Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leadership - "Be Humble, Be Confident"

One should remain humble until those they are dealing with cross the line of rudeness, ignorance and lack of knowledge in the subject matter they claim to have mastered.

Humility provides an aura of self-confidence and respect that gives others the opportunity to express themselves without fear or "humiliation" from those who claim to have all the answers and make decisions based on hierarchy because they can.

One cannot and should not consider himself/herself a servant-leader without this leadership characteristic. If one sees humility as something less than adequate or a weakness, it is the same person who bullies and drives fear into their social environment because of title and position. How sad.

Being a humble leader allows others to take control of their lives. Leaders who cannot be humble are those that wish to control everything and everybody within their reach.

Being confident does not mean you are "entitled". I dislike that word. I'm entitled to nothing except what I have accomplished and recognized for in the eyes of others. That I humbly accept.

I just received a nice award last week at a state conference. I humbly accepted the award and I'm confident that why I received the award I will continue to do and to do it better each day.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Longer School Year

Governor Granholm of Michigan backs longer school year

You can really tell when a politician is a lame duck. Pronouncing this type of change will not get you elected or reelected because of the Teachers Union. However, that is not why I'm posting.

I get tired of this subject as I do with most suggested educational changes. When are we going to address Efficiency and Effectiveness in schools? How much Non-Value Added time is wasted each day in our classrooms? Studies have shown that dozens of school days are lost each year when you add up the minutes of class disruption that a teacher has each day in their classrooms from unruly and poor behavior of students.

I know a Dean of Students that says and backs it up when he stated "Teachers will teach the optimum amount of time available and those students who want to Feature themselves will be sent to him and if they still can't change their ways then he will send them home so they can disrupt their parents".

Forget those groups/businesses who want to come in and teach teachers how to teach kids proper school behavior and etiquette. They say once that happens then all kids will learn. Will they? Perhaps we need to extend that training to the parents who can be just as rude as their children.

And, what about rude and lazy teachers? Easy - Get rid of them. It really is easy if you got the documentation and guts to do your job as an administrator. What if the administration does not do their jobs? Easy - Get rid of them.

Oh Yeah - it was over 95 degrees for the past two weeks while I have been in school. We have no air conditioning.

Governor Granholm - Who will pay for air conditioning units if the students are in school in the summer?

If your idea is to cut Holiday vacations shorter to get more days of learning I'm OK with that idea.

I just wish I knew by what method will this be done and who is responsible (Superintendent Flannagan?) for the outcome and by what means will we know if this will be successful.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

A Student's Perception - Is it Reality?

Contrary to popular belief by most teachers, and educators, students "Perception" is truth. Maybe the student has never experienced (nor anyone else) a particular situation but they believe it to be true anyway (Faith/Religion). Is it not the same as believing there must be additional species of insect yet to be found/discovered? I perceive this to be true even though I or no one else has seen the species as of yet.

I perceive the Universe to be expanding based on the works of people much more smarter than me (And the Discovery & Science Channel). But how far will it expand? If it is true all stars are pulling away from our Sun at a speed relative to the distance it is from our Sun, does that not mean eventually they will all meet at a certain starting point? Do they collide because they will get into each other’s way? Or do there starting points for this to be true predetermine it?

I perceive this to be true because if I started to walk away from my house and go due West or East or North or South would I not eventually come back to my starting point? Taking it a step further if my neighbor did the same thing at the same time would we finish at the same time? Obviously this is no, but none the less he too would return to his starting point based on the size and speed of his steps compared to mine.

Mathematical equations probably prove my thoughts to be false (I would not know this since my math skills are limited), but are they? Can my perceptions be so simple? Why not? Does it take an Astrophysicist to explain that if I plant a seed and care for it and make sure it gets water, sunlight and good soil will it not grow?

Is it any less perceptive to command the seed to grow if I stand on my backyard deck and tell it to do so? Your perception would say that can not be true, but I say the perception is not in the command of my voice, but that nature in its simplicity (water, sunlight & soil) may allow this to happen. Does an educator command the student to learn and it happens, or does the environment by which the student learns along with the ability of the teacher to teach the subject in question provide the best chance for knowledge to be learned?

So if I look to the sky and direct the galaxies of stars to meet at their starting point it will happen? Perception tells me yes this will happen, not because of my command but by the simplicity of nature.

Does it really matter if my perception is correct or not? Not really, the outcome will be the same because of the simplicity of common sense. But whose common sense, yours or mine, does it matter? I say not.

My knowledge is limited by my understanding of data, facts, information and application, but my thoughts/ imagination can perceive anything to be true.

Now tell me that Student Perception is not Reality and I will tell you to start walking. In education you should use your students imagination, perception and creativity to create new learning's even if you believe that you know more than your student (How do you know). The same can be said in business where the student is the customer and the educator is the all knowing executives (ha) at a company.
Many educators are limited by common sense and the expansion of their perception and creativity is based upon few life experiences (mostly learned by research and not application). Students on the other hand have perceptions that go beyond the farthest galaxy and are only brought back to earth by the limited minds of those who continue to teach and educate like Lemmings walking off a cliff that says "That is the way it has always been done".

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Quality System Assessment (QSA)" - qualityg style

During these hard economic times it is critical that organizations (including educational institutions) take preventive measures to ensure that waste and non-value added activities are removed from their company (school system) before they let more people go to the unemployment lines.

I have been involved in many audits (Baldridge, ISO, Educational) that include large corporations and educational (school systems) and most of them have been a political joke. Have the time the auditors had no idea what they were doing and it came down to 1 or 2 people who made all the decisions regardless of data and information. Unfortunately, I have been on some of these type of teams and I was embarrassed to be associated with the group and the organization that conducts the audits.

The intent is good but like most plans they fall short because of political and monetary gain (by audit & company leaders) by those overseeing the audits to make sure they gain a long term commitment to keep the money, audits,recognition flags and patches coming.

Many managers/administrators have no idea what their people are doing in a full day. There are too many employees still making errors and their are still far too many consultants getting paid to come in and tell leadership what is already known within their own organizations.

Create your own internal Quality System Assessment. Use the following as a model:

Over the years I have created and developed a Quality Tool/Technique that I call "Quality System Assessment" (QSA). It was designed to be used for any industry (quality, business, education, government). The major design inputs were taken from the Deming Award, ISO 9000, Motorola, Malcom Baldridge and my own quality assessment experiences.

I have been certified and trained as a Baldridge Auditor and Judge (Michigan). ISO Auditor and Lead Auditor. Certified ASQ Manager & Auditor. Trained as a Lead Quality Advisor from Florida Power & Light (Deming Award Winners). Six Sigma Black Belt (AT&T). Attended numerous classes at Motorla University.

My hope in sharing this is for the reader to be able to have a model to create/design their own QSA that will help improve systems and processes within any organization.

I will post the Slides in a PowerPoint Presentation format.

Click on SLIDE To Enlarge & Print

Remember to Click PICS to Enlarge

Click Slides to Enlarge

It is my hope that you will be able to use my QSA Model to identify potential problems and improvements in your systems.

Soon I will provide some QSA analysis questions to help with the Assessment.

Updated 8/15/10 - go to

please let me know if the model proved useful to you or your organization.

Owned, Developed and Created by qualityg

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Brainstorming - I THINK NOT!

Process Improvement and Quality Consultants get upset when I talk bad about some of their tools and techniques used to generate ideas and solutions on how to identify root cause and suggest solutions.

Today the subject is “Brainstorming,” and why it is not worth your time and effort.

I read the following headline today in the Detroit Free Press:

“Hundreds of people concerned about the ailing state economy came to the University of Michigan on Tuesday to brainstorm ideas on how to increase Michigan's role in the global economic environment.” (qg says ...why then do we have a department in Lansing that is supposed to know how to increase and improve our state economy - if they can't ---> get rid of them).

First let me provide a definition that is usually found in many quality and process improvement training books about Brainstorming.

Most problems are not solved automatically by the first idea that comes to mind. To get to the best solution it is important to consider many possible solutions. One of the best ways to do this is called brainstorming. Brainstorming is the act of defining a problem or idea and coming up anything related to the topic - no matter how remote a suggestion may sound. All of these ideas are recorded and evaluated only after the brainstorming is completed.

It is a means of aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim quantity breeds quality. The greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.

  1. In a small or large group select a leader and a recorder (they may be the same person).
  2. Define the problem or idea to be brainstormed. Make sure everyone is clear on the topic being explored.
  3. Set up the rules for the session. They should include:
    * Letting the leader have control.
    * Allowing everyone to contribute.
    * Ensuring that no one will insult, demean, or evaluate another participant or her response.
    * Stating that no answer is wrong.
    * Recording each answer unless it is a repeat.
    * Setting a time limit and stopping when that time is up.
  4. Start the brainstorming. Have the leader select members of the group to share their answers. The recorder should write down all responses, if possible so everyone can see them. Make sure not to evaluate or criticize any answers until done brainstorming.
  5. Once you have finished brainstorming, go through the results and begin evaluating the responses. Some initial qualities to look for when examining the responses include:
    * Looking for any answers that are repeated or similar.
    * Grouping like concepts together.
    * Eliminating responses that definitely do not fit.
    * Now that you have narrowed your list down some, discuss the remaining responses as a group.

Brainstorming has many applications but it is most frequently used in:
Problem Solving - issues, root causes, alternative solutions, impact analysis, evaluation
Process Management - finding ways of improving business and production processes
Project Management - identifying client objectives, risks, deliverables, work packages, resources, roles and responsibilities, tasks, issues
Team Building - generates sharing and discussion of ideas while stimulating participants to think

qualityg says … If your PI Consultants or Management Team have no idea on how to capture problems or generate sound solutions then you are in big time trouble. Using subjective ideas and information (Brainstorming) for possible solutions is WRONG and more than likely will result in “Tampering (special vs. common cause)” and “Sub-Optimizing your processes/systems.

Forget about the feel good of giving all employees a chance to participate in decision-making. You better be gathering/monitoring your processes to tell you where problems are located with objective data and information (including subject-matter experts).

Look again at the steps above, do you really want to waste time, resources and dollars making suggestions that may or may not have any value to your current situation. Once the team generates these probable ideas/solutions then they go out and try to collect data to justify their conclusions.

How stupid is that? Sounds to me your Consultant and Management Team have no idea what they are doing, and that does not surprise me!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Standardized Tests Do NOT measure Creativity

If you have been reading my posts you will know of my concern with the loss of creativity and innovation among our school children. With all the focus and pressure to obtain the goals for the federal and state standardized tests I’m wondering if we want all our children to be the same. Are there standards for music, arts, vocation, drama, etc…? How do we determine their GPA or ACT/SAT scores?

Newsweek Magazine had an article recently ( ) that stated students in the USA creativity scores are falling. However, last week I read an article in the Detroit Free Press stating some state scores are on the rise? In the Newsweek article it states that every generation the IQ of our students rises about 10 points but creativity testing now shows a decrease.

Newsweek defines creativity as the production of something original and useful, and says it requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) followed by convergent thinking, in which those ideas are combined into the best result.

Well qualityg needs no scientific testing I just watched the children around me and for a long time I have seen the decline in creativity among our children.

Last month while I was working on my mother in law’s computer I had a chance to see and hear my young nieces and nephew (ages 5- 11) playing in the backyard. As I listened and watched them play I had forgotten how much fun kids have when they are left alone to play, explore and make up games as they go. No adults standing over them to make sure they throw the ball correctly or play the game according to the rules.

When I think of the well-known inventors, artists, authors, etc… most of them were different, they had a passion for what they were doing and I bet they also had fun! They were not part of the status quo based on “Standards” that are supposedly good for all of us. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not for throwing away the standard testing completely, I’m just not willing to do it at the expense of sub-optimizing the creative talents of the children. There needs to be a balance between creativity and intelligence and there is none in our educational systems today.

Just before the get together was ending my sister-in-law came in and showed a web-site that displayed the artwork of my niece had done at school, being in fourth grade (age 9) I was amazed at her talent (I was discouraged from being an artist in the first grade, the Nun did not like my coloring and stuck me under her desk and kicked me periodically during the day, it was the end of my art career, but I did do well blocking kicks on the football team).

I believe a big part of the problem is the over scheduling of children's free time (Guilty as Charged). Kids are run from one lesson to another, from adult organized sports to child care programs that structure the whole day. They don't have time to think, to dream, to create their own games and act out their own stories, or to make things out of nothing. Look at out sport systems today. When summer starts many parents already have the camp dates for basketball, volleyball and football. This does not include the travel teams that kids play on during the week and the tournaments on weekends. Some try to fit in a vacation but that is usually planned out by the hour or day because someone decided we had to do this or go see that in order to have fun and be creative.

Now let’s add to that the planned mess when school starts and the focus and concentration on standardized test scores.

I can remember getting up in the morning during the summer or on Saturdays during school and going out after breakfast and not returning until dinner or the street lights came on. We played baseball and many other games with a variety of balls (football, basketball, dodge ball, kick ball, etc.). We made up games on our bikes and invented new ways of getting neighbors mad as we played Man from Uncle as we ran through yards and jumped fences in order not to get caught (tackled).

Yeah, my kids are smarter than I was when it comes to standardized testing but they never went on a bike hike that lasted all day or went down by the river and rode on ice breaking in the spring or hopping trains to Ohio. There was some Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer in all of us when we got creative.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Empolyee Goals & Objectives "again the big hitter"

It's amazing that every July and January over 90% of the visitors to my site are searching on Employee Goals and Objectives or some derivative.

No wonder Leadership is still in trouble when so many employees have to search for how to formulate a plan or objective for measuring goals.

It is simple - "What gets planned and measured gets done" - greg campbell

1) Employee Goals & Objectives - 90% +

Other Categories for June & July
2) Quality Tools & Techniques (Especially SIPOC Analysis & Pareto Charts)

3) Education

4) Leadership

5) Autism - ASD Mainstreaming

What I find most interesting is that "Employee Goals and Objectives" is not one of my main labels and the hits are world wide and not just in one area like the United States or Germany.

Employee Goals & Objective continue to be the most misunderstood of all Management and Employee Tools. They remain a once, twice or four times a year exercise in futility that brings no meaning to employee or boss all the way up the corporate ladder.

One should click on my Label for Dr. Deming to learn from the Master about Employee Goals and Objectives.

How sad that open communication and trust can not be tolerated in the workplace. People with numbers who have no sense of "Predictability" (Number One Skill of a Manager) and continue to Tamper with both human and corporate systems.

Below are some Links to some of my more popular posts on this subject:

For more posts on this subject click on the label to the left "Employee Objectives & Goals"

Good Luck & Remember - When you meet with your boss ask the following:

"By what method or data did you determine my ranking and rating or did you pull it out of your butt?" - greg campbell

Thousand and thousand of people have visited the above links (and more). I wonder if my methods and examples are being used and credited to me (I do have a copyright tracker)? Who cares I provide these examples because ratings, rankings and goals pulled out of the air are as useless as the leaders who believe in them!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Michigan has no educational leadership - "Stupid"

qualityg says ... "Wisdom - in this case meaning "Common Sense" sounds stupid to stupid people who do stupid things."

It continues to amaze me that the Michigan's leaders in education (except Kalamazoo), and how they follow each other like Lemmings when it comes to creativity and innovation – THEY HAVE NONE!
I am referring to proposed cuts in education and job training. Why do we sacrifice our future for present and past mistakes? The reason is because our leaders have no foresight except the next election or the next bottom line quarterly report.

Another reason, it has to do with incompetence and taking the easy road out to make them look good. Why can’t for once leaders represent the people you SERVE! In case you don’t know who they are they are your constituents.

We never learn, result measures for education improvement and business measures go month to month, quarter to quarter and year to year (MEAP Tests). Like traffic accident reports these are nice to know (What) but in education I never see action plans and measures (How) to improve the system. Newspaper results give us the "What and the Who" but never the "HOW."

Short term educational results are not an indicator of good leadership. Business leaders for years have shown us that it is easy to show results by cutting training, removing workers and providing meaningless measures.

Current educational result measures do not help students learn math or how to read. They make no contribution to improvement. They only make conversation of ignorance. In short they are STUPID!
School accreditations and assessments are nice but the attention and focus given by leaders are before, during and for a short time after the accreditation or assessment is done. In between the visits, reports and so-called improvement measures it’s business as usual and no means of actual improvement is done except for annual standardized reports that are not process improvement but a means used for recruitment brochures.

Certifications and Assessments of an educational system (school) are result measures. School official’s year and after provide results and “cursory” plans that have no structure, time or means of measurement to show they are implementing process improvements or if they do that they actually work.

Education Improvement will not come from accreditations or certifications, it will only come through improvement to the on-going improvement of the system (end-to-end) and this can not be done through actions that are result driven and not a combination of process and result measures led by an “active” leader.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

It’s the end of another school year and as I was thinking back the following questions came to mind.

1) It has become evident to me as I have been in a number of different high school and middle school settings that high school administrators and teachers feel superior or above those in middle and elementary school.

I wonder why this exists. Is it me or do you see a similar scenario in your school system?

Most teachers select where they want to teach based on the grade level and many often says there is no way I could teach middle school students or deal with the young kids.

I guess because I taught college that automatically makes me above the high school teacher. Sorry, can’t go there it would not be true, nor could I humbly even consider such arrogance. My rule of thumb is Pride of Workmanship. I see a devoted and productive teacher and I see seekers and conduits for sharing knowledge. That’s ACES baby!

2) Why do so many teachers still teach Cursive Writing? I have done a small sample simply asking why do you think we use Cursive Writing? The top answer was speed, followed closely by authorization.

How long will it take for people to understand that speed does not equal quality? Perhaps that is why all our textbooks, tests, newspapers, magazines, food and medicine labels, reading books, project reports, etc…

How about the computer, most people type in a printed font.

Authorization signature is outdated, if not why do many documents say sign and print your name. ? Is it because no one can read your writing and those people who do personality tests from writing will be out of a job? The time has come people to stop teaching this ancient script and use our time more productively in other courses that really matter.

Who cares if K – 4 students can’t stay in the lines or if the loops are not correct. Come on use our teaching time for value added activities.

3) If I hear an administrator tell someone they have tons and tons of paperwork I want to puke. Give me a break. The worst part is you believe it and do not want to automate or remove non-value added activities out of your job because you are comfortable.

All jobs/processes must remove non-value added activities and replace them with customer (internal/external) focused or facing activities. In education that means spending more face time with students and parents.

“Don’t mistake someone working hard with providing value added productivity” - qg

4) The classroom is NOT a sanctuary. Get out in the halls and see what is going on. Force administrators to do their job. Hiding behind kids asking questions after class means you are not doing your job during class time.

If you would like to read some of my past remarks on why teachers do what they do click here

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Balance is the Key to Education

Quality of Education is in the “Balance”

For the most part I always believed when I challenged something that was supposedly concrete in stone I was challenging “Conventional Wisdom.” I still think this true but perhaps a good majority of the time it is really challenging, “Balance.”

When people or something like a process or system reach a balance a comforting feeling sets in and all is good in life. However, balance changes over time (some fast, some slow) and if you don’t keep up everything gets off kilter and we begin to get depressed, antsy or don’t know what to do. The worst part is if someone or something is challenging our balance because our defense mechanisms arise and we fight the change with “What are you trying to do to ME.” Aaagh, ME, the most important person in the world --> ME. Well, sometimes ME is stupid and needs to wake up before ME starts bring other MEs involved until chaos and negativity abound the situation and now we have USs with their entire individual ME symptoms fighting to regain their balance.

Balance is one of the wonders of God’s creation, it allows everything in the universe (including humans) to move and rotate in a systematic fashion. If something or someone alters the balance change occurs, sometimes good and sometimes bad. What most people don’t realize is that change is an on-going phenomenon and in order to keep up or survive you must bring your own self in balance with it in order to move forward.

Think of the balance of our own bodies, we have defense mechanisms built in to combat disease and outside bacteria and germs from throwing our balance off into to sickness. However, if we keep our bodies in tune with the changes that are needed and required we eventually will get better and be back on balance.

Another way to describe this is by stating our world is made up of interdependencies that is somehow we all have to work together in order for the best results to occur. Sometimes it looks like one piece of the puzzle is greater than another but without all the interdependent the big piece will not survive as well the whole.

I can put all my efforts into building a great physical body but if I concentrate solely on that and not pay attention to my mental capabilities the body will eventually fail bringing the body down with it.

Education is a balance and for far to long we have built so many “Independent” silos not only nationally but also within each school system and schoolhouse. Everyone has the correct methods to what is right, which really means everything is wrong because the whole is so off balance nothing gets changed for the better.

There is a lot of criticism toward the No Child Left Behind Act (me included) but at least it is a standardized attempt for change. There is nothing wrong with this type of change as long as we keep the balance and continue to improve upon what is wrong and make it better.

Hopefully, President Obama's education plan will improve upon the NCLB Act for continual improvement but I am doubtful after reading American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Yes, balance is key, you are reminded of it each month when you take out your checkbook or build a monthly budget.

Think about it, are we not all wonders of God's own creation?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why Should A School Change?

Determining how to change a school once all involved understand and accept the why and the what. This final stage involves:
• How to create a strategic, collaborative plan
• How to manage change

Unfortunately, like business many schools begin their improvement efforts in the reverse order — by first deciding how to do things differently. That is, they find a “solution” without defining the need or problem/opportunity statement. Plus, if Administrators, Teachers, Parents and Support Staff do not believe the school must change or understand what needs to change, the suggestion for how to change is likely to be unsuccessful or rejected, because it is, in effect, an answer to a problem that has not been acknowledged or one that has always been around and it is a fact of education life.

I. WHY We Need to Change

School changes will require the desire and passions to come from leadership and at least an enthusiasm of others to be led — to change what currently exists. Leaders, administration and staff must accept change as a team and challenging rather than intimidating and threatening to those who look to us for guidance and leadership.

As I traveled back and forth across the country when I worked for a major corporation I wanted to know if it was a local problem or more systemic across the country. Talking with peers in different regions of the country I found them all to have the same problems as we faced in the central region (MI, OH, Il, IA, Wisc). In fact I did a study based on what I saw in North Carolina and determined that our reading and writing level was at the 8th grade level for many of our employees (including some that attended college).

While on the road I often attended local high school board meetings in different states to listen to what was going on in their schools, looking for ways they were preparing their students for the future. I found some good ideas for the times but mostly the common thread that most had in common were the problems they faced. For example these were the most prevalent between 2000 and 2004:

· Lack of funds
· Overcrowded classrooms
· Discipline problems
· Federal & State Laws & Regulations (NCLB)
· Lack of synergy between teachers, grade levels and schools
· Rapid changes in the digital world
· No synergy between parents, teachers and administrators
· Our Educational System is falling behind the rest of the world

Now that I have been working in the education field for the past six years I would still say the problems I found eight to ten years ago still exist today with the exception of the last one because we are now behind many nations of the world in our educational policies

I have been known for many years as a Systems Thinker who challenges “Conventional Wisdom”, the “Status Quo” and the “Balance” within a system. I ask many questions.

We educators have to understand that what exists in schools today needs to be updated to keep pace with the local, state, national and global societies. We need to recognize that students, admin and teachers must continually learn new things and that some of the skills we teach and use today will soon be as outdated as the technological and social skills continue to change for our students to be successful citizens and life long learners.

Changing the Paradigm

I have often stated that our schools follow an agricultural calendar and was designed for the industrial age of the mid 1800s that has created a poor match with preparing students for the technological digital age. In many districts, schools are not designed to deal with today’s technology, the global and media-driven world we live in, or the equity issues facing education. The rules and regulations under which these schools operate are held over from a time that has passed.

II. Determining WHAT Changes Need to be Made

Creating the Change

An awareness package needs to be developed, presented and shared with all involved in the School System. The awareness must explain the educational, economic and social reasons why education programs must change, the schools must use that knowledge to develop a student-focused dream (vision) and common focus that helps to identify what changes will be needed (data collection techniques to be developed). The dream helps create a mutual spirit among school and parish communities. The purpose of the school has to be clearly defined. Priorities will begin to appear and roadmap action plans will guide the changes for the school.

Today, there is common agreement about four roles of education:

1. Fostering academic (thinking) development
2. Preparing students to be informed, caring, and productive citizens of society
3. Preparing students for higher education
4. Preparing students for the world of work.

Nice words and found in many schools vision and mission statements. However, what does not exist is the means of how to bring these words alive, to make them real, to internalize them into the day-to-day learning’s of the school. It cannot be done without “active” leadership and the plans with associated measures to monitor progress.

III. Determining HOW to Change

Schools that have first gone through a process of discovering why they must change followed by an analysis of data which identifies what they must change are far better positioned to determine how they need to change.

Creating an environment in which educators at every level and students feel safe in questioning current practices and procedures is an important component in the processes that the successful schools use to stay on a path of continuous improvement.

I have found in my work and studies that found that change leaders look at the process of how to change quite differently from many other leaders. These leaders are willing to take risks as necessary because they believe there is no choice but to change (Dr. Deming – “No one has to change, Survival is optional”). They understand that playing it safe is more dangerous than taking a risk and that there is no protection from the wave of changes facing our students today and tomorrow. Consequently, they take control and lead example with humility and confidence, rather than simply trying to hang around.

Creating the Plan

My experience in Change and Creating Action Plans for transformation in business and education comes with the realization that leaders in the high-performing (Baldridge Results) schools and businesses seem to recognize that if they wait to get everyone on board and fully accepting of all requirements of a school improvement plan, they will never move forward. So instead, many accept the concept that one-third of the faculty and staff will be excited about a new plan, one-third will be watchful but somewhat open-minded, and one-third will say, in effect, “any changes will be made over my dead body.”

One approach I have found through painful experiences is that everyone needs to understand through open and honest communication (i.e., awareness package – to be developed) that any plan laid out is not perfect and that, moreover, there is no perfect model or plan. Any plan will need evaluation and adjustment constantly. The admission up front that the plan will need to be personalized as the school moves forward is critical to bringing the mindset of nay Sayers and those who like to sit on the fence and fall which ever way the wind is blowing.

Another hurdle that many schools and businesses I have worked with and for are the problems of dollars and time. Funding will always be an issue; but one must ask what is the cost of not doing changes, can we put a price tag on making sure our students are prepared for the environment they face after high school?

The biggest single deficit schools face is lack of time, how do we fit another project or effort into an already crowded workday. Everyone has their own priorities as to how things should be done; everyone protects “What’s in it for me,” instead of “What’s in it for the good of the whole school.”

Managing Change

By nature, many of us are not risk takers. Therefore, we want to make sure that any change being contemplated is well thought out, carefully planned, and clearly better than what currently exists. In effect, we will not change unless the pain of not changing is worse than the pain of a new change (like losing a job).

If we don’t, as a team believe that the present system can be changed for the better it will be a long haul. However, I believe the haul can be fun and it can be exciting to lay the groundwork and build what others are afraid to do. I have found since I retired when I look back and see what was, it makes me feel old. However, the way to feel young and invigorated is to look forward and to “Dream” for a better future through hard work and a passion for educational excellence.

To manage change in a school system with entrenched traditions and well-known fear of change requires a team of special and charismatic leaders. We as leaders need to recognize that avoiding dreams, passions and risks actually puts our school and students in greater risk of not succeeding than not attempting change at all.

A Transformation is required and we can no longer wait for someone or the government to come up with the ultimate plan. In order to compete, and bring balance to our academic successes along with our athletic successes, we must Dream and build a plan for today and tomorrow.

“No one has to change. Survival is optional.”

Monday, April 05, 2010

Updated March 29, 2017

I was sent (Valerie) this link for a new web site. The magazine provides expert advice from respected professionals about autism and offers solutions for families.

Check it out it is really good!
Autism is our country's fastest growing developmental disability. Autism spectrum disorders now affect 1 in 150 children. Autism is more common than juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer and AIDS combined. Do you know that every 20 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism!

Early diagnosis and intervention are extremely important to the progress a child with autism can make.

What is autism?Autism is a neurologically-based developmental disability that affects the way a child’s brain develops and the ability to communicate, reason and interact with others.

What does it mean that autism is a "spectrum" disorder?In a spectrum disorder, symptoms and characteristics present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe and in any combination.

What is Asperger's disorder?In layman's terms, Asperger's is a disorder on the autism spectrum. Individuals with Asperger's disorder are often considered mildly affected by autism in the sense that there are no significant language and cognitive delays. Persons with Asperger's experience impairments in social interactions and restriction in activities.

My Note: One of the ways I use to differentiate a person who is Autistic or Asperger's is by using three criteria; Behavior, Communication and Socialization. My involvement has shown me that Asperger students (Includes High Functioning Autistic) have Behavior and Socialization issues but are very capable of communicating (This does not mean it may OK). Autistic students have trouble with Behavior, Socialization and Communication (Some do not speak at all).

What are the signs of autism?Parents, teachers and medical professionals may look for these behaviors:

*not responding to name;
*doesn't point to wave goodbye;
*used to say a few words, but now doesn't;
*intense tantrums;
*odd movement (twirling, flapping, rocking);
*poor eye contact;
*unusual attachment to objects or schedules;
*lining up items in a certain order.
*Having one or more of these signs indicates the need for a developmental screening.

I must add a personal note that there is a big difference working in a Private School when it comes to Autism than in the Public School. The Private School suspects any out of the ordinary behavior as being a form of Autism. The Public School does not know what label to put on children who don't conform to predetermined behavior by so called experts so they add about three or four learning disorders just to make sure they have done their jobs.
For more of my posts on Autism please click on the label below this post or on the side bard to the left.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Company Principles


The answer is fundamentals or what I prefer to call "Company Principles."

IN A FOOTBALL SPORTS RELATED ANALOGY IT IS CALLED BASIC BLOCKING AND TACKLING that will help a company get back on track? I believe a good start would be with the "Principles" or the foundation blocks that have been destroyed with short-term goals and thinking.

What follows are some basic Principles that each senior leader should revisit and implement:

A company principle is a fundamental belief that is focused on the continual performance improvement of our services and products through addressing the needs of our customers, employees and stakeholders. The principles are as follows:

Customer-Focused – we must consider our customers’ current and future needs, fulfill customer requirements, and strive to exceed their expectations while keeping corporate strategies in our sights.
Read -
Management Owns Our System and will establish constancy of purpose and direction for the group.

They also create an environment in which all employees can be involved in obtaining company objectives.

Employees as People – our team approach is the essence of who we are and what we stand for. We need to listen and support each team member and to encourage each person to express their innovations and creativity.

Process Approach – by using a process approach to managing resources our activities will produce the desired results. When activities our work activities are linked together there is a structure for effectively managing and improving.

Systemic Thinking – company efficiency and effectiveness will be improved by identifying, understanding, and managing a system of interdependent processes that results in improving the whole not just the parts of any situation.

Continual Improvement – our company must have continual improvement as a permanent objective. Our premise will be to follow our Quality for Process Improvement. We must never settle for the status quo. Challenge Conventional Thinking!

Management by Fact – each of us needs to manage our work by collecting and analyzing objective data and information in order to make effective decisions that are certified by sound financial bottom line results. Avoid Short-Term Goals and People with short memories who are looking for the quick ride to the top at your expense.

Supplier Relationships – by working and partnering with our suppliers and contractors we will develop mutually beneficial, interdependent relations that will create a win-win situation for all involved. Perhaps looking a a single suppliership is required.

Developed by qualityg

also see Leadership Characteristics at

and Business Plan Objectives and Goals at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Obama promises children better teachers and schools - qg says ... HUH!

I just don’t get it. I have been anticipating President Obama’s Education plan with hope that we build upon the good things of No Child Left Behind and implement new standards and policies that will take our education system to the next level.

Over the weekend I read an article highlighting some of the changes coming with the so called:”new plan.”

What follows are the highlights (or lowlights as I prefer).

A few other highlights from the blueprint: PLEASE SEE MY COMMENTS FOLLOWING EACH PARAGRAPH.

• By 2020, all students graduating from high school would need to be ready for college or a career. That's a shift away from the current law, which calls for all students to be performing at grade level in reading and math by 2014.

qg says… This is not a shift this is mumble jumble bureaucratic talk. Both laws are result measures that have no plans or methods attached as to how they will be accomplished. People should avoid using the word “All.” Give me a method and tell me the process measures that will be implemented with the new guidelines (this does need mean after the fact ASSESSMENTS).

• Give more rewards -- money and flexibility -- to high-poverty schools that see big gains in student achievement and use them as a model for other schools in low-income neighborhoods that struggle with performance.

qg says… Money is always the solution for politicians and bureaucrats. Please understand money is not a means or a motivator that will solve the education problem. When will someone implement guidelines that hold parents, teachers and administrators responsible and accountable for education?

• Punish the lowest-performing 5% of schools using aggressive measures, such as having the state take over federal funding for poor students, replacing the principal and half the teaching staff or closing the school altogether.

qg says… Check this out. Read the next paragraph where Duncan states that No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is harsh and that punishes schools. Now read where the new plan calls for get this “PUNISHING” low performing schools using aggressive measures (oh by the way I bet these will be “result” measures (after the fact measures) AAAGH!!

• Duncan has said the name No Child Left Behind will be dropped because it is associated with a harsh law that punishes schools for not reaching benchmarks even if they've made big gains. He said the administration will work with Congress to come up with a new name.

Amy Wilkins, a vice president with the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., called the blueprint a "culture shift."

qg says ... Culture Shift??? We need a Paradigm Shift!!!

"One of the things America has not been clear about is what K-12 is supposed to do," Wilkins said. "In this, we're saying K-12 is supposed to prepare kids for college and meaningful careers."

qg says … Take a look at the last quote and paragraph. Ms. Wilkins please tell me this is a miss quote or not explained well enough because if you are saying America has not been clear what k-12 is then we are doomed. This is a ridiculous statement and if this is thinking of the Education Trust folks in Washington then I have no trust we will ever solve our education woes.


p/s - I will gladly recant any of my remarks once the complete plan is published.

Here is the link for the "Blueprint for Reform (Currently Reviewing).

UPDATE - 3/16/10

I have finished reviewing the 42 page Blueprint Document and I stand by my comments above. "Fluff" is the word that most comes to my mind as I read the proposals.

There are many "Whats" but not much mention of "Hows" or by what method will these changes among Federal, State & Districts will take place.

On Page 42 the heading says "Measuring Success" - As I feared above these are "Result" (After the Fact) measures that take two years to determine if key indicators are "effective" (Another word the proposal uses that means after the fact).

I was looking for "efficiency" and Process Measures that are required to measure such things as "Key Indicators" as the implementation process is working (While the Train is Moving) not at the end of the trail (Back the Train up and go back and correct),

Oh Well - HUH!!!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Why I Still Like Girls Basketball - Season Over!

Welcome To Season Four

"We Want Them Back"

The past three season blogs can be found by clicking on the "Girls Basketball" Label found on the left sidebar.

This year’s team began the day after our Team Banquet ended last March. There has been a hunger to get back what was ours. Last year we lost to teams that had never beaten us, we lost our league tile, our catholic league title, district, regional & quarterfinal titles and we lost to our arch rivals.

So what will be the difference between this years and last? Hopefully this year’s team will understand what we have lost and want to begin their own destiny. Coaches we feel we have more offensive weapons this year and we should be able to play consistent pressure defense for a whole game. If we do not we will lose, it is that simple. This summer many of the girls have been working hard on their shooting and passing.
We went to camp last month (July) and did a good job. I felt we beat the teams we should have and we hung with those that beat us including some top rated teams in the state. We are one fundamentally sound big (6’2”) from being a very dangerous team. However, we have hearts this year that can make up the difference.

While at camp we suffered cuts, breaks, sprains, slams and many bruises. And guess what? These kids stuck their noses right back in and kept playing with humbleness and confidence. Many times you see players backing away after they take a hard knock, not these girls they can give as well as they take.

We have a strong captain returning this year who has done a wonderful job this summer building confidence and camaraderie among the returning players and the new freshman entering the school. She has done a number of team building events and leads by hard work and determination.

School starts in a few weeks (August) and we will be moving in to working with small groups (4 players) of players who do not play a Fall sport. Some of the girls are also considering joining a Sunday night league to get some additional playing time before the season officially starts in November.

I also want to give a shout out to one of our 8th grade coach's who has spent some considerable time in India this summer.

Hold that Tiger “E”.

11/8/09 - Try Outs

Tomorrow begins our season and our first game is December 1st. Three of our first four games may be the toughest we face all year. In fact, this may be the toughest schedule we have had in years. Two of the teams in our league made the final eight last year in the state tournament (They are one of the first four teams).

Try Outs start tomorrow and unlike last year it will be difficult to make this team.

The coach is implementing new offensive schemes that will work great with the talent we have on the team. While we are undersized we have many good athletes. A good number of the girls have worked hard this summer and I see some nice improvement.

We will be considered a young team but we still have four players who played on our Final Four Team three years ago. All four will contribute heavily to the success of this year’s team.

We could be a very good team with a 500 record this year. That is OK because I would rather play the competition than to have an over rated record.

This is going to be a very interesting year. Defense, Defense, and more Defense! Stay tuned!

11/28/09 - Fire & Ice & Wind

I can't believe our first game is next Tuesday. We have 12 players this year and each practice brings hopes of a good season. Tomorrow we have our annual scrimmage against a well coached team that provides great competition and a good gauge for improvement.

8#s of Nothing!!

12/6/09 - 70 and 70

Our first week is over and we had two polar games. One good and one bad.

The first game we lost and gave up 70+ points. We were actually leading early in the 2nd quarter but a key player got in foul trouble and we could not contain a starting line-up of our opponents 6'3", 6'1 and 5'10" Our biggest starter is 5'8."

No excuses, we let in far too many lay-ups and did not move feet enough on defense.

The second game we scored 70+ points and won the game by over 30 points. Size way we matched up evenly but we had too much depth, speed and good defense on their best player who averages around 19 ppg. We held her to twelve with five coming in the 4th quarter when the game was well out of reach.

We have no games this week but we face two teams the following week that may be the best teams we see until the state tournament.

Like most teams we have many weaknesses to work out but this team has something special and that is heart. These girls do not give up, they get frustrated but do not give up.

12/20/09 - Not good enough

As stated in my lat post we did play two good teams this past week and lost both games. While these teams are in an upper division it does not matter when it comes to effort and the will to win.

It is just not the effort to win but truly believing you can win. That is what we won from the past two games. I believe the girls know they can compete and win any game we play.

The potential for this team is an on-going step by step process that must be managed carefully but at the same time increase the talent of a few player who will play pivotal roles towards this years state playoffs and the next two years success that may field some of the best teams to play at our school.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Enchanted New Year!

1/3/10 - New Year, New Confidence

It truly is a new year for our team. If we can capture the defensive intensity, communication and running game the team displayed at a scrimmage against two higher class teams than us last week we will be in good shape to compete in our league which has two top ten state rated Class D teams.

We started the scrimmage slow but played out played and outscored our opponents at will for the remainder.

We play both of them this week. This team has potential and we are going to surprise some non-believers this year. I just hope none of them remain on our team.

1/17/10 - Improvement is Evident

Our record is 3 wins and 5 losses. We have three games this week and if the team can maintain defensive intensity we will win all three game to put us above 5oo.

Tomorrow we play our fourth game against a state rated team. It would be a good win because we had a rough go last Friday and we did not respond to some "trap" pressure which we usually handle very well in most cases.

The gap between understanding and skill level is narrowing from top to bottom players on our team as the season progresses. This can only happen during good intense practice sessions where the girls are trying to make themselves better by banging and grinding out each possession. While it is not as consistent as the coaches would like it is getting better.

Our schedule is really tough and I like it that way. It is tough on the girls who don't really understand because they like their parents and many fans judge by wins and losses. This is especially true for the JV and Freshman Teams. It is my belief it is more important that kids play at this level for development. The overall goal is to get players ready to play Varsity .

Wins and Losses get in the way because many JV and Freshman coaches want wins and for a good many players who need develop they do not see the floor and do not get the attention in practice for continual improvement.

1-2-3 WIN!

1/25/10 - Rivalry Week

Since my last update we won our game against a state rated team and lost two games by 2pts each in the last minutes of the game.

Losing close games drain you both physically and emotionally. The team starts doubting if they can win and start blaming others for losses. Even the parents start to chime in with comments that are better off unsaid. If they must make stupid comments they should first have to stand up and say I am an idiot. I say this because this is what the other parents think of you they just don't want a confrontation so they pretend to agree with you.

This week we have two games. The first one is against a neighboring city which is a Class A Team (We are C). They have never beaten us so the pressure is on both teams to win. We need a win to get some frustration out and to go in to Friday's game against our arch rivals.

It will be interesting to see if the girls will get ready to play and it will be more interesting to see if the coaches can too!

2/1/10 - Back to Basics!

Two games two more losses. The girls are playing hard and we lost both games. We just are not doing the little things right to win games. The little things are called "Fundamentals."

There is little practice time to adjust but we will have to find time for boxing out and taking care of the ball. It is tough for the girls and each loss brings more outside drama to the team.

Sometimes things like the drama can only be settled by the team themselves. I believe that will have to happen to this team to be successful for the remainder of the year.

2/12/10 - Win One Lose One

My last prediction was correct and I think internally the girls have become to work things out as a team. However, outside influence in the form of tampering with some our team members by another sport is causing other problems.

I must be getting soft because because in past years I would have hit this problem head on and probably would have made things worse. So maybe I'm just getting smarter (I hope so). In any regards, I don't forget and some people won't know what hit them or when by the time I am done. (I am also now very patient).

Last Monday we beat another state rated team (4th this year) but lost to an inferior team on Thursday. This team does not know how good they are and do not have any idea what is is to win a big game and sustain that feeling to another game.

We have three games left until the State Championships start March 1st. If we get momentum we will be dangerous. If we win one and lose one it will be a crap shoot.

3/1/10 - State Run Begins

We won our last three non- league games in good fashion. It really proved just how tough our league is and the parity between the teams. We won each game by at least 15 points.

This is a fun team with many players who can help and contribute in scoring, defense and good solid play. Our District Games this week will be tough but we welcome the competition. We are prepared and we are all excited.

3/5/10 - Season Over

The season ended in a way that every player and coach hope does not happen. Losing to an inferior team and not playing your best for a complete game. We score 15 pts in the first half and was down by 17 pts.

We got to within 3 pts in the 4th qtr but could not get the lead and we lost. I wish I could say their defense stopped us in the first half but we missed 4 wide open lay-ups (That I remember) and a number of free throws and we were not moving. It was like a flashback to the beginning of the season and how we were playing.

I feel terrible for the three seniors. Hopefully, the juniors and sophomores will remember the pain they felt in the lockeroom after the game and devout their off season to a new level of commitment for the game.