Dr. John Gillis is an Executive People Planning Partner with a focus on change management and strategic business value. He builds collaborative business relationships with his client and internal consulting team to successfully deliver implementations impacting human capital. John was a Certified Management Consultant for IBM’s Strategic Change and... Business Transformation solution groups, a Human Performance Management Consultant for Accenture, a Performance Consultant for Convergys, the Performance Consultant Practice Leader at Element K, and Leadership Products for Center for Creative Leadership. He is a regular author, speaker, & moderator at organizations such as Human Capital Media, International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), and Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). Giving back to the community, he is a Young Life committee member, and was previously a board member for the Austin Leadership Forum and an examiner for the Ethics in Business Awards and the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award. He is also the founder of CampLIFE!, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, with a mission to provide for the families of deceased soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He holds a B.A. from the University of Texas in Psychology, an MBA from Baylor University, and an Ed.D. form the University of Pennsylvania – Graduate School of Education and Wharton Business School. More

Vision, Strategy, and Execution

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A University of Maryland study found that companies with clearly communicated visions have higher revenue growth, higher productivity, and lower project costs. As Thomas Edison said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” However, Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard shows that 95% of workers are unaware of their company’s strategic business objectives; thus, they do not know how they can help achieve success for their company.

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Discovering Your Authentic Leadership

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There have been 1,000 studies in the past 50 years to determine the definitive styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. A February 2007 Harvard Business Review article highlighted that no one can be authentic by trying to imitate someone else. Young & Rubicam CEO Ann Fudge said, All of us have the spark of leadership in us, whether it is in business, in government, or as a nonprofit volunteer. The challenge is to understand ourselves well enough to discover where we can use our leadership gifts to serve others.Thus, a leader should:

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In-NO-vation

In-NO-vation

Creativity is unlearned, not learned. 1,600 five year olds were tested for creativity by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists, and 98% scored “highly creative.” These same children were tested 5 years later, at age 10, and that score dropped to 30%, and then 12% when they were 15. 200,000 adults took the same test, and only 2% came back as “creative.”

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Federal Reserve Bank – A financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste

Federal Reserve Bank – A financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste

I visited the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on their 100-year anniversary. Their value is very clear - protect BEV (Bank, Employees, Valuables) with “above reproach” integrity. Their mandate is to maximize employment and price stability, and they do this through several key activities:

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Forecasts & Predictions Are Getting Harder

Forecasts & Predictions Are Getting Harder

In 1900, London was the world’s most populous city with 6.5 million people, followed by New York, Paris and Berlin. Tokyo was the only non-Western urban center on the largest cities list. This year, no US or European city will be in the top 10... instead, it is Mumbai (India), Chongqing (China) and Lagos (Nigeria) with 15 million+ each.

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Use Statistics as a Drunken Man Uses Lamp Posts

Use Statistics as a Drunken Man Uses Lamp Posts

When an “IBM-er” joined Dell Computers, he was told at his first performance review that “Margin decreases revenue velocity.” There are trade-offs between driving gross margin vs. top-line growth. Both companies are successful, yet they measure and pursue different metrics. You need to know what YOUR company is measured on.

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Business Acumen Training

Business Acumen Training

Business acumen training is increasingly important, especially for non-finance employees, who need to understand the principles of value creation. Research shows that numerical thinking is a significant predictor of managers’ career potential (Source: University of Toronto, 2005).

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Ford Pinto

Ford Pinto

In 1968, Ford decided to produce the Pinto, a car that weighed less than 2,000 pounds and cost less than $2,000. The Pinto promise was to take on the foreign imports, save jobs for Americans, and make profits for the shareholders. In order to realize this promise, they compressed the normal 3.5 year development process into 2 years so that it would be ready to sell in 1971.

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Things to Remember as a Leader

Things to Remember as a Leader
When you are a leader, you need to determine: Who you are; What you are committed to accomplishing; What is missing in your plan?

During this process, remember:

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How does your organization decide where to invest?

How does your organization decide where to invest?

How does an organization balance investments in R&D versus operational improvements? Start-ups may spend up to 20% of revenue on R&D, while mature organizations drop to single digits. This is an act of science and art, as one startup’s CEO spent heavily on sales and marketing since his previous startup lost the industry due to not spending enough...but that came at the expense of R&D. As Yogi Berra said, “Predicting is very hard, especially when about the future.”

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