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ASTD Conference - Washington DC :: 23 - 27 May 2004

Part I - Some thoughts from Tony Bingham - President ASTD International

He directs these questions to HR practitioners and managers…

• How much value do you add? -remember you are a cost to company!
• At the end of the day, Is your company more successful because of your contributions?
• How do you measure your success?

- Retention?
- The right skills, at the right time for the right job? Are you busy at the right place, right time, with the right issues?
- Time to competence?
- Value add to strategic focus?

He then introduced the first key note speaker and Ex CEO of Harley Davidson, Richard Teerlink (responsible for a remarkable turnaround of the business) His book "Reinventing the Enterprise" is about the success at Harley Davidson

History of Harley Davidson

  • 1981 Poor reputation for quality and reliability
  • Falling market share
  • Significant losses

A lot of this was because of how leadership felt about customers and employees!

What must you do??? -there is not a single silver bullet!

  • Know your business
  • Know your customers -prove to them that your products /services add value
  • Pay attention to detail
  • All part of the business must function well…and together

"The key to gain competitive advantage will be the ability of leaders to create an adaptive learning environment that encourages the development of intellectual capital" - Warren Bennis

This means your sustainable competitive advantage is your people…do you believe this or do you believe in the tooth fairy?

The above has profound leadership implications for your organization -
Leaders is not…

  • the front end of all wisdom
  • the worlds best problem solvers
  • the sole person responsible for results

"My job as CEO became creating an environment for others to grow and learn"

  • When you get people to do what they have to do, they are forced /coerced
  • When you get people to want to, there is commitment
  • "This means leadership is a process of bringing people together to solve/create and move towards mutual goals"

What is necessary is alignment

  • Do we all understand the values, purpose and how we fit in? the problem is we force people to comply in meetings
  • On meetings he says…

      "We need to create opportunities for more conversation in our organisations and less formal meetings…it is through conversation that we effectively dialogue, discover and solve

We must encourage our associates to learn

  • Training - Is activities to ensure competence
  • Learning - Is activities to improve overall competency beyond the job you do

After action review is vital for business success

  • Review intent
  • Ask "What happened"
  • What are the lessons learned?
  • Implications
  • Take action
  • Share lessons

On appreciation within Harley Davidson he mentions the importance of Respect and caring for employees

The improvement speaks for itself…

US Market share

  • 1982 - 15.2%
  • 1986 - 19.4%
  • 2003 - 49.5%

3 Key THREATS when things are going well

  • Complacency -How comfortable have we become in what we do
  • Greed- Could we add that extra 1% without the customer noticing
  • Arrogance - Do we still believe that everyone is a competitor

Lastly he recommends that we invest in the "glue"

  • Communication- Leaders by their actions not their words establish…
  • Relationships … impacts on morale, commitment and cohesion
  • Passion …drives aspirations

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