Posted by Walt Lubinec on October 10, 2013
When are we behaving like Goliath but are actually David? Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath starts with the classic story. It gives us a new perspective of why David won; Goliath strong and conditioned for hand to hand combat expects David to fight on his terms. David fights on his terms; used to defending his flock from mountain lions and bears with his sling so that he is conditioned for projectile attacks. We all know the outcome of that battle.
As a small business owner do you feel constrained because you can’t afford massive TV campaigns and national print advertising like your large competitors? Would that even help? Many of us do business locally and so building a network of local referral sources is far more valuable than someone in Portland Oregon knowing about your great laundromat or financial services business?
What does is mean to influence others in such a way that they catch the spark and burn for your offering similar to the way you burn? Is that forming a relationship, is that becoming a team?
In this space we will explore ways, both digital and real time in creating stronger teams inside and outside your organization. The three main constituents to forming strong teams are as follows:
1. An appropriate metric.
2. Collaborative atmosphere
3. Limited resources
A few quick notes on the first tenant, an appropriate metric; how do you know when the team is moving the right direction. That said measurements can easily be focused upon short term gains sacrificing long term growth. Secondly, measurements need to make sense for the entire system, if you focus efforts too locally it can also adversely effect the organization. Think of the strength of a chain, the weakest link, versus the weight of a chain – adding the weight of each link. With all this focus on the entire system, measurements still need to make sense for the individual – how do you know you did a good job at the end of the day. One of my favorite clients once slowed down one of his machines and set a new production record in the process!
So what’s important to you, what is a good measurement that can be checked often enough that you see movement?
Posted in Informal training, Knowledge management, teams, Wikis | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Walt Lubinec on August 13, 2013
What do Walt Disney, John Belushi, and Cancer Surgeon Atul Gwande have in common? They all learned and used the rules of improvisation to release creativity for team based solutions. A collaborative and creative environment can be created on purpose. Walt Disney needed many ideas and had to manage teams to be able to produce movies, theme parks, and all the innovative solutions like animatronics. Disney engineers are called Imagineers because of their unique solutions. John Belushi was funny alone but even more successful when playing off his fellow Second City team members to create unforgettable comedy. Atul Gwande implemented the same rules in the form of checklists for team creation with surgical personnel who never worked together before, radically reducing surgical caused fatalities.
Is your business constantly evolving, if not it is falling behind. Solving your customer’s problems is what your business does. It can be done with higher quality, less cost, and higher profit if you unleash the power of Solution Teams within your business. We have all witnessed it; when one idea sparked another and another until your team had something really workable, something that any individual member of the group may not have come up with but together it just happened. Let’s work together to create the skills and conditions so that your team can work at their highest potential and make your business work better in the process.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: solution teams | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Walt Lubinec on January 12, 2010
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do not worry you are not alone – with the proliferation of blogs, wikis, and endless multimedia postings it is estimated that the total amount of information on the planet more than doubles every 18 months. If you didn’t feel overwhelmed before perhaps now you do.
In the field of medicine Atul Gawande, author of “The Checklist Manifesto”, states: “Clinicians now have at their disposal some six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures, each with different requirements, risks, and considerations. It is a lot to get right.” Its no wonder that even very competent doctors may overlook or may not be aware of a few possibilities.
So what is the point? Should we just give up say there is too much complexity and just stick to what we already know? Or is this the opportunity to leverage our shared knowledge trying to reach for the ‘group learning’ (as opposed to groupthink coined by social psychologist Irving Janis). The increased usage of checklists, peer reviews, and collaboration techniques should be a good answer. Anyone working today needs to make two commitments just to stay even in the marketplace let alone advance our competitive offering.
First we need to commit to lifelong learning. Reminding us that as knowledge workers “he who learns the most, earns the most” This can take many forms, webinars, formal classes, reading, even participating in team projects can advance our knowledge of what else is happening in and around our chosen discipline.
Finally, we must also commit to sharing our knowledge and seek out the collaboration of our colleagues and mentors. We cannot expect collaboration from others without sharing our own experience and perspectives. This is not just a restatement of the golden rule, but also a new reality of successful business. When peers are available within your company it helps, but outside viewpoints cannot be underestimated. Many companies today strangle innovation due to internally focused perspectives. One need only look at the American car manufacturers to see what stagnation it has caused. This is not meant to say that outside opinions are always right, focus groups and customer feedback is usually short term focused and may not include a longer term view of how solutions may evolve. In the end a healthy dialogue can only improve the long term goals of both customer and company.
So with all these perspectives how can we get any work done? That’s the work, that’s the secret! It is your synthesis of that information which solves problems, brings new approaches to bear, and tells the story of how we can survive and thrive through very difficult times. So pause for just a moment, take a deep breath… now jump!
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Posted in Informal training, Wikis | Tagged: collaboration | 1 Comment »
Posted by Walt Lubinec on December 18, 2009
The job of a project manager is to coordinate the disparate tasks to achieve a goal greater than the sum of the parts. Bidirectional communication is the key part of that communication. Discussing open issues, tasks on time or behind, lessons learned, and keeping to the scope agreed to! Using wiki’s for this communication can speed the entire process. Team members can be empowered to update tasks assigned to them, enter their own learning’s and continually refer to the scope and project plan to verify they are on target. Change logs of the wiki are the reporting tools the project manager uses to track progress. If intermediate steps are also documented using the wiki – it becomes a rapid feedback system keeping everyone on track for faster execution!
Posted in Project Management, Wikis | Tagged: communication, project, wiki | 1 Comment »