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    November 2007

    Day 18: Inspire with Stories

    November 30, 2007 1903 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 18 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    Books

    Each of us wants to be part of something bigger than ourselves. Call it purpose, destiny or a simple desire to get beyond the insufficiencies of our current existence. An individual's yearning to reach outside his life is a seed of greatness waiting for a stream of inspiration. Carving that stream to people's hearts is a simpler task if the endevour you are leading them into is a ttached to a bigger story.

    "A storyteller, like a travel agent, can help gather us up from wherever we are, and put us down in another setting." -John Leggett

    Day 17: Set the stage for innovation

    November 29, 2007 2063 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 17 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    Stage Door

    Linus Pauling said, "The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas." Not rocket science, but it works! The only way to keep a change culture alive, long-term, is to set the stage for innovation. Kevin Kelley, in his book, New Rules for the New Economy, said

    "Wealth today flows directly from innovation, not optimization. It is not gained by perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown."

    Tomorrow comes at us with lightning speed, and your competitive advantage is a fleeting thing. As leaders, we must create an environment that puts innovation front and center. Your people must know it is the key to you company's survival. You must create a climate that rewards risk and creative effort. Your people must not fear mistakes, but understand that honest mistakes can be life's main source for learning.

    Day 16: Measure Results

    November 28, 2007 1887 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 16 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    Measure

    "What gets measured gets improved." -Pete Drucker

    Here are just a few examples on what could be measured to track your progress:

    What percentage of phone calls are being answered on the first, second, or third ring?

    What percentage of orders are being processed, and shipped, on the same day, the second day, or the third day?

    What percentage of orders have products that are back ordered?

    In your customer satisfaction surveys, what percentage of your customers are giving your service an excellent rating, a good rating, a fair rating, etc...?

    The answers to all of these questions will give you the answer to that question which everyone is looking for in times of change...

    Are we making progress toward our goal?

    Day 15: Respect the growing process

    November 23, 2007 2325 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 15 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    Plant

    Like the gardener, the effective leader recognizes that change takes time to take root. And pulling up the "roots" before the process has matured is a sure way to confuse people, and destroy what has been started. There is a story about a Japanese executive who stressed the need for patience and discipline when it comes to quality.

    "Sometimes," he said, "the quality process is like farming bamboo. Once the bamboo seed is planted, the farmer waters it every day. He does that for 4 years before the tree even breaks ground. But, when it finally does, it grows 60 feet in the next 90 days."

    This story reminds us that change, like quality, will need time to "take root" before the full benefits are realized.

    Day 14: Learn from "Old Warwick"

    November 22, 2007 3116 Views

    An excerpt from Chapter 14 of Change is Good…You Go First:

    MuleThis story originally appeared in the play Some Folks Feel the Rain.

    A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.

    "Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, "Yep, old Warwick can do the job." The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins he shouted:

    "Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!"

    And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch.

    The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?"

    The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."


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