In This Issue
Easy Hang – Celebrity Tips for Business
Secrets Your Employees Won’t Tell You
in a Minute
Did That Come From?
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It’s starting to look like a fine summer! The DOW is
at record levels, and there’s encouraging news on the housing and employment
fronts. That combined with the sunshine and warm weather, makes it a
potentially gangbuster season.
For your summer reading enjoyment, we offer four short
articles with information from interesting sources, plus a link to a library
full of free process improvement information.
I wish you all the best as you proceed through your
summer – both in your business and personal lives.
Have an excellent quarter!
JCG Management Consulting
The Easy Hang - Celebrity Tips for Business
advice books abound. It feels like every executive who ever sat in a
conference room has authored at least one book on surviving the business
world. So when business advice comes from entertainers, it’s kind of
unexpected. Here are several tips from folks you may know:
- Comedian and writer Carol Leifer
notes in her most recent book that when she was writing on Seinfeld,
Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld had an interesting hiring criteria
– the easy hang. They hired people they would have an easy time hanging
out with. Lesson learned: All else being equal, if you’re a
pleasant person to be around and in general easy to be with, you’ll get
chosen over the other guys.
- While growing up near Boston, Jay
Leno really wanted a job at a particular car dealer that wasn’t
hiring. His solution? He just showed up one day, walked in the back
and started working for free. After a few days he was discovered, but
had made himself indispensable so they hired him. Lesson learned:
Figure out how to be such value-add to the business that they can’t live
front-man Gene Simmons has written several business books. Early
on he adopted a very different perspective than other musicians. While
other bands wanted to be the Beatles, Simmons wanted to be Coca-Cola. He
contends it always was and always will be about building the brand. Lesson
learned: What can you do to build your personal brand and stand out
from the rest?
Your Employees Won’t Tell You
it feels like change is everywhere you look. The frequency of change, the
amount of change, and the complexity of those changes are greater today
than at any point in human history. It’s no wonder then, when you change
a process in your organization that things don’t always go as planned.
Here are some important things your
employees won’t tell you about change:
scared of change - We won’t come right out and say it, but it
feels at times like we’re barely in control here. We just get the hang
of how to do something and it changes. We’re concerned it will be
disruptive to the pattern we have grown accustomed to. We need you to be
as clear as possible in describing the change so we know what to expect.
want to hear it from our boss - We get so many changes coming at
us, the first thing we do is ask our direct boss if we really have to do
what you asked. If you want to speed things up, be sure we hear about any
new changes from our direct boss.
expect us to hear it and remember the first time - Your
carefully crafted email announcing your process change is just one of 154
emails I may get today. Chances are I won’t remember. If you really
want us to know about it and remember, please tell us multiple times and in
to view the full list of nine secrets…
Facilitation in a Minute
Are you ever in a position of
having to facilitate a meeting or work session? If so, the following
facilitation model may come in handy – you can learn it in a minute and
put it to use immediately. It’s called the O-N-C model. ONC stands for
Open-Narrow-Close and here’s how it works:
- In the Open
Phase you go broad -- looking for a large quantity of ideas.
Quantity is more important than quality in this part of the ONC funnel.
Tools such as brainstorming, cause-effect diagrams, mind-mapping, or
brain-writing are useful here. No judgment or censoring of ideas – just
a brain dump and capture of many ideas.
- In the Narrow
Phase, facilitators now seek to narrow the list down to the feasible
and usable ideas. Tools like the cause-effect or solution selection
matrix, affinity diagram, or multi-voting are useful.
- Finally, in the Close Phase,
you lock off on the one or several final ideas/solutions you want to
pursue. Techniques such as paired-comparisons (conjoint analysis),
and cost-benefit analysis now come into play to reach a final decision.
Society for Quality (ASQ) is the world’s largest organization for quality
professionals. One of their sub-specialties is the very popular Six Sigma
ASQ maintains a Six Sigma Forum (and magazine by that
same name). Their Six Sigma Forum library is full of presentations
and templates that are both educational and time-saving for any quality
professional – whether you are using Six Sigma or not. Already an ASQ
member? Then all their content is available. Not a member? Dozens of items
are marked as Open Access and available to one and all. Click here to visit their free library.
Where Did That Come From?
If you find yourself presenting,
training, or speaking to groups, you’re probably on the lookout for ways to
stand out from the crowd. Jargonaut Express: Essential Idioms for
the Astute Business Speaker is a nice reference for those looking
to liven up their speeches.
by a clever former student of mine, Brian Ashcraft, it provides a
fascinating background on the origins of many terms we use on a daily
– This term for nit-picking was actually used frequently by William
Shakespeare and other 16th and 17th century authors to
describe difficult yet inconsequential tasks.
Passing the Buck -
This phrase for deferring one’s task or responsibility to another originated
in the smoke-filled saloons of the old west. It was commonplace to own
knives whose handles were fashioned out of male deer (buck) antlers. When
playing poker, a marker such as a knife was placed in front of the person who
was to deal. The phrase “I’m passing the buck” was used often when the
pressure of dealing in a high-stakes game was too overwhelming.
Vetting – This term for
inspections to seek out potential problems comes from the world of horse
racing. “Vet” became a popular phrase for veterinarian in the late 19th
century. In racing, the phrase “I want to vet my horse before the race this
week” was carried over into business and politics.
To see Brian’s book, click