Today begins the Sukkot Festival. Like any Jewish holiday, so does this one, too, have layers of meaning and a uniqueness, both in significance and in action. Like in Passover, we do a lot of things we do not normally engage in, which facilitates the making of spiritual and other changes and personal growth. (more…)
I am very happy to announce that “Maof Dvora” invites you all to benefit from a variety of new training plans and also some reviewed ones, which have gone through much rethinking and fine-tuning. (more…)
Lately I have had the pleasure to take part in a most fascinating discussion on the LinkedIn network on the subject of worker empowerment. The discussion took place at a group of which I am a member, and its subject was the sharing by one of the quality managers of his efforts to empower his workers, while the management, and to be precise, the wide management, isn’t really into it.
Many interesting things were said by the group members, and what I have seen made me realize, that the whole concept of empowerment may not be so very clear to most people.
The discussion has inspired me to write this article, and I hope we can perhaps bring some clarity into the concepts.
Over 50 years ago Dr. W.Edwards Deming has formulated his famous 14 Points, which are studied in every Quality Assurance course ever since. Most people mistakenly think that Deming was a statistician, and that his greatest achievement in Japan was due to his understanding and love of that field of mathematics.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Almost all of Dr. W.Edwards Deming’s 14 points are not about statistics at all. Rather, they are about people, about management. And to this day the Deming Institute teaches management and leadership skills, not statistics, as its main line.
Today I shall tell you another story about the Wise Men of Helem and solutions to problems. I know this one in Russian, beautifully translated from Yiddish, in which it was written by Ovsey Driz, a wonderful Russian Jewish poet and writer, as part of a cycle “The bead bookmark”. This poem-story is called “Helem traditions” (my own loose translation):
From times immemorial there were mice in Helem.
Not one, not two, not a thousand – but, perhaps, a million.
A short while ago we have celebrated Hanukkah, and at the party in my son’s school a few girls have staged and performed the old and well-loved song by Hava Frankel (lyrics) and Dvora Havkin (music), Hanna Zelda. To my delight, I have discovered a rather charming translation of this humorous song and bring it here (taken from ETNI website; translators’ names given as Ayala, Tanya, Menachem):
Oh Hanna Zelda, my beloved wife,
The Feast of Hanukka has come and arrived,
And at Hanukka, my soul really aches,
For to eat some sweet potato cakes.
The best way to take the struggle out of Quality Assurance is by a change in our approach, empower the people, instead of keeping them powerless. Cooperation, instead of competition.
But is YOUR organization ready for that change in approach? Have YOU began to make the change, but it is still not seeping all through to mid-management team?
Maof Dvora offers a solution for two challenges, in one:
- Your human resources department is wreaking its brains to think up what to do wiht you this year: another jeep drive? Kayak rowing? Bowling night?
- You are unsure how to expand the change you began making to include your mid-management team.
“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat…”
Thus Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), the great British writer, poet, journalist opens his well-known poem The Ballad of East and West.
Aside from the fact that Rudyard Kipling is my all-time favorite poet, and one who truly combines the East and West in the most magical of ways for both children and adults, I have chosen to cite the words of this poem here for another reason. (more…)
A fascinating and funny lecture from TED (as usual). This time it is Shawn Achor, who explains to us how to completely overturn our understanding: that success at work (and not only at work) results from the worker being happy, and not the other way around…
Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard.
It is customary to assume in the majority of workplace, schools, families and other social circles, that competition is a good thing, spurring people and motivating them to action. But is that really so?
Alfie Kohn, an author and lecturer in education, parenting, and human behavior, has spent seven years reviewing more than 400 research studies dealing with competition and cooperation. He published his conclusion in his classic book from 1986, No Contest: The Case Against Competition: