ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - February 2001


Issue Highlight — Back To The End Of The Line
- Peter Block explores why the customer has become less important and what this means for those who care about employee development and organizational change.

 In This Issue...
Quality At Lightning Speed
My Hero!
Two Heads Are Better Than One
Leader Of The Pack

Peter Block Column
Views for a Change
Heard on the Street

Return to NFC Index

Views For A Change

                                    ne From Column B                                             

Consultant Q&A

Vincent Ventresca Responds:

Your question is interesting and poses the complex topic of bridging cultural norms in business to those in society. I find the easiest way to approach these issues is to maintain consistency built around core values translated into social milieu. I will do my best to translate these statements into a useful context.

  Groups of people in social settings behave differently than those in corporate settings. This is due to the individual’s ability to operate in predetermined paradigms vs.
personal. Find a middle ground for people to feel bought in, flexible, non-constrained
and expressive. To answer your points, I recommend the following steps:

1. Select a leadership group within the organization and charter them to create a vision
    for your social club.

2. Prior to selecting the group, provide a framework that depicts a consensus drive,     forward looking statement reflective of your club’s future goals.

3. Refine this statement with the total membership and promote buy-in through     collaboration. Don’t expect this process to be easy, as you will uncover personal     issues and misconceptions rather quickly.

4. Once your vision statement is in place, build a structure of accountability
representative to that of an organization.

5. Elect committees, subcommittees and leaders. Define their responsibilities
   and tie them to the vision statement; which is driven by the core values that
   nurture development.

  The following core values should provide you with a framework to build all of the aforementioned items upon. Shifting behavior to match these values will be a long, continuous process. The only way you will succeed is if someone within the new leadership group champions and models the norms.

We will be thoughtful of others’ situations and variables before making statements
  and be thoughtful of the impact of our statements as they relate to all
  circumstances. We will consider how our actions and statements impact the
  recipients and never deliver a communication that results in dissention.

We will be respectful of our surroundings and others’ feelings and needs. At
   all times we will represent ourselves as stewards and show an open willingness
   to understand and help one another.

We will be considerate towards circumstances and individuals with which we
   interact. Empathy and collaborative intention will drive our interactions. We will
   show consideration toward each other’s efforts and focus on building the bond
required to create a trusting environment.

We will think before expressing opinions and promote this by embracing skills
to listen and respond productively. We will exercise this by considering
   circumstances in which items are raised and environments in which they will
   be received.

We will be conscientious in physical and intellectual endeavors. We will recognize
   how our appearance, words, tone and body expression impact others. We will
   strive to create a caring and welcoming feeling to all, at all times and always be
   aware that our presence can impact perception and reputation.

  I am confident if you follow these steps with the commitment you projected in your question, you will find success. However, never expect immediate change, if you do, you will sabotage your efforts.

  Keep in mind what you should be concentrating on. Studying is not form but function—sociology and psychology driven by a common goal reflected in your mission statement. Thus, the circle is complete.

VINCENT VENTRESCA, PMP is a project consultant at Advanced Management Services, Inc. His firm consults and trains in continuous improvement, project management and management development. He focuses on integrating quality principles into project and organizational development practices and the synergy of people, process and technology. He can be reached at

H. James Harrington Responds

Question for Consultants

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