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Thread: productivity

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    Obi Wan PC's Avatar
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    Cool productivity


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    Re: productivity

    John-Peter Smit
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    Yoda PAUL161's Avatar
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    Re: productivity


    Remember, Never Forget
    We Live In The Land of The Free
    Because of The Brave

    How good it feels, the hand of an old friend! Longfellow

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    Somewhere around here I have a book titled Who Moved the Cheese​ all about dealing with change in the workplace.
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Re: productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil View Post
    Somewhere around here I have a book titled Who Moved the Cheese​ all about dealing with change in the workplace.
    got that one too - interesting and helpful metaphor
    John-Peter Smit
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    Obi Wan PC's Avatar
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    Cool Re: productivity




    Yeah, I remember when that book was all the rage in business. Man oh man, I hated those days.

    Not knocking the book. It's OK. Content isn't bad. Although, at 96 pages it's probably about 95 pages longer than it needs to be. How long does it really take to say that need to adapt when there are changes in market/customer expectations/business environment/etc.

    At the time it was fashionable for executives to blather on and on about embracing change, not fearing change, being prepared to change, accepting change, expecting change, celebrating change, blah, blah, blah all while not actually changing anything.

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by PC View Post


    Yeah, I remember when that book was all the rage in business. Man oh man, I hated those days.

    Not knocking the book. It's OK. Content isn't bad. Although, at 96 pages it's probably about 95 pages longer than it needs to be. How long does it really take to say that need to adapt when there are changes in market/customer expectations/business environment/etc.

    At the time it was fashionable for executives to blather on and on about embracing change, not fearing change, being prepared to change, accepting change, expecting change, celebrating change, blah, blah, blah all while not actually changing anything.
    Yep, that's the book. I get your point but I'll just say this about that. Many companies that were not willing to change are now defunct. Hello Sears. Hello Radio Shack.

    Another fun book I picked up over the years:


    IMG_4243.jpg
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    and companies that were embracing change from long-standing complacency did not survive.

    Think DeLorian.

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    Re: productivity

    The Art of War is another popular book in some circles of business. It's funny how these business guys like to study conquerors and generals instead of Adam Smith and John Nash.
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    Yoda GregW's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    Stephen King quoted from The Art of War just the day.

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    Re: productivity

    So many productivity methodologies seem to be just fades and one management team latches onto and when senior leadership changes, they have their own ideas. I've lost track over the years of the things we've tried, the certifications people got that were tossed in a year or two, and what so many were supposed to do. Biggest problem in my mind is that senior leadership wants fundamental change, but also wants it for free. Right now we're transitioning to an open office and the management desire is for everyone to participate in every project and problem going on. Seems a recipe for not getting anything done much more than one for having dozens of new ideas..

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by mikephillips View Post
    So many productivity methodologies seem to be just fades and one management team latches onto and when senior leadership changes, they have their own ideas. I've lost track over the years of the things we've tried, the certifications people got that were tossed in a year or two, and what so many were supposed to do. Biggest problem in my mind is that senior leadership wants fundamental change, but also wants it for free. Right now we're transitioning to an open office and the management desire is for everyone to participate in every project and problem going on. Seems a recipe for not getting anything done much more than one for having dozens of new ideas..
    I'm sure you meant "fads" but yeah, they do fade after a time too! LOL. I remember a big one back in the 90's that the military latched onto was Total Quality Management. (TQM). We had to to "Team Building" and we all had to take the Myers-Briggs personality tease and then learn how too
    interact" with different personality types. Actually did learn some useful stuff in that training, although I think TQM has faded into history also.
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Re: productivity

    We didn't get Business Team Management in the Marines. I had a General that wanted me to requisition furniture he wanted without a budget. Seems I could get anything. So, I pulled a chair up to his desk and let him pick out what he wanted. I said it was douable. He said, "Get it!". I then squandered a deal that our barracks receive new racks and lockers. He wanted to know how I could work around him, I just said Business 101. The barracks was a happier place in a week.
    Larry K
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    Re: productivity

    Quote Originally Posted by LarryK View Post
    We didn't get Business Team Management in the Marines. I had a General that wanted me to requisition furniture he wanted without a budget. Seems I could get anything. So, I pulled a chair up to his desk and let him pick out what he wanted. I said it was douable. He said, "Get it!". I then squandered a deal that our barracks receive new racks and lockers. He wanted to know how I could work around him, I just said Business 101. The barracks was a happier place in a week.
    Was your nickname Radar?
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Re: productivity

    A great article on change, is “Marketing Myopia”, by Theodore Levitt. To Basil’s and TOC’s points, Sears, Radio Shack, and Delorean could have learned something. Change for sake of change has limited value (sometimes it’s nice to rearrange the furniture). But being aware of the fundamental purpose and mission is key. Is the British Car forum a “forum” or a “place to exchange knowledge”? Was British Leyland in the business of small cars, or putting a smile on the faces of gearheads on a beautiful Saturday morning?

    Published in 1960, relevant today. For example, it predicted the demise of the US auto industry at a time when them their market share was around 90% (roughly).
    Mike
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    I remember a new director we got back around 2002. He gave us (the 12 top level admins) that "Who Moved My Cheese" book when we had our first admin. meeting together. Told us to read it and come back to a meeting next morning.

    Next morning he had the book's author there at the meeting. The author literally *read* the book to us. As the different mouse personalities were described, the author had us make little signs showing the personalities, hang them on our necks, and act like the mouse in the description. We did that for six hours.

    We were so totally turned off by (1) the new director, (2) the author, (3) the book, that we actually became very negative about the future. The director had treated us like junior high kids. The book's author treated us like junior high kids - and the book was written like it was for junior high kids.

    Good grief. If that's how management were to treat staff - we're in "deep doo doo".

    PS - that new director was removed from his position several years later, for poor leadership and for spending funds on parties, travel, office furniture, luxury retreats, and "friends".
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    Re: productivity

    The school district I work at loves change for change's sake. We have a very top heavy administration and all of these deputy superintendents and directors are trying to stand out in the crowd and this has resulted in a plethora of new testing.This was originally spurred four years ago by the idea that our yearly benchmarks which were written by teachers in the district and were a pencil and paper test needed to be replaced with a computer based test. In that time we have utilized five new testing programs. Some years a program doesn't even make it through the entire year. One program we have used for the entire time and seems to be a decent program but it has never caught on with the board (it isn't sexy enough). I have no idea how the district evaluates any of these programs since it refuses to stick with any one for very long but each new program is tried, found wanting in short order and replaced.
    All of these tests are also very expensive, one which we used for only one semester because enough teacher pointed out how badly constructed it was cost the district just under $300,000, and that was just one program out of the five we have been ordered to give. The old method had worked for as long as the district had been testing students and cost only what is cost to print the tests and distribute them every year.
    Our kids are also now testing almost non-stop. In English we just wrapped up the seventh testing window for the year for each grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th. At this rate we will have between twelve and thirteen tests administered by the end of this school year. In the past we used to only test three times a year and only tested our junior class.
    Now the district is demanding to know why our ACT scores have started to drop instead of increase over the past two years.
    Cheers,
    Walter
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    Great Pumpkin NutmegCT's Avatar
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    Re: productivity

    Back in the early '80s I was tasked by our school board to evaluate our district wide testing programs.

    Oh, the stories I could tell.

    In sum: people in high positions often make decisions on issues after doing little or no investigation.

    yeesh
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    Re: productivity

    Basil, Radar was in the Army, Duke sounds better. Seems the General was throwing my request to transfer to Nam in the trash. Told me they didn't need another John Wayne over there.
    Larry K
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    Re: productivity

    Walt, the problems you describe seem to be all to common in public education these days, especially the "top heavy administration." Or could it be that the top heaviness is the root cause of the larger problem?
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