SEE.

Envisioning solutions to our nation’s most complex challenges

BELIEVE.

Engaging the untapped passion and talents of our public workforce

ACHIEVE.

Delivering results that showcase great government in action

 


 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

February 2013 Edition

 

Mass Customization,
The New Way of Doing Business

In the business world today, regardless of the type of business you manage, your customers are demanding more and more customization. Yet, your mass production thinking may be humming along in the background and preventing you from making the shift.

Learn More…

 

 

As a leader setting out to sponsor change, it is important to understand what that change will bump into in the organization’s culture. The more conscious the potential collisions are made the more they can be avoided.

Video Blog

Learn More…

What creates a willingness for culture change?
Can a culture change quickly?

Why should leaders worry about their culture?

What changes culture?

The mysterious lever of success
Lessons from 30 years of implementing Lean

    More Blog Articles…

 

News & Updates

Government Technology Ideas Worth Importing
Governing.com

Don’t Let Strategy Become Planning
Harvard Business Review

What Makes the Best Government Website?
Governing.com

 
Ladder of Inference

The Ladder of Inference illustrates the automatic, unconscious process of our thinking.

 

Leadership Articles

Innovation In-Demand as Economy Makes a Comeback
Governing.com

Take a look at your company’s culture
Portland Business Journal

Fixing a Process that No Longer Makes Sense
Governing.com

Team Profile
Meet Tammi Wheeler, Senior Consultant with Mass Ingenuity

Learn More…

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308             

 



 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

January 2013 Edition

 

Operate in the NOW by Saying Yes

Customers increasingly demand a YES answer to each and every question they ask. Customers simply don’t care about a company’s internal procedures and policies they want a speedy answer to a specific question, and the answer they want to hear is “YES!” They want what they want, and they want it NOW.

Learn More…

 

 

You may think I am crazy to be optimistic about government. But I am, and there is good reason.

While the posturing and brinksmanship currently going on in Washington, D.C. causes us to feel that our federal government is broken, the reason I am optimistic is because there is a very different story going on today in state government.

Learn More…

 

The Accidental Organization
Seeing is Controlling
Democracy, Work and Employee Engagement
The Three Leadership Actions that Transform Teams, Organizations and Families
What’s in it For Me is What’s in it For You
    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

Six Social-Digital Trends for 2013
Harvard Business Review

Utah Tops Forbes 2012 List Of The Best States For Business
Forbes

2012: The year in pictures
CNN.com

 
7 Step Problem Solving

Common language and shared tools increase the speed, quality and effectiveness of problem solving.

 

Leadership Articles

Today’s Best Companies are Horizontally Integrated
Harvard Business Review

Politics Dominate Twitter’s Year In Review
Forbes

The 100 Most Innovative People in Business 2012
FastCompany

Team Profile
Meet John Bernard, Founder and Chairman of Mass Ingenuity

Learn More…

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308             

 



 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

November 2012 Edition

 

Then vs NOW

Then companies that play by all the old rules suffer lackluster performance and pay a heavy long-term price for their ways. The Now companies break the old rules, formulate new ones, and enjoy the fruits of their success.

   Learn More…

 

 

Great organizations are made up of people who are always working to be the best they can be.

A couple years ago, I heard General Colin Powell speak about the man who cleaned his office when he was the U.S. Secretary of State. The man displayed enormous pride and took his job seriously. He wasn’t a janitor, rather he was a man who had a place in history because history was made in the office he cleaned.

Learn More…

 

Whatever You Do, Be Outstanding
Cruel Hoax: Hope
The Reason for Lean’s High Failure Rate: Management
Hurry up and decide
    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

Are You Learning as Fast as the World Is Changing?
Harvard Business Review
 
Destination: Improved Performance and Higher Profits
Portland Business Journal
 
Weaving Innovation into the Fabric of Government
Governing.com
 
NOW Speedometer

See how NOW your organization is with the NOW Speedometer tool

 

Leadership Articles

The best leaders make the right decisions the right way
Portland Business Journal
 
Leaders must create a real company vision, not just a slogan
Portland Business Journal
 
The Opening Door to Government Transformation
Governing.com
Team Profile
Meet Tim Dexter, Cloud Computing for Mass Ingenuity

Learn More…

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308             

 



 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

October 2012 Edition

 

Leading with Fear

There is nothing like a good scare! While folks enjoy the feeling of fear and not knowing what is around the corner in a spook house, they don’t enjoy it as much in their everyday job.  Still many managers use it to control and manage their employees.
 
Using fear as a management tool has dramatic negative impacts.

   Learn More…

 

 

A department meeting was underway and the team was discussing a problem that was causing a lot of extra work. An employee enthusiastically started firing off ideas for the group to consider for fixing the problem. The employee was visibly engaged and enthusiastic.

Another employee, a long timer in the department, looked in dismay at the enthusiastic employee and said, “Oh, you’re the new guy. You obviously haven’t died inside yet.”

Learn More…

 

It Really Isn’t a Tradeoff
Measures Give Work Meaning
Government’s Gotta Work
    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

Engage Employees with a Now Moment

Portland Business Journal


Delivering Services with Agility and Flexibility
Governing


Big Data:  The Management Revolution
Harvard Business Review

 

Leadership Articles

The No. 1 Enemy of Creativity:  Fear of Failure
Harvard Business Review

Ten Signs af a Fear-Based Workplace
BusinessWeek

Understanding Fear of Process Improvement
Harvard Business Review
 

Team Profile
Meet Chris Barker
Administrative Assistant with Mass Ingenuity

Learn More…

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308             

 



 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

September 2012 Edition

 

Back to School

Any teacher worth their salt will tell you that they are constantly learning new things from their pupils.  Teachers discover what motivates them to get their homework done on time, or new strategies to gain and keep their interest in the subject at hand.  A good leader is not only a good teacher, but also a good student.

In order to be a leader in a NOW organization, you need to be willing to listen to your workers, and learn right along with them about the tools and techniques that will help your organization move forward towards your common goals.

 

Want more productivity? 

Teach workers to Solve Problems.

Managers and executives often say their employees aren’t much help when it comes to solving problems because their ideas are half-baked — or worse — completely off course.

Why do you think that is?

Some say employees “just don’t understand the business well enough.” Others maintain workers “don’t consider the impacts” or “just don’t know the history” and on and on and on.

The problem is that managers rarely take the time to teach workers how to solve problems.

    Learn More…

 

 

A core part of being human is the passion to serve. Through my conversations with many people over many years it’s easy to see that for most human beings nothing is more fundamental than the desire to serve others.

People who chose to work in government are no different. Yet, as citizens we are often critical of government workers and the word “bureaucrat” has become a negative word. It stands for red tape and poor service.

Do you see the disconnect though?

People go to work in government to serve citizens, but something gets in the way. Something prevents them from providing the great service they very much want to provide.

Learn More…

 

A Beautiful Road Rarely Traveled
Changing the Definition of Quality
Aligning Your Stars
    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

4 Leadership Lessons From The Founding Fathers

Fast Company


5 Leadership Lessons You Won’t Learn in B-School
Inc.com


Four Lessons From the Best Bosses I Ever Had
Harvard Business Review

 

From Know-It-All to Fellow Learner

In a NOW organization, everyone learns and everyone teaches.

1. Stress that everyone should learn something new every day.

2. Apologize if you act as if you know all the answers.

3. Admit your own vulnerability.

    Learn More…

 

Leadership Articles

5 Business Lessons Learned from Undercover Boss
Inc.com

Teaching Leadership: Advancing the Field
Harvard Business Review

Military and Business Leaders Must Be Great Teachers
Military.com

Team Profile
Meet Beth Doolittle,
Senior Consultant with Mass Ingenuity

Learn More…

 

Features


7 Deadly Sins of Management

Podcast

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308             

 



 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

August 2012 Edition

 

Failure to Engage

Micro-innovation is the Holy Grail of modern management.

Micro-innovation (incremental improvement) that is driven by employees is the secret to transforming the customer experience, accelerating revenue growth, and reducing costs.

Yet, the level of employee engagement required for micro-innovation remains one of the most elusive outcomes in modern organizational life. Research shows in aggregate that employee engagement continues a 25-year decline.

Read the rest of the article…

 

New Mass Ingenuity Website

 

 

Any leader worth their salt understands that when things go wrong you have to take responsibility. How you take responsibility reveals a lot about your character as a leader.

This week I received an email from a CEO whose company had violated some LinkedIn policies by doing outbound marketing to individuals utilizing several group lists.

With “great regret” the CEO sent an email titled “Public Apology.” In it he took personal responsibility for the misstep and ardently apologized for the break of social media protocol.

That was all good and, even though I was not affected, I thought the gentleman was doing what he should be doing.

But then, I kept reading.

Learn More…

 

Goodness to Greatness Leadership-Seven Steps
The Monster Under the Bed
Who let the dogs out?
    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

What’s Your Magic Number?
Governing.com

Don’t just copy a management book — understand it first!
Portland Business Journal

The power and magic to say ‘yes’ to customers immediately.
Business-improvement.eu

 

Building the Fundamentals Map

The Washington State Department of Retirement Services has generously allowed us to share a presentation of their implementation of the Fundamentals Map, a key component of the NOW Management System

    Learn More…

 

Leadership Articles

10 Management Lessons From The 2012 Olympics
Forbes.com

Lead Like an Olympian
Lead Change Group

Leadership Lessons from Olympic Athletes
Toastmasters
 

Team Profile
Meet Jim Clark,
Senior Consultant with Mass Ingenuity

Learn More…

Features


Management Waste

Podcast

 

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NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

July 2012 Edition

 

Aligning Management

Management teams often struggle with alignment at many levels, partially because each member of the team has a unique management philosophy and way of running things. We learn and develop our approaches to management through formal education and reading, by watching others, and by trial and error. Some approaches are very effective and others are not.  A driving reason why some executives consistently outperform others: They have found a system that works.

Most managers develop a set of activities they use again and again to drive the work their department needs to accomplish. And still others ignore disciplines of management and try to rely solely on their inspirational leadership to cause employees to do the right thing.

Read the rest of the article…

 

Tools like Six Sigma are Great

But focus on the management system first

by John Bernard

Working with a company that was struggling for better results, I was struck by how many things they were doing in their sincere effort to transform their much beleaguered business. The list read like the “who’s who” of modern management practices:

  • Lean
  • Six Sigma
  • Balanced scorecards
  • Change management
  • Performance management
  • Innovative leadership

Many times I have worked with organizations that had or were implementing any number of well-regarded and important initiatives. A case in point was a Fortune 100 company that in the previous 12 months had completed a dozen major process initiatives. When I asked the executive-in-charge to show me the quantifiable results, he explained that the company did not want to put “pressure” on the teams, so they didn’t measure the improvements.

    Learn More…

 

 

In the midst of a crisis we humans are far more willing to be led. I think it’s human instinct to take direction when the barn is burning and someone emerges that seems to have a plan. We simply don’t have time to argue when the danger is imminent and the call to action is now.

Two elements are necessary to mobilize people in a crisis and there’s a broad lesson in this for leaders. The first element is danger; the second is an individual who commands our attention with a viable plan to avert the danger.

 

    Learn More…

The Little Thing is the Big Thing

Why Do We Work? It’s Not What You Think
On Giving Back
What You Can’t See
Being a NOW Leader
    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

Best Places to Work Snapshot: Satisfaction with Pay

Partnership for Public Service

 

Study: Employee Attitudes and Financial Performance

Northwestern University

The Unintended Benefits of Measuring Performance
Governing.com

 

The Leader’s Five-Question Heart Check

Here are five questions to test how engaged your heart is with your employees:

 

1. What do I really believe about the people who work for me?

2. What do I want for them and what do they want for themselves?

3. How can I best serve them in the context of our business?

4. Do they feel safe in my organization to be fully human?

5. Do I genuinely appreciate and acknowledge their unique talents?

    Learn More…

 

Leadership Articles

Team Profile
Meet Kelly Jensen,
Senior Consultant with Mass Ingenuity

Features


Making The Shift To Now.

Podcast

 

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NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

June 2012 Edition

 

Tangled | Government is Broken

No one questions that we live in complex and challenging times. But few understand the degree to which government itself drives that complexity. State governments alone produce nearly 22,000 new laws per year on average, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, resulting in a tangle of regulations that is a nightmare for agencies to administer and for businesses and citizens to navigate. And of course our local and federal governments stay busy churning out their own massive amounts of legislation year after year.

Trying to comprehend what could possibly be driving the need for such a huge pile of new laws every year is a challenge, to say the least. What’s easy to comprehend, however, is that this tangle of laws and regulations does anything but encourage the creation of new businesses and the expansion of existing ones that would bring the jobs our economy so desperately needs. In Oregon, for example, someone who wants to open a small convenience store with a gas pump must deal with laws across 12 state agencies. That’s a burden a small business cannot reasonably carry.

Read the rest of the article on Governing.com…

 

Have you Set the Stage for Performance?

Last month we reviewed that every organization is run by some form of a management system, whether its existence is consciously recognized or not. But most organizations operate under an informal, evolved-over-time, momentum-driven management system that few people, if anyone, in the organization really understand.

Deciding to map your system of management is more than a decision to participate in some esoteric exercise. It signifies a decision to intentionally cut through the complexity and bring comprehension of your business with an easy-to-grasp picture. Mapping is the first step in beginning to control your management system, rather than being controlled by it.

    Learn More…

 

 

 

Everybody wants to be a leader. Nobody wants to be a manager. Why?

Leadership is cool. It’s inspirational. We cherish and honor great leaders. We devour books about Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, John Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher.

But who wants to read a book about a great manager. Boring. Dull. Uninteresting.

    Learn More…

What managers can learn from Mom

The amazing new generation

5 wastes management causes: do they hurt the planet?

That was Then, this is Now

    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

Checklist is an old idea but it can improve your business

Business Journal

 

Empowering Employees

Business Journal

 

John Bernard spoke at the National Association of Attorneys General summer meeting. His presentation, “Better, Faster, Cheaper: How Business Approaches are Working in State Government” included the premier of our video on government waste called “Tangled.”  John received very positive response from the audience.

 

7 Deadly Sins

of Management

1. Unclear Direction

2. No Line-of-Sight

3. Unclear Accountability

4. Inconsistent Language

5. Poor Isuue Transparency

6. Inappropriate Resources

7. Inadequate Tools/Skills

 

 

Leadership Articles

Features

 

Thriving in the Now

Podcast

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308             

 



 

NOWinsider Newsletter 

 

May 2012 Edition

 

Welcome to our first

NOWinsider newsletter!

 

Thank you for signing up to receive our newsletter each month.  We intend to include four short articles each month that we think you will find of interest and value whether or not you are a client:

 

  1.  Implementing the NOW Management System®

  2.  Topic of the month

  3.  Client spotlight

  4.  John Bernard’s blog

 

 

Thank you again for your support and interest in Mass Ingenuity.  We are open to any suggestions or feedback you have regarding this newsletter.

 

Also, you can learn more about the NOW Management System by reading my book, Business at the Speed of Now.  I have been delighted by the very positive response and the fact that it is an Inc. magazine bestseller.

 

Lastly, I want to thank all of our amazing clients for the tremendous honor of working with and learning from them.  Each one of them exemplifies the leadership qualities discussed in some of the articles below.     

Warm regards,

John

 

Leadership’s Role in Transformation

The NOW Management System® enables “every employee to act on every opportunity every time” in order to accelerate growth, reduce costs, and improve the customer experience.  However, before those opportunities present themselves to employees, the leadership team needs to be operating at a level that very few have ever experienced.  Fortunately, the NOW Management System® allows leaders to quickly step up their game and lay the foundation for outstanding employee performance.

 

    Learn More…

 

Top 10 Surprises About Implementing the NOW Management System®

1.   It’s the key to growth

2.   Leaders come to see their entire enterprise for the first time and are energized by the process

3.   Silos start coming down very quickly

4.   Employees appreciate knowing what they are accountable to achieve

5.   Employees get excited by applying their new problem solving skills to issues they’ve been frustrated by for years, which drives up their engagement

6.   Business acumen of all employees and managers increases

7.   Leadership behaviors quickly become more effective for today’s workforce and customer expectations

8.   Employees appreciate knowing their leaders take running the organization so seriously

9.   ROI is very positive in a relatively short amount of time

10. It is very important, and often fun, to install the NOW Management System!

 

Why So Many Employee Ideas

Don’t Make Sense

One of the great beliefs we have as managers is that our job is to listen to our employees’ ideas and then go implement those that we find valuable. Sounds like a great idea. But as managers we know the reality is that a good many employee ideas just don’t make business sense.

    Learn More…

 

Why Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch

How can we get people to follow processes?

Lessons from the “Me First” Generation

Engaging Employees: The Economics of Micro Ingenuity

The Idea Pit: 5 Stupid Reasons Smart Ideas Die

The 7 Deadly Sins of Management

    More Blog Articles…

 

 

News & Updates

 

Client Profile

 

Permanente Dental Associates (PDA) is the highest performing division of Kaiser Permanente.  How did they achieve this?

 

    Learn More…

 

Leadership Articles

 

Team Profile

Meet Tom Moore, Director of Professional Services with Mass Ingenuity


 

    Learn More…

 

Features

 

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Mass Ingenuityinfo@massingenuity.com – 877.669.3308