Newsletter – August, 2021

On My Mind
Performance expectations matter! It was a difficult decision for the leaders of Japan to go ahead with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 especially given the emergence of the Delta variant and widespread public opposition. Every Olympic event I viewed seemed organized and well-run—sans spectators. Performance expectations are a powerful phenomenon. The Olympic athletes who expected to win a gold medal—but instead earned a silver or bronze medal—seemed noticeably disappointed during the post-event interviews. Their performance didn’t meet their expectations. However, most of the athletes who did not expect to win a medal were elated upon winning a gold medal—or a silver or a bronze medal for that matter. What are your performance expectations? I’m a believer in aiming high (“gold medal”), but the risk is that you could end up being disappointed. I’m just happy to be able to wake up every day and do work that I love. The means have become more important to me than the ends over the years.

Interesting Stories
Diplomatic intrigue, mental health, surprise victories, disappointing losses, world records, come-from-behind finishes, personal best performances, career-ending performances . . . there were so many interesting stories associated with the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Competing for your country is quite different than competing for some other team for many athletes. There is a sense of national pride and representation. The athletes for these games sacrificed much and had to train an additional year. The country-by-country medal counts are always interesting to me: The United States earned 113 medals (39 Gold/41 Silver/33 Bronze) followed by China at 88 medals (38/32/18). I also find interesting the nations at the bottom of the list. For example, Finland earned two medals and Saudi Arabia earned one medal. If you enjoy watching the Olympics, then you don’t have to wait long. The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China begins in February. I’ve no doubt Finland will perform better!

Company News
There are several upcoming public SIS events: the Strategic Improvement Green Belt virtual course starting August 9, 2021; the Strategic Improvement Black Belt virtual course starting August 25, 2021; the Regression Analysis webinar on August 31, 2021; the 13th Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference on September 28, 2021; the Fundamentals of Quality webinar on September 30, 2021; the Strategic Improvement Yellow Belt course starting October 7, 2021; and the Visions & Visioning short course on October 14, 2021. The brochures are available on the PUBLIC SEMINARS page of this website.

Intriguing Reads
One of the most useful “how to” books for creating an organizational vision is titled, Visual Leaders: New Tools for Visioning, Management, & Organization Change by David Sibbet. If you are visually oriented, then this is the book for you. The section of the book I really liked was Part Three: Power Tools for Visual Leaders which contained seven chapters: Metaphors & Models; Visual Meetings; Graphic Templates; Decision Rooms; Roadmaps & Visual Plans; Graphic Storymaps; and Video & Virtual Visuals. This is a useful reference book whether you are involved in creating an organizational vision statement or leading a project team. Best wishes as you visualize your future!