C-Suite Network™

Growth Management Personal Development

Great Leaders Use and Encourage Experimentation

Have you ever wondered where and when the medical profession learned about germ theory?  Thanks to someone who was willing to challenge the existing surgery methods and experiment to uncover new methods, surgeons now thoroughly scrub before surgery and wear protective gear during surgery. How did that significant change in thinking and behavior occur?

In 1847 Hungarian-born physician Ignaz Semmelweis, while working at an obstetrics unit in Vienna was astonished and concerned with the frequency of child fatalities that occurred after birth when assisted by medical students.  The rate of child death was 10-20 times higher than those that occurred with births assisted by midwives.

Semmelweis’ concern motivated him to do a meticulous examination of the clinical practices.  By experimenting, he discovered that the medical students who assisted in childbirth often did so after performing autopsies on patients who had died from bacterial infections.  He theorized, the medical students were unknowingly passing on the bacterial infections to the mothers and the children.  Semmelweis instituted a strict policy of hand-washing with a chlorinated antiseptic solution and the mortality rates dropped by 10- to 20-fold within 3 months.

Semmelweis used a problem-solving process that exemplifies Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge Theory.  He had a theory.  He collected data to test the theory.  He made a change to the processes.  He generated significant improvement.  He didn’t blame people.  He didn’t try to control people.  He didn’t threaten, evaluate, or criticize people.  He used a sound scientific problem-solving method.  This is exemplary of a great Deming manager. Deming wanted management to work on improving the system in order to optimize that system over-time.  He wanted managers to create an environment which would provide joy and pride for employees while they continuously adding value to customers.  He wanted managers to question prevailing theory.  He wanted management to be able to predict.  Deming created his System of Profound Knowledge (SoPK) to help managers to accomplish this.

Deming believed that management needed a transformation and that first step in that transformation was the transformation of the individual. (Deming, The New Economics – Second Edition, 1994)   He explained how a manager who understands the key elements of SoPK could then apply those same principles to achieve significant positive results just as Semmelweis did.

Are you teaching, coaching, and encouraging employees to experiment?  If you do, employee engagement, innovation, productivity, and customer experience will improve.

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.  See other resources here.

For more, read on: https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/advisor/wally-hauck/

Marketing Personal Development

Your Corporate Website: The Cyber Face of Your Company

As a C-Suite executive, you take direct responsibility for many aspects of your business. This also means that you know the necessity to delegate specific responsibilities to those who have expertise in these areas.

You don’t take direct charge of the payroll or personally hire everyone who joins your company. You don’t play lawyer, accountant, or personnel manager.

You also don’t play webmaster. An expert designed and set up your company web site. However, your web site is an aspect of your business to which you need to pay close attention.

Many prospective clients get their first view of your business online. They’re searching for a product or service, see a listing for your company, and click on the link. What happens next can determine whether you gain a client or prospect or someone who immediately clicks out and goes on to click the link of one of your competitors.

Visit your web site at least once a month and do your best to see it with the eyes of someone who’s viewing it for the first time.

Is It Visually Appealing?

  • What’s your immediate impression?
  • Does it look inviting?
  • Does it make you want to explore further?
  • Does it appear to be professionally designed?

Does It Provide Easy-to-Find Information?

  • Can you glance at your site’s home page and know immediately what services your company provides?
  • Does the page feature your mission statement in succinct, direct language?
  • Does the home page (and all other pages) have a navigation bar that shows the visitor how to find information on specific aspects of your company?
  • Is the contact information (phone number, address, email address) clearly shown on each page?

Does It Offer a Way to Persuade Your Visitor to Provide Contact Information?

This is vital. Even if the visitor doesn’t decide to pick up the phone or send an email message, you can still benefit from his or her visit.

Some businesses, for example, in exchange for the visitor’s email address, offer ebooks, white papers, checklists, videos and other free irresistible free opt in offers. This is an excellent way to build an email list.

Does It Look Friendly?

This may be one of the most important factors in your web site’s qualities. To turn the visitor into someone who contacts you, you need a web site that projects a quality of being approachable. This is less difficult to convey than you might think.Having a photo of the CEO is one excellent way to project a friendly quality.

  • Use photos of your main corporate headquarters, both outside and inside.
  • If you manufacture physical products, show photos of them.
  • Many web sites effectively use short videos that act as a tour of your business.
  • Have testimonials strategically placed on the home page and throughout all the pages of the site.

Study Your Competition

Now that you’re thoroughly familiar with your company’s web site, visit those of your competitors. This tour may leave you very happy with your site, but if this is the case, don’t become complacent. Look for details or design features that you believe would make your web site even more appealing.

Be Vigilant

It’s never been more important to have a dynamic, vibrant corporate web site that appears welcoming and inviting. First appearances count everywhere, but they assume special importance in the virtual world.

Pat Iyer is a ghostwriter and editor who has been online since 1996. She works with C suite executives to polish their written communications. Reach her at patriciaiyer@gmail.com or through her website Editingmybook.com

Best Practices Growth Personal Development Technology

A Strategic Imperative for Anticipatory Leaders Is Cognitive Performance

By Daniel Burrus and Neil Smith

(In this blog series on how elevating cognitive performance is a game changer for organizations, I’ve invited Neil Smith, CTO at Think Outcomes, to join me in writing on this important topic due to his expertise and the cognitive performance software his firm has created.)

AI and cognitive computing have grabbed headlines. Yet, anticipatory leaders know that the elevation of cognitive performance among teams is key to maximize results. Leaders need to help their teams of professionals improve how they envision opportunities, manage downside risks and achieve greater results. Cognitive computing has to do more than deliver data-driven insights to their minds. It must help teams shape outcomes, act on implications and professionalize role-based, cerebral processes in the form of software processes. That’s where cognitive performance is front and center.

Cognitive performance involves how well professionals perform their cognitive work. Specifically, how they:

  • Establish vision
  • Identify problems
  • Ask questions of uncertainty
  • Arrive at critical thoughts
  • Analyze situations
  • Synthesize information
  • Reason
  • Judge
  • Solve problems
  • Communicate
  • Collaborate
  • Define follow-on actions

They perform these cerebral activities with their thoughts and their communications. These mini processes in their minds are nondeterministic and lead to decisions within organizations. As machine learning and deep learning move into organizations, professionals who want to increase their cognitive performance must step up their game at the same time. They must center their attention on addressing uncertainties and advance their abilities to identify and create greater certainty. In doing so, they must raise their levels of quality in decision-making processes and stakeholder communication processes that take place in their minds. Their stakeholders, customers, suppliers, employees and their industries depend on it. The status quo of gut-based decision making and misunderstandings among viewpoints leads to operational inefficiencies and monetary waste in downstream activities.

Change is accelerating in business, which creates more uncertainties that find their way into enterprises across all functional responsibilities — in strategies, integration, operations, supply chains, human resources, research, engineering, finance, process management, product management and consulting, to name a few. Today, cognitive performance is based on role-based experience, learning, frequency, recency and luck — all of which vary from role to role and person to person.

The cognitive activities in the minds of professionals are ripe for optimization. Optimization is possible by learning anticipatory skills and applying cognitive performance technologies.

The human mind is limited when it is engaged to:

  • Structure decision data
  • Process situational information
  • Store organized knowledge
  • Recall situations with specificity
  • Understand alternative viewpoints
  • Engineer outcomes with greater clarity

Although these are human limitations, the mind is extendable through the use of computing, which does a very good job of augmenting the mind for these activities. In today’s era of cognitive computing, the human mind can benefit from a digital extension to achieve the cognitive capabilities it cannot — and does not — realize on its own.

At work, professionals who think for a living formulate how to execute their work in their minds. They’ve built their cognitive expertise over time through on-the-job experiences and homegrown cerebral processes.

Business operations are both transactional and cognitive

Before transactional software systems codified the operating processes of transactional work into the business infrastructure – i.e., ERP, SCM and CRM processes – organizations created homegrown processes and systems to manage their transactional operations. ERP, SCM and CRM systems optimized task-oriented processes before, during and after a customer transaction within organizations, in supply chains and in demand chains. As a result, the transactional side of the operating model has become relatively frictionless.

Today’s friction exists within the minds of professionals on the cognitive side of the operating model. A key to future success is to eliminate this friction. That’s where anticipatory skills, combined with cognitive performance software, comes into play.

Learn how to elevate your planning, accelerate innovation and transform results with The Anticipatory Learning System and how to maximize the cognitive performance of your team with Cognitive Performance Software.

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