Leadership Lessons from a Great Mom

So your seven-year old son has been working diligently on his homework sheet due on Friday all during the week. He even got most of it done on Wednesday even because he knew he had baseball practice on Thursday night and would not be able to do it.

He decides early Friday morning to add a few embellishments in color to give it that extra something, but unfortunately, he leaves it behind on the kitchen counter. Shown here.

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On your way out the door, you notice the paper, do you:

  1. pick it up and give it to your son.
  2. gently remind him he left his paper on the counter.
  3. walk past it and leave it lie.
  4. walk past it, leave it lie and shush your husband who will likely see it and come running out the door with it.

The obvious and great choice is #4. Thanks, Christine!

Lesson from the Salon

I have often spoken about the parallels between software implementation consultants and salon owners. For example, both revenue models have about 50 percent coming from the sale of product (including renewals for software) and about 50 percent coming from service provided.

This morning, this “Suggested post” was in my Facebook stream:

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Notice that it mentions that Julie is salon owner, but what is to stop individual stylists from creating their own App. This way if they leave the salon of their current employ, their clientele can easily track them down and bypass what I understand from my wife and other female colleagues as “the hunt” that takes place when this occurs now.

Of course, the jump to software implementation consulting is easy to see. Individual consultants can set up Apps and away they go.

This enforces the great idea from Peter Drucker that, “In a knowledge society, the most probable assumption for an organization to make is that they need the knowledge workers far more than the knowledge workers need them.”

What are you doing to make you organization a place where knowledge worker thrive and get their knowledge dividend?

On Bailouts, Hypocrisy, and Circular Errors

This morning I came across a piece in the Huffington Post about Ally Bank.

It seems that Ally according to the author did not join a settlement with federal regulators with regard to foreclosure abuse of its customers.

This is notable because Ally Bank was once known as GMAC, the GM stands for General Motors, yes, the same General Motors bailed out by the federal government in 2008/9.

In fact, Ally Bank is still 74 percent owned by the US Government.

The story goes on to say how Ally Bank is now negotiating with federal regulators over the foreclosure abuse situation.

Am I missing something, but doesn’t this mean the government is negotiating with themselves?

An Oldie, but Goodie – The Seven S Model

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak about an old friend, the Seven S Model, as part of the Sage Thought Leadership Webcast Series. This model originated at McKinsey and Company in the 1970s and was made famous by appearing on page 10 in Tom Peters and and Robert Waterman’s all-time best seller, In Search of Excellence.

images-12I present a modified version of the model which was taught to me by Howard Hansen and Doug Burgum of Great Plains Software. I am forever indebted to both of them as this model has had a most profound impact on my career.

Entitled The Seven S Model and Shared Vision, this webcast is dedicated to the possibility that organizations that have well-defined and shared visions of their future will be better places for team members to work and have happier customers. Creating a well-defined shared vision is hard work and not for everyone as it requires us to look deep into ourselves and examine our beliefs as people.

Here is the video. My thanks to my friend and college Greg Tirico for agreeing to do this interview style as opposed to the normal talking-head style that is all to prevalent today.

And, here are the slides.

Please comment with any questions or feedback that you might have.

Flunking My Son’s Report Card

My son, Sean, got his report card last week, oops sorry his “Student Assessment.” I think he did well. I am not 100 percent sure, because with all the education jargon it is difficult to really tell.

In fact, in order to decipher the gobbledygook (as my friend Michelle Golden calls it) I was sent an email from his teacher explaining it. Here is the email in part. I say in part because each of these required a full paragraph to explain the details.

  1. The Report Card- The specific skills addressed and assessed this grading period are listed with your students achievement.
  2. The First Grade Report Card Addendum- Indicates your student’s Independent reading level at this time.
  3. Student Success initiative (SSI) letter- this will inform you of how your student is performing compared to the grade level standard. 
  4. Math Inventory form- this form reports your student’s scores on the District Math Assessment given to all first graders.
  5. DRA Report- This is your child’s independent reading level.
  6. TPRI Report- This report has their beginning of the  year (boy) testing and middle of year (moy) testing for this assessment.

Now, while I am very grateful to his teacher for her assistance with this, I am dumbstruck with the amount of bureaucracy this must create. Each of these is assessed on a quarterly basis!

Notice the duplication of the second and fifth items. Actually, it is triplication because the first item covers reading as well.

If you want to know why the education budget is completely bonkers look no further. Think about the cost of driving all this crap through the system!

Please note, I believe my son is getting an excellent education so far, but I must say it is in spite of, not because of, all this nonsensical garbage with which teachers must concern themselves.

On the grading system I recall using, I give this an F!