Peak Learning Mind Map 0

Looking through my Accelerated Learning information, I ran across an old favorite of mine, Peak Learning.   This work is based on the Accelerated Learning trend of the 90’s. I appreciate so much of that work since it is laid out base largely on the learning style of the individual versus on the way we want to construct learning. I also think teams and to some extent organizations develop a certain learning style that we should recognizing as we our developing training programs.

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Peak Learning

Focused Performance 0

Jump start your 2015 business planning. Russell Martin & Associates has created The Focused Performance Bundle. The package includes everything you need to facilitate the planning sessions with your team. lou russell

Once you know where you want to go and where you don’t want to go in 2015, start brainstorming initiatives that will take you there.  It’s likely that each of these initiatives will generate multiple projects.  How do you pick which projects to do?  How do you prioritize the work over all four quarters of 2015 without adding so much project work that it’s impossible to focus on any of it?  Prioritization allows you to pick the projects you can charter utilizing a project sponsor and project manager who drive a project schedule for accountability.

Type Biz901 in the Promo Code at Checkout
See What You Get (Ltd Time Offer).

Lou Russell is the CEO of Russell Martin & Associates and L+earn, an executive consultant, speaker, and author whose passion is to create growth in companies by guiding the growth of their people. In her speaking, training, and writing, Lou draws on 30 years of experience helping organizations achieve their full potential. She is committed to inspiring improvement in all three sides of what she has dubbed the Optimization Triangle: leadership, project management, and individual learning.

Lou was a great guest and I am sure you will enjoy the podcast.

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Making your LinkedIn Profile Contagious 0

At the recent ASQ Charlotte Section Annual Conference 2013, Quality Conference of the Carolinas, I was originally scheduled to facilitate a breakout session on “How to become Famous on LinkedIn”. At the last moment, we swapped around a few of the facilitators and Satish Kartha stepped up and facilitated the session.

In preparation, I created this mind map for an outline which I share below.


There were three books that I found to be quite useful in preparation, all of which I own.

The first book by Neal Schaffer, I highly recommend. It is very concise and has more information about LinkedIn than you will probably use. The Dummies book,  I recommend for two simple reasons. Most Dummies book include a prescriptive outline that is easily introduced to novices. The second reason is that they published frequently and if you purchase the latest edition of most Dummies book you will have the latest and greatest changes updates.

The third book Contagious is outstanding. I first listened to the book. Afterwards, I hustled down to the library to pick up the hardback so that I could include it in this presentation. Contagious is just not for LinkedIn users, it is a virtual blueprint for creating ideas, campaigns and messages. The author, Jonah Berger (mentored by the Heath Brothers) uses the acronym to STEPPS to explain his outline.

  • Social currency. We share things that make us look good or help us compare favorably to others.
  • Triggers. Ideas that are top of mind spread. Like parasites, viral ideas attach themselves to top of mind stories, occurrences or environments.
  • Emotion. When we care, we share.
  • Public. People tend to follow others, but only when they can see what those others are doing.
  • Practical. Humans crave the opportunity to give advice and offer tips (one reason why advocate marketing works – your best customers love to help out), but especially if they offer practical value.
  • Stories – People do not just share information, they tell stories.

I have listened to the book more than once and found the section on Triggers fascinating listening. For example, Why do you think Cheerios gets more word of mouth than Disney World?. The research behind the book is excellent.

Link up to me and put Contagious in the invitation.

Can Studying Music help your Lean Enterprise 4

Did you know that Dr. Deming was a composer? In a recent podcast,  A New Approach to Lean – Robert Fritz, Robert told me:

By the way, I think Deming was probably the senior-most wonderful innovator in this area and I’d like to point out that he was a composer. Well, he was and Drucker was a musician. There is something about coming from music where you really understand in an extracurricular way how things are put together. So it does, and I’m not just sort of saying this because I’m a composer, but what one learns as a composer actually has an impact on how you look at organizations because in some ways they’re very similar in terms of elements in relation to each other and how they work together. It relates to the statistical approach that Deming has for manufacturing in terms of minimizing variances and building in quality. So, you don’t inspect it at the end.

I reconfirmed this in the upcoming Business901 podcast (scheduled for January 8th), while interviewing Dr. Joyce Orsini, a professor of Fordham University and president of the W. Edwards Deming Institute. Dr. Orsini recently authored the book, The Essential Deming: Leadership Principles from the Father of Quality. Dr. Orsini said:

I’ve been told that statisticians–or mathematicians, in general–are often quite good with music. I’ve heard that but I don’t know if it’s true or not. But he certainly was, he was a composer, he loved music, wrote music. He revised the Star Spangled Banner to make it singable without all the high extremes on it. He lowered it so that the average person could sing it. So he reduced the variation, if you will, in the music.

After these two comments, I went on a mission to find a composer to talk to. In fact, I found two through the Composers and Schools in Concert website. Both are board members.

The first podcast was with John Lawrence Woodall.  In 1989, John formed the company Powerof2Music and has since scored over 5John Woodall00 episodes of television such as “I Love the 80’s, I Love the 90’s, Abducted, True Crime, Manhunt, Ghosthunters (original), Command Decisions, iDetective and more. Today, John’s passion for music and film remains a strong and driving force in his continuing to push the envelope of scoring for picture.

This podcast is an interesting conversation about the relationship between math, architecture, music and continuous improvement. The podcast quality gets better a few minutes into the process.



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 About John: A native of Berkeley California, composer John Lawrence Woodall began playing piano at age 5 and started writing music by age ten, During High School in Australia John attended the Academy of Guitar and the N.S.W. Conservatory of Music. Although the focus of the time was rock and jazz, John’s deep love of Russian classical music introduced him to the possibilities of music and picture. Through High School in Boston John attended classes at Berkeley School of Music honing his skills as a string arranger and orchestrator. In 1983 he met legendary Producer/Engineer Jim Gaines and joined his production team at the Record Plant that created a dozen platinum albums and a handful of Grammys. In 1987, John received the Excellence in Composition and Songwriting award from Yamaha Music. John has scored two Emmy award winning shows, received the Ace and Gold awards for his work on children’s shows such as Baru Bay with Bob Weir.

About Composers and Schools in Concert: CSIC is a nonprofit organization who partners with professional composers and youth music programs (grades 9-12) to offer innovative music education through composer workshops and commissions.

Dr. Deming on Lean in 2012 7

Actually, I was not able to pull that off. Instead, I interviewed what I consider one of the, if not the best source on Dr. Deming, John Hunter. John has an interesting lineage with Dr. Deming and in the interview, we talked about some of that history and why the thoughts of Dr. Deming have continued to flourish. I am not the only one that holds John in such high regard; the Deming Institute has sanctioned John to write the Deming Blog. John already has a very popular blog of his own, the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog.

The richness of the stories about Dr. Deming and his principles were fascinating. I found little to edit. I apologize for the length.

Download Podcast: Click and choose options: Download this episode (right click and save)

or go to the Business901 iTunes Store.

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About the Deming Blog: John will explore Deming’s ideas on management by examining his works and exploring how the ideas are being applied in organizations today. While he was alive Deming continued to learn and add to his management philosophy. The blog attempts to hold true to his ideas while also looking at how those ideas have been, and are being, extended and implemented. John Hunter

About the Deming Institute: The W. Edwards Deming Institute® was founded by Dr. Deming in 1993 to provide educational services related to his theories and teachings. The aim of The W. Edwards Deming Institute is to foster understanding of The Deming System of Profound Knowledge® to advance commerce, prosperity and peace.

About John Hunter: John combines technology with management expertise to improve the performance of organizations. He has served as an information technology program manager for the American Society for Engineering Education, the Office of Secretary of Defense Quality Management Office and the White House Military Office. He has authored the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog for years.

Is your Organization looking at the High or Low Points? 3

The other piece of it is when we look at those things that are the high point experience, the story of the organization changes. It becomes a story of how good we are in our capabilities versus how bad we are. – John Steinbach

John was my guest last week and we talked so long that I had to split the podcast in half, Opening Appreciative Space Process 1 and Opening Appreciative Space Process 2. This is a transcription of the podcasts and I think it even contains a few edits that got dropped.


John Steinbach has combined the approaches of Appreciative Inquiry and Open Space into his dynamic and positive Opening Appreciative Space process .This process starts with Appreciative Inquiry; a positive approach to change that can be used by individuals, teams, organizations, and communities.  Through an interview process that focuses on strengths and high-point experiences, Appreciative Inquiry helps participants discover and create a desired future.  This dynamic and uplifting process has been used by Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, youth groups, world leaders, and communities.

Are you changing how you deliver a workshop? 0

Have we reached the transformation stage in the customer experience hierarchy? If so, the role as an expert may have diminished substantially, and we are now seeking facilitators to guide us through our journey.

Some of you may not know what I mean by the customer experience hierarch and how it relates to the transformation stage. In this video, Joe Pine explains the final offering in the Progression of Economic Value, the foundational model for understanding the role of Experiences in the history of economics. It was introduced to me in The Experience Economy, Updated Edition by Pine and Gilmore. It is worth the time to hear the message direct from Joe Pine. 

I contend that people are not looking for a bunch of experts to impart wisdom upon them anymore. Knowledge is becoming so accessible and relatively inexpensive either through books, workshops, conferences and numerous online venues. What is important to everyone is the support and the ability to share within the community.

Of course, everyone is not ready for this type of learning or experience.  We all learn in different ways and at different rates. As a coach, I must be willing to adapt my thinking, my delivery to the learning methods that is best suited for the particular group, I am working with. This is an area that I believe is difficult for many facilitators due to the wide disparity of participants.  

In a recent Lean Sales and Marketing Workshop, I found that my participants were Value Stream Managers, both Sales and Marketing Professionals, Vice-Presidents and Small Business Owners. I found it difficult to construct a message that would meet all their needs. If this was just a presentation but it was a full day workshop. In the end, my presentation was well-received but I did not have the interaction between the participants that I wanted.

I have realized that I must either narrow the message, I deliver such as  Lean Service Design Trilogy Workshop or divide the group receiving the message. The Lean Sales and Marketing Workshop is now divided among three groups; Lean Champions, Sales and Marketing Professionals and Lean Consultants.

This is how I have tried to meet the new challenges in training and coaching. The other part of the equation is the participants and their organizations. They need to evaluate the training on whether it can be implemented and the cost of implementation. I believe that if organizations would take the time and develop a learning action plan before they attend a “learning experience” that they would reap much greater benefits. See my blog post and A3, Turning your Conference Learning into Action

Granted, you may learn something that is not covered in the initial plan. In fact, I would actually hope that is the case. However, like all planning it is the act of planning that is important and the ability to adjust that plan to new circumstances. Without a dedicated plan of attack beforehand the likelihood of making a plan afterwards is more remote than what you may think. 

Back to that transformation thing, I would contest that in the act of planning that you may find significant gaps in your ability to implement workshop learning without additional support. Transforming that learning requires additional time and more than likely coaching which often means additional expense. The question you will have to ask yourself,. How valuable is capturing the knowledge versus transforming the knowledge?