Archive for Team Building
Next week’s Business901 Podcast features Doug Lipp, a world-renowned speaker and acclaimed expert on customer service, leadership, change management and global competitiveness. Doug recently published a book, Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees.
I have always been intrigued about the consistency and sustainability of Disney. Several excerpts from the podcast:
Joe: What I’m amazed about Disney is the sustainability of it. Does sustainability go back to training?
Yes, in fact, one of the things that really resonated with me in doing this research and in looking at the organization culture that Walt Disney and Van France and so many people created was it’s about the culture that leads to the training that leads to the sustainability. You keep pulling back the layers of this onion and you start to see. What amazes me Joe is how many of my clients and my consulting business will say: “Well, gosh, you were head of the training team at Disney University and if we have all those fancy characters and all the names and all the fame and legacy, we’ll have no problem getting people to our programs and doing what we teach them in class”. Then I say: “No, that’s not it at all”. It is about capturing people’s minds and hearts and it is so much more than putting a fancy name on a building and calling it the so-and-so University or calling it a training program or something. What I’ve come to realize even more after my Disney career, Joe, is that the culture of education and the value placed on education and learning in Disney is one of the precursors to the success of the Disney University and as you mentioned that sustainability.
Joe: Is the Disney Way a process?
It is absolutely a process. It is a mindset, really, and the Disney way, that philosophy is really found in the phrase the Walt Disney started and everybody in the Disney Organization knows and it is called “Plusing the Show.” Walt would say: “We have to keep plusing our show, if we ever lose them, meaning the guests, it will take us 10 years to get them back.” Constantly improving, not only the processes, but also the people. Naturally, what is the beauty of this sustainability, you mentioned earlier, is certainly the University is about the on-boarding of new hires and training of supervisors and the soft skills that equally important is what they are teaching in the University is alive and well in the operation’s side of the business. Both the operations people and the training people are singing from the same sheet of music, which is so unusual in so many organizations.
Doug Lipp helped create the first international version of the Disney University, in Japan at Tokyo Disneyland, and then led the training team of the Disney University at the corporate headquarters of The Walt Disney Company, The Walt Disney Studios. He mentored under a number of Disney University visionaries, including the Disney University founder, Van France. Lipp consults with numerous Fortune 100 corporations and travels the world speaking about the lessons he learned at the Disney University.
How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal, and Customer-Centric Employees.
In next weeks ASQ Charlotte Section Annual Conference 2013, Quality Conference of the Carolinas, one of the facilitators in our Strength-Based Organizational Change track is Barbara Ivey. She will facilitate the breakouts on Personal Kanban and Cross-Generational Collaboration.
Personal Kanban is a process popularized by the book, Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life co-authored by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry. Personal Kanban asks only that we visualize our work and limit our work-in-progress. Visualizing work allows us to transform our conceptual and threatening workload into an actionable, context-sensitive flow. Neither a prescription nor a plan, Personal Kanban provides a light, actionable, achievable framework for understanding our work and its context.
Cross-Generational Collaboration is a unique field of study. After listening to Barbara discuss it, I felt it was a must have part of our program. I am not sure there has been a greater disparity between generations than there is at present. From a strength-based focus, there is a great deal of positives. However, how do we funnel these energies and not leave them become issues within our workplace for the next decade? I am hoping, with the mix of people we have, that there will be first-hand interaction among the group. I could not think of a better person than Barbara to handle the conversation.
Below is a video by Gunnar Branson at TEDxNaperville. He touches upon how these generational differences our affecting real estate. This video is a must-watch. Gunnar discusses how Moore’s law of exponential shrinking applies to real estate too. The physical spaces in which we live, work, and play are transforming in front of our eyes and will eventually disrupt every aspect of our physical world and how we live in it.
The Strength-Based Organizational Change session is being hosted by Bob Petruska, author of Gemba Walks for Service Excellence: The Step-by-Step Guide for Identifying Service Delighters, and me. We are using a unique approach that is based on a positive skills framework and a collection of rich and interactive festivities. We have been busy working with the facilitators of the breakouts. Our goal is to harness not only the knowledge of the facilitators but also the actual participants. This will allow us to the collective intelligence of everyone to make this a great event.
The conference is held at UNC Charlotte Center City, 320 East 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. It is a one-day event on April 16th with registration beginning at 7:30 AM and the conference from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Additional information and registration can be obtained at http://www.asqcharlotte.org/ASQ/. You are welcomed to register at the door, but each tract is limited to 40 participants. Please check availability.
About ASQ Charlotte Section: The American Society for Quality (ASQ) Charlotte Section’s mission is to create experiential quality development and learning opportunities that add value to our Members, the Business Community, and the Greater Charlotte Community.
Why should our processes be cast in stone?
Beyond Agile co-author Maritza van den Heuvel is my guest next week on the Business901 podcast. She is the author of the Becoming an Agile Family blog where she writes about the ways her family uses Personal Kanban to navigate work and life. You can also find Maritza on Twitter (@maritzavdh). Beyond Agile other authors were Jim Benson and Joanne Ho. It is the latest publication of Modus Cooperandi. Maritiza also appeared in another Business901 Podcast, Becoming an Agile Family thru Kanban.
An excerpt from the podcast:
Joe: They are real life stories, of course, but you even listed a failure in the book. Which I thought, now that’s someone that has a lot of confidence and faith in their process.
Maritza: I will admit that particular story you refer to was one we had some angst about because it is difficult for people to write about failure. We thought it was really important to do that because learning from failure is a key component to Kanban and Lean and the feedback loops that we strongly believe in as Agile thinkers. How could we not show a failure in some way?
Joe: I wanted to commend you. In fact, it was the first story I read.
Maritza: I think there’s also bravery on the part of contributors to that specific story. Ultimately it is their company that we write about. It is their story that we’re telling, and I think they were extremely brave to allow us to write that story in the way that we did because we did quite exclusively write about some of the things that we think went wrong, but I think the key win here for everybody, the team and the company concerned was from that failure in arose a new company and lessons learned and all of that perceived failure was actually rich learning that helped them to do it better the next time.
Joe: I remember talking to someone when I was down on a business that I had started years back, and he said, “Is this your first business?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “You always fail at your first business.” Kind of renewed my confidence that it was OK. It’s a learning process. It’s a journey. You don’t have to stop. You learn and you move forward.
Maritza: I think that is such a key component of what we try to express in the book. We specifically wanted to include the phrase “continuous improvement” in the title, and you’ll read it throughout the book in various contexts, but it’s inherent in each and every one of those stories that nobody gets it right the first time. You define a process. You pick certain methodologies and techniques and you implement them, you observe them, and you adapt as needed and to continually improve what you’re doing. Life doesn’t stand still. Work doesn’t stand still. Why should our processes be cast in stone?
About Beyond Agile: Tales of Continuous Improvement: Beyond Agile examines 10 companies, mostly in the tech world, but also in innovative automotive and business consulting, that have actively evolved their processes. Using tools from Lean, Agile and other schools of management thought, these companies have actively engaged in continuous improvement.
About Maritza van den Heuvel: Maritza spent six years doing research in computational linguistics after completing a Postgraduate degree in Linguistics. She eventually left academia for the software industry where she cut her teeth on Agile and Scrum as a Scrum Master and Product Owner, helping teams to evolve from waterfall to Scrum. Along the way, her unquenchable thirst for knowledge led her to Kanban and Lean systems thinking. Since then, she has become a passionate proponent of the power of constraints and visual controls to transform the world of work in the 21st century. She is currently with Pearson Southern Africa, where she’s applying her background to leading innovation in technology-enabled education.
In his upcoming book Problem Solving LeadershipTM, Dr. Jeffrey G. Soper challenges the conventional wisdom of current leadership development thought and practice stating that “The problem with leadership can be found in the definition of the leadership problem.” His challenge is not that the focusing upon leadership skills and follower receptivity is wrong, but rather that it is incomplete. Problem Solving LeadershipTM contends that a key element of the leadership problem is missing – the nature of the work to be accomplished.
An excerpt from next week’s Business901 podcast:
Joe: In your LinkedIn bio, you asked a question. Are you an HR, IT, Quality, Accounting Executive waiting for the elusive seat at the table? Could you expand on that?
Jeff: Over the last decade or so, there has been a raging debate amongst that function. As to the worthiness and the desire to have a seat at the executive table which represents the ability to have impact and influence on strategies of an organization, making the decisions not just implementing. That’s been a problem from many functions, especially those that I listed, primarily because frankly, they haven’t earned it. They don’t have the necessary skills to make an impact in the business.
So, the whole point of starting the institute was to be able to develop the key skills that an individual and staff function needs in order to have influence and be a true strategic business partner.
Joe: As organizations flatten out are we seeing inadequacies in leadership skills?
Jeff: I think you’re absolutely right. The flatter organizations get, which is the objective frankly, the more leadership is relied upon to get the point across, to get an impact in the organization. Leadership is influence based. A simple definition, the ability to influence others in the absence of positional power.
I don’t know many IT, HR, quality people that have the ability positionally to direct line staff or line managers, I should say, to do anything, but they do have a lot of technical expertise and they do add a lot of value to the organization. Unfortunately, it gets hidden or ignored because of a lack of ability to communicate and influence effectively.
Joe: When I talk to people at conferences, they often say, “You present these neat things, and we go to these conferences, but how do we get leadership listening to us?” You’re saying, “The heck with leadership. It’s your ability to influence leadership and earn that seat at the table is how you get these new things across and the things that you learn.”
Jeff: Absolutely. If you wait by the phone for the call, it’s not going to happen. The invitation doesn’t show up in the mail. You have to earn it, and you earn it by proving that you add value, and you add value by helping to achieve business objectives. It’s a pretty simple equation.
Jeffrey G. Soper, Ph.D., Executive Director of the International Strategic Business Partner Institute, and the creator of Problem Solving LeadershipTM, the C.L.I.C.KTM Process, and the Organizational Equilibrium ModelTM. Dr. Soper is a seasoned executive, consultant, author, and coach who is a recognized expert in the fields of leadership development, performance improvement, and creativity and innovation.
Jeff will be presenting at the The ASQ Charlotte Section Annual Conference 2013, Quality Conference of the Carolinas. The conference is held at UNC Charlotte Center City and is a one-day event on April 16th. Additional information and registration can be obtained at http://www.asqcharlotte.org/ASQ/.