Web Gurjari Spreads Wings…..

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Web Gurjari idea was conceived as a platform to bring all “GUJARATI” writing and reading netizens under one roof so as to help Gujaratis shed their inertia

-  To use Gujarati language, in all natural modes of communication among Gujarati-speaking communities;

-   To promote the culture of using the Gujarati language, inherently, even in their own professions

thereby protecting Gujarati language from being an Endangered Language.

Initially, Web Gurjari evolved as Gujarati Language and Literature blog. The blog operates on voluntary active contribution and collaboration of its members.

And now, Web Gurjari is poised to spread its wings in new directions, too.

“સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]  is the Top-Level Title of the new Chapter added to Web Gurjari.

Web Gurjari’s “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]“ aims to bring the coded knowledge of the’ Science and Art of the Modern Management Theories and Practice’ under one Gujarati roof.

Typically, the world “management” connotes Business (and Industrial) Management.  Hence “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]“ is likely to have to more of the concepts, literature and discussions from the world of Business Management. However, “management” is, consciously or unconsciously, intertwined in all walks of the modern life. It may have been documented as Management Literature in the books, magazines, newspapers or blogs and websites. It may have remained implicit in the lessons of the history or in the realms of folklores and mythology.  It remains embedded in the lives of the legends. “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]“will, therefore,  provide the common platform for sharing all these aspects and forms of ‘Experiments of Management’, thereby providing not only a multi-faceted source of the knowledge to the practicing professionals, but also adding the much needed depth and variety to the fare to the burgeoning tribe of ‘common’ visitors to Web Gurjari.

And as a bonus, the active contributors to “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]” will find a medium to unleash their ‘bottled-up-in-the-mundane-pressures-of the-routine’ creative juices. And to the reading professionals, the content will act as strong stress-buster.

If we look at the coin from the other side, “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]” will be the networking platform where topics ranging from the technical intricacies of the principles of management to the nuances of the art of practicing the management will be shared, in Gujarati.

In the process, “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]” would also strive to bond all present and future exponents of management (Gujarati) literature, on and off the net.

Under the top-level chapter title, the content of “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]” would be grouped under appropriate ‘concept / topic’ “category”. Each of the “categories” may have “sub-categories” dedicated to a focused subject matter. Each published shall also have identifying tags for the contributors and other keywords of the content, in addition to the net-world contacts of the contributor.

The typically suggested categories and subcategories that સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ [Contemporary Management World]” would encompass are:

Management Principles in Practice

Self (Personal) Development

Contemporary Management Literature

- Review of Books, Magazines, Article, Blog/websites, Films /Videos

Informative Profiles (First preference to Gujarati, then Indian and then international) {The content shall not amount to commercial publicity}

-  Institutions (Organizations)

-  Individuals (Entrepreneurs, Managers, Educationists, Trainers, Authors)

-  Interviews (in Text and /or audio video formats)

Reports of the proceedings of Conferences, Conclaves and Seminars

Trends at Education and Training Sectors {taking care of not publishing any promotional material)

-  Management Education and Training

-  Technical Education

-  Professional Education and Training

Topics Not Covered Elsewhere

There are two routes to contribute to this endeavor – as a reader and /or as the contributor.

You can “bookmark” the link to “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ” and can be a regular reader. If you want the notifications of new posts on the blog delivered to your “inbox”, you may like to register your e-mail address at the “તમારું ઇ-મેઇલ સરનામું લખો” box available @ “ઇ-મેઇલ દ્વારા વે.ગુ. સંપર્ક” on the top right-hand side of the blog-site.

You can be an ‘active reader’ by jotting down your considered feedback @ “Comments” and / or writing to webgurjarim@gmail.com. Your active participation, by way of sharing your views, experiences, references / links to similar literature, would go on enhance the discussion quality to more meaningfully value-addition to the original post.

You can also choose to bean ‘active’ – occasional or regular – ‘contributor, by way of writing in the articles, and /or providing sharable multimedia content. You can send in your contributions to  webgurjarim@gmail.com.

You may also like to take over role of coordinator’ of a particular category / sub-category and develop your own circle of contributors. It is expected that “સાંપ્રત મેનેજમેન્ટ વિશ્વ” @ Web Gurjari grows into a vibrant family, built at the level of cities, region and nation as in the course of the journey over the longer term.  Your response would be eagerly awaited @ webgurjarima@gmail.cor or web.gurjari@gmail.com.

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – July 2013

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Welcome to July 2013 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We commence our present edition with Quality of Personal Improvement.

Dan McCarthy @ The Great Leadership, presents 20 Questions to Assess the Quality of an Individual Development Plan. The article also has further cascaded links to the earlier articles on the subject – How to Write a Great Individual Development Plan (IDP)  @ November 24, 2008; The Power of a Written Individual Development Plan  @ October 29, 2008 and  Eight Step Guide to Developing Your Leadership Skills @ November 23, 2007.
How To Align Yourself to Your Work and Achieve More – details following keys -

1)     Either find work that you love, or find things you love about your work

2)     Listen to your body~ Take care of yourself

3)     Align yourself to solutions ~ not to the challenges you are facing

4)     If getting specific is stressing you out, get general first.

The test and the clues to the alignment of us to our work lies in James Lawther’s article How are you Organised?

The modern day professional life has n-number of occupation stress hazards. Shaun Rosenberg presents us – 7 Extremely Obvious Reasons to Become an Optimist : “History is created by optimists who decide to give it one more try. Being optimistic allows you to create new things and helps humanity as a whole grow. While you may be able to dismiss new ideas with seemingly logical doubt, it is those who seek out new answers and look for possibilities that create growth, and it is with the optimists that all hope for the human race rests.”

Now let us shift our gaze from personal improvement to Process Improvement Tutorials, so exhaustively presented @ Squawk Point. This is a mine of information.

The process of improvement is closely linked to the process of measurements.

We have a quite telling article by Paul Zak – Measurement Myopia, and this what he has to say:

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”- This maxim ranks high on the list of quotations attributed to Peter Drucker. There’s just one problem: He never actually said it.
The fact is, Drucker’s take on measurement was quite nuanced. .. Drucker also knew that not everything could be held to this standard. “Your first role . . . is the personal one,” “It is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do.” Drucker went on: “It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.”
This is why Drucker believed—and so do I — that conversations with colleagues are essential. The science backs this up. Expansive conversations and socializing can induce the brain to synthesize oxytocin, the “social engagement” molecule. When the brain releases oxytocin, we are motivated and internally rewarded to cooperate with others for a common purpose.
The goal of conversations (including, as I’ve written, during the annual-review process) is not only to understand the employee next to you, but the human being next to you.
So, measurement, yes. Only measurement, no.

Peter Wyss @ SUMMSO presents 3 Key Elements for Top Project Management Performance:
Completing a project on time, within the budget and with the quality which the customer or end-user expects can be a challenge and will be an even bigger challenge in the future due to growing expectations, smaller budgets and short time-spans to market…..We experience these challenges on a daily basis and find the following items as the key elements for excellent Project Management Performance:

1) Have a plan
2) Focus on your time
3) Be prepared
Measurements and Analysis can lead to the sustained improvement only on the back of a sound decision-making process.

SqawckPoint shares Can You Make the Right Decisions? : When it comes to making decisions, there are invariably only a very few factors that are important.  If you can find what they are and write down the decision making logic then you could make those decisions far more effectively.

ASQ TV Episode 5: The State of the Quality Profession : In this episode ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement attendees talk about the quality profession today, and what the future holds. A new ASQ research initiative gives us a current global state of quality. Become reacquainted with control charts. And, a Quality Progress character makes his first TV appearance. To learn more about control charts and find a template, visit http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/data-collection-analysis-tools/overview/control-chart.html.

There are a few related videos on control charts and SQC techniques, viz. Welcome, Mr. Pareto Head and Control Chart

ASQ has another excellent section – Ask The Experts, for active networking with other professionals. One may easily maintain contact by e-mail subscription to the blog,

Now we start our special section of visiting ASQ Influential Voices, in the alphabetical order in which they appear.

Guy BigwoodOur first destination is Guy Bigwood. Based in Spain, Guy Bigwood is the sustainability director of MCI, an association management company. He is responsible implementing corporate social responsibility throughout MCI’s 48 global offices, and manages a global consulting practice that provides strategic guidance to businesses, associations, governments, and the United Nations. His blog is Less Conversation More Action, which has a tagline- Dispatches from the frontline of sustainability in the meetings industry.
This blog is written by Roger Simons and Guy Bigwood, with help from a few invited guests.   Michael Luehrs provided some great content.

Named as meeting industry “Green Leaders”, the blog was created to share experiences, opinions, best practices and mistakes from the front line of sustainability and the meetings industry.

Before we take up a brief detail on Green, let us complete the tour of Less Conversation More Action.

In one of the recent posts, Sustainability and quality – lets have a group hug, the author lines up the biggest challenge to Quality is to “to get the quality peStrong Teamople talking to the sustainability people and vice-versa. Many of us are focused on the same thing: i.e. Zero

  • Quality: zero defects, zero customer complaints
  • Sustainability: zero waste, zero water usage, zero human rights violations.

And for Quality professionals to embrace the sustainability, the blog has Our Work, which outlines “a few good case studies from some of our clients, to whom we provided a helping hand with strategic consulting, training, coaching, reporting and/or measurement services”; Recommended Reading, which recommends the books to help on the journey of creating more sustainable organisations, and Articles on authors; interviews and what they write for magazines and newspapers.
A brief note on Sustainability would indeed be in order at this stage.

“Sustainability, and the demands it places on our society to achieve it, requires us all to be part of the solution, rather than contributing to any of the number of challenges we face. Sustainability, and sustainable development, requires that we plan strategically to avoid the burning of fossil fuels, the mining of rare metals and the use of chemicals which persist in nature.

As a baseline, sustainability requires that we source the raw materials which fuel our society in ways which are both ecologically and socially responsible. To achieve sustainability, … real leadership and a passionate effort to share knowledge will result in the increased profits, improved brand values, healthier communities, productive environment.. and the gift of a good conscience for all.(Courtesy: GMIC).
And here is somewhat easily understandable way to appreciate the concept of sustainability: Sustainability explained through animation.
The June Roundup questions that Paul Borawasi has posed,

  • What is the most important challenge the quality community faces in ensuring that the value of quality is fully realized for the benefit of society?
  • And, what question does the quality community most need answered in order to advance the state of quality practice in the world?

, presents a wide diversity of answers, from a variety of industries.

And we finally round up our present edition with -

Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #195
Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival #196
Management Improvement Carnival #197

I eagerly look forward to our exciting Blog Carnival Journey together….

Sunday Is My Day of Work…Not Rest – Janine Popick

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When do you have time to be strategic? When do you have time to take a look at how your business is really doing and where you want it to go?

Do these look like pedagogic questions?

Then the article Jannie Popick’s article “Sunday Is My Day of Work…Not Rest” is a must read, reflect and take action on.

If you already practice setting aside a quality time for “that strategic thrust to future journey”, even then the article  will certainly provide a refreshing light on the thought process.

Here is the short intro of  Janine Popick :- the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions – and the link to her BASEMENT TO BOARDROOM series on Inc. : For me to keep visiting regularly.

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – June 2013

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Welcome to June 2013 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We begin our present edition with articles relating to Measurement of Performance.

The first article that we pick up has the message of eternal optimistic realism, so essential a trait that every quality person (or any person with a Quality Attitude) ought to ingrain –

You Will Recover From This. – By Ollin Morales

“To fall into truth, then, the illusion must be torn away from us.

But without the tearing away, without the losing of everything, we can never know that we had everything to begin with. We can never know that it is our spirit that is the core of who we are, and that nothing can ever tarnish it.”

If nothing else: if you just allow yourself to endure the night, this courageous act of resilience will be rewarded with wisdom, strength, and clarity of purpose when the dawn arrives. (A dawn that may arrive, sooner than you think it would.)

The articles that we have in this edition pose interesting questions; provide a fresh insight, and in turn lead our focus to the underlying fundamental issues.

Quantitative Versus Qualitative KPIs - By Stacey Barr

The distinction between quantitative and qualitative measures is often misunderstood. Technically, every measure is quantitative.

In the field of statistics, we distinguish variables as qualitative (or attribute) when those variables are not gauging an amount but rather are simply putting things into buckets. Qualitative variables aren’t performance measures. But they are used to help us analyse our measures.

In the field of statistics, we distinguish two types of quantitative variables: continuous and discrete.

Three Rules to Deliver the Best Possible Performance for as Long as Possible

Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed went looking for those companies that were good enough for long enough to be considered exceptional and to rule out luck as the primary source of their performance. What they found they have presented in The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think.

  1. Better Before Cheaper - Greater non-price value rather than by lower price.
  2. Revenue Before Cost. – Outperforming through higher revenue rather than lower costs.
  3. There Are No Other Rules - Whatever competitive or environmental changes or challenges you might face, do not give up on the first two rules.

The Toughest Things to Measure by Stacey Barr

“‘Employee Morale, Quality of life, strength of customer relationship, business reputation’ are the items found in the list of “the toughest things to measure in business”.
“The problem is not one of measurement, but one of articulation of the results we want to improve or achieve or create. When you can evidence something, you can measure it.”

Separate your charting and data analysis tools from your enterprise tools by Steve Daum

Online debate rages about whether potatoes and onions should be stored together, with the “no” side saying they both give off gases that accelerate spoilage, and the “yes” followers asserting that it makes no difference. Whether you agree or disagree, you can follow the underlying concept: some things do need to be separated in order to perform at their best. (Hence the practice of assigning twins to separate classrooms, perhaps.)

We have an interesting article that looks at Performance Measurement form a fresh, fundamental angle, linking the process to the human angle  -
What happened to belief that safety is “everyone’s responsibility?” – by Jonathan Jacobi

I believe “safety is everyone’s responsibility.”  That being said, I have seen “everyone’s responsibility” become no one’s responsibility when the buck gets passed.  This is exactly why defined accountabilities and measures of effectiveness are required elements of leading program management standards like ANSI Z10 and OHSAS 18001.
With responsibilities clearly identified and properly distributed, we can assure and not just pay lip service to the adage that “safety is everyone’s responsibility.”  What’s more, by measuring and rewarding success based on leading indicators, rather than just pinning prevention failures on scapegoats, we can help to establish a more positive, proactive safety culture.

And Leadership Thought #436 – Are You Aligned With Your Values And Priorities? By E D Robinson, also provides an excellent insight to the subject.

I’ve often heard it said that if you want to know what a person truly values, pay attention to what they do, not what they say.  Actions do speak louder than words.
I encourage you to step back and reflect on where you are at this point in your life.  Are you aligned with your values and priorities?  Are you moving towards or away from the person you truly want to be? It’s never too late to make positive changes.

People or Process? Paul Zak, the director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University and the author of The Moral Molecule.

Peter Drucker (borrowing from Marshall McLuhan) wrote that “neither technology nor people determine the other, but each shapes the other.” My own view is similar—that success stems from having the right people and the right processes in place.

8 “Be-Attitudes” of Holding People Accountable by Robert Whipple

The key to leadership is to create an environment whereby people do the best they can because they want to do it. When employees know it is clearly in their best interest to give their maximum discretionary effort to the organization, managers don’t have to crack the whip as often.  Imagine working in an environment where people do the right things not because they are expected, but because it is in their best interest.  In that atmosphere, holding people accountable would nearly always be a positive occurrence rather than negative. How refreshing!

Motivating people: Getting beyond money

With profitability returning to some geographies and sectors, we see signs that bonuses will be making a comeback: for instance, 28 percent of our survey respondents say that their companies plan to reintroduce financial incentives in the coming year. While such rewards certainly have an important role to play, business leaders would do well to consider the lessons of the crisis and think broadly about the best ways to engage and inspire employees. A talent strategy that emphasizes the frequent use of the right non-financial motivators would benefit most companies in bleak times and fair. By acting now, they could exit the downturn stronger than they entered it.

EVERY COMPANY NEEDS PEOPLE WHO CAN REGULARLY FAILLes Hayman’s Blog
“I find that most companies also tend to reward those who protect the status quo rather than those who want to experiment with change, thereby creating a culture where any failure is a serious career limiter. This will then ensure that people become strongly risk averse and will then only do what has been done before (see “If you always do what you have always done” posted April 29, 2013). Building a culture that is risk averse means that managers will tend to recruit and/or promote only those people that fit the existing mould and who will be unlikely to test the existing boundaries. This protection of “the way we do things around here” will start on day one with the induction of new employees, to put into them the fear of being or thinking differently.”

Even as the title of the article does talk about the Process of Change, the underlying principles are as universal for Measurement of Performance, since change, necessarily, follows the measurement –

Six Simple Questions: A framework for change
In my work with organizations, I’m always trying to find simple questions that generate complex patterns of dialogue and shared learning.

Here are six simple questions to help any organization

1.    How can we best make sense of the challenges we are facing?  (what tools or methods may give us better results)\

2.    How can we best decide on what to do together? (same)

3.    Who can we learn from, and how can we best adapt new knowledge to our own challenges? (same)

4.   How can we best explore promising options and ideas for improvement? (same)

5.    How will we sustain everyone’s commitment to improvement?

6.   How will we assure that we are achieving results that are not only “better, faster, and cheaper,” but also “happier and more satisfying” for our employees, customers, and stakeholders alike?

change happens by denise lee yohn

Joni Doolin of People Report/Black Box Intelligence make an important distinction that clarified the upside of change:  change is passive, but transformation presents an opportunity for you to play an active role and create a better future.
Change is like a high wind on a mountain.  It is unpredictable and inevitable, and often comes on without much warning.  Commitment to a clearly articulated purpose and strong brand stakeholder alignment are like the gear and protection an experienced hiker always has on hand.  So, yes, change happens – but that shouldn’t stop you from summiting the highest of mountains.

Before we turn on other topics, we take look at another timeless classic – “Toyota Way” in Book Review: Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement by  Tim McMahon
Building upon Jeffrey Liker’s international bestselling Toyota Way series of books, The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement looks critically at lean deployments and identifies the root causes of why most of them fail.
The book is organized into three major sections outlining:

  1. Why it is critical to go beyond implementing lean tools and, instead, build a culture of continuous improvement that connects operational excellence to business strategy
  2. Case studies from seven unique industries written from the perspective of the sensei (teacher) who led the lean transformation
  3. Lessons about transforming your own vision of an ideal organization into reality

And, we have a gem of a communication tip in -

Pause for Effectiveness: 9 Powerful Times to Pause – Karin Hurt
A pause gives you time to think and helps calm the emotions.  Pregnant pauses give birth to vibrant ideas.  

Finally, before we take up two more topic categories as regular features in this Blog Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs, we take look at the article that has acted as catalyst for this action –

Maintaining ‘Continued Relevance’ of QualityAnshuman Tiwari

This month Paul has asked two very fundamental questions. If answered and acted upon, they could change the course of quality. Read his blog here. His questions are:

 What is the most important challenge the quality community faces in ensuring that the value of quality is fully realized for the benefit of society?

 And, what question does the quality community most need answered in order to advance the state of quality practice in the world?

Shri Anshuman Tiwari is one of the leading ASQ Influential Voices. “ASQ’s Influential Voices are quality professionals and online influencers who raise the voice of quality on their personal blogs. Based around the world, the Influential Voices are passionate about improvement and other key issues in the quality community. They represent countries such as India, Ecuador, China, Malaysia, Australia, and the United States, and comprise a wide range of industries.” From the next edition of the Blog Carnival, we shall, briefly, introduce ourselves to, at least, one such professional’s online “influence” contribution(s).

We shall also enlist the videos placed on ASQ TV during the previous period of the blog carnival.

Here are some very interesting videos, to begin with:

Episode 1: The Customer Experience
Episode 2: Culture of Quality
Episode 3: Recalls and Quality
Episode 4: Supply Chains

We shall also make the monthly round up on ASQ our regular feature to end our Blog Carnival edition. For the present we have May Roundup: Deming, Management & More
to accompany our constant companion,

Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #194

I eagerly look forward to our exciting Blog Carnival Journey together….

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – May 2013

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Welcome to May 2013 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We would continue with our practice of putting across the excerpts from the respective post / article without any editorial intervention, so as to get the intent of the article without any dilution.

Let us open the account with some basics

New Website for The W. Edwards Deming Institute

“Some of my favourite content on the new site include the articles, photos, videos, timeline and short descriptions of some of Dr. Deming’s most famous ideas.”

Having a National Quality Award is Only Part of Sustainable Success

So why aren’t their more repeat winners?  Some theories:

For small businesses – the cost is a barrier though some state programs are starting to overcome this issue.

Changes in leadership – all quality award programs require FULL management support and MBNQA is no exception.  The leader who shepherds the organization to winning the MBNQA often does not stick around for another round.  The question becomes for the new leader, what is the ROI for being an award winner and does it generate significant revenue to continue supporting the program?

Economic Conditions – This theory particularly impact non-profit and governmental winners in that these organizations often are not revenue generators.  Budgetary efficiency is a prime driver and the same management questions above are often asked here as well.

MBNQA as a “bolt-on” – This theory is my pet peeve because we really have not addressed the essence of quality programs.  Quality works best when it involves organizational integration.  Usually, a small group is involved in developing the award packets.  “It’s their job to do MBNQA.”   This leads us down the path of “real” ROI to doing MBNQA and it opens itself up for immediate cuts in poor economic situations.

I would contend that a better guideline for a national quality award should be Deming’s 14 Points rather than the MBNQA criteria.

Quality: Ownership and Getting Better  – @ Tanmay

     Quality you deliver has everything to do with how much you own your work. Your work carries your fingerprints. It tells a story about you.

On a long run, compromising on quality of your work because of the external factors and not growing through your work can be both painful and costly!

A Culture of Quality from ASQ TV

Organizations do not survive on good products and services alone. Brien Palmer, author of Making Change Work, relates the importance of a culture of quality for any organization.

Michelin’s Obsession with Quality – To North American company president, Pete Selleck, manufacturing the ‘Michelin way’ means making quality king.  – Travis Hessman | IndustryWeek

“This is proof that process control in our industry is key,” Selleck said. “We all use the same equipment to make tire, so we know it’s not the equipment that makes the difference. It’s the interface between the equipment, the material and the person—the training and the qualification of the person—that makes the difference.”

“Respect for People” and “The Design of the System”Larry Miller

Michel Baudin, a fellow blogger and author, posted a video link of a panel discussion that included Jeffrey Liker (The Toyota Way, Toyota Leadership) in which British consultant John Seddon makes the comment that “This respect for people stuff is horse shit.” Seddon argues that, what leads to improvement is the system and not an intervention to respect or deal better with the people.

On Michel’s blog there then followed what I think was an interesting exchange on the subject between Michel, Mark Graban and myself.

You can find the entire 45 minute panel discussion here: http://vimeo.com/42297077. It is a worthwhile discussion about lean, standard work and the nature of the system.

Respect for people is the result, not only of personal patterns of communication, but also the result of the nature of the system.

Here are just a few ways you can design into your organization’s system respect for people.

  1. On-Boarding Respect – How you bring people, particularly managers, into your organization can set the pattern for the rest of their career with your company.
  2. Leader Standard Work at Gemba – Leaders at every level should spend some time at the front-line, where the work is done.  If, on the other hand, he is scanning the environment for “how can I help them and what can I learn from them?” he is demonstrating respect. Leader standard work should be reviewed at the next level, and the next.
  3. Design Decision Making for Respect
  4. Encourage Experimentation and Improvement – Most continuous improvement, and it is the intention of the PDCA cycle, is simply to cause people to think and to try some possible improvement. There should be no fear in experimenting and failing. That is inherent in the learning process. If you encourage and reward experimentation, you are demonstrating respect for people.

Committing to a cycle of honest communication – Seth Godin

The inability to say the thing that will make everything better (because of fear of shifting the status quo) is a project killer.

The Best Decision You’ll Make Today: Read This Post

Peter Drucker studied decision-making closely and wrote a lot about it, breaking down the process into a series of seven steps. They include:

  • Determine whether a decision is even necessary.
  • Classify the problem. Is it common or unique?
  • Define the problem. What is this situation really all about?
  • Decide on what is right. That is, make the right kind of compromise.
  • Get others to buy the decision.
  • Convert the decision into action—that is, make it somebody’s work assignment and responsibility.

When it came to helping people see if they’d made wrong decisions, however, Drucker advocated a quite straightforward approach. It’s embodied in the seventh of his seven steps: Test the decision against actual results.

“Systematic decision review” was Drucker’s term for it.  “Checking the results of a decision against its expectation shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve and where they lack knowledge or information,” Drucker wrote in a 2004 essay for Harvard Business Review. “It shows them their biases.”

How a Manufacturer Improved Communication in Every Department 

How did Nation Pizza and Foods increase efficiency by more than 10%? Take one 190,000 square foot facility, six high-speed lines, over 600 employees and add downtime into the mix, and you have a recipe for improving efficiency. In this free white paper, get the inside story on what this award-winning food products manufacturer did to slice downtime, speed up response time, enhance safety and improve communication in every department — in and outside the plant.  Click here to download.

And, now, a couple of articles on the timeless subject of Qualities of a Leader:

Do You Have a Bad Boss?

The top ten qualities that make a good boss:

  1. Communicates with their boss.
  2. Prevents problems before they occur.
  3. Matches employee skills to the job.
  4. Deals with bad employees.
  5. Shows respect and values every employee.
  6. Focuses on getting the job done and not the time clock.
  7. Is consistent, predictable, and tells the truth.
  8. Communicates with their employees, often.
  9. Coaches and trains others.
  10. Praises employees and rewards good work.

Ariens: Seven Skills of a Lean Leader .- Jill Jusko | IndustryWeek
Ariens CEO outlines qualities needed to sustain the lean journey

1. Servant Leader – A coach and a player

2. Relentless Change – “The journey never ends, and we must be learning forever,

      3.  The Disciplined Chaos – the ability to recognize where you want to go and remain focused on that goal without letting chaos throw you off.

      4. The Benevolent Dictator – dictates of benevolence

  • Be honest.
  • Be fair.
  • Keep our commitments.
  • Respect the individual.
  • Encourage intellectual curiosity.

     5.  Fearless Anxiety -   See challenges as speed bumps

     6.  Cultural Revolution -Ariens described a company’s core values as its “cement.” The revolution is what “goes on above, and the cement allows that to happen.”

     7.  Confident Humility – knowing we will be OK without being complacent

The journey is the destination. When we realize that, that’s when we know we have arrived.”

On that note, we change tracks to the subject of Continual Improvement:

Not every improvement has to be a breakthrough by JAMIE FLINCHBAUGH

Sometimes the best way to maximize Return on Investment is not to look for the high returns but to look for the low investments. Keep it Simple…well, you know the rest.

Transformational Change vs. Continuous Improvement – Lawrence M. Miller, author of “Getting to Lean – Transformational Change Management”

It may sound like sacrilege to hear someone say that continuous improvement may not always be the right answer. Of course, it is the core process of lean management. But, there are times when more significant and more rapid change is required – sometimes revolution rather than evolution is called for.

 The first thing to understand about transformational change is that the external environment — technology, regulation, competition, the economy — is forcing change upon your organization. Your organization is a sub-system of a larger system, and it must align its systems to the external world. Sometimes that external environment demands rapid change that may be uncomfortable for everyone.

Second thing to know is that every organization is a “whole-system.” Lean management is a whole-system. It is not 5S, teams, or process maps. It is everything from the organizational structure, the information system, the decision-making processes, the human resource systems, etc.

Third thing to know: Sub-systems of the whole must be aligned.

Transformational change is not problem-solving. It is designing the whole-system to meet the needs to customers and the future environment. It is an act of creating something, not fixing something.

Transformational change is a process designed to create significant change in the culture and work processes of an organization and produce significant improvement in performance.

Phil Buckleys article “Why don’t we do the things we know we should do?” was primarily written for the “leadership” audience, but is equally relevant for our discussion on Continual Improvement.

An excerpt:

My default behaviour is to keep working until tasks are completed, even when my resources are low.

It’s time to make a change. Here is my plan for breaking this unproductive habit:

  • Make a list each night of non-work activities I will complete on breaks during the following day (I am a list person)
  • Visually display this list beside my priority activities list (visual reminders are powerful)
  • Review my progress nightly (and make notes as I do after my runs)
  • Ask a friend to check in on my progress (I know I will never have “nothing to report”)
  • Reward the desired behaviour (schedule guilt-free play time to spend with family and friends)

And here is our round up of the current edition:

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #192

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #193

Thanks a lot for visiting this carnival… I look forward seeing you when we are here next month.. till then, I keenly look forward to your feedback………..

Carnival of Quality Management and Articles Blog Festival – April 2013

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Welcome to April 2013 edition of Carnival of Quality Management and Articles Blog Festival.

I have only three broad divisions of the articles for this month’s edition of the Blog Festival:

One relating to core Quality area, and another relating to areas that leads to a better organization, better life over a period of time, and the other one relating Change Management.

Articles relating to the Core Quality Function -

Four Ways to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Root Cause Analysis Process
Root Cause Analysis is all about improving your bottom line in safety, environmental compliance and profitability. This paper explores measuring the effectiveness of Root Cause Analysis as a business process intended to produce business results. The author provides examples of the primary KPIs that will help you keep your finger firmly on the pulse of your RCA process.

Five Ways to Boost Quality in Manufacturing Operations – John Mills, executive vice president of business development, Rideau Recognition Solutions

  1. Reward success
  2. Measure team performance
  3. Avoid abstract
  4. Study peers and success stories
  5. Process over product

Manufacturing is a precise business that tolerates errors poorly, as Boeing appears to be finding out right now. Strike a balance on your line. Reward teams that find ways to creatively boost output without sacrificing safety. Reserve penalties for only the most serious errors.

And be mindful of history. Every production line experiences trouble from time to time, but recurring mistakes are inexcusable.

And quite useful and interesting articles, from Bizmanuals:

How to Create A Policy & Procedures Manual

Among the tools prescribed to help create the manual, Business Process Map is the heart of the manual creation. And in a related article, Top 10 Policy Procedure Templates, for which the requests keep pouring in, can be browsed.

Management by Procedures is how McDonalds or other successful franchises manage their business.  You start by defining your process using a process map to build visual communication and understanding.  Next, write down what needs to get done, by whom, and when.  Then deploy and practice the procedure.  Perfect the procedure until you have a consistent process just like a franchise would need to roll this out to hundreds of others.

What Process Approach Questions are Used for a Process Audit?
Process auditing is focused on determining process effectiveness and the ability to achieve planned results.

Ask The Experts takes up  a detailed reply to a question relating to Clause 7.6 of ISO 9001-2008 in Measurement System Analysis.

SIPOC – Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer – is an interesting method to look at the critical-to=quality requirements of the process. The question on SIPOC relates to healthcare industry, and is thus very useful for quality professionals from other industries to understand the concept.

And omnibus round ups by borawski– of the series of articles under a subject for the month:

Roundup–Quality In Unexpected Places -  for March 2013

Roundup–Risk and Failure in Quality and Science for February 2013

And here is an omnibus collection of the articles that do have a bearing on the quality of life that you live – at the organization, at personal or social levels -

Learn To Prioritize Effectively

To prioritize effectively, it is important to think about what activities, tasks, responsibilities, etc. are most important to you and deserve your time. So how do you decide what is “important?” I use a simple criterion to define what is important and where I spend my time. I define things I can do as good, better, and best.

In a speech given by Dallin H. Oaks speaks about how to prioritize effectively and make correct choices. He spoke about the difference between good, better, and best choices.

Do you have a “Go-To” Top10?

All of us have situations which are problematic. They can range from minor irritations and something irksome, to outright emergencies. We all need a ‘Go-To” Top 10. These will be your top 10 top professional connections to whom you can turn in a crisis or even with a problem or a question.

Five Ways To Turn Your Crisis Into A Comebackby Tim Milburn –

  1. Recognize what got you headed in the wrong direction in the first place. [else, you may be doomed to repeat those things, again and again.]
  2.  Ask yourself: Why?
  3.  Set your sights on a goal, a target.
  4. Do something every day.
  5. Find joy in the process

The Not Knowing Path of Being an Entrepreneur – By Leo Babauta

Lots of people… try to control the outcomes. Unfortunately, the ability to control outcomes is an illusion.

Here’s How to Walk The Not Knowing Path:

  1. Admit you don’t know
  2. Watch for (the source of) anxiety
  3. Tell yourself you’ll be OK
  4. Consider worst-case scenarios
  5. Know your principles
  6. Act on your principles, not on (your) goals or plans
  7. Breathe and  smile.

The Fundamental Problem in ManagementTimothy Kastelle

The fundamental problem in management is that the world is uncertain, and people hate dealing with uncertainty…The problem with requiring certainty is that when you do, you fail to act.. All of the bad aspects of bureaucracy come from trying to build systems that provide certainty in a world that is by its very nature uncertain…The more businesses I work in and talk with, the more convinced I become that the single most important management skill to develop is a tolerance for ambiguity.

Dr. Deming’s Joy at Work, Happiness & the High Performance Organization – Key factors that lead to a happy life also have direct implications for creating a happy and productive workplace. – Lawrence M. Miller, www.ManagementMeditations.com

  1. Build great teams! Be sure that every employee serves on a well-functioning team with knowledge of its purpose and its performance. Encourage celebration of winning team goals and setting records.
  2. Build internal social networks. Build social networks around common interests and competencies. These become learning networks that provide both the joy of social relationships but also the joy of learning.
  3. Be sure to practice respect for people and recognize that the world’s greatest experts are those who are on-the-spot, with their hands on the work. This builds their self-esteem and encourages learning.
  4. Institute a process of gaining flexibility through multi-skilled, cross trained employees who can optimize the effectiveness of their teams.
  5. Stop wasting money where it doesn’t pay off and spend it where it does. Pay employees for gaining skills and achieving performance. Value high performance by paying for it.
  6. Know and promote the worthy purpose of your organization. Ennoble your employees by connecting them to a spirit of service. This is the essence of leadership.
  7. Hire optimists and not pessimists. Generate hope and optimism by clearly stating where we are going and why it will be great when we get there. Generate creative dissatisfaction in yourself and your employees.

Five Questions CEOs Should Ask about their Supply Chain

Minimizing supply-chain-disruptions requires taking a best-in-class approach from the highest levels of the company – Brian Nolf and Gerhard Plenert, Wipro Consulting Services

1. Is quality built into your supply chain, or do inspection and correction occur after the fact?

2. Is supply chain management a strategic senior level position in your organization or is it a part of an operations activity?

3. Is the movement of information and money as critical in your supply chain as the movement of materials? In other words, does it take longer to create paperwork and process payments than it takes to deliver the goods?

4. Do you have a built-in change management process that constantly reviews the elements of your supply chain and looks for opportunities to improve quality and operational efficiency—or do your systems, policies and procedures block improvement?

5. Does your supply chain minimize the amount of touches and the touch time in supply chain transactions, so as to reduce the number of potential failure points?

The issues surrounding these five questions revolve around culture; capability, flexibility, capacity and technology; systems and processes; repeatability and reliability; and collaboration.

Understanding Quality: Duty Towards Self – Tanmay Vora
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” – Robert M. Pirzig

THE 10/10/10 RULE FOR TOUGH DECISIONS – BY: CHIP HEATH AND DAN HEATH
It’s good to sleep on it when there are tough choices to make, but you also need a strategy once you wake up–which is why you should employ the 10/10/10 rule.
To use 10/10/10, we think about our decisions on three different time frames:

  • How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
  • How about 10 months from now?
  • How about 10 years from now?

WHY THE FUTURE OF INNOVATION IS IN IDEAS, NOT PRODUCTS – BY: KAIHAN KRIPPENDORFF
As we kicked off the 18-hour flight home, I devoured a series of articles in theSingapore Times featuring the winners of the “Singapore Business Awards”: a doctor, an insurance CEO, an advertising exec, and a coffee product seller. Each started careers with little and now leads huge, fast-growing, disruptive businesses.

Dissect the reasons they give for their success and you will see a series of what I call “fourth options”: strategic choices that your customers love and that your competitors won’t copy.

Income points to what it takes to introduce a “fourth option.” First, you introduce a new concept or distinction (e.g., “honest insurance”). This new term is a language tool that helps people reshape how you do things. It is not a new product, but something else–a concept or narrative or category. Second, this new concept starts changing behavior (people change their KPIs, shift their processes). Third, this new set of behaviors allows you to do something different and new (e.g., pay out where others won’t). Finally, competitors want to copy you but decide that to do so require too much behavioral change to be worth it.

Jesse Lyn Stoner  culls out these The 6 Benchmarks of High Performance Teams
1)       Alignment: Alignment around a shared vision.
2)      Team Effectiveness: Effective team processes.>
3)      Empowerment: Power to do what is necessary.
4)      Passion: Energy, enthusiasm, and confidence.
5)      Commitment: Deep commitment to the team and to each other.
6)      Results: Sustained outstanding results.
We also have three articles relating to Change Management:

The first one dates back to April 2004 on ‘strategy + business’: – 10 Principles of Change Management – Tools and techniques to help companies transform quickly. – By John Jones, DeAnne Aguirre, and Matthew Calderone

We have a current related article, too:

The Discipline of Managing Disruption – To Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, coauthor of How Will You Measure Your Life?, a primary task of leadership is asking questions that anticipate great challenges. -  by Art Kleiner
Clayton Christensen’s most recent book, How Will You Measure Your Life? (coauthored with James Allworth and Karen Dillon, HarperBusiness, 2012), links the discipline of managing disruption to the kind of long-term thinking that is necessary if one is to step past today’s pressures and build a strong personal and professional legacy.

The Agility Factorby Thomas Williams, Christopher G. Worley, and Edward E. Lawler III

When the measure of performance is profitability, a few large companies in every industry consistently outperform their peers over extended periods. And they maintain this performance edge even in the face of significant business change in their competitive environments. The one factor they seem to have in common is agility. They adapt to business change more quickly and reliably than their competitors; they have found a way to turn as quickly as speedboats when necessary.

To round up the present edition we will take a look at Management Carnivals lined up by John Hunter

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #188

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #189

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #190

Management Improvement Blog Carnival #191

I keenly await your feedback, as well as inputs for making the this carnival more varied and informative.

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs

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2012 was the year when I was on the freelance wanderlust on reading on the net. Among several subjects I pursued, one topic which has attracted my attention was Quality Management, in its quite wide spectrum.

If Tanmay Vora’s QAspire or Rajesh Setty’s wide-ranging articles or ASQ came up on the radar early on and have drawn my major (reading and seriously pursuing) attention, my quest for more and more wider ranging blogs /authors has remained quite fruitful.

Come 2013, and I firm up my freelancing reading into following a serious hobby of writing on what I like of what I read.

So here comes Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs, to be published on every third Sunday of the month.

In order to collect a fair number of articles under one roof, I have chosen the format of Carnival.

I have chosen this format because, “blog carnivals are a great way for bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts, organize blog posts around important topics, and improve the overall level of conversation in the blogosphere” (Courtesy: http://blogcarnival.com/bc/p_about.html).

I will be publishing these Carnivals as posts on my Blog – The world is too small? or Is it? Under  — — Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs category.

The focus of articles and blogs here would be relating to the Quality as a Profession and as Way of Life.

So, I look forward to 20th Jan.,2013, the first-ever  3rd Sunday when I plan to publish the First edition of this Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

Ignite Passions and Achieve .. Goals

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While translating the article,  #4 Dream BIG!, from Rajesh Setty’s series of articles under the title “Distinguish yourself “, I went on to listen to the promotional video clip of  Marcia Wieder, the author of the book “Make your dreams come truein the article.

http://content.bitsontherun.com/previews/TMNhcdtj-Km5FPYDl                          Dreaming is Serious Business

We may keep the promotional aspect of the clip aside, for the time being, and do imbibe the principles she has succinctly outlined to enable business executives, in fact any one aspiring to achieve ‘something’ in the life,  to “ignite passions and achieve ..  goals” by systemically drawing upon the power of dreaming.

Indeed, our something has to be a precise statement of purpose and we have to do several things, passionately, to make the dream happen!

A detailed visit to the site has quite a few additional benefits, too.

The Speed in a Modern Life

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I am presently reading the sequel to “The monk who sold Ferrari”  -  Leadership Wisdom” by Robin Sharma. And now here is the coincidence that I have two articles from regular reading web-shelf on the subject of “moving Too fast” and (Executive)  ” Burnout” by Ben Fanning , in a guest article on “Great Leadership“.

So, this post – to bring in the essence of both articles, without precluding the “MUST read” each of the article and practice what they have said.

In Gentle Friday Reminder: Go Slow, Shri Tanmay Vora gently reminds us of a harsh aspect of the way we live our life today: “Life is too short (really) to zoom past it. At the end of a succinct article, thereby still , probably, facilitating the current mindset of whizzing mankind interest of reading the article for top-to-finish, he has ceratinly ‘gently’ jolted the reader by quoting “an amazing blogger, Nicholas Bate says: “Chase quality of life, not standard of living. The former is what most of us actually want”.”

Ben Fanning has retained the matter-of-fact narrative style befitting   the Management Genre of the Literature. The entire article - Why Burnout Should Alarm Executive Leaders - has a good deal of wisdom neatly stacked making it quite easy on an otherwise harassed, on verge-of -burn-out ‘modern’ executive to read the article. And the Bonus Tip “Celebrate the Small Wins – Find something to celebrate with your team every day. Even the smallest of wins can help build momentum to achieve bigger goals.” gives a small electric shock for the race for increasingly BIG wins in SHORTEST possible time.

Great Leadership: Building Your Leadership Brand

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[ Great Leadership: Building Your Leadership Brand.- The Guest article, by Beth Armknecht Miller, of Atlanta, Georgia, Founder and President of Executive Velocity, a leadership development advisory firm on The Great Leadership, an excellent blog by Dan McCarthy spurred me to write a response to the article.

Ultimately, it was too long enough to be posted as a comment to the original  article. Hence this post.]

The article’s emphasis – define what leadership is to you” – requires being underlined,so that the real intent of such an excellent advice is hardwired among the practicing managers:

The article goes on to delve deeper into ‘defining’ ‘your own leadership by squarely positioning three searching questions, which we further analyze in terms of the analogy of the “Product Brand” used in the article:

  1. “Genuine” and “True:

For any product to be elevated to a cult , the preferred, brand, it is mandatory that its core characteristics – be its design, be its engineering, be its physical or material or  any other fundamental ‘properties’ by any name – must always be consistent with the  promise of the fulfillment of the need or the requirement of its user that a product or service inherently carries with itself..

Any dilution in the ‘core’ invariably leads to the down fall of the ‘image’ of the product..

This is true of Leadership as well. Leadership, its most fundamental core, is not merely a profession or a vocation. It is a passion. The extent or the nature of the passion may depend on several factors internal to the person – the personality style, impact of one’s upbringing etc.-  or external to the leadership  as an organism – surrounding ‘ecosystem’, the purpose of the organization, the then strategic intents of the top management, organization’s’ relative competitive position etc.- , but the fact remains that as long as the person has an internal stream of inspiration flowing, the leadership as an organism survives.

The core of any Leadership is the ethos of the Leader – values, beliefs, intentions, principles, practices and all that makes a person what he or she is.

  1. “Inspire” others:

This is somewhat equivalent of 4 (or sometimes known as 5) Ps of the product.

Good products are ‘sold’ but good brands are ‘bought’! Excellently conceived and executed Ps can help ‘sell’ the product, but only when the product meets (or exceeds) the requirements or needs of the user, it becomes The Brand which is ‘bought’ irrespective of any (or perhaps, all) competitive pressures.

So is the case of Leadership. A well thought out and manifested Leadership Style can ‘sell’ itself to target constituency, but in order for the Leadership” to be willingly ‘bought’, it ought to “inspire(s) those around (you) to perform their very best”.

The extent and nature of voluntary inspiration that The Leadership provides to the target constituency determines its brand value.

  1. The “results”

Call them KPIs of performance of the product or the Leadership.

In the modern age, what was considered purely altruist in the previous centuries – Religion, Arts, Charity etc. – also get measured in terms of what or how much is achieved.

The results, continuing our analogy with Product, have to be sustained over the life cycle. We still have traces of the tradition where the past glory of a product is archived in a museum. In similar manner, the past glory of the Leadership that was may get chronicled or may be referred to in the present context.

However, increasingly, the value of leadership has indeed shifted to the extent of its impact on the way it enables handling the present, thereby making future appear more cognisable.

The lasting of the Leadership Brand is the impact that it leaves in terms of shaping the future of its constituency.

In the ultimate analysis, the author, Beth Armknecht Miller, rightly cautions thatthe ‘Leadership’ must remain rooted to the inherently “natural” grain. The moment it ‘sounds’ [or ‘appears’] cosmetic, it indeed “loses its credibility”. This is where it may tend become a ‘practice’ rather than a ‘spirit”.

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