Volume 17 August 21, 2002
Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
New Truths on Quality
Top Ten List
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers
MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:
This month we are adding another feature to the MASET NEWS. We will be identifying some of the subjects we plan to cover in the next few months. Take a moment and glance at the coming subjects. Please let us know if there are specific areas of interest that you have so that we might include them.
John Canfield joins the Maset team with his expertise in facilitating and training in many areas including Strategic Planning, Team Building, Benchmarking, Problem-Solving Strategies, and Creativity and Innovation. John has a long list of workshops and we have added four this month but will be adding many more in the near future.
In this month's "Top Ten List", we continue with the second of three parts of the Southwest Airlines nuggets. Wouldn't it be wonderful if many of the U.S. companies could adopt just a few of these nuggets and improve their Customer focus? Please try to adopt a few in your organization and watch the positive change that happens.
This month's first feature article emphasizes that, for the long-term success of an organization, it must find an effective way to grow and develop leaders. The premise of the article is that the primary responsibility of a leader is to hire and train its successors. The article develops a methodology whereby this can be done. Two excellent case studies have been included to round out the practical applications of the methodology.
The second feature article also addresses leadership and the place of ethics in the role of a leader. Unfortunately, much has been written about the loss of business ethics and James F. Bracher suggests that now might be the time to bring back ethics to the business world.
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:
"The articles are inspiring. I usually can't wait to share them with my staff and discuss them. There is a "golden nugget" every time!" Rockford, IL
"Many thanks for the latest 'Maset News'; I enjoyed reading it." UK
"I have been receiving your news letter from the last two months. It makes wonderful reading! I am, to the extent possible, trying to incorporate/implement the suggestions into our systems. Looking forward to your future issues." India
NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:
This month we are pleased to add an experienced consultant in the field of Strategic Planning, Creativity and Innovation and in the training of others to lead sessions within Companies. John Canfield has over 30 years of working in both the corporate world and as an Independent Consultant.
Four new Workshops that John has developed have been added to help organizations improve their ability to lead and to help create internal facilitators in those areas.
M-756 Advanced Creative Thinking Skills
M-757 Six Thinking Hats
M-758 Strategic Planning
M-759 Scenario Planning
HELPFUL HINTS FROM FELLOW PRACTITIONERS:
If a participant is not paying attention during the session, you may want to ask a question to the individual on the left of that participant and then ask a question of someone on the right of that participant. Usually this gets the attention of the participant who has not been paying attention.
NEW TRUTHS ON QUALITY:
Thou Shalt Not Steal.
Thou Shalt Steal Non-Proprietary Ideas Shamelessly.
TOP TEN LIST:
Key Learnings in - Success in a Nutshell - some of the Southwest Airlines nuggets
11. Think like an owner - about your job and your life.
12. Don't act like a victim. Believe you can make a difference in everything you do.
13. Put your trust in others. It tells them they are trustworthy and they will act accordingly.
14. Show your people what you think they're worth.
15. Make your organizational and personal mission, vision, and values clear - then hold the reins loosely.
16. Practice the Golden Rule. Do what you expect and want others to do.
17. Develop a genuine interest in the knowledge of others; ask to learn, listen to learn, watch to learn.
18. Create a "cutting edge" program to find ways to understand other people's jobs.
19. Give people more responsibility to develop their strengths and grow.
20. Become a "risk doctor", help people recover from mistakes by accepting, encouraging, and laughing
FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
by Eric Herzog
Founded in the business climate of 1978, Quest Consulting & Training Corporation has always looked to the future. So it's not surprising this innovative organization has developed a unique vision of how to help each client perpetuate success. Quest's founder, Eric Herzog, Ph.D., discovered an over-riding truth about his most successful clients. Those organizations which retained the legacy and vision of the founders and/or leaders of the company had the best results. Now, after 22+ years of listening to their clients and working with corporate leaders, and developing and refining the philosophy of top-down leadership development, Quest's professionals have a program you need to seriously consider.
A. The Challenge:
How can a successful organization best perpetuate success?
Your organization may hire the best and the brightest as you grow over the years. But unless these newcomers access the definitive corporate culture, the drive, the vision, the know-how, the energy that built the company, they may be doomed to perpetuate mediocrity. Through no fault of their own.
Over the years, many core concepts are lost to future generations of leaders and employees simply because the key leaders and initiators have moved out or retired. Yet the absence of these keys to success can affect the entire corporate culture. And can lead to a decline in performance and profitability. Knowledge transfer or knowledge management is today's greatest HR challenge.
B. The Answer:
Getting your leaders to develop the leaders of tomorrow.
Imagine how much more powerful the corporate mission statement will be when your key leaders deliver it personally. Who better to teach the "best practices" and successful strategies and tactics than the individuals who developed them?
Yet, it's not easy for company leaders to find time to pass along their experience and vision to new employees. Many senior executives are historically unapproachable on the subject of teaching. However, it's been proven - on a rather large scale - that leader-led development is one of the most profitable investments of time and money a successful corporate leader can make.
C. The New Paradigm:
HR professionals and senior leaders working together.
As each successful Leader-Led Development program is scrutinized, it becomes apparent the primary key - from day one - is for HR and senior leadership to work together to develop the best program possible. Neither can do it without the other.
Your senior leader/HR partnership has many rewards . . . some of them quite surprising. As senior leaders accept responsibility for developing new leaders, it becomes a higher priority. Past habits of simply supporting and reinforcing HR efforts change rapidly to a role of promoting and setting an example. Leaders find it is very satisfying to make the time to be the coach. The facilitator. And to do it right.
Once the program is in place, it becomes self-perpetuating. New situations handled in the workplace are easily incorporated into the program, so it is always up to date. Credibility of the training goes up with active involvement of senior leaders. Succession becomes nearly seamless, as the outgoing and incoming leaders are already in sync . . . working together from start to finish. The company captures the expertise of its senior leaders and has it documented for future reference. Especially important now that up to 50% of the workforce is approaching retirement.
D. The Process:
Putting in motion the Leader-Led Leadership Development process.
You begin by formulating new learning models.
You will no longer think the best way to train is to import an "expert" to teach a subject with how to's, workbooks, Q & A and practice sessions. You will no longer fill an employee's mind with examples and theories. Then send him or her back to work to figure out how to apply them.
Your new learning model will bring together the company's most experienced leaders with the trainees who must learn how to perform as leaders, too. They will work on real cases, issues and examples and discuss "best practices." These are the things they will be able to apply the very next day. Your program is designed to tap the strengths of the leadership team and enable them to impart their experience . . . in a way with which they are very comfortable . . . to the trainees. These same leaders are then present in the workplace to reinforce the learning. All the leaders are "on the same" page with leading, working towards improved performance.
E. The Return on Investment:
Real benefits you can see, measure and replicate.
Aside from the obvious financial benefits of using internal "experts" rather than hiring them, this program pays off with new efficiencies that cut training costs in several ways.
- Training can be decentralized, avoiding costly travel by using local leaders throughout the company at home and abroad.
- Impact is discernible from day one. Employees find the challenges they face have already been explained specifically. And they have been provided real solutions, not just theory.
- Corporate objectives are part of the training objectives, imparting ownership to both leaders and trainees for meeting major challenges.
- The program is easily maintained and repeatable over and over with real time updates from the leaders themselves.
F. The Results:
Winners developing winners.
Soon you will be turning out a new breed of leader. Winners who don't have to guess what practices and procedures work best. Confident performers who know how to overcome problems and lead in the way you want to manage the business. They have gained critical thinking skills, through case examples and challenging discussions. Everyone has participated in the process. And with their help, each new generation of leader will perpetuate and contribute to the corporate vision and operational excellence.
"This represents a new paradigm in training. Leader-Led Leadership Development not only allows for a rapid development, but also has the added benefit of addressing issues like retention and aging managerial staffs," says Eric Herzog, President of Quest. "As today's senior managers approach retirement, every business is faced with the problem of capturing their knowledge, while at the same time developing new leaders for the future."
G. Examples/Case Studies
COSTCO, a 350+ store membership retail chain, faced a major challenge. Corporate objectives called for opening 35 new warehouses per year. To meet that goal they needed 5,000 new managers over a five-year period of time. And they needed to grow them from within, for hiring outsiders did not seem to work.
Realizing their previous management training programs were not equal to the task, they contacted Eric Herzog at Quest Consulting to help create innovative ways to develop the new leaders and staff. The program, Leader-Led Leadership Development, designed with Herzog and his colleagues, employs some unique strategies.
First, they challenged their senior management team to get involved with the program. The premise here is that it is management's responsibility to develop tomorrow's leaders. It does not rely on traditional methods. The programs allow COSTCO to capture the knowledge and best practices of their senior leadership, and then use the same senior leaders as training facilitators.
With the help of exceptional company leaders and the HR department, Quest developed customized case studies that are specific to COSTCO's business. These cases address vital issues of operating and managing the company. The case study approach creates the comfort zone for COSTCO's senior leaders and warehouse managers' leaders to facilitate in-depth discussions of difficult business issues and to define "best practices."
Leader-Led Leadership Development assures each new facility will be opened and managed just like the most successful of the chain's existing stores. Therefore, the success of this program directly impacts COSTCO's financial bottom line. And the senior leaders are creating a learning organization by seeking to extend the learning to all areas of the business.
The largest window manufacturer in the Western United States, Milgard, was facing similar growth issues. The strategic plan called for long-term expansion. But the chief obstacle to growth was having leaders who know how to lead "the Milgard Way."
Milgard University was developed to capture the knowledge and experience of the senior leaders, those responsible for the success of the company. Milgard's Leader-Led Leadership program was implemented in phases, one program of 24-32 hours per year.
Now, senior leaders don't just "send" their staff to take a course. They help design and actually facilitate the program. They make a commitment to develop their people and support them on the job. They identify specific - real - issues and teach tomorrow's leaders how to apply the company's preferred methods to deal with them. Best of all, Milgard's senior leaders are there on the job reinforcing the training as their newer managers make decisions in complex situations. And Gary Milgard is confident his leaders of the future are well versed in running the company "the Milgard Way."
About the Author - Eric L. Herzog, Ph.D.
Dr. Herzog, President of Quest Consulting and Training Corporation, has 20+ years of experience as a consultant and educator in structural and operational change, strategic planning, team building, productivity and executive development. Eric's formal education was at Johns Hopkins and the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he received his doctorate. His consulting and training clients include high technology, manufacturing, and distribution companies and the military, retail chains, banks, hospitals, governments, utilities and major oil companies. Eric is the author of many articles, speaks frequently at industry trade conferences, and is day-to-day involved with clients and their needs.
SECOND FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
THE KEY TO PROSPERITY
by James F. Bracher
The horrors now befalling Enron, Arthur Andersen, Global Crossing and numerous other companies and institutions may seem like punishment of the whole economy for the excesses of a few in the 1990s. Yet, when businesses fail in their values, they rot from the inside. No one is doing this to Enron or Arthur Andersen. They brought it upon themselves.
We have created a world where the prevailing structures promote the politics of convenience over the commitment of leadership. During the Internet bubble, values came to be viewed as expensive and conservative relics of the old economy. The "relentless relativism of the new" saw values as limiting, fixed and unyielding.
In the race to sell the greatest possible product or service, the false promises of hollow values spoke too frequently to what we would not or could not do. But the angel of values rode into the whirlwind of the NASDAQ craze and directed the storm to descend darkly across many of our largest companies and institutions. We had come to expect immediate gratification in the form of instant wealth and overnight success.
However, it all starts - and ends - with values. In setting a direction, leaders, like sailors, do not let storms decide for them the direction they will go. Well-grounded leadership knows storms cause course corrections, but the goals do not change because they never do. Storms provide opportunities for us to recommit. Our leaders must be secure in the knowledge that their values have prepared them to guide us through turbulent times.
Twenty-three years ago my professional obligations moved from Christian ministry to leadership consulting so that supportive counsel could be more effectively integrated with challenges toward excellence in both the personal and professional lives of those with whom I came in contact. It became necessary to find new avenues to assist those in positions of responsibility because the mission of my previous work as a pastor was to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. However, that position was overly focused on only half the job: comforting the afflicted. Now, perhaps like never before, there is the need to afflict the truly comfortable by holding up a mirror to those who are in the worst position to see themselves, namely those in power, whether economic, political, social or religious. A mirror is essential.
Leadership is required for every group or organization. Though many are chosen, few are called. Values such as commitment, perseverance and integrity are too often "averaged down" in a misguided search for "consensus." Current circumstances demand a rethinking. We must reject our "comfort with drifting" and seek the satisfaction of setting direction, reaching destination, and fulfilling our destiny. In those moments, we will have found the keys to prosperity: values in all aspects of living, both personally and professionally.
James F. Bracher is the Founder and Chairman of Dimension Five.
COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:
Simulations to assist in the Planning Process
Supply Chain Management
Quality Systems Review
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