Monday, July 22, 2013

EXECUTION: THE DISCIPLINE OF GETTING THINGS DONE


EXECUTION: THE DISCIPLINE OF GETTING THINGS DONE
 
The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job. Execution is a discipline and integral to strategy.
Execution is the major job of the business leader.
Execution must be a core element of an organisation’s culture.
Much has been written about Jack Welch’s style of management—specially his toughness and bluntness, which some people call ruthlessness. He forced realism into all of GE’s management processes, making it a model of execution culture.
 
Execution After a long, stellar career with General Electric, Larry Bossidy transformed AlliedSignal into one of the world’s most admired companies and was named CEO of the year in 1998 by Chief Executive magazine.
In July 2001 Larry Bossidy was asked by the board of directors of Honeywell International (it had merged with AlliedSignal) to return and get the company back on track. He’s been putting the ideas he writes about in Execution to work in real time.

Typically the CEO and his senior management team allot less than half a day each year to review the plans—people, strategy and operations. Typically too the reviews are not particularly interactive. People sit passively watching PowerPoint presentations. They don’t ask questions.
They don’t debate, and as a result they don’t get much useful outcome. People leave with no commitments to the action plans they have helped create. This is a formula for failure.
Only a leader can ask tough questions that everyone needs to answer. Dialogue is the core of culture and basic unit of work. How people talk to each other will determine how well organisation will function.

Is the dialogue stilted, politicised, fragmented and butt-covering?
Far too many leaders avoid debating about people openly in group settings. That’s no way to lead.
Micromanaging is a big mistake. It diminishes people’s self confidence, saps their initiative and stifles their ability to think for themselves.
But there is enormous difference between leading an organisation and presiding over it. The leader who executes often does not even have to tell people what to do; she asks questions so they can figure out what they need to do. In this way she coaches them, passing on her experience as a leader and educating them to think in ways they never thought before.
All leaders like Jack, Sam and Herb are good communicators but communication can be more boilerplate, or it can mean something.
All these leaders practice ‘management by walking around’. They are passionate about getting results. These leaders energise by the example they set.
Even at the end of his career, Jack was not presiding. He was leading by being actively involved.
Execution has to be embedded in the reward systems and in the norms of behaviour that everyone practices. One way get a handle on execution is to think of it as akin to the six sigma processes for continual improvement.  People practicing this methodologies look for deviations from desired tolerances.
Like six sigma, the discipline of execution doesn’t work unless people are schooled in it and practice it constantly. It does not work if only a few people in the system practice it.
The real problem is that execution just doesn’t sound very sexy. It’s the stuff a leader delegates.
Nobel Prize winners succeed because they execute the details of a proof that other people can replicate, verify, or do something with. They test and discover patterns, connections and linkages that nobody saw before.

“Unless I make this plan happen, it’s not going to matter. “ But the selection, training and development of leaders doesn’t focus on this reality.
Leaders are articulate conceptualisers, very good at grasping strategies and explaining them. They are not interested in “how” of getting things done; that’s for somebody else to think about.

Many don’t realise what needs to be done to convert a vision into specific tasks, because their high-level thinking is too broad. They don’t follow through and get things done; the details bore them. They don’t crystallise thoughts or anticipate roadblocks.
Leader’s communications are just not down to earth messages but a tool for changing attitudes. They made the company goals, issues and new leadership style clear to the employees. The talk is straightforward, even blunt, designed to elicit truth and coach people in the behaviour Leader expects his managers. “Intense candour”, Dick Brown, CEO of EDS calls it, “a balance of optimism and motivation with realism.

THE LEADER’S SEVEN ESSENTIAL BEHAVIOURS.
What exactly does a leader who’s in charge of execution do? How does he keep from being a micromanager, caught up in the details of running the business?
1.         Know your people and your business.
2.        Insist on realism.
3.        Set clear goals and priorities.
4.        Follow through.
5.        Reward the doers.
6.        Expand people’s capabilities.
7.        Know yourself.

When going to meet people, prepare well. Learn about stars and set up time with them. Acknowledge their good work and Leave them with a couple of thoughts she didn’t have.
Larry asked why his quality staff reported to manufacturing. “That’s like putting the fox in charge of guarding the chicken coop.” He wanted quality to analyse manufacturing.
INSIST ON REALISM
Realism is the heart of execution, but many organisations are full of people who are trying avoiding or shading reality. Why? It makes life uncomfortable. People don’t want to open Pandora’s Box. They want to hide mistakes, or buy time to figure out a solution rather than admit they don’t have an answer at the moment. They want to avoid confrontations. Nobody wants to be the messenger who gets shot or the troublemaker, who challenges the authority of her superiors. Sometimes the leaders are simply in denial.
Was it realistic for AT&T to acquire a bunch of cable businesses it didn’t know how to run? The record shows it wasn’t. Was it realistic for Richard Thoman to simultaneously launch two sweeping initiatives at Xerox without being able to install the critical leaders? Clearly not.

How do you make realism a priority?  You start by being realistic yourself. Then you make sure realism is the goal of all dialogues in the organisation.
SET CLEAR GOALS AND PRIORITIES
A leader who says, “I have got tem priorities” does not know what he is talking about—he doesn’t know himself what the most important things are. Set clear and simple goals.
FOLLOW THROUGH
Clear and simple goals mean nothing if nobody takes them seriously. The failure to follow through is widespread in business, and a major cause of poor execution.
REWARD THE DOERS
If you want people to produce specific results, you reward them accordingly.

EXPAND PEOPLE’S CAPABILITIES THRPUGH COACHING
The most effective way to coach is to observe a person in action and then provide specific useful feedback.

The skill of the coach is the art of questioning. Asking incisive questions forces people to think, to discover, to search.
GOOD LEADERS:  
Energize people:  Some leaders create energy in their people.  Others drain it.  Day-to-day energy focused on immediate goals.  That’s what gets things done. 
•Are deeply involved in all aspects of their area … curious … tireless … never finish a conversation without summarizing the actions to be taken. 
Are decisive on tough issues:  “Some leaders simply do not have the emotional fortitude to confront the tough ones.  When they don’t, everybody in the business knows they are wavering, procrastinating, and avoiding reality.”  (See Good to Great.) 
Get things done through others: Workaholics who micromanage can’t cut it in the long run.  Neither can hands-off and big-picture-only folks. 
Follow-through:  Ensure that people do what they committed to per time-table.  Synchronize through specificity.  When circumstances de-rail the train, move quickly to lay alternative tracks.

NEVER FINISH A MEETING WITHOUT: 
What’s to be done 
By whom 
When and how 
With what resources 
When, how, and with whom to be reviewed. 
•Never launch an initiative without personal commitment to follow through until it is simply part of “how we do things.” 

 HOW TO GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT JOBS: 
•Focus on what they did and why (priority setting) 
•Does she naturally focus on the people who were assigned to her and how they contributed to the result? 
•Does her career history, from school on, give evidence or energy, enthusiasm, and a delight in accomplishments?  (You can know this when you do CIDS interviewing)
•Does she tend to wander into strategy and theory repeatedly? 
•Did he meet commitments in ways that strengthened or weakened the people involved and the organization as a whole? 
•VERIFY.  PERSONALLY.  WITH REFERENCES YOU KNOW. 

“Nowhere is candid dialogue more important than in the people process.  If people can't speak forthrightly when evaluating others, then the evaluation is worthless – to the organization and to the person who needs the feedback?”

KNOW YOURSELF
Everyone pays lip service to the idea that leading an organisation requires strength of character. In execution it’s absolutely critical. You need ‘emotional fortitude’ to be honest in thought, action and belief.
Psychologists know that some people are limited, even crippled, by emotional blockages that prevent them from doing things that leadership requires. Such blockages may lead them to avoid unpleasant situations by ducking conflicts, procrastinations on decisions, or delegating with no follow –through.
Emotional Fortitude comes from self-discovery and self-mastery.
Leaders know intuitively that they have a problem and will often acknowledge it as well but alarmingly majority of them do not do anything to fix the problem.

At Baxter International, for example, HR is central both to a rigorous process of assessing, developing, and promoting people and to the company’s strategic planning. They established teams to flesh out the details of exactly what was needed, what capabilities they had and what they needed to do to fill the gap.
THE SOCIAL SOFTWARE OF EXECUTION   
Organizational Hardware: 
•Organizational Structure 
•Design of rewards 
•Compensation and sanctions 
•Financial reports and their flow 
•Communication systems 
•Hierarchical distribution of power 
Assignment of tasks 
Budget level approvals 
 
Social Software: 

•Values 
•Beliefs 
•Norms of behaviour 
•Everything else that isn’t hardware
 
YOU CAN ALSO READ THIS…LARRY’S LEGACY CONTINUES AT HONEYWELL.
CEO of the Year 2013
David M. Cote, Chairman and CEO, Honeywell

 "David took on an enormous challenge and just hit it out of the park, creating one Honeywell.  He's often said the trick is in the doing and David has done it, both internally at the company and externally in the strong statesman role he's playing to help our country."
- Jim Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst and Young and 2013 CEO of the Year selection committee member
 Chief Executive Magazine’s “CEO of the Year,” award recognizes an outstanding corporate leader nominated and selected by peers. Under Dave’s leadership for more than a decade, Honeywell has:

• Increased sales by 71% to $37.7 billion
• Increased EPS* by 197% to $4.48
• Delivered a total shareowner return of 240%, consistently outperforming the S&P 500 
• Transformed Honeywell into a global company, with 54% of sales coming from outside the U.S.   Versus 41% 10 years ago
• Oversaw more than 75 acquisitions and 50 divestitures
(Nominations for CEO of the Year were garnered from Chief Executive Magazine’s 124,000 readers. The ten most frequently cited nominations were evaluated and a winner was voted upon by a peer Selection Committee consisting of CEOs from leading global corporations. )

The Leadership Behaviours of “One Hon”
To fix Honeywell’s fragmented culture, David Cote identified 12 key behaviours that ultimately became the basis of the Honeywell Operating System—more colloquially known as One Hon:

1.         Growth and Customer Focus
2.        Leadership Impact
3.        Gets Results
4.        Makes People Better
5.        Champions Change
6.        Fosters Teamwork and Diversity
7.        Global Mindset
8.        Intelligent Risk Taking
9.        Self-Aware/Learner
10.      Effective Communicator
11.        Integrative Thinker
12.      Technical or Functional Excellence

 References:



 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Teachers' Day?-July 17-Prof. crushes students, Headmistress kills 27 with poisonous mid-day meal!

It was Teachers' day with a message from hell, for students! Jul 17, 2013....
This is Bangalore---
Prof Charmaine Jerome, behind wheels of her Santro car, crushes 4 students in broad day light at Mount Carmel College (MCC) gate yesterday! Multiple fractures, serious injuries! Hell broke loose at 8.20 am..

Come down to  small town Chapra, yes, it is in Bihar where Nitish rules after Laloo..27 kids killed by feeding them poisonous mid-day meal. Headmistress Meena Devi is at large! Food is cooked by school and grocery is collected every day from Meena's residence. Grocery is bought from Meena's husband's grocery shop. It is suspected the Mustard Oil was poisonous! Education minister is calling it a political conspiracy against Nitish's susaasan (good governance)! Hell broke on poor kids and parents and draconian government is shamelessly calling it a conspiracy!
Earlier Mid-day meal was supplied by NGOs and later a self-governing local body was formed and here enters the political monster into people's food and bleeds their lives out.

This is culpable homicide and calls for quick trial and corporal punishment! This case is an alarm bell!
Food, health and transport (accidents), poor buildings, including schools and housing are some of the killers in the form of 'transformers'! The 'transformers' which look like cars and turn out to be monsters, create mayhem and we see death and destruction all around!
The susaasan government shall look into all disasters in waiting, all transformers who can turn into monsters and all conspiracies that can kill people and destabilize their government!

I pity, what our IAS officers do in this country, other than sucking up and building illegal asset for progeny!
I am not blaming all but the rest, who are not corrupt, have given up against those, who suck up! This is no less a suck up! This is even bad as the corrupt plunder shamelessly and sit back on their golden chairs with vodka, uninhibited!
For all reasons, if we leave our lives in the hands of politicians and their private governments, we are no less than slaves!

I believe, if you check for how Prof.Charmaine got her driving licence, you would find that she just bought one! It is also a reminder for the MCC to check how many of their Professors and staff are in right mental balance! Send them for a thorough medical check up and review their behavior!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tom Peters and Robert H Waterman Jr - In Search Of Excellence summary

Tom Peters and Robert H Waterman Jr - In Search Of Excellence summary

The seminal management book In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, was published in 1982, and remains one of the one of the biggest selling and widely read business books ever. Peters said finally in his 2001 interview that were he to write In Search of Excellence today, he would not tamper with any of the eight themes, but he would add to them: capabilities concerning ideas, liberation, and speed.

Here is a summary of the 'In Search of Excellence' eight themes, which also form the eight chapters of the book.

In Search of Excellence - the eight themes-

1.       A bias for action, active decision making - 'getting on with it'.
2.       Close to the customer - learning from the people served by the business.
3.       Autonomy and entrepreneurship - fostering innovation and nurturing 'champions'.
4.       Productivity through people - treating rank and file employees as a source of quality.
5.       Hands-on, value-driven - management philosophy that guides everyday practice - management showing its commitment.
6.       Stick to the knitting - stay with the business that you know.
7.       Simple form, lean staff - some of the best companies have minimal HQ staff.
8.       Simultaneous loose-tight properties - autonomy in shop-floor activities plus centralized values.

In Search Of Excellence summary
Peters and Waterman found eight common themes which they argued were responsible for the success of the chosen corporations, which have become pointers for managers ever since. In Search of Excellence didn't start out as a book, as Tom Peters explained when interviewed in 2001 to mark the 20th anniversary of In Search of Excellence: Peters and Waterman were both consultants on the margins of McKinsey, based in the San Francisco office. In 1977 McKinsey director Ron Daniel launched two projects; the first and major one, the Business Strategy project, was allocated to top consultants at McKinsey's New York corporate HQ and was given star billing. Nothing came of it. The second 'weak-sister' project (as Peters called it) concerned Organisation - structure and people. The Organisation project was seen as less important, and was allocated to Peters and Waterman at San Francisco. Peters travelled the world on an infinite budget, with licence to talk to as many interesting business people he could find about teams and organisations in business. He had no particular aim or theory in mind. In 1979 McKinsey's Munich office requested Peters to present his findings to Siemens, which provided the spur for Peters to create a 700-slide two-day presentation. Word of the meeting reached the US and Peters was invited to present also to PepsiCo, but unlike the hyper-organised Siemens, the PepsiCo management required a tighter format than 700 slides, so Peters produced the eight themes.

The platform for Peters and Waterman, onto which the In Search Of Excellence research and theorising was built, was the McKinsey 7-S model:
McKinsey 7-S model elements
  1. structure
  2. strategy
  3. systems
  4. style of management
  5. skills - corporate strengths
  6. staff
  7. shared values

Peters and Waterman examined 43 of Fortune 500's top performing companies. They started with a list of 62 of the best performing McKinsey clients and then applied performance measures to weed out what they thought to be the weaker companies. General Electric was one of the casualties which failed to make the cut. Peters says that one of his personal drivers in carrying out his research was to prove that certain established methods - particularly heavily systemised philosophies and practices - were wrong, notably those used by Xerox, and advocated by Peter Drucker and Robert McNamara. Peters says that he wanted - with a passion - to prove how crucial people are to business success, and to release business from the 'tyranny of the bean counters'.
As Peters explained in 2001: 'Start with Taylorism, add a layer of Druckerism and a dose of McNamaraism, and by the late 1970's you had the great American corporation that was being run by bean counters...'
(Bean counter: A person, typically an accountant or bureaucrat, perceived as placing excessive emphasis on controlling expenditure.)
Contrast this with what Peters says became the essential message of In Search of Excellence, simply:
·         People
·         Customers
·         Action
Peters says that In Search of Excellence turned these 'soft' factors into hard ones, when previously the only 'hard factors were considered to be the 'numbers'.
Peters also said in 2001 that other than certain wrong companies highlighted - Atari and Wang for instance - In Search of Excellence 'absolutely nailed the eight points of the compass for business at that time' (1982), but that its central flaw was in suggesting that these points would apply for ever, when they most certainly have not.
Illustrating some other practical aspects of ‘In Search of Excellence’ below-

EXCELLENCE. Now. EXCELLENCE. Always.--Tom Peters

People first, second, third, fourth …
The “business” of leaders is people: to inspire/engage/provide a trajectory of opportunity—enterprise of every size and type as “cathedral” for human development.
"When I hire someone, that's when I go to work for them.” —John DiJulius

1A. Customer comes 2nd/ If you want to best “Wow!” customers, then you must first Wow! those who serve the customers.
"If you want staff to give great service, give great service to staff.”—Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's/
“You have to treat your employees like customers.” —Herb Kelleher, on his #1 “secret to success.”
1B. Manager’s sole raison d’ĂȘtre: Make each of my team members successful!
1C. Effective organizations: No bit players!
1D. Appreciation.  Acknowledgement. “The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated.” — Believe it!  A few kind words are often remembered for years!
1E. 1st line supervisors. Every organization’s … most important … leadership cadre. Productivity is largely determined by the caliber of the 1st line boss.
 Selection and development of your “sergeants” must become an “obsession”—almost all do a half-assed job. 
1F. Weird/ There are no “normals” in the history books! /Insure a healthy supply of oddballs/Diversity of every flavor = Fresh perspectives! Better decisions!
1G. Memories That Matter. And don’t. / “People stuff” sticks with you: You’ll look back on the handful of people you developed who proceeded to change the world—and the multitude (if you’ve earned it) who say, “I grew most when I worked with you.” Ever seen a tombstone engraved with the deceased’s net worth?
2. You/me: Businesses no longer coddle. You’re in charge! / “Brand you”—stand out for something valuable, or else; learn something new every day, or else! /“Distinct or Extinct!”

3. Organizations Exist to Serve. PERIOD.

4. EXECUTION/ “Don’t forget to tuck the shower curtain into the bath tub.” —Conrad Hilton on his “sweat the details” obsession and #1 “success secret”/
“Execution is strategy.” —Fred Malek
“Execution is the leader’s job #1.”—Larry Bossidy

4A. “They do … ONE BIG THING at a time.” —Drucker on successful managers’ #1 trait.
4B. Resilience circa 2011:  Understand it. Hire for it.  Promote for it. Obsess on it.

5. MBWA/Managing By Wandering Around/ Starbucks’Schultz visits 25 stores a week/ “In touch” is “not optional”/You = Your calendar/Calendars never lie!
5A. Listening per se = Candidate for Core Value #1/Listening per se is a profession. /“If you don’t listen, you don’t sell anything.”/Docs interrupt patients after
      … 18 seconds. And you? 

5B. “What do you think?” “How can I help?” —MBWA
      8/Eight words, repeated like a mantra while “wandering around,” that unlock engagement/ success for multitudes.
5C. Innovate by “Hanging out” /“You are what you eat.”/ “You will become like the five people you associate with the most —a blessing or a curse.”/

      Want “cool”? Expose yourself to cool! /Manage “hanging out” zealously-formally —with customers, interesting outsiders, etc.
             
5D. K = R = P (Kindness = Repeat business = Profit.)
      “Hard is soft. Soft is hard.” —#1 finding In Search of Excellence.   Kindness is “hard”—and pays off in $$$$.
5E. Apology Power—Awesome power: 3-minute “I’m sorry” call heals anything—do it religiously! /”Over- the-top” response to even small booboo strengthens customer relationships!
            
6. “Little BIG Things”/Focus on “multipliers”: Wal*Mart goes to big shopping cart = +50% “big stuff” sales boost! /“Wash your Hands” —save thousands of lives P.A. in hospitals!
6A. “Little BIG Things”: SMEs bedrock of all economies. Nurture them. SME’s battle cry per George Whalin: “Be the best. It’s the only market that’s not crowded.”
7.  Apple > Exxon in market cap courtesy … DESIGN! /The big “Duh”: “Cool beats un- cool!”/Design candidate for “best way to differentiate goods-services in competitive markets.”
7A. TGRs/Things Gone Right.  Wagon Wheel restaurants, Gill MA—clean restroom with fresh flowers.—we remember such touches more or less forever/      Manage-measure TGRs.
7B. Scintillating Experiences.  Howard Schultz on Starbucks: “At our core, we’re a coffee company, but the opportunity we have to extend the brand is beyond coffee; it’s entertainment.”
          
8. WOMEN Buy! WOMEN Rule! WOMEN’s World!  Women buy 80% of everything—$28T world market/“Why Warren   Buffett Invests Like a Girl”—e.g., studies harder-holds longer-less frenzied buying and selling/Women’s leadership style fits  21st century less-hierarchical enterprise./Evidence clear—
Women well on the way to 21st century economic domination!  Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff at UN: “the century of women.”

9. Web-Social Media/ “Everyone becomes our valued partner, a member of our community—and watchdog”/The Power of Co-creation —my “Top Biz
    Book for 2010”/SM can be lynchpin of transformative strategy—for organizations of every shape and size!

10. Value added via transformation from “Customer satisfaction” to “customer success” —huge difference- opportunity! /E.g., IBM Global Services, from      afterthought to $60B/UPS Logistics/MasterCard Advisors/ IDEO, help clients create “culture of innovation”/“The Geek Squad”—Best Buy’s #1 strategic      point of differentiation.

11. Innovation “secret” #1: “Most tries wins.” / “A Bias for Action”—excellence trait #1, In Search of Excellence/“Ready. Fire! Aim.” —Ross Perot//
“Instead of trying to figure out the best way to do something and sticking to it, just try out an approach and keep fixing it.” —Bert Rutan
11A. Try a lot = Fail a lot /“Fail. Forward. Fast.”/ “Fail faster, succeed sooner”—David Kelley /
“Reward excellent failures, punish mediocre successes”/Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins —Richard Farson
11B. “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”  —Wayne Gretzky

 12. Live WOW! /Zappos creed … “WOW Customers”/ eBay 14,000 employees, Amazon 20,000  employees, Craig’s List 30 employees; regardless of issue,  Where’s your “Wild and Wooly Craig’s List Option”?/ Final point in superstar adman Kevin  Roberts’ Credo: “Avoid moderation!”

13. EXCELLENCE is a personal choice … not an institutional choice!
     EXCELLENCE is not an “aspiration” —it’s the next five minutes!
13A. EXCELLENCE. Always.  If not EXCELLENCE, What? If not EXCELLENCE Now, When?


Learning and evaluating-Success Case Method’ of Brinkerhoff


Learning and evaluating: ‘Success Case Method’ of Brinkerhoff
Learning never stops! The new fad is outcome based learning! In times of recession and bad economy, training is luxury and anti-national in sentiments and anti-economy when jobs are vanishing and we have a threat to the whole of new generation not being able to experience the work-place? Ever thought over, the US and European nations have suffered job losses to existing work force to the levels of 40% and some countries no job creation for un-skilled or un-experienced job seekers. In times of uncertain economy focus shifts from building long-term strategic advantages to short term process efficiencies, lean and mean organisations! Are we getting back to the 70’s when most companies were managed by bean counters?



 Well, till the time, you have not decided to close down and still believe, market trends are cyclical and after every fall, there is a rise. The rise of the rise and the fall of the fall will still remain unpredictable and inevitable.
With every recession, we learn a few lessons to be quickly forgotten when we see the upswing! The problem is not recession or volatility or unpredictability or things and events beyond our control or comprehension, it is not willing to learn and not being able to build own survival and growth systems that can survive turbulence in economy!
Learning from each event (stories) of success and failure, identifying the factors that led to the results and testing and validating the impact of such factors against corroborating facts and evidences before we analyse, present and build our own model to see the success you visualize!

 Alternative’s to Kirkpatrick: Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method
When it comes to learning solutions leveraged in organizations, Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model is often looked to as the assessment method, despite its focus on training events rather than on learning processes.  In this post, I’ll take a look at a more flexible model, Brinkerhoff’s Success Case Method.
Brinkerhoff: A focus on systems
Brinkerhoff (2005) squarely addresses one of the critiques of Kirkpatrick’s model: “Performance results can’t be achieved by training alone; therefore training should not be the object of evaluation”. According to Brinkerhoff, this is like saying that the success of a marriage depends on the quality of the wedding ceremony. Multiple variables contribute to the impact of a learning opportunity (be it training, performance support, or another solution) and multiple stakeholders own these results—from senior executives to managers to HR professionals/L&D team members to employees.
Given that the factors that influence performance operate at the level of systems, Brinkerhoff urges that the proper focus of evaluation is also at the system level. Evaluation should address the following questions:
·         How well is an organization using learning to improve performance? (STRATEGY/STRUCTURE/SYSTEMS/SHARED VALUES/STAFF?)
·         What organizational processes/resources are in place to support performance improvement? What needs to be improved? (STRUCTURE/SYSTEMS/STAFF?)
·         What organizational barriers stand in the way of performance improvement? (SYSTEMS/STRUCTURE/STAFF?)
The Success Case Method: Evidence- and narrative-based
The Success Case Method (SCM) “combines the ancient craft of storytelling with more current evaluation approaches of naturalistic inquiry and case study”.
 Essentially, when you apply SCM, you ask:
·         What groups/individuals have been successful in applying a learning opportunity to achieve a business result? Why have they been successful?
·         What groups have been unsuccessful? Why have they been unsuccessful?
There are a number of steps involved in SCM.
·         Develop an impact model: Identify the goals of the learning opportunity and determine how these goals are connected to business needs. The impact model defines what success should look like.
·         Survey participants to identify best cases and worst cases. (For example, a survey question might ask: How have you applied what you learned to achieve a business result?)
·         Obtain corroborating evidence that would “stand up in court” (e.g., using interviews, document reviews or other methods).
·         Analyze the data.
·         Communicate findings: Share what successes have occurred and what organizational resources have supported these successes. As important, share examples of non-successes. What barriers kept people from applying what they learned?
A better model?
There are some appealing aspects to Brinkerhoff’s SCM.
·         It’s do-able: You do need to collect data but you can do this in a cost-effective manner.
·         Because SCM utilizes purposeful, not random sampling, it collects information that would be missed if you only looked at averages or central tendencies.
·         SCM allows for the discovery of emergent success factors: Although you do create an impact model in advance, your surveys and interviews may uncover additional, unexpected business results.
·         The focus is on systems and leveraging learning resources into continuously improved performance.
·         Outputs include relatable stories you can share.
Although there are the typical caveats associated with surveys (potential biases and halo effects), these can be mitigated through the step of collecting corroborating evidence. I think that the focus on successes and case stories is extremely attractive because it provides a way to involve stakeholders in a meaningful dialog about continued process improvement.

Kirkpatrick 4 Levels
The four levels of Kirkpatrick's evaluation model essentially measure:
1.       Reaction of trainee - what they thought and felt about the training
2.       Learning - the resulting increase in knowledge or capability
3.       Behaviour - extent of behaviour and capability improvement and Implementation/application
4.       Results - the effects on the business or environment resulting from the trainee's performance
All these levels are recommended for full and meaningful evaluation of learning in organizations.
Jack Phillips' Five Level ROI Model
Building upon the Kirkpatrick model, Jack Phillips added the fifth level the Return On Investment (ROI) produced by a training course using the financial formula:
ROI (%) = (Net Program Benefits/Program Costs) x 100




Reference
Brinkerhoff, R. O. (2005).  The Success Case Method: A strategic evaluation approach to increasing the value and effect of training.

Some good news!

I was reading the BBC news reports and it seems US economy is recovering fast...Below are some indicators!

January 2013
US unemployment rate holds steady in December at 7.8%

March 2013
The US economy added a further 155,000 jobs in December 2012, while the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8%, official figures show.

The jobs came mainly in the healthcare, manufacturing, construction and food services sectors, the Labor Department said.

April 2013
US economy adds just 88,000 jobs in March

The BBC's Michelle Fleury in New York says there are "plenty of reasons to be concerned"Continue reading the main story
US Economy

  • US inflation rises to 1.8% in June
  • US budget surplus highest in 5 years
  • Fed minutes hint QE will continue
  • US retail sales growth slows in June

The US economy added just 88,000 jobs in March, the lowest increase for nine months, official data has shown.

The number was much weaker than the rise of approximately 200,000 predicted by economists, and will inevitably raise new concerns about the strength of the US economic recovery.
At the same time, the US jobless rate declined to 7.6% from 7.7% in February.

A drop in retail employment was a major factor behind the disappointing rise in overall job creation.

The data from the Labor Department showed that the retail sector lost 24,000 jobs in March.

At the same time, 12,000 jobs were lost in the US Postal Service, which has been making staff redundant as it aims to cut losses.

Other sectors of the economy performed much better, with 51,000 extra professional and business services jobs being created, and 23,000 new healthcare positions.

The total number of unemployed in the US in March was 11.7 million.

For adult men, the unemployment rate was 6.9%, and 7% for women.

For teenagers of both sexes, the rate was 24.2%, almost one in four people. 
The US economy needs to add about 90,000 jobs each month just to keep up with population growth.
In recent weeks, figures have shown that US factory orders are rising strongly, and the housing market is still gaining in strength.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Critical Thinking and Structured Writing Course

Edward De’Bono says, ‘Analysis, judgement and argument are not enough. Critical destruction has never produced a better one. It is creativity that produces the better hypotheses. Exlectics seek to lead out or pull-out of the situation, what is of value –no matter on which side it is to be found. With exlectics emphasis would be on ‘designing forward’ rather than on judgement at each stage. It is a revealing fact that even today, no McKinsey’ report goes out without being structured through the ‘Pyramid Principle’ of Barbara Minto.

 MECE way! - The Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principal book talks about MECE and other models.
Minto worked with McKinsey as a Consultant and was the first woman employee sponsored by McKinsey for Harvard Education! All McKinsey reports invariable follow the Pyramid Principle and MECE concepts!
A central tenet of analytical problem solving is your considering all the possible solutions to your problem exactly once; that is, your approach must be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive (sometimes written as “mutually exclusive and completely exhaustive”)—or MECE (pronounced “me see”).
MECE thinking is very popular with strategy consultancies, including the McKinsey, Bain, and BCG of the world. In fact the case interview that these companies filter their applicants which is designed to test whether you can think in a MECE-way. It is understandable: MECE thinking is both efficient and elegant; so let’s look at what it means and how you become an effective MECE thinker.

Mutually exclusive (ME) means “no overlaps.”
Two sets of elements are mutually exclusive when they don’t intersect: you cannot have an element belonging to both sets at the same time.

When you are mutually exclusive in your approach, you consider each potential solution only once, hereby ensuring that you do not duplicate efforts. (In the tile roof of the image above, that means that you don’t have several tiles stacked up to cover the same spot.)

Mutually exclusive thinking forces you to consider the details, seeing the individual tree as opposed to the forest. It helps you ensure that each element is different than the others.
So if your key question is “How can I go from New York City to London?” and you reply by first dividing means of transportation between “flying” and “travelling by sea”, you are organizing the possible solutions to your problem in a mutually exclusive way (since if you’re flying you are not travelling by sea at the same time).
Collectively exhaustive (CE) means “no gap”

Groups of solutions are collectively exhaustive when, in between them, they include all the possible answers to your problem.

When your analysis is collectively exhaustive, it includes all possible solutions at least once. (In the tile roof of the image above, that means that you’ve covered the entire area, with one or several layers of tiles, leaving no gaps.)

Collectively exhaustive thinking helps you ensure that you do not forget possible solutions; that is, you must be innovative, viewing the forest as opposed to its individual trees.

Thinking in a collectively exhaustive fashion when you’re considering ways of going from NYC to London means that by considering air- and sea-transportation, you have found a complete set of answers to your problem (since there are no land connections between the US and the UK, so you cannot travel by land, and teletransportation still doesn’t exist).

Being MECE will drastically improve your thinking.
MECE thinking is perhaps the most important concept in analytical problem solving. The concept is simple to understand but it can be challenging to apply in some fields. That’s because we’re usually better at either considering minute details or the big picture but not both, let alone at the same time. Becoming a strong MECE thinker takes training and you should make it a habit to think in MECE ways.

Making it a habit means that, each time you are confronting a new problem, you need to actively look for a MECE way to break it down in its root causes and/or solve it. All your issues trees have to be MECE.

In day-to-day life, you can also train yourself to be better at thinking in a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive way: each time you’re looking at a series of items, ask yourself if they are MECE. Whenever you see or hear a list of things—listening to the latest tirade of your favourite politician or the verbose argument of a close friend—ask yourself if it is indeed MECE. Become obsessive about it. If you start waking up in the middle of the night yelling “This is not MECE!”, then you’re on the right track…


Thinking course by Edward DeBono-

The quickest and the most reliable way to be rewarded for intelligence is to prove someone else wrong. Such a strategy gives you an immediate result and also establishes your superiority. Being constructive is much less rewarding. It may take years to show that a new idea works. Further more you have to depend on the listener liking your idea. So it is obvious that being critical and destructive is much more appealing use of intelligence.
This is made even worse by the absurd western notion that ‘critical thinking’ is enough. Analysis, judgement and argument are not enough. Critical destruction has never produced a better one. It is creativity that produces the better hypothesis. Perception is how we look at the world.
Professor David Perkins at Harvard has shown that almost all the errors of thinking are errors of perception.
In real life logical errors are quite rare. Yet we persist in believing that thinking is all a matter of avoiding logical errors.
If your perception is limited then flawless logic will give you an incorrect answer.

Perception works as a ‘self-organising information system.’ 
The tool method is much easier and more effective than other methods of teaching.

Teaching people to avoid mistake is very limited. You could avoid all mistakes in driving by leaving the car in the garage.

The PMI tool-

Exhorting people to take a balanced view is not very effective.
P stands for Plus or the good points
M stands for Minus or the bad points
I stands for Interesting or the interesting points.

PMI is an attention directing tool.
PMI is the first of CORT lessons. CORT stands for Cognitive Research Trust.
The PMI sets the mood of objectivity and scanning. The ‘I’ encourages the deliberate habit of exploring the matter outside the judgement framework. Another aspect of ‘I’ is to see if the idea leads to another idea. I trains the mind to react to the interest inherent in a idea and not just to judgement things about the idea. A thinker should be able to say: ‘I do not like your idea but there are these interesting aspects to it..’.
As a habit of mind the PMI is specifically designed to force us to scan in those situations where otherwise, we should deem scanning unnecessary.
The PMI is useful because it is more oblique than direct disagreement or confrontation.

The APC tool-

A stands for Alternatives
P stands for Possibilities
C stands for Choices
Contentment with an adequate solution or approach is the biggest block there is to any search for a better alternative.
Proof may be no more than lack of imagination.

Through APC anything can be simplified or made more effective or productive.
1. Do an APC (review style) on the packaging of chocolate bars
2. Do an APC on the design of a telephone
I am told that there is an old Jewish saying which states that if there are two courses of action, you should always take the third.
Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the father of radar, had a saying, you get an idea today, you get a better idea tomorrow, and you get the best idea never.
There is a need of practical cut-offs and deadlines and the freezing of designs.
But is you never generate alternatives you never have a choice.
Generating alternatives opens up possibilities.
We need it even more because the patterning nature of the mind seeks certainty-not alternatives.
What is the main purpose of thinking? The main purpose of thinking is to abolish thinking.
--Lumpers are those people who tend to group thinking together by focusing on common features.
--Splitters are those people who tend to separate thinking out by focusing on points of difference.

Edward De Bono first brought the term Lateral Thinking during an interview in 1967.
Lateral thinking is both an attitude of mind and also a number of defined methods. 
The attitude of mind involves the willingness to try to look at things in different ways. It involves the appreciation that any way of looking at things is only one amongst many possible ways.

General use of lateral thinking-

The three methods: ‘stepping stone’, ‘escape’ and ‘random stimulation’.
Stepping stone method-for its movement value instead of its judgement value.
Escape method-willing to improve them or escape from them.
Random simulation method- we open ourselves to influences other than those we directly look for.
Two other tools, CAF (consider all factors) and C&S (consequences and sequel). These tools were designed to counter the tendency for thinking to be ego-centric and very short-term.
In doing CAF, emphasis is on ‘what has been left out?’ and ‘what ought to be considered?’
Thinking is almost always short-term because the attraction or repulsion of a course of action is immediate.

Dense reading and dense listening-

Very few people are good listeners. A good listener listens slowly to what is being said. He does not jump ahead nor does he rush to judge nor does he sit there formulating his reply. He focuses directly on what is being said. He listens to more than being said. He extracts the maximum information from what hears by looking in between the words used and wondering why something has been expressed in a particular
 way. Dense reading is like dense listening. Dense reading involves a lot of thinking.
Questions-
Questions fall into two categories-Shooting question (SQ) in which we know what we are aiming to get, yes or no, etc. Fishing question (FQ) we dangle the bait in the water and wait for what we can get.

 Exlectics seek to lead out or pull-out of the situation, what is of value –no matter on which side it is to be found. With exlectics emphasis would be on ‘designing forward’ rather than on judgement at each stage.

EBS stands for, examine both sides.

ADI stands for Agreement, Disagreement and Irrelevance.

OPV stands for, other people’s views.

FI-FO- in-formation-in, in- formation-out

There should be as much consciousness of the information that is not available as there is of the information that is available.