Rules, Rules, Rules

Dec 28, 2010 15 Comments

Anyone who’s participated on a project in a team setting has probably heard the term “ground rules” tossed around.  Sometime the term applies to a useful set of axioms that cooperative team members follow to guide their civil and productive interaction.  Sometimes it refers to a nice poster on the wall of all company conference […]

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Thank You South Dakota!

Dec 27, 2010 No Comments

Just a note of thanks to a pair of readers from Sioux Falls and Pukwana, South Dakota in the USA for stopping by theBigRocks.com this past week! Why It’s a Big Deal: That’s significant because with these two visits from the Mount Rushmore State, theBigRocks.com has now welcomed guests from all 50 US states plus […]

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Of Sacred Cows and Left-Hand Turns

Dec 26, 2010 4 Comments

What myth is blocking your team from realizing breakthrough innovation? This month’s issue of Fortune magazine contains an interesting interview with Bob Stoffel, a Senior Vice President of UPS. One of the most fascinating things he discusses in the interview is the now-famous no-left-turn rule that all UPS drivers follow. Here’s how it works: UPS […]

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Sponsorship of Change

Dec 23, 2010 2 Comments

Today’s post is a question regarding sponsorship of change: What’s the most important thing a Change Sponsor can do to ensure a change is successful? As always, vote early and often… and don’t hesitate to comment and forward the link to others. -Steve

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Tell Her About It!

Nov 24, 2010 3 Comments

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the States.  It’s a time to appreciate all of the great things we have and the wonderful people who surround us. Today’s post is about appreciating the people we work with. I let the music randomly shuffle on my iPod as I went for a run the other day… and […]

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Guidelines for Writing FAQs

Nov 20, 2010 2 Comments

Frequently Asked Questions  or “FAQ’s” can be a staple of communication during change. In yesterday’s post, I introduced a list of six common questions you can expect people to ask about almost any type of change.  I also shared several questions you can ask your team and your stakeholders to generate solid material for even […]

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Cool Your Cakes!

Nov 14, 2010 2 Comments

People, People, People!  Project Management would be so much easier if it were not for the challenge of managing people, right? Today’s article will focus on the human side as we wrap up a list of project management best practices I’ve learned from the kitchen. Context: The 1933 cookbook “All About Home Baking” suggested 6 […]

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It Takes the Best to Make the Best

Nov 12, 2010 No Comments

Today I’ll continue walking through a list of six project management rules that I started a couple days ago. These maxims are based on a collection of “rules for baking” which I discovered in my batter-&-splatter-stained copy of the 1933 General Foods Cookbook called “All About Home Baking“. Wednesday’s rule was “Be Orderly“. PM’s can […]

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Tools to Make or Break the Baking of a Cake

Nov 11, 2010 No Comments

Yesterday I introduced the first of six project management tips drawn from a list of baking advice I found in one of my favorite old references: a 1933 General Foods Cookbook called “All About Home Baking“.  I use this list when teaching a series of workshops I call PM-101 to illustrate how effective project management […]

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Tech Time-Wasters

Nov 06, 2010 No Comments

Many Brits cheered new British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent ban on cell phone use during cabinet meetings.  Cameron, who is an avid technophile himself, (his favorite cell phone game is reportedly Angry Birds) reasoned that the entire group would be more focused and would conduct the people’s business more quickly by paying full attention.  […]

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8 Big Rocks Part-II

Nov 01, 2010 No Comments

Today I’ll share the final four items on my list of Big Rocks that those in charge of making change happen should consider.  These ideas were inspired by the answers I received from members of a LinkedIn discussion forum when I asked this question: “What should you plan for when you’re in charge of making […]

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Soldier, Statesman, Leader

Oct 25, 2010 No Comments

Earlier I discussed two of my four favorite traits of former US Secretary of State and Four-Star Army General Colin Powell. The four traits I admired upon reading his autobiography were his humility, flexibility, raw leadership gifts and problem-solving skills. The fact that he used these skills consistently from the battlefield to the boardroom makes […]

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Four-Star Leadership

Oct 24, 2010 No Comments

A few years ago I read the autobiography of former US Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Four-Star Army General Colin Powell. Agree or disagree with his politics, one cannot help but be struck by four compelling traits he has demonstrated in his public and private life: his humility, […]

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Keep Calm and Carry On

Oct 16, 2010 2 Comments

You may be familiar with an interesting little red book of quotes put out by Andrews McMeel Publishing a couple years ago called “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  The book’s familiar design and title are drawn from a poster that was created by the British Ministry of Information for British soldiers before World War II. […]

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Don’t Out-Kick Your Coverage!

Oct 11, 2010 No Comments

This is my son Ben:  He’s an SQL programmer and he brought up a cool sports analogy the other day that really applies to the leadership role in team dynamics – especially the scenario where a “new boss” is asked to take over a team or a project.  As we talked, Ben brought up the […]

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No Plan, Epic Fail

Sep 29, 2010 No Comments

One common thread I’ve seen in many organizational change disasters is the utter lack of a PLAN to guide the work.  In an earlier article, I laid out common reasons that Organizational Change Management (OCM) initiatives fail and this risk is right at the top of that list. There’s an old project management adage that […]

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Genius or Idiot?

Sep 25, 2010 No Comments

As I watched Director Oliver Stone talk about his new “Wall Street” movie this morning I could not help but be struck by how polarizing some public figures can be… (perhaps intentionally?) Within the last few days I’ve noticed these solid candidates for the Prince & Princess of Public Polarization for the week: Iranian President […]

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