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Conrad Hilton …. Conrad Hilton, at a gala celebrating his career, was asked, “What was the most important lesson you’ve learned in you long and distinguished career?” His immediate answer …. “ remember to tuck the shower curtain inside the bathtub ”. “ Execution is strategy. ” —Fred Malek.

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Conrad Hilton, at a gala celebrating his career, was asked,“What was the most important lesson you’ve learned in you long and distinguished career?”His immediate answer …


“The art of war does not require complicated maneuvers; the simplest are the best and common sense is fundamental. From which one might wonder how it is generals make blunders; it is because they try to be clever.”—Napoleon



Tom Peters’



Towards EXCELLENCE in Public Sector Performance

Riyadh/2 November 2009

(Slides at


NOTE:To appreciate this presentation [and ensure that it is not a mess], you need Microsoft fonts:“Showcard Gothic,”“Ravie,”“Chiller”and“Verdana”


Public Sector

*U.S. Navy #1/Combat Engineer, Vietnam,


*U.S. Navy #2/Pentagon, Naval Construction

Forces policy co-ordination, 1968-1970.

*Co-founder, Stanford Graduate School of

Business “UMP”/“PMP” (Urban Management

Program, Public Management Program),


*White House, 1973-1974 (Executive Director,

Cabinet Committee on International

Narcotics Control; Assistant to Director,

Office of Management and Budget, Federal

Drug Policy)

*Consultant-Advisor to Bob Stone, Director,

National Performance Review (“Re-inventing

Government,” Al Gore initiative), 1992-1996.

The greatest dangerfor most of usis not that our aim istoo highand we miss it,but that it istoo lowand we reach it.Michelangelo
strive for excellence ignore success bill young race car driver courtesy andrew sullivan
“Strive for Excellence. Ignore success.”—Bill Young, race car driver (courtesy Andrew Sullivan)

“Excellence can be obtained if you:

... care more than others think

is wise; ... risk more than others think

is safe; ... dream more than others think

is practical; ... expect more than others think

is possible.”

Source: Anon. (Posted @ by

K.Sriram, November 27, 2006 1:17 AM)


“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well

that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived

a great street sweeper who did his job well.” —Martin Luther King Jr.


Excellence1982: The Bedrock “Eight Basics”

1. A Bias for Action

2. Close to the Customer

3. Autonomy and Entrepreneurship

4. Productivity Through People

5. Hands On, Value-Driven

6. Stick to the Knitting

7. Simple Form, Lean Staff

8. Simultaneous Loose-Tight



“Breakthrough” 82*





*In Search of Excellence


“If I could have chosen not to tackle the IBM culture head-on, I probably wouldn’t have. My bias coming in was toward strategy, analysis and measurement. In comparison, changing the attitude and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of people is very, very hard.[Yet] I came to see in my time at IBM that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game —it is the game.”—Lou Gerstner,

Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance


Why in the

World did you

go to Siberia?


Enterprise* ** (*at its best):An emotional, vital, innovative, joyful, creative, entrepreneurial endeavor that elicits maximum

concerted human potential

in the wholeheartedservice

of others.****Employees, Customers, Suppliers, Communities, Owners, Temporary partners


Organizations exist to serve. Period.

Leaders live to

serve. Period.


… no less than Cathedralsin which the full and awesome power of the Imagination and Spirit and native Entrepreneurial flairof diverse individualsis unleashed in passionate pursuit of … Excellence.


“The role of the Director is to create a space where the actors and actresses canbecome more than they’ve ever been before, more than they’ve dreamed of being.”—Robert Altman, Oscar acceptance speech


“No matter what the situation, [the great manager’s]first response is always to think about the individual concerned and how things can be arranged to help that individual experience success.”—Marcus Buckingham, The One Thing You Need to Know


“You have to treat your employees like customers.”—Herb Kelleher, complete answer, upon being asked his “secrets to success”

Source: Joe Nocera, NYT, “Parting Words of an Airline Pioneer,” on the occasion of Herb Kelleher’s retirement after 37 years at Southwest Airlines (SWA’s pilots union took out a full-page ad in USA Today thanking HK for all he had done; across the

way in Dallas American Airlines’ pilots were picketing the Annual Meeting)


Thank you Peter Drucker/AIM

Our goal is to serve our customers brilliantly and profitably over the long haul.

Serving our customers brilliantly and profitably over the long haul is a product of brilliantly serving, over the long haul, the people who serve the customer.

Hence, our job as leaders—the alpha and the omega and everything in between—is abetting the sustained growth and success and engagement and enthusiasm and commitment to Excellence of those, one at a time, who directly or indirectly serve the ultimate customer.

Source: The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE


We—leaders of every stripe—are in the “Human Growth and Development and Success and Aspiration to Excellence business.”

“We” [leaders] only grow when “they” [each and every one of our colleagues] are growing.

“We” [leaders] only succeed when “they” [each and every one of our colleagues] are succeeding.

“We” [leaders] only energetically

march toward Excellence when “they” [each and every one of our colleagues] are energetically marching toward Excellence.


Source: The Little BIG Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE


“The ONE Question”:“In the last year [3 years, current job], name the … three people … whose growth you’ve most contributed to. Please explain where they were at the beginning of the year, where they are today, and where they are heading in the next 12 months. Please explain your development strategy in each case. Please tell me your biggest development disappointment—looking back, could you or would you have done anything differently? Please tell me about your greatest development triumph—and disaster—in the last ten years. What are the ‘three big things’ you’ve learned about helping people grow along the way.”


Employee retention & satisfaction:Overwhelmingly, based on the first-line manager!Source: Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently


“The doctor


after …*

*Source: Jerome Groopman, How Doctors Think


[An obsession with] Listening is ... the ultimate mark

of Respect.

Listening is ... the heart and soul of Engagement.

Listening is ... the heart and soul of Kindness.

Listening is ... the heart and soul of Thoughtfulness.

Listening is ... the basis for true Collaboration.

Listening is ... the basis for true Partnership.

Listening is ... a Team Sport.

Listening is ... a Developable Individual Skill.* (*Though women

are far better at it than men.)

Listening is ... the basis for Community.

Listening is ... the bedrock of Joint Ventures that work.

Listening is ... the bedrock of Joint Ventures thatlast.

Listening is ... the core of effective Cross-functional

Communication* (*Which is in turn Attribute #1 of

organizational effectiveness.)



Listening is ... the engine of superior EXECUTION.

Listening is ... the key to making the Sale.

Listening is ... the key to Keeping the Customer’s Business.

Listening is ... the engine of Network development.

Listening is ... the engine of Network maintenance.

Listening is ... the engine of Network expansion.

Listening is ... Social Networking’s “secret weapon.”

Listening is ... Learning.

Listening is ... the sine qua non of Renewal.

Listening is ... the sine qua non of Creativity.

Listening is ... the sine qua non of Innovation.

Listening is ... the core of taking Diverse opinions aboard.

Listening is ... Strategy.

Listening is ... Source #1 of “Value-added.”

Listening is ... Differentiator #1.

Listening is ... Profitable.*(*The “R.O.I.” from listening is higher than

from any other single activity.)

Listening is … the bedrock which underpins a Commitment to



*Listening is of the utmost … strategic importance!*Listening is a proper … core value! *Listening is … trainable!*Listening is a … profession!


The four most important words in any organization

are …“What do you think?”

Source: courtesy Dave Wheeler, posted at

the deepest human need is the need to be appreciated william james
“The deepest human need is the …need to be appreciated.”—William James

*appreciation is of the utmost … strategic importance!*appreciation is a proper … core value! *appreciation is … trainable!*appreciation is a … profession!

Tomorrow: How many times will you “ask the question”?[Count] [Practice makes better] [This is a STRATEGIC skill.]

Big carts =


Source: Wal*Mart


(1) Amenable to rapid


failure “free” (PR, $$)

(2) Quick to implement/

Quick to Roll out

(3) Inexpensive to

implement/Roll out

(4) Huge multiplier

(5) An “Attitude”


“Experiences are as distinct from services as services are from goods.”—Joe Pine & Jim Gilmore, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage


Press Ganey Assoc:139,380 former patients from 225 hospitals:noneof THE top 15 factors determining Patient Satisfaction referred to patient’s health outcomeP.S.directly related to StaffInteractionP.P.S.directly correlated with Employee SatisfactionSource: Putting Patients First, Susan Frampton, Laura Gilpin, Patrick Charmel


“There is a misconception that supportive interactions require more staff or more time and are therefore more costly. Although labor costs are a substantial part of any hospital budget, the interactions themselves add nothing to the budget. Kindness is free. Listening to patients or answering their questions costs nothing. It can be argued that negative interactions—alienating patients, being non-responsive to their needs or limiting their sense of control—can be very costly. … Angry, frustrated or frightened patients may be combative, withdrawn and less cooperative—requiring far more time than it would have taken to interact with them initially in a positive way.”—Putting Patients First, Susan Frampton, Laura Gilpin, Patrick Charmel


Thoughtfulness is key to customer retention.

Thoughtfulness is key to employee recruitment

and satisfaction.

Thoughtfulness is key to brand perception.

Thoughtfulness is key to your ability to look in the mirror —and tell your kids about your job.

“Thoughtfulness is free.”

Thoughtfulness is key to speeding things up—

it reduces friction.

Thoughtfulness is key to transparency and even

cost containment—it abets rather than stifles



*Thoughtfulness is of the utmost … strategic importance!*thoughtfulness is a proper … core value! *Thoughtfulness is … trainable!*Thoughtfulness is a … profession!

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.”—Henry Clay

try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Screw it up. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Try it. Screw it up. it. Try it. Try it. try it. Try it.Screw it up. Try it. Try it. Try it.


“We made mistakes, of course. Most of them were omissions we didn’t think of when we initially wrote the software. We fixed them by doing it over and over, again and again. We do the same today. While our competitors are still sucking their thumbs trying to make the design perfect, we’re already on prototype version#5.By the time our rivals are

ready with wires and screws, we are on version

#10.It gets back to planning versus acting: We act from day one; others plan how toplan—for months.”—Bloomberg by Bloomberg


Culture of Prototyping“Effective prototyping may be themost valuablecore competence an innovative organization can hope to have.”—Michael Schrage

think about it innovation reaction to the prototype source michael schrage
Think about It!?Innovation = Reaction to the PrototypeSource: Michael Schrage
skunkworks paralleluniverse the 1 solution source scott bedbury others 3m google shell navfac
“SkunkWorks”/ “ParallelUniverse”“the 1% solution”Source: Scott Bedbury (Others: 3M, Google, Shell, NAVFAC)
read this richard farson ralph keyes whoever makes the most mistakes wins the paradox of innovation
Read This!Richard Farson & Ralph Keyes:Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins: The Paradox of Innovation
“It is not enough to ‘tolerate’ failure—you must ‘celebrate’ failure.”—Richard Farson (Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins)

“Some people look for things that went wrong and try to fix them. I look for things that went right, and try to build off them.”—Bob Stone (Mr ReGo)


“Somewhere in your organization, groups of people are already doing things differently and better. To create lasting change, find these areas of positive deviance and fan the flames.”—Richard Pascale & Jerry Sternin, “Your Company’s Secret Change Agents,” HBR


“Where planners* raise high expectations but take no responsibility for meeting them, searchers prefer to work case-by-case, using trial and error to tailor solutions to individual problems, fully aware that most remedies must be homegrown.” —WSJ, 0822.06 (on malaria eradication, and hedge fund manager Lance Laifer)[*“Planners [WHO, World Bank, etc] see poverty as a technical engineering problem that their answers will solve.” —William Easterly] “All sorts of approaches need to be tried and we need feedback.” —Roger Bate


Demo = Story“A key – perhaps the key – to leadership is the effective communication of a story.”—Howard Gardner, Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership

“Storytelling is the core of culture.”—Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld, James Twitchell

Measure “Strangeness”/Portfolio QualityStaffConsultantsVendorsOut-sourcing Partners (#, Quality)Innovation Alliance PartnersCustomersCompetitors (who we “benchmark” against)Strategic Initiatives Product Portfolio (LineEx v. Leap)IS/IT ProjectsHQ LocationLunch MatesLanguageBoard


The “We are what we eat” axiom:At its core, every (!!!) relationship-partnership decision (employee, vendor, customer, etc) is a strategic decision about:“Innovate, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ ”


“Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in the last 90 days? How do I get in touch with them?”—Fred Smith

“‘Decentralization’ is not a piece of paper. It’s not me. It’s either in your heart, or not.”—Brian Joffe/BIDvest
Enemy #1I.C.D.Note 1:Inherent/Inevitable/Immutable Centralist DriftNote 2: Jim Burke’s 1-word vocabulary: “No.”
“Execution is thejobof the businessleader.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“Execution isasystematic processof rigorously discussing hows and whats, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability.”—Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan/ Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done


(1) sum of Projects = Goal (“Vision”)(2) sum of Milestones = project(3) rapid Review + Truth-telling = accountability

“Costco figured out the big, simple things and executed with total fanaticism.”—Charles Munger, Berkshire Hathaway

“Mr Zetsche, head of Chrysler from 2000 to 2005, denied he should take any responsibility for the U.S. carmaker’s troubles …”—Financial Times /05.29.07


“GE has set a standard of candor. … There is no puffery. … There isn’t an ounce of denial in the place.”—Kevin Sharer, CEO Amgen, on the “GE mystique” (Fortune)


“I am often asked by would-be entrepreneurs seeking escape from life within huge corporate structures, ‘How do I build a small firm for myself?’ The answer seems obvious …


“I am often asked by would-be entrepreneurs seeking escape from life within huge corporate structures, ‘How do I build a small firm for myself?’ The answer seems obvious:Buy a very large one and just wait.”—Paul Ormerod, Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics


“Mr. Foster and his McKinsey colleagues collected detailed performance data stretching back 40 years for 1,000 U.S. companies.They found that noneof the long-term survivors managed to outperform the market. Worse, the longer companies had been in the database, the worse they did.” —Financial Times


“Data drawn from the real world attest to a fact that is beyond our control:Everything in existence tends to deteriorate.”—Norberto Odebrecht, Education Through Work


Jim’s Mowing Canada

Jim’s Mowing UK

Jim’s Antennas

Jim’s Bookkeeping

Jim’s Building Maintenance

Jim’s Carpet Cleaning

Jim’s Car Cleaning

Jim’s Computer Services

Jim’s Dog Wash

Jim’s Driving School

Jim’s Fencing

Jim’s Floors

Jim’s Painting

Jim’s Paving

Jim’s Pergolas [gazebos]

Jim’s Pool Care

Jim’s Pressure Cleaning

Jim’s Roofing

Jim’s Security Doors

Jim’s Trees

Jim’s Window Cleaning

Jim’s Windscreens

Note: Download, free, Jim Penman’s book:

What Will They Franchise Next? The Story of Jim’s Group



% XF lunches*



Geologists + Geophysicists +

A little bit of love =Oil



> SAP/



The “XF-50”: 50 Ways to Enhance Cross-Functional Effectiveness and Deliver Speed, “Service Excellence” and “Value-added Customer ‘Solutions’”


“One bank is currently claiming to … ‘leverage its global footprint to provide effective financial solutions for its customers by providing a gateway to diverse markets.’”

—Charles Handy


“I assume that it is just saying that it isthere to‘help its customers wherever they are’.”

—Charles Handy


“I used to have a rule for myself that at any point in time I wanted to have in mind — as it so happens, also in writing, on a little card I carried around with me — the three big things I was trying to get done. Three.Not two. Not four. Not five.Not ten.Three.”— Richard Haass, The Power to Persuade


John Sawhill/Major Strategic Initiative:“What areas should the Conservancy focus on and more important— what activities should we stop doing?”Source: Bill Birchard, Nature’s Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How The Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Organization in the World


“Being aware of yourself and how you affect everyone around you is what distinguishes a superior leader.”—Edie Seashore (Strategy + Business #45)


The Real World’s “Little” Rule Book



DDE/make friends

WFBuckley/make friends-help friends

Gust/Suck down

Charlie/poker pal-BOF

Eddie VII/dance-flatter-mingle-learn the language

Vlad/birthday party of outgroup guy’s wife

CIO/finance network

ERP installer/consult-“one line of code”

GE Energy/make friends risk assessment

GWB/check the invitation list


Hank/60 calls


Delaware/show up

Oppy/snub Lewis Strauss


-$4.3T/tin ear 4-What do you think?


Banker/after church

Total Bloody Mess/Can they pay back the loan?





“I regard apologizing as the most magical, healing, restorative gesture human beings can make. It is the centerpiece of my work with executives who want to get better.”—Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You

Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become

Even More Successful




If not Excellence, what?

If not Excellence now, when?


“Breakthrough” 82*





*In Search of Excellence