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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

CEOs Brimming With Ideas, Lacking In Organization

From Mick's Leadership blog, here's an insightful entry "CEOs Brimming With Ideas, Lacking In Organization."

The premise:

"The new study concludes that when it comes to creativity, CEOs have more than other executives -- they just don't have the organizational skills to take their ideas to fruition on their own."

  • High creativity, which includes innovativeness and risk-taking, was found to be the work-style behavior that most distinguishes today's presidents and chief executive officers.
  • The flip side is that company leaders are decidedly less organized than their team members. While CEOs may excel at addressing issues in an innovative, resourceful and imaginative way, they likely need a lot of support from others on their team to execute what needs to be done.

BOTTOMLINE: "'Unlike the CEO, managers at the next level may be more collaborative or orderly. The wise CEO would be sure to be surrounded by people with such essential work-style behaviors and skills."

20 Quotes from The Daily Drucker

Harry Joiner (@ecommercejobs on Twitter) over at Marketing Headhunter, posted his favorite Top 20 quotes from the Daily Drucker, with respect being paid to management thought-leader, Peter Drucker (who would have turned 100 years-young last week.)

Worth reading!!
  1. The critical question is not "How can I achieve?" but "What can I contribute?"
  2. There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. He alone gives employment.
  3. It is easier to raise the performance of one leader than it is to raise the performance of a whole mass.
  4. Leadership is not rank. It is responsibility.
  5. An executive should be a realist; and no one is less realistic than the cynic.
  6. You cannot prevent a major catastrophe, but you can build an organization that is battle-ready, where people trust one another. In military training, the first rule is to instill soldiers with trust in their officers -- because without trust, they won't fight.
  7. Listening (the first competence of leadership) is not a skill, it is a discipline. All you have to do is keep your mouth shut.
  8. It is easy to look good in a boom.
  9. Luck never built a business. Prosperity and growth come only to the business that systematically finds and exploits its potential.
  10. The one person to distrust is the one who never makes a mistake. Either he is a phony, or he stays with the safe, the tried, and the trivial.
  11. There are keys to success in managing bosses. First, put down on a piece of paper a "boss list," everyone to whom you are accountable. Next, go to each person on the list and ask, "What do I do and what do my people do that helps you do your job?" And, "What do we do that makes your life more difficult?"
  12. Workmanship is essential: In fact, an organization demoralizes itself if it does not demand of its members the highest workmanship.
  13. A decision is a commitment to action. No decision has, in fact, been made until carrying it out has become somebody's responsibility.
  14. It's much easier to sell the Brooklyn Bridge than to give it away. Nobody trusts you if you offer something for free.
  15. The ultimate test of an information system is that there are no surprises.
  16. Until a business returns a profit that is greater than its cost of capital, it does not create wealth -- it destroys it.
  17. The question has to be asked -- and asked seriously -- "If we did not do this already, would we go into it now?" If the answer is no, the reaction must be "What do we do now?" Very often, the right answer is abandonment.
  18. Freedom is not fun. It is a responsible choice.
  19. One can't manage change. One can only be ahead of it.
  20. Just go out and make yourself useful.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Your Dream Job - And Your Passion

What would be your dream job? If money were not a consideration, what would you do?
A recent Harris Interactive survey among almost 8,000 employees over the age of 18 found the following:
  • 45% of workers said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs
  • 55% of workers said they were not satisfied


  • 20% were passionate about their jobs
  • 33% believed they had reached a dead end
  • 21% were eager to change to something different

The above statistics paint a vivid picture of how elusive passion can be in careers.

Here are some more observations about dream jobs:

  • Dream jobs are absolutely personal. Everyone has a different dream.
  • Dream jobs are aligned with a person's core passion. Your passion is what you care most about in life. It is what attracts you and gives you energy. It is what inspires you, and what you can not live without doing.
  • Dream jobs consistently leverage your core strengths and skills, draw on what you do best and most naturally, let you do what you are really good at doing.
  • Dream jobs minimize the down sides, the things you don't like to do or don't do well. They accentuate the positive allowing you to focus your work time on activities you love to do.
  • Dream jobs offer enough compensation to sufficiently support a life style that is acceptable and feels good. If a minimum level of income is not there, even an otherwise ideal fit may not be the dream job.
  • Finally, dream jobs are not perfect jobs. Even when the fit is right, every job has some drawbacks

BOTTOMLINE: Stop "dreaming" - start doing. Take stock in yourself, identify your core skills, research the market - and go back to your passion.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Really Drives Your Strategy?

For better or worse, why do so many companies veer off their strategic plan?

Look for a disconnect between strategy and how resources are allocated, say Harvard Business School's Joseph L. Bower and Clark G. Gilbert, in their article "What Really Drives Strategy?"

Their assertion?

"Organizations of any size are built around a series of building blocks, and the bigger the company the more responsibility in those building blocks. Today they are called SBUs—Strategic Business Units—or they are country organizations. If you add up what those people actually do, which ideas they choose to bring forward, and which of those get funded, the consequences of that activity is what adds up to the strategy of the company, not words on paper. And once you see that, you begin to ask questions such as: What determines which ideas get sponsored and funded? If I'm the top management, how can I shape that process, manage it, and give it direction?"

That's what their book, From Resource Allocation to Strategy, is about.

BOTTOMLINE: Interestingly enough, the "disconnect" between strategy and how resources are allocated, as identified in this HBR article, is precisely why it's critical to align your resources and systems. Since up to 90% of effectively formulated strategies fail due to execution, it's critcal to understand that it's after the goals are set that companies run into one of their greatest challenges - their own internal systems - processes, policies, technologies, measures and people.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Six Key Principles of Organizational Accountability

The following six principles form the foundation for instilling accountability within your organization. Together they form a practical understanding of accountability, the transforming effect it can have on an organization, and its essential role in creating significant business results.

1. Accountability is a Statement of Personal Promise. Accountability is both a promise and an obligation to deliver specific, defined results. Accountability, as we define it, does not apply in an abstract way to departments, work groups, or entire organizations. Accountability applies to individuals and their personal promise that these functions will deliver the agreed results. Accountability is first and foremost a personal commitment to the organization and to those that the organization serves.

2. Accountability for Results Means Activities Aren't Enough .Everyone in an organization, from the CEO to the janitor, has some piece of the business and a corresponding set of results which are theirs to achieve. Distinguishing results from activities requires a shift in traditional thinking, built on an awareness of why we do what we do, and what activities we need to focus our attention on.

3. Accountability for Results Requires Room for Judgment and Decision Making. If you're not allowed to use any judgment or discretion on the job, if you're told to follow the rules no matter what, if no decision is up to you, then your boss can only hold you accountable for activities. You can be held accountable for doing what you're told, but you can't be held accountable for the outcome.

4. Accountability is Neither Shared nor Conditional. Accountability agreements are individual, unique, and personal strategies. No two people at the same level in an organization should have the exact same accountabilities. Separating each person's accountabilities can be challenging, but clarity results from the struggle to eliminate overlaps.

5. Accountability for the Organization as a Whole Belongs to Everyone. Every employee's first accountability is for thinking about and acting on what is best for the organization, even if doing so means putting aside one's individual, functional, or departmental priority. The most successful organizations expect and allow every person to be of practical assistance in realizing the organization's goals.

6. Accountability is Meaningless Without Consequences. In an accountability agreements, consequences need to be negotiated. Negotiated consequences that are personally significant to the employee in question are an essential element of accountability agreements and are fundamental to forging a fair deal. This is a key step in forging an interdependent and mutually beneficial relationship with one's employer.

BOTTOMLINE: Organizational accountability eliminates the tendency to make excuses and shift blame. When employees make clear and specific commitments for their own work, entire organizations become aligned and achieve specific measurable results.

(SOURCE: Shaun Murphy, Ph.D. and Bruce Klatt, M.A. at Murphy Klatt Consulting. Adapted from a chapter of their book, Accountability: Getting a Grip on Results (2nd Ed.1997).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Manage It

In business, "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

When it comes to executing your business strategy, you must first translate the strategic plan into short-term operating objectives or metrics - and progress must be monitored and measured regularly.

To achieve strategic objectives, your organization must develop short-term measurable objectives that logically relate to the company's strategy, as well as a plan for how your organization plans to compete: how you will be different from your competition.

Unfortunately, this is where most strategic planning sessions end; in a 3-inch binder sitting on a dusty shelf.

What needs to occur next is translating your organization's strategy into actionable plans and initiatives, and perhaps most importantly, translate these plans into measurable gradecards or scorecards which are continually monitored.

BOTTOMLINE: Continual monitoring progress toward organizational goals (both short-term and long-term) helps to keep you focused on what's important, which is an integral and vital part of the execution process. The earlier that course corrections can be made, the better.

Some Ideas To Help Accelerate Your SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a tool used to assess an organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

The purpose of using the SWOT tool is to uncover or reveal the organization's competitive advantages, and what opportunities (sales, profitability) to capitalize upon.

It's also used to articulate the challenges an organization has, enabling contingency plans.

An analysis of the organization's strengths and weaknesses is typically an internal examination process. It's typically based on a review of internal and external facts and assumptions about the organization and the marketplace in which it operates.

Having trouble starting out your SWOT analysis?

Consider exploring these key categories:

Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Marketing (company image, reputation, positioning, market share, growth)
  • Products and Services (price, quality,
  • Finances (stability, profitability, debt to equity ratio)
  • Operations (facilities, capacity, distribution channels, supply chain, costs, use of technology)
  • Organizational (leadership, accountability, commitment, engagement)
Opportunities and Threats
  • Demographic (customer trends - age, lifestyle, education, buying patterns)
  • Economic (economic growth rate, stability, inflation)
  • Political / Legal (government stability, controls and regulations, effects of terrorism)
  • Social (lifestyle trends, communications, ethnicity)
  • Cultural (values, ethics)
  • Environmental (sustainability, conservation)
  • Technological (pace and changes in technology)
  • Competition (industry leaders, number of competitors, fragmentation/consolidation)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Using SWOT During Times of Economic Uncertainty

Tough times require tough decisions.

During times of economic uncertainty, strategy refinement and execution need to become the top priority for business leaders.

How to start?

Begin by doing a SWOT Analysis. SWOT is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in your business.

The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are important to achieving your strategy. SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories:

Internal factors - The strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization. The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their impact on the organizations objectives. The factors may include all of the 4Ps (product, price, place, promotion) as well as personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so on.

External factors - The opportunities and threats presented by the external environment. The external factors may include the economy, technological change, legislation, and socio-cultural changes, as well as changes in your marketplace or competitive position.

BOTTOMLINE: While it's important to regularly conduct a SWOT analysis on your business, it's critical to revisit SWOT during times of economic uncertainty. In particular, it's essential that you focus on the internal factors that you can control; not the external factors you can't control. By focusing on internal factors, you'll be better able to unearth new opportunities for innovation.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Closing The Alignment Gap Between Strategy and Operations

In their most recent study, Forbes Insights, in conjunction with SAP, surveyed executives to provide first-hand insights into how companies are managing alignment issues.

Key findings of their research:

  • Economic volatility has put companies under greater pressure to align strategy and operations. This alignment could be more important post-recovery as they ready their plans to capitalize on new market opportunities.
  • Changing market conditions that affect strategy and operational execution are the number one barrier companies face in aligning strategy and operations. Other top barriers cited by executives include: added pressure from the current economy on short-term costs versus longer-term return on investment (ROI); lack of availability of timely, accurate data; lack of effective communication of strategic goals to operational employees; and operational risks and opportunities that are not incorporated into overall corporate strategy.
  • Alignment gaps may also arise due to differences in strategic and operational goals. Asked about short- and longterm priorities, strategic functions focused on competitive differentiation, while operations is coming under increasing pressure to boost efficiency and manage costs.
  • There are concerns that employee recruitment, retention and training are not aligned with strategy, or that resources are not allocated properly to ensure that the workforce can achieve strategic goals.
  • Managing regulation and risk is another area of concern. Executives indicated that regulatory compliance issues frequently impact strategic execution. A failure to incorporate changes to risk models into strategic plans may further hamper alignment.

BOTTOMLINE: "Successful alignment requires companies to have a clear view of strategy and operations, the plans and the activities. Only with increased visibility can businesses identify the
barriers to alignment and close the gaps that may be keeping them from competing more effectively."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What We Can Learn From A 99 Year Old Basketball Coach

John Wooden turned 99 today.

I wanted to share this excerpt from the book Wooden on Leadership, written by legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden.

Mr. Wooden's father gave him a card when he graduated from elementary school -- his father's "Seven Point Creed". Here is some great common sense advice.

  1. Be true to yourself.
  2. Make each day your masterpiece.
  3. Help others.
  4. Drink deeply from good books.
  5. Make friendship a fine art.
  6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
  7. Pray for guidance, and give thanks for your blessings every day.

John Wooden, says that he tried to live up to this advice in his personal life, in his teaching and in his leadership responsibilities.

Pretty good advice - for the rest of us too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ten Rules of Employee Engagement

The Employee Factor offers The Ten Rules of Engagement:

Rule #1 - Employee Engagement is NOT an Initiative – It's a Way of Life.
Rule #2 – Leaders Must Show Goodwill Toward Others.
Rule #3 – Leaders Must “Know Their Employees”.
Rule #4 – Leaders Must Have the Tools to Foster Engagement.
Rule #5 – The Employee and Customer Experiences Must Be Mirror Images.
Rule #6 – Companies Must Market to Employees to Engage Them.
Rule #7 – Communication Builds Engagement.
Rule #8 – Deal with any “Bad Apples”.
Rule #9 – Engagement is More Than a “Pat on the Back”.
Rule #10 – Measure the Right Things and Then Act.

Feel free to click on the link to read each rule in more detail.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Importance of Time Tracking

If you want to improve performance, or likewise increase capacity or capability, you need to track the one thing that you'll never get back: time.

In order to improve effectiveness and efficiency, you must understand how your time is being used. With all of the technological advances over the past two decades, we're continually forced to do things "better, faster, cheaper." In other words, all of these advances have taught us how to be more efficient.

But - have any of these advances (spreadsheets, email, cell phones, IM, etc.) made us more effective?

The difference between the two?

  • Being efficient is essentially doing things right.
  • Being effective is essentially doing the right things.
It's not enough to just do things right - we also need to balance it with doing the right things, doing the right things based on their priority.

As Dr. Stephen Covey once said: "The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

BOTTOMLINE: Take a good look at your calendar: Are you spending time on the most important things? Are you spending the appropriate amount of time on those activities that are the highest priority? How do you know?

If you're not tracking how you spend your time, how will you ever know?

The best way is to have an individual plan (we recommend quarterly) - of daily activities that you're responsible for, which support the organization's goals, initiatives and projects. Track your time against these projects daily, and review weekly. The goal is to spend the most time on the most important activities that get you closer to achieving the organization's goals..

Now, consider this: multiply this daily/weekly time-tracking activity times the number of people in your organization. You'll be amazed at how much more productivity and results you'll begin to see (or, very frustrated, by how much time is actually wasted on non-productive, non-essential activities...)

So.... if you're looking to improve your performance (or the performance of your organization) - how can you possibly improve, if you don't track your time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Season of Inspiration - Part I

Fall is a time for reflection, not just about business, but about life.

About what is meaningful, vital and important.

About what is useful, what can be...

Take the time.... to watch the leaves.

Fall is.... a Season of Inspiration.

(Photo Credit: Thanks to Jeri ....for the Inspiration - and for 4 wonderful years!)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Six Disciplines Tampa Partners With Link To Expert

Link to Expert proudly announces that its Web portal offering professionals an exclusive, global destination for business collaborations, has partnered with Six Disciplines Tampa, a licensed team of coaches offering strategic advisory services.

The partnership will promote an expanded network reach for coaches, executives, and industry experts alike.

Six Disciplines operates a growing network of independently owned and operated professional business coaching organizations across the nation. The president of Six Disciplines Tampa, Sean Burke, has collaborated with Link to Expert to promote and uphold his company’s mission to support businesses in growing their ability to deal with an increasingly challenging business environment. He and his team combine systematic business-building methodology, practical Internet technologies, and strategy-execution services to help top-performing businesses tolearn, lead, and last.

"Six Disciplines is excited to partner with Link to Expert because the relationship extends our reach into a broader market of professional coaches and consultants,” said Burke, a certified Six Disciplines coach and strategic advisor. “The partnership will help us grow our network of certified coaches and will enable us to reach more companies who are looking for a solution to help them more consistently execute on all phases of their business."

Read the complete details of the partnership with Link To Expert here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

How Management Consultants Can Establish a Strategy Execution Practice

Watch this slidecast by veteran CEO, Gary Harpst, on the opportunity that management consulting firms have for adding a strategy execution service to their practice.

Change Initiatives Directly Affect Employee Engagement

According to a recent global study by Right Management, 94% of employees who report that change was not handled well in their organizations - are disengaged.

Drawing from research of 28,000 employees in 15 countries, Right Management's key findings from the global study include:

  • Employee engagement is a key driver of organizational effectiveness and directly impacts productivity and profitability.
  • Best-performing organizations manage change nearly four times more effectively. In top-performing companies (defined as those achieving higher revenue and above-average customer loyalty profit results), 60% of employees responded that "change is handled effectively in my organization," compared to 16% of employees in below-average performing organizations.
  • Less than half (43%) of employees are confident in their organization's change process. One in three employees believes their organization does not handle change effectively.
  • The biggest downfall for senior leaders is the perception that they do not follow through on what they say they will do. Less than half (47%) agreed that senior leaders communicated change effectively; 54% of employees doubted senior leaders' ability to respond appropriately to changing external conditions.
  • Organizations that do not manage change well are four times more likely to lose talent. Twenty percent of employees who perceived change was not handled effectively indicated they planned to leave within one year versus only 5% of employees who held a favorable view. The latter planned to stay for at least five years.
  • Ineffective change management can lead to lower levels of job confidence. Of the employees who reported that change management was not handled well, 45% expressed favorable feelings about not losing their job within 12 months, while 32% did not. This is in stark contrast to organizations with effective change management, where 80% of respondents had positive feelings about keeping their job versus only 7% who did not.
  • Ineffective change management negatively impacts an organization's ability to attract talent. When employees reported that change was managed poorly in their organizations, 75% of respondents had concerns with their company's ability to attract talent.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

On Leadership and Training Others to be Leaders

During a recent podcast interview, Six Disciplines' CEO Gary Harpst was interviewed by Jim Blasingame (The Small Business Advocate) about one of the key traits of a true leader: the ability to train and encourage others to be leaders.

Listen to this podcast as they talk about how to make individual workers more responsible and to become “self leaders.”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Five Reasons Strategies Fail

In a recent survey of 163 CEOs by Forbes Insights in conjunction with the Association for Strategic Planning and the Council of Public Relations Firms, chief executives report that one-third of corporate strategies fail, and they fail for five reasons.

The five reasons why strategies fail are:

  1. Unforeseen external circumstances (24 percent).
  2. A lack of understanding among those involved in developing the strategy and what they need to do to make it successful (19 percent).
  3. The strategy itself is flawed (18 percent).
  4. There is a poor match between the strategy and the core competencies of the organization (16 percent).
  5. There is a lack of accountability or of holding the team responsible (13 percent).

The whitepaper, "The Powerful Convergence of Strategy, Leadership and Communications" can be downloaded here.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Strategic Planning - 'Tis the Season (Already?)

The following article was written by Eric Kurjan, President of Six Disciplines Northwest Ohio. Six Disciplines brings “big company” process improvement to organizations looking to break beyond the status quo. For more information visit, or call 419-348-1897.


In an article earlier this year, I wrote about the fact that setting strategy is a year-round opportunity. The message being, don’t wait to take action. For those of you who waited it is definitely time to get moving. The end of the calendar and perhaps fiscal year is rapidly approaching and planning for next year needs to begin.

So what does an effective strategic planning process look like?

Strategic planning is actually the easy part of the two-part process for business success – strategy and execution. Let’s discuss a couple of key thoughts about strategic planning starting with; it needs to be a repeatable process. This process should be one that can be used continually, without changing major elements based on management whims or MBS (Management by Best Seller).

Here are the key steps in strategic planning:

1) Step Back – Take a look around. We need to look at where we have been before we can decide where we want to go. Companies rarely track performance against long-term plans: less than 15% of companies make it a regular practice to go back and compare the business’s results with the performance forecast for each unit in its prior years’ strategic plans according to the Harvard Business Review. So the Step Back process should include a consistent method for reviewing external factors (i.e., economic influences, competitive trends, governmental requirements…etc.) as well as internal factors (i.e., achievement of current year goals, key performance measures, stakeholder satisfaction surveys, completion of a SWOT analysis) plus a process to prioritize a long list of actions into a reasonable, achievable list. I recommend using what we call the 100-Point Exercise to boil down the list to the top items. The 100-Point Exercise allows each participant in the planning meeting to apply up to 100-points (I like increments of 20 points) to the items on the SWOT or brainstorming list they see as the most impactful on the business or organization in the coming year. Then you add up the scores for each item across all participants and the highest scoring items are the winners. It makes a big list manageable and something you can actually work on and complete versus trying to work on a list of 10 or 15 items which is virtually impossible to complete.

2) Decide What’s Important - The process must include a predictable, repeatable method for assessing your organization’s mission, shared values, vision, strategic position, and vital few objectives (a.k.a. goals). In this step we are setting or renewing the vision. Vision is the picture of “where” we want the organization to go in the next ten years. It is defining our destination. It is also the step that helps us determine “what” we need to do to get to that destination. These are referred to as our Vital Few Objectives (VFOs). It does not happen by accident, well it might, but then that would be an accident.

3) Set Goals that Lead - Also important is a process to determine and set goals that are measureable, allowing us a way to develop clear targets and deadlines. Nothing loosey-goosey here – hard numbers, revenue dollars, margin percentage, dates, units. Real goals have real outcomes by which we can measure our progress. Also, this is where we need to define the projects or initiatives that will help us get to our goals. If our Vision (where) is to have “regional geographic presence” and our VFO (what) is to “open five offices in the next five years” then our initiative/project is “how” to open the first “new office in 2010”. These initiatives are intended to change the trajectory of the business. We do many things to run the business but what do we need to do to change the business. These are the items that drive activities of “every person, every day.” Now that I know “Where”, “What” and “How” the next is “Who” will do the work.

4) Work the Plan – This is the execution phase of the strategic plan. And this is the biggest failure point for organizations. The execution phase is setting the stage for “who” will do the work. This is where we must assign the work that needs to be done to help the organization achieve the goals to arrive at the destination. Set real tasks with real deadlines and real outcomes.

To recap, strategic planning is not an annual event – it is an on-going process. While most organizations conduct strategic planning annually, that’s not enough. It needs to be revisited on a quarterly basis in order to measure progress, align resources and implement necessary adjustments. If you are not measuring, observing, and adjusting, the likelihood for success decreases rapidly. Just like driving a car on the highway, you need to pay attention to the key dashboard indicators and look out the windshield. You must continually adjust based on various internal and external inputs like the speedometer, the roadway, traffic, visibility, etc.

Let’s not forget, however, that strategic planning is only HALF of the equation. While the CEO and leadership team “own” the strategic plan and are accountable for it, they cannot be completely responsible for its proper execution. Even the most well-crafted strategy is subservient to superior execution. And, most successful business leaders agree, they’d rather have a “B” strategy and an “A” execution, than the other way around. In fact 90% of organizations fail to execute their strategies successfully according to a survey by the BSC Collaborative.

The tougher, more critical side of the strategy/execution equation is making it work - getting it done, measuring progress along the way, finding what doesn’t work early enough to make course corrections and aligning resources (people, technology, policies, processes, and measures) continually so that initiatives can support the vital few objectives (VFOs).

It’s the delicate balance of both strategic planning and execution that separates good organizations from great organizations.

In my next article, I’ll focus on this other half of the equation: Execution.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Deming's Fourteen Points of Quality Management

W. Edwards Deming was a supreme practitioner of quality management.

He summarized his ideas in these Fourteen Points of Quality Management:

  1. Create constancy of purpose towards improvement. That means short-term out, long-term in.
  2. Adopt the new philosophy. From top to bottom
  3. Cease dependence on inspection. You don’t inspect quality into products and services - you design it in.
  4. Move towards a single supplier for any one item. Playing many suppliers off against each other is wasteful.
  5. Improve constantly and forever. However good you are, you can always do better.
  6. Institute training on the job. The best place to learn.
  7. Institute leadership. Go well beyond supervision and its quotas and targets.
  8. Drive out fear. Makes for bad work - and bad management.
  9. Break down barriers between departments. No more “silos."
  10. Eliminate slogans. Non-meaningful slogans are counter-productive substitute for real management.
  11. Eliminate management by objectives. Relying on production and other targets is also counter-productive.
  12. Remove barriers to pride of workmanship. The key to superior quality lies here - and in the Fourteen Points, which all encourage performance.
  13. Institute education and self-improvement. Organizational learning.
  14. Transformation is everyone’s job. Everyone, from the bottom - and including the top.

BOTTOMLINE: Simple, straightforward, not easy, but absolutely worth the effort.

(Thanks to Thinking Managers for the tip!)