I Remember taking my son to a baseball game on a really hot summer afternoon. He was very young and anxious to see his favorite players. We had gotten to the stadium early as I have an aversion to parking in a different time zone than where the game is played.
Appreciation for a System is Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s first principle from his teachings on management and transformation of business. Deming teaches us that a leader must understand the system he or she is attempting to manage.
“Team, this year I have read a book about the importance of intrinsic rewards,” said the CEO, “in lieu of raises I have decided to double the number of intrinsic motivations you will receive.”
About ten years ago I made a decision. I adopted a rescue dog named Domino. When I made the decision to adopt her, I had a mental list of reasons to do so with the knowledge that there were ramifications, positive and negative, to my decision.
I assumed she would provide companionship and bring much joy to me. I made this assumption based merely on seeing a picture of her and seeing how other friends’ dogs brought love to them. I didn’t have 100 percent assurance that Domino would deliver what I wanted and needed.
I figured Domino would end up costing me about “x” number of dollars per month per year. I calculated that based on the amount I thought a dog would eat each week, the costs associated with visiting the vet annually, and then the costs to kennel a dog when I traveled.
Every now and again I get the privilege to sit with some great leaders. Some I simply observe - to see what they do and what their followers do in return. But on the rare occasion I’ve been lucky enough to get them to slow down - to reveal the running commentary in their own head of why they do, what they do, when they do. This is one such account from early in my career.
The cover story on the ASQ April 2016 Quality Progress magazine about the cost of employee disengagement made me flash back to my first day on the job as an engineer. My boss gave me a big box of VHS videos to watch - yes, VHS!
My first assignment in the “real world” was to watch the Deming video library covering his System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) and 14 Points for Management. I learned about Dr. Deming in College, but the videos really brought his approach to life.
This week's post is brought to you by Rhonda Honke an Innovation Engineering Black Belt at inVision Edge our partner in Canada...
“Strategy will not succeed in a void, and leadership often makes the difference between merely reaching for great opportunities and actually realizing their potential.” – McKinsey Report, Tsun-yan Hsieh and Sara Yik.
I had an interesting conversation a few weeks ago with a senior leader in a successful manufacturing organization. He proudly spoke about the company’s products and employees and beamed as he walked me through the facility, pointing out visual systems, key performance indicators, and lean improvements they have made over the years. He talked of mentoring his next level leaders to improve their confidence and decision making abilities; so much so that his job was a bit ‘boring’ now.
So many times we talk about Passion and I fear it's a concept that's agreed to logically, but a very difficult practice to follow. When we educate people on a system for Innovation we teach, "Power to the Worker!" "She/he closest to the work should make the decision to kill an idea." "If no one has passion enough to volunteer for a project, then you don't do the project."
I carried my first mobile phone on a business trip in about 1990. “Mobile” was a generous way to describe it. Heavy and large with a charging stand. I had a firm conviction no reasonable business person would ever carry a phone with him on a trip. Too much trouble.
I read in an article about leadership we like to follow “leaders who have conviction.” The article talked about clarity, purpose, focus, and similar reasons to like conviction. What is not to like about clarity, purpose, and focus? But “conviction,” that needs some thought.
Do you ever notice that when something is really important to you, you make time for it? What’s more, if it’s really important to you, you get mobile. You show up for your kids’ dance recital even though you’ve got a work fire to put out at every turn. You show up to the gym in January after making a New Year’s Resolution to get healthy, even though you’d much rather be sleeping. You show up to your house when the contractor calls and says, “So what part of the roof did you want me to replace again?”
When it’s important, you make time. When it’s important, you go.
Now turn the view back to your work life. When you tell your staff something is extremely important, do you make time for it. Do you go to where it is?