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Maset News

Volume 15  June 24, 2002

Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
New Truths on Quality
Top Ten List
Feature Of This Issue
Second Feature Of This Issue


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




This month we are introducing another tool for your use. Quick Change is an intense focused methodology, which quickly identifies process improvement opportunities and moves rapidly toward resolution. It supports process improvement and Six Sigma initiatives by providing an additional approach when root cause and data analysis are not prime factors in a successful effort, but speed to implement is. It is based upon a central concept of empowered teams and process owners working under tight deadlines to produce measurable improvements.

The first Feature Article covers a way of measuring Management Competencies and identifying twelve competencies that you can assess and then it covers how you can develop training and mentoring to work on improving these competencies. I believe you will find it useful.

The second Feature Article reminds us that we do not need to be "Super Heroes". What we do need is to choose certain important things and learn how to do them better than any one else. This article really hones in on focusing your efforts and expertise in limited areas thus becoming very successful as a result of the focus.




  • "Welcome home - nice newsletter - as usual"

  • "Thank you for putting me on your Maset News. I enjoy reading it and am learning a lot of management truth from it. Empowerment is a good example, which I do not have much understanding… "

  • "Thanks for your latest publication; I find them very interesting."

  • "Being able to print your whole newsletter from the e-mail is great since my 'reading' is usually done while waiting for something or at the health club! "

  • "I was interested in your last Maset newsletter and observations about the middle east and hear your impressions that the peoples views are still what I found when I visited that area. I sometimes wonder how we in the general public get the leadership we have - seems our leaders just want to play 'chess' with each other and keep the tensions going."
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  • Welcome to Joe Wexler as a Maset associate. Joe has spent many years in the area of training and Process Improvement. He has developed a new concept that targets quick successes in the area of Quality Improvement called Quick Change.

  • We have included a Success Story on using the Quick Change in a manufacturing start-up environment.

  • Another Success Story utilizing QFD on Computer Notebook Order fulfillment has been added to the Web page.

  • Philip Vaney joins us with 18 years of experience in the area of New Product Introduction and Manufacturing Startup.
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  • If a participant is monopolizing the meeting and you have been able to organize the seating in a U shape, simply stand in front of the participant, within the U, and ask others for their opinions or questions. Apologize for showing your back to the participant each time you do this. He/she will generally get the hint.
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  • Old Truth
    Quality is the Quality Control Department's Responsibility.

  • New Truth
    Improving Quality is Everyone's Responsibility.
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    Key learnings - Ten Qualities of an Effective Leader

    1.   Develops trust through integrity

    2.   Provides/follows a clear vision and defines clear goals

    3.   Creates a learning environment where mistakes are learning opportunities

    4.   Is an effective listener

    5.   Develops and supports open communication

    6.   Involves their subordinates in decision making, problem solving and improvement planning

    7.   Rewards rather than punishes

    8.   Empowers their people through ownership rather than control

    9.   Balances ambition with compassion

    10.   Values inner reflection, original thinking and Creative action

    Created by Intra Resources




    Road MAP to Management Competency

    Eric L. Herzog, Ph.D.

    Knowing the true extent of your managers' abilities may be the most effective key to growing your business and improving your profitability. It's the only sound way to design your training and match it to your corporate goals.

    Learning the extent of your managers' competencies is another thing entirely. Often managers with the knowledge to perform their jobs don't have the skills to direct and motivate their staff to do the same. Usually you can spot this deficiency fairly quickly.

    Or you're surely familiar with the other side of the coin... the manager who gets along, moves along and goes nowhere. It could be months before this one shows up on your radar.

    Now you can find a concise, efficient and cost-effective answer to this problem in the Managerial Assessment of Proficiency - MAP -- approach to learning what you need to know to do your training right.

    Developed by Dr. Scott Parry, founder of Training House, Inc., the MAP competency model is based upon his analysis of a series of major competency studies. He took the information collected by large U.S. corporations such as AT&T, Kodak, Martin Marietta, Ford and the American Management Association and selected 12 competencies common to every study. If you concentrate on only this mighty dozen you will have sound building blocks for managerial effectiveness in your organization.

    Develop a Managerial Performance Benchmark

    With MAP you have the scores of more than 75,000 managers in hundreds of successful corporations to use as your guidelines. This means you have an objectivity nearly impossible to get with other forms of assessment.

    Your managers' mastery of the 12 fundamental competencies is assessed by means of video simulations. In addition, factors like managerial style, personal style and communication style are augmented through a paper and pencil instrument and added to the results.

    Each participant will be scored and given a percentile ranking against others who have previously taken the same test. The MAP assessment is equally applicable to senior managers, middle managers, first level supervisors and professional/technical staff, giving you a far ranging tool to build a comprehensive, relevant and effective training program from the benchmarks MAP establishes.

    Twelve Competencies You Can Assess and Improve...Step by Step

    Competencies are defined as a group of related skills, knowledge and attitudes which correlate with success on the job and which can be improved through training.

    Below are the 12 competencies you can assess and affect using MAP, along with details of the skills involved in each competency and the steps MAP takes to give you a clear picture of how to identify and create plans to fill the gaps.

    Using the MAP competency model, you will have an extremely cost effective and reliable basis for establishing training programs for managerial effectiveness in your organization.

    1. Time Management and Prioritizing

    Ability to manage time, both your own and others'. Includes such skills as: negotiating priorities; exercising self-discipline; controlling interruptions by shaping the behavior of others whose priorities are not your own; being time-effective vs. time-efficient.

    2. Setting Goals and Standards

    Ability to manage activities and projects toward measurable goals and standards, setting these jointly with others so as to develop their understanding and commitment. Includes the following skills: distinguishing among wishes, activities, and quotas; reducing barriers to the goal-setting process; evaluating goals against the major criteria of effective goal setting; using goals to motivate.

    3. Planning and Scheduling Work

    Ability to manage projects (one-time programs) and processes (ongoing work flow) by applying the major tools and techniques of management. Includes the following skills: analyzing complex tasks and breaking them into manageable units; selecting and managing resources appropriate to the tasks; using systems and techniques to plan and schedule the work; setting checkpoints and controls for monitoring progress.

    4. Listening and Organizing

    Ability to understand, organize and analyze what you are hearing so as to decide what to think and do in response to a message. Specifically, includes such skills as: identifying and testing inferences and assumptions; overcoming barriers to effective listening; summarizing and reorganizing a message for recall; withholding judgment that can bias your response to the message.

    5. Giving Clear Information

    Ability to assess a situation, determine the objectives, and give clear, concise, well-organized, convincing messages that will best meet the objective. Includes the following skills: overcoming physical, psychological, and semantic barriers in our interactions with others; keeping on target and avoiding digressions; using persuasion effectively; maintaining a climate of mutual benefit and trust.

    6. Getting Unbiased Information

    Ability to use questions, probes and interviewing techniques to obtain unbiased information and to interpret it appropriately. Includes such skills as: using directive, non-directive, and reflecting questions effectively; employing the funnel technique of questioning; using probes to elicit additional information; recognizing latent and manifest meanings; confirming understanding and obtaining agreement.

    7. Training, Coaching, and Delegating

    Ability to develop people. Includes the following skills: selecting the right people; reaching agreement on plans for action; keeping a balance between input and output; transferring responsibility to the employee; giving feedback effectively; providing appropriate rewards.

    8. Appraising People and Rewards

    Ability to carry out a constructive performance appraisal involving joint evaluation of past performance, agreement on future expectations, and development of a plan to see that these expectations are met. Also, the ability to give effective feedback on an ongoing basis.

    9. Disciplining and Counseling

    Ability to provide counseling and discipline in a positive manner . . . to restore employee's performance to within the accepted standards or norms without loss of face (respect, trust) on anyone's part . . . to get the employee to accept responsibility for correcting the deviation within agreed-upon time frame . . . and to reinforce the employee for improved performance (or take the appropriate action if no improvement occurs).

    10. Identifying and Solving Problems

    Ability to identify barriers that keep you from achieving your goals and standards, and apply a systematic set of procedures to eliminate or reduce the causes (root problems). Includes such skills as: distinguishing between symptoms and problems; collecting and weighing evidence relating to causes; and implementing the most appropriate course(s) of action.

    11. Making Decisions, Weighing Risk

    Ability to construct a decision matrix that helps to examine options, identify limits, desirables, and risks to be considered; assign weights to each alternative; and select the best option for meeting the desired goals and standards.

    12. Thinking Clearly and Analytically

    Ability to apply logic and think clearly so as to effectively interpret situations and information before deciding what actions to take. Includes the following skills: identifying valid premises and drawing logical conclusions from them; separating fact from inference and assumption; using inductive and deductive logic effectively; recognizing fallacies, false premises, and generalizations based on insufficient evidence.

    Today, more than even a few weeks ago, it is vital to know the true extent of the abilities of all your managers. With tough decisions ahead, you need capable leaders -- and the ability to identify them reliably -- to help keep your company on a sound track heading into the next uncertain years.

    Now is the time to take advantage of MAP and see for yourself why it is becoming the leading program for reliable and cost-effective assessment of managerial competencies. For more information on Managerial Assessment of Proficiency -- MAP Please contact Maset at


    About the Author - Eric L. Herzog, Ph.D.

    Dr. Herzog has 20+ years of experience as a consultant and educator in structural and operational change, strategic planning, team building, productivity and executive development. Eric's formal education was at Johns Hopkins and the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he received his doctorate. His consulting and training clients include high technology, manufacturing, and distribution companies and the military, retail chains, banks, hospitals, governments, utilities and major oil companies. Eric is the author of many articles, speaks frequently at industry trade conferences, and is day-to-day involved with clients and their needs.





    by Jeffrey J. Mayer

    Recently, I finished reading a very interesting and thought-provoking book about Warren Buffett, "The Essential Buffett" by Robert G. Hagstrom.

    I read it with one goal in mind: What principals does the world's greatest investor use that could apply to people like you and me in our daily business and professional lives?

    The answer was found on page 81. Buffett stated:

    "Investment Success is not a matter of how much you know but how realistically you define what you 'don't' know. An investor needs to do very few things right as long as he avoids big mistakes."

    "Producing above-average results," Buffett has learned, "often comes from doing rather ordinary things. The key is to do those ordinary things exceptionally well. "

    The more I pondered these profound words, I came to the conclusion that life, and business, 'really' isn't that complicated.

    ...IF you're able to get the important things done each day.

    Most of us are so busy trying to get everything done, that we don't get much of anything done. Yes, we're busy. But that doesn't mean we're productive.

    As Buffett says, if you dot the I's and cross the T's - and do the ordinary things exceptionally well - you'll become a huge success.

    So let me ask you six questions:

    1. How many unfinished tasks do you have sitting in piles on top of your desk?

    2. How many proposals are laying there awaiting your attention?

    3. How many prospects called, left a message or voice mail, and you haven't gotten back to them?

    4. How many prospects sent you an e-mail and you haven't replied?

    5. How many prospects completed some sort of response or bingo card and you haven't followed up on the opportunity?

    6. How much money is sitting there on the table, and all you've got to do is pick it up, if only you did the ordinary things exceptionally well?


    Here are eight strategies that will help you do the ordinary things exceptionally well:

    1. MANAGE YOUR TIME. Do things that have a payoff and add value. Stop spending your time doing things that keep you busy, but don't make your productive.

    2. MAINTAIN A MASTER LIST. You MUST keep a list of everything you need to do. I would suggest you keep it in your contact management program - like ACT!, or in your Palm or Outlook.

    3. REVIEW YOUR MASTER LIST. Review your Master List throughout the day and always ask yourself "What's the most important task that needs to be done?" Don't think about it. DO IT!!!

    4. PLAN FOR TOMORROW. Review your Master List before you go home at the end of the day so you can start thinking and planning for tomorrow. When you come in you'll know exactly what needs to be done.

    5. SCHEDULE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Block out time on your calendar to do your important work. And give yourself more time than you think you'll need. Most of us underestimate the time it takes to work on a project, so give yourself at least 50% more time.

    6. NO INTERRUPTIONS. It's OK to turn off the phone, close the door, and go to work for brief periods of time. The world won't come to an end if you let voice mail answer a few phone calls, and while someone else is answering your calls, you're able to get some work done.

    7. USE YOUR LEAD TIME. Start your projects while you've plenty of lead time. Don't wait until the last minute to begin. Give yourself plenty of time to think and plan.

    8. CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK. Get rid of the clutter on your desk, and in your life. My book "Success Is a Journey" describes my system for transforming a desk that looks like a toxic waste dump into one that resembles the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

    Follow the KISS principal - Keep It Simple... Sweetheart!

    Stay focused. Minimize interruptions. Get the important things done. And you'll quickly discover that, like Warren Buffett, you're able to do those ordinary things exceptionally well.

    Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey Mayer's "Succeeding In Business Newsletter". (Copyright, 2002, Jeffrey J. Mayer, Succeeding In Business, Inc.) To subscribe to Jeff's free newsletter, visit"




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