Accelerate

This is a post for all the Guiding Coalition alumni.

I’m pleased to announce the launch of John Kotter’s newest book, Accelerate.

Accelerate is our book.  It tells our story.

This is a book about pioneers, for pioneers.” – John Kotter, Accelerate

That is the first line of the book and it says a lot.  In Accelerate, John Kotter shares with the world the pioneering work you’ve done over the last eight years.  In 2010, when he visited our Guiding Coalition, Dr. Kotter said, “The world needs to see this.”  Well, now they can.

The content of the book won’t be a new journey for you, but rather a fond welcome home to the habits you long ago learned and perfected.  In the fond welcome home there are glimpses of a good friend many haven’t seen in a long time.  In the preface, Dr. Kotter thanks Dennis Goin.  You’ll catch reflections of Dennis throughout the text.

I remember vividly the day many years ago when Dennis stopped by my office, sat down quickly, and eyes big and joyful announced that soon he would meet Dr. Kotter and potentially partner with him.  I’m overjoyed to see what success they made of their partnership.  Accelerate should lead to a rethinking of modern organizations, and for that we will all be better off.

I confess; I’m impatiently waiting for more of you to read the book so we can compare our impressions.  My impatience led me to get the Kindle version (only $11.99) so I could read it immediately.  Why not buy it now too?  Because the message will be so wonderfully familiar, you’ll quickly devour the book.

You created positive changes in the Guiding Coalition.  You led when others thought the tasks impossible.  You spread happiness, hope, and joy.

You should be proud of the fact that you’ve helped shape a book that should help reshape the world.  You truly are pioneers.

Believe it, and keep driving your changes. Why not try

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Barriers to Collaboration

What stops someone from collaborating with someone else these days?

Is it physical barriers like locked doors and barred windows, disconnected phone lines or lost internet connections?

Or is it most often a barrier lurking between your ears?

You didn’t call the other person before you sent them a tasking because you say,  “That’s not how it is done.”

Your boss didn’t introduce you to the person who could have helped your project weeks ago because he says, “You didn’t ask.”

Your team lost months repeating the mistakes the last team made because according to that last team’s leader, “When I called to offer help you didn’t return my calls.”

We talk ourselves into believing we’re cut off from others by forces outside our control.  We’re not.

We’re cut off from others because we choose to be.  We can choose to be connected instead.

Drag down the barriers to collaboration.

Set yourself free.

It’s as easy as changing your mind.

—————————-

p.s. Tomorrow we rap up another strong Guiding Coalition year.  The 2012 Guiding Coalition has my unending thanks for taking a fantastic network model that truly drags down (and even eliminates) barriers to collaboration and turning it into win after win after win.  Great job everyone.  You should be proud of all you’ve accomplished.  I’m honored to work with you and call you friends.

 

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Celebrating an exciting, better future

I read a story today that touched me.  It read:

After World War II, a group of humanitarians placed orphan boys in tent cities to care for them.  Though they were well cared for, the boys would wake up at night with nightmares.  A psychiatrist surmised that their fear was because they had such an uncertain future.

He decided to feed the boys a big meal each night then give them each a piece of bread.  He instructed them to hold the bread in their hands so it could be their breakfast.  Somehow just holding in their hands a piece of bread helped them sleep all night.

In our large organizations, the bread in our hands is our belief in an exciting, better future.  We create and offer that bread to others through our willingness to step forward and lead transformations that we and others can choose for ourselves.  The Gallup organization found that if employees say they have hope in the future then 70% were engaged with their work.  In contrast, only 1% were engaged with their work if they didn’t have hope.

In our Guiding Coalition, we transform our organization.  We get to make it better together.  From that purpose, our efforts spring forth success after success. We spread hope in a better future.

On Friday, two teams will share how they are spreading into our organization in small and significant ways their version of hope in the future.  I can hardly wait to announce the team leaders and welcome them to share their stories.

Years ago, other teams gave the same type of presentation.  You can watch their passion for transforming the organization spill forth in videos at this link.  You can start with this one.

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On video

Check out this link at Vimeo to see a video of the first five minutes of my presentation at the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization (TOCICO) conference in New York in June.

I hope the five minute tease will be enough to motivate you to buy the DVD with the full one hour presentation or buy access to the video at TOCTV.

For those readers at PSNS & IMF, I have a copy of the video. Just e-mail me at work to arrange a viewing.

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Starting fresh

It’s always wonderful to watch a group of people passionate about making their organization better come together to choose the course for their change.

Today was that day for my local Guiding Coalition, our annual off-site event.

Now, pointed toward their new course, they can begin to create the changes they want to see.

The soap box presentations that I mentioned last week went wonderfully well, adding heart to the conversation.

The participants were excited and engaged, regularly mentioning their passion for their work and their commitment to the future vision.

All-in-all, it was a lovely day.

Now the work can begin.

I’m so excited to watch them start fresh.

No one knows now what they’ll accomplish during the next year, but I bet it will be a pile of wonderous, marvelous wins.

2012 Guiding Coalition: Let’s get started.

If you can’t participate in our Guiding Coalition, then what can you do with your change?

If you’re feeling stagnant and frustrated, try bringing your remaining passionate people together, assisting them as they plot a new course, and help them start again toward the change.

There is a magic surrounding beginning a new journey, even if it is really just an extension of one you’ve already been on.

Why not try?

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Guiding Coalition Alumni Success

People driving change accomplish a lot but often receive little personal acclaim for their work.

Tonight, the acclaim was monumental.

It was my honor to be among a group of six Guiding Coalition alumni recognized as Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty.  These six were recognized for much more than just their Guiding Coalition work, but notably all were members of and leaders in the Guiding Coalition movement at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.

Congratulations to Jenna McGrath, Chelsea Grace, Lisa Foster, Maria Finch and Brett Anderson, members of the 2010 KPBJ 40 Under Forty.  You’re making a difference in your community.  You’re truly driving change!

Thanks as well to all the Guiding Coalition Support Team members in attendance at tonight’s recognition ceremony.  It’s your commitment to our work that makes all the difference!

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Ending and Beginning Again

Tomorrow we wrap up an 18-month run of a 36 member Guiding Coalition.  I’m in a state of contented bliss.  In my work, I watch people drive successful change and I watch them learn how to drive change anywhere in their lives.  It has been an honor to work with all of them, watch them grow, and grow with them.  You know, without them I wouldn’t have started this blog.

Want to know who they are and what they’re working on?  You can check out the link to videos of their mid-term presentations that I posted in April.  Since the presentations were taped in February, the teams have continued to work hard accomplishing either total wins or huge strides toward the win in all 36 of 36 attempts.

Tomorrow we’ll celebrate their wins and hear about the lessons they’ve learned in leadership and driving change. Then we’ll call their work complete.

Recently, I read that ownership is the demonstration of a set of behaviors of personal responsibility.  When someone is exhibiting ownership they will have a passion for their work, express enthusiasm on-the-job, drive for continuous improvement, learn from their mistakes and set the example.  For 18 months, these 36 people have set the example for how you should behave if you believe you own the future and must drive change to get there.

Congratulations to the members of the 2010 Guiding Coalition for all you’ve accomplished.

You’ve truly driven change and I am tremendously grateful.

We start all over again on October 1 when a new group of 36 becomes the next Guiding Coalition.  They’ll have the shoulders of giants to stand on, building on the 2010 Guiding Coalition.  Just imagine what we’ll accomplish in 2011.  I can hardly wait!

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Their stories

This blog is filled with my stories, but today I had the opportunity to post two other people’s stories about working with our Guiding Coalition.  We’re now taking applications for our next cycle and I’d asked them to share what they’ve learned, experienced and gained from their time with the Guiding Coalition.  Cheerfully, as I can’t seem to figure out how to cross link to comments on Facebook, here are their stories copied and re-posted:

Mike’s story:

I applied for the Guiding Coalition for several reasons. The first reason is because the job I have is a direct result of a guiding coalition initiative. I wanted to know more about the group that provided me this opportunity. In addition, I felt I needed an outlet from my day job that, at the time, was pretty mundane. Finally, I just wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be a part of something where I could make a positive contribution.

The guiding coalition has stretched and grown me. It’s great to be part of a diverse team where the end product is greater than any one person could have created. We have revitalized IDP’s for the command by creating an instruction, forms, and training. But what really jazzes me is all of the intangible results. Somewhere at PSNS&IMF, right now, someone is having a conversation about their career development with their supervisor, mentor, or coach because of what our guiding coalition team did. The value of that conversation to the individual, his/her team, and our command is immeasurable.

Mike Plotts
command.university

Reina’s Story: “More than what you see”

Imagine, my first experience here at PSNS & IMF: new to the Navy command structure having never been exposed to the military before, and new to the field of being an industrial marine electrician helper, learning a new trade. I didn’t come here wearing a uniform with stars and bars. I didn’t have a stripe on my hat. Instead my hat’s glossy sheen gave me away as a newbie.
Being a newbie to PSNS & IMF didn’t mean I was a newbie to life and I felt I had so much more to offer.

The Guiding Coalition gave me an opportunity to share my experiences and my passion, allowing me to use and develop other skills that are not required as a mechanic (especially my creative and emotional self, being that I love to work with people and problem solve).

I have come to love working here…the work is a huge challenge, with the command bursting with opportunity and I am excited to be a part of its growth and development. The Guiding Coalition had provided me a way to use my creative energy to help promote a culture that embraces creativity in fostering new ideas for improvements on the job. It has not always been easy.

My number one priority is my job so I can support my 4 yr old daughter. To be able to do my job, and create a place where I can love my job, is amazing. Don’t let others stop your passion because there are many out there who will support you. Link arms and move forward. My Guiding Coalition work has made me a more productive worker because I am energized and excited about being a part of the organization, not just a number, and I love to take back information and new things to share with my workgroup.

I get to meet like minded people from all levels of the organization and learn different perspectives I would never have been exposed to.

The Guiding Coalition is a mutually beneficial experience. I remember starting out feeling like a deer in the headlights, but the leadership and support team, as well as awesome folks you get to work with, help you grow. Its an amazing experience. I have not only gotten to learn, but also share ideas and even get the ideas implemented. I still don’t have bars and stripes, no uniform, no stripe on my hat. I’m just an average gal wanting to make a difference where I work. The Guiding Coalition is an awesome vehicle for change… Don’t let it pass you by…

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Kotter visit on the News Wire

Kotter and Whitney

This article went out in the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) news wire today:

MAR25-06:  Leadership Icon Visits Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & IMF

From Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash.- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF), a Naval Sea Systems Command field activity, was recognized, March 19, by a prominent leadership scholar as one of only one percent of the world’s organizations working to embrace change and finding success.

The change is a result of PSNS & IMF’s “Guiding Coalition,” a strategic planning model that focuses on developing leaders and sustaining results, supporting the command’s mission as a full-service naval shipyard and maintenance facility for the Navy’s ships.

“This is all about listening, seeking to improve the alignment between words and actions, and always striving for excellence,” said Capt. Mark Whitney, PSNS & IMF commander.
“Our efforts are focused on allowing our folks to continuously develop themselves, to connect with and be ready for the future work force, and improve the daily work environment around them. And we are!”

“Only 15 percent of all organizations are really trying to understand how to live with and respond to the rate of change.  Of the organizations, 15 percent are trying to move in a direction that they know works, 14 of the 15 percent are struggling because of the culture or environment that drives them.  Only 1 percent of the organizations in the world are making progress; they are doing what you all are doing,” said John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor and creator of the Guiding Coalition concept, during a recent visit to the shipyard.

According to Kotter, his model shows that “a strong Guiding Coalition [committee] is always needed-one with the right composition, level of trust and shared objective.  Building such a team is always an essential part of the early stages of any effort to restructure.”

PSNS & IMF is continuously looking for ways to streamline its processes and how its most valuable asset, its people, is utilized.

In the last four years, the command’s Guiding Coalition committee has formed a Command University through expanded investments in training; created a Diversity Council; and improved cafeterias, facilities, communications and more.  These initiatives use established methods to develop systems and processes to conduct training, education, optimizing personnel and equipment resources.  This enables PSNS & IMF to attract new employees and maintain the excellence of their current work force.

“For someone who roams around the world and has hundreds of companies, universities and the government, there are some things going on [at PSNS & IMF] that are on the leading edge,” Kotter said. “If you don’t know about them, you’ve got to figure it out; find it. And, if you have been involved, you can pat yourself on the back.”

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