2016 Region 2 Spring PMI Leadership Institute Meeting –Day Two


Both today (Friday, April 22, 2016) and tomorrow morning the Project Management Institute (PMI) is holding a Leadership Institute Meeting for Region 2 (Midwest US and Canada) in Oak Brook, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago.

In my previous post, I went through the topic of the first day, which was Member Value and Growth.   The biggest takeaway that I got from that day’s discussion with our counterparts in the 21 chapters that were part of the Region 2 meeting was that our members are our customers, and customer satisfaction should be on the strategic plan of every chapter.

The second day focused more on what I would call the business owner, or in this case, PMI Global.    There was a presentation on a (short) history of the growth of PMI Global, and then a list of a lot of the resources that I frankly was only vaguely aware of, like the PMI Strategic Plan at the PMI website, and ProjectManagement.Com, a virtual library of resources for project management practitioners to use and webinars, etc., to learn from.

Then, to wrap up the meeting, we had everyone have a chance to relate an “a-ha” moment of something valuable we learned.

For me, it wasn’t a realization I took away as much as feeling of connection.   I went into the Region 2 conference wanting to know on a practical level information that would help to perform my role better.   However, I got much more than that:   I got a sense of being connected and center.   Connected, because I felt I was connected laterally to those in other chapters and vertically to PMI Global.    Centered, because I knew that my efforts in my position at PMI Chicagoland do have an effect on the health and growth of my chapter.   I’m not alone in the fight!

My thanks go out to Amy Martin, Jim Karthan, and all of the chapter volunteers who put on the Region 2 conference.   It was my first time, but definitely not my last time, going to such an event!

Advertisements

2016 Region 2 Spring PMI Leadership Institute Meeting –Day One


Both today (Friday, April 22, 2016) and tomorrow morning the Project Management Institute (PMI) is holding a Leadership Institute Meeting for Region 2 (Midwest US and Canada) in Oak Brook, IL, a northwest suburb of Chicago.

First, let me start by saying why I went to the meeting.   I am the Director of Executive Council at the Chicagoland chapter of PMI.   Although this is the third year I’ve been a Director at PMI Chicagoland, it is the first time I’ve gone to a regional Leadership Institute Meeting.   Although membership is not my primary focus at the chapter, I was excited to see “Member Value and Growth” as the topic of the Region 2 LIM because my previous position as Director of Certification was one where I could see my direct connection to the membership experience of new members of the chapter.

In my new position as Director of Executive Council, executives, and not new members, were my “customers”, and I didn’t see how relevant I was to the membership situation at my chapter.   What this conference did for me was to a) to show me how wrong I was, that EVERY position ties in with membership either directly or directly, and b) to excite me about the potential value I could add to the organization.

Let’s first by saying what Region 2 is:    it c0nsists of 21 chapters in the following states or provinces:

  • Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Manitoba, Canada
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Indiana

After the meet and greet opportunity in the morning, the keynote speaker was Mark Levin, who spoke on “Making the First Year Memorable:  10 Things Your Chapter Can Do to Bring Members Back for a Second Year.”    Mark Levin has served for over 20 years on the faculty of the Institutes for Organization Management, a continuing education program sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and has helped tens of thousands of volunteer and staff leaders improve their associations with the programs he has given worldwide.

The situation is this:  the first year of membership is the most likely year for a member to drop out.   If you get them to sign up again for a second and, hopefully, a third year of membership, you will have someone who is likely to stay in the club on a permanent basis.   So it is not just about getting new members, but helping retain the members you DO have.

What we did in the afternoon, was have breakout sessions where we first of all listened to all of those who had similar roles in the 21 chapters of Region 2, in particular for those practices which helped attract and retain members.

Then in the following session, those who attended the earlier breakout session gathered together with members of their own chapter to decide which of the ideas presented by other chapters they would adopt.

Of course, there were so many ideas thrown out there that chapters had to prioritize, so we put the ideas in three categories:

  1. No-brainers:   ideas that could be implemented on a short time-scale of three months or less that would not involve the Board because they were required a minimal budget to implement
  2. Medium-term:  ideas that could be implemented on a medium time-scale of up to the end of this calendar year, which would involve the Board in terms of coordinating the various roles that would be involved in the implementation of the idea.
  3. Long-term:  ideas that the chapter would like to pursue in the next calendar year, but which are too complex to implement at present

Afterwards, each chapter presented their menu of chosen action items to the entire group.

The next part of the conference was a choice of topics, and I chose the topic of leadership development in the chapter.   This was facilitated by David Barrett, a project manager who is also a professional speaker.    This was a whole presentation on advice for Directors and Vice Presidents on how to improve their own leadership skills and to nurture the skills of others.

I am looking for to tomorrow’s half-day session!

 

Driving Forces of International Security–Part 2


In the past week or so, I have done several posts on the first part of the Global Risk Report 2016, which came out earlier this year from the World Economic Forum.

The report is, to a large extent, similar in format to those created in previous years, which makes for an excellent way of checking up on recent trends of global risks.

One feature that was specifically commissioned for the Global Risk Report 2016, however, was a survey of the International Security Outlook for 2030.   International security is defined as “measures taken by state or non-state actors, individually or collectively, to ensure their survival and integrity against trans-boundary threats.”

The consensus in international relations that was achieved in the first 25 years after the Cold War created social, p0litical and economic progress for people in many countries around the world.  However, shifts in political and economic power are threatening the international security order, and these are being accelerated by:

  • technological innovation (see previous post on Global Technological Risks)
  • social fragmentation
  • demographic shifts

The two shifts that have the potential of destabilizing current international relations are:

  1. Frail or weakening states–these open up space for the rise of armed non-state actors (like ISIS) in the global security space, and present themselves as alternatives to state-based governance structures
  2. Return of strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests–this can be seen in the competition between the BRIC  countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) on the one hand and US and NATO countries on the other.

The first part of this second section of the report showed examples of the first shift,  where frail or weakening states create a power vacuum which is being filled by terrorist groups or criminal enterprises.   The examples given were Daesh in the Middle east, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Africa, and drug cartels in Latin America

The second part of this section of the report on international security deals with the second of the two themes above, the strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests, rather than the problems caused by weak states.    The examples given to illustrate this are the security issues dealing with China and Russia.

The next section deals with the seven driving forces of international security:

  1. Technological innovation
  2. Natural resources, climate management and security
  3. Efficient governance
  4. Geo-strategic competition
  5. Demographic shifts
  6. Social cohesion and trust
  7. Hybrid and asymmetric threats

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

The biggest wave of technological revolution at present is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which takes the computerization developed in the Third Industrial Revolution, and applies to the manipulation of matter, giving us cyber-physical systems and the following phenomena.

  • the Internet of Things
  • the Industrial Internet
  • robotic process automation
  • autonomous vehicles
  • artificial intelligence
  • 3D printing,
  • connected wearable devices.

TO BE COMPLETED 4/23 (I have a regional conference I’m attending on 4/22) and won’t be able to complete the post until then …

Driving Forces of International Security-Part 1


In the past week or so, I have done several posts on the first part of the Global Risk Report 2016, which came out earlier this year from the World Economic Forum.

The report is, to a large extent, similar in format to those created in previous years, which makes for an excellent way of checking up on recent trends of global risks.

One feature that was specifically commissioned for the Global Risk Report 2016, however, was a survey of the International Security Outlook for 2030.   International security is defined as “measures taken by state or non-state actors, individually or collectively, to ensure their survival and integrity against trans-boundary threats.”

The consensus in international relations that was achieved in the first 25 years after the Cold War created social, p0litical and economic progress for people in many countries around the world.  However, shifts in political and economic power are threatening the international security order, and these are being accelerated by:

  • technological innovation (see previous post on Global Technological Risks)
  • social fragmentation
  • demographic shifts

The two shifts that have the potential of destabilizing current international relations are:

  1. Frail or weakening states–these open up space for the rise of armed non-state actors (like ISIS) in the global security space, and present themselves as alternatives to state-based governance structures
  2. Return of strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests–this can be seen in the competition between the BRIC  countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) on the one hand and US and NATO countries on the other.

The first part of this second section of the report showed examples of the first shift,  where frail or weakening states create a power vacuum which is being filled by terrorist groups or criminal enterprises.   The examples given were Daesh in the Middle east, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Africa, and drug cartels in Latin America

The second part of this section of the report on international security deals with the second of the two themes above, the strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests, rather than the problems caused by weak states.    The examples given to illustrate this are the security issues dealing with China and Russia.

The next section deals with the seven driving forces of international security:

  1. Technological innovation
  2. Natural resources, climate management and security
  3. Efficient governance
  4. Geo-strategic competition
  5. Demographic shifts
  6. Social cohesion and trust
  7. Hybrid and asymmetric threats

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

The biggest wave of technological revolution at present is the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which takes the computerization developed in the Third Industrial Revolution, and applies to the manipulation of matter, giving us cyber-physical systems and the following phenomena.

  • the Internet of Things
  • the Industrial Internet
  • robotic process automation
  • autonomous vehicles
  • artificial intelligence
  • 3D printing,
  • connected wearable devices.

TO BE COMPLETED 4/21

The Seven Driving Forces of International Security


In the past week or so, I have done several posts on the first part of the Global Risk Report 2016, which came out earlier this year from the World Economic Forum.

The report is, to a large extent, similar in format to those created in previous years, which makes for an excellent way of checking up on recent trends of global risks.

One feature that was specifically commissioned for the Global Risk Report 2016, however, was a survey of the International Security Outlook for 2030.   International security is defined as “measures taken by state or non-state actors, individually or collectively, to ensure their survival and integrity against trans-boundary threats.”

The consensus in international relations that was achieved in the first 25 years after the Cold War created social, p0litical and economic progress for people in many countries around the world.  However, shifts in political and economic power are threatening the international security order, and these are being accelerated by:

  • technological innovation (see previous post on Global Technological Risks)
  • social fragmentation
  • demographic shifts

The two shifts that have the potential of destabilizing current international relations are:

  1. Frail or weakening states–these open up space for the rise of armed non-state actors (like ISIS) in the global security space, and present themselves as alternatives to state-based governance structures
  2. Return of strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests–this can be seen in the competition between the BRIC  countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) on the one hand and US and NATO countries on the other.

The first part of this second section of the report showed examples of the first shift,  where frail or weakening states create a power vacuum which is being filled by terrorist groups or criminal enterprises.   The examples given were Daesh in the Middle east, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in Africa, and drug cartels in Latin America

The second part of this section of the report on international security deals with the second of the two themes above, the strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests, rather than the problems caused by weak states.    The examples given to illustrate this are the security issues dealing with China and Russia.

The next section deals with the seven driving forces of international security:

  1. Technological innovation
  2. Natural resources, climate management and security
  3. Efficient governance
  4. Geo-strategic competition
  5. Demographic shifts
  6. Social cohesion and trust
  7. Hybrid and asymmetric threats

The report goes into depths in only two of these areas, the first two listed.   I will blog next on what the report has to say in these areas, and see if I can come up with research on the remaining five after that …

International Security Outlook 2030–China and Russia


In the past week or so, I have done several posts on the first part of the Global Risk Report 2016, which came out earlier this year from the World Economic Forum.

The report is, to a large extent, similar in format to those created in previous years, which makes for an excellent way of checking up on recent trends of global risks.

One feature that was specifically commissioned for the Global Risk Report 2016, however, was a survey of the international security outlook for 2030.   International security is defined as “measures taken by state or non-state actors, individually or collectively, to ensure their survival and integrity against trans-boundary threats.”

The consensus in international relations that was achieved in the first 25 years after the Cold War created social, p0litical and economic progress for people in many countries around the world.  However, shifts in political and economic power are threatening the international security order, and these are being accelerated by:

  • technological innovation (see previous post on Global Technological Risks)
  • social fragmentation
  • demographic shifts

The two shifts that have the potential of destabilizing current international relations are:

  1. Frail or weakening states–these open up space for the rise of armed non-state actors (like ISIS) in the global security space, and present themselves as alternatives to state-based governance structures
  2. Return of strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests–this can be seen in the competition between the BRIC  countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) on the one hand and US and NATO countries on the other.

The last posts showed examples of the first shift,  where frail or weakening states create a power vacuum which is being filled by terrorist groups or criminal enterprises.   The examples given were Daesh in the Middle east, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Boko Haram in

The next part of the report on international security deals with the second of the two themes above, the strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests, rather than the problems caused by weak states.    The examples given to illustrate this are the security issues dealing with China and Russia.   In the East and South China Sea.    Territorial disputes are far from solved, as control over the area essentially gives control over the economic trade that is increasing in the region.    To meet this security bottleneck, China is expanding its armed forces, including its air force.

US and the NATO alliance would like to contain Russia’s economic and military power, but this conflicts with the attempt to rein in the threat of Daesh in Syria, where cooperation with Russia is essential.    It is possible that as Russia is contained in the West, that it may be pushed into greater cooperation to the East with China.

The UN can serve as a meeting place to forge multilateral cooperation, but if security arrangements are achieved, it has no power to uphold these agreements.    There needs to be an overhaul of the institutional relations which underline international security arrangements, and to that end, the Global Economic forum has identified 7 Driving Forces of International Stability, which will be covered in the next post.

 

7 Tips for Putting on a Division Contest


I am the Assistant Division Governor for the South Division of District 30; I was an Area Governor last year and an Assistant Area Governor the year before that.   This year the Division Director, LaShonda Milton, put on a Division Contest that was very successful.

For those of you who are in Toastmasters, here’s what I recommend if you have to put on a Division Contest.

1.  Have a project plan

As a project manager, I feel it is important to have a plan when creating an event like a Division Contest.    When you make the plan, however, have an internal deadline and a deadline which you tell everyone else.   Many people will respond on time, but some are stragglers and you need to be able to make sure they don’t delay what needs to be done.

The people you should have on board even BEFORE you finalize the project plan are a) the contest chair and b) the chief judge, because they will be controlling the preparations with regards to the contestants and functionaries, respectively.    Get their input, or even better, sit down with them and create the project plan together.   If they are just shown it, they won’t own it!

2.  Use the rifle, not the shotgun, approach when asking for volunteers

Sending out e-mail blasts acting for volunteers is not an effective use of your time.   For each role, you should be targeting at least two people, one for your primary and one as a backup.   Send each person a separate e-mail, asking them to volunteer and explaining in particular why you thought they would be good for the role.    You will get more positive responses from this approach, the rifle approach, than the “e-mail blast” or shotgun approach.    When I say “rifle” and “shotgun” approach, I am, of course, speaking metaphorically–just in case those Toastmasters who live in “open carry” states in the United States are reading this post.  😉

3.  Get the paperwork done beforehand

I have had contest chairs come in with a stack of forms and try to organize them at the conference.   Mistake!    While you are trying to get organized, everybody is coming at you from multiple directions with questions.  Instead, get large envelopes and put each person’s forms in an envelope.   For the contestants, this is helpful because you can use this to determine speaking order.   Simply put a card with a number from 1 to whatever on it, and then when they randomly pick an envelope, they are also determining their speaking order.

For the functionaries, separate envelopes for specific people and roles are a must.   Then they can fill in the forms and turn them back into you and you don’t have to worry about mixing up forms of different types.

4.  Wine ’em and dine ’em

Well, again I am speaking metaphorically about serving wine.   I mean have refreshments for the guests between contests, as well as beverages that they can have even before the contest begins.    Having them eat and mingle during the break allows them to be entertained, while you as the Division Governor are left free to “hover” and make sure all of your functionaries are set for the second half of the contest.

5.  Keep the contest chair and toastmaster roles separate

We have had a contest chair come up and try to give an entertaining performance before they introduce the Master of Ceremonies, aka the Toastmaster.    Just remember, there are three stages to becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster.

  1. When you are afraid to get on stage
  2. When you are afraid to get off stage
  3. When you know the right time to get on and the right time to get off stage

The contest chair doesn’t need to draw attention to him- or herself by doing an entertaining show of his or her own.   It is their job to let people know who they are, so they know who to go to if they have questions, to introduce the Toastmaster, and to help with the award announcements.   That’s it.   The rest is done by the Toastmaster, who can add to the script with entertainment as time allows.

6.   The scourge of cellphones

You have the Toastmaster make an announcement about keeping cellphones quiet.   You remind people when they return from breaks.   And yet, in our Division Contest yesterday, we had one person who had a cellphone go off during a speech.   And naturally, the person had it on the LOUDEST setting, because they were hard of hearing, and they had it buried in the DEEPEST part of their bag, so it took the LONGEST time to dig out and turn off.   The person on stage giving

Rather than just give an announcement to turn off the cellphones, or say jokingly that the cellphone will be confiscated if it will go off (which everybody knows is a bogus threat), say that if someone’s cellphone goes off during the contest, that person and their cellphone will be ejected from the contest.    That rule needs to be stated up front by the Toastmaster.   Also, the Toastmaster needs to state up front that, if the person speaking is interrupted by a cellphone, the speaker gets 30 additional seconds on the timing clock.   So, if a person in the audience who is a friend or relative of another speaker gets it into his or her head to try to sabotage the rival speaker by turning on his or her cellphone, they will know that they are instead HELPING the rival speaker to additional time.

The temporary embarrassment of having one’s cellphone may be an incentive to make sure it is off, but the embarrassment of having to leave the contest PERIOD is a much bigger embarrassment, and is therefore a much bigger inducement for people to take responsibility for their own actions

7.   Parting words

I have seen Toastmasters or Contest Chairs introduce the International Speech Contests, the second half of the Spring Speech Contest after the Table Topic or Evaluation Speech Contest of the first half (depending on your district), by saying, “and now, we have saved the best for last!”   Please don’t do this–what kind of message is it saying to the Table Topics Contestant:  that their contest has less value!

Also, thank ALL of the contestants, MOST of whom will go away disappointed that they haven’t won.   You need to congratulate the winners, but you must also make sure that people who haven’t won don’t consider themselves losers!

If you follow these tips, your Division Contest is bound to be a well-presented, well-received, and all round entertaining event!