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Maset News

Volume 62  June 23, 2006

Introduction
Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Tips for New Employee Integration
Tips from Our School for Managers
One Liners
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue
Third Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Housekeeping

INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers

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MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:

The new one-day Creating Customer Satisfaction course has been added to our web site and is available for immediate delivery. As the result of this course, the participants learn how to identify their customers both internal and external, and how to uncover their customers' requirements, their own organization's value proposition to customer, and how to satisfy, and even exceed their customers' expectations.


Andrew E. Schwartz has been contributing the "Tips from Our School for Managers" to the Maset News since October 2004. We have been adding a number of Andrew's courses to the Maset offerings and this month we have included an additional six new workshops. Andrew is an excellent instructor and all his courses can be found on our web site under the Training and Workshop tab in the sub section titled Management Training. These workshops can be customized and are available in varying formats and lengths. Contact us for further information and scheduling any of these workshops at your site.


Our feature article this month is titled "Managing Change" by Kathy Fitzgerald, the champion on a major effort that we began in 2004 at The Sage Colleges in the Tri-Cities area of New York State. Even though the work is taking place at a college which is a different type of institution than a for profit business, the tools, methods and results that were obtained at Sage are just as easily obtained in any organization in any industry.

A significant sentence from this article - "Change was slow and although it was clear, there were many programs and services, which required re-engineering, historical precedent and inertia stood in the way of growth and sustainability" might well apply to your organization. Contact us if you are interested in changing this attitude and creating a new environment where "Change has become the norm" and everyone in your organization wants to improve.


Our second article this month, very short and powerful, is titled "Partner Power" by Ron Kaufman, Please read it and try what Ron suggests.


Our third feature article is by Jim Bracher, the author of Integrity Matters Broadcasts. This month's title, "Values and Relationships" discusses where each of us obtains our values and how we use these values to build our relationships with all the people we interact with in both our personal and professional lives.

In my opinion we all are in a very precarious point in our civilized world and seem to be losing the values that in the past have made this world a wonderful place in which to live. Hopefully this article will help some of us review our values and relationships and develop a significant change for the better. I look forward to your feedback.


COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:

"I just wanted to compliment you on how nice a job you (or whoever) does on your newsletter. The graphics, layout, and content are very attractive and professional." - Illinois

"We missed the May edition of the Maset News. Did the internet monster eat it?" - Washington.

We apologize that we missed the May issue. The internet monster did not eat the issue. We did not generate one. - Charles J. Loew

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NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:

  • New courses on our website listed under Training and Workshop tab:
  • "Creating Customer Satisfaction", an excellent course to help focus your employees' efforts towards their direct Customers.
  • Andrew E. Schwartz, the founder of our School for Managers, has added six courses including "Goal Setting","Motivation", "Delegation", "Communication Skills", "Coaching Excellence" and "The Advanced School for Managers".

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Tips for New Employee Integration
Provided by Orientation Passport

TIP 27: Integration: Tools to Make Them Part of the Team
Don't design your orientation where several people come in and speak while the new hires just sit. Take them on a tour of the facility. While walking, stop at those people's location and have them brief the new hires on the spot.

TIP 28: Celebrate the New Hire Joining Your Organization
At the end of the first week on the job, set up an opportunity for members of the work team to go out to lunch together with the new employee.

Visit the Products and Services describing the Orientation Passport

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Tips from Our School for Managers
- by Andrew E. Schwartz

TIPS TO ASSIST YOU IN TIME MANAGEMENT and SETTING PRIORITIES:

Remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of the value is accounted for by 20% of the items, while only 20% of the value is accounted for by 80% of the items. Learn to concentrate on your high value 20% activities. -- Set at least one major objective each day and form the habit of achieving it - every day. -- When conditions change be sure to change your objectives if necessary. As objectives are achieved, do not forget to set new objectives. -- You are never finished clarifying your objectives until you have determined the relative priority of each one.

Contact us for help at Charles.Loew@masetllc.com.

Copyright A.E. Schwartz & Associates, all rights reserved

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ONE LINERS - "To make you think and/or smile"

  • I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.
  • Good things will come to you in due time.

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FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:


Managing Change

By Kathy Fitzgerald

Like many small comprehensive colleges, The Sage Colleges had sustained itself on a solid reputation in the community and strong operational leadership. Change was slow and although it was clear, there were many programs and services, which required re-engineering, historical precedent and inertia stood in the way of growth and sustainability.

Internally seen by the community as "complicated," Sage operates as an independent, comprehensive university (Master's II) comprised of three independent, degree-granting Colleges: Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, Sage Graduate School, and Sage College of Albany, originally established as a co-ed division in 1949. With the formal Sage College of Albany created in 2000 by merging Sage Junior College of Albany and Sage Evening College.

Russell Sage College (RSC) is a four-year, comprehensive college for women. Sage College of Albany (SCA) is an undergraduate college of applied studies and Sage Graduate School offers a range of master's degrees, certificates of study and one professional doctorate (with two more in the New York State Education Department (NYSED) approval process).

Several challenges added to a disconnect among the three entities including financial and operational challenges in providing continuity of service on campuses in two urban cities divided by the Hudson River.

From a student services perspective in particular, the college was at a distinct competitive disadvantage. Faculty, staff and students struggled with inconsistencies in policy, complicated processes, and anecdotal procedures. Management was skeptical of reporting due to a perceived lack of data integrity, and planning suffered without access to solid research or reliable analysis of historical trends. Students stood in registration lines that wrapped around the buildings and there were no online registration or advising tools, which are standard at most universities today.

Managing change was the greatest challenge for the institution until Sage engaged Charles J. Loew, President of Maset LLC and his associates to launch a process mapping initiative that would address the most central services to student registration. Based on Motorola's formal Cross-Functional Process Mapping methodologies, Sage engaged in an 18-month-long journey that delivered Cycle Time Reduction -- shortening the entire registration process, while delivering improved accuracy, efficiency and satisfaction.

Registration, for the purposes of this initiative, was defined from the point of depositing an enrollment fee through advising, transcript evaluation, course registration, and grade receipt, and up to the point of re-registering for the following year. Thirty-five Sage representatives, including front-line student service reps., admission directors, faculty members, financial aid specialists, administrative assistants and deans committed to the process. Initial expectations included: move to an online registration process and advising tools; streamline and increase consistency of registration processes, decrease student frustration, improve inter-departmental and student communication and improved data integrity.

The first weeklong mapping session covered the "As Is" portion of Sage's existing processes. Four long walls filled with a painstakingly laid out "map" of scenarios a student might take through the process were flagged with nearly 500 "issues/challenges/inefficiencies" that detracted from a positive student experience. From this list, 48 Action Items were identified and each of the hundreds of issues was attached to the most appropriate solution/action item.

A second weeklong meeting mapped out Sage as it "Should Be". This "Should Be" map became the locus of change for the next 18 months. A Presidential mandate solidified the College's commitment and empowered the Mapping Team.

Empowered and informed, each member of the mapping team took at least one action item and established sub-teams of up to six members. Recommendations came back to the general group and once endorsed, were implemented. Monthly one-day meetings monitored progress and broke down barriers as they were encountered.

The results were staggering. In the course of 18-months, measurable and dramatic change included student-oriented improvements such as the launch of online registration, to the publishing of a first-ever multi-year schedule. Rapid advances were also made in transcript evaluation at the point of admission, online advising tools and grading, and availability of e-commerce for everything from enrollment deposits to parking permits.

A sustained cultural change is reflected in the way challenges are now viewed at Sage. The "way we have always done it" no longer suffices. Employees at the entry level challenge historical precedent and are empowered and encouraged to recommend improvements. Starting with admission, importation of inquiry names, SATs and applications has saved more than 1,000 hours in the annual process, ensuring a more efficient response to student requests. Transfer credits are now entered for all students at the point of admission improving the quality of advising, increasing yield, and facilitating students through the registration process. An automated "wait list management system" has increased efficiency and parity of student access to high interest classes and superfluous signatures from several offices have been paired down based on "need to approve" or simply "need to know."

Today, Sage has an entirely new spoken nomenclature and a swift and nimble approach to problem solving. Issues that have stood in the way of improving student service are mapped, barriers are identified, and recommendations for the way it "Should Be" are quantified.

Two additional follow on projects have been started using the same methodology and the Sage Colleges expect them to be equally as successful.

Change has become the norm.

Miss Kathy Fitzgerald is the VP for Marketing & Enrollment Management at The Sage Colleges in the tri cities area of New York


SECOND FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:


PARTNER POWER
"We need you."

By Ron Kaufman

It is traditional to greet new staff with words like "Welcome aboard." For added impact, add three more words: "We need you."

S.Y. heard about this at leadership training and tried it with the next person he met who was new to his organization.

"Welcome aboard," he said. "We need you."

The effect was immediate. "I said those few extra words and could feel a difference in this person right away. He could see the importance we gave him and his drive increased on his very first day. These simple words are boosting and do make a difference."

Try it with the next "new person" you meet:

"Welcome aboard. We need you."

Key Learning Point: The way you say whatever you say can have a big impact on your company culture, colleagues and customers.

Action Steps: Try this now: Say "YES" and see how you feel. A bit more energy? A pulse of possibilities? Ready to take some action? Now say "NO". How do you feel? Everything stops, cold. (Go ahead, try it.)

Consider the words and phrases you use with customers, colleagues, family members, and friends. Do they lift you up or let you down? Turn people on, or turn them off? Observe closely, listen carefully, and then choose your language wisely.

Copyright, 2004, Ron Kaufman. All rights reserved.

Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service, and the author of the best-selling "UP Your Service!" books and the award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Best of Active Learning!" Visit http://www.RonKaufman.com

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THIRD FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:


Values and Relationships

By James F. Bracher

Question:

In your weekly newspaper column, you offer responses to integrity questions. Where do get your answers? How do you know what is ethical? On what basis do you select the values that support your position? How do your columns reflect your philosophy? I read that you were a clergyman; does that mean you have a Christian bias?

Response:

My answers and responses come out of the clarity and confidence that emerge from the single most important human relationship possible: a marriage partner. One way to describe how this connection to values and insight works for me is to talk about a movie that means a great deal to my wife, Jane, and me: A Beautiful Mind.

In 2002, former television child-star, Ron Howard, directed the Academy Award-winning film A Beautiful Mind. Actor Russell Crowe portrays the mathematical and economic genius, the professor from Princeton University, a recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize, Dr. John Nash. The story of his life was the basis for the film. In addition to Russell Crowe, who played John Nash, Jennifer Connelly played his loyal and dedicated wife, Alicia. Whatever else the movie presented, the power of unconditional love was the cradle for the messages offered.

Dr. Nash received the shared Economics Nobel Prize in 1994 for his mathematical discoveries and contributions to "the pioneering analysis of equilibrium in the theory of non-cooperative games", which has impacted 20th Century business and economic activity. Most important of all, John Nash remembered when he won the Nobel Prize after decades of struggling with schizophrenia, the most serious and debilitating of the mental illnesses, that it was his wife's understanding and support that provided him with a context, connection and clarity.

Dr. Nash described himself as a person of circumstances who has been fortunate enough to tell his story through a newspaper article, book and movie. What he also provided via this movie to the current generation was insight related to the power of relationships for healing, and how unconditional love can inspire self-renewal.

What makes this story so moving centers in the words he shared, at least in the film version of his life, upon receiving the Nobel Prize at the awards ceremony in Sweden, December 1994.

Dr. Nash, as portrayed by Russell Crowe, summarized his values, insights and his efforts to build and then rebuild his life with and through the integrity-centered behaviors of his wife, Alicia, uttering these 101 words:

I have always believed in numbers, in the equations and logics that lead to reason. And, after a lifetime of such pursuits, I ask: what truly is logic? Who decides reason?

My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional and back. And I have made the most important discovery of my career; the most important discovery of my life.

It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found.

I am only here tonight because of you. [Referring obviously to his wife, Alicia]

You are the reason I am. You are all my reasons.

Thank You.

These 101 words, when recast through my own experience, help me to form the basis for increasing the knowledge and awareness essential for restoring trust in society, rebuilding faith in institutions and guiding integrity-centered leadership.

Perhaps you will be challenged to utilize this same process for enhancing ways your thoughts and actions can provide for you the answers and direction required in these complex times. Here is my response to how my life and work have unfolded. My words run parallel to what Dr. Nash said when acknowledging the Nobel Prize. His response served as a template:

I have always believed in the potential of the individual, in the capacity of human beings to achieve and contribute. During decades of encouraging integrity-centered actions, for people to be the best they can be, I ask, what is integrity? Who decides which values support appropriate behaviors?

My quest has taken me through theology, teaching, pastoral care, preaching, leadership counseling and now writing. And, I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life.

It is only in the mysterious equations of interpersonal connection, mutual respect and unconditional love that an integrity-centered life is possible. Restoring trust and confidence in the leadership of any society, regionally or globally, rests upon legitimate interpersonal relationships.

The credit given to me regarding my constructive impact upon the lives of others was made possible because of the unconditional love provided to me by my wife, Jane, who is my best friend, role model and mentor. Her integrity is the source for any trust-restoring leadership counsel that I am able to provide. Indeed, I am fortunate.

The basis of integrity-centered leadership is connection, context and value-clarity. Strong marriages exude this connectedness. Family units understand it and live it. Parents who look with pride, with feelings of accomplishment, upon their child-rearing efforts understand how these multiple dimensions of relationship secure the present and prepare the next generation for the future.

Yes, this movie has a message. Powerful as its story is about a brilliant professor, it is even more about the wife. Perhaps A Beautiful Mind might be re-titled A Magnificent Marriage of Partnership, Perseverance and Unconditional Love. Truly, the husband becomes more and is better because of the right wife. Hopefully the wife says the same thing. Yet, who among us is not better because of the best of those whom we call friend and ally?

Perhaps the most powerful summary of important relationships can be presented in the following words about friendship. This poem stands as a centering point for our marriage in that it is a reminder that we are better because of the love and acceptance of friends (marriage partners):

Friendship

I love you not only for what you are, but
for what I am when I am with you. I love you
not only for what you have made of yourself,
but for what you are making of me. I love you
for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my
heaped-up heart, and passing over all the
foolish and frivolous and weak things which
you cannot help dimly seeing there, and for
drawing out into the light all the beautiful,
radiant belongings, that no one else had looked
quite far enough to find.

I love you for ignoring the possibilities of
the fool and weakling in me, and for laying
firm hold on the possibilities of good in me. I
love you for closing your eyes to the discords
in me, and for adding to the music in me by
worshipful listening.

I love you because you are helping me to
make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but
a Temple, and of the words of my every day
not a reproach but a song.

I love you because you have done more
than any creed could have done to make me
good, and more than any fate could have done
to make me happy. You have done it just by
being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a
friend means after all.

Author unknown -

Friendship depends upon substantive connections, and is built upon integrity and holds together relationships while guiding the proper execution of responsibilities. From friendship come confidence, courage and commitment. Upon these three characteristics, one can build a life of meaning and impact.

Published for Jim Bracher's Integrity Matters newspaper column on October 1, 2003.

James F. Bracher is the Founder of Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership - www.brachercenter.com

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COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:

  • Many more "Tips for New Employee Integration"
  • Future tips from "Our School for Managers" will include topics in coaching, goal setting, time management, communication, delegation, and others.
  • Additional Products and Service on implementation of Lean
  • Additional articles on Cross Functional Process Mapping

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Comments about MASET NEWS:

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We reserve the right to determine what will be published, but will endeavor to publish everything that is sent to us.

 

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