2019 conferences (speaking, judging, volunteering)…

Alas, the time has come to prep for 2019’s professional activities. Inbox held several call-to-action messages about submitting proposals for conferences, participating on judging panels, hosting workshops, continuous improvement training – coaching… The past week was spent delving into my brain-space, recalling-reliving past experiences and sorting through suitable content.

These ‘calls-to-action’ provide opportunities to contribute, learn-share lessons learned and best practices (invaluable continuous improvement channels).

I was a speaker in 2017 during the ASQ Lean and Six Sigma conference in Phoenix, AZ – session topic: “Selling Lean and Six Sigma (Securing Buy-In)”. Session was well received and this encouraged me to respond/submit a proposal for the ASQ 2019 Lean & Six Sigma conference. Submission follows (notification of proposal acceptance/not is pending…):

Focus Area: The Human Side of Lean and Six Sigma
Presentation Level: Intermediate
Presentation Audience: Manufacturing, Service/Transactional Delivery, Healthcare, Government

Learning Outcomes:

  • Process improvement cannot happen without human engagement – showcase examples of Toolkit expansion beyond LSS methodology (change management, Scrum, emotional intelligence).
  • Examples of human element aspects: tribes within organizations (Stages 1-5), personality traits (DISC, Myers-Briggs), adult learning pointers…
  • What it means to have Quality Practitioners Neutrality!

Presentation Summary: This session is coming from how a Quality Practitioner tackled the human side of LSS. To secure buy-in, the goal of the conversations Quality Practitioners have with stakeholders is to reassure them that process improvement (organizational excellence) is not personal, a witch hunt, blame game, etc. – it is about the processes and systems of how organizations run. It doesn’t take too long to see that the root causes to why LSS methodology is needed stems from human team dynamics, management-leadership engagement or lack thereof, conflicts due to resources allocation, etc.

The following become consistently clear:
– conversation to gain buy-in from stakeholders for LSS is akin to being invited into someone’s home (involves trust, safe environment, comfort = all human tendencies);
– LSS is surrounded by humans – humans work the processes, processes develop the services & products for humans;
– organizational optimization|excellence will not & does not happen without the recognition & resolution of human element issues.

With the above in mind, in order for me to be an effective Quality Practitioner, needed to expand my Toolkit beyond LSS methodology to include skills tailored to effective human engagement and ultimately achieving project goals and sustaining results.

Toolkit enhancement has included:
– change management (Prosci method): the people side of change is a crucial factor to consider and address
– social responsibility learnings led to discovering organizational tribes (Stages 1-5), the art of influencing
– human personality types (DISC, Myers-Briggs) – awareness that humans are not all the same. Caution: like all good things intent can become negative – in this instance leading to labels which can have the opposite & negative effects
– emotional intelligence: adjusting communication to audience, scanning the audience for reception (reading body language), active listening, empathy, meeting people where they are (define this)

Conclusion: Most of the time it is not personal :=) It is about maintaining neutrality so that goals can be achieved. Quality Practitioners are looked upon to resolve issues that impact multiple stakeholders with often times conflicting needs & requirements. The impact & effect of the Human Element should not be underestimated.

Presentation Description: This session is coming from how a Quality Practitioner tackled the human side of LSS. It doesn’t take too long to realize that the root causes to why LSS methodology is needed stems from human team dynamics, management-leadership engagement or lack thereof, conflicts due to resources allocation, etc. The following become consistently clear:
– conversation to gain buy-in from stakeholders for LSS is akin to being invited into someone’s home (involves trust, safe environment, comfort = all human tendencies);
– LSS is surrounded by humans – humans work the processes, processes develop the services & products for humans;
– organizational optimization|excellence will not & does not happen without the recognition & resolution of human element issues. With the above in mind, in order for me to be an effective Quality Practitioner, needed to expand my Toolkit beyond LSS methodology to include skills tailored to effective human engagement and ultimately achieving project goals and sustaining results. Toolkit enhancement has included: change management, social responsibility learnings, human personality types, emotional intelligence!

Conference Inclusion (justification): The Human Element is at the core of “why & how we do what we do”- any insight into this complex topic should be included!

Categorization: Lean and Six Sigma

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I also applied to be a preliminary judge for the ASQ ITEA 2018-2019 program. Based on the experiences from my participation in 2016 and 2017, I expect to be thoroughly challenged & grow exponentially from almost 3 days of intense training, teaming and application of ASQ ITEA standards :). Notification on application status pending…

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2017 Year in Review (RECAP) – Part 2

Some of the activities that kept my brain “ticking-over” 🙂

Toolkit sharpeners (2016 – 2017):

  1. November 2017- Presenter/Speaker – “Achieving Effective Communication (in the Age of Social Media)”, 2017 ASQ European Quality Conference, Berlin, Germany
  2. October 2017- Judge – 2017-18 American Society for Quality International Team Excellence Awards ITEA (preliminary round), Charlotte, NC
  3. October 2017- Facilitator – “QI Starts with Awareness (Interactive Spaghetti Diagram)” Workshop – 2017 MUSC Lean Six Sigma Healthcare Symposium, Charleston, SC
  4. May – September 2017 – Continual Improvement for Social Responsibility (CISR-P®) course & certification – SHERPA Sustainability Institute
  5. August-October 2017 – Volunteer: Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Raleigh, NC | DTM Foundation, Cary, NC
  6. February 2017- Presenter/Speaker – “Selling Lean and Six Sigma (Securing BUY-IN)!”- ASQ Lean & Six Sigma Conference, Phoenix, AZ
  7. January 2017- Presenter/Speaker – “Case of a Quality Practitioner in Public Health” – ASQ Raleigh Section Six Sigma Group, Raleigh, NC
  8. November 2016- Judge – 2016-17 American Society for Quality International Team Excellence Awards ITEA (preliminary round), Raleigh, NC
  9. May 2016- Presenter/Speaker – “Put on the Oxygen Mask First (Self-Care)” – After 5 – ASQ World Conference, Milwaukee, WI

 

Notification: Speaker 1st ASQ European Conference

Received notification today. Proposal submission to the 1st ASQ European Conference was accepted.

Topic: “Achieving Effective Communication in the Age of Social Media!”

SM-Icons

Focus Area: Leadership & Management

What Level of Expertise Does your Session Target? : Basic

Who is your Target Audience? :  Managers of Quality Systems

Learning Objectives:
– List the 4 segments targeted for effective communication.
– Describe the various types of communication channels.
– Describe and use Quality Tools that aide in achieving effective communication.

Description:
Communication is a means of connecting people or places. It is an imperative, crucial, critical (important does not quite cover it) component to any endeavor, interaction, relationship, undertaking, initiative. Communication MUST be agile in nature, even if organizational improvement activities are sluggish. All channels within & outside of an organization must be “catered to” (traditional / electronic).
Gone are the days when control over information was the domain of the communications departments! Social Media is King whether we like it or not. Information real or otherwise can circumnavigate the world in a few clicks resulting in loss of reputation, impact to bottom-line, loss of customers, incredible promotion of goods & services or condemnation of same. Agility is key i.e. responsive, in front of issues (not “head in sand”), proactive. Therefore, Communicating Effectively to Customers, Stakeholders, Management, Executive Leadership (segments) is crucial.
Session will define these segments, how they relate & impact Quality Management and the Quality Tools that aide in achieving, providing (catering to) effective Communication!

– PURPOSE OF SESSION –
– Session will define crucial segments, how they relate & impact Quality Management;
– The various channels for effective communication;
– The appropriate Quality Tools that aide in achieving, providing (catering to) effective Communication.

– SUMMARY OF SESSION –
– INTRODUCTION –
Definition of Communication: “Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. In general, communication is a means of connecting people or places. In business, it is a key function of management–an organization cannot operate without communication between levels, departments and employees.” (www.businessdictionary.com)

(1)
Communicating Effectively to these segments: Customers, Stakeholders, Management, Executive Leadership

1. Customers
– Who?
– Relation to QM?
– Impact on QM

2. Stakeholders
– Who?
– Relation to QM?
– Impact on QM

3. Management
– Who?
– Relation to QM?
– Impact on QM

4. Executive Leadership (the buck stops here (allocate/approve budgets, resources, set Culture, etc.)
– Who?
– Relation to QM
– Impact on QM

(2)
– Channels of Effective Communication – * Define the channels (what, examples, how used)
All channels within and outside of the organization must be “catered to”. Channels (traditional / electronic):
Traditional:
a. In-person
b. Telephone
c. Mail (letters)

Electronic:
a. Email
b. Web (Chat/IM)
c. Social Media/Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Discussion Boards

(3)
With the above in mind, how can one get a grip on communicating effectively? Quality Practitioners have several tools at their disposal that can be used to address communication needs/requirements. Every initiative would benefit from their use:

a. Communication Plan= matrix of Target Audience, Message, Delivery Type, Frequency (Cadence), Owner (Responsible), Objectives, Notes

b. Stakeholder Analysis= identification of individuals/groups to affect or be affected by an action – sorting according to impact on and of the action.

c. Voice of Customer via Quality Function Deployment= defining customer needs or requirements and translating them into specific plans to produce products to meet those needs.

d. Project Management Dashboards= central, real time, display of organization/operations/projects performance.

* Elaborate on the above with: what the tool is, purpose, benefits/why, how it aides in Communication, sample (image)

– CONCLUSION –
Agility is key i.e. stay in front of issues (not “head in sand”), being proactive and acknowledge outreach. The proper use of the appropriate Quality Tools will go a long way to ensure that effective communication is given to all the relevant segments!

– AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION / INTERACTIVE –
Invite attendees to share how they are addressing the Communication component with: Customers, Stakeholders, Management, Executive Leadership

– Q & A –

 

ASQ ITEA Judge!!!

My application to be a judge for the 2016-2017 ASQ International Team Excellence Award (ITEA) Preliminary round was accepted!!! I completed all Pre-Work deliverables on Monday.

Wow!!!

The Process involves: 1- Pre-Work (individual on own); 2- On-Site Training (2 days with trainers, other judges).

Pre-work involved reading and doing exercises on the ITEA Process and Criteria. The process reminds me of accreditation processes that I have participated in – learn then apply! Super intimidating to begin with – a lot of material to become familiar with and then the reminder that teams are depending on my contribution and participation.

Now that I have completed the Pre-Work, the process and expectations are clearer. This is a HUGE responsibility I have signed up to undertake (the hugeness of the undertaking is making it easier for me to step up and deliver). I am so looking forward to the On-Site training: November 3 & 4, 2016 in Raleigh, NC.

ASQ ITEA Judge…?

Today I am seriously pondering a call to action email received from my ASQ Raleigh Section:

“ASQ is seeking qualified judges for the International Team Excellence Award (ITEA)

About the award: ASQ’s International Team Excellence Award is the world’s premier team recognition program—awarding achievements in improved performance in businesses
of all sizes.

So I or shouldn’t I? Would I be able to do it? Do I have what it takes? I have been thinking about this for over a week. Today is the deadline for submission, so I have to do something – yes/no!

How Things Have Changed…!

One of the ways that I decompress is by watching Brit Comedies. I grew up watching these classics Steptoe & Son, Only Fools & Horses, Dad’s Army, Are You Being Served, Only When I Laugh, Father Ted, Bless Me Father, One Foot in The Grave and so many more…

On deck is a comedy set in the 1970s. There is a scene in which blood was taken – no gloves were worn and a cotton swab was applied to the injection site afterwards. Fast forward to present day, health and safety practices involve the use of very stringent procedures & guidelines. At the very least gloves are mandatory, all the way up to the use of safety suits, safety goggles when it comes to bodily fluids and potentially infectious contagion.

TV programs reflect and are sometimes based on reality. In that moment, I was struck by how far the health prevention field had evolved.

We do, we try, we learn from, we modify-adjust-change AND repeat. 🙂

Leadership (i.e. lack of) & Quality!

Reaching out to Quality brethren on the interweb about a topic I have been pondering for years. Success of any Quality undertaking relies heavily on it…

Much is and has been written about Leadership & Quality (mostly about the lack of leadership). What does “a lack of leadership” mean? Why is this crucial factor <leadership> so elusive within organizations? How can Leadership be realized, be the norm? What factors foster Leadership development, traits, characteristics, culture? Once Leadership has been realized, can it be lost  or how can it be sustained?