Browsing the archives for the planning tag.

My Family Is SMART! New Year’s Resolution Success


So, as I politelySMART_Plant nudged my kids and spouse to participate in “my” annual New Year’s Resolution tradition, I started considering why they were always so hesitant in the first place. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to pass up an opportunity for a fresh start and reason to make positive changes.  Sure, I know it’s just the 1st day of January, but it’s symbolic.  It’s symbolic!

It didn’t take long for the obvious to occur to me.  I started thinking about our resolutions and realized they’re the same each year.  Despite using the SMART template for success, I’m still not working out three days a week, my son still has issues with focus during math class and my daughter is still biting her nails. What happened? We made sure our goals were specific, measurable, attainable (achievable), timely and relevant (realistic). We just failed on follow-through.  We failed before we even got started.

To resolve this issue, I decided we needed something visual to represent what we wanted to accomplish. Maybe the problem with our resolution success is that we file away our intentions and go about the chaos of daily life and occasionally think about following up with things tomorrow.  Today is never convenient.

Thankfully, I live in Florida.  So, a trip to Home Depot wasn’t out of the question when I thought about linking the success of a potted plant with our goals. From what I can tell, plants are a great metaphor for what we’re trying to accomplish.  For example, my six year old knows that we need to water our plant each day for a while until it gets established.  Just like our resolutions, they require more effort to get started.

As time passes, the plant (and the habits we hope to change) will simply flourish as long as we are aware of them, appreciate them and give them the attention they need to thrive.

So, we planted this plant.  And, we put it next to the window by the kitchen table.  We gather there for meals, so it’s an ideal location for light and a prompt for daily discussion and support.  Is it SMART? I like to think so, but time will tell.

Previous articles I’ve written related to SMART goals:

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Viva Quality!


I like watching strategic planning in action and shouldn’t be surprised that an organization focused on quality does it so well. In this month’s View from the Q, Bill Troy posts quite a candid discussion regarding the vision of quality.

Troy talks about two distinct ideas for quality’s future, which he describes as:

Evolutionary change: I would describe one view as the ascribing to evolutionary change.  The quality movement has been immensely important and successful in many fields and will continue to grow and evolve, but will do so in recognizable and well-defined ways.  We will move down traditional paths but reach new destinations and make new inroads into fields that are underserved today. We will keep doing what we do well and find ways to do it even better.

Revolutionary change: I would call the second view as seeing revolutionary change in the future of quality.  Some of the ways we brought value to our businesses, industries, and communities will have to fundamentally change.  We will have to bring value to the C-suite as much as to the production line. We must have tools that will facilitate a meaningful contribution at ever more senior levels to make the impact our customers and colleagues want.  Knowledge, which we value so highly and have worked so hard to gather, organize, and refine, must be shared much more freely in the age of new media.

My two cents…

Regarding anything revolutionary, I want to say I’m cautious.  But, denying organizational change isn’t an option.  Of course we must have the tools necessary to meet demand. And, there’s no doubt at all that knowledge should be shared more freely if we want to truly represent our purpose as “a global community of people dedicated to quality who share the ideas and tools that make our world work better.” With this in mind, a focus on developing additional opportunities, AKA “new destinations,” does effectively resolve any performance gaps there.  I like this direction.

But, as described, evolutionary change sounds like something right out of a quality handbook.  Troy’s talking about being targeted and focused on long-term growth and expansion. If we “keep doing what we do well and find ways to do it even better,” we’re talking about the very essence of continuous improvement.  I like this direction too.

How will the future of quality unfold? 

There’s no doubt that untapped opportunities exist to raise the voice of quality.  Just in the sample of individuals I come into contact with, many don’t have a solid understanding (perspective) of the quality that we see as professionals within the industry. The potential market is vast.

I still think we have a long way to go to get out of the quality department and embedded into the C-Suite.  I also see significant potential in taking quality out of the workplace and into our daily lives.  If we focus on quality of life, the expectation is that it cascades into the workplace.

A cautious revolutionary approach that doesn’t forget to water its roots is one that generally thrives.

Viva quality!

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