Friday, June 29, 2007

Kimo Kippen at ASTD

Kimo Kippen gave a message on Ohana (Family)9at ASTD this year. He is the VP of Human Resources for Marriott and was asked to introduce the keynote done by Keith Ferrazzi. Before introducing Ferrazzi, told three stories about leadership.

Kimo's Lesson on Ethics!

Kimo was eight years old 8 and just beginning to think for himself. His had a close friend named John. And John's father was going to war. Viet Nam.. Kimo's grandmother was very spirited and was against the war. He was unsure.. should he be for or against the war... went to his mother and asked her who was right.. His mother was very wise and told him said two things:

She told him that everyone was right!

Then she asked him a question: "What do you think is right?"

The lesson is an important one. Kimo's mother taught him that he had to decide what was right for himself? He had to be an independent thinker.. her simpler and power advice continues to shape him.

The Importance of OHANA

One of his first leadership role was managing the hospitality bar in a maui hotel.. He had a secret shopper.. who came into his shop. Secret shoppers are trained to do quality audit on the operation and she was brutal on them. They were all called in on their day off for a meeting and she laid out all the things his team was doing wrong. It was all negative. Kimo got upset and decided that he had to talk to his boss. He had strong feelings that they had been treated unfairly. He told his boss that that moral was down and they were all unhappy. He thought he was easily killing any future job opportunities he might have, but he believed his was doing the right thing.

His boss told him one thing... "For every arrow she through at you, it when through you and hit me in the stomach." He took ownership of the problem and took responsibility and accountability. The boss demonstrated the concept for Ohana.. we are all family.

OHANA - 9/11

Then Kimo brought home by reminding us that on 9/11.. an employee of Marriott, Nancy, was in charge of their property that sat on the edge of the towers... When it all began to fall, Nancy had to get everyone out of the hotel.. over a 1000 guest. Nancy had to take care of the ohana (the family) and using the master list of all guest and employees. Risking her life.. hanging on to the list, more precious than her own life.. they worked to get everyone out. They lost 2 associates helping guest get out of the hotels, but they got people out of the hotel. They also saved the flag from the hotel which today sits in their corporate offices in DC. Kimo walks by it every morning and thinks "OHANA!"

These three stories echo the importance of treating your employees as a family. Putting yourself last.. putting them first.. Great stories and Kimo did a much better job of telling them than I!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Big Questions.. Great E-learning

The Big Question over at the Learning Circuits Blog this month is what is great e-learning. While Learning Circuits tends to focus on corporate e-learning, I think it would be useful for them to see something a little more fun.. So my vote for a great e-learning site is CyberCamp!

Why do I like it.. well it is interactive... it engages you quite well and best of all.. it teaches you important things.. Even us adults will learn a thing or two..

What sites do you think of when asked the question "What is great e-learning?"

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Jim Collins - Reflections on his mentors...

Jim Collins' presentation had a few nuggets in his talk, but the part I loved the best were his stories about his mentors.. here are a few great comments:

John Gardner taught him about the importance of learning and being curious. He loves to quote one of of Gardner's best statements to him.. Jim, you need to spend more time being interested, and less time trying to be interesting." The message.. Life is about asking questions and being curious about why something is the way it is.

Bill Lazier was the who Collins refered to as his chairman or his personal board of directors.. his team of mentors. He credits Bill with teaching him the principle that there are two paths he could take in life.. he could build relationships or he could just do transactions. The latter would never lead to success.

Joann Ernst (wife and Ironman Champion) taught him about asking the right question. She was facing breast cancer and one day his was asking all these "what" questions. What are going to do about this.. or that.. etc.. She looked at him, smiled and said.. "You need to read your own book.. It is not the "what" questions we need to be answering, we need to be answering "who" questions! Who do we need to go see? Who can help us with this or that?

Rochele Myers
helped him to personalize his work. What is your personal hedgehog. Align the following three answers..
  • What can you be the best in the world at? (And equally important—what can you not be the best at?)
  • What is the financial need that best drives you?
  • And what are you deeply passionate about?
Rochelle helped him to realize that the building a "do not do" list was the most important thing he needed.

He also had two great quotes from Peter Drucker. He ask Peter Drucker, out of the over 30 or more books he has published, which was he most proud of. The response was classic Drucker.. "The next one!" At the end of his day with Drucker, he ask him how he could ever pay him back. Drucker told him to go become a mentor to others! and then at the end of their conversation, Drucker slammed his hand down and said.. "Now.. go out and make yourself useful!"

Jim Collins' Keynote - ASTD 2007

Jim Collins gave another great keynote at ASTD and hinted at his next book. He is doing research on companies that go from great to good. It sounds like it builds on his past research, but also will help organizations understand the stages of decline. Here is what I could pull from his presentation:

First a good quote.. His mentor John Gardner once said... "I want to grow and learn as much between the ages of 70 and 88 as I did between the ages of 0 and 12”

Collins opened up by telling stories about why learning is important: "Life is about being curious. To be surprise and to discover what we did not know." He also talked about his love of data.

His latest question:

How do companies fall.. midstream Why did one go from Great to good or worst.. What happens just before that company goes down..

Then he told one of his best stories ever.. His wife is a Iron Man Champion.. and a great athlete.
In August of 82, his wife was running up a hill dominating the hill while he walked.. He remember watching her run up the hill ahead of him, he was just able to walk at this point. She looked like the perfect specimen of health.. then in the fall.. she was diagnosed with breast cancer.. even when she was climbing the hill back in August.. the disease was in her body.. His main point:

When a company is in decline.. the disease is not visible.. Companies can appear to be in great shape, may be in decline.

Collins says there are 6 stages of decline.. Can you see a book coming.. :)

The decline does not show until stage 4 or 5. What is it you expect to see that you don’t.. complacent qualities does not show until late in the process No one is immune. There is good news: You can fall along way and still come back. You can come back from Stage 5. Those things that we found in good to great help you come back. I am guessing he will have more to say on this soon. He did not allow them to tape his talk.. and his slide on the 6 stages was up only a sec.. I couldn't even get the first one.. ughh.

He did leave us with lessons from his mentors.. Maybe if I can I will post those later..

Sunday, June 3, 2007

New Learning Leaders: Your First 60 Days

Today I attend an ASTD session by Jeff Lucas and Tracy Cox (Raytheon) on what they learned about the priorities for New Learning Leaders. They did a survey of learning leaders, subordinates of learning leaders, as well as a few CEOs and other types of related positions across a broad range of business types. Here is what they found:

The type of positions that were cited as the best for developing one for the role of learning leader are Human Resources and Program Management.

Individuals early in their career should seek to develop knowledge and skills in the area of knowing the business first, then focus on building your relationship management skills, seeking out leadership opportunities, and insuring you have high skills in learning acumen.

Individuals in mid-career or later, should seek to focus more on building strong relationships and managing their social networks. Business acumen, leadership development, and skills in learning acumen are also important, but relationship development is more critical at this stage in your career.

Once you become a learning leader, the most important competencies according to their survey are:

    1. Strategic and visionary thinking 62%
    2. Relationship management 41%
    3. Influential communication 36%
    4. Performance results 34%
    5. Learning acumen 33%
    6. Business acumen 30%
Another way to describing success would be how would it look if you are an effective learning leader. The survey indicated that the following would be true:
  • There would be measurable business impact
  • Learning would support and have a strong relationship to business goals
  • The organization would have a learning oriented culture
  • People would be developed
One of their favorite quotes was “When their vision is shared throughout the organization, and their value is realized, not calculated.” I personally like this. The idea of people in your organization just believing that training is making impact.. wow!

The presenter offered several recommendations.. but two stick out above all the rest. Not that they all were not important, but maybe these two mean more to me personally:

  • Make sure you know the business your in. Know what everyone in the business is trying to do, what their mission is, what they business goals are, who are the key leaders in the organization, who are your main clients... etc. The more know about everything in the business, the easier it will be to align your learning system to strategic business goals.
  • Be intentional about your social network. Build a network of leaders who can advise, support and encourage you. I have mentioned it before months ago that I have what amounts to a Personal Board of Directors.. a social system of key leaders who help me with tough decisions and ensure I stay honest.. :)
They shared other important recommendations from their history of working with rising learning leaders, but it is late and time for bed. I have more to share on today at ASTD.. maybe I will post something early in the morning.. till then, good night.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

American Society for Training and Development

Starting Sunday, I will be at the International Conference of the ASTD. This is a great time to soak up trends in leadership development, as well as check out new strategies and methods for e-learning and face-to-face training. I will be trying to capture some of the keynote's main points here on the blog when possible. Just to give you two of the big names who will be presenting: Jim Collins and Tom Rath. I am excited about both as well as the unknowns.. they have presenters from across the globe sharing their insights on training and development. I am not sure right now whether I will post just once a day or try posting during the day. Some of this will depend on access to wifi at the convention center and how spiritual the moment is.