Qualitative values for "soft stuff" LO13903

Carol Johnson (carol_johnson@weains.com)
Mon, 09 Jun 1997 10:38:32 -0700

Replying to LO13870 --

Cesar wrote:
>For example, What are the real benefits of technologies like e-mail,
>Lotus Notes or Network introduction? How do you express those benefits
>that we perceive but are difficult to manage? Could you provide me some
>examples in these areas (notes, e-mail, networks)? For me, these are the
>primary tools that the people from a learning org could use to start.

Hi Cesar! And welcome to this list!

The question highlighted from your post hit close to home. This is the
type of challenge those of us in the Org. Development areas of any
corporation struggle with daily. "There's nothing to put their hands on,
so how can I get them to see the value?"

Let me tell you what I found to be very successful and I 'm confident you
will hear from many others as well.

First, and most important... get them to switch sides with you! Rather
than presenting new technology or skills development ideas etc. as
something you want or think is necessary to do, get them to ask for it.
This is not as hard as it may sound. Enlist the assistance of managers
and directors in the company. Give them an opportunity to fill out a
"wish list". Ask them also to supply you with a list of their biggest
hurdles. What is standing in the way of allowing them to do or be the
best in the industry? The answers to these types of questions are usually
very similar. COMMUNICATION, skills, tools, COMMUNICATION, time,
COMMUNICATION, etc. See where I'm going yet?

Once you have THEIR opinions about what they need and what they want, -
fulfill their list! Detail out how Lotus Notes, or E-mail, or whatever
else you have in mind, will improve communication, save time, open access
to information, increase customer satisfaction, etc. When you are able to
do this, present the information as follow-up to the data gathered from
your managers and directors. You've given them what they want and moved
your projects ahead. (If you're not able to answer their needs or fill
the wish list, your idea wasn't the best approach in the first place -
Whew, dodged a bullet!)

The downside to this approach is you give up the "Glory". You may not be
given full credit for the ideas or solutions. There's where you have to
ask the $50,000 question. What's more important? Getting the project
moved ahead, improving the products or the glory?

I'm happy to give a more detailed description of how to conduct the needs
analysis, create the wish list, or communicate your findings if you have
the interest.

Hope this was helpful! Oh, and by the way... you and I need to work
something out as far as sign-offs, so as not to confuse :) ~CJ


Carol Johnson <carol_johnson@weains.com> WEA Insurance 45 Nob Hill Road Madison, WI 53713 Ph (608) 276-4000 ext. 423 Fax (608) 276-9119

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>