Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Brian Roth and Kip Winzeler of TRUFAST talk about how Six Disciplines helped them to optimize operating efficiencies and to get its workforce to become more engaged and accountable.
Watch this short video as Brian and Kip explain the benefits of Six Disciplines, and what it does for their growing company.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
During the interview, Harpst talks about the years of field research that went into the development of the Six Disciplines program, and about the four essential component of an enduring business excellence program.
"A number of studies and other literature related to employee engagement shows similar definitions for employee engagement:
- Commitment to the organization
- Job ownership and pride
- Passion and excitement
- Commitment to execution and the bottom line
Engagement is an amalgamation of commitment, loyalty, productivity and ownership.
What can leader’s do to drive employee engagement? Companies need to spend more time helping their leader’s be authentic, consistent and real."
Read the entire post here for nine specific suggestion on how to drive employee engagement.
BOTTOMLINE: While employee engagement starts with leaders, they are not the only ones who drive engagement. Six Disciplines uses both a top-down and bottoms-up approach to drive total organizational engagement. It's the only way cultural change can be endure over the long-term.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Watch this short video as Six Disciplines CEO and founder Gary Harpst explains "How Does Six Disciplines Actually Work For My Company?"
During the interview, Harpst talks about the changes that occur in companies as they begin to adopt the Six Disciplines business excellence program.
Covey will be speaking on the topic “High Performance Organizations at The Speed Of Trust.” In this fast-paced and engaging presentation, Covey will demonstrate the leadership benefits of trust from the informed perspective of a CEO and show how to establish and grow a high-trust, high-performance organization.
Covey is the former CEO of Covey Leadership Center, the largest leadership development company in the world. He led the strategy that propelled his father’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” to one of the most influential business books of the 20th century. Covey is currently CEO of CoveyLink—which is a learning and consulting practice focused on enabling leaders and organizations to increase and leverage trust to achieve superior performance.
Business owners, executives and managers; non-profit leaders and board members; community leaders and public officials are encouraged to attend.
Individual registrations – $45/person, group registration (5+ people) – $35/person, $55 if paid in person at the event. Local Chamber of Commerce members - check your Chamber's website for discounted pricing code.
REGISTER HERE: www.SixDisciplines.com/Atlanta
Six Disciplines and the Vail Leadership Institute are co-sponsors of the event.
Gallup researchers studied employee responses to see which factors differed most strongly among engaged employees (26% of respondents) and those who were not engaged (56%) or actively disengaged (18%).
Gallup uses its employee engagement survey, the Q 12, to measure workplace engagement and glean insights about the kinds of manager behaviors that are most likely to cause employees to disengage from their workplaces.
Not surprisingly, engaged employees aren't the ones wanting to bid their manager farewell. Just 6% of engaged workers say they would fire their boss if they had the chance.
BOTTOMLINE: Engaged employees consider their relationship with their manager to be crucial to their success. Employees' disengagement with their supervisor can have real -- and negative -- consequences for their companies.
Friday, October 26, 2007
From publishing to technologies to nonprofit, the business categories are diverse, but the results are the same – remarkable!
View the short video here.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Scott Whitlock, President of Flexware Innovation, talks about how Six Disciplines helped him to optimize operating efficiencies and to get its workforce to become more engaged and accountable.
Watch this short video as Scott explains the benefits of Six Disciplines, and what it does for his growing company.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"Accountability is the lowest cost, most practical and most productive form of risk management and quality assurance that can be implemented across an enterprise. It is really nothing more than a common sense understanding that decisions made within a framework are going to have a greater chance of success than those made in a vacuum."
In his post, Myatt "examines not only the benefits of accountability, but also how to implement a framework for accountability within your business…"
His solution? Setting up an enterprise wide framework for accountability is as simple as implementing the following three items:
- Have a clearly articulated statement of corporate values.
- Have a written delegation of authority.
- Implement a good leadership development program.
Watch this short video as Paul explains the benefits of Six Disciplines, and what it does for his growing company.
What a week for Six Disciplines client - Kramer Enterprises!
- Many employees did not believe their organisation or senior management were doing enough to help or keep them engaged.
- Just a fifth said they felt engaged in their work
- More than a third admitting to feeling partly or fully disengaged.
The Global Workforce Study establishes a definitive link between levels of engagement and financial performance and, for the first time, begins to quantify that link. The most striking data about the linkage between employee engagement and financial performance come from a study of 40 global companies that involved a regression analysis of company financial results against engagement data.
- Firms with the highest percentage of engaged employees collectively increased operating income by 19 per cent and earnings per share by 28 per cent year-to-year.
- Companies with the lowest percentage of engaged employees showed year-to-year declines of a third in operating income and more than a tenth in earnings per share.
BOTTOMLINE: The importance of an engaged workforce on a company's bottom line is critical to its long-term success. "When companies are looking for every source of competitive advantage, the workforce itself represents the largest reservoir of untapped potential."
What to work on?
- Communicate a clear strategy and how their work contributes to reaching the company's goals
- Offer ways to have employees to enjoy challenging work that will allow them to learn new skills
"Turning people's energy and ambition into engagement – and ultimately into significant performance lift – demands attention, focus and some very different behaviours from senior leaders, as well as clear follow-through on a number of organizational practices."
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Six Disciplines Atlanta is led by President Riz Shakir, an Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience growing and running businesses. Shakir is a certified executive coach and consultant with the Vail Leadership Institute and has completed executive development programs at The Harvard Business School, The University of Chicago School of Business, The Wharton School of Business and The Kellogg Business School of Northwestern University.
“Six Disciplines is a brand and methodology that will compliment the dynamic Atlanta business environment,” said Shakir. “I look forward to helping area companies identify and bypass roadblocks impacting their long-term success, regardless of industry or challenge.”
Shakir is joined by Senior Vice President Larry Smart, a certified business excellence coach who has led high-growth technology companies in turn-around strategies throughout North America and overseas. Smart has been chief executive officer and chief operating officer of international businesses such as Atlanta-based InfoTouch Corp., DL Technology Partners, Inc., Ross Systems, Inc. and Western Data Systems, Inc.
“Entrepreneurial CEOs in Atlanta have made it one of the top business markets in the U.S. because they are constantly looking for ways to innovate and sustain their success,” said Gary Harpst, founder and CEO of Six Disciplines. “It’s an alarming fact that only four percent of businesses survive past ten years. Riz and Larry bring to our network a tremendous combination of expertise, resources and commitment to help top-performing organizations pursue lasting excellence and ensure they sustain growth to be one of the four percent that endures.”
To commemorate the opening, Six Disciplines is sponsoring a series of business seminars:
- Stephen M. R. Covey, acclaimed author of The Speed of Trust – The One Thing that Changes Everything and former CEO of Covey Leadership Center, will address the importance of trust and how it impacts organizational performance. Covey will be the guest of Six Disciplines and Vail Leadership Institute on Nov. 5 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., including a Q&A session at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia. Event registration and details can be found at www.SixDisciplines.com/Atlanta.
- To provide insight into the resources and guidance Six Disciplines can provide to organizations, Six Disciplines’ Founder and CEO Gary Harpst will speak at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. He will focus on what it takes to pursue enduring business excellence, based on insight from his upcoming book Execution Revolution: Introducing the First Enduring Business Excellence Program. For registration and information, call 404-586-8432.
- As a primer to the Metro Atlanta Chamber event and to discuss goal setting for businesses, Shakir will host a teleconference with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 1. For registration and information, call 404-586-8432.
Based on years of field testing, client feedback, 100 man-years of research and development and a $20 million investment, the Six Disciplines business excellence program provides organizations with a holistic, enduring approach toward strategy, planning, organizing people and processes, and execution management.
Compared to other business improvement and quality programs like Baldrige, TQM, Six Sigma and Lean, which are prevalent in much larger businesses, Six Disciplines is the first enduring business excellence program designed specifically for small- and mid-sized businesses. Features normally associated with these much more expensive approaches – similar to balanced scorecard, project management, key performance management metrics, integrated activity alignment, and business excellence rating systems – are all elements of the Six Disciplines program.
About Six Disciplines Six Disciplines, LLC, founded in 2000, developed the first enduring business excellence program, specifically for small- and mid-sized businesses. A business excellence program is an organized way to grow a company’s ability to address an ever-changing and ever increasing series of business challenges. The Six Disciplines program integrates a repeatable methodology to drive organizational learning, ongoing external coaching to ensure accountability, a proactive organizational alignment system to align daily activities of every stakeholder, and a shared learning community of like-minded people to accelerate and sustain business excellence. The program is offered exclusively through a locally owned national network. The organization was awarded the 2006 Entrepreneur Magazine Top Gun Franchise distinction and among its clients are several from the Inc. 500, ISO-9000 certified companies, and a Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award finalist. For more on Six Disciplines, visit http://www.sixdisciplines.com/.
Monday, October 22, 2007
BPM Magazine recently spoke with Covey about how trust can boost corporate performance and how companies can foster trust through transparent business performance management processes.
Read the article Why Trust Improves Both Ethics and Returns.
Andrea Fetterman (Paul Kramer's daughter) is one of the forum hosts.
Check out the Planning for Change forum here.
In the October 22 issue of the Wall Street Journal Online, reporter Simona Covel covers a story "Three Ways To Plan for Change" about three companies and their approaches to executive succession planning.
In the online article, Six Disciplines client Paul Kramer, CEO with Kramer Enterprises, a 95-employee uniform and dry cleaning business is interviewed.
Kramer highlights the use of Six Disciplines, with accountability coaching services from Six Disciplines Northwest Ohio as contributing to their successful transition of the business to the next generation.
BOTTOMLINE: The Six Disciplines program is being successfully adopted and practiced by many companies across the nation, to help them address issues such as succession planning, employee accountability, team alignment, individual goal planning, etc. How can it be that one program can address all of these challenges? Because Six Disciplines is the first enduring business excellence program, designed specifically to help organizations increase their capability to address an increasing variety and number of challenges.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
According to an article by Art Murray called "Overcoming Resistance to Change," there is a way to shift the weight of the resistance and turn it into positive momentum will focus the energy where it will do the most good.
Using the analogy of a martial arts master, Murray offers his tips on accelerating change.
Here are a few basic techniques to speed up the transformation process:
- Focused concentration.
- Force, speed and precision.
- Relentless repetition.
- Living embodiment.
- Refocus negative energy
(Art Murray is CEO of Applied Knowledge Sciences and co-director of the Enterprise of the Future Program at the George Washington University Institute for Knowledge and Innovation.)
Come learn what separates the best from all the rest. Riz Shakir, Owner of Six Disciplines Atlanta will present: "Five Secrets of High Performing Organizations."
His presentation will also set the stage for Gary Harpst, author and founder of Six Disciplines presentation “Execution Revolution: Introducing The First Enduring Business Excellence Program” on December 6, 2007 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Register and attend the teleconference to receive your FREE copy of the White Paper “Five Secrets of Highly Performing Organizations." RSVP at email@example.com with “Excellence” in the subject line.
Read the entire article here.
Harpst will be speaking at the COSE Small Business Conference in Cleveland on Friday, October 19.
“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.” (Rick Pitino)
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” (Colin Powell)
“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” (John W. Gardner)
“Excellence is not an act but a habit. The things you do the most are the things you will do best.” (Marva Collins)
“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” (Pat Riley)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Three-fourths of senior executives and managers spend more than half of their time using technology (cell phone, BlackBerry, computer, etc.), according to the worldwide survey of 194 senior executives and managers by NFI Research.
Almost one-quarter (23 percent) spend between 70 and 80 percent of their time using technology, and 18 percent spend between 81 and 90 percent of their time using technology.
BOTTOMLINE: It's not how much time you spend using technology that's important. It's how you use technology to support the overall strategy of your organization, and more specifically, how you use technology to support the execution of your organization's strategy.
In a 2007 survey of 154 global C-level executives, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Business Objects, the research found that more than 9 out of 10 corporate executives admit they are making important decisions on the basis of inadequate information.
Other findings from this decision-making research:
- Less than 10% of executives receive the information they need.
- 72% of execs believe management decision making is only moderately efficient or worse.
- 25% of executives believes management frequently, or always, gets its decisions wrong.
- 56% of executives are concerned about making poor choices because of bad data.
- 55% of executive decisions are based on ad hoc consultation instead of corporate metrics.
- 70% of senior managers rate decision-making as moderately efficient or worse vs 52% of C-level superiors.
- Yet, only 29% of executive think poor decision-making structures are a common cause of bad decisions.
The ingredients for good decision-making?
The report's authors identify five ingredients of good decision-making. Obviously, supporting good decisions requires a lot more than technology, but business intelligence systems can help with each of these:
- High-quality data
- Access to advanced systems and training
- Sound judgment
Their premise? Successful people are “builders.”
Builders find lasting success when three essential elements come into alignment in their lives and work.
- The first element is meaning. “What you do must matter deeply to you."
- The second is a “highly developed sense of accountability, audacity, passion and responsible optimism.”
- And finally, these successful people “find effective ways to take action.”
Monday, October 08, 2007
Consider these research findings about organizational change:
- Change can be painful: Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of physiological discomfort. Trying to change hardwired habits requires a lot of effort, in the form of attention. This often leads to a feeling that many people find uncomfortable. So they do what they can to avoid change.
- Behaviorism by itself doesn’t work: Change efforts based on incentive and threat (the carrot and the stick) rarely succeed in the long run (e.g. offer the right incentives, and the desired change will naturally occur.) Yet there is plenty of evidence from both clinical research and workplace observation that change efforts based on typical incentives and threats (the carrot and the stick) rarely succeed in the long run.
- Humanism by itself doesn't work: In practice, the conventional empathic approach of connection and persuasion doesn’t sufficiently engage people. This phenomenon provides a scientific basis for some of the practices of leadership coaching. Rather than lecturing and providing solutions, effective accountability coaches ask pertinent questions and support their clients in working out solutions on their own.
- Repetition, consistency, perseverance are keys: Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting evolution and continual improvement. For insights into why change is necessary, they need to be generated from within, not given to individuals as forgone conclusions.
BOTTOMLINE: Knowing these factors before going into your business process improvement can help set expectations appropriately.
Although always important, communication is absolutely critical when deciding to adopt a business improvement process like Six Disciplines. Most importantly, this needs to occur BEFORE the actual change initiative begins.
Consider the following change management research findings:
- The #1 contributor to the success of a business improvement initiative is active, strong and visible sponsorship (commitment) throughout the process.
- The top obstacle to successful change is employee resistance at all levels: front-line, middle managers, and senior management.
- The top reason for employee resistance is a lack of awareness about the change initiative that is coming, why it is necessary, what is expected as a result.
- Employees want to hear messages about change the change from two people: the CEO and their immediate team leader. The message they want to hear from each of these individual is very different.
BOTTOMLINE: It’s difficult to manage the transition if people have no sense of where the changes are headed. Painting a picture for them can be difficult. The truth is that many organizations head into a transition state with nothing more than some basic goals and cherished values to guide them on their journey.
Friday, October 05, 2007
In "How to combat a culture of excuses and promote accountability," author Jeff Grimshaw offers his advice on how to promote company-wide accountability.
You can also download an 8-page whitepaper on accountability here.
The survey of 769 global CEOs from 40 countries is from The Conference Board report, CEO Challenge 2007: Top 10 Challenges.
When asked to rate their greatest concerns from among 121 different challenges, chief executives participating in this year's survey chose excellence of execution as their top challenge and keeping consistent execution of strategy by top management as their third greatest concern. Sustained and steady top-line growth, which led the pack last year, now ranks second, with profit growth fourth, and finding qualified managerial talent fifth.
Read the entire summary of this new study here.
BOTTOMLINE: This study validates our major premise here at Six Disciplines. Execution IS the most commonly mentioned challenge by CEOs - regardless of size of company or type of industry. In fact, Six Disciplines founder and CEO Gary Harpst's next book named "Execution Revolution" is all about the challenge of execution, and how small and mid-sized businesses will be able to harness and leverage the advances of the past two decades to leapfrog past much larger organizations to deal more effectively with this never ending challenge.
Gary will be speaking from 2:45-4:00 pm in Room 9 - on the topic "Driving Growth Through Goals and Scorecards."
Eric Kurjan, President of Six Disciplines Northwest Ohio will also be speaking at the event. Eric will be speaking from 10:45 am-12:00 pm in Room 11 - on the topic "Evaluating Employees."
Thursday, October 04, 2007
All are well worth reading.
The Toyota Way: Principle 1 - Base your management decisions on a long-term philosophy, even at the expense of the short term financial goals.
The Toyota Way: Principle 2 - Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface.
The Toyota Way: Principle 3 - Use “pull” systems to avoid overproduction.
The Toyota Way: Principle 4 - Level out the workload.
The Toyota Way: Principle 5 - Build a culture of stopping to fix problems, to get quality right the first time.
The Toyota Way: Principle 6 - Standardized tasks are the foundation for continuous process improvement and employee empowerment.
The Toyota Way: Principle 7 - Use visual control so no problems are unhidden.
Check out this HBR article now, (while it's still free!)
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Common themes among these businesses?
- These small businesses tend to let employees at all levels make key decisions, and they groom their future leaders from within.
- They offer generous traditional and untraditional benefits (how about a six-week sabbatical?).
- They constantly hunt for new ways to improve the employee experience or engage employees.
According to the article, "many share a sizable slice of their profits with employees, teaching them to read company financial statements so they grasp how their job is connected to the success of the organization."
BOTTOMLINE: While teaching employees how to read financial statements can be a good idea, it's more important for each person to understand how their daily activities connect to the goals of the organization. That's one of the key focuses of the Six Disciplines business excellence program.
Monday, October 01, 2007
What you may not be familiar with, is our method of service delivery, which is the Six Disciplines Center.
Six Disciplines Centers offer a comprehensive business excellence service that combines a systematic business-building methodology, practical Internet technologies, and local coaching to help the best performing organizations to pursue enduring excellence.
Six Disciplines Centers are offered as premiere business services franchises throughout the United States. Six Disciplines Center franchises are now operating and helping top-performing organizations to achieve lasting excellence in:
- Findlay, OH
- Tampa, FL
- Cleveland, OH
- Cincinnati, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Indianapolis, IN
- Raleigh, NC
...and very soon coming to Atlanta!
For more information, see the profile of Six Disciplines Centers on one of the top Franchise Portals, FranchiseGator.com.
For additional information about Six Disciplines Leadership Centers, contact Scott May.
Go here and listen to their 9/28/07 interview, or download the MP3 here.