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Maset News

Volume 45  December 21, 2004

Introduction
Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
Tips from Our School for Managers
One Liners
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:

Since I know everyone is going to be spending time with family and friends, this will be an abbreviated MASET NEWS. The featured article was written on New Year's Day 2004 but I decided it would be more helpful included it in this issue. The article by James Harrington is titled "BENCHMARKING FOR A NEW YEAR" - Let's emphasize the "u" in quality and discusses what we should all be doing to improve ourselves.

This century is proceeding very quickly. It seems each year is moving faster than the previous one. May the holiday season provide you the opportunity to renew relationships with family, friends and business associates. We wish you all a very healthy, peace-filled and prosperous 2005

We wish you all a very healthy, peace-filled and prosperous 2005

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COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:

  • "Thank you for the newsletters' including articles. I find many of them very useful in my small-size business." - Upstate New York

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NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:

"Tis the season" and we know that everyone is working hard to complete the activities for 2004 and very busy getting ready for their holidays, so we have decided not to add anything new to our website this month, but will be adding many items in the first quarter.

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HELPFUL HINTS FROM FELLOW PRACTITIONERS:

Make sure that all your flip charts, audio visual equipment, translation equipment and room preparation work is completed before the first participant arrives. You don't want to still be busy preparing but should be poised so you can introduce yourself and give your attention to the attendees to get to know them and for them to get to know you prior to the start of the session.

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

Effective communication is not a one-way street. It involves an interaction between the sender and the receiver. The responsibility for this interaction is assumed by both parties. The speaker can solicit feedback and adjust the message accordingly. The listener can summarize what was said for the speaker and continually practice the empathetic process.

Copyright A.E. Schwartz & Associates, all rights reserved
For more information: Charles.Loew@masetllc.com

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

  • When you're right, no one remembers. When you're wrong, no one forgets. And ain't that the truth?

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FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:


BENCHMARKING FOR A NEW YEAR
Let's emphasize the "u" in quality

By James Harrington

We've all heard the phrase; "Quality may begin with 'q,' but it can't start without 'u.'" The thought behind this statement is true: At the heart of any organization's quality effort are personal commitments by all employees to do their very best. This means "u" (you).

As quality professionals, we must set the benchmark for quality. If the rest of the organization shoots for six sigma, we must operate at eight sigma. If the rest of the organization improves at a rate of 15 percent per year, our rate must be 25 percent. Quality professionals must lead the way--not only in the quality of our output, but in our productivity as well.

I'm writing this column on New Year's Eve. It's a great time for all of us to look at what we've accomplished during the past year to see if we're setting the benchmark for our organizations. How much did the quality of your output improve last year? How much more productive are you now than you were 12 months ago? How do you measure both?

If you became a Black Belt last year, that's probably an easy question to answer. But if you're like me and saw nothing new in Black Belt training, how do you assess your improvement? Little things often make a quality person.

  • Do you keep your commitments?
  • Show up to meetings on time?
  • Answer all your e-mail daily?
  • Spend time each week with your mother and father?
  • Attend your daughter's recitals?
  • A quality person is a well-rounded one.

The beginning of each year is a good time to do a post-mortem examination of the chapter of your life that just closed. Sit down and make a list.

  • What did you do wrong and why?
  • What did you learn from it?
  • How are you going to prevent it from happening again?

Be honest with yourself; you don't have to show the list to anyone else. If 10 things don't pop into your head right away, you're just pretending to examine your actions.

Next, make a list of 12 of last year's accomplishments that you're most proud of. Think about each of them.

  • Why are you proud of it?
  • What satisfaction did you get from it?
  • How can you do more of it?

Now ask yourself if the quality of your work is better than it was last year.

  • How is it better?
  • How can you measure it?
  • Do your customers think your quality has improved?
  • By the way, who are your customers? (That subject deserves an entire column to itself.)
  • Do you make better decisions?
  • How do you know your quality has improved?

Ask yourself if you're more productive than you were last year.

  • Can you solve problems faster?
  • Can you handle more assignments in the same amount of time?
  • Do you get assignments done on schedule?

As quality professionals, we all believe in root-cause analysis, continuous improvement and prevention, but how well are we applying these principles to the way we behave? Today, for the first time, I have no unanswered e-mail. All of my phone calls have been returned. I'll be submitting this column ahead of schedule. I even managed to have lunch with my wife and son yesterday. It feels great, but will it last? Real life's hectic pace slows between Christmas and New Year's Day. We have time to do things we know we should be doing all along. But will we continue in that controlled manner when the e-mail starts rolling in during the New Year? Probably not. However, we can learn from last year and prevent the same mistakes from happening again.

Last year I made a set of New Year's resolutions. I kept them all in the right-hand drawer of my desk. This year, let's keep our resolutions in our hearts and minds and live up to them each day. Let's make our lives the benchmark for quality that others in our organizations will want to emulate.

About the author
    H. James Harrington recently retired from his position as COO of Systemcorp, an Internet-software development company. He was formerly a principal at Ernst & Young, where he served as an international quality adviser. Harrington has more than 45 years of experience as a quality professional and is the author of 20 books. E-mail him at jharrington@qualitydigest.com Visit his Web site at www.hjharrington.com.



    Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally appeared in Quality Digest, March 2002, p. 16.

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COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:

  • Future tips from Our School for Managers will include topics in Coaching, Goal Setting, Time Management, Communication, Delegation and many others.
  • Sales and marketing workshops
  • A new workshop - Mentoring for Employee Success
  • GoalCentrix - Driving Effective Plan Execution
  • Online method of conducting an employee satisfaction survey:
  • A new links page to connect you to other sites of interest and value to you

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HOUSEKEEPING:

Removal from receiving MASET NEWS:

If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please reply to this issue and type the words "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Please use the same method if you have a change in your e-mail address. If you would like to add someone to our mailing list, please use e-mail or you may directly add the person to the distribution on our web page.

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Comments about MASET NEWS:

We welcome comments from our readers regarding MASET NEWS, our web site, or inquiries for help to: Charles.Loew@masetllc.com.

Articles, comments and other valuable information from you, our readers will appear in the Readers Comments section.

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

 

MASET NEWS
Copyright © 2000-2004 by MASET, LLC
Six Sigma™ is a Registered Trademark and Service Mark of Motorola, Inc.

can be reproduced by you providing the Copyright information remains on the copy. It may be used by you for limited distribution within your organization and among your friends and associates. It may not be sold or published without prior written authorization and approval by MASET, LLC.

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