Home Services Speaking & Workshops Management Education Contact Us Blog

Speaking Engagements and Workshops

Breakout Presentation: Cleaning Out that Old Toolbox

Download PDF: Cleaning Out that Old Toolbox
More: www.astdsandiego.org/norden-article

Have you ever visited Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia? Have you seen their exquisite furniture from dressers to card tables to chairs and cabinets? Did you know that they make those pieces in the on-site carpenter’s shop, which is open to the public? Check out their tools; they’re all hand tools and sometimes a far cry from what I use for building my sailboat. Those guys are real craftsmen!

Who are the craftsmen that can right a wrong while maintaining integrity of today’s businesses? It’s my humble opinion that craftsmen are gradually being replaced by OEM tool suppliers and their technology. This tool-orientation influences what is possible and how we think about business. Ponder these three observations:

  1. Albert Einstein once said that the Perfection of Means and the Confusion of Ends seem to characterizes our age. We are conditioned to meet every challenge with a new tool, or a better, more efficient one. This implies that if we are performing the wrong activities, we now do them in less time, with less people. Customer service is a great example; highly efficient but few clients feel their needs are met.
    We need to conduct Root Cause Analyses in order to create solutions that take away the source of trouble, that create synergy within existing processes, and most important of all, align with strategy! In my experience, it’s not unusual for such a solution not to require any new or additional tools at all.
  2. None of the tools I bought made me a better carpenter (although that’s what I might have told my wife). Rather, it’s the experience of building my own boat that gave me a better understanding of what boat building is all about. I learned to use my tools as a means to an end, according to the challenges presented by the wood I was working on; think of density, grain and shape of the work piece.
    We need more craftsmen and women; inquisitive learners that comprehend what they’re doing instead of qualified tool operators.
  3. It’s not just the result that counts. How about the process of producing the end-result? This touches upon issues of quality, values and ethics. The tools, technology and methodology you choose for your manufacturing process may have no direct effect on the end-product but it can be detrimental to the brand as a whole. Many organizations found out the hard-way when they went against public opinion.
    We need to rethink being relevant to buyers; what do they really care about?

Instead of prescribing HOW people must use their tools, we must describe WHAT organizations do and let employees surprise us with their ingenuity: understanding relationships between Cause & Effect; appreciating differences between Means and Ends and painting big picture perspectives to identify their contribution to the mission of the company! That’s what I call “Breaking Boundaries in Training and Development!”

Copyright © 2009 by Hans Norden. All worldwide rights reserved.

Keynote Presentation: Creating Authentic Solutions

More: http://www.bpminstitute.org/events/sanfrancisco.html

Who can deny that businesses around the globe are facing significant problems in retaining key-employees and achieving their top-and
bottom-line goals?

Throwing smarter, faster and labor saving tools at these challenges costs money and liquidity is tight. Reducing the workforce saves money, but you cannot cut your way to success. Besides, treating human beings as assets in good times and liabilities in lesser, does not instill the kind of loyalty you have somehow come to expect from key employees. You can either accept, have faith in future developments, or decide to actively change any of these unwelcome outcomes. So, what’s your plan?

It's no secret that where you are today is the result of yesterday's decisions. Albert Einstein said that rather succinctly: "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." This is what Albert Einstein said next about our current level of thinking: "Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age." Then, if our preferred choice of solutions causes the significant problems we face today, we must be answering the wrong questions! The realization that every problem contains the seeds for its own solution, prompted Dr. Einstein to say: "If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution."

Therefore, solving problems is not a matter of applying stop-gap solutions by trial and error. Instead, we need to expand our level of thinking; asking bigger questions about our purpose — how can we contribute more value to our clients and their society as a whole rather than limiting our attention to outsmarting competitors with expensive cost saving solutions that cannot provide any sustainable competitive advantage? When your products or services are of significant importance in the livelihoods of your clients, wouldn't they be willing to pay you a fair price and honor you with their loyal patronage? This is the law of cause and effect at work!

This keynote presentation explores the fundamental laws or dynamics that govern any organization. It emphasizes the critical importance of engaging employees and the need for reducing friction and conflict that makes them reluctant unleashing their human intellect. By taking a higher vantage point (painting a big picture perspective) for examining our current situation, we are more likely to connect the dots and see the road ahead; discovering a winning strategy that will bring us back to prosperity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding the fundamental dynamics that govern any for-profit organization (organizational governance)
  • Realizing that there are no accidents, just cause & effect relationships.
  • Expanding our level of thinking by asking bigger questions that beckons critical thinking, rekindles curiosity, and stimulates creativity.
Copyright © 2009 by Hans Norden. All worldwide rights reserved.

What They Are Saying…

"It was obvious that your thought-provoking insights combined with suberb, easy-to-understand anecdotes and visual aids, left an indelible mark on the participants."
—Dean B. Kernus, CPA, CFP, Seldman Private Client Wealth Management Advisors

"When Mr. Norden was invited to speak at this year's national Real Estate conference RealComm in Chicago, I was more than happy to have him represent BRE Commercial."
—John Frager, President/CEO Grubb & Ellis-BRE Commercial

Back to Top | Inquire to Learn More | Sign-Up to Register

Workshop: Dealing with Uncertainty

"Success and failure are two sides of the same coin."

If the characteristic of success is realizing your goals, then not realizing your goals is the characteristic of failure. Although failure poses a challenge to your goals, it also bears the seeds of its solution. In order to help you discover these previously unknown solutions, this workshop provides you with an alternative perspective on performance that is different from your habitual point of view. It was Albert Einstein who suggested this approach when he said: "We cannot change the significant problems we face with the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

Your new perspective will reveal critical interdependencies between the three contributors to both success and failure:

  • Operations or brand-experience.
  • Mission statement or strategy.
  • Alignment of operations with strategy; the interaction among people and between people and the business system.

This implies there are three possible avenues for returning success to performance, which requires a clear decision and an unwavering commitment to change. However, if a decision-maker has no obvious solution that will bring him/her peace of mind, (s)he will risk indecisiveness, procrastination, avoidance and irrational behavior.

The objective of this workshop is to help decision-makers decide on their next course of action, despite their internal conflict about what needs to be done. Instead of looking for random solutions, participants will learn how to master a unique and powerful reference framework for discovering the best possible answer that restores integrity to their organization. After completing the model, they not only know what their next course of action must be, they will also have created a concise outline for an implementation plan; two important answers for the price of one!

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognizing personal obstacles to success.
  • Developing insight into the critical interdependencies between the three contributors to both success and failure.
  • Mastering a unique and powerful reference framework for discovering the best possible answer that restores integrity to your organization and creates a concise outline for an implementation plan.
Copyright © 2009 by Hans Norden. All worldwide rights reserved.

Back to Top | Inquire to Learn More | Sign-Up to Register

Workshop: Performance Diagnostics

"There're no accidents, just cause and effect relationships." This implies that when we generate unintended and unwanted results or effects, we need to decide on a course of action that removes or at least significantly reduces their cause or causes.

However, our highly result-oriented business climate favors quick-fixes, selecting stop-gab solutions that treat symptoms rather than root-causes. Furthermore, some stop-gab cures are worse than the ailment. So, without addressing the root-cause, challenges keep coming back in different guises and at different locations. No wonder so many leaders complain that they cannot get anything done because all they do is putting out fires. This approach to growing your business is not only expensive, time-consuming and frustrating it is also unnecessary and avoidable!

Performance Diagnostics provides participants with a professional methodology for Root Cause Analysis (RCA). Participants learn how to accurately measure the amount of money, time, or units lost and how to prognosticate the rise, fall or stabilization of these costs over time. Once all challenges with their respective opportunity cost have been identified and gathered in "Problem-Gravity chart", they can be ranked based on their individual anticipated Return on Investment.

The key to successful problem solving is addressing the right question. Albert Einstein said it as follows: "If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution."

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognizing critical cause & effect relationships.
  • Make challenges quantifiable and prioritize them according to the highest Return on Investment.
  • Solve problems once and for all so you can focus on important issues rather than being pre-occupied by urgent matters; putting out fires.
Copyright © 2009 by Hans Norden. All worldwide rights reserved.

Back to Top | Inquire to Learn More | Sign-Up to Register

Workshop: Creating a Choice of Solution-Alternatives

A continuation Workshop: Perfomance Diagnostics

What is the significance of your leadership if you are required to take a mission-critical decision when you have no solution-alternatives from which to choose? You cannot make a difference in executing the organization’s mission without making choices!

"Creating a choice of Solution-Alternatives" builds on the skills and "Problem-Gravity Chart" you obtained through the "Performance Diagnostics" workshop. Based on the challenges you ranked highest in importance to the organization's sustainability and profitability, you'll learn to apply a logical and creative process for developing a wide range of practical possible solutions. These solutions contain simple and realistic activities for immediate implementation that you learn to combine into three to five authentic solution-alternatives.

Using this skill set for finding multiple answers within root-cause challenges, leaders position themselves for making responsible and well informed trade-off decisions regarding the pros and cons of each alternative. Decisions that have been derived according to this process are easily defensible because they have a paper-trail that shows all assumptions and considerations that went into arriving at its conclusion.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to make a difference as a decision-maker in selecting a solution to address mission-critical challenges of the highest priority.
  • Creating authentic choices where you previously believed there were none.
  • How to find peace of mind with your choice of preferred solution-alternative.
Copyright © 2009 by Hans Norden. All worldwide rights reserved.

Back to Top | Inquire to Learn More | Sign-Up to Register

Register or Inquire Here

First Name

Last Name
E-mail Address
Street Address
Zip/Postal Code
Home Phone
Business Phone
I Would Like To
Inquire Register
Speaking Engagement/Workshop
Additional Comments