Organizational Excellence

People and Process Improvement

Dual Residency

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Been in process of updating / doing a blogger’s version of a 5-S. Newer stuff is here: One Pond-Ripples. Focus: influence and impact, values based leadership and engagement, community and this wonderfully esoteric thing called The Greater Good.

I will be pulling a few posts from this blog forward after updating so stay tuned!



Got Vision? Tree Huggers, Unite!

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I really don’t consider myself an environmentalist nut. Yes, I am very aware of our global issues but who isn’t? Now and then my avocation (wind industry) leads me to information that is really hard to blow off, like this.

A degree by degree explanation of what will happen when the earth warms

How aware are you of global warming? Think about your grandchildren-what will their world be like, if we only get 1-2 degrees warmer which is already about guaranteed? Don’t even read the projections for a more than 2 degree increase.

This is sobering to the nth degree. Read it, share it, wake up.

Now, for that engagement thing…when someone connects to a larger purpose their emotional connection therefore engagement levels ramps up dramatically. I’m lucky-I don’t even have to stretch to see my greater purpose. How about you?

Leaders and influencers-what things have you done, to help people connect to a greater purpose? How do you do it without sounding like a fringe evangelist?


Written by Craig

November 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Feeling Engaged-Thanks George

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George Mosley posted the following in the Employee Engagement Network’s  discussion forum. So many relevant points that it deserves reproducing here, followed by my reply.

Feeling Engaged

A while back, following the annual employee satisfaction survey, it struck me that conversations in our workplace were almost always focused on “why aren’t we engaged”. So, a few of us got together and talked about “why we are engaged”. We found we had the following feelings and attitudes in common.

  1. I enjoy what I do
    – The work I’m doing is interesting and challenging
    – I feel the work I do contributes to the success of the organisation
    – I feel that my expertise and talents are well matched to what I do
  2. I’m self-motivated
    – My self-motivation is acknowledged and honoured
  3. I’m curious about and aware of the various corporate activities and initiatives
  4. I’m interested in making a difference
  5. I feel my creative side is encouraged and supported
  6. I’m happy with my manager(s)
    – Supportive without getting in my way
    – Trust me to know what I’m doing and to know what needs to be done
    – Good behaviour model (an engaged manager –> engaged employees)
    – Comfortable social relationship
  7. I feel my input is welcomed by the corporation
  8. I’ve been happy with my growth and advancement opportunities

Our hope was that others might recognize their own feelings and attitudes (or absence thereof) in the list and find a starting point for personal change.

(my reply)

George, just a quick count…it appears there are about 38 key points embedded in you post! Not enough time to highlight all of them, so here’s just a few that jumped out at me.

  • The list is top-heavy on “feelings” and conspicuously excludes “things”.
  • It’s clear by the comments that engagement is highly personal as it is nurtured by individual values, or drivers, or whatever you want to call the stuff that makes each of us who we are and defines what we really, really need to succeed.
  • To be fully engaged people need to be given a personal reason to feel vested in their company.
  • This strengths-based leadership stuff has something to it!
  • Surveys, while they are dogged quite a bit for good reason, do have a secondary value-adding purpose: they spur dialog around the right things. If this stuff is water-cooler chatter at your company, George, it must be a pretty cool place to work!

Last…data is dandy, but anecdotal evidence often points to the really relevant stuff—the story behind the numbers. While comments take much longer to sift through and analyze, and the Board prefers black and white is / isn’t numbers, the effort is well worth it!

George, those comments you listed represent critical elements that are essential to engineering an environment that is capable of sustaining this weird life form we call high engagement. Develop a strategy focused on establishing those elements, and life is Good!

Written by Craig

November 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Engagement

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Connecting With Dusty

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I mentioned in the “Cipher” section of What Drives You?  that I always took extra steps to connect with “tough case” students in classes I was assigned to substitute teach in. Validation of that strategy succeeding came once again yesterday when I ran into “Dusty”. He smiled and said “hey, Mr. Cool Sub! How ya been?” It was good to see him, and we visited a while before moving on.

Dusty and I have some history between us. He remembered me, and I sure remembered him from over six years ago…..

Before my first day assigned to sub a week for Dusty’s class, I was warned about him by his regular teacher-that he was an especially surly, disruptive, troublesome student and I shouldn’t give him an inch. On down the standard list. I identified Dusty first thing, slouched down in his chain-drooping gothic black clothes and five piercings that I could see, scowling “don’t mess with me, I’m bad”.

Enough of that. Before class started, I walked along the rows of students and set the strategy in motion. Simply “hey Dusty, how’s it going?” as I passed his desk. No response beyond a dark stare, but none expected. He had his game face on, after all.

In the halls, I greeted him every time I saw him. Same thing every morning in the classroom. Toward the end of the week, he finally walked up to me before class. “You know what’s cool about you?” he said, looking me square in the eye. “You know my name. My other teachers don’t even care if I’m alive.”

How powerful is that?

Written by Craig

November 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

The X and I

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There is a great whiteboard video from the originators of the “X” posted at the Employee Engagement Network.  Come back after you watch.

If we can tell our personal story, it helps make engagement more real. If something actually has deep meaning to me and I can relate my own experience to others, I become a more credible source.

This is my personal story–how I have mapped the “x” in numerous sessions of BlessingWhite’s Managing Personal Growth. The story ran long, so I am posting it separately at my blog.

Telling my “x” experience is critical right now as I am about to use it to introduce myself, to open a proposal to our chief officers that is heavily influenced by engagement factors-the soft stuff that can drive operations managers nutty. My leaders need to understand me, my perspective, and most importantly the power of engagement as presented through the “x”. I need credibility, and telling my story here is a good warm-up for me. The X and I.  I’d love to hear your story too.

Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More

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Taking time to figure out what really matters in the long run shouldn’t be such a rare luxury. But it is.

Find time to breathe.


(Within this self-talk is a testimonial to the importance of personal, values-based connecting, and the need to check in with the plan now and then. A few links below may help to make it more clear-ca)

Maybe a little air time will ensure some accountability on my part to git r done… if you’ve peeked in here before you know by now that personal vision, values, planning and alignment are a big deal in my world. So big that I’m on a mission to get something out there to help others make their connections.

There is a grander purpose behind being personally connected. Quite simply: things are a mess on a global, national, societal scale. The only way we can collectively impact things is to first tidy up our own lives one-by-one. I want to contribute at that level. It’s absolutely critical to me personally as my long-time personal vision is: make an impact, leave a legacy.

A few months back, I asked What Drives You?  preceded by What’s Your One Thing?  (remember Jack Palance as cowpoke Curly in City Slickers?)

My One Thing is to Connect. First with myself, so I can more effectively help others do the same. My strategic intent is to do my part to make others’ lives more meaningful, therefore making the world a better place, all in the interest of The Greater Good  — a group I host on the Employee Engagement Network.

It all comes down to leveraging the power of influence we each have: One Pond, One Pebble

This Connections book project has consumed me, as it targets my vision and matches up with my core values: creativity, freedom from unnecessary constraints, helping others. Even my interpretation of the value spirituality is tapped. In its essence spirituality to me means connecting…with myself, with all that is around me, (the Tao or the Force, which is it?) with others, with a greater purpose and the being who is greater than me.

I’m lucky-all this high-falootin’ stuff has been important to me for quite some time. Not everyone can claim that. And there is my Driver to help me reach my Vision! I now have to gear up to attack the “helping others” value factor in the equation, something that has been missing in my values-based action plan lately.

As I maintain throughout the Connections project, it is absolutely essential for each of us (and for society / the world / the Greater Good!) to connect with our values, to establish a values-based purpose in life. Out of the collective of individuals with strong personal values comes strong shared values, norms, healthy culture, healthy companies.

All this with a renewed sense of urgency. See Gotta Love Those Life-changing Events.

My most powerful strategic lever for propelling me toward my vision is the Values piece from Connections. Gear it up!

Ain’t Wastin Time No More!


So that’s what’s up with me lately. How are you doing? Are you connected? Taking time to figure out what really matters in the long run shouldn’t be such a rare luxury. But it is. We’re continuously reacting to our surroundings, inundated with the pressures of daily demands, juggling an abundance of urgencies thrown at us from every direction.

Find time to breathe.

Written by Craig

September 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

The Secret of Life

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A little Brain Dump is always a good way to start the work week. I feel better already.

Engagement and success are kissing cousins. Need one to have the other. To me, these few things make or break whether you are “successful” whatever success means to you. No matter if you’re talking about a relationship, being a parent, or being in any position from president / politician, from the big boss all the way to a factory worker or admin assistant to the assistant.

This is not nuclear physics. It won’t solve world hunger. I’ll take care of that this afternoon. But for now…add something to the Secret of Life short list and “Like” if you think this isn’t out of reach. If you don’t like this, I probably wouldn’t ‘like’ you!

  • Do what you know is right.
  • Do what’s expected of you. If you don’t know, ask. Ignorance is not an excuse.
  • Take time to consider the other person’s needs and feelings.
  • Find what you like to do, and were meant to do. Then, Just DO it!

Reward those people who deliver on these things. No matter whether a simple “thanks, you’re appreciated” or a little well-earned respect. Money sometimes works too, but those other things are free.

Get rid of or at least distance yourself from those who don’t deliver. They may be contagious and life’s too short. It may sound cold, but Darwin was right.

Add anything to the list?


Written by Craig

August 20, 2012 at 9:50 am