April 17, 2014

Training and Education – What is the correct value for you?

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As Continuous Improvement practitioners, it is natural (even a passion) to always seek ways to improve ourselves and the value we drive to our colleagues and the companies for which we work. During our quest for this personal and professional development, sometimes we know precisely which areas we wish to improve our skillsets and where we need to concentrate our efforts, and sometimes we seek to satisfy a curiosity of some subject matter.

Once we decide on what we wish to learn, we need to decide on what level of knowledge and competency we wish to possess at the conclusion of our being taught and, most importantly, we need to ensure that the method we select for conveying of that knowledge and competency to us will yield those expected results. Therefore, during this evaluation process, we must always remember the following corollary; the level of effort required is directly proportional to the depth of the knowledge and competency acquired.

We must also evaluate the “Comparative Value” of the efforts and results, with Comparative Value being defined as; “the investment requirements associated with gaining the knowledge versus the benefit gained to oneself and one’s company.” [Read more]

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“Discipline, effort, patience and courage”

patience...it's a virtue... by melodyofrosepatience...it's a virtue... by melodyofrose
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Thanks to StumbleUpon, I came across on article on Psychology Today entitled “What to Tell Kids After Failures and Mistakes.” The Author, Salmansohn, describes some recent research conducted by Dr. Carol Dweck, who advocates an “Incremental theory” of learning.

Incremental Theorists believe that success is achieved through putting in the necessary hard work. According to Dr. Dweck, a big key to a successful life is to embrace being an “Incremental Theorist” – so when failure or disappointments occur, you are ready to overcome them.

This quote from the article is powerful: “Discipline, effort, patience and courage are hugely important core values for kids to grow up embracing.”

They are also hugely important core values for adults to maintain, too. [Read more]

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Well, OF COURSE no one trusts management…..

Backstabber_by_bat_bat
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In a conversation with a seasoned manager who asked me why I believed morale was so poor in his organization, I stated that the thing most often heard wafting through the cubicles was that people simply don’t trust the management here. “Well, that’s universal.” he stated, and quickly dismissed the concerns people were uttering as just usual, typical, workplace angst.

Upon reflection, however, I realized that this problem was born from different perspectives on management’s role among the age groups in the organization.
[Read more]

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Don’t be a tool

tool of the trade
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And don’t be a tool.

There will be plenty of time to sit in a cubicle, navigate corporate politics, curry the favor of blowhards and nincompoops, and monitor your 401K. For a short time, however, you will have the ability to experiment with life….and your career. Why work for someone else? Start your own business. It can be just about anything, since the consequences of failure are so low. Trust me, as you get older – no matter how smart you get about business – going out on your own gets more and more difficult. Those mortgages and tuition bills are pretty limiting. [Read more]

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More on kids and the wisdom gained from teaching baseball

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So, it struck me, that when we interview candidates or assign people to tasks based on what they tell us about themselves, we are really only going on that person’s interpretation – which may be very different from our own. Different professions have attempted to make the understanding of the job standardized by instituting certifications and licenses, however, there is still a great deal of variation in the ability to understand and implement those standards. There is still one universal truth – the definition of what constitutes “good” is often developed after the fact and is done so according to subjective interpretations by someone with a need to save face. [Read more]

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Plan for peak capacity, or get good at eliminating waste

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when does anyone start to examine how we do things, to look for inefficiency? If we eliminated that inefficiency, how many hours of unnecessary processing, running around to find things or people, sitting in pointless meetings, etc. etc. could be done away with? [Read more]

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It’s not your management, it’s a “labor market mismatch”

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What’s being done right now to make sure that the workforce they have today will be able to meet the needs of the future, or will we be hearing about this labor market mismatch in the future, too? Are businesses really just hoping that the right graduates come out of college with the necessary skills, or that mid-career pros will be able to utilize existing skills in entirely new ways, or are they providing guidance and resources so that the labor pool stays stocked with talent? [Read more]

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We know life is too short, so why are we letting it get wasted?

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What I’ve come to realize, is that we all waste an awful lot of time doing nothing value-added. When I say “time” (or anyone else for that matter) is being wasted, I start to think “life” instead. Every minute we spend just sitting – accomplishing nothing of value to anyone – is a minute of our lives lost and gone forever. It doesn’t come back, it doesn’t get recycled, it doesn’t break down or compress and eventually turn into a diamond. It is just simply gone. [Read more]

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Ideas, not answers

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TweetMy 6-year-old son has show-and-tell at school every Friday.   The night before his most recent presetation, I asked him what he wanted to bring to school.  He simply said, “Hmmm….I don’t know!” and shrugged his shoulders, waiting for me to give him something he could use. It was then that my improvement genes went into [...]

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The luxury of I Don’t Know

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“I Don’t Know how” is, usually, a defensive reaction. It’s far easier to use ignorance as an excuse for not trying to learn than it is to admit that we might not have the capacity to learn. That, however, might be a matter of self-deception. It’s not that we’re incapable of learning, it’s that we simply don’t have enough time to learn what we perceive is needed. [Read more]

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