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Stephen Gill
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I'm an independent consultant specializing in increasing the impact of training and development programs.
Recent Activity
Bernie, I agree. Being able to speak the truth without fear of retaliation at all levels and in all areas of the organization is essential, especially in this new economy. So many examples of companies that ran into trouble when they either didn't listen to their employees or their employees were afraid to talk about problems: BP’s oil spill. GM’s faulty ignition switches. Takata’s airbag ruptures. Volkswagen’s emissions fraud. Simplicity’s crib deaths. Samsung’s phone fires. Wells Fargo’s customer deception. Etc.
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Couldn't agree more! Thanks for comment, Chrispinus.
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Jonathan, thanks for your kind words. I'm pleased that you found the post to be interesting and informative.
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Paul, thanks for your comment and nice to hear from you - always appreciate your insight. Hackett might be able to do for Ford what he did for Steelcase, if he can gain the long term support of the Ford Board and family. I wonder if a big part of the problem is not having a better measure of success. Stock price is relatively simple to understand (or, at least, we think we understand), but indicators such as employee engagement, happiness, trust, creativity, innovation, learning, team building, collaboration, interdependence, empathy, integrity, are much harder to measure and explain to a Board of Directors and to stockholders. They probably don't ask about these success factors.
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Bernie, thanks for your comment. I agree that Mulally exemplified those words and made a major impact on Ford culture when he was there. Hackett has proven himself to be a great leader and will surely make a difference in Ford. My worry is that the Board and Ford family are so focused on stock price that they don't pay attention to the long term development of employees across the organization.
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Ziona, I wish you success with your case study. That can be a very effective learning tool.
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Simon, thanks for your comment. I agree that online instruction (synchronous and asynchronous) combined with face-to-face, classroom instruction, can be very effective. However, that's only if the mode is aligned with content and objectives. I wouldn't want to teach teambuilding and interpersonal skills through an elearning program. But computer programming and financial management could probably be taught quite well online.
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(This post is co-authored with David Grebow.) Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else (New York Times) To cut costs and boost collaboration, IBM forces some remote workers back into the office (TechRepublic) Ford signals... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
Simon, thank you for your comment. I agree that the method of learning depends on the individual. How does that person learn the particular content best? What is that person's preference for learning, given the content and context? This needs to be taken into consideration when we decide between elearning and in-person instruction (or other methods). Thanks for making this point.
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Bernie, thanks for this comment about my blog post and for your kind words.
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It's a vexing question: As automation, robots, and AI do more of the work that people used to do, and do it better and safer in many cases, what will people be doing and how should we educate and train... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
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Fly the friendly skies…unless they need your seat. The recent United Airlines debacle which resulted in 69-year-old Dr. David Dao being dragged off a plane to make room for United staff, could have been avoided if the company saw its... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
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The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -George Bernard Shaw Early in my career, as a university professor, I was responsible for training and developing counselors for work in schools, colleges, and community... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
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This is an infographic by Arun Pradhan that explains why and how we need to stop separating learning from work. That might not have been a significant issue in the Industrial Economy, but it is a serious issue in our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
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The ability to collaborate, communicate, and work effectively in teams are some of the competencies most in demand by employers today. However, companies are not preparing people adequately for these mutually cooperative functions. Susan Adams writes this in Forbes: Can... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
Joseph, thanks for your comment.
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Martin, thanks for comment.
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Agility, adaptiveness, flexibility, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, collaboration, cooperation, communication, teamwork, risk-taking, networking, compassion, empathy, inclusiveness, knowing how to learn…these are the abilities needed by people in the automated workplace. The operational abilities sought after in the previous economy are... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
(This post first appeared on this blog on February 11, 2016.) The most common way in which companies train employees today is basically the same as organizations have been training for the past hundred years (some would say thousands of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
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(This article was initially posted on the Hospitality eResources blog on February 7, 2017.) All industries are undergoing enormous change, mostly due to new technologies, globalization, and a very diverse workforce. For example, in the hospitality industry smartphones put scheduling... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
Bernie, thanks for your comment. It is sad that we have to remind managers to behave ethically and to model that behavior for others. In fairness to managers, there are grey areas of right and wrong that need to be discussed and worked through. But this is part of being a good manager.
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“We’re no longer asking everybody to do the next thing right; but to do the next right thing.” -Dov Seidman Ethical behavior in the workplace has never been more important, yet companies continue to act as if a workshop or... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at The Performance Improvement Blog
Patrick, thanks for your comment. I recognize that managers are feeling a lot of pressure these days to do more with less. But there is nothing more important to their job than developing their direct reports. In this world where, as you say, "the challenges and opportunities become more complex", the only way for companies to compete and survive is to keep learning. This has to be the role of every manager. At the same time, they need the support of senior leadership and the rest of the organization. If learning becomes part of one's job, then it doesn't take more time.
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Gustavo, thanks for your question. It all depends on what kind of change you are trying to measure and if you have any pre-change data for comparison. If, for example, you wanted to measure organizational culture pre and post, one tool that you might consider is the Denison Organizational Culture Survey which is based on the Denison Model of organizations.
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Marcus, thanks for your comment.
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