Posts in ‘Change Management’

Week In Review: Mar 13 – Mar 19, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on March 20, 2011

Why the iPad2 and a good datacenter might be all you’ll need!

by Marc Watley, Mar 14, 2011

The time of the tablet has clearly arrived as evidenced by Marc’s informal survey of his flight form New York to San Francisco. You can be as productive with an iPad (and soon iPad2), if not more. Lugging a heavy laptop from meeting to meeting is not necessary anymore. But before you run off to buy a tablet, you need to understand some caveats. more…

Project Reality Check #13: Embracing the Project Fog

by Gary Monti, Mar 15, 2011

No project plan is perfect. It’s usually what the team thinks will work based on certain assumptions and drawn from a large universe of possible solutions. As the project starts, “things happen” and the fog begins to roll in. You can dispel the fog by embracing it. The solution is the fog’s equal in terms of appearance and a countermanding positive performance. It is the team’s wisdom focused into a new or modified deliverable and/or process commonly called the workaroundmore…

Social Media and Tribes #31: Social Media comes through during Japan crisis

by Deepika Bajaj, Mar 16, 2011

In the recent Japan quake, most infrastructure was knocked out, but interestingly Internet availability remains relatively unaffected. And what is most compelling is that Japan turned to social media for connecting with their loved ones. Less than an hour after the quake, the number of tweets from Tokyo topped 1,200 per minute. Facebook again helped in not only connecting friends and family but also became a broadcast channel for people to share their updates and checkin with their friends. Youtube and blogs became instrumental in giving people eyes into the disaster ridden areas with the help of citizen journalism. more…

Flexible Focus #45: My Cup Runneth Over

by William Reed, Mar 17, 2011

In our pursuit of prosperity, we tend to take for granted the blessings that we already have in abundance. The Mandala Chart looks at wealth as part of a larger mosaic, and abundance as the experience of blessings in 8 areas of life: health, business, finances, home, society, character, learning, and leisure. The real appreciation of what we already have begins with gratitude. And gratitude grows into giving, and is a principle seen everywhere in nature. The quality of abundance is not something to experience in solitude. It starts with the appreciation that your cup runneth over even now, and that it gets even better when you share your blessings with others. more…

Leader driven Harmony #16: Rely on the most reliable person – YOU!

by Mack McKinney, Mar 18, 2011

With the horror of the Japanese tsunami catastrophe still unfolding, ask yourself this.  If there was a 9.0 scale earthquake in the city whereyou live and you managed to survive it, what would you do then? Well, it is time for you to go back to the basics and learn some fundamental survival skills. You don’t need to move into a cabin in the wild and become a fully self-contained homesteader.  But adding a few basic skills will improve your self-confidence and your sense of self-reliance.. more…

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Week In Review: Feb 20 – Feb 26, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 27, 2011

Author’s Journey Update: Easy ways to organize blog posts, books and ebooks

by Roger Parker, Feb 21, 2011

You need organize what you are going to write before you start writing. It helps you provide structure, sequence and relevance for your ideas. Roger provides 10 options you could use to get organized. Make it a habit to use them and it will help you keep up your writing commitments. more…

Project Reality Check #10: Personal Resilience

by Gary Monti, Feb 22, 2011

Being centered though all situations and avoiding distractions is key for a project manager’s success. You can achieve this by being resilient. Resilience is the ability to continue functioning while adapting to a changing situation. In this article Gary lists the questions that you can ask yourself and take appropriate action. Sometimes you get the elevator, other times you get the shaft. The idea is to build resilience, think, and keep moving to get more of the former and less of the latter. more…

Social Media and Tribes #30: Virtual Valentine

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 23, 2011

Thanks to Social Media, there’ve been very interesting shifts in Velentine’s day behaviors. This year people not only sent personal messages but wished their friends, shared their gifts, surprises, roses and even their  dinners on FB. People are broadcasting their love for friends and special ones. Moreover, there are Valentine Apps on the iPhone store, Groupon Deals, Valentine Events marketed on FB. Better watch out Hallmark! more…

Flexible Focus #42: Time Lapse as a Mandala Movie

by William Reed, Feb 24, 2011

Manda Charts show relationship between the frames in a 3D perspective. What about the 4th dimension, time? This is not so difficult to imagine if you look at the effect you get in time-lapse photography. So as you create and use Mandala Charts, try to see them from the perspective of the 4th dimension, time and transformation. It will add a new dimension to your enjoyment of flexible focus. more…

Leader driven Harmony #13: 4 P’s to get your !deas MOVING – Part II

by Mack McKinney, Feb 25, 2011

Last week Mack showed you how to be a pro and likeable when pushing for change and I showed you key actions that would get you taken seriously. In addition to that, you need to be somewhat patient and promote your !deas. When you promote your ideas to others, let them become their ideas, because people will advocate their “own” ideas more passionately than other’s ideas. more…

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Week In Review : Feb 13 – Feb 19, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on February 20, 2011

Social Media and Tribes #29: The new BLINK!

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 14, 2011

Contrary to popular belief, FaceBook is not a distraction. This is true at least for people who can use it in moderation like everything else in life. Glancing at the news feed once in a while helps you be connected. It happens in a split second and you see something that doesn’t register at the conscious-level but provides a gut-feel about the thing. Just like what Malcolm Gladwell states in his popular book BLINK: The power of thinking without thinking. more…

Project Reality Check #9: Tyranny of the “Truth”

by Gary Monti, Feb 15, 2011

Everyone sees their version of the “truth” and this can cause tyrannical behavior. This happens if the person’s “truth” limits the available options for action. Or it could be because of the rigidity in the system or bureaucracy. A great example is the comparison between the Brits and the Germans in WWII. Even though both of them has the technology for a similar artillery piece, the Germans were adept at improvising whereas the Brits were more concerned about maintaining status.  more…

7 Key Strategies for designing an Analysis based Company

by Linda Williams, Feb 16, 2011

In today’s fast changing environment being an analysis based company is critical to survival and profitability. Different industries will have different needs for analysis but there are some key components of an analytical strategy that are foundational to the majority of businesses. In this article, Linda lists the top 7 strategies for designing an Analytical Strategy. more…

Flexible Focus #41: Your 100 year life span

by William Reed, Feb 17, 2011

Irrespective of what ages determine the boundaries of each stage, the truth is that there are stages to life. And you cannot see some things clearly until you take the 100 year perspective. The 100 Year Life Span Mandala Chart can help you gain clarity. It takes a while to thoughtfully fill it out, but that is a small investment of time compared to the perspective it gives you. Think of it as climbing a mountain to the summit of your life, and getting the view of everything below. You owe it to yourself to go there at least once, and if possible at least once a year. more…

Leader driven Harmony #12: 4 P’s to get your !deas moving – Part 1

by Mack McKinney, Feb 18, 2011

The four Ps to move your ideas are be Pleasant, be Professional, be Patient and Promote like crazy. But very often you may not be able to find the traction in your organization. If that’s the case, Mack suggests some ways to rectify that. more…

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Week In Review : Jan 23 – Jan 29, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 30, 2011

The Origin of Leaders #5: Habits. Routine sets you Free!

by Conor Neill, Jan 24, 2011

Aristotle says “we are what we habitually do”.  Who I am and become is directly related to my daily habits! For instance, you are not a smoker if you smoke 1 cigarette.  You are not a smoker if you smoke 2 cigarettes.  You become a smoker at some point where it becomes a daily thing! As the routine is repeated more and more regularly it takes less and less effort or self-discipline to begin and complete the routine. more…

Project Reality Check #6: Shall we Dance? Managing Change Orders

by Gary Monti, Jan 25, 2011

Over the years, PMI® has shown in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge® more and more acceptance of the need to address change as the project progresses. Why? Stakeholders rarely understand everything needed to address their needs. Regardless of the level of detail and planning brought to a situation there always is some variance in performance present. This is where change orders come into play and why they are so important. But remember, it is dangerous to believe enough change orders will compensate for vague contracting, lack of planning, and little or no discipline. more…

Social Media and Tribes #27: Gen Y changes TV viewing experience

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 26, 2011

Gen Y watches over 3 hours of TV a day, but it’s not a couch potato experience. They’ve turned TV viewing itself into social media. If you see them watching TV, do not assume that that is ALL they are doing. Check how they are texting, commenting and tweeting. They don’t just watch a movie, they are sharing, collaborating, distributing and connecting. more…

Flexible Focus #38: Flexibility without Forcing

by William Reed, Jan 27, 2011

When your body is stiff, then physical stretching can feel more like pain than gain. A similar thing happens mentally when your values or beliefs are forcibly stretched beyond their limits. The key to expanding your comfort zone is to have more degrees of freedom. When you have more degrees of freedom in your mind and movements, then you experience flexible focus in action! more…

Leader driven Harmony #9: Don’t Be a Baby Bird (PartI)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 28, 2011

As the parent bird swoops in, the baby birds open their beaks and the parent plops a juicy worm or insect right into junior’s gaping mouth.  The baby just sits and eats.  The parent does all the work. Are you one of those?. more…

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Week In Review : Jan 16 – Jan 22, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 23, 2011

Still busy? – Even with all the productivity enhancing gadgets

by Vijay Peduru, Jan 17, 2011

A recent article in NYT  talked about how kids are wired for distraction by always being online . Every Gadget they use is connected to the internet and the kids are always distracted. It is not just the kids even we grown-ups do this. Each one of us wants distractions and these tools are just another avenue for our distractions. We want distractions because we want to escape from things which are bothering us. Choose to face the problem and use the time previously used for distractions for more enjoyable tasks. more…

Free eBook: Freedom, money, time and the key to Creative Success

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 18, 2011

In Mark McGuinness’ own words: Creative people are those who work hard, but because they love what they do, it doesn’t feel like work. Your key to success doesn’t cost a dime… Get your FREE copy of Freedom, Money, Time and the Key to Creative Success by clicking here OR by going directly to the download page. It’s a light read – 34 pages in all. And it’s full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation. more…

Project Reality Check #5: The Devil is in the Details

by Gary Monti, Jan 19, 2011

Expected Monetary Value (EMV) connects the customer with the team. This tool is very powerful. At the core, an EMV calculation comprises probability times impact to get a weighted number. The EMV model is a great way to connect with stakeholders and work rationally while keeping relationships intact. more…

Flexible Focus #37: Navigate with Nanba!

by William Reed, Jan 20, 2011

Earlier in this series in an article called Mobile Mandala, we introduced an exciting new iPad Application called theMandalaChart for iPad, which is available in the iTunes Store. We are proud to announce the first of these templates, a set of 30 Mandala Charts for the iPad application called the Nanba Diary. These pages explain how the MandalaChart and Nanba Diary work for you. more…

Leader driven Harmony #8: Get a FIRE going in Your Belly!

by Mack McKinney, Jan 21, 2011

Let’s pretend you have a major, life-threatening disease and are seeking treatment.  Do you want to be treated by a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse who just kinda likes their job?  Who just muddles through the day?  Who is about as good at the job as most other physicians?  OF COURSE NOT! Same applies to you if you are providing some service or product to someone. In this article Mack tells you how do you get to be the best and how you can rise past the others in your field and become the “go-to” person?. more…

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Week In Review : Jan 9 – Jan 15, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 16, 2011

Project Leadership #4: Trust is bidirectional

by Himanshu Jhamb, Jan 10, 2011

Trust is a key ingredient for a project’s success. Establishing bidirectional trust with the stakeholders – Client, Management and Team, lowers the cost of transaction and improves the quality of your projects. This happens only if you care for the stakeholders – all of them. Project that operate in this mode will flow smoothly and be phenomenally more successful! more…

Project Reality Check #4: Know the Business, Gain Power

by Gary Monti, Jan 11, 2011

Project managers (PMs) have to deliver; yet power to get the job done can be elusive. But PMs can take care of themselves and the team knowing they are lower on the food chain and get some power. How? By understanding and communicating in the language used by those with more strategic positions and power. This language also needs to provide a portal through which the PMs can express project concerns. The language is risk management.  more…

Social Media and Tribes #26: Social Media in 2011. Are you still in the GAME?

by Deepika Bajaj, Jan 12, 2011

By the end of 2010 the concept of social media became part of our lives because there was a need for an “Online Conversation” – to talk, listen and engage with your influencers. “SO WHAT? WHAT NEXT?”. You may have just scratched the surface of social media…new challenges and new opportunities are in the horizon. The bars are being raised and the learning curve is steep….What matters is Are You Fatigued or Are you Adapting? more…

Flexible Focus #36: Charting New Territory

by William Reed, January 13, 2011

It is time again to look back and gain some perspective on where we have been in the last eight weeks. Revisiting these articles will help you re-explore the territories where we have been, and see also how they fit together. And also reflects the amazing range of topics possible to address with the Mandala Chart. more…

Leader driven Harmony #7: Failure is required (Part II)

by Mack Mckinney, Jan 14, 2011

In the previous post Mack discussed the danger of not experiencing enough failure in life and how well-meaning people who shelter us from failure can rob us of the mental toughness that we need to get through life. Now a days, people who have tried and failed are much more attractive to most employers than people who have led sheltered lives, protected from failure, with teachers and parents hovering over them and protecting their increasingly brittle self-images. So, push yourself hard enough that you sometimes screw-up. more…

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Week In Review : Jan 2 – Jan 8, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 9, 2011

ROI for Business Intelligence

by Matthew Carmen, Jan 3, 2011

There are many other direct and indirect efficiencies and benefits that can be realized through the proper planning and implementation of BI tools and systems.  The more end-user groups that participate in the planning of a company’s BI system, the easier it becomes to change the ultimate corporate culture. Once the buy-in from the users is attained, the real savings begin, and a platform to accelerate corporate growth now exists. more…

Project Reality Check #3: Hangman – The Triple Constraint

by Gary Monti, Jan 4, 2011

Project management has a lot in common with the game “Hangman” in that the project manager is expected to figure out what the stakeholder(s) in control want without them telling the PM directly. But project managers also have to ensure sufficient time and money are left to implement the scope. This is the triple constraint. more…

Keys to a successful Strategic Planning Process

by Steve Popell, Jan 5, 2011

Marrying the Vision and Mission statements is essential, because it helps to get across to your employees how truly important each of their jobs is in the grand scheme of things. You want your employees to make the connection between them. If your strategic planning group crafts meaningful Vision and Mission statements, you will create an environment in which this kind of connection will be a small step, not a leap. more…

Flexible Focus #35: Move less, Attract more

by William Reed, Jan 6, 2011

The abundance mentality is a shift in mindset, a broader and more generous view. It is also the realization that you are not stuck with what you start with. Regular practice with the Mandala Chart gives you the ability to take any idea and quickly multiply it by eight to generate new ideas, applications, perspectives, or connections. more…

Leader driven Harmony #6 : Failure is required (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Jan 7, 2011

It is important that you fail in order to succeed. When learning a new skill, you have to be allowed to fail. If not, you will not be prepared to face situations in real life and you may panic in those situations. more…

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Week In Review : Dec 26, 2010 – Jan 1, 2011

by Magesh Tarala on January 2, 2011

Harnessing the power of your Workforce with Goal Alignment

by Sean Conrad, Dec 27, 2010

Is your entire workforce committed and pulling in the same direction? Traditional method of setting up top down cascading goals takes along time to setup and could also cause divided loyalties between groups. Organizational goal alignment is a methodology where every employee sets their individual goals in collaboration with their manager, and directly links each of their goals to one of the organization’s high-level goals. more…

Project Reality Check #2: Being a Rainmaker

by Gary Monti, Dec 28, 2010

“Rainmaker” is a title that fits with a lot of project managers. It sets the bar high requiring a great deal of skill and political savvy to bring about the deliverable as if almost by magic. The reality is quite different. What makes a project manager a rainmaker is the ability to achieve integration between the nine areas of project management. It is reflected in commitments within the stakeholder community. more…

Flexible Focus #34: Projecting your Future

by William Reed, Dec 30, 2010

The problem with setting goals, deadlines, or landmarks is they cause tunnel vision that makes us lose sight of the whole and the why. Frameworks such as the Mandala Chart and Goalscape provide an alternative view that is both innovative and ancient, timely and timeless. more…

Leader driven Harmony #5: How to make your writing Crisp, Flavorful and Satisfying (Part III)

by Mack Mckinney, Dec 31, 2010

In this series Mack has discussed Purpose, Audience, Contentand Style and how each works with the others to determine the utility and readability of any document you write. This post closes this series with a discussion of writing “Mechanics” in the form of a simple list of annoyances readers complain about most often. more…

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Week In Review : Dec 12 – Dec 18, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on December 19, 2010

The Origin of Leaders #4: Self-discipline. Cultivating the habit of completion

by Conor Neill, Dec 13, 2010

The only people who can change the world are those that want to. Many don’t want to. Some want to, but don’t accept the discipline of hard work. Anything you want will never be as hard as you imagine it will be! So, get started and push on through. Do it “just because.” Even if it is a failure as a product, it will teach you. You will come out stronger. more…

Chaos and Complexity #14: What makes Complexity complex?

by Gary Monti, Dec 14, 2010

The hallmark of complex systems is emergent behavior. The components of this behavior are Adaptability, Connectedness, Interdependency and Diversity. It is the responsibility of the leader to maintain a balance among all four variables and each of these attributes must be at the “in-between” setting to create positive tension. more…

Social Media and Tribes #24: Getting better with Social Media – Christmas Wishlist

by Deepika Bajaj, Dec 15, 2010

Social media was a boon for Deepika while she was confined to bed rest after undergoing surgery. She could stay in touch with friends, help others, blog, shop and more. If only Social Media could make you Starbucks and chicken soup:) more…

Flexible Focus #32: Folding the Square

by William Reed, Dec 16, 2010

Origami and general the art of folding is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. This is an essential aspect of Japanese sense of creativity and aesthetics. The reason is that, not only does it result in a host of useful and practical solutions to problems and products, but it also illustrates how many possibilities open up when we work within a certain set of limitations. The Mandala Chart can facilitate the process of connecting discipline and spontaneity through flexible focus. more…

Leader driven Harmony #3: How to make your writing Crisp, Flavorful and Satisfying (Part I)

by Mack McKinney, Dec 17, 2010

Clear, sharp writing is almost a lost art.  And it is sad because to get along in life you must be able to explain yourself clearly. In business if you cannot craft a grammatically correct, well-written document that people find pleasing to read, you will always be working for someone else who can. There are five key considerations in writing: Purpose, Audience, Content, Style and Mechanics. This post is about Purpose. more…

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How stable is your situation? In today’s world the sophisticated businessperson can feel comfortable in believing their situation is secure because they have a high degree of connectedness both personally and in their line of business. The irony is this interconnectedness not only helps achieve high levels of success but also contributes to catastrophic downfalls. It has to do with the fact that systems with a high level of interconnectedness (complex) of and by themselves generate high-impact, random events. Let’s explore.

Black Swans

In his book, Black Swan, the author, Nassim Teleb talks about how the belief in stationarity (sustained, stable outcomes) in a complex situation leads to blindness, which can yield catastrophic results. A good example of this is the collapse of the home mortgage market in the United States. By now everyone is familiar with the financial bailout required for institutions such as AIG. The underpinning to this catastrophic failure was based on a concept statisticians call stationarity, i.e., the belief that consequences will continue to flow as anticipated. The fact is, with the growth of interconnectedness and markets the probability of random, dramatic events increases accordingly.

Randomness

In an earlier blog chaotic systems were defined as those having deterministic, interrelated rules producing nonlinear, unpredictable results. In other words, the results are non-stationary. So, in times of failure complex systems may provide avenues of hope. On the flipside, periods of success may be transitory.

Risk Management

For those of you familiar with my writings you may have noticed how often I refer to the value of risk management in complex situations. The reason for this is based on the reality of complex systems. The reason is simple. It is identical to what the superpowers realized when it came to the use of nuclear arms.  The worst case is intolerable. If financial institutions would have thought this way the recent recession could have been avoided. The problem is success risks breeding blindness in a form called “The Midas touch.” Essentially, when one suffers from the Midas touch they believe that the current string of successes will continue in an unending fashion.

Your Career

So what does all of this have to do with your career? The answer is, “Plenty.” One way to view this is to look back upon your career development. Take out a copy of your resume and list the events, especially the small ones that led to where you are now. You will notice that black swans have probably had a major impact; impacts far exceeding anything you could have planned. For example, there is the chance encounter with someone who provided that slight bit of leverage that made all the difference–the difference that led to a promotion or being fired. What helped you move forward was your degree of preparedness, which amplified positive events or dampen the consequences of a negative one. That is risk management.

The moral to this is remembering to practice a form of cognitive dissonance and learn to carry two streams of thought simultaneously. The first one deals with the best that could happen under the circumstances and the second deals with the worst.  While carrying these two frames of mind learn how to make decisions. It is this discipline that helps underpin career success. It is the absence of this discipline that leads to being a reactive follower and settling for crumbs.

Gary Monti PMI presentation croppedThrough his firm, Center for Managing Change, Gary Monti has over 30 years experience providing change- and project management services internationally. He works at the nexus between strategy, business case, project-, process-, and people management. Service modalities include consulting, teaching, mentoring, and speaking. Credentials include PMP number 14 (Project Management Institute®), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification, and accreditation in the Cynefin methodology. Gary can be reached at gwmonti@mac.com or through Twitter at @garymonti
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