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Medium 9781567262469

Chapter 3 - Avoidance

Management Concepts Press, Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Avoidance is the act or practice of withdrawing from something or someone. In project management, avoidance implies a deliberate act of moving away from something or someone, usually because it is unpleasant or problematic.

One of my professors used to put it this way: “Eat your crow when it’s young and tender, rather than when it’s old and tough.” In my experience, avoidance now leads to “old and tough” later.

Trying to avoid (that is, “ignore”) potential problems on a project or hope they’ll go away is counterproductive. You can’t avoid scraped knees as a kid, and you can’t avoid problems in the course of a project. What you can—and should—do is anticipate, mitigate, and manage problems as part of a disciplined risk management process.

Avoidance is the opposite of disciplined risk management, and since risk management is an essential element of effective project management, avoidance undermines the entire process. Worse yet, it makes way for small problems to grow into large ones.

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Medium 9781523095285

Eight: Learning and Development

Slade, Samantha Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Learning organizations are possible because, deep down, we are all learners. No one has to teach an infant to learn.

Peter Senge

Going horizontal requires that people engage in learning and professional development to achieve this new mind-set, which involves shedding conventional vertical systems thinking and growing new habits and reflexes. However, the transition from vertical to horizontal mind-set aside, learning and development itself is a critical practice for individual and collective productivity and well-being. A non-hierarchical organization is by definition a learning organization that supports the personal growth and leadership of its entire community. It is based on the premise that organizations are as great as the people within them. Therefore, organizations themselves can and should serve as training grounds for us to become better humans. In other words, in addition to learning how to be part of a horizontal organization, you must also learn how to learn horizontally. Learning horizontally involves three critical principles:

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Medium 9781786392015

7 Coal and Oil-Fired Power Plants

Henderson, P. CABI PDF


Coal and Oil-Fired Power Plants

Both coal- and oil-fired power stations use steam turbines to generate electricity and therefore need to address all the issues covered in Chapter 5 (this volume). A schematic diagram of a typical coal plant is shown in Fig. 7.2. Large-scale oil-fired generation is no longer common and needs little detailed consideration here.

Many of its polluting characteristics, such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, mirror those of coal. Coal is the dominant energy source for electrical power generation on a global basis, producing about 41% of total production, and it will remain a major energy source for the foreseeable future.

The nature of coal and the waste generated by its combustion create a number of issues that, while not unique to coal combustion, are particularly problematical for coal plants. It is the environmental problems associated with coal handling and combustion that are considered in particular detail in this chapter.

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Medium 9781576757628

4. What’s Fair? Sharing Life’s Bounty

Brown, Peter G. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Love your neighbor as yourself.

—Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31

IMAGINE A BUSY CITY emergency room, around rush hour, suddenly overwhelmed by the victims of a mass transit accident. People with partially severed limbs, severe head wounds, out-of-control bleeding, and so forth are being rushed into the hospital admitting area on gurneys, their wounds barely being staunched by paramedics and their cries of pain filling the air. Doctors and nurses stand at the ready and begin the procedure of triage, that is, separating patients according to the urgency of their conditions. But instead of rushing the head wounds or internal injury cases into the emergency room, they first allow an older woman with a slight nosebleed into the case room; once she’s dealt with, they lavish attention on a family whose daughter has a bad flu, followed by a man who may have broken his arm earlier in the day. It goes on like this until the outcry from the severely wounded is so disruptive that a few nurses, reluctantly, go over and began to treat some of the sufferers. Many are already dying.

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Medium 9781609948962

18 Legacy

Frederick Gilbert Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

My father would say, ‘She did pretty good, for a girl.’

—Ginger Graham

We forget that as executives we’ve acquired a hard-fought body of knowledge. When we retire, we go away and it’s lost. That’s such a waste.

—Steve Blank

The famous psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson (1902–1994), suggested that the middle adult years, ages 40 to 65, are characterized by the need to give back to the next generation:

The fashionable insistence on dramatizing the dependence of children on adults often blinds us to the dependence of the older generation on the younger one. Mature humans need to be needed. Each adult must have some way to satisfy and support the next generation. A person does best at this time to put aside thoughts of death, and balance its certainty with the only happiness that is lasting: to increase by whatever is yours to give, the goodwill and higher order in your sector of the world.1

What the executives told me about the legacies they hoped to leave fits with Erikson’s ideas completely.

For some, the family legacy was most important. Dan Eilers said:

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Medium 9781567264685

Chapter 10: Cost-Plus-Award-Fee Contract

Segel, Kenneth R. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Cost-plus-award-fee (CPAF) contracts are ideal for driving down costs and improving performance because they incentivize the contractor to perform to its maximum capability and efficiency. Before engaging in a CPAF contract, however, the CO should determine if another contract type is better suited for the effort, as surveillance of a CPAF contract is administratively burdensome and expensive. The CO should perform a cost-benefit analysis to ensure the benefits (e.g., tighter cost control, enhanced technical capability) outweigh the costs. If that is determined to be the case, a CPAF contract is an excellent vehicle for motivating the contractor to perform.

A CPAF contract is “a cost-reimbursement contract that provides for a fee consisting of (1) a base amount fixed at inception of the contract, if applicable and at the discretion of the contracting officer, and (2) an award amount that the contractor may earn in whole or in part during performance and that is sufficient to provide motivation for excellence in the areas of cost, schedule, and technical performance.” FAR 16.405-2.

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Medium 9781567262117

Chapter 2 - Setting Up the Infrastructure

Hass, Kathleen B. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In This Chapter:

    Establishing the Requirements Analysis Team

    Selecting the Data Management and Requirements Archiving Approach

Infrastructure takes two main forms: setting up the analysis team and determining how you will manage and archive the requirements information. The requirements analysis team is typically an evolution of the elicitation team, and should be reconfigured and modified as needed. Before the requirements team can dive into analysis, the methodology and software that will be used for data management and requirements archiving must be chosen.

In the spirit of high-performing teams, business analysts align themselves with professional project managers, the best developers, and business visionaries to define business needs and determine the most appropriate, cost-effective, and innovative solution. Prior to beginning the analysis activities, the business analyst takes stock of the members of the requirements team that participated in the elicitation activities. To perform the analysis activities, additional experts might need to be brought onto the team, depending on the scope and complexity of the problem domain. However, the core team should be limited to six to eight members. To involve additional experts, establish subcommittees and plan for iterative reviews and feedback loops as often as necessary to mitigate requirements risks.

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Medium 9781576750308

8 A Step-by-Step Guide to Real Time Strategic Change

Jacobs, Robert H. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For years now, organizational trainers and consultants of one sort or another have targeted groups of fifteen to twenty-five people as the focus of their work. Good ones think through the implications their interventions have on the rest of the system in which they are working; however, with such small groups of people coming on board at a time, systemic influence from this work is minimal and slow to spread. The exact opposite occurs in a change effort based on the real time strategic change technology: systemic implications stretch across entire organizations, occurring in rapid-fire fashion.

The large group events—and the work preceding and following them—add a level of complexity to the change process that, while necessary, can be very demanding. This necessity is based on the principle of dealing with all major issues simultaneously, in a true systems approach that addresses parts only in the context of the whole. Consequently, throughout a real time strategic change process, there is an intention to work all the salient issues, involve the right people at the right stages, apply the most appropriate methods, and eventually decide upon, define, and implement changes that optimize the impact on the whole system.

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Medium 9781576750780

Chapter 17 What Is and What Can Be

Augustine, Ellen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Ellen Schwartz

starting from wherever you are
with a passionate consciousness

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.

—Chinese proverb

Whatever you can do—or dream you can—begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now!




That things are worse than you think. That we are being betrayed by our democracy. That the media with its polished images is stealing our time and energy and filling our children with self-centered and trivial thoughts. That corporate executives and shareholders are making a killing while 80% of Americans are bringing home less pay and working longer hours than twenty-five years ago. That the frenetic pace of our lives and the fierceness of the competitive mode are debilitating us, physically and spiritually. That economic instability is destroying our families, causing increased verbal dissension and domestic abuse. That our political system is attuned to moneyed interests, not the needs of the general populace. That our educational system is gasping for lack of monetary support and adult involvement. That community is missing for too many people.

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Medium 9781523095407

5 Humble Leadership in the US Military

Schein, Edgar H.; Schein, Peter A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Some form of hierarchy, a layering of formal ranks or implicit status levels, is intrinsic to all human systems. Hierarchy is a structural characteristic of organizational life, but what actually goes on between someone higher and someone lower is not automatically prescribed. We have hierarchies of administrators and professors in universities, senior partners and junior partners in professional service firms, committee chairs and levels of seniority in legislative bodies, differing levels of authority in large research projects, and, of course, clear levels of authority and rank in the health care system in which the operating room personnel function as a team with as many as four such layers.

The type of organization in which Level 2 relationships seem most out of place is the US military, where the very essence of the relationship is that you “obey your commanding officer’s orders.” This stereotype is largely based on military histories that highlight how important it is for Armed Forces personnel to learn to obey orders no matter how arbitrary or senseless. At the same time, those same histories contain many stories of individual heroes who chose to disobey orders because they made no sense in the actual situation and thereby saved their compatriots and/or won a key battle.

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Medium 9781609946326

3. Let Hindsight Light the Way

Kaye, Beverly; Winkle Giulioni, Julie Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

My interview for this job was so great. The manager was really interested in learning about my background and how I’d applied myself in the past. He asked great, probing questions that really challenged me to think. I sure wish he would “interview” me like that again now that I’ve got the job.

—an employee (perhaps yours)


Imagine if the job interview was the beginning of an ongoing conversational thread throughout someone’s career. Imagine uncovering layer upon layer of your employees’ skills, abilities, interests, and more—right up to the day they retire. Imagine what you could do with that information. Imagine what employees could do with it.

You can enable career-advancing self-awareness by helping employees take stock of where they’ve been, what they’ve done, and who they are. Looking backward thoughtfully is what hindsight conversations are all about. They surface what people need to know and understand about themselves to approach future career steps in a productive and satisfying way.

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Medium 9781626562509


Horn, Sam Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If you want to succeed, choose to INTRIGUE.


I = INTRO: Craft an INTRO that has people at hello. Get eyebrows up. Ask “Did you know?” Show them the fish. Turn a no into a yes. Share what’s rare. Psych yourself up, not out.

N = NEW: It’s not enough to be true; it must be NEW. Keep current. Create the next new thing. Cause aha’s with ha ha’s. Ink it when you think it. Look at the world with reawakened eyes.

T = TIME-EFFICIENT: Win trust by being TIME-EFFICIENT. Keep it brief, or they’ll give you grief. Swaddle your communication. Put a ThunderShirt on emails and meetings.

R = REPEATABLE: If they can’t REPEAT it, they didn’t get it. Craft a phrase-that-pays that resonates. Pause and punch. Coin a rally cry with rhythm, alliteration, inflection, and rhyme.

I = INTERACT: Don’t just inform, INTERACT. Never again deliver an elevator speech. Create mutually rewarding conversations. Set up a scenius so people can contribute and cocreate.

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Medium 9781576753835

6 What’s Driving the Customer Decision?: Practice 6: Communicate Value and Values

Conley, Chip Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF


What’s driving the customer decision?



Socially responsible companies must strike a healthy balance between the value proposition they offer to their customers and the social values they express in the creation of their product and in their marketing. A value proposition is a clear statement of the tangible results a customer gets from using your products or services. The socially responsible message has come to be known as the values proposition, as it allows a company to express its core values in order to clearly differentiate itself from the competition. Most importantly, this differentiator also provides customers with an opportunity to express their own values.

Unfortunately, some socially responsible start-ups make the mistake of operating as if their value proposition is far less important than their values proposition. While that may be true for some of their customers, the reality is that many of those companies never make it to their second year. They’ve forgotten a basic rule for running a profitable business: your product or service must be competitive in the marketplace.

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Medium 9781605095837

FIVE Dare to Connect

Brooks, Marta Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

My week is shaping up to be a bear, Doug thought as he parked his roadster at the community mailboxes Monday evening. His mind spun a review of the week’s priorities. Monthly financial reports are due at the bank by Friday, the presentation to Global Creations is scheduled for Wednesday, negotiations for the Hollis Brothers supplier agreement must be finalized, and—

“Hey, Roman, how’s it going?”

“Stein, what’s up? What’s new in the CPA world?”

Elliott pushed his glasses back up on his nose. “Not much.” Elliott stuffed his mail into a tattered canvas pack. “I was thinking about heading over to The Cantina for a burrito. Want to join me?”

“You’re on. Do you want me to drive? I wouldn’t want us to get stranded if your, uh, vintage automobile breaks down.”

Elliott laughed at the reference to his dilapidated ‘84 Volvo. “Oh, come on, let’s live dangerously. It may not be the prettiest piece of machinery in the world, but it has a certain charm and it gets me where I’m going. I can’t bring myself to get rid of it when it runs as well as it does.”

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Medium 9781609948139


Edmondson, Brad Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

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