Stick a Fork in 2011 and Call it DONE! by Kimberly Wiefling (Wiefling Consulting)

2012-New-Year-Ahead

(This article was originally published on www.svprojectmanagement.com)

In my timezone I’ve got just a bit over one more day to go in 2011. Personally I always welcome the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It feels like a fresh start to me. It’s been a great year in many ways, but now that I have worked with people from over 50 different countries I tend to feel personally impacted by most of the disasters that occur around the world (Japan, Thailand, etc.), and I’m eager to put a few of this year’s catastrophe’s behind me. And I prefer looking to the future to thinking about the past. Before we bid farewell to 2011, however, let’s reflect on the significant events of the past year. Continue reading

Common Sense Produces Uncommon Results

Originally published on CareerShorts.com where Kimberly has been invited to contribute blogs periodically on global leadership and project management.

Did you know that there are 192 countries recognized by the United Nations and a total of 233 listed on Wikipedia?  You may not even have heard of the smallest ones, some of which have less than 1000 people.  I’ve been fortunate enough to work with human beings from over 50 countries during my career.  Although I’ve discovered many fascinating differences among them, and many delightful common human traits worth celebrating, I’ve also unfortunately found that we share a couple of fundamental tendencies that get in the way of our ability to achieve our goals:

Unclear Goals

Unclear Communication

Unclear Priorities

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Catalytic Mechanisms – Effortless Ways to Change Behavior for the Better

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For years I’ve been fascinated by something that Jim Collins labeled “catalytic mechanisms” in a 1999 Harvard Business Review article. The article, entitled “Turning Goals Into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms,” described how to powerfully influence people in organizations to change their behavior—easily, permanently, and nearly effortlessly. Recently a Volkswagen campaign called “Thefuntheory.com” rekindled my interest in the topic with their website dedicated to finding fun ways to change people’s behavior for the better, so I reread the HBR article and started pondering how this approach might be useful in influencing behavior on project teams. While I’m in the early phases of experimenting with catalytic mechanisms in my own work and life, I’m excited to share this with you so we can exchange ideas and all get busy transforming the planet for the better. (That’s my theme for 2010, and I have to admit it’s a bit daunting, so I can use all the help I can get!)Continue reading

New Year, New Decade, Same Old Problems?

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“I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller

It’s the beginning of a whole new year and an entirely new decade. What do you want to be saying on Dec. 31, 2019? My wish for you is that you won’t be looking back with regret.  Personally, 10 years from now I intend to be looking back on a decade of surprising breakthroughs and unprecedented progress towards becoming the kind of leader I admire and the kind of human being I aspire to be.  And I sure don’t want the people of this Earth to be facing the same problems then that we’re facing now in this world.  (Nope!  Let’s have new and more exciting problems to tackle in 2020!)Continue reading

“Hopelessly” Stuck? Get Unstuck in 6 Easy Steps

pic14558.jpgIt’s easy to get stuck.  From time to time it happens to everyone.  One foot nailed to the floor, we go ’round and ’round – full speed ahead, but with no progress.  Eventually we wonder why the scenery looks hauntingly familiar.  If we’re lucky someone will throw a bucket of cold water in our face and shout “What in cripes sake are you doing?!!”  If not, well, we might wake up a decade later and wonder why we’re still struggling with the same issue-infested life we ended the century with.  With 2010 nearly upon us, it’s time to steal a glance in the rear view mirror and do a little reality check.  Does the road ahead look exactly like the one behind?  If so, how are you likin’ it?  If you’re not absolutely jazzed about being alive, eager to leap out of bed and get engaged in the banquet of a day spread out before you, you might want to make a few changes before the clock ticks another tock.Continue reading

The “Yes We Can” Boys of Akishima, Japan

It’s easy to be a cynic, like the person who made this ever-so-uninspiring sign . . . but . . . weird things are happening to me when I travel abroad since President Obama was elected.  I was recently at a local summer festival in Akishima, near Tokyo.  Now, just to give you some idea about the town of Akishima, it’s a good hour’s train ride from the center of Tokyo, and that’s on an express train.  They’ve got a bit of industry there, but it’s fairly “sleepy” as a town compared with Tokyo.  The big attraction for the festival, which was held at the elementary school near the train station, was a raised platform where the townspeople took turns amusing one another by belting out karaoke tunes.  My friend’s 87 year old mother snuck out of the house to go back to the festival after we’d called it quits, and we found her sipping sake and eating noodles with the over-80 crowd in the VIP tent when we finally tracked her down.Continue reading

Tokyo Book Launch Party "Genki"!

Kimberly_Pink“Genki” is a word my Japanese colleagues frequently use to describe me.  They tell me it means I am cheerful and fun, but I’m pretty sure it is a secret code meaning that I’m noisy, wild, and just a tad scary.  Nevertheless somewhere around five dozen people turned up for the book launch party for the Japanese version of “Scrappy Project Management” last night, and they all seemed pretty “genki” to me.  One of the party guests, who was a graduate of one of our six month Global Leadership Development Programs this past year gave a rousing congratulations speech.  The highlight was when he asked the audience to participate with him as he “challenged convention” in such a speech, removed his suit jacket, rolled up the sleeves on his crisp business shirt, and then got everyone flinging their arms in the air while shouting “Exciting!” to help express his feeling about the whole book lalapalooza.  His final wish was that I become a billionaire, but I’m not sure if he meant dollars, yen, or rupees.

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