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The Joining Forces Community Challenge

Posted January 31, 2012 10:21 PM by Brandon Kline

As a consultant staffed at the Performance Improvement Council, part of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, I have had the privilege of working many initiatives within the Federal Government. One such initiative, focused on our nation's veterans, is the Joining Forces Community Challenge. The Joining Forces Community Challenge was launched in July 2011 by the First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden in an effort to recognize and celebrate those citizens and organizations with a demonstrated, genuine, and deep desire to be of service and improve the lives of our military families.

Filed Under Government, Ascendant
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Achieving Engagement in a World of Digital Communications

Posted January 31, 2012 9:17 AM by Dylan Miyake

So your leadership team recently drafted a new strategic plan. It's about 80% complete and now it's time to test it outside the board room for accuracy. Then it will be time to gain buy-in and engagement across the organization.

What should you be thinking about as this process gets underway?

Filed Under Motivation
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School Choice Week

Posted January 25, 2012 2:14 PM by Dylan Miyake

Yesterday, The Atlantic posted an article on "How School Choice Became an Explosive Issue." Like almost everything else in American K12 education now, school choice has been politicized -- to the detriment of children and educators across the country.

Take, for example, the issue of charter schools. Charter management organizations like KIPP and Uncommon have proven that they can indeed scale the achievements of charter schools by instituting higher standards across their networks. Yet detractors of charter schools on the left accuse them of creating educational apartheid.

And then there's the issue of public schools and teachers's unions. Listen to the rhetoric from the right and it sounds like teacher's unions are committed to only protecting their civil service jobs, and that teachers don't care about students or achievement. Which is obviously untrue and overstates the case.

Of course, the answer is somewhere in the middle. What we need in the United States is a market for education that includes a strong, accountable, and equitable public education system and and equally robust private system. And we need to get past the rhetoric and the grandstanding to learn from all the experiments going on in the United States. Our children deserve better.

Score One for the Introverts When Seeking Innovation

Posted January 17, 2012 10:11 AM by Mark Cutler

When, as a consultant, you help clients execute their strategy, you cannot help but run into talk about innovation--what an organization must do to foster it and how to measure it. In this blogpost I want to focus on the "fostering innovation" part because I read a great article in The New York Times this Sunday, "The Rise of the New Groupthink."

The author, Susan Cain, argues that the "New Groupthink"--which holds that creativity and achievement come from open, collaborative, and gregarious workplaces--goes against the research in the field. "Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all," says Cain. "Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in."

Filed Under Collaboration
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How to Facilitate a Balanced Scorecard Workshop

Posted January 13, 2012 6:29 PM by Dylan Miyake

Your leadership team is ready to launch a strategy management system. They have bought into the idea of a strategy map and strategic measures. They even say they will meet regularly to discuss performance and make strategic decisions. It is going to be great. They have asked you to facilitate the leadership workshop. Do you know how to facilitate your leadership team?

Filed Under Facilitation
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Balanced Scorecard Metrics – Accuracy vs. Precision

Posted January 4, 2012 10:49 AM by Ted Jackson

I was reading an ExtremeTech article today titled "Lies, damned lies, and benchmarks." The article was about measuring performance in mobile phones, which isn't all that interesting to me, but I started thinking about some of the concepts in the article and how they related to the Balanced Scorecard. The author, Joel Hruska, threw in a chart about Accuracy vs Precision that I thought was particularly relevant.

Filed Under Balanced Scorecard
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What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success

Posted January 3, 2012 10:48 AM by Dylan Miyake

In a recent article in the Atlantic, Anu Partanen made a compelling case about What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success. In the article, he makes the case that the key to Finland's success is that the country values equality more than excellence.

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