1. Powerful habits of considerate people

    June 16, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Dr. Travis Bradberry

    Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.” It’s true. Being kind and considerate softens people and makes them malleable to your way of thinking.

    But I see another meaning there, too. I think he’s also saying that being considerate of others is an integral part of what it means to be human. Charles Darwin would have agreed. He argued that our instinct to be considerate is even stronger than our instinct to be self-serving.

    As obvious as that may seem, it’s only recently that neuroscience has been able to explain why. Research conducted by Dacher Keltner at Berkeley showed that our brains react exactly the same when we see other people in pain as when we experience pain ourselves. Watching someone else experience pain also activates the structure deep inside the brain that’s responsible for nurturing behavior, called the periaqueductal gray.

    Being considerate of others is certainly a good career move, but it’s also good for your health. When you show consideration for others, the brain’s reward center is triggered, which elevates the feel-good chemicals dopamine, oxytocin, and endogenous opioids. This gives you a great feeling, which is similar to what’s known as “runner’s high,” and all that oxytocin is good for your heart.

    “Being considerate of others will take you further in life than any college or professional degree.” – Marian Wright Edelman

    That’s all well and good, but how practical is it? How do you become more considerate when you have so many other things competing for your finite mental energy? It’s not that hard—all you have to do is emulate the habits of highly considerate people.

    Show up on time. Sure, sometimes things happen, but always showing up late sends a very clear message that you think your time is more important than everyone else’s, and that’s just rude. Even if you really do think that your time is more important, you don’t have to broadcast that belief to the world. Instead, be considerate and show up when you said you would.

    Be deliberately empathic. It’s one thing to feel empathy for other people, but putting that feeling into action is another matter entirely. It’s great to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes—in fact, it’s essential—but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being considerate. To be deliberately empathic, you have to let your ability to walk in their shoes change what you do, whether that’s changing your behavior to accommodate their feelings or providing tangible help in a tough situation.

    Apologize when you need to (and don’t when you don’t). We all know people who are so insecure or so afraid of offending someone that they practically apologize for breathing. In such situations, apologizing loses its meaning. But it’s a different matter entirely when a sincere apology is really necessary. When you’ve made a mistake, or even think you’ve made a mistake, apologizing is a crucial part of being considerate.

    Smile a lot. Physically, it’s easier to frown than to smile—smiling involves 42 different muscles; however, it pays to make the extra effort, as smiling has a huge effect on other people. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. When you smile at people, they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.

    Mind your manners. A lot of people have come to believe that not only are manners unnecessary, they’re undesirable because they’re fake. These people think that being polite means you’re acting in a way that doesn’t reflect how you actually feel, but they’ve got it backwards. “Minding your manners” is all about focusing on how the other person feels, not on how you feel. It’s consciously acting in a way that puts other people at ease and makes them feel comfortable.

    Be emotionally intelligent. One of the huge fallacies our culture has embraced is that feeling something is the same as acting on that feeling, and that’s just wrong, because there’s this little thing called self-control. Whether it’s helping out a co-worker when you’re in a crunch to meet your own deadline or continuing to be pleasant with someone who is failing to return the favor, being considerate often means not acting on what you feel.

    Try to find a way for everybody to win. Many people approach life as a zero-sum game. They think that somebody has to win and somebody else has to lose. Considerate people, on the other hand, try to find a way for everybody to win. That’s not always possible, but it’s their goal. If you want to be more considerate, stop thinking of every interaction with others as a win/lose scenario.

    Act on your intuition when it comes to other people’s needs. Sometimes you can just tell when someone is upset or having a bad day. In such cases, being considerate means checking in with them to see if your intuition is correct. If your intuition is telling you to reach out—do it; they’ll appreciate your concern.

    Bringing It All Together

    Being considerate is good for your mental and physical health, your career, and everyone around you. On top of that, it just feels good.

    What are some other ways to show consideration for others? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


  2. Tips from five Baldrige award-winning organizations

    June 10, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Every fall and every spring, Baldrige Award recipients openly share their best practices with other organizations that want to improve their performance. This sharing and learning happens at two regional conferences in September and at the annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April.

    For the benefit of those who missed those events last September and this April, below are five sets of tips shared by Baldrige conference presenters over the past year.

    How to Adopt the Baldrige Framework for Long-Term Use

    The following tips are from Joseph (Joe) Brescia, director for strategic management and process improvement; and James (Jim) Caiazzo, team leader for the Office of Strategic Management, at U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), a 2007 Baldrige Award winner in the nonprofit sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2015/09/01/a-baldrige-award-recipient-shares-leadership-practices-that-support-operational-excellence/.

    1. Establish a sense of urgency.
    The Baldrige Excellence Framework is a vehicle for establishing and maintaining transformational change in your organization. The responsibility of great leaders is to align the mission, vision, and values within the organization. Paint the vision of what change looks like and how the Baldrige framework gets you there.

    2. Use the Baldrige Criteria to provide a common language across your organization to discuss improvement so that everyone is using the same vernacular.

    3. Make sure you focus on results.

    In other words, the way to institutionalize the Baldrige framework is to actually use it to manage the business. That comes down to establishing a formal venue for senior leadership to review results and make changes as required. This way, when you have changes in leadership, with the venue institutionalized, it doesn’t live and die with the leadership that started it.

    How to Use the Baldrige Framework to Drive Your Desired Results

    The following tips are from Jayne E. Pope, CEO of Hill Country Memorial (HCM), a 2014 Baldrige Award winner in the health care sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/29/amid-struggles-of-rural-health-care-one-hospital-stands-out/

    1. Align and integrate processes within the workforce.
    Align all processes and the workforce to achieve strategic goals, with all processes supporting this alignment and integration. For example, when refining the workforce performance system, HCM asked how the redesign could integrate the system with the organization’s strategic plan. The organization developed quarterly coaching plans and an annual performance appraisal that aligns individual goals with strategic goals.

    2. Streamline processes and make them as easy to use and understand as possible.
    For example, HCM wants individuals to be experts at their jobs but doesn’t expect them to be performance improvement experts, so it developed easy-to-use worksheets that walk employees through process design and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) methodology. Having such user-friendly tools allows every member of the workforce to be involved in performance improvement.

    3. To achieve strategic results, identify key action plans and monitor progress.
    Just having goals is not enough; develop robust action planning and monitor processes. For example, through HCM’s Strategic Breakthrough Initiative process, executives identify those key short-term action plans that will move the organization toward achievement of its strategic goals. These are 90-day action plans, and the team reports out progress on a weekly basis to the executives. This weekly report-out supports accountability and ensures that team members have the support and resources needed to achieve their goals.

    How to Get Started with Baldrige-Based Organizational Improvement

    The following tips are from Pete Reicks, senior vice president of performance excellence at Elevations Credit Union, a 2014 Baldrige Award winner in the nonprofit sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/23/with-humility-and-hard-work-elevations-credit-union-keeps-climbing-higher/.

    1. Embrace the journey, make the investment, and leave a legacy.
    You owe it to yourself, your workforce, your customers/students/patients, and your community. The hardest step is setting the goal. You have to commit. The journey is an investment. Just get started, regardless of the reasons to delay. The only better decision is to have started sooner.

    2. Use the power of the Baldrige framework and the magic of ADLI and LeTCI to affirm your Why (your organization’s mission and purpose).
    Become systematic in your How (approaches) and appreciate the Who, What, and When (deployment) occurring within an interdependent system (alignment and integration). Meaningful measurement (levels, trends, comparisons) of (aligned and integrated) results (operations, customers, workforce, leadership, and financial/market performance) drive accelerated cycles of applied learning.

    3. Make it FUN (really)!
    Celebrate! Make reaching for your goals fun. Have many carrots and few sticks. While gains may be slow at first, committed, talented, passionate people will be attracted to your organization as they see movement towards excellence. They will want to be part of it, to contribute and to attain excellence not only for today, but in an environment built to sustain excellence for generations to come. The Baldrige journey exposes talent, accelerates development, and is a magnet for others.

    4. Ensure an operational rhythm.
    Bring rigor and purpose to your organizational forums and meetings. Get to a point where your staff can discuss their work with the same fluency with which they dissect their sports team the day after a game. If the water-cooler or happy-hour conversations at the local watering hole are more honest than those in your meetings, you’re not being effective. Measure your performance. How are you doing relative to leaders within and innovators outside your industry? Get comfortable with truthful conversations. Set emotion aside and find ways to work smarter, collaboratively.

    5. Recognize that the path of a Baldrige journey is not a straight line.
    Realize you’ll take some spills. Learn from them and move forward. Guard against “change fatigue.” Be smart about change. Evaluate new ideas by reconciling them against your core values and strategic plan. Know the difference between good and great. Sometimes you need an outside view. Bring in someone unencumbered by the internal organizational dynamics who can coach you through blind spots as well as affirm your organization’s strengths.

    6. Embrace what’s “simple smart” (after you’ve made the “simple easy” improvements).
    Simplistic solutions quickly applied to complex problems temporarily address symptoms yet are ultimately rendered ineffective by unaddressed root causes. Fortunately, the answer is often not fighting complexity with complexity. A simple-smart approach requires an appreciation for the hard work necessary to get under the hood, correctly diagnose root cause, and assess the trade-offs presented by potential solutions.

    How to Create a Strong Measurement System for Your Organization

    The following tips are from Fonda Vera, associate vice president of planning, research, effectiveness, and development; and Bao Huynh, director of institutional effectiveness, at Richland College, a 2005 Baldrige Award winner in the education sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/28/a-strong-performance-measurement-system-tips-from-a-baldrige-award-winning-college/.

    1. Begin with your mission, vision, and values in mind. Be sure to measure what you value.

    2. Identify key performance indicators and measures that will yield actionable data (i.e. why are you measuring this?).

    3. Be sure you are selecting important measures for your organization. Just because you can measure something doesn’t make it important.

    4. Commit to your measurement system for a year; then evaluate and revise it as appropriate.

    5. Use your results to create the next iteration of your strategic plan.

    How to Manage Your Organization’s Key Processes to Achieve Excellence and Innovation

    The following tips are from JoAnn Sternke, superintendent of Pewaukee School District, a 2013 Baldrige Award winner in the education sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/21/where-success-isnt-an-accident-process-management-tips-from-a-baldrige-award-winning-school-district/.

    1. Identify a process owner as the “go to” for this process, and have this person document the process so there is a collective understanding of the process throughout your organization.

    2. Know what’s key and measure this.

    3. Have a systematic review of the process. Remember the “S” and the “A” in Plan–Do–Study–Act improvement methodology. Don’t become so busy doing the process that you don’t evaluate it or refine it.

    4. Realize that your organization can ensure innovation through a systematic process, rather than “light bulb moments.” The quest to offer greater value to stakeholders drives both process improvement and innovation.


  3. The Meeker Method: 5 components of successful presentation

    June 7, 2016 by ahmed

    the_meeker_method

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Nancy Duarte

    Every year, venture capitalist and former securities analyst Mary Meeker and her team put together one of the most anticipated PowerPoint files — the Internet Trends report.

    At this year’s Code conference, she delivered 213 data-dense slides in 24 minutes and 40 seconds. Yes, you read that right.

    (See the slides and footage of the delivery here.)

    Each year after the report is released, I’m approached by many well-meaning fans asking for a comment because they think she’s breaking every rule in the book by not simplifying her slides. In contrast, I love her delivery and her slides. (I can hear you gasping.) Because it’s Mary being her genuine, whip-smart self, delivering incredible insights backed up with proof.

    5 Successful Components of “The Meeker Method”

    Know Your Audience
    Meeker knows that her live-audience enjoys her talk, but her real audience is the vast amount of people that read her slides afterwards. She delivered her talk earlier this week and the video has about 45,000 views, yet her slides have almost a million.

    Use Spreadable Media
    The slide deck itself is the spreadable media and she knows that. What she has created is a slidedoc. Slidedocs are powerful, dense documents made in slide software that are meant to be read, not presented. (Technically she does present it, which means the slides should be processed at-a-glance, but she does the at-a-glancing for us in her read-along.)

    Talk to the Trend of the Data
    If you choose to use The Meeker Method, it will only work if you don’t ramble at each data set. Meeker’s verbal stream gives only a few seconds per slide. She doesn’t intend for the audience to read the chart; just get an impression of the trend from the data. Sometimes she’ll say things like, “This is what a global trend looks like,” and click right on by. It’s impossible to process the data that quickly, but the audience knows not to sweat it because the report will be in their hot little hands soon. Meeker just wants you to know that the data supports her point and you can read the specifics later.

    Use Source Data in Its Original Form
    You can’t criticize Meeker’s visuals too much because many of her slides are compiled by committee, and she leaves them true to the source instead of marketizing the data. Slick matchy-matchy slides would undermine the validity of the data source itself.

    Convey the Narrative in the Data
    It’s impossible to be bored by Meeker’s presentations because she doesn’t drone for 10 minutes pointing out each annotation on a slide, she uses it to support her über-narrative. Other analytical types may struggle with the style. Many presenters of data drill into the data instead of keeping the larger narrative front and center.

    The way Meeker delivers her deck is like a data-dense version of Pecha Kucha — which challenges speakers to deliver presentations of 20 images for 20 seconds each — although Meeker averages about seven seconds per slide. But it’s no surprise that Meeker moves more than twice as fast as the rest of us. Her rapid pace, valuable data, and industry-shaping insights are what makes her talk spread.

    Overall, I think it works for her. The deck could definitely be more attractive and redesigned to be clearer but then it wouldn’t be uniquely Meeker.


  4. 3 Daily habits of Peak performers

    May 25, 2016 by ahmed

    phelps

    Originally posted on Forbes by Carmine Gallo

    Spend some time with U.S. Olympic men’s swimming coach Bob Bowman, as I recently did, and you’ll understand why some people go from good to great in a chosen field, while others, like Bowman’s longtime student Michael Phelps, go from good to record-shattering.

    Phelps’ record is extraordinary. His 22 total medals and 18 gold medals is the greatest medal performance in all of Olympic history. I caught up with Bowman to speak about his new book, The Golden Rules, and to learn how his years of coaching superstar Michael Phelps can help everyone-especially business leaders-reach peak performance in their chosen fields.

    In my conversation with Bowman it became clear that raw talent alone is not enough. Champions like Michael Phelps practice three daily habits to achieve excellence.

    Habit No. 1: Vision

    “Not one of my athletes has a problem understanding why we’re in the pool and what we are there to do that day,” says Bowman. The vision, according to Bowman, is to swim a time that will be fast enough to win a medal. Bowman’s strategy is to help his athletes focus on the process, not the outcome. You can’t control or predict who will win a medal in any given race, “but if you’re fast enough, the outcome will take care of itself.” Medals are tangible rewards, but Bowman believes that—as a leader and an individual who wants to achieve peak performance—it’s more important to pursue excellence every day and to remind yourself (or remind your team) of the ultimate vision. This daily habit will result in long-term greatness.

    Habit No. 2: Mental Rehearsal

    Vision and mental rehearsal are two sides of the same coin. “You must program your internal viewfinder,” says Bowman. He’s speaking of visualization and no one, in Bowman’s opinion, does it better than Michael Phelps. “For months before a race Michael gets into a relaxed state. He mentally rehearses for two hours a day in the pool. He sees himself winning. He smells the air, tastes the water, hears the sounds, sees the clock.” Phelps take visualization one step further. He sees himself from the outside, as a spectator in the stands. He sees himself overcoming obstacles, too. For example, what would he do if he fell further behind in a race than he intended? Phelps practices all potential scenarios.

    According to Bowman mental rehearsal is a proven, well-established technique to achieve peak performance in nearly every endeavor. “ The brain cannot distinguish between something that’s vividly imagined and something that’s real.”

    Bowman believes that all of us—regardless of our field—have a strong belief in who we are today and who we’d like to be tomorrow. When we set goals in business, sports, or any area of achievement, there’s a gap between where we are and where we want to be. “The most strongly held mental picture is where you’ll be… so get really good at mental rehearsal,” Bowman advises. “If you can form a strong mental picture and visualize yourself doing it, your brain will immediately find ways to get you there.”

    Habit No. 3: Practice

    A person can be blessed with raw talent (or an 80-inch wingspan like Michael Phelps), but nobody can achieve excellence without putting in hours and hours of practice. To prepare for the 2004 Olympic games, “Michael Phelps trained 365 days a year for six years,” says Bowman.

    “You’ve got to be kidding,” I said in astonishment.

    “I know because I was there for all of it,” Bowman responded. “For Christmas, New Year’s and birthdays. Michael worked harder than I’ve seen anybody work in any endeavor.”

    An excellent performance in any field can be deceiving. The audience often assumes the performer is naturally talented because they make it look easy. I’ve seen the same reaction among great public-speakers. Brain researcher Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor delivered one of the most popular TED Talks of all time. She told me she practiced her presentation 200 times. Most business leaders I’ve met haven’t practiced 200 times for all of their presentations combined, and then they wonder why they’re not making a sale or connecting with an audience.

    The wonderful result of practice is that you have literally programmed your brain for peak performance. On the day of the event you can clear your mind and your body and trust that they will do what you’ve practiced dozens, hundreds, or in Phelps’ case, thousands of times before.

    Bob Bowman doesn’t get the public glory that his famous student does, but make no mistake—there is no Michael Phelps without Bob Bowman and his daily habits. “Without Bob I have no shot at achieving the records I’ve achieved or winning the medals that I’ve won,” writes Phelps in the forward to Bowman’s book.

    Practicing these three daily habits might not take you to the Olympics, but you’ll be more likely to outshine your competition when the race counts.


  5. Toward a world class innovation strategy: Dubai Statistics Center leading the way

    May 17, 2016 by ahmed

    3rd Progress Sharing Day

    On the 28th of April, the 3rd Progress Sharing Day of Dubai We Learn was held. For those new to the initiative, this initiative is led by the Dubai Government Excellence Programme and the Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand. The initiative aims to empower a culture of institutional learning and the transfer and exchange of knowledge within Dubai’s government sector.

    The initiative consists of the mentoring of 13 benchmarking projects, training in organisational learning and benchmarking, and the provision of a best practice resource, http://www.BPIR.com, for all 37 government entities.

    To assist in the sharing of best practices, 3 progress sharing days for the 13 benchmarking projects have been held. During these days, each team describes the progress they have made with their projects. As all project teams are using the TRADE benchmarking methodology it is easy to compare progress. Some teams have recorded video clips to showcase their work and the benefits they are obtaining, such as the example below from Dubai Municipality.


    To add interest to the day, each team is given 10 minutes to present and the audience vote on which projects have made most progress. At the 3rd Progress Sharing Day, 4 teams were selected as achieving the most progress with Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC) achieving the most votes. The four projects were:

    • Shams Dubai Initiative (Customer awareness & engagement) – Dubai Electricity & Water Authority
    • Improving Purchasing Channels – Dubai Municipality
    • People Happiness – Knowledge & Human Development Authority
    • Innovative Statistics – Dubai Statistics Center (DSC)

    The aim of DSC’s project is to “identify best practices in Innovation to enable DSC to develop and implement a strategy for innovation to improve its processes and services”.

    DSC started its project by undertaking a number of innovation self-assessments. The self-assessment tools they used were from the BPIR.com. Of the 5 Innovation Self-assessment Tools, DSC found the self-assessment titled “Innovation Maturity (organisation-wide)” the most comprehensive and useful. The self-assessments enabled DSC to identify its current level of Innovation Maturity and identify specifically what needed to be improved. In particular, they identified the need to improve in: innovation strategies, innovation measurement, innovation labs, suggestion schemes and innovative statistical information delivery.
    During the search for potential benchmarking partners, DSC used the identified areas of improvement as criteria for selecting benchmarking partners. For example, DSC searched for organisations with an innovation strategy that resulted in an innovative culture.

    By the 3rd Progress Sharing Day, DSC had finished benchmarking visits to four organisations locally and obtained many best practices through internet research. Some examples of the practices that they are considering implementing are:

    • Innovation Management Standard: The European Innovation Management Standard CEN/TS 16555 has been underway since 2008, and as such it incorporates a lot of the elements which are believed to constitute current best practices on innovation management. The Standard consists of 7 documents:
      • Innovation management system (16555-1:2013)
      • Strategic intelligence management (16555-2:2014)
      • Innovation thinking (16555-2:2014)
      • Intellectual property management (16555-4:2014)
      • Collaboration management (16555-5:2014)
      • Creativity management (16555-6:2014)
      • Innovation management assessment (16555-7, 2015)
    • e-Cap System: An electronic system to follow-up corrective actions, analyse risks, prioritize actions and raise status reports as they consider any corrective action as a creative idea.
    • Government Innovation Lab Manual: A manual designed to provide tools and techniques on how to implement an innovation lab from brainstorming workshop to idea implementation.
    • Customer Pain Point: A system to find the problems faced by the customer in order to come up with innovative solutions, in other word it is a customer inspired innovation.

    For more information about this initiative download the attached article and sign-up up to COER’s newsletter to receive the latest updates.