Randal Fullhart - priorities

Discussion in 'ALL: What's New in Connect' started by John_Lewis, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. jtabbi

    jtabbi Registered

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    Attempt to revise Project Planning Sheet

    I have taken a stab at revising Fullhart's project planning sheet to incorporate many of the questions poised in the Allen's natural planning model template, and in Dave Lakhani's Power of an Hour "Achievement Action Plan." The results are in template format, and in a basic list (I copy/paste this into the Notes field in my Outlook master project task when launching new projects).

    I hope some of you find this of some use. If anyone thinks of more enhancements or suggestions, please post them here!

    The two files may be downloaded from this page: http://www.tabtronics.com/GTD/tabid/118/Default.aspx

    James
     
  2. John_Lewis

    John_Lewis Registered

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    Avoiding fixation

    Thank you, all, for your responses on this area of priorities.

    The whole "situational awareness" issue seems to be fairly central to some of this discussion. While aviation analogies are at risk of being tiresome for some people, I think that they bring a tremendous amount of practical experience to bear on more general operational matters (that is, "work" and "life"!)

    It seems that "reviewing" is scanning to maintain situational awareness.

    More experienced pilots, please correct any and all errors in this flying analogy: it was as a student pilot while learning to fly "turns at higher angles of bank" (to most of us: "steep turns", up to 60 degrees) that I first really got this point. (However, of course, it applies particularly to instrument flying.) Compared with less steep turns, things are suddenly happening significantly faster. I was taught to look in the direction of the turn, to look at the horizon ahead, to look at the instruments (mainly for airspeed and altitude) repetitively.

    But what happens if something has deviated from its expected state? For example, the nose has dropped, the altitude has changed, the airspeed has changed ... whatever ....

    The strong temptation, as a novice, is: to stop scanning, to fixate on the errant parameter, to apply some control inputs until it is back to a nominal value, and then to return to scanning! It seems to be necessary and, even, to make sense; but unfortunately (as pilots will know), while taking the time to correct that parameter, almost everything else has gone much further off ... now you have a real problem; so (forget turn!), with the ball in the middle, level the wings , etc..

    The correct procedure (at least, as I was taught) is to make a mental note of the deviation, but KEEP SCANNING. You have to split your brain into two or more parts, but ... while scanning, make a correction and next time around note the change in the deviation and modify the control inputs.

    At the time, it was a significant revelation to me, and seems to apply here to "getting" GTD.

    Fixating on one issue, at the expense of others, detracts from maintaining situational awareness. The importance of not fixating on something was also described by Julie Flagg in her interview.

    It seems that the (weekly) review is the scan, which must be kept going at all costs.

    It seems also that Randy Fullhart's instruction to continue to "fly the plane" (whether automatically or manually), rather fixating everyone's attention on checking the failed light bulb, is really the same point but at a higher level (well, it starts at a higher level, even if finally ...:eek: )

    Perhaps, Randy or others can confirm or deny this: I hear from flight instructors that a clear indication that a student is not ahead of the game is that they are in a continual state of surprise! Not a relaxed state to be in.

    So, in GTD language, is this is about prioritization in a "vertical", rather than a "horizontal", sense?

    Regards,
    John
     
  3. RandyF79

    RandyF79 Registered

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    ...and the next action is?

    Yes...you're correct....that's the idea...continually scanning, not fixating...but...the rest of that flying instruction is making a control input and then scanning to see if it has had the desired effect.

    In the case of flying that is an input to power, the control wheel (yoke or stick), or rudder.

    So if things are "out of control", decide what the next action is to bring the aircraft (the project, the whatever isn't where you want it to be), back "in control".

    When you are flying well ahead of the aircraft in your mind, you know where you're going, you know how everything is behaving, and you are anticipating what the next action is....you have "mind like water."! :)

    rdf
     
  4. Barb

    Barb Registered

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    Common Business Failure-Execution

    I am a Consultant and had something interesting happen with a client this week. In attempting to get a group of managers to think and plan projects in more detail and avoid "seat of the pants" management, I used General Fullhart's Project Planning Template and had them plan a project originally scheduled for implementation at the end of March. After they went through the entire worksheet, they could readily see that there was no way to meet their deadline and moved it out an additional two months! Also, it was interesting to see how they planned out every little detail of the planned changes, then just threw in "training" at the end as if it were some two-minute action. (Nothing like making changes and not telling those affected, is there!) Anyway, the template was super helpful.

    In almost every consulting gig I've had, EXECUTION seems to be the biggest problem. In my opinion, many CEO's, especially in small companies, have these great ideas and are just baffled that they are never fully implemented. SO OFTEN the "people component" is just seen as something that takes care of itself once the CEO pulls the trigger on a strategy and says, "Do it". Truly amazing. But in working through Gen. Fullhart's template, this time with the CEO, I could see that HE took the "people factor" way too lightly as well. So, I believe execution problems really start at the top.

    Thanks, General...not just for the template, but for helping our country get it together with your expertise and wisdom. I, for one, am very glad to know that such a brilliant man has chosen the military as his career...when so many other opportunities would be available. I've always respected military families, but in this challenging time I'm particularly moved to let Gen. Fullhart know how much he is appreciated!
     
  5. RandyF79

    RandyF79 Registered

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    Most gracious...

    Hello Barb...and thanks so much for your very kind comments!

    What a wonderful story...I'm glad to hear the worksheet helped! You're right, it is often easier to come up with the vision than it is to make it a reality...that's when those devilish details show up....like obstacles, constraints, doubters, people who have to be convinced that a) you've identified the real problem, or b) that the desired outcome is considered desireable by everyone.

    Of course....that's why we need leaders! :)

    You nailed it with your comments regarding training. It's usually the first thing to get cut when you run out of budget before you have achieved your desired outcome. True, the most adaptable resource you have is your people....but think how much more successful they could be if we actually ensured they knew how to use new tools or new processes.

    (Has anyone ever taught their people how to use all the features of the software sitting on their desktop that could improve corporate and/or individual productivity?)

    It's gratifying that the person you were serving recognized that they needed more time....and provided for it! Sometimes artificial deadlines become the goal, rather than the success of the project.

    Thanks for choosing a profession to help leaders learn how to lead...and in so doing....affecting the lives of so many!

    RandyF79
     
  6. ERISA

    ERISA Registered

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    Project Management Using OneNote

    I listened to General Fullhart's interview again and found more nuggets. This time I took notes. I noticed that he has not yet found the best way to manage projects using Outlook, despite the use of the NetCentrics add-in tool. I have had the same problem (and the update of the add-in tool has not been entirely successful for me in that I cannot use its project management tool).

    While I am very aware of my tendency to look for silver bullet solutions that will solve all problems, I have started using OneNote 2007 as a place to plan and track projects. I use it on my desktop at work and at home. A major advantage of this tool is its ability to link tasks to Outlook simply by tagging the task. After I do so, I will go to the task just created in Outlook to give it context using the NetCentrics add-in. When I check the task completed, it is checked off in OneNote as well.

    I have attempted to use the project planning template that General Fullhart created in Word as a template in OneNote. This allows me to use the layout he created but take advantage of OneNote. For example, I do not need the columns to indicate that the task has been transferred to Outlook or has been completed, because the flag or checkmark tells me that status.

    I like the ability to use OneNote to gather information from several sources on my computer into one place and the ability to find everything in one place. I like, too, the ability to search the entire notebook to find information I might be missing.

    I use OneNote by myself, but it can be used as a tool to share information with others who use OneNote. I particularly like the ability to keep OneNote projects on a thumbdrive as well as my office computer and home computer and each copy will be completely synchronized.

    I commend this tool to the General, and, if he chooses to use it, I would love to see out it works out for him. It is not a silver bullet, but I find it works, which is the ultimate test of any tool.

    Richard Hopp
     
  7. Barb

    Barb Registered

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    On Training...

    You know, it's interesting that you ask if people can use the software on their desks effectively...Not in this case, they can't. They have Outlook and use it only for email. This same group of Managers had NO calendar, NO system of any kind. I bought them all a copy of GTD on cd (they'd never read the book) and a paper-based planner. Once they get that going, I plan to go back and teach them Outlook. I don't know how ANYONE can function effectively without some kind of system, but believe me, there are lots of people out there still trying to do it!

    As for my comments on how glad I am to know someone like you is serving our Country, I meant every last word! I lived in Tampa for many years, right across the street from a CentCom Colonel. I learned SO MUCH about how military families operate and pull together. And he was SO hardworking! After the first Gulf War, he was sent to Kenya to be the military attache to the Ambassador. He finished his tour of duty 3 weeks (approx.) before the Embassy bombing there. If more people took the time (or had the opportunity) to see first hand the caliber of military leadership this country has, I think the current conversation around Iraq might be very, very different!

    Now I'll go wrap myself in my flag and have a cup of coffee!:cool:

     
  8. RandyF79

    RandyF79 Registered

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    Thanks again!

    Anyone who has ever served in the military always say, as they complete their service, that what they will miss most are the people. That's certainly been my experience.

    The other is that people who come and visit with our people, or get to know their neighbors...as you did, come away with the same feeling.

    Thanks again for sharing your talents and for your kind words.

    RandyF79
     
  9. Barb

    Barb Registered

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    Military PR

    Maybe there should be a "Military PR" campaign where documentaries are filmed and shown on TV...in primetime, on major networks. That might be a first step to give citizens insight into just what we've got here. I get so sick of news coverage just zeroing in on problems, bombings, etc. I don't know if you have ever seen the documentary on Arlington National Cemetary and the guarding of the Tomb of the Unknowns, but it portrayed the Military mission there in a way I've never seen or heard before.

    Alas, I guess all of the unsung heros of our Military just quietly do their jobs and let the media choose what to report. It's a shame, really. My father was a fighter pilot in WWII, but never actually had to fight because the war ended as he was on a train heading for Calif. and deployment to the Pacific. In all of these years, he has rarely spoken about it, feeling he didn't deserve bragging rights as so many died before him. In the last year, he started wearing his pilot's ring again and talking about it a lot. I can't believe it took this long just to get a simple monument for those Vets. And don't even get me started on Vietnam Vets and the way they were treated! I hope America learned something there as I sure don't want our Iraq Vets treated that way.

    I just wish the average American could get more insight into the leadership end of this....and I wish the Media would at least report a more balanced view! Why is it that we the public doesn't care about this stuff until long after the war/conflict is over???

    Flag-wrapping time again....:cool:

     
  10. Frank T

    Frank T Registered

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    Mission and Vision

    David Allen mentioned that he was so inspired by focused and succinctness of the mission and vision statements you presented to him, Randy. I am trying to find the right words for my own organisation's (a department in a public healthcare provider) mission and vision. Is it possible to share that on this forum, or message to me privately?

    Thanks

    Frank
    Melbourne, Australia
     
  11. RandyF79

    RandyF79 Registered

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    Thinking about mission and vision...

    Hello Frank,

    Let me offer some thoughts that I hope will be of help.

    I was reading a book about character and leadership, that included some quotes from significant leaders.

    One of those was along these lines...

    The principle role of a leader, is to raise up other leaders.

    I came across that quote as I was preparing to lead a large organization whose obvious (from the outside) mission was to conduct air refueling operations.

    Now....that obvious to the casual observer mission was not going to change when I became the leader of the organization. How we were going to achieve it....and to what level....was where I was going to focus my attention.

    Now, ironically, my predecessor....a good friend I admire....had recently updated the mission statement for the organization...and had purchased, large wooden letters and glued them to the inside wall of the headquarters building....spelling out the new mission statement.

    So....if I had wanted to significantly change the mission statement, I would have had to have removed those wooden letters....and probably had to refinish the entire wall that they were glued to.

    I had decided that what I wanted to focus on was the development of leaders...an internal mission....which would help ensure I could achieve the externally perceived mission....of conducting flying operations.

    The way I achieved this, in essence, was simply to take the existing mission statement and adding the words...."by developing leaders". At least that's how I handled it as far as the words on the wall were concerned.

    For written documents and briefings...I put the development of leaders up front....."We develop leaders to....".

    I've used that story and suggested to people that as they look at their organization's existing mission statement that they consider simply adding those words....unless you are truly going to change the product or service that your organization is or going to provide.

    We chose to focus on the development of the people...and let them ensure that their contribution to mission accomplishment got done.

    Organizations, especially large ones, are made up of multiple elements....and some can be viewed as directly related to the delivery of the product or service....and others are enablers....such as the training or administrative areas.

    What they all have in common is that they are made up of wonderful people who have hopes, dreams, aspirations....and a desire for their lives to count for something. They respond to leaders who genuinely are interested in their personal, professional, technical, and leadership development.

    That philosophy can drive your vision...to become the type of organization that attracts, develops, and promotes people that can make a difference...in your organization, your company, your community, and country.

    A final thought regarding and organization within an organization....like a sub-unit or department. Especially when it comes to your mission statement....I think it is useful that you measure your outcome in terms of the output as viewed by your customer(s) (internal and/or external). The higher up in the corporate structure you go, the more this will be viewed as external.

    It's that judgment that often leads to whether functions in an organization will be outsourced or not. Does it add directly to the value of the product or service that our external customers see and pay for? If yes, we'll want to retain it to ensure quality and focus. If not, now it comes down to a math calculation.

    Sorry for the long answer to a great question...but I hope this gives you some food for thought.

    RandyF79
     
  12. Esquire

    Esquire Registered

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    I got around to listening to General Fullhart's interview a little late, but there was alot in there to think about.

    The thing that jumped out at me (as a concept and a figure of speech) was one of those things that's so obvious I forget it most of the time:

    "check the lightbulb" and "make sure you're reading reality correctly".

    Coincidentally, I listened to the Conversation with the OB/GYN right before General Fullhart's, and I think DA mentioned in the OB/GYN interview that he used to include a discussion of "current reality" in his coaching on planning.

    I find that too often I "think" I know what the current state of reality is, but I probably don't, because I take it for granted, assume I understand it, or otherwise just fail to evaluate it.

    I'm sure that more will jump out for me on re-listens to the interview, but for now this has really given me something to keep busy, checking all my lightbulbs!
     
  13. AndyB99100

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    Resurrecting old thread based on current podcast #41

    Is the planning sheet that Gen. Randal uses still available? Link (http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6210) in the forum only goes to home page now. Does anyone still have a copy that they can share?

    Thanks all

    Andy
     
  14. randman

    randman Registered

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    So what I read that as is ... GTD is a strategy to gain certainty (being present), not to do more in the same time.
     

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