Habits: A Key to Sustainable Change

Written by: David McClaskey

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As we seek sustainable change, both at home and in the workplace, habits play a key role in making change permanent. Learning the principles behind habits and how habits can be modified to be more beneficial will improve your ability to manage and lead an organization towards operational excellence.

One of the topics that Pal’s BEI teaches in its “Achieving World-Class Results” class (www.palsbei.com) is the key to sustainability, which is: make doing the right things a habit. One of the ways we illustrate this during the class is by describing Pal’s Sudden Service’s training process that results in employees being certified only when they have the habit of doing the job 100% correctly.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, by Charles Duhigg, outlines the scientific research that underlies how habits are formed and how they can be changed.

Two key points from Duhigg’s book related to habits are: Continue reading

Don’t Just Hire: Make them a Team Member

Written by: David McClaskey

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Several things I have read recently noted people have a strong need to be a member of a group or team.

Meeting this basic human need of wanting to be a valued member of a team can supercharge your hiring and on-boarding process. This led me to think: Is joining a company or organization like joining a team? It is. Because what is a team but a group of people working for the same goals? A company is the exact same thing. Whether you work at a hospital or a manufacturing plant or a fast food restaurant, by joining that company you are working to meet the same ends as your coworkers and the company’s. You are an essential part of the team. Continue reading

The Power of “AND”

Written by: David McClaskey

Sustained excellence is based on a few principles well applied. As is my habit, I do a lot of reading and studying of business related books and articles. I find it to be thrilling when I discover that respected authors’ profound thoughts align with each other and with the practices of Pal’s Sudden Service (Pal’s). It is great seeing the synergy of multiple authors stressing the same underlying concept. In many cases, they each independently came to the same conclusion. It is always fantastic to find those key principles that underpin excellence. We then make sure we are stressing these points in Pal’s BEI classes like our “Achieving World-Class Results” class.  In particular, we show how Pal’s embraces and implements those principles to create sustained excellence.   Continue reading

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Written by: David McClaskey

accountabilityThe question: “How do I create a culture of accountability?”

I recently was asked this excellent question from a class attendee and consulting client. It may be a question that you have asked.

Let’s start with the word culture. Culture is defined as a set of commonly occurring behaviors which occur within your organization. I have observed four common behaviors in organizations whose culture includes a high degree of accountability: Continue reading

All Decisions Are Not Created Equal: Use of Pareto Thinking

Written by: David McClaskey

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It is been said that a person’s quality of life today is a result of decisions s/he has made and actions  taken as a result of those decisions. We make many decisions every day. But the impact of those decisions on our life is not equal. There are some decisions, usually a very few set of decisions, that had a very high impact result on our lives. I know this is true for me personally. Early in my career what I decided to major in college (Industrial Engineering) and where I would take my first job (Eastman Chemical Company) had a profound influence on the extraordinary quality of which I find my life today.

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What is the biggest mistake usually made in strategic planning?

Written by: David McClaskey

The answer: Selecting too many strategic objectives to work on.

At Pal’s BEI, we are privileged to work with the leadership of organizations to conduct two-day strategic planning workshops. We have done this with just about every type of for profit and non-profit organizations. The most challenging and important part of these workshops is to help the leadership select the vital few 1-4 strategic objectives that are going to have the biggest impact in the direction they want to go. Leaders typically want to pick way too many objectives. This has a tendency to doom the implementation before it is even started.

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The World’s Greatest Planning Tool: The Pareto Principle

Written by: David McClaskey

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How would you like to learn a planning tool that is both widely applicable and easy to use? Such a tool has been generally known since the 1940’s so it has stood the test of time.

Joseph Juran, one of the leading quality gurus of the 20th century, defined and popularized the Pareto principle in the 1940’s. The Pareto principle states that 20% of the items from a given system create 80% of the effect. For example 20% of the items in inventory account for 80% of the value; 20% of the students in a class create 80% of the problems; 20% of the customers a business has account for 80% of the revenue. Continue reading

How Not to Listen to the Presidential Debates

Written by: David McClaskey

Have you listened to one or more of the current Presidential debates? Do you come away relatively empty in terms of any useful new information? Would you like something that can help you cut right through the “smoke” and get to the meaningful content? I will outline a few steps that will give you the maximum opportunity of extracting any useful information there might be in a Presidential debate. The wonderful thing is that you can use these same steps to get the maximum amount of useful information from any conversation, article, or any other source of communication.

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Plan-Do-Check-Act

Written by: David McClaskey
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In the 40 years that I have been consulting and teaching about performance excellence, one model has stood out above all the others in relation to identifying excellence in management. Sometimes the exact words are not used, but if you know the pattern and listen for it, you can detect the pattern of the model. What is this “magical” pattern or model? Why is it useful and how is it used? Continue reading