Eruditio is proud to announce the latest iBL Graduate of the Month; Chauncey Mack! Congratulations on your recent graduation from our Planning/Scheduling curriculum.
You can either be one or the other…which one would you choose? Trust me, there are perks to both. Hear me out:
The vast majority of the workforce are considered the core of any organization. Core people know the roles and responsibilities and do not shy away from the status quo. They are programmed accordingly and go through the notions without so much as a blip in protocol. Doesn’t that sound…”robotic”? I think so...however they have their feet firmly on the ground and know the reality. They know the higher you rise; the less space they have to fall. They are happy with where they are at and loyal to the ones they work for. The management can always rely on them to get things done with accuracy and diligence. They are the foundation of every organization and know without them, the company would not be able to do near as much as they do.
Then there are the outliers. These are the dreamers; they break the mold of the average Joe. They have huge ambitions and are very pride-based. Anything they set their mind to achieve, they will go for it and not hold back until they achieve it. They don’t care how much space is left at the top because they will make room; even if it means climbing over others who have helped them along the way.
However, the most prestigious of this group have learned the hard road it took to find the mid-point. These are the people who started out as the core of the organization but they wanted a change. They dug their heels in, worked the grind and followed the status quo. However, along their journey, they developed questions, comments, suggestions, etc. that, when given the right opportunity to voice them, these insights would show their true worth. They made sure they were someone others could rely on. Don’t get me wrong, these people were not perfect. They had felt the struggles, the disappointments, the failures. They rose to the top because they never stopped getting up and pushing through. They physically made their dream become their reality. They are humble because they know the growing pains. They are the ones who earned the respect of everyone who helped them along the way and have equal as much respect to give in return.
So the answer is yes, you can be both. In fact, I encourage the core to stand up and make themselves the outlier. Those are the ones I can rely on to not only teach me the core values, but also aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and help me succeed. They are the best of both worlds.
My grandmother had this saying about storms that really stuck with me. She used to always tell me, “If there is enough blue in the sky to patch a Dutchman’s britches, then it will clear up.” I used to think it was a silly saying until I thought of it in another light; everyday connections with people. Let me ask you this; when a storm is coming…do you ever see just one little dark cloud? I highly doubt it. It can start out as one cloud and quickly evolve into a whole sky of dark in the blink of an eye. However, after a whole day of rain, isn’t it nice to see the sun peak out from behind those clouds…a silver lining you could say?
The Human Race is a social species. We value connection with others. Here’s an example; say you are on the way to work. You pass by people every day at work, right? So why not smile? It’s the simplest form of communication and yet has come to almost be a lost art. But here’s the thing…IT TAKES VERY LITTLE EFFORT! Just like that little blue patch in the sky, a simple smile and glance can turn someone’s whole day around. They may not talk about it to anyone and you may not say a word to each other, but it can be that one thing that turns their whole day around. Now let’s put the shoe on the other foot; can you recall ever having a bad day? What was a simple remedy to having a bad day? Maybe it was your friend telling you a funny joke, or a coworker giving you the “cheer up, buttercup” talk you needed. Or, it could just be that one little smile that you catch from a stranger as you exchange passing glances that give you that little burst of positivity you need to get through your day.
So my question to you is this…would you rather be that dark cloud on the horizon? Or, would you rather be that little blue patch of sky in everyone’s sky? No words, just smiles; the positivity will radiate from you and spread to everyone else. Who knows…maybe you will even make an acquaintance on your mundane commute that could make your routine a little more entertaining and worthwhile. So dust off that smile and keep it in your back pocket; you never know if someone might need their britches patched up.
Take a look at this photo for a second. It's quite amazing that one person created such a magnificent work of art as monumental as this famous masterpiece. So how does this pertain to change management? Think of this fresco as a physical example of the phases you are going to go through; just as Michelangelo went through his phases to painting this historical beauty, those same phases can be related to what you are going to go through with every new skill you pick up; the time spent in each phase will be entirely up to you!
Let's start with Area 1. This initial phase happens anytime you have a new challenge up in front of you; your excitement about this new, novel idea is very high without knowing the skillset you may need to successfully master it. Michelangelo did not just walk into the Sistine Chapel and start painting just to paint. He was given an idea and figured out his big picture. However, Even though he may have mapped out the entire task and gave himself a very in depth "job plan", planning is just busy work without execution of the plan.
Next phase is Area 2. This is the tough phase for everyone yet is the determining phase for whether you deem it worth it to continue on with the change or revert back to your own ways. This area is called the "Valley of Despair". Go back to that new skill you were initially excited about. At this point, you are starting to realize it may take a little more effort and skill than anticipated. At this point, you need to stop looking at the big picture and actually start looking into the details. If you keep looking at how far you have left to become proficient, you will get overwhelmed. Instead, focus on the details; what needs improvement, what successes you already have, what you need more of, what you need less of, etc. Those details, when taken one at a time, will allow you to swallow that doubt you may have bubbling up inside of you.
The third phase; Area 3. This is the point where you are rising out of the depths of the "Valley of Despair". This phase is where you are starting to take hold of the new skills you are achieving. You may not be perfect at it yet, but the pieces of the puzzle are starting to show you the big picture. To revert back to the fresco, this is the point where Michelangelo was getting past his half way point; he started seeing his vision come to life and, though not completed, he sees his big picture starting to come to life with all the work and detail he is putting in. HOWEVER, your full return on investment has not completely been fulfilled...until the final stage.
The final stage of change management is Area 4. This is where you are officially the master of this challenge. When Michelangelo brushed his last stroke and took a look at what all he accomplished, he along with everyone else saw the mastery in his craft. This phase is where not just you but everyone sees the big picture. You not only can vividly elaborate on the big picture, but you can also be the living proof that it can be accomplished.
So think of every challenge you come across as Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel; create the excitement about the big picture, KNOW YOU WILL GET OVERWHELMED and focus on the details, learn what opportunities lie ahead and master them, then push yourself until your big picture is physically in front of you
This month's Graduate of the Month goes to Whitney Hurlbut! Whitney is from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and currently living in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan working as a Reliability Engineer for The Mosaic Company. She graduated from Dalhousie University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During her time there she was fortunate enough to work briefly in a variety of industries including open pit coal mining, offshore natural gas and underground potash mining, all primarily in Maintenance or Reliability Engineering roles.
Matthew Parker came into the Maintenance and Reliability Engineering iBL curriculum with an interesting background. While in college, he took advantage of three internships including a manufacturing role with Altec Industries, a design engineering role with Cummins Filtration, and a maintenance role with Kruger Products.
Rick Clonan: Blended Learning Graduate of the Month
Rick Clonan is our newest graduate from the New iBL Planning and Scheduling curriculum. We debuted this revolutionary way to train planners and schedulers in July of this year to follow the incredibly successful Reliability and Maintenance Engineering and Managers curriculum. Rick along with his other teammates work through the 6 month program learning the fundamentals of planning and scheduling while getting to apply them in their facility with the help of a seasoned coach. What better way is there to ensure understanding, application, and results.
A plan beats luck everyday! You will want to evaluate and mitigate risk for the day and beyond. Here are 3 points to consider instead of your luck this Friday the 13th:If you are looking to be an effective leader you should always be looking at the risk to your tribe. What should be happening? What might prevent that from happening? What can you do to mitigate or eliminate that potential issues or threats in advance? If you start here you can improve the situation for your tribe by avoiding the most dire of situation that may be developing during your big bad Friday the 13th.
Secondly, focus on what you can control. Some issues you can't change even if you have identified them in advance. For example some of your tribe will exit for various reasons. While you can work to mitigate this it will never be eliminated due to the necessities of age, business, and personal need. Focus on building processes to ease the transition of tribe members into and out of the tribe. Clear processes will help the whole tribe feel better about roles and expectations.
Lastly, you control your attitude and through that you steer the tribes.
Your choices about attitude model the expectations for the tribe and if you make the right choices here you can mitigate many of the risk identified previously. Why not be an "encourager" in lieu of a "discourager." If you decide that Friday the 13 is an unlucky day of misery then it will be, of course your other choice is to make this a first class Friday. It can be a day where while everything may not go perfect our reactions to it will be.
Happy first class Friday the 13th to you and your tribe!"
Eruditio has officially been recognized by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals as an Approved Provider with their Blended Learning curriculum.