meaningful MS-Word format can be a challenge when the day is packed with meetings. If you don’t get your notes and key action items out by the end of the day, they will likely fall behind–and few people respond to late meeting minutes. That’s why I advise using a mind mapping tool to document your meeting minutes and send them out that day. (Consider this article, Mind Map Your Meetings, on how to incorporate just-in-time meeting minutes into your day.)

3.  I will send out my meeting materials the day prior, not five minutes before.

I will readily admit I am guilty of sending out key materials a few minutes before the meeting so everyone has the latest copy. The problem is that some documents need to be reviewed or printed before discussing them in a meeting. I’ve been in a few meetings where executives chastised the project manager for not sending them out earlier so they could review the materials. To avoid this embarrassing situation, I send out the materials the day before (maybe at 11:59 at night…but at least I’m avoiding the appearance of being unprepared as I implement just-in-time meeting materials). …

5. I will encourage my management to conduct “skip level” meetings with my team members.

Successful project managers can’t deliver unless they are supported by a team. Project managers should recognize their team members and share the accolades within the management spotlight. One way to do this is encourage your manager to have skip level meetings with your project team members. It will give your team members some additional visibility to a manager or executive that may not know specifically how your team contributes to the organization. It also provides an opportunity for team members to provide unfiltered feedback and new ideas. ….”


Christmas tale and generous managers

December 19, 2011

Business Fables, Fairy Tales, Stories and Management Lessons

“Leadership is not an inanimate object. It has a face, and more

importantly, it has a heart. The good leaders do not merely
command respect, they earn it. A leader who rules with an iron
fist will influence people once. A leader who rules with a kind
heart will influence people for a lifetime. We like to associate
with leaders who see themselves as humans, and not an
extraordinary species. For this reason, two of the greatest
leaders we personally respect and admire are Mother Teresa
and Mahatma Gandhi. This being a season of giving, let us
reflect upon our leadership and managerial style with this
familiar and heart-warming story.”

Story: The Little Match Girl


Three leadership lessons from Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer

December 19, 2011

By Doug Dickerson  Article

We all have natural gifts and abilities; embrace them. Rudolph was the object of scorn by the other reindeer who mistakenly thought that because he was different from the others, he didn’t have anything to contribute.

We all come in different shapes, sizes, and with unique giftedness. It is not in the similarities that we stand out, but in our differences. The gifts and talents you bring to the table of your business or organization may not look like anything else in your company, but that is your gift. As you embrace and celebrate those gifts, others will also come to appreciate what you have to offer.

We all face opposition; ignore it. Because his appearance was obviously different from others around him, Rudolph faced opposition. There will always be an element of people who oppose you not based on your appearance as in the story, but because you bring a different set of eyes to the problem, you bring a different attitude, and you bring an optimistic mindset to the challenges your company faces.

When you make up your mind that what causes you to stand out is what will propel you to the top, others will be faced with a challenge: go there with you or be left behind. But regardless of the opposition you face, never surrender your giftedness to opposition.

Your moment to shine will eventually come; welcome it. It is your faithfulness in the little things; day by day, that you prove yourself. Even though Rudolph faced opposition from the others, he didn’t allow their negativity to defeat him. In the moment of crisis when Santa needed a go-to Reindeer, Rudolph was ready. Armed with his natural giftedness and positive attitude, he navigated the team of fellow reindeer to a successful completion of the Christmas mission.

Your moment of destiny will come one day and it will not always come in the manner in which you expected. Open your eyes to all the possibilities that your leadership can provide. As you show yourself faithful in the little things your big moment will come.

This Christmas season, celebrate your gift as a leader, rise above your opposition, and stand ready to embrace your destiny. As you do, you will have a greater understanding of just how special the season can be.”