Sunday, January 31, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 24 of 58

Singaporean Chinese Beauty, thanks to plan B!

January 31st, 2010
Learning Moment: Singapore

Today, we strolled the streets of Singapore; though Little India, up Orchard Road, and down back alleys. Tonight, while I reviewed the photos I took, I (re)learned two lessons:
  1. Always check your settings.
    Always. Check. Your settings.
    I was using my SLR camera in manual mode the other night and never changed it back to aperture priority. As a result, all 150 photos I took with that camera today were either under or over exposed.
  2. Have a plan B.
    Redundant systems are our friend.
    Today, I was carrying my pocket camera. For no apparent reason, I took 250 photos with my pocket camera. I never do that when I'm carrying my SLR. Well, almost never. Because I did take those pictures, I captured the Singaporean beauty above, during a promotion for the upcoming Chingay parade.

It was an important - but relatively painless lesson.
And that, my friends, is the best kind of lesson.

Training is a place where we can experience important, but painless lessons.
My job as a facilitator is to make sure that:

A) The lessons are painless, and
B) You realize how important they are.

When I do that - you learn, I learn, and life is good for both of us.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Continuing the Mentoring Conversations Model

As I've mentioned previously, Randy Emelo, CEO/President of Triple Creek Associates, and I have been writing a series about Mentoring Conversations.

This new model suggests the conversations that are necessary to guide anyone from orientation to decision making on an issue. Randy and I wanted to provide a tool that could be both diagnostic and prescriptive.

The fifth issue of our six part series introduces the partial confidence.

Take a look at the series. When you finish our series, I recommend that you read Randy's back catalog of newsletters.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 23 of 58

January 30th, 2010

Learning Moment: Fisherman's Cove, India

Tonight, we fly from India back to Singapore.
It's been a great stay here - training went well, we ate great food, and I'm bringing back some nice photos.

Since I won't have time to post an image from today, I'll present this image from last night.
We ate at a seaside barbecue, under a full moon, with a nice breeze coming up from the ocean.

Behind us, Cognizant was holding a dinner parter for some employees. Dancers were brought in to entertain, so I quietly slipped over for some pictures of the dancers.

This shot captures a brilliant smile: the kind of smile that I grew accustomed to during the past few weeks. Smiles like this might be India's greatest treasure.

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 22 of 58

Everybody Loves Ganesha

January 29th, 2010
Learning Moment: Chennai, India

I don't buy a lot of souvenirs. I have enough 'stuff' and less than enough room.
Also, airlines are making it extremely difficult to transport your toothbrush, let along a war mask.

Still, I do like to collect the occasional memento. For example, a couple of days ago, I bought these two Ganesha statues at Dakshinachitra (for US$6 each). This got me wondering what my purchase criteria is. After some thought, I decided that the souvenirs I buy have to meet at least some of these criteria:
  • They are 'of the place I bought them' or will remind me of that place.
    I don't buy India crafts in the US or Balinese crafts in Japan. I want art that represents at least one component of the culture (if not more). The Ganesha represent a Hindu god. They also show India musical instruments.
  • They have elements of both 'art' and 'craft'.
    This is totally subjective, of course. First, I want my piece to have some element of spirit; to represent an artists view of something. I'm not big into literal representations (I have my own camera, thank you). I want to feel like I'm looking at a part of the world through the artists eyes. Second, it should be well made. There should be a level of skill required to create it. These statues are artistic interpretations of Ganesha that convey a sense of grace and humor that I find appealing. They are also very solid, with an interesting 'wire' technique.
  • They must represent something I like.
    Typically, this means music or dance. But it could include favorite animals, architecture or more. I like both elephants and music, so these Ganesha satisfy the criteria.
  • It helps if they are usable.
    Furniture, lamps, musical instruments, and kitchen ware are great examples. If you can use a souvenir, it pulls double duty. These Ganesha serve no function, unfortunately.
  • Finally, cost and size are always a factor.
    For obvious reasons... The Ganesha are four inches tall, so they work perfectly.

Do you buy souvenirs?
What are your souvenir criteria?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SMART as Hell at ISPI 2010

Do you believe goals are important?

Or do you find them to be overrated?

Do you believe that the SMART goal framework is useful?
Or do you find SMART goals to be frustrating and counterproductive?

Interestingly, a lot of people I meet say 'yes' to all four questions.

For the past 18 months, I've been researching SMART goals. I've created a tool for assessing SMART goals and have identified the qualities of a strong SMART goal. After reviewing more than 600 goals, I have discovered some interesting points:
  1. Most business gurus and researchers agree that goals are important.
  2. Most use the SMART framework.
  3. Most, however, don't agree on what the SMART framework means.
  4. Out of 600 goals I've assessed from business, government, and education sectors, less than 10% meet the SMART criteria.
  5. Better tools are needed to successfully implement SMART goals.

In April, I'll be presenting my findings and recommendations at the International Society for Performance Improvement's (ISPI) Conference in San Francisco.

Who: Glenn Hughes
What: How smart is SMART? Writing and quantifying SMART goals.
Where: San Francisco, California
When: April 22, 10:30 am to 12:00 noon

Many excellent presenters, including my friend Ed Muzio, will be presenting this year.
If you're interested in SMART goals or any other aspect of performance improvement, I recommend you join us in San Franciso.

I hope to see you there!

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 21 of 58

January 28th, 2010

Learning Moment: Fisherman's Cove, India

I woke up at 6:30 this morning to watch the sun rise over the Bay of Bengal at Kovalam Beach.

In America, we have this romantic notion of 'riding off into the sunset', but that seems strange to me. Isn't more romantic to ride off into a sunrise?

Sunrises are the proverbial 'dawn of a new day', full of possibility and hope. Don't get me wrong, I love sunsets, but they lead to what... darkness?

That's why when I ride off... I'm riding off into a sunrise...

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 20 of 58

Geetha, Jaishree, and Uthra

January 27th, 2010
Learning Moment: Chennai, India

Today was a relatively quiet day.

It was cloudy during my commute into work; the first cloudy day we've seen. I continued reading "You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman" during the ride. Just as we reached the office, rain began to fall. Everyone seemed surprised, as the rainy season isn't due to start for another month. It was a short rainfall. The rest of the day was pleasant.

Our second day of the "Managing at KT" workshop was engaging. The group asks many interesting questions. We spent a fair amount of time on SMART goals. Most people don't realize the power of well-written goals, but these folks understood. It's rewarding to see them create strong goals.

Members of our stellar Human Resources team - Geetha, Jaishree, and Uthra - stopped in to make sure all was going well, so I took the opportunity to pose them for a picture.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 19 of 58

Celebrating India's National Day

January 26th, 2010
Learning Moment: Kovalam Beach, Chennai

Today was National Day in India. We slept in a bit, ate a buffet lunch, and then went to Dakshinachitra to look at Indian architecture and crafts. We saw folk dance, shadow puppets, very cool buildings, and some great art.

I bought two Ganesha statues and then we headed back to the hotel.
There was still daylight, so I headed down to Kovalam beach to make new friends. I watched an informal game of cricket and then spotted this boat flying the Indian flag. It seemed like a good idea to get a photo of the flag on national day, so I introduced myself to these fishermen and got a picture of all of us around the flag.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't You Dare Me...

As we were sitting at the dance festival in Mamallapuram on Saturday night, a ticket collector came around to check our seats.

"Here comes sour face", said the man next to me. "We've been coming here for 5 nights straight and she hasn't smiled yet."

Hmmm... I don't know a lot, but I know a couple of things. First, I'm pretty confident that I can make anyone smile at least once (it's easy if you're willing to make an ass out of yourself). Second, it isn't that hard to make an Indian smile.

"Really...", I said to him, as I turned around to her.

I would have placed a bet with him, but he'd already said he was spending US$16 a night on his hotel room - so, the stakes would have been too low to bother. This exercise would merely be to make a point.

Within three sentences, I got a smile out of her.
And no, I didn't have to do anything stupid.
"Wow", the guy said, "That's the first smile I've seen from her".

"Well, you had to challenge me", I replied, as he put up his hands in mock surrender.
She has a face built to smile. This photo is my proof and my reward.

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 18 of 58

Coconut Milk Appam

January 25th, 2010
Learning Moment: Chennai, India

Today I facilitated day one of our flagship management workshop - Managing at KLA-Tencor. It was great session, with excellent questions.

During lunch, my friend Lawrence Sanjay took me to an Appam restaurant for lunch. He described appams as a 'kind of pancake', which wasn't far off. We had a coconut milk appam as a starter - I absolutely love coconut milk - and a mutton appam with curry for the main course.

If I'd ever had an appam before, I didn't know what it was. Now, however, I will not forget.
They are delicious. I highly recommend you try one, wherever you can find it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 17 of 58

Children of Kovalam

Sunday, January 24th
Learning Moment: Fisherman's Cove, India

This afternoon, we walked down the beach to Kovalam, a small fishing village 25km south of Chennai. It was a beautiful day. The sun was warm, the wind was light, and the air was clear. We could see the skyline of Chennai - a first for us from Fisherman's Cove.

In the evening, the fishermen return with their catch, which immediately goes up for sale on the beach. The local kids come down to the water's edge to swim and play.
The children were quite thrilled to have their photos taken, so I shot about 100 pictures of them in groups, pairs, and solo.

I love the energy that is present during these interactions. They mug, hug, and tug each other around, begging for more.
I could shoot faces all day long, and Indian faces are among my favorite.

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 16 of 58

Bharathanatyam Dance in Mamallapuram, India

Saturday, January 23rd
Learning Moments: Mamallapuram, India

I often get asked why I love to travel so much.
In response, I can offer a day like today...

We went to Mamallapuram to see the monuments located in the World Heritage Site. During our walk we saw centuries-old carvings; scenic vistas over rice fields and ocean; goats, dogs, and monkeys living in peace; and loads of friendly people.

At the end of the day, we headed to the Mamallapuram Dance Festival. There, we bought some trinkets from a wandering carver and chatted with a husband and wife who have retired from teaching in Michigan. They are now on a two and a half month journey through India.

Then the dances started. There were three dance troupes - a local folk dance troupe, a large group of folk dancers from Uttar Pradesh, and a local classical dance troupe from Chennai.

The first group was amusing, but unremarkable. Most folk dance is rather unsophisticated, but these dances looked like they were choreographed under the influence of heavy drinking. The second group was very good - beautiful girls, colorful costumes, and great music.

The third group performed Bharathanatyam, which we have seen many times before. This time, however, felt like I was seeing the dance for the first time. Grace, precision, and athleticism combined to hold the entire audience in a trance.
Angie and I were in awe. Our drive home consisted of each of us saying "Wow. Could you believe when they did that?"

We've often wondered if it is redundant to return to a country or region that we've visited before.
Today reminded me that life (or travel) is like a kaleidoscope - the elements might be fixed, but the arrangement is always changing. To take just one look insures that we'll miss a lot of beauty.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Groundhog Day

An interesting pattern played out last week as I was conducting workshops at the Fortune Palms Hotel in Chennai. Every morning and every afternoon, we would take a traditional 10-15 minute 'tea break'.

On Tuesday morning, both the staff and my co-workers asked if I would like a hot tea or coffee.
"No thanks", I replied.
I have never drank a cup of coffee. The smell disgusts me. I don't even like the smell of coffee beans. Additionally, I'm not a big fan of hot drinks. I enjoy ice cold drinks: water, soda, iced tea, cocktails... You get the idea. I like cold drinks.

They drank their hot tea and coffee. I drank my cold water. We moved on.
Or so I thought...

On Tuesday afternoon, the same servers and co-workers asked me again, "Would you like a coffee or tea?"
"No, thanks. I don't drink either."
"Really. We discussed it this morning. Water is fine."

This exchange recurred twice on Wednesday, twice on Thursday, and - yes - twice on Friday.
I know they're showing hospitality, and I'm a very patient guy - but I have to admit that a part of my brain wanted to snap!

I shared this with Angie last night at dinner (where I was drinking an ice cold cocktail) and she said, "Groundhog Day".
"Groundhog Day. You're living the movie. You're supposed to learn something from this and change the pattern".

She laughed, "No. You're just supposed to live with it!"

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 15 of 58

The Monkey God Hanuman in a Kathakali Dance

Friday, January 22nd
Learning Moment: Mamallapuram, India

Last night, we attended the annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival. For US$3, you get to watch two hours of traditional Indian dance in front of Arjuna's Penance - one part of a spectacular World Heritage site.

The show featured dancers from Kerala, in Southern India. There were folk dances, as well as the famous kathakali dance. The costumes, as you can see above, are spectacular. We saw men dance in costumes with five-foot wide boards on their backs, and with 20-foot towers attached to them. It was quite a spectacle.

My favorite part of the night came when the character above appeared. I immediately thought 'that's got to be Hanuman'. I don't know why, but I become unreasonable excited when I see the white monkey god from the Ramayana. Part of it is every kids fascination with monkeys, I guess.

Here's clip of the dance, from YouTube.

It's fascinating to see variations on a theme. In two weeks, we'll be in Bali, where the Ramayana dance will present Hanuman in a more physical role, with a more realistic costume.
Two countries, two versions: both creative and impressive.
Further proof that there can always another twist on a common theme.

We're heading back to the festival on Saturday to see classical women's dance.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 14 of 58

Winners of the Paper Tower Contest

Thursday, January 21st
Learning Moment: India

I love leading workshops in India.
The attendees are energetic, reflective, and curious.
They fully invest in whatever the topic is. That is such a pleasure.
I learn as much from them as I 'teach' in any session.

Yesterday, we conducted a "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" workshop. As part of the workshop, we did the 'Personal Histories' exercise, where team members share the most difficult time of their childhood and their greatest influence other than their parents.
I felt honored to be able to hear their stories.

I've known most of the participants for four or five years, but I had no idea what many of them had gone through, how hard their parents and other family members worked for them to educated, or how thankful they are for where they are today. It was truly remarkable how many of them could point to one person in their lives and say "I owe everything to that person".

In a world as challenging as the one they grew up in, it is often the prodding of one interested party that makes all the difference. I couldn't help but think about those who prodded me. I also couldn't help but hope that one day I can do the same for another.

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 13 of 58

Bharathan, myself, and Angie

Wednesday, January 20th
Learning Moment: India

Tonight, my wife and I were invited to the home of Bharathan and Sharmila Prahalad. Bharathan is the head of Human Resources for KLA-Tencor India and a great guy.

He wanted us to meet his family, eat a home-cooked meal, and see an Indian home. We were impressed by all three.

His wife, mother-in-law, and three children greeted us warmly and made us feel welcome.
The dinner was incredible: diverse, tasty, interesting - and it seemed to never end!
His home was comfortable and beautifully decorated.

All of the literature I've read extols the hospitality of the Indian people.
As we saw, the literature is right on target.

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 12 of 58

Tuesday, January 19th

Learning Moment: India

If I've learned one thing from Bollywood films, it's that a dance can break out anywhere, anytime.

Well, while dining at our restaurant at Fisherman's cove a dance broke out nearby. Of course, the dancers were hired to perform for an Accenture party, but that didn't make the surprise any less cool.

We got to eat our dinner under the stars, listen to the waves pounding the beach, and watch a classical Indian dance.

Obviously lesson: Carry a camera everywhere...

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 11 of 58

Monday, January 18th

Learning Moment: India

We're enjoying our stay at the Taj Fisherman's Cove.

Nature is a good thing and we're seeing plenty of it here.

We've seen myna birds singing in the trees, crows pretending to be lords of their domain, kingfishers flitting about, geckos eating flies (we have a large resident gecko that barks about once an hour), lizards scampering about, crabs skittering across the beach, water buffalo lazing in rivers, bats swooping between dinner tables, sacred cows meandering, monkeys stalking the periphery of the hotel grounds, and a lot of frogs croaking and hopping across the lawns.

This big guy was still as a rock outside our room. He made an excellent model.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 10 of 58

Sunday, January 17th

Learning Moment: India

Great day in Fisherman's Cove.

I spent the morning at the pool - working on storyboards for a course I'm designing and swimming laps.

We then had an excellent outdoor Mediterranean buffet, with champagne, at the Upper Deck restaurant. Overlooking the Bay of Bengal, we enjoyed our food while spotting kingfishers, butterflies, and lizards.

We worked off lunch with a trek up and down the beach, where we encountered this happy gentleman. A small fishing boat had just come in from the bay and sold it's contents to the locals who crowd the beach.

This man is showing off the two fresh fish that he just bought. I love the vibrancy of life in India. I also love that people enjoy posing for photos.
"Namaste! Namaste! Hello!", we kept hearing.

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 9 of 58

Saturday, January 16

Learning Moment: Chennai, India

On Saturday, we flew from Singapore to India.

The cover on the left is there only because I like it.
It caught my eye in the airport book store, so I snapped a picture of it. Su Tong is the author of "Raise the Red Lantern", which Zhang Yimou made into a stunning film, starring Gong Li. If you've never seen it, you must.

Anyway, we had a good flight to India and even cleared immigration quickly.
Then we reached baggage carousel hell. One carousel broke down, so two planes worth of baggage was sent to one carousel - 600 people crammed into a space built for about 100.

It felt like being in the front three rows of a rock concert, but without the music. Tight, sweaty, hot, uncomfortable. After getting our bags, we walked a mile or so to our taxi, dragging the bags through dirt, mud, and rocks while cars lined in single file honked their horns at each other just to see what they sound like.

Sixty minutes later, we were in Fisherman's Cove, at our hotel - our sanctuary.
It felt like we found our own redemption.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 8 of 58

Friday, January 15th

Learning Moment: Singapore

I probably do my best work when I'm traveling. Today, I finished teaching a Situational Leadership II workshop that went really well.

In addition, I finished seven more pages of a workshop I'm designing, gave feedback on two slide decks, and coached three different employees on issues that they are facing.

That's a good day.

To reward myself, I took Angie to Chijmes for dinner.
Oh, who am I kidding? I would have done that anyway.

It was a beautiful night - warm with a tropical breeze. The pizza and mojitos were tasty, and the surrounding architecture (it's a former convent) is interesting.

No wonder I do my best work on the road.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 7 of 58

Thursday, January 14th

Learning Moment: Singapore

I was in a taxi today, headed to the office in Serangoon, when I realized that I love my Kindle.

I'm the kind of person who cannot make a long business trip without bringing at least six books.
I need three for each direction.

Then I end up buying at least five more... You can imagine the weight I end up accumulating.

Well, this is my first trip with my Kindle. I've got 467 documents loaded: everything from ChangeThis manifestos to work documents that I've converted to pdfs to Gandhi's autobiography.

I've completed two books and more than ten smaller documents.
The kindle is lightweight, easy to use, and easy to read.
Very, very cool...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 6 of 58

Storyboards Rock...

Wednesday, January 13th
Learning Moment: Singapore

I'm working with Ed Muzio (co-author of Four Secrets to Liking Your Work) on the instructional design of a workshop that will accompany his new book, tentatively titled "Make Work Great!".

I first used storyboarding while working on the slide:ology workshop, but that was done on my office wall. This project marks the first time that I have storyboarded a workshop in my notebook and then worked on it while traveling.

Ed and I brainstormed ideas for the workshop over the course of a couple of months. On my flight to Singapore, I sketched those ideas onto post-it notes with a sharpie and placed them into my notebook. Then, I went through the draft of Ed's book and created more post-its (this second round of notes is in blue pen). Finally, I combined the two sets of notes, moving them into a working order.

You can see that module headers are pink, learning content is yellow, and exercises are blue. At a glance, I can see what the mix of content to exercise is. I've been working on this project by the pool at the Intercontinental Hotel, in our room, at breakfast, and in taxis to the office.

Only now am I constructing the workbook for the course. This storyboarding has made it very easy for me to think visually and see the book before I construct it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 5 of 58

Tuesday, January 12th

Learning Moment: Singapore

Timeliness obviously varies by culture.

I was reminded of this fact yesterday, as I led the slide:ology workshop in Singapore.
The workshop was scheduled to start at 9:00 am.
At 9:15, I had just over half of the attendees present, so I started.
The room was full around 9:30.

When I gave a 10-minute break in the morning, most of the attendees took 20-25 minutes.

For lunch, I gave a 70-minute break, saying "be back by 1:30".
We didn't get started until 2:00.

Finally, I got smart. I gave a 7-minute break in the afternoon - just enough time to reach the coffee machine and restroom. Then I didn't give the last break that I usually provide.

Sure, I could get angry and threaten, but that doesn't support a learning atmosphere.
I just observe the behavior, comment on it, and let them know that any chance to end early is decreased by their tardiness.

If that doesn't work, I just adjust the material a little, trimming time for exercises, and keep on teaching...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 4 of 58

proof that you shouldn't drink and drive powerpoint

Monday, January 11
Learning Moment: Singapore

Yeah, I admit it. This is bad. But I couldn't help myself.

Angie and I were eating dinner at Prego, a favorite Italian restaurant of ours in Singapore.
At the table next to us, a woman was sipping a glass of wine while creating an awful PowerPoint presentation.

I had to sneak my camera out and take a shot of it.
Just about everything is wrong with this slide:
  • It's got a terrible, noisy background
  • The title is meaningless
  • Baaaad clip art
  • Red lines that are hard to see against the dark blue background
  • And you can't see it, but don't get me started about the animation (everything flew in from somewhere)

The worst part of it?
She spend two hours of her life making small adjustments to this, as if the small adjustments would improve the presentation! That doesn't count the hours she spent before I saw her.

There really isn't any excuse for this. I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and command her to buy "slide:ology" or "Presentation Zen".
On the other hand, ever crappy presentation out there makes me look better.

So, let others keep making bad presentation, I say.
As long as I don't have to watch them...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 3 of 58

a quiet Chinese temple

Sunday, January 10
Learning Moment: Singapore

Wandering the streets behind Boat Quay, we found this small, but active Chinese temple.
I took some pictures of the grounds and then took this one inside the temple, before the woman here approached me and nicely told me that no pictures were allowed.

I've never been stopped from taking photos in a Chinese temple before.
It just goes to show that one should always ask, I guess...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 2 of 58

Island in Time

Saturday, January 9
Learning Moment: Singapore

One of the reasons I travel is - like John Dunbar in Dances with Wolves - to "see it before it's gone", whatever 'it' is.

I was reminded of this yesterday at Orchard Central, a new 12-story mall in downtown Singapore. From the rooftop garden, I was able to look down on Peranakan Place: a collection of historic Chinese shophouses that now serve as residences or trendy bar/restaurants.
We've walked Peranakan Place many times, photographing the colors and details of the graceful colonial architecture.

I knew the area was shrinking under the pressure of expensive high-rise housing.
I didn't know that it was basically a three-block stream running through a desert of characterless condos.

Sometimes it just takes a different view of the world for us to 'get it'.
That's one value that travel provides (as well as books, art, or teachers).

Le Grand Tour D'Asia: Day 1 of 58

Origami display at Narita Airport, Japan

Friday, Jan 8th
Learning Moment: Japan

I knew that Origami is a traditional Japanese 'art'.
I knew that there are origami clubs around the world and enough books on origami to fill a library.
I also knew that - despite living in Japan for 10 years - I'd never seen much origami that was more sophisticated than the proverbial 'crane chain'.

Today, as we were changing planes in Narita Airport, we passed an origami show.
There, for the first time, we saw origami diorama.
There was a scene of dancers in front of Mt. Fuji, a scene of Todaiji temple in Nara (complete with deer), and various other scenes.
I particularly like the details in the one above - two women in kimono enjoying tea and sweets.

Never underestimate what can be accomplished by an accomplished artist, with even the most primitive tools.
Still, I wonder if the artists ever get paper cuts...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Upcoming Events: SMART Goal Workshop at ISPI in April

I'll be presenting a 90-minute workshop at the International Society for Performance Improvement's (ISPI) Performance Improvement Conference this April.

The event takes place April 19-22 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.
There will be a lot of great presenters there, so I hope you'll attend.

I'll be discussing why SMART goals can be a great tool, but usually fail.
I'll share strategies and tools for insuring that your goals are SMART as Hell.
The session will be fun and fast-paced. It will change the way you look at SMART goals.

Read more at the ISPI website.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Asia Tour 2010 - On the road again...

For the next eight weeks, I'll be leading KLA-Tencor workshops in Asia.

My buddy Martin once called me the "Indiana Jones of Training", so you know that this is the stuff I love - 5 countries, 29 workshops, more than 500 attendees.

Here's the plan:
  • Jan 11 - 15 Singapore:
    Situational Leadership II, Maximizing Customer Relationships, slide:ology
  • Jan 18 - 29 Chennai, India:
    5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Presentation Skills, Managing at KT, Working Globally
  • Feb 1 - 5 Singapore:
    Situational Leadership II, slide:ology
  • Feb 8 - 12 Bali, Indonesia
    cultural anthropology (ie: vacation)
  • Feb 15 - 19 Yokohama, Japan:
    Managing at KT, Hire at KT, slide:ology
  • Feb 22 - Mar 5 Seoul, South Korea
    (Presentation Skills, Managing at KT, slideology)

I'll be sharing highlights in the form of stories, photos, and maybe even videos.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Year Present for all of you...

2009 was a year that could be described with many words: challenging, interesting, difficult, adventure-filled, risky, disappointing, surprising, and opportunity-filled are just a few that come to mind.

Though I did no business travel - for the first time since 1989 - Angie and I still found plenty of excitement.

I assembled this Learning Moments Calendar 2010 to share some of my favorite learning moments of the year with family and friends. Feel free to distribute it...

I'm Back Again...

It's been a crazy two months:

  • My home pc died in late October. I played with it for about a month. I got it to breathe again, but never got it to work with the internet. I finally gave up last week.
    Good news - I was able to save all my files.
    Better news - I have an excuse to buy a new computer in March.
  • I graduated with my Masters in Adult Education and Training. I wrote my action research paper over the last 10 weeks. I learned that I like learning a lot more than I like recapping my learning.
  • Work picked up. Suddenly, in September, our classes started filling up. Budgets are back. I've been teaching at least three days a week, which is great.
  • slide:ology exploded onto our scene at work. I've been leading at least one workshop a week. The Duarte approach is changing our culture.
  • I've got a two-month Tour of Asia coming up. More about the trip later, but planning that hasn't been easy.
  • My Training. I attended Decker Made to Stick Messaging, Leadership Challenge (where I 'slideologized' their deck), and Influencer. I would recommend all of these. I'll write more about them in the next week.
  • Projects. We're working with Rick and Mary Gilbert of Power Speaking on "Speaking to the Big Dogs 2.0", and with Ed Muzio of Group Harmonics on "Make Work Great". Randy Emelo and I have also released the first four installments of our six part series on the Mentoring Conversations Model.
  • Thanksgiving? Christmas? New Year? Yep, dealt with all of those - plus a nasty cold that put me down for about 72 hours during the holidays.

Apologies to any and all that I've neglected during this time.

All-in-all, it was a hectic end to a pretty great year, but I'm back again.