Its been a while since the last post, since I am currently busy pursuing some of my own entrepreneurial endeavors. Rest assured that when I am able to get back into the swing of things I will have a wealth of information to draw from for the site.
Wally and the Pointy Haired Boss illustrate a couple of points here. First, I would argue that those are elements of leadership, not "managing". Second, it shows how some managers are not willing to do the things it takes to be a great leader. The hard part of leadership isn't knowing what to do, but actually putting those ideas into action. Lastly, it shows that sometimes you have to be honest with your boss about why you aren't as productive as you can be. Obviously this is more than a little tongue and cheek, but the idea of letting your leadership know about areas they may be lacking, as hard as it may seem, is important. Just try to be a little more tactful.
Next of on the Five Dysfunctions is the "Fear of Conflict". People have many different approaches to dealing with conflict. In a team, there is usually a mix of these different styles which leads some to attempt to withdraw from or avoid friction while others attempt to foster or instigate it. Typically, this fear of confrontation leads to creation of an artificial sense of harmony, whereby team members pretend as though everything is ok when it is not. Lack of trust (the bottom of the pyramid) exacerbates this tendency and hinders growth of the team through healthy collegial debate.
To find out what your style of dealing with conflict is and how to interact with other styles, you can use the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. It measures how assertive and/or cooperative an individual is leading to a range of conflict modes, including competing, collaborating, avoiding, and accommodating. Learn more here.
Also worth reading is Crucial Conversations, which I'll be reviewing at a later date.
The other day I alluded to the fact that I'd be discussing the Five Dysfunctions of Team. At the base of the model is trust, which maybe isn't a revolutionary idea but there is more to it than that. The fact that lack of trust often exists on teams usually has less to do with what people think of others, and more to do with the person's own willingness to be open about their own vulnerabilities. In other words, the next time you are getting the idea that someone you work with does not trust you with a certain task or piece of information, realize that it may actually be a reflection of their own insecurities than a judgement of your competence or character.
Here's an article on building trust from Fast Company:
How Leaders Build Trust By Andy Atkins
Today's NewsFeed comes from Forbes Entrepreneur Information and Entrepreneur News. Enjoy!
Kickstarting Social Enterprise on Long Island by Anne Field - How do you kickstart social enterprise in your neck of the woods? What's happening on Long Island offers an instructive answer.
How To Embrace The Power Of Authentic Marketing by Young Entrepreneur Council - Authentic marketing is the true self-expression of a sincerely held business philosophy. It's rare in comparison to traditional, or inauthentic, marketing strategies, but it's much more effective for a business' longevity and impact.
Will Crowdfunding Ignite Investing For Profits And Purpose? by Chance Barnett - Can you earn a healthy return on your investment and help change the world at the same time?
Creative Leadership: Introspection by Doug Guthrie - In the most recent edition of Inside Higher Education, Richard Greenwald wrote a great essay on the challenges of leadership in today’s higher-education climate. The system is under historic pressure (financial and other) to change in ways that have not been encountered for more than a century.In this column, we have recently been discussing leadership. Given that introspection is an important part of the Creative Leadership model we have been proposing, I thought it was high time to turn the microscope on myself, and Greenwald’s insightful essay seemed like a nice invitation to do so.
10 Simple Actions Will Inspire More Startup Results by Martin Zwilling - Everyone recognizes a great entrepreneur when they work with one, but most entrepreneurs don’t know what to look for in themselves that will drive that perception by others. In my experience, there is no magic gene involved, just simple good habits executed consistently and convincingly until everyone around you in a startup wants to follow your example.
3D Printing with Peter Weijmarshausen by Josh Wolfe - We recently sat down for a detailed interview with 3D printing pioneer Peter Weijmarshausen. Peter is co-founder and CEO of Shapeways, the leading 3D printing marketplace and community that helps people make, buy and sell anything they want. Shapeways started in the Philips Lifestyle Incubator in the Netherlands in 2007, and spun off as an independent company in 2010. The company is headquartered in New York, with offices in Eindhoven and Seattle.
The next book I'll be featuring on the site is Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of Team. I'll try to post about each one along with some ways to fix a team that is struggling with each of them. If you just can't wait, then go check out the my review here.
Last post I introduced the concept of Lean Six Sigma methods for process improvement. This post I will focus on the eight wastes, called 'muda' in the LSS vernacular. The acronym used to remember the different types of waste is DOWNTIME:
D - Defects. this is easiest to understand in the traditional manufacturing sense, but also applies to any result in a proces that does not meet the specification.
O - Overproduction. Making too many of something leads to WIP and excess inventory.
W - Wait Time. Its amazing how little touch time some long lead time processes actually have. The rest is waiting on something or someone.
N - Not Utilizing Talent. Okay admittedly this one is a little bit of a stretch as an "N", but the principle is sound. Having your technical experts doing routine tasks is a form of waste as well.
T - Transportation. Unneccesary tranport of product incurs additional costs and wait time. See how these things are connected?
I - Inventory. Having unused or outdated product on the shelves takes up space and depreciates.
M - Motion. Yes, this is different than transportation in that it emphasizes ergonomics and other human factors such as bending, lifting, twisting, etc.
E - Extra Processing. This includes any non valu-added steps, such as unwarranted approvals, inspections, paperwork, or other red tape.
You can usually spot several of these in any process, which are usually symptomatic of some underlying factor.
One of the topics we covered in the Leadership conference was of process manage management, specifically in the framework of Lean Six Sigma, or LSS. Its the combination of two types of process improvement- the first part ("lean") focuses on eliminating wastes like wait time, non-value added steps, rework, etc. The second part ("Six Sigma") has to do with reducing the variation in process results, which leads to a reduced number of defects (defined here as any results that do not meet the customers minimum expectations). The book featured above is a really quick read and gives a great overview of the principles behind the method. If only these principles could be used to drive a process management culture rather than specific projects!
Hang in there over the next couple of weeks while I'll be traveling, both for business and pleasure. The vacation destination is Door County, WI. Business trip is to Charlotte, NC. Here are some local business profiles to explore, one on small business and one on big business leadership:
"Dan’s Fish, Inc. is a family operated business that specializes in fresh water fish. The company processes, distributes, exports and imports seafood from all over the world. It also manufactures value added products such as breaded seafood and cheese, and manufactures specialty products such as Great Lakes whitefish, as well as various fish roes. The company also owns Sturgeon Bay Cold Storage and Seafood International, based out of Estonia in the European Union." -LINK
"Ousted Duke Energy CEO Bill Johnson puts his replacement, Jim Rogers, front and center in the issues that led to friction in Duke's merger with Progress Energy — and ultimately to his dismissal." -LINK