the who, be lucky, cares, Toby Elwin, blog

Be Lucky, Who Cares

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Be lucky or be good.

In business luck is not a wise strategy.

In life, well lucky over good may win.

Here is a new Who song to celebrate 50 years in music and to show Who Cares, all royalties will go to Teen Cancer America, a most unlucky happenstance for all too many.

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Systems as a current challenge

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Systems theory and systems thinking relies on interface, feedback, organizational goals, input, throughput, output, differentiation, and integration. Thinking in systems means no change can happen without effect on other actors in the system.

When thinking through solutions, it seems we forget a team, a department, or a division is a part of a larger system. If you think in problem solving mode, then your diagnostic needs to account for undesirable behavior characteristics are part of the system structures that produce them.

Lean, Sustainable, Supply Chain, Toby Elwin, blog

Lean Sustainable Supply Chain and change management

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Early last year Robert Palevich, of Indiana University–Purdue University, contacted me to request my approval to cite my thoughts from the post Organizations don’t change, people change. This year The Lean Sustainable Supply Chain-How to Create a Green Infrastructure with Lean Technologies was released.  Select the above link for an Adobe Acrobat .pdf version or select the picture for a direct link to Amazon. It is a fascinating, and engrossing read, for anyone dealing with supply chain management, technology, lean philosophy, or a remote interest in globalized sustainability. Congratulations to Mr. Palevich and many thanks for finding my writing compelling enough to include. Though, truth-be-told, I think I forgot to return the consent form for citation so, therefore, became reduced to more of an allusion than a citation. Regardless, my congratulations stands. I recommend anyone working within and around supply chains, globalization, and sustainability to invest in yourself and …

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Shifting Role of Organization Development in Business – St. Louis bound

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Next week I will speak at the 2012, STL-ODN Conference.  The day’s theme:  The Shifting Role of Organization Development in Business.  The entire day’s agenda for St. Louis Organization Development Network [for those not familiar with the ODN acronym] is a topic near dear to my heart. So, OD [either organization development or organizational development, choose your poison] and its role in business is the event.  Highly relevant, as we do live in times where if a professional can not directly affect business results there is little opportunity at the business table. The day’s events include impressive thinkers and topics: Dr. Ann Beatty, Donna Martin, and Seth Leadbeater offer perspective on Challenges Businesses are Facing in Today’s Climate Dr. Gary Mangiofico presents views on The Shifting Role of Organization Development in Business Rob Kaiser and Susan Duff incite a riot with 2 different …

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Recently finished book — A Leap in the Dark

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Any talk about change management must start with stakeholder alignment. Quick on any change-rule-heels: risk identification. History provides truly great examples of change challenges and few, in my mind, resonate greater change management challenges than The American Revolution. The players: 13 colonies and their self-interests, as well as the class war within each colony; France, Spain, Great Britain; Native American Indians; commerce; and government as a few dynamics. If you think your enterprise has politics, reflect on some of the larger historical pivot points and the politics, people politics, involved. First rule of change: creating a compelling future-state. Well, the birth of the American Republic blows that change management keystone theory for a loop. I find that I go back to reread chapters with a change management hat on and try to keep track of the players, both the positive …

Fistful of beans 09/21/2011

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4 of things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1.  Why being wrong is good for you — Most of us go through life assuming we are right, almost all the time, about pretty much everything:  our political, our values, our tastes, our religious beliefs, our view of other people, our memory, our version of facts. We can not all be right, if someone is right, that implies someone is wrong, and how can so many feel so right when, in reality, so many are so wrong?  Our ability to reach a conclusion is essential for us to know we are right or to prove we are right. But what do we go through when we are faced with being wrong?  When someone presents their clear-headed alternative to your conviction?  Being wrong is a sign of being a …

Fistful of beans 08/24/2011

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3 of things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1.   Bored People Quit — Rands in Response blog People who quit say:  “I don’t believe in this company.”  Bored people quit. The author of this post is neither an HR professional nor an organization development/behavior professional, this author simply manages people.  I say simply because a people manager’s primary job is people.  Managers manage people like it their job, not their nuisance.  This rather raw article is written by a manager who realizes bored people are the manager’s fault; his fault. I think of boredom as a clock. Every second that someone on my team is bored, a second passes on this clock. After some aggregated amount of seconds that varies for every person, they look at the time, throw up their arms, and quit. Take a read …

Influence of The Modern Firm

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Organizations design success promotes relations:  relations of people within the firm, relations of strategic chioces within environmental features.  The modern firm serves to coordinate the actions of people and motivate groups of people to carry out activities. An individual’s self-interest presents on-going motivation challenges that compete against what an organization wants. Quick example:  someone with a fixed salary who works extra hard provides the firm with their gain from increased output generated.  The gains accrue to the firm, not the worker, whose salary does not change. Personal view competes with organization view and in that case, what happens? In, The Modern Firm: Organizational Design for Performance and Growth, by John Roberts, the design goal is to shape the organization to align interests of its members to increase efficiency of choices for the total organization value. Brief:  The most fundamental responsibility of a general manager is to craft strategy …

Fistful of beans 05/11/2011

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4 of things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1. Think About Diversity of Thought — Diversity Executive Magazine Organizations have cultural norms that employees are expected to work within.  Ideas presented by employees need become judged on value, not judged on the different perspectives they represent.  Thought diversity introduces not only different viewpoints, but also differences in approach and how individuals look at the world through that lens of experience. This diversity of thought then becomes both commercially valuable and helpful to the overall organization’s culture. In 2009 I had some thoughts around qualitative diversity and cognitive diversity when I wrote Diversity facade and Diversity facade, diversity hijacked.  Both originally inspired by a white paper I authored while at Deloitte Consulting. 2. New Efficiencies in Health Care? Not Likely — Wall Street Journal In this author’s experience of the British health care system …

Fistful of beans 05/04/2011

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4 things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1. How Genius Works — The Atlantic Great art or innovation begins with an idea.  Sometimes the idea is vague or even simply a bad idea.  In this brief, The Atlantic looks into 17 of America’s foremost artists to discuss and find out about how genius comes through in their drafts. Paul Simon, Tim Burton, Bonnie Fisher, Frank Gehry, J Mays, Kate Mulleavy, and others across a wide berth of inventive disciplines may very well inspire us to realize genius has not short cut. 2. Innovation by HR — Human Resource Executive Online HR executives may not even be leveraging their HR expertise to really help drive innovation and growth. Though many in HR say they play a significant role to foster innovation at their organizations, since a large majority also report that performance …

Fistful of beans 04/27/2011

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3 of things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1. Too Big to Succeed? — CFO Magazine Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase are the clear winners of the consolidation game.  Each of these, individually, have more than 2 times the assets of 4th-place Wachovia. These 3 banks have bet cross-selling and their scale give them advantage.  However, some critics wonder if the whole is smaller than the sum of its parts and that scale may not count much in financial services. 2. More Than Half the Moms Not Satisfied with Their Career — Talent Management Magazine Many working moms are not satisfied with their career.  Working moms also feel their work is more stressful than being a stay-at-home mom.  What might be the cause or the reason for this:  lack of work and life balance.  In a review of …

Fistful of beans 04/20/2011

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5 things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1. Scrap Learning and Manager Engagement — CLO Magazine Most organizations overlook an important aspect of development that often makes it many times more effective — manager engagement. Training tends to lose its power with time.  Employees forget what they’ve learned or let their newly acquired skills go unused. Robert O. Brinkerhoff, Ed.D., professor emeritus at Western Michigan University, said that after training, learners typically fall into one of 3 categories: They do not try to apply training. They attempt to apply it but realize no worthwhile results. They apply training and get some positive results. Managers have many of the same behavior-shaping tools to support and reinforce learning as parents and teachers do coaching and developing children. 2 actions are critical to develop an application-feedback learning loop, at best only a …

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Fistful of beans 04/13/2011

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4 things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results: 1. Managing the Motivation Equation — Chief Learning Officer Leveraging motivation theory can reduce intention-action gap.  What is the intention-action gap?  Outside work the intention-action gap can be saying you will call you mother every Sunday, but rarely do.  At work the intention-action gap can be saying you intend to show up at work on time, but the majority of times you do not. Many organizations struggle to make learning stick, with the finances directed toward learning how can you resolve learners who find ways to do anything but learn?  Or to prevent learners from falling back into old habits because they lack motivation? Whenever an organization identifies a learning need, one of the first questions should be, “How will we motivate our learners to change?” The answers to this question must …