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.

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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?