Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

The New Village: There is No Privacy in the Networked World

December 17, 2011

Pennsylvania "Dutch" Hex "Rosette"

Villages naturally have very little privacy. To guard against the results (“bad luck”) that the eyes of the Other (neighbors) might bring, inhabitants might use all kinds of methods–including some that are supernatural.  For instance, in pre-1997 Bhutanese villages (e.g. before TV was allowed and other cultures flooded in) inhabitants painted symbols on their homes to ward off ill-fortune.  If you visit rural areas today, you’ll notice among these house paintings are phalluses, painted by doors, hung from strings from the roof as if they were windchimes or placed like gargoyles on the eaves.   This was done rather like the hex signs of the Pennsylvania “Dutch,” but not for what many guess would be the obvious reason, fertility.  No, the Bhutanese were not insuring the abundance of their fields and families with these phalluses.  They painted these symbols to ward off gossip and what we might call the evil eye.  Gossip and the evil eye, which results from gossip because if you are trying to accomplish something, and people conceptualize and talk about it too much, that thing you are trying to do might not turn out so well. (more…)

MidState Medical Center: A Great Place to Be Sick is a Place That Practices Lean

October 13, 2011
Midstate Medical Center

Midstate Medical Center

Here’s the hospital I want to go to when I become sick: MidState Medical Center in Meriden, Connecticut.  It is hard to find documented information on this hospital, but it appears that their CEO, Lucille Janatka, practices some form of Lean, possibly the Baldrige Model, according to what I’ve heard in the local community.

In articles, Janatka describes herself as a “Servant Leader.”  The story I’ve heard goes like this.  When she took over the hospital in 1999 as CEO, she organized grassroots meetings of every single worker, right down to the janitor.  (Heh, “down.”)  They recommended changes using this “Reflective Improvement Methodology,” whatever you like to call it.  Janatka lead them in implementing many of the changes proposed.

#agile2011 On Further Reflection and in Light of the #Verizonstrike

August 20, 2011

Today I was walking around Northern Boulevard under the blazing sun, crossing to the Sport Authority “sales” tent, when I had a kind of “aha.”

At home I’d just read a new blog post by Alistair Cockburn on Agile in Management and Leadership, and was thinking about everything I’d learned at the Agile Conference in Salt Lake City the week of August 8.  I passed a family with two young giggling kids, speaking a Himalayan dialect of some sort to each other, when suddenly occurred to me: the Bhutanese are onto something much bigger with their focus on Gross National Happiness (“GNH”). Might seem kind of obvious, but they’ve given themselves a purpose not based on money.

Previous King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, crowns his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King (REUTERS/Royal Government of Bhutan/Handout)

Previous King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, crowns his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, King (REUTERS/Royal Government of Bhutan/Handout)

In case you are not familiar with GNH, here’s a quick summary. The previous King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, realizing that his country would not soon become the richest in the world (particularly since the nation is one of the poorest), focused his people’s purpose on something else: Gross National Happiness.  The team from the Centre for Bhutan Studies, inspired by the direction, developed a sophisticated survey instrument with Karma Ura and Canadian Michael Pennock for measuring happiness in a population.  It is now the official direction the Bhutanese government, newly democratic, passed as a policy. The Government is taking every step to ensure that the GNH “precedes over economic prosperity.” (more…)

Agile 2011 session 2 with Michael Spayd (and Lyssa?)

August 8, 2011

Leadership agility – Michael Spayd leading this session with Lyssa Adkins helping.

Budgets are coming up as a major issue for two coaching volunteers. Wondering if hearing each other influenced.

Book: Leadership Agility by Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs.

Infants have not developed object permanence. Same with development.

Expert – idea that you “know” on this level – low on listening and learning
achiever – seeking more, explores, did not shoot from hip
Catalyst – highly participatory – visionary – listens to employees – open. Seeks out the innovators

2:49 – nice Lou gerstner quote -“culture isn’t one aspect of the game – it *is* the game.”

Alignment – where all elements of organization work in concert ( from Built to Last )

Interesting that people did not respond when asked to return from break 5 early – suspect because we have to work now!

Broke rules came back late : O

4:29. Organizational edges may take years to overcome (oh no! Not weeks?)

Pent up demand for change. Early adopters friendly in beginning; then get late adopter phase and this is more challenging. Hope in that this is the way we do things.

(am resisting temptation to ask the unsuspecting table mates “what’d I miss?”)

Change goes in stair steps. Need to know when to rest and when to push.

agile slides

Stuff they “can share” may not be there.

Will I be responsible for or a victim of the work world?

Missed a good chunk of this second half ( had to respond to work excuse). But great and helpful session!