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…

Post ASQ ITEA Preliminary Judging Experience…

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.

 

Day 1 On-Site ITEA Criteria training:

We were split up into 4 teams – each team had a mix of new and experienced judges (my team had 7 people). Site Judge (Head Trainer) reviewed the agenda for the 2 days. There was a quiz to determine knowledge of the ITEA Criteria. The feeling of signing up for such a daunting-highly responsible task persisted for the 1st half of the day. There is no way I would be able to do this! I didn’t have a comprehensive insight into what an ITEA Judge would be doing (despite all the copious amount of material the Pre-Work section had entailed). I couldn’t let down the Teams that had submitted their presentations for review & scoring!
Experienced team members were very reassuring, supportive, empathic and instructive in clarifying the ITEA Criteria. By the end of Day 1, I was feeling more confident about my ability to apply the Criteria.
Looking forward to Day 2 when the scoring of actual presentations would begin…

Day 2 Preliminary Judging:

Our team had 2 presentations to score. Teamwork & Communication skills came into play. Ability to work successfully together – open mind, listening to each other, being respectful, speaking up to clarify position, ability to collaborate & arrive at consensus, sharing the load (dividing up Feedback content amongst the team). Time management was also used to ensure that we scored and arrived at the Feedback phase for each presentation, before we left for the day.

My takeaway from the experience:

Renewed confidence in my ability to undertake new & challenging opportunities (doing something completely foreign that I didn’t have any previous reference). Learned and came to appreciate, immersing myself into uncertain, uncomfortable, apprehensive situations (periodically) is a great way to sharpen-test-expand my Toolkit (jolt to a complacent mindset!).
As with any ASQ related activity, this was an invaluable opportunity to meet, collaborate, learn and share with other Quality Practitioners 🙂 – PRICELESS!

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.

Notification: Speaker @ 2017 Lean and Six Sigma Conference!

I received an email today, notifying me that my proposal was accepted to present at the 2017 Lean and Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix, AZ on Feb 27-28, 2016!!!!!!!! Wow!

The title of my presentation is: Selling Lean and Six Sigma (Securing Buy-In). I will start fine tuning my PowerPoint slides in September and aim to submit final version in October. Looking forward to having an interactive lessons learned session with attendees!

I am still on sabbatical (i.e. not working) but my Quality Practitioner activities are very much alive and kicking. My interests are leading to uncharted professional areas. I am getting some invaluable opportunities to stretch my knowledge, skill-sets and tool-kits. So empowering and rewarding to put my brain to use 🙂

ASQ WCQI16 – Arrived in Milwaukee, WI…!

Annual pilgrimage to the ASQ WCQI 2016. Always an opportunity for inspiration, opportunity to reset the Quality-button, meet old and new friends.

Looking forward to a great conference – I will be presenting this year (looking forward to advocating for fellow Quality Practitioners to practice self care in order to better serve our teams and organizations).

Year End Reflection: 2015!

The Underestimated Impact of Perception Vs Reality!

Fast forward 3 years – rose colored glasses jettisoned lol. Growth (self realization) & Lessons Learned abound…

  • Truly appreciate the impact, effect, influence of team dynamics (positive & negatives types).
  • Leadership: an organization’s success is determined – influenced – dictated by the constraints of its leadership!
  • True North aka Hidden Agendas or Uncommunicated Motives: is there a way for me to realize & confirm if these are in existence? If yes, how can I realize these sooner than later lol? Once realized, how to handle – straight on, organization maneuvering (ignoring is not an option). Once handled, what kind of impact would result?
  • The meaning of white (various colored) elephants in the room! It is Vital & Crucial to develop meaningful relationships within organizations. From these, trust develops. Leads to creating “safe zones” where the underlying reasons for conflict, fear & resistance can be identified – revealed – resolved, so that forward momentum can be maintained in the drive to accomplish organization goals and objectives. Ah-Ha moment: Confidence to keep being myself (there is nothing wrong with my care and nurture mindset!).
  • Change is Hard: feeling change 1st hand has proven to be an eye opening experience! This lesson will influence how I undertake facilitation, change management, relationship development activities. It is easy to forget about how people react to change in the drive to make change happen! The successes to be realized from change can be “blinding” to the point that I forget/overlook/not realize that people react to change differently. Proper care must be taken to ensure that teams are carefully prepped for change (process cannot be fast tracked or “short-cutted”). Undue care of people can result in lasting negative impacts to the successes that reside on the other side of change :).

Bring on 2016…

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 :).