Posts in ‘Change Management’

Week In Review – Apr 4 – Apr 10, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on April 11, 2010

Social media distress – 3 ways to destress

by Deepika Bajaj, Apr 5, 2010

Technology has made it possible to be connected at all times and it’s getting easier everyday. Falling into this trap can cause stress. Deepika suggests some ways to help you overcome the social media stress. more…

Leadership Cancers #4: Adrenaline and testosterone

by Gary Monti, Apr 6, 2010

If you don’t plan, you have to react. In some environments, reaction is the modus operandi and it becomes the culture. Ability to react quickly is a virtue, but if that is the way of life, it causes serious problems. The solution is to plan. If you plan properly, your project will have greater flexibility at a lower cost. Of course there will be detractors and their common refrain is it is a luxury to be able to plan. They are wrong. more…

Support for Success

by Guy Ralfe, Apr 7, 2010

With a family to support, leaving a secure job in corporate America to pursue the dream of entrepreneurship in the worst economic conditions in recent memory takes guts. Guy has done it! He says he could not have done it without the help of others – Business Partners, Industry Knowledge Partners and of course support from family and friends. Moral of the story is don’t try to be the lone ranger. Getting all the support you need is crucial for your success. more…

Don’t hold back. Do ask.

by Himanshu Jhamb, Apr 8, 2010

When people get what they want, it is not magic or miracle. They ask. Unless you let your intent be known, you will not get what ever it is you are looking for. From the outside, it may look like some people are lucky. Not true. Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. more…

Author’s Journey #16: Attracting the right literary agent

by Roger Parker, Apr 9, 2010

One of the most important steps in your journey to a published book is to attract the attention of the right literary agent. The old “shotgun approach” which is very inefficient and will not get the desired results. Branding is the new way that will make the agents seek you. Read this article to find out examples of the “new way”. more…

Week In Review – Mar 28 – Apr 3, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on April 4, 2010

Business Intelligence or lack thereof?

by Brian Beedle, Mar 29, 2010

In these tough economic times, it is imperative that organizations make strategic changes rapidly. Traditionally, business leaders are focused on the profitability and the lower rungs don’t have the business intelligence to make serious impact. The answer lies in implementing a performance management system. Brian discusses some key factors you need to be cognizant of before you take the plunge. more…

Leadership Cancers #3: The myth of peak performance

by Gary Monti, by Mar 30, 2010

You know the story of Apollo 13. The entire ground team worked round the clock for several days to bring the astronauts back. The team performed at the peak level. Realistically, you cannot expect this team or any team to perform at that level continuously. There is a normal performance level and we need to strive to improve the normal performance level. But striving for peak performance all the time will burn people out and will setup the team and the organization for failure. more…

Timing the Flood

by Guy Ralfe, Mar 31, 2010

Timing is everything. It involves being at the right place at the right time and then evaluating the offer’s risk vs. opportunity. Guy’s current situation has put him in the right place for offers to be made. And he is evaluating the offers within his current capability. more…

How to handle any situation

by Vijay Peduru, Apr 1, 2010

Life is nothing but a series of situations. How we handle them determines how our life shapes up. We can approach situation will resignation or anger. But these are not powerful moves and will not enhance your life. Deal with situations in a mood of possibility and see a new and wonderful world open up for you. more…

Author’s Journey #15 – Crafting the perfect book proposal

by Roger Parker, Apr 2, 2010

Your book proposal for your first book is among the most important documents you’ll ever prepare. The purpose is two fold: 1) Sales pitch 2) Marketing plan. A typical proposal has seven sections described in this article. Think of your book proposal as an investment. more…

more…

Week In Review – Mar 7 – Mar 13, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on March 14, 2010

Before you fight them… Choose them wisely!

by Himanshu Jhamb, Mar 8, 2010

Not all customers are created equally. While some are very rewarding to work with, others are a drain on your resources. We need to pick them wisely and conserver our resources to fight the good fight. When you see your competitors taking on high maintenance clients, remember Napolean Bonaparte’s quote: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. more…

Change Management #7 – Products: A tip to assure Darwinian survival

by Gary Monti, Mar 9, 2010

In this concluding post of the seven-part series, Gary draws a parallel between Darwin’s theory of natural selection and product management. Gold plating requirements and succumbing to feature creep will ensure failure and end up the dodo way. But following the natural selection way will ensure survival. more…

Once I make a commitment…

by Himanshu Jhamb, Mar 10, 2010

You are measured by your ability to keep your commitments to others. This is possible only if you possess the integrity. It is easy to understand the concept of integrity in physical structures and Himanshu provides a couple of examples in this article. Just like the lack of integrity will cause a structure to collapse, lack of integrity in your life will cause it to collapse. The bollywood actor’s dialog may help you maintain your integrity – he says “Once I make a commitment… I don’t even listen to myself”. more…

Dancing for your Tribe

by Guy Ralfe, Mar 11, 2010

First off, hearty congratulations to Guy for taking the leap in to entrepreneurship. We wish him the best in his new endeavor.

Reflecting upon how he was able to make the transition to his new career, Guy credits the power of networks for his ability to make such a drastic change. Luck does not come calling, but is a factor of who you associate with. Associating with the right tribes and creating an identity that is portable across tribes, is essential component of success. So, get started and make some noise, tweet, call someone – get out there and pick your opportunity – Dance for your tribe! more…

Author’s Journey #12: How to create a content plan for your book?

by Roger Parker, Mar 12, 2010

Before you can write your book, you need to create a content plan for your book. Mind mapping makes it easy to identify and organize your ideas. In this article Roger explains how he used a three step process to successfully create a content plan for his book using Mindjet’s MindManager and Microsoft Word. more…

Should your experiences bringing products to market or providing services be added to the director’s cut of Jurassic Park?  Do critics and competition surround your brainchild like a pack of hungry raptors?  At the same time do you have to fight to maintain your position in the organizational herd?

Business, like nature, can be uncompromising in its response to your product and services. Provide what is needed and you live to see another day and get the opportunity to move your business forward. Take too big of a misstep and your business can be crippled or killed.

Darwin offers guidance in seeking opportunity, surviving, growing and thriving in a hostile environment. We will look at a tip to implement that guidance – feature management. We will also look at three signs indicating the odds of survival are decreasing.

Darwin

Darwin observed species adapting best to an environment without destroying it would have the best chance to survive. This includes dealing with threats as well as capitalizing on opportunities. This adaptation includes changing traits (evolving) as the environment changes along with predators and prey. The term he coined is “natural selection“. Without the forces of natural selection genetic drift sets in and the species risks evolving to a dead-end position. The dodo bird is a good example.

Feature management reflects natural selection with products and product development. On the other hand, genetic drift occurs in the presence of:

  • Customer’s gold plating of requirements;
  • Team’s gold plating of requirements;
  • Feature creep

Natural Selection: Feature Management

Feature management chooses among all the possibilities and selects a set of features which, when turned into a product, will meet a customer’s needs within the prescribed limits of time, and budget.

For long-term relationships product development and/or the definition of services includes the client’s need to survive, grow, and thrive. The best relationships are symbiotic with both you and the client benefiting from the product or service.

Genetic Drift

Genetic drift in product development is movement into a spot outside the boundaries set by the market. The product is essentially isolated and dies.

Customer’s Gold Plating of Products

Gold plating takes specifications beyond what is required. I experienced customer gold plating with the use of robotics in vehicle manufacturing. The client firm’s management style was heavy-handed. Being the person who was the source of a design failure would have major negative repercussions. So, a weld seam that was adequate at 1/8” width grew to 3/8” as it progressed through the client’s internal design approval process. This occurred with almost every aspect of the vehicle and the design mushroomed. The cost and time to produce increased. A competitor was able to grab market share with a vehicle of equal performance but a much lower cost- and time to produce.

Team’s Gold Plating of Products

This is typified by the engineer with a solution looking for a problem. The product is viewed as an opportunity to showcase capability that is above-and-beyond what the competition can do but has no real value in terms of enhanced performance for the customer. Again, the cost- and time to develop can increase to the point that the product or service is no longer competitive for its market niche.

Feature Creep

Apple’s Copland operating system is a good example. It suffered from second-system effect and became bloated. It also suffered from mismanagement in terms of what it would take to propel Apple out of a niche position and back  to that of a major player.

The best way to deal with genetic drift is to review all work in terms of the boundaries set by a clear functional specification, time limits, and money limits. For more on this refer back to the “Project” post in this series.

This concludes the first, seven-part series on change management. If you are as fascinated with this material and care to comment or would like more information on change management contact me at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com.

Week In Review – Feb 28 – Mar 6, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on March 7, 2010

What’s your ante?

by Himanshu Jhamb, Mar 1, 2010

Poker is about making wagers. You need to pay up to get in the game and which table you play depends upon how much you want to ante up. Life and business are no different. Evaluate what table you are sitting at. If the potential payout is not going to help you reach your goal, you need to quit that table you are at and move to a table where the payout is large enough. Quitting is easy to do, but make sure you have the required skills to play at a high stakes table. more…

Change Management #6 – Processes: Two tips for refereeing business rule changes

by Gary Monti, Mar 2, 2010

To say that bringing change to an organization will be challenging is a gross understatement. You may feel like Sisyphus rolling the huge rock uphill only to see it roll back down again. Your success at this is predicated on two components: What to do and How to do it. more…

Are you moving forward or drifting in your life?

by Vijay Peduru, Mar 3, 2010

If you examine your life, you may find areas which are not the way you want them to be. For instance, you may be stuck at the same position in your career. If you analyze why, you will find out that you are simply reacting to situations and not producing the situations you want to be in. You can rectify this if you learn how to be the “cause in the matter”. more…

Social Media and making a $1 Billion movie: Avatar

by Deepika Bajaj, Mar 4. 2010

Avatar is a phenomenal movie and it is setting a new standard for movie makers. Nevertheless, Social Media had a role to play in its box office success. Avatar, through its own Facebook and Twitter pages spread the word all over the web. The red carpet premier was broadcast live to web audience. These were capped by the interview the movie director, producer and the lead actors gave on MTV.com in which they took questions from internet fans. That is Social Media for you! more…

Do you have the tools you need to write a book?

by Roger Parker, Mar 5, 2010

Writing is a craft and yes, writers need the right tools too. Apart from a variety of low-tech tools you can get at office supply stores, writers need some high-tech tools like Mind mapping tools, Keystroke substitution software and speech recognition software. You also need to gain mastery of the word processing program you use. Read the article and take a free online evaluation to test your knowledge. more…

Week In Review – Feb 21 – Feb 27, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on February 28, 2010

The Art of getting what you want

by Vijay Peduru, Feb 22, 2010

Human brain has the tendency to avoid anything that it considers will cause pain. It reaches this conclusion based on instinct and/or past experience. This part of the brain is called the Lizard brain. The Possibilities brain seeks opportunity and freedom. When you want to work out and get in shape or in general, put in effort to convert a possibility into opportunity, your lizard brain may prevent you because it sees pain in the endeavor. You can remove this roadblock placed by the lizard brain by putting the endeavor in the right context.

Seth Godin in his brilliant book “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” talks about the Lizard Brain. For a brief Introduction to the lizard brain check this post , this video and this short e-book. more…

Change Management #5 – Project: Three tips to avoid creating Frankenstein

by Gary Monti, Feb 23, 2010

You can avoid creating a Frankenstein if you follow these simple steps:

1. Consider the needs of all the stakeholders when creating a scope of work including competitors and clients. Success includes your needs being met as part of the outflow of providing opportunity for others.

2. Your work must be sustainable, i.e., of good quality.

3. Provide stability, i.e., manage risk effectively.

Dr. Frankenstein driven by ego, pride and vainglory, got isolated from society and this caused him to lose direction and ultimately resulted in his downfall. more…

Growing Pains for Startups

by Guy Ralfe, Feb 24, 2010

Businesses are built around network interactions; each person in the network is a potential communication channel. As the number of people in your organization grows, the number of communication channels grows rapidly according to the formula (N * (N-1))/2 where N is the number of people in the group. This is a potential source of inaction or introducing bureaucracy. Educating the organization on this principle and providing guidance will help employees act confidently in the best interest of the company. more…

Social Media BRANDing – 5 tips to make it work

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 25, 2010

Many companies have created digital channels like Facebook Fan pages, Twitter, SEO, etc to establish a digital presence. Now, how can they measure the effectiveness and improve? Here are some recommendations:

1. Tie social media activity to revenue growth

2. Know your customers. Don’t limit yourself based on what you know. Instead, try to find who your customers is.

3. Provide relevant content to draw the attention of your customers.

4. Put in place a mobile strategy.

5. Create strong relationships with your customers.

more…

Author’s Journey #10 – How to make the time to write a book

by Roger Parker, Feb 26, 2010

Time is not something you find like a needle in a hay stack. You need to make time for your endeavor by managing your commitments. Here are some techniques to make time to write your book:

1. Start with a plan

2. Commit to daily progress

3. Harvest time

4. Track your progress

more…

Week In Review – Feb 14 – Feb 20, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on February 21, 2010

Are you feeling helpless?

by Vijay Peduru, Feb 15, 2010

Going through the same situation repeatedly, unable to control it, and accepting to suffer through it is called Learned Helplessness. Once you understand this important distinction, you can recognize the situation and take action to unlearn it. Vijay illustrates this with an example of an experiment conducted on dogs by Martin Seligson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of several books including “Learned Optimism”. more…

Change Management #4 – People: Building a team with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Gary Monti, Feb 16, 2010

Implementing change in an organization will bring out the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personas of the team members. This is part of human nature and if you do not plan for this, you will face serious problems reaching your goals. Your leadership is what will help keep the project on track. Gary provides several tips to help you understand the risk and navigate the terrain. more…

Commitments Change Over Time

by Guy Ralfe, Feb 17, 2010

One of the fundamental requirements for increasing our power and value in the marketplace is our ability to make and keep promises and commitments. A promise or commitment is between two parties. And each of them is locked into their stories viewed through their eyes. Between the time a promise is made and it is fulfilled, situations will change for both parties. It is essential to maintain the story for both parties through time or commitments will fail. more…

Selecting a Business Valuation expert

by Steve Popell, Feb 18, 2010

There are myriad reasons why the owner of a privately held company may want or need to have the company valued. Regardless of the reason, finding the right expert will pay off in the quality and utility of the opinion. In this article, Steve offers the criteria for assessment and gives some tips on how to ground your assessments. more…

Author’s Journey #9 – Cultivating the habits of writing success

by Roger Parker, Feb 19, 2010

Essential habits for writing success are Targeting, Positioning and Efficiency. In this article Roger describes how he put this theory to practice when writing his next book #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles. more…

Week In Review – Feb 7 – Feb 13, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on February 14, 2010

Is using Social Media an impediment to your Organization?

by Himanshu Jhamb, Feb 8, 2010

Social media is still not widely utilized in the business world. Organizations are resistant to deploying them because they either don’t see a value for it or they feel their employees will be distracted by them. The reality, their opinions don’t matter. Social media is here to stay. The earlier they realize that it is simply a channel for having online conversation, the better it is for them. more…

Change Management #3 – Technology: Too Good To Be True… Two Deadly Misconceptions and Their Remedies

by Gary Monti, Feb 9, 2010

One of the biggest misconceptions of all time is that technology solves problems. Nothing can be further away from the truth. On the contrary, people solve problems and technology aids in building the solution – it is just a means to an end. The second and less visible but equally important misconception is that technology will somehow change people’s fundamental behavior like sense of responsibility, cooperation, etc. When implementing change we need to be cognizant of the networks and political structures in the organization. With change, the concern for self increases and even small changes can cause disproportional increase in stress and will cause unpredictable behavior. Technology is an amplifier. Applied properly, it can make a good situation better. Misapplied, it can make a bad situation worse. more…

Breakdowns in Social Media Conversations

by Guy Ralfe, Feb 10, 2010

The world is shrinking fast and the pace of communication is increasing proportionally. Even in the online world, it is easy to misunderstand or misconstrue what the other person means. You may be thinking about the same thing and expressing them differently or vice versa. Guy has brilliantly illustrated this through a few examples. This pitfall gets amplified in the online world. So, be extra cautious and make sure you don’t miss opportunities because of it. more…

Intimacy scores with Social Media

by Deepika Bajaj, Feb 11, 2010

Intimacy and Social Media? Hmm… What’s the connection? We don’t typically these words used in one sentence. But, think about it. This is what social media is. It brings us closer together with our friends and acquaintances. We are able to check on them every day, learn what’s happening in their world and provide support, guidance or empathy. Your online presence is an online YOU. It is just like seeing yourself in the mirror. This let’s you be more intimate with yourself! Online media is an amplifier of the social nature of human beings. more…

Author’s Journey #8 – How much of your book have you already written?

by Roger Parker, Feb 12, 2010

If you have been in your profession for a while, you will be surprised to know how much content you already have. Just dig into your hard drive and check your emails, memos, reports, blog posts, etc. After you have located existing content, consolidate them so that you can identify their usability and where they belong in your book. This will help you realize that book writing does not have to be an all consuming endeavor. more…

Taking your organization through change requires the skills of a samurai knowing when to make changes, when to leave things as they are, and staying centered through the entire process. Do this in an ever-changing environment with moving targets!

Like a samurai you can use the principles of martial arts and Zen, combine them with complexity theory, and develop an approach to changing your organization.

The Samurai

The word “samurai” has interesting roots. It means, “to serve.” More specifically, it means to serve something or someone higher than oneself. The samurai looks at the broader picture and chooses specific actions accordingly. To aid in this they practiced many arts with some samurai being great poets and artists. They worked to understand the principles of life beyond fighting. This led to even-tempered decision-making. This approach is critical when making organizational changes, some of which may be enjoyable and others painful.

Martial Arts

Martial Arts can teach us something about technique when changing an organization. Methods vary with circumstances but evolve from solid principles. In Aikido there is a proverb that goes something like this, “When you come upon a rock; be water and flow around it. When the ground is shifting; be a tree and establish roots.” This knowing when to flex and when to hold your ground is critical. In World War II Henry Kaiser revolutionized shipbuilding by restructuring the manner in which Liberty ships were designed and assembled. He turned naval construction on its head. Once new methods (flexing) were established and integrated they were pushed to the limit (holding ground). The time to build a ship was reduced from 245 days to 45 days with some being completed in less than a week. Some of those construction methods are still in use today.

Zen

So how do you pick from all different ways to organize? What order should they be used in? There are so many methods and types of advice one can get overwhelmed. The key is establishing and keeping an eye on your goals and values and choosing the appropriate method.

Zen offers some good advice: Be immovable. Now, this doesn’t mean be stubborn. It also doesn’t mean being stuck. What it does mean is be imperturbable. Have all decisions reflect movement towards desired goals while keeping values in sight. For more on this see a previous blog, Change Management – Leadership: An Executive Map, Compass and Navigation Method.

Complexity Theory

Now you can take a tip from complexity theory on how best to organize: let the people do it themselves. With everyone understanding the goals and values do something very interesting: take the organization back-and-forth between equilibrium and disequilibrium. When things are moving well – let them be (equilibrium). When a change is needed shake things up by pointing to the challenges and let the team decide how best to organize or reorganize (disequilibrium).

Andy Grove used a two-step process at Intel.

  1. He instilled the belief that change is needed and left the organization alone so the stress would build.
  2. When the stress was high enough he would then lead people through “The Valley of Death” to achieve the next chip design. (Adapted from “Surfing the Edge of Chaos,” Richard Pascale, et. al.)

In the next blog we will look at some deadly misconceptions regarding technology and change and how to remedy the situation. If you are as interested as I in these topics send me an e-mail at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com.

Week In Review – Jan 24 – Jan 30, 2009

by Magesh Tarala on January 31, 2010

Quality #14: Process Improvement and the 3E’s

by Tanmay Vora, Jan 25, 2009

When process improvement initiatives fail, it is typically due to the lack of one or more of the three E’s – Lack of Empowerment, Lack of Education / Training or Lack of Empathy. Upper management needs to show they are serious about process by allocating the right resources. Implementation staff need to understand what they need to do and why. Lastly, there should be realization across the board that one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Focus on the three E’s and your journey will become easier and fun. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: You have to give back!

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 25, 2009

In life or on your blog, there is more joy in giving than getting. Your blog expands your capacity to give. Invest some of your time expanding the capacity of fellow bloggers who need your help. You’ll quickly find that the effort will produce its own rewards. You will quickly realize that the incremental costs will be quite low for you to provide high-value to someone or some cause. more…

Change Management #1 – Leadership: Navigating with an Executive Map and Compass

by Gary Monti, Jan 26, 2010

Welcome! to the first post in the Change Management Series. This blog is a simple user’s guide to a change management map, compass, and navigation method. We will look at their make-up and how they work. Later blogs will go deeper into how they work.

In this post Gary talks about the three essential components required to lead your company through change – The Map, the Compass and the Navigation Method. In an ever changing environment (the map), you need to be able to adhere to your values (the compass) and adapt your (navigation) methods to reach the goal. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Say more than “me too.”

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 26, 2009

You may come across blogs with great content and you may link to them. But if you don’t have anything original to say, your links won’t help much. It’s like giving somebody free movie tickets to a bad movie! Understand that the “me too” comments and links only add to the noise and don’t add value to the conversation. more…

Performance comes from Performing People

by Guy Ralfe, Jan 27, 2009

An organization’s goals and an individual’s aspiration will both be successful only if they intersect with each other. Guy illustrates this point in this blog through his recent experience on an airport ramp waiting to get into a plane undergoing tests to make sure the aircraft is clear to fly. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: All about comments

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 27, 2009

How do you create online conversations? Well, in the blogosphere, you do it via comments. Leaving comments on other blogs is a powerful mechanism to build traffic to your blog, build your credibility and in the process build valuable relationships. But before you start commenting, be sure to learn the basic commenting etiquette. more…

When Securing Your Data and Network, Just Look Inside

by Robert Driscoll, Jan 28, 2009

When securing data and network, the most obvious threats to guard against are the external intrusions. Studies have shown time and again that a great number of attacks originate from internal sources. You can safeguard against these risks by constantly reviewing your security policies, following a stringent hiring process and having more than one administrator for critical systems. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: The ultimate leverage engine

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 28, 2009

Whatever you do offline, you can leverage your online presence to your benefit. For example, you can use your blog to generate business or get speaking engagements. What you get out of it depends entirely upon you. You can read a good book and get nothing out of it. Or you can be moved to change the rest of your life. Same thing holds true for your blog. more…

Author’s Journey #6 – What’s the best size for your book?

by Roger Parker, Jan 29, 2009

Common thinking triggered by the word “book” is the long and never ending text books in school and college. Not true anymore. With the dawn of twitter and blogs, smaller books from 140 to 160 pages are popular. It takes less time to create, the cost to publish is lower and also the books are more focused. The trend is not to “tell all” but tell just what’s needed. more…

BLOGTASTIC!: Increase your capacity to do more good

by Rajesh Setty, Jan 29, 2009

You can use your blog for good causes too. In this post Rajesh talks about David Armano’s experience in raising money for a woman who recently separated from an abusive husband – through his blog. This illustrates that your blog can change who you are, your blog can change who your readers are and best of all, your blog can change the world! more…