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Thursday, August 1, 2013

30 Finish and Implement Your Action Plan

We last addressed your leadership action plan at the end of the review of lectures 11-16. If you are a diligent student you have been very busy working on the actions you defined for yourself up to that point. That is why you have not been asked to update your plan as you studied lectures 17 – 29. Now it is time to go back to your plan.
First, conduct an assessment of how well you are doing implementing your action plan. Are you making reasonable progress on every item? If so, you deserve a pat on the back. Are there planed actions that you have found difficult to implement? If there are, go back to the lecture that gave rise to the difficult actions and review the lecture to see if you are missing anything in your implementation efforts. Are there any actions you have dropped? Reevaluate your reasons for dropping these actions. It may be that you just deferred some actions to put more effort on others. It may be time to pick such actions up again. It may be that you decided you didn’t really need to work on some actions. Think again about these actions and see if you made wise decisions. After asking and answering these questions assess whether you are ready to implement more actions or if you need to continue on your current plan for a while. If you conclude you need to work on your current plan longer before adding more actions then schedule a time when you believe you will be ready to add more actions and put it on your calendar.
Now you are ready to continue to build your plan. Finish your plan now even if you aren’t going to work on new actions for some time. Finishing your plan now helps ingrain what you have recently studied. It is also easier to do when the material in the final lectures is fresh in your mind. A list of 21 questions relating to the material in lectures 17-29 follows to guide you in finishing your plan:
1.     Does your organization compete on a national or global basis?
2.     If so, have you committed to developing an organization with the skills and experience to prevail in competition at this level?
3.     Are your recruiting and training processes robust enough to build the quality of organization you need?
4.     Do you know if your worker’s strengths are well matched to their jobs and if you do, are they?
5.     Are you developing your successor?
6.     Are you managing your time effectively with time allocated for the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your life?
7.     Are you scheduling your time by the week and following your schedules?
8.     Are you dictating instead of typing where it makes sense?
9.     Are you being effective with people and efficient with other work processes?
10.  Have you learned to listen empathically to your workers, your boss, your family?
11.  Have you structured your organization’s meetings so that you have effective communications with your workers without wasting their time?
12.  Have you organized the work in your organization so that you do not have highly paid workers doing work that could be done just as well by lower skilled and lower paid workers?
13.  Are you managing risks effectively using sound risk management methods in all your organization’s work?
14.  Have you read Goldratt’s books on Theory of Constraints and reviewed your organization’s major processes to ensure the theory isn’t being violated?
15.  Have you committed to self-study of statistical process control or to attending a training course?
16.  Have you committed to training all of your workers in process improvement techniques? (If you are already doing Six Sigma only selected employees need to be fully trained.)
17.  Have you committed to yourself to empower your workers to control and improve their own processes once they have been properly trained? (Be careful with this if your process improvement strategy is Six Sigma and you are training only part of your workers.)
18.  Have you begun continuous process improvement in your organization?
19.  Are you practicing how to think statistically?
20.  Have you stopped asking for explanations of common cause variation in processes in your organization?
21.  Have you stopped inventing explanations for common cause variation in required reporting to your superiors?
By the time you have finished reviewing these questions and adding to your leadership action plan as indicated by your answers you should have a comprehensive plan. It is likely to take several years to fully implement your plan, depending on the state of your management maturity and your organization’s maturity. This is a lot of work but it is well worth it. If you are working in a stable environment and in a culture that allows you to implement your plan you will achieve an organization that is 20 to 30% more effective than when you started. You will be better able to prevail in today’s highly competitive and stressful work environment. You and your workers will be spending less time on crisis management and more time doing high quality work. You will have the time to effectively lead your organization in achieving strategic objectives rather than having to divert time to resolve daily crises. Nearly all will be enjoying their jobs more.
Get busy on your plan and make it work.
If you have completed the study of each posted lecture you may wish to have a hard or electronic copy of this material close at hand. You can buy the book “The Manager’s Guide for Effective Leadership” in hard copy or for Kindle at:
or hard copy or for nook at:
or hard copy or E-book at:



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