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!”

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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 –

 

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Making Peace – Moving Forward!

I’ve been feeling blocked (lack of a more appropriate word) the past few months as it relates to the search for the past few months as it relates to the search for a new Quality role. Hesitating each time it comes to updating CV. Why the hesitation? Severe distaste contemplating undertaking the tedious song and dance that is the present job search process. SIGH!!!

Once one goes through the search experience, now comes the battle for the use and adoption  of Quality methods in order to achieve excellence-realize organization’s strategy (goals & objectives). Alas, therein lies the underlying reasons for hesitation!!! Going through it all only to face the crushing letdown of rejection i.e. What happens if the organization you have been selected to assist does not support what you are bringing to the table (meaning Tool-kit)? Rejection is what it is and it is a very difficult place to recover from.

One of the methods for recovery is taking a break to re-evaluate, reflect, recharge, return to center (highly recommended). My sabbatical period to date has been 8 months – spent pursuing arts & crafts projects (achieved bucket-list of learning how to pottery wheel  – a great way to let go of anal retentive tendencies and go with the flow – literally!!!), professional development activities (speaking-presenting at conferences, meetings, etc.) and hundreds of hours spent in reflection, contemplating and anticipating next steps and how to deal-handle rejection of my Tool-kit.

In a sea of unknown, I am sure that being a Quality Practitioner is a vocation that I LOVE GREATLY!!!. A lot is unknown (next organization) but KNOWN is my passion and core filter of CARE & NURTURE. Which translates into:

  • Doing & contributing my very best;
  • Following-Up and Following-Through!;
  • Guiding and Mentoring along the way.

Therefore, I will take the strength to deal with whatever comes from my core filter: Care & Nurture!

So bring it on – let the Human Element tendencies begin… 🙂

Grass & Blue Skies (Tacoma,WA) ©Modinat2015

Grass & Blue Skies (Tacoma,WA) ©Modinat2015

New Year. Transitioning into Post Sabbatical phase…

I took some much needed time-out to regroup, rejuvenate, reflect, review & rehash lessons learned. This week has been chuck full of professional affirming activities: Women in Data Science meetup, speaking engagement at the local ASQ Raleigh Six Sigma group, Prosci webinar and potential next step opportunity to wrap up the week!

These activities have been nectar to jump starting my post 8-month sabbatical transition 🙂

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To continue the post sabbatical momentum, I am speaking at the 2017 Lean and Six Sigma conference on February 27. Session: M16.  Topic: Selling Lean and Six Sigma (Securing Buy-In). I hope content stimulates robust discussion by the attendees. Looking forward to the opportunity to learn & share!

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2017 is shaping up to be a full-on year on many, many levels. It will be anything but boring/predictable. Bring it on…

Time to Let Go!

The Quality Practitioner spends a lot of time chasing, advocating, championing, guiding, shepherding, seeking buy-in for Quality methods, support, resolution of conflicts, justifiable use of limited & dwindling resources, building a Quality-Team, et al..

The above takes place over a period of time (often times years) and naturally this becomes the norm. The Quality Practitioner out of necessity becomes the sole custodial of the Quality space within the organization.

Then something fantastic happens and if one is not aware can be a devastating set back to the whole endeavor.

The team start to take ownership. This starts manifesting as queries about “why we are doing it this way”, “we should find another way”, et al. Team members begin to make connections (daily work, organization strategy, improvement), take initiative, engage stakeholders, prep & execute deliverables, present status updates, etc.

Care should be taken not to categorize these fledgling steps to process ownership as resistance (which would lead to the Quality Practitioner reacting by using resistance-overcoming facilitation methods which would kill fledgling ownerships dead! This would be disastrous to establishing meaningful organizational relationships.

Note to self: Be on the lookout for the above moments – shifts from resistance to ownership! They can be so subtle that it can be easily overlooked, missed or worse dismissed! Sit back and luxuriate in the moment – rewarding moment that makes up for the long periods of resistance :).

After Water

This post got me thinking about the value of exercising Quality Thinking in all undertakings. If a situation is allowed to fester (unchecked, no intervention, no counter measures, minimal to no risk assessment, etc.), the results can be dire, irreversible, catastrophic, costly, high impact, etc.

A lot of invaluable lessons can be learned from this post…

#CHANGE #ENVIRONMENTALCHANGE #DROUGHT

Longreads

Susie Cagle | Longreads | June 2015 | 21 minutes (5,160 words)

The sun was going down in East Porterville, California, diffusing gold through a thick and creamy fog, as Donna Johnson pulled into the parking lot in front of the Family Dollar.

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Since the valley started running dry, this has become Johnson’s favorite store. The responsibilities were getting overwhelming for the 70-year-old: doctors visits and scans for a shoulder she injured while lifting too-heavy cases of water; a trip to the mechanic to fix the truck door busted by an overeager film crew; a stop at the bank to deposit another generous check that’s still not enough to cover the costs of everything she gives away; a million other small tasks and expenses. But at the Family Dollar she was singularly focused, in her element.

View original post 5,065 more words

Effects of Life Events…!

Grass & Blue Skies (Tacoma,WA) ©Modinat2015
Grass & Blue Skies (Tacoma,WA) ©Modinat2015

Been a chore maintaining the electronic version of this journal!

It has been a lot easier and handier to marshal & journal my thoughts the old fashioned way – via pen and paper :). In my angst of realizing that the past 2 years haven’t been involved with aforementioned pursuits, I forgot that a contributing factor to the disruption of my routine, is that I have been in the midst of 2 simultaneous life events.

  1. Moving across the country with 2 cats to a new unknown environment. To,
  2. Start a new job in a new arena/sector.

It is no wonder that the same cadence utilized for my professional and creative pursuits was disrupted/interrupted.

Easy to get lost in trying to re-establish a new cadence to my various activities, as a result,  lose sight of accomplishments that have occurred. Achieved ASQ Six Sigma Black belt level certification in October 2013. The activities and preparations that preceded this major professional accomplishment are all a blur now looking back :). It is a wonder I kept my wits about me to get this done!!!

The effects of these life events on the rest of everything else were underestimated and unexpected :). Good grounding and learning experiences however. Personal exposure to change enables me to have a more sensitive approach during change management initiatives. Realization that contributing factors to change can sometimes be not as apparent, visible (in fact be underlying and not as easily accessible to help switch the change dial). Time and due diligence, using emotional intelligence especially where people are involved would help to uncover and resolve any inhibiting factors to change!

Year End Reflection: 2014!

The PACE of the private sector versus public sector and the challenge of adjusting.

Pace = the rate at which decisions, initiatives, projects, actions, goals, objectives are accomplished.

Come from a background driven customer requirements, needs, voice; shareholder expectations; quarterly, semi-annual, annual goals (strategy); market-share; competition (within & without the organization); 24/7 global multicultural environment; deadline driven. Palpable sense of urgency to get things done (do them right the first time – there might not be a second opportunity to get it right!).

New environment has a slower rhythm. Very palpable lack of urgency – the cause for my challenge. I was still operating on a corporate global driven cadence. Translates into how I conducted meetings, facilitated teams, managed projects & stakeholders. Conflict naturally arose – feedback of “We are not Google / Amazon!” in response to me pointing out lackluster attempts of executing strategic plans.

Lots of lessons learned – I have to adjust my cadence to match the pace of the organization. Failure to accomplish this would result in frustration, being excluded / marginalized, becoming a “squeaky wheel” – which would impact the value I am trying to bring to the organization (throw baby out with bath water comes to mind 🙂 ). I will use this Ah-Ha to better evaluate future opportunities – is this the right environment for me? Can I adjust my pace? Does the Culture of the Organization support what I have been hired to do? Would I be able to adapt & adjust to this new environment in order to successfully accomplish goals & achieve success?