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Simon

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Posted 09 July 2003 - 09:13 PM

I don't know about you but I find it very difficult to sit down and read a book, I often don't have the time to read a newspaper never mind a book, even Harry Potter!!! Another thing is that because there are so many books out there it's impossible to choose...you cannot choose and you don't want to waste your time so you don't read. That's my excuse.

There are literally thousands of books out there on the subject of leadership alone and with 99% of them being pure drivel I think that I was very lucky to have gotten it right the first time.

I borrowed not a book but an audio book (tape) from a colleague

Principle Centred Leadership by Stephen Covey.

Before I post a review I'm going to have to listen to it again, I believe it's from the early 1990's but I'd never heard of it or him before. Stephen Covey is a smooth, eloquent, articulate, intelligent and gifted man.

You can have a look at the book below but I prefer the drive and learn technique, you don't even notice the traffic - marvellous!

Book at Amazon

I will post a review when I land back on earth. Has anyone else read it or listened to it?

:o
Simon


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Simon

    IFSQN...it's My Life

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 01:02 PM

As well as outlining the importance of "the self" as being the creator of many of our own personal and business problems the book espouses the same self as a powerful catalyst for bringing cataclysmic and lasting change. Please don't be put off, its not all airy-fairy claptrap - that's just me waffling.

The thing that struck me most was the concept of 'Organisational Alignment' in Covey's book. This is when everyone in an organisation is 'pointing north'. Everyone has aligned vision, values and goals.

Just to point out the aligned mission is only 1/4 of the pie and this must be pastried to the other equally important elements of trustworthyness, trust and empowerment.

Organisational Alignment is one part of what Covey calls 'the paradigm' or map. He says if your map is wrong or incomplete then no matter how many initiatives are tried, how hard you work, how efficient and effective you become it will not matter because the underlying map is wrong - your going the wrong way.

Transcript from the tape:

Covey: 'what do you think would happen if I landed in Belfast hired a car and was given a map of Manchester and I had to find this hall'

Audience: 'you'd get lost'

Covey: 'what if I tried harder and worked more efficiently and effectively'

Audience: 'you'd get lost twice as fast'

Covey: 'what if I practised positive thinking'

Audience: 'you'd be lost but would be happy'

Another example is bleeding, which was once 'a paradigm' for healing. At the time when bleeding was widely used the surgeons did not know they were working to an erroneous paradigm, so to try and make the process more effective they probably tried to become more efficient at bleeding by:

- Bleeding more
- Bleeding faster
- Bleeding from different areas
- Team Bleeding
- TQM for bleeding etc, etc.

Obviously all of these efforts were unsuccessful.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Of course it's all waffle unless you implement it and this got me thinking.

Yes, we have to look at ourselves first to make the change and I'm happy to help develop my departments and my own mission and measure and be measured continually against these. But firstly I need to know what the organisations mission, vision and values are. That's where most organisations are poor they don't have a mission, vision and values that are thoroughly deployed and widely believed in and lived out, every day and by everyone.

Covey suggests that every level, every department, every function, every job and every person should have an aligned mission statement, thus creating the all-facing north paradigm.

Not easy so here's my simple 5 step plan: ;)

1. Directors draft separately their own idea of the organisations mission, vision and values - it would be very interesting to see the level of alignment.
2. Compare notes and develop the mission
3. Each department/ process owner would then develop their own 'aligned' mission with their team
4. Individuals develop their own personal mission statements (groups?)
5. Measure, review, evaluate and improve at all levels - continually PDSA!

Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could ask anybody within your organisation what their mission was and they could tell you.

I would be interested in your feedback please tell me is this good or BS?

Simon


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Franco

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 03:15 PM

Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could ask anybody within your organisation what their mission was and they could tell you.
I would be interested in your feedback please tell me is this good or BS?


It's possible Simon. We can ask anybody. At present We are 170 employees. I think We'll get 170 different answers ;)

An ancient Chinese proverb teaches that the person who waits for a roast duck to fly into their mouth must wait a very long time.

Simon

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Posted 22 July 2003 - 07:08 PM

:lol:

Welcome back Franco! We can always rely on you for a different perspective.

Simon

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Franco

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 05:58 AM

Simon [/QUOTE]
[quote]  That's where most organisations are poor they don't have a mission, vision and values that are thoroughly deployed and widely believed in and lived out, every day and by everyone.[/quote]

I agree with you Simon. We do have a corporate Mission, Vision and Corporate culture too, but we do not live it day by day. Why is it ? IMHO because:

1. Mission, Vision and Corporate culture have been written by Top Managers. Their thinking is too far from middle levels and ground levels and no one is connecting;

2. Mission, Vision and Corporate culture have been deployed. A booklet has been given to each employee. First of all in Italy We say "Tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare" which literally means that "There's the sea between doing and saying". Secondly no feedback has been asked to employees. That's the point !
Communication has to be bidirectional.

This is why I always pay great attention to organizations showing big panels hanging at the Reception with quality quotations and Mission and so on.
I always ask them where's the feedback from employees. And often some one becomes red in face or starts coughing ;)


An ancient Chinese proverb teaches that the person who waits for a roast duck to fly into their mouth must wait a very long time.

Simon

    IFSQN...it's My Life

  • IFSQN Admin
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  • United Kingdom
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  • Location:Manchester
  • Interests:Married to Michelle, Father of three boys (Oliver, Jacob and Louis). I enjoy cycling, walking and travelling, watching sport, especially football and Manchester United. Oh and I love food and beer and wine.

Posted 23 July 2003 - 06:30 AM

It's so obvious but often neglected probably because it is very difficult getting everyone to share a mission, especially when there are usually many 000,000 between everyone.

There is some further reading on the website here:

Hoshin Kanri

By the way Franco have you developed a mission with your team and a personal one too? Do you set objectives aligned with the missions and do you monitor your performance against the objectives?

I've not done this, not yet anyway...

Simon


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Franco

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Posted 23 July 2003 - 08:09 AM

By the way Franco have you developed a mission with your team and a personal one too?

I did it once. We had a bottom up approach and we wrote guidelines according to what we were actually doing day by day. Compliance was ensured ;)

Do you set objectives aligned with the missions and do you monitor your performance against the objectives?


I don't set objectives for my Team. I'm not able to find out a set of objectives indipendent from other Teams, functions and processes.
Thank You Simon. Your question has made me thinking about it.
It's a weakness of our system.

An ancient Chinese proverb teaches that the person who waits for a roast duck to fly into their mouth must wait a very long time.



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