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Capturing the Legacy of Peter Drucker

Peter GondolfoThe Business Development Director of the Drucker Institute, Peter Gondolfo, joined me on the podcast to discuss Peter Drucker and the future of the institute. I think you will be quite surprised at how the Peter Drucker’s Legacy is evolving.

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The Most Important Discipline that an Entrepreneur Needs?

Joe: You described a variety of disciplines, characteristics that you must have. If you had to single one of them out, is there one that’s more important or are all of them equally important?

Related Podcast and Transcription: Are You a Qualified Entrepreneur?

Randy Nelson: I’ll say financial, and I’ll say it for a couple of reasons. A lot of entrepreneurs love to say “Not my area. I outsource that. I give that to somebody else.” But, it’s one of the main reasons why companies fail and I’ll give you one example. Cash, we all know we need cash, but sixty percent of businesses up to ninety percent of businesses fail because they don’t have cash. And, it’s not because we’re unsuccessful. A lot of businesses just grow themselves out of business. So, what I ask on the Qual Card as an example is “I don’t want you just to know whether you have the cash today. I want you to know whether you have cash six months from now and I want you to understand the trend of cash because if you’re making growth decisions inside your business you should understand whether six months from today those growth decisions are going to keep you in business or put you out.

Joe:  I think that’s a good suggestion. You’ll see an entrepreneurs start out, they have a great idea, they’ll get some VC funding maybe or some backers or something but they really don’t ever find a way to generate  cash with their idea.

Randy: Yeah. I’ll give you a specific example. January 1, 2004, my business heads had $500,000 in the bank. We were growing. We looked good as a company. My six-month forecast had us at -650,000. Now, we had a line of 700,000 but the problem was we were; I could pretty well forecast we’re done.  And, not only that but the covenants that the bank had put on me, those I recommend being forecasted because these are, again, I’m not trying to instill, I’m not trying to make anybody a military discipline type of entrepreneur . What I’m trying to do is I’m trying to get them to stay in business and to maximize their potential.

Randy Nelson, author of The Second Decision, is a speaker, a coach, a Qualified Entrepreneur, and a former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. Randy now runs Gold Dolphins LLC, a coaching and mentoring firm to help entrepreneurial leaders and CEOs become Qualified Entrepreneurs and achieve their maximum potential.

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How has Lean Startup changed Agile Thinking?

How has Lean Startup principles change your thinking about the basic Agile principles or are they one and the same? -jd

Lean UX

Jeff Gothelf: Usually we’re treading into a conversation where I haven’t seen enough public discourse on it yet. The conversation is why are people hiring Agile today, versus why people hired Agile 10 years ago. Why are people implementing Agile, and I’m starting to see some conversation about it. And I think when we wrote the book, our thinking wasn’t as nuanced as it is now about that debate. We were essentially taking present day reasons for Agile implementation as the basis for our work and what I believe present day reasons are for Agile implementation is faster shipping of features. While I think that was not the intent of the authors of the manifesto and while it’s not the intent of companies and teams that adopted Agile 10 and 15 years ago, I believe that companies that are adopting Agile today, that are doing this wholesale transformation are doing so for the faster delivery of features, and what’s missing from that is a decision framework. A decision-making framework of deciding what we should actually work on, until what extent should we work on it, and how much design should go into it, and what is really the definition of done.

It’s moving away from the definition done being we shipped it to the definition of done being we shipped it, people like it, people use it, it’s changed their behavior which means they’re more loyal to us, they’re more successful using our product, which means that we’re more successful as a business and the outcomes change, and that’s really the definition of done.

When we wrote the book — here’s an opportunity to put a decision-making framework on modern implementations of Agile which based on our experience were largely based on incentivizing teams to efficiently deliver high-quality code.

Jeff is Next Week’s Business901 Podcast Guest

Jeff Gothelf is a designer, an Agile practitioner with a specific expertise in User Experience culminating in his book Lean UX. His daytime job is currently as Managing Director in Neo’s New York City office. Previously, Jeff has led teams at TheLadders, Publicis Modem, WebTrends, Fidelity, & AOL.

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Creating Process Excellence in Government

 When we talk about Lean and Six Sigma, it takes a certain amount of expertise to implement it. How do you visualize taking Lean and/or Six Sigma through the government? I mean, it’s in pockets right now, but do you just grow from them pockets? Or how do you visualize that getting expanded in government? – jd

Excerpt from a past podcast:

Hundley M. Elliotte :  I think it depends on the government organization and where they are, what they have going on, what’s the leadership bias, what’s on their plate right now, what kind of challenges and issues are they facing, because it’s not a cookie?cutter approach. It doesn’t work well if it’s a cookie-cutter approach.

If it’s really critical to transform processes and really improve on speed and accuracy from an organization standpoint, and you have a very, very strong leader that wants to use that as a transformation catalyst, then I think that’s great. You start with a top?down approach.

But in a lot of other situations, it’s better just to start in different areas of the business, attacking specific issues. So, for instance, “Hey, let’s just go focus on claims processing or issuing passports,” or those kind of things, specific issues where we want to improve speed, and then demonstrate and then show other folks in the organization and get them interested and kind of grow organically from the bottom.

The important thing out of all of that is, no matter where you start, whether you start small?scale or big, top-down, is to really focus on specific issues from day one.

Again, pick something very tangible, like, “We’re processing these claims, and if we do them 30 percent faster, that’s going to create X value and X more satisfaction from our clients. Let’s go do that.”

To be very specific like that is very powerful because, number one, it gets you focused, gets you the results; number two, people in the organization see it and they can actually relate to it; and number three, it just kind of generates that enthusiasm and momentum to try it elsewhere in the business.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Process Excellence in Government

Hundley M. Elliotte is the global lead for the Process Performance group within the Accenture Process & Innovation Performance service line. He has more than 15 years of consulting experience, focusing on managing business value, setting strategy, identifying customer needs, and identifying and implementing improvement opportunities in diverse business sectors.

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Should You be Upgrading Your Training Skills to Games?

Joe:  Now, many of my listeners and myself have been running simulations and board games as trainers for a long time. Do we need to be upgrading our skills? I mean, have you converted any of these old simulations, let’s say, to present-day gamification methods?

Karl:  Yeah, two things about that. One, gamification doesn’t always necessarily have to mean technology. Technology certainly enables it to happen, so creating it like a just?in?time board game, for example, is a great example of gamification. Creating a simulation to teach a buyer how to buy a product or how to place a product, I think that’s an element of gamification. Gamification

What is really happening now is that a lot of times we felt those were good ways to go, and we thought they worked well, but now we have some empirical evidence that shows that gamification actually does drive engagement. To be on the front end of what’s happening and understanding how that works, we really need to upgrade our skills. We also need to understand there are a lot of people out there that do not like gamification. In fact, there’s visceral response is negative to the term gamification.

I think one game designer famously wrote a blog post, Gamification is BS. Nobody should do gamification; I can’t believe anybody’s doing that. I think what he missed was the fact that it really translates into engagement. A lot of training and development folks have been creating engagement, but now the engagement is going to a different level. For example, we’re completing a workflow on order entry or on the shop floor, or you’re trying to get people to enter their hours.

Are there engagement techniques that you can use to help these people focus on what they already should be doing? Are there ways to help them see the value of what they’re doing in a different perspective, framing it differently? I think there is a need to upgrade the skills and think about how gamification is. Some of the things we’ve done before, some of the new things that we’re doing, and also new combinations of what we’re doing, which really makes this a very powerful tool for encouraging learners to be involved, engaged and activated.

What I like most about it, is the thought process. Game developers go through such a different thought process than people designing instruction. If we get instructional designers to go through that thought process, I think they can make some really powerful instructional elements and interactions. That’s the concept behind the book.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Learning with Games

Karl M. Kapp, Ed.D., CFPIM, CIRM, is a consultant, scholar, and expert on the convergence of learning, technology and business operations.

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Have you played Mouse Trap?

You talk about the different numbers of simulations you have, and one of them is the Mouse Trap game, which is probably one of your more popular ones I would think. Can you briefly describe it? I know it’s on your website, and someone can read about it, but just tell me what it is and what’s the benefit from an instructional standpoint to go through it? -jd

Jamie:  Sure. Well, the Mouse Trap experience, it is one of our more popular simulations. It’s based on the long-standing board game Mouse Trap. So we leverage this three-dimensional contraption that makes Mouse Trap what it is as a platform for experimentation, and the way we run it, it’s nice and short. It’s about 90 minutes, and it’s not a manufacturing process. It’s not a business process. It’s a board game. So the folks that sit in manufacturing simulation and say, well I am in the business process, and so that doesn’t apply to me and vice versa. Well, this is Mouse Trap. So it doesn’t apply to anybody so get over it and just focus on the learning.

It’s pretty easy to immerse yourself in, but the idea is we run people through a process where we get to some…without getting into any tools, some basic fundamentals of improvement: the idea, like understanding current state first, the idea of small step experimentation, changing one thing at a time, standardization, and the ability to structure the work.

These are some basic fundamentals that regardless of what tools you have, apply for continuous improvement, and so we basically try to weave some of those fundamentals into a short, high energy, fun learning process that applies…we’ve had it with doctors and brain surgeons and engineers and high school students.

So, all sorts of different folks because again, it’s based on the board game Mouse Trap, so the learning can apply to anybody.

Related Podcast and Transcription: Lean Training Tips

Jamie Flinchbaugh is a co-founder and partner of the Lean Learning Center in Novi, Mich., and brings successful and varied experiences of lean transformation as a leader, practitioner and facilitator. Under Jamie’s leadership, the Lean Learning Center has become one of the most recognized and premiere lean providers in the world.

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