the Change Management Toolbook

"Change Management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people-side of change processes, to achieve the required outcomes, and to realize the change effectively within the individual change agent, the inner team, and the wider system.

"There are a multitude of concepts on Change Management and it is very difficult to distil a common denominator from all the sources that are applying the phrase to their mental maps of organizational development. But obviously there is a tight connection with the concept of learning organizations. Only if organizations and individuals within organizations learn, they will able to master a positive change.

"In other words, change is the result from an organizational learning process that centres around the questions: 'In order to sustain and grow as an organization and as individuals within; what are the procedures, what is the know-how we need to maintain and where do we need to change?', and, 'How can we manage a change, that is in harmony with the values we hold as individuals and as organizations?'

"Change Management has also to be seen in the light of the discussion on Knowledge Management, which took several turns during the nineties. When the establishment of an intranet was suddenly feasible to any large organization, IT and management scientists declared the beginning of the 'knowledge society'.

"The immature anticipation of knowledge management was that every member of an organization would be highly motivated to share information through a common platform and a quality improvement process would be enabled more or less by itself. It took only a couple of years to realize that this assumption was false. Up to now, there are no examples of a company in which transformational learning is facilitated by an IT system only, because the early protagonists forgot that information does not equal knowledge and that human knowledge is in the muscles of the persons who make the parts of a larger system.

"Back to square one. How (and whether at all) change can be "managed" or facilitated?..."

Are you personally ready for change? Is your team in serious need of new ways to work together? How can your organization deal with a change project which lacks focus or direction? Do you want to know why change is inevitable but hard to achieve? Do you want to surf on the waves of change?

You will find some of the answers to your questions in the Change Management Toolbook, a collection of more than 120 tools, methods and strategies which you can apply during different stages of personal, team and organizational development, in training, facilitation and consulting. It is divided in three principle sections: Self, Team and Larger System. You may wisht to begin with Introduction to Change Management from which the quoted portions of the foregoing were taken.


Memorial Day Remembered

"Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).

"While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

"Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery..."

From Memorial Day History

"Memorial Day is much more than a three-day weekend that marks the beginning of summer. To many people, especially the nation's thousands of combat veterans, this day, which has a history stretching back all the way to the Civil War, is an important reminder of those who died in the service of their country.

"Uncover the interesting history of the holiday we now call Memorial Day. Discover little-known facts about America's Wars and stop by the Veterans Forum message boards to share your views with veterans, their loved ones and fellow history buffs" at this history.com site.

The picture above right is one I took at the 2007 Memorial Day Parade in Sewickley Pennsylvania.


Business Proof of Concept Test

The Business Proof of Concept Test from startup venture toolbox is designed to explore whether the entrepreneur has thought through the business concept from a market size, intellectual property, human resources needs, competitive position and financial requirements point of view. The outputs from the test can be used as the basis for a business plan. The test is the equivalent of an investor's short list of important questions for analyzing whether to invest in the concept. By focusing on these questions early, the entrepreneur can resolve issues critical for success early on.

Technology Startup Funding in a Nutshell

"Venture funding works like gears. A typical startup goes through several rounds of funding, and at each round you want to take just enough money to reach the speed where you can shift into the next gear. Few startups get it quite right. Many are underfunded. A few are overfunded, which is like trying to start driving in third gear...

Friends and Family

A lot of startups get their first funding from friends and family...The advantage of raising money from friends and family is that they're easy to find. You already know them. There are three main disadvantages: you mix together your business and personal life; they will probably not be as well connected as angels or venture firms; and they may not be accredited investors, which could complicate your life later...


Another way to fund a startup is to get a job. The best sort of job is a consulting project in which you can build whatever software you wanted to sell as a startup. Then you can gradually transform yourself from a consulting company into a product company, and have your clients pay your development expenses...

Angel Investors

Angels are individual rich people. The word was first used for backers of Broadway plays, but now applies to individual investors generally. Angels who've made money in technology are preferable, for two reasons: they understand your situation, and they're a source of contacts and advice. The contacts and advice can be more important than the money...

With angels we're now talking about venture funding proper, so it's time to introduce the concept of exit strategy. Younger would-be founders are often surprised that investors expect them either to sell the company or go public. The reason is that investors need to get their capital back. They'll only consider companies that have an exit strategy-- meaning companies that could get bought or go public...

Another concept we need to introduce now is valuation. When someone buys shares in a company, that implicitly establishes a value for it. If someone pays $20,000 for 10% of a company, the company is in theory worth $200,000. I say "in theory" because in early stage investing, valuations are voodoo. As a company gets more established, its valuation gets closer to an actual market value. But in a newly founded startup, the valuation number is just an artifact of the respective contributions of everyone involved...

The best way to find angel investors is through personal introductions. You could try to cold-call angel groups near you, but angels, like VCs, will pay more attention to deals recommended by someone they respect.

Deal terms with angels vary a lot. There are no generally accepted standards. Sometimes angels' deal terms are as fearsome as VCs'. Other angels, particularly in the earliest stages, will invest based on a two-page agreement...

The key to closing deals is never to stop pursuing alternatives. When an investor says he wants to invest in you, or an acquirer says they want to buy you, don't believe it till you get the check. Your natural tendency when an investor says yes will be to relax and go back to writing code. Alas, you can't; you have to keep looking for more investors, if only to get this one to act.

Seed Funding Firms

Seed firms are like angels in that they invest relatively small amounts at early stages, but like VCs in that they're companies that do it as a business, rather than individuals making occasional investments on the side...

Seed firms and angel investors generally want to invest in the initial phases of a startup, then hand them off to VC firms for the next round. Occasionally startups go from seed funding direct to acquisition...

Venture Capital Funds

VC firms are like seed firms in that they're actual companies, but they invest other people's money, and much larger amounts of it. VC investments average several million dollars. So they tend to come later in the life of a startup, are harder to get, and come with tougher terms...

Because VCs invest large amounts, the money comes with more restrictions. Most only come into effect if the company gets into trouble. For example, VCs generally write it into the deal that in any sale, they get their investment back first...

The most noticeable change when a startup takes serious funding is that the founders will no longer have complete control...

Like angels, VCs prefer to invest in deals that come to them through people they know. So while nearly all VC funds have some address you can send your business plan to, VCs privately admit the chance of getting funding by this route is near zero...

So when do you approach VCs? When you can convince them. If the founders have impressive resumes and the idea isn't hard to understand, you could approach VCs quite early. Whereas if the founders are unknown and the idea is very novel, you might have to launch the thing and show that users loved it before VCs would be convinced...

Read much more in How to Fund a Startup by Paul Graham from which the foregoing was quoted.


A Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

This mental_floss magazine post waxes eloquently on why our favorite Pittsburgher, Mister Rogers, was the best neighbor ever. It is worth reading as are Tom Junod’s wonderful profile of Fred Rogers and his obituary for him, links to which are available from the Mental Floss post. The top 15 reasons why Fred Rodgers was the best are:

1. Even Koko the Gorilla loved him...

2. He Made Thieves Think Twice
According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

3. Mr. Rodgers didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t eat the flesh of any animals, and was extremely disciplined in his daily routine and maintained his weight at 143 pounds for the last 30 years of his life..."Rogers came 'to see that number as a gift… because, as he says, 'the number 143 means ‘I love you.’ It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’ One hundred and forty-three.”

4. He Saved Both Public Television and the VCR...
5. He Might Have Been the Most Tolerant American Ever...
6. He Was Genuinely Curious about Others...
7. He was Color-blind...
8. He Could Make a Subway Car full of Strangers Sing...
9. He got into TV because he hated TV...
10. He was an Ivy League Dropout...[Not sure about this one.]
11. He composed all the songs on the show, and over 200 tunes.
12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.
13. Michael Keaton got his start on the show as an assistant– helping puppeteer and operate the trolley.
14. Several characters on the show are named for his family...
15. The sweaters. Every one of the cardigans he wore on the show had been hand-knit by his mother.


Kill the ANTs Invading Your Brain

"The thoughts that go through your mind, moment by moment, have a significant impact on how your brain works... Happy, hopeful thoughts have an overall calming effect on the brain, while negative thoughts inflame brain areas often involved with depression and anxiety. Your thoughts matter..."

So states Dr. Daniel G. Amen in this excerpt from the book, "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" in which Dr. Amen offers 7 ways to enhance the functioning of your own brain and enhance your life.

Dr. Amen identifies four species of ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) that can invade your brain, distort incoming information to make you feel bad:

"Mind reading --- predicting you know that another person is thinking something negative about you without them telling you...
Fortune telling -- predicting a bad outcome to a situation before it has occurred...Unconsciously, predicting failure will often cause failure...
Always or never thinking - this is where you think in words like always, never, every time, or everyone...
Guilt beatings -- being overrun by thoughts of "I should have done... I'm bad because…. I must do better at… I have to…). Guilt is powerful at making us feel bad. It is a lousy motivator of behavior.

Dr. Amen continues:

"You do not have to believe every thought that goes through your head. It's important to think about your thoughts to see if they help you or they hurt you. Unfortunately, if you never challenge your thoughts you just "believe them" as if they were true. ANTs can take over and infest your brain. Develop an internal anteater to hunt down and devour the negative thoughts that are ruining your life...

You can learn how to change your thoughts and optimize your brain. One way to learn how to change your thoughts is to notice them when they are negative and talk back to them. If you can correct negative thoughts, you take away their power over you. When you think a negative thought without challenging it, your mind believes it and your brain reacts to it...."

The other steps Dr. Amen recommends to optimize your brain include:

1. Protect Your Brain...from injury, pollution, sleep deprivation, and stress...

2. Feed Your Brain...lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (large cold water fish, such as tuna and salmon, walnuts, Brazil nuts, olive oil, and canola oil)...

3. Work Your Brain
Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more you can use it. Every time you learn something new your brain makes a new connection. Learning enhances blood flow and activity in the brain. If you go for long periods without learning something new you start to lose some of the connections in the brain and you begin to struggle more with memory and learning...

4. Make Love For Your Brain..
Appropriate sex is one of the keys to the brain's fountain of youth.

5. Develop A "Concert State" For Your Brain..."a relaxed body with a sharp, clear mind," much as you would experience at an exhilarating symphony. Achieving this state requires two simultaneous skills: deep relaxation and focus...

A technique for developing clear focus is the "One Page Miracle." On one piece of paper write down the following headings:

-physical health
-emotional health
-spiritual health.

Next to each heading write down what you want in each area. For example, under relationships, "I want to have a kind, loving, connected relationship with my children." When you finish writing all of your goals make multiple copies of it and prominently display it where you can see it several times each day. Frequently ask yourself, "Is my behavior getting me what I want?" This exercise helps to keep you focused on the things that are most important in your life...

6. Treat Brain Problems Early...


What is Your Purpose in Life?

"Following are ten clues which will help you to discover your life purpose.

Clue No. 1: What do you love to do?...Another way to think about this clue is: what would you do even if you were not paid to do it?

Clue No. 2: What parts of your present job or life activities do you thoroughly enjoy?...
Clue No. 3: What do you naturally do well?...
Clue No. 4: What are your ten greatest successes to date (in your eyes)?...
Clue No. 5: Is there a cause about which you feel passionate?...
Clue No. 6: What are the ten most important lessons you have learned in your life?...
Clue No. 7: Are there some issues or perceived problems that have occurred over and over again?...
Clue No. 8: What do you daydream about doing?...
Clue No. 9: Imagine you are writing your epitaph. What things do you want to be remembered for at the end of your life?...
Clue No. 10: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?...

Taking the answers to the 10 clues, the next step is to notice any themes in the answers, e.g., do many of them relate to being with people in a particular way, or to solving problems or working with your hands? Those themes can then be distilled down into an ‘essence,’ the core of your purpose that is relatively unchanging, and the ‘expression,’ or the ways in which that purpose is being expressed (or could be!) in your life now. Here’s an example: ‘My life purpose is to promote harmony and balance through working as a mediator, parenting my children to live nonviolently, and volunteering in my community association.’ What is your life purpose?..."

Read more in this article by Marcia A. Bench from which the foregoing is quoted.


Honoring a Fallen Hero

Update May 21, 2007

I am updating this post to add a link to this myspace site honoring Travis Manion created to keep his memory alive and make sure no one will forget all that Travis Manion has done for our country.

Original Post

A friend of a buddy of my nephew was killed in Iraq on April 29, 2007. While I did not know the soldier, I grieve his death. Here is his story as reported in the Courier Times. Also note that Patriot Guard Riders will be attending his funeral on May 5, 2007. If you are in the Doylestown PA area, you may wish to consider doing the same. And consider offering a word of tribute and condolence at Guest Book - Travis Manion.

First Lt. Marine Travis Manion "led from the front," said his brother-in-law and close friend, David Borek.

"He wouldn’t put anyone in a situation he would not be in himself first," Borek said. "You would never know if he was worried or if he was scared. He was concrete, so strong — maybe to put us at ease. That was his way of protecting us."

The Doylestown man, a 26-year-old graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was serving his second tour in Iraq, embedded with an Iraqi army unit that he was leading and training. During a patrol mission Sunday in Anbar province of Iraq, his unit came under sniper fire and Manion was shot and killed.

"He didn’t have to be on patrol that day," said his uncle, Chris Manion. "He was on the front lines because it was the right thing to do. He served, not because it was easy or because he liked what he was doing; he did it because of us. He was serving for us. If there were more people like Travis Manion, the world would be a better place."

Manion’s mother, Jannette, said her son believed in the mission and wished more people backed President Bush’s plan to send more troops to bolster the forces. She recalled a phone call she received from him the night Bush first talked of the troop surge.

"He was so sure what he was doing over there was right," his mother said. "He called the night Bush made his speech about the troop surge and told us, ‘That’s exactly what we need.’ His biggest concern was that the politicians over here were giving life to the insurgents by putting the military and president down."

A few weeks later, Manion sent an e-mail to friends and family from his location in Iraq. In part, he said:

"As far as the job is going, the area is not good right now — but it’s getting better, and to be honest, I’m amazed at the ability and dedication of some of these Iraq Army soldiers. ... The IA’s in this battalion are very eager to fight and to take control of this city. … It was at times frustrating the first time I was here and it will and has been this time, but as in anything in life, true success does not come from battles won easily."

Manion served with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

He wrote to The Intelligencer, the sister paper of the Courier Times, shortly after he left for his second tour of duty. In his letter, he wanted to make sure the public knew of the successes happening in Iraq:

"There are many different views on our mission here. However, all I can say with certainty is that there are thousands of Americans over here working hard towards a positive outcome in Iraq. … I am not sure the average American sees the positives these servicemen and women accomplish or even understand the sacrifices of their efforts. However, whatever course of action our leadership decides upon, there are those in waiting, ready to carry out the mission in support of our country and in defense of its people and their freedoms."

Manion’s father, Tom, said he was proud of his son’s drive to do his best and "give his all" in life and in the military.

"He was a kid with a big heart, never had a bad word for anyone. He was all heart; that is who he was," his father said. "We’ve had calls from all over the country, from people who said they loved him like a brother. He really touched people like that."

His sister, Ryan Borek, said he had a way of making people feel as if they were important and special. He had a way of livening up a room, especially at family gatherings, where he would sing to the tunes of Johnny Cash and, at times, pick up a guitar and belt out a song he made up.

"He was definitely not shy," said Ryan. "He could make everyone laugh and smile. He just loved to be around family. That is when he was most at home — with this family."

Manion graduated in 1999 from La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor, where he wrestled and played football and lacrosse, and then moved on to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he graduated in 2004.

Christopher Carabello, a La Salle spokesman, said the student body was informed of Manion’s death during homeroom Monday morning and said a prayer for him. The school’s flag is flying at half-staff.

"He was a very, very well-known student here, very popular and very well-liked," Carabello said. "He was an excellent student. He had a 3.7 GPA and had a commission to the Naval Academy. He was a dynamic student leader and was one of our more accomplished athletes."

In 2004, Manion shared his views about life, wrestling and the military when he was asked to help coach a Central Bucks Raiders wrestling clinic. He wrestled for the CB Raiders from 1991 to 1995:

"You work through the hardships and [you can] be successful, whether it’s on the wrestling mat or in battle," he said in a 2004 story in The Intelligencer. "[Wrestling] lays the foundation for what it takes to be a good officer."

Manion spent four years wrestling for Navy. He was a three-time Catholic League champion in high school and a 2004 preseason national top 20 wrestler in college.

When asked about his greatest wrestling success, Manion replied: "Learning the stuff I learned from those coaches. It made me who I am as a person. [They] talk about giving yourself to others and helping out."


In messages home, Travis Manion was clear about his support of the mission in Iraq and the progress he saw there:

From an e-mail sent to family and friends on Jan. 25, 2007:

“As far as the job is going, the area is not good right now — but it’s getting better, and to be honest, I’m amazed at the ability and dedication of some of these Iraq Army soldiers. There is definitely a good amount of deficiencies with the IA’s, but overall I feel we have a strong and aggressive battalion. Our team is settling in and we are awaiting our additional augments.

These additional Marines will greatly increase our size and they are arriving very soon. This will take a good deal of the workload off the existing members, and they will allow us to concentrate more on advising and training these guys; getting them to the point where they are self-reliant. After a month on the job, I can definitely say the experience here with the IA’s so far has been very interesting and educational. …

The IA’s in this battalion are very eager to fight and to take control of this city. …

It’s been a very challenging Relief-In-Place during a very difficult time in this area of operations, but there is nothing more inspiring on a daily basis than seeing the dedication, warrior ethos, and sacrifice of the men and women out there fighting this fight. It was at times frustrating the first time I was here and it will and has been this time, but as in anything in life, true success does not come from battles won easily.”

From an e-mail to reporter Marion Callahan in early January 2007:

“There are many different views on our mission here; however, all I can say with certainty is that there are thousands of Americans over here working hard towards a positive outcome in Iraq. Every day I am here I see great things being accomplished under harsh circumstances from young Americans.

I am truly honored to serve beside these Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen. I am not sure the average American sees the positives these servicemen and women accomplish or even understand the sacrifices of their efforts, however, whatever course of action our leadership decides upon, there are those in waiting ready to carry out the mission in support of our country and in defense of its people and their freedoms."
More detail from Patriot Guard Riders as told by Major Cantrel the escort and personal friend of 1st Lt. Manion:

"Travis was commanding and leading a patrol of 6, 3 Marines and 3 Iraqi soldiers, in search of a sniper who had taken out approx. 10 people in the previous days. The 1st Lt. was 3rd in line when a shot hit his medic a second shot took down a Lance Corporal. Travis was in a place with cover and could see his men down and exposed but alive. He moved away from cover and laid down a line of fire allowing others to retrieve his men to a place of safety, he maintained his fire until he was hit. Then shaking it off began to fire again for almost 30 minutes he maintained a firefight with the insurgents until he was hit again. His men will survive."


How to Fire Someone

"D. Jill Pugh over at Employee Handbooks has prepared a succinct list of 10 things to remember if you have to terminate someone. If, we could only get everyone to follow these tips, there'd be a lot less turmoil surrounding terminations."

For active links, please visit the Strategic HR Lawyer post from which the foregoing was quoted.


blawg review #108 at legal sanity

Arnie Herz hosts blawg review #108 gathering a great collection of recent law blog commentary around the theme of creating successful business relationships.


Turtles & Sharks & Teddy Bears - Oh My!

From this Staff Matters article:

CEO Online has an interesting focus on managing conflict from the perspective of management. They claim that:

It's all a matter of whether you work with turtles, sharks, teddy bears, foxes or owls! Why is it important to be able to identify the different personality styles in your workplace, or for that matter, your own? Identifying the turtles, sharks, teddy bears, foxes or owls in your business puts you in a better position to make positive use of individual personalities and turn workplace conflict around.

They argue that recognising workplace styles and responses to conflict can help in utilising strengths of individuals. Here are their descriptors:

The turtle - avoids
When a person recognises that a conflict exists but reacts by withdrawing or suppressing the conflict.

-Turtles withdraw into their shells to avoid conflicts.
-They give up their personal goals and relationships.
-They stray away from the issues over which the conflict is taking place and from the people with whom they are in conflict.
-They believe it is hopeless to try to resolve conflicts.
-They feel helpless. They believe it is easier to withdraw physically and psychologically from a conflict than to face it.

This type of behaviour is appropriate when:
-an issue is trivial, or more important issues are pressing,
-one perceives there is no chance of satisfying their concerns,
-potential disruption outweighs the benefits of resolution,
-others can resolve the conflict more effectively,
-issues seem symptomatic of other issues.

The shark - competes
When a person seeks to achieve his/her goals or further his/her interests, regardless of the impact on the other party.

-Sharks try to overpower opponents by forcing them to accept their solution to the conflict.
-Their goals are highly important to them and the relationship of minor importance. They seek to achieve their goals at all costs, they are not concerned with the needs of other persons and they don't care if other persons like or accept them.
-Sharks assume that conflicts are settled by one person winning and one person losing. They want to be the winner. Winning gives sharks a sense of pride and achievement. Losing gives them a sense of weakness, inadequacy and failure. They try to win by attacking, overpowering, overwhelming and intimidating others.

This type of behaviour is appropriate when:
-quick, decisive action is vital,
-there are important issues where unpopular actions need implementing,
-there are issues vital to the organisation's welfare, and when the person knows that he/she is right,
the person is up against a person/people who take advantage of non-competitive behaviour.

The teddy bear - accommodates
When the parties seek to appease their opponent by placing their opponent's interest ahead of their own.

-Teddy bears feel the relationship is of great importance while their own goals are of little importance.
-They want to be accepted and liked by other people.
-They think that conflict should be avoided in favour of harmony and believe that conflicts cannot be discussed without damaging relationships.
-They are afraid that if the conflict continues someone will get hurt and that would ruin the relationship.
-They will give up their goals to preserve the relationship.

This type of behaviour is appropriate when:
-issues are more important to others than yourself, to satisfy others and maintain cooperation,
-there is a need to build social credits for later issues,
-there is a need to minimise loss when you are outmatched and losing,
-harmony and stability are especially important,
there is a need to allow subordinates to develop by learning from their mistakes.

The fox - compromises
When each party gives up something in order to reach a compromised outcome.

-Foxes seek a compromise. They are willing to sacrifice part of their goals and relationships in order to find agreement for the common good.
-To do this they need to persuade the other person in a conflict to give up part of their goals.
-They seek a solution to conflicts where both sides gain something, the middle ground between two extreme positions.

This type of behaviour is appropriate when:
-goals are important, but not worth the effort or potential disruption of more assertive modes,
-opponents with equal power are committed to mutually exclusive objectives or issues,
-there is a need to achieve temporary settlements to complex issues,
-there is a need to arrive at expedient solutions under time pressure,
-it can be used as a back-up when collaboration or competition is unsuccessful.

The Owl - cooperates
When each of the parties in conflict searches for a mutually satisfying outcome.

-Owls highly value their own goals and relationships.
-They view conflicts as problems to be solved and seek a solution that achieves both their own goals and the goals of the other person in conflict.
-They see conflicts as improving relationships by reducing tension between two people. They try to begin a discussion that identifies the conflict as a problem.
-They maintain the relationship by seeking solutions that satisfy both themselves and the other person.
-They are not satisfied until a solution is found that achieves their own goals and the other person's goals and are not satisfied until the tensions and negative feelings have been resolved.

This type of behaviour is appropriate when:
-there is a need to find an integrative solution when both sets of concerns are too important to be compromised,
-the objective is to learn,
-there is a need to merge insights from people with different perspectives,
-there is a need to gain commitment by incorporating concerns into a consensus,
-there is a need to work through feelings that have interfered with a relationship.


Interview with a Hurdy Gurdy Man

Singer Donovan Leitch is known best by his first name. Donovan grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, before moving to the United States, where he became part of the groovy San Francisco scene in the late 1960s.

Donovan had a string of hits in the mid-1960s, including "Mellow Yellow" and "Sunshine Superman." He sat with the Beatles at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and is often credited with coining the term "Flower Power."

In this NPR interview by Terry Gross, the musical icon opens up about his sometimes strange and difficult journey as a '60s pop star and plays a live version of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and a snippet from "Season of the Witch."

You also are treated to cuts from "Mellow Yellow" and other songs, including a Dylanesque early recording.

Web Apps for Running Your Business

The Freelancer’s Toolset provides a useful list of links to 100 web apps for running your business. Check it out.


So You Want to Franchise Your Business?

Business format franchising offers the business owner the means to expand operations rapidly without a commensurate capital outlay. The seller of the franchise ("franchisor") finances new development using money from the buyer ("franchisee"). The franchisee pays royalties and fees to the franchisor in return for the right to operate the franchised business.

This article from Franchise Direct suggests:

The core ingredients for a good franchise are that it is easy to learn, tried and tested commercially and capable of replication. The best way to find out if these characteristics exist is do a pilot run with the concept, to start it up and operate it as if it were a decentralised, franchised unit. This is an excellent method of assessing suitability in a variety of areas such as operations, equipment, advertising, cost, geographical position (ie does it need to be on the high street or could it be run from secondary premises at a lower rent?). Ideally, two or three company-owned pilots should be operated for at least a year to determine franchise viability.

It is virtually impossible for a new franchisor to prepare a franchise package in the absence of a pilot experience. The franchise package is an amalgam of the lessons learned from the pilot and then distilled into a series of arrangements and procedures for transferring the concept to the partner network. While the package will vary depending on the type of franchise, there are components common to all franchises, as follows:
1. The use of the franchisor's trademark and copyright materials - while giving franchisees the right to use these for the defined business, the franchisor's undisputed rights to them will have been protected through registration or copyright.
2. Operating procedures - documented in the operating manual, a key tool for the franchise.
3. Know-how relating to site selection - assistance in the selection of appropriate premises (where applicable).
4. Training - initial and refresher training in the running of the business and upgrades in the product or service.
5. Territorial rights - an agreement about the specific territory in which the franchisee has exclusive rights.
6. Product supply - where bulk purchasing from nominated suppliers is in place.
7. Personnel procedures - training and advice on recruitment, staff training, administration and payroll.
8. Accounting - a common accounting system for franchisees may form part of the package.
9. Marketing - the range of marketing, promotional and advertising supports provided by the franchisor for the brand.
10.Ongoing services - the partner relationship is a long-term one, so ongoing support by way of advice and field assistance, meetings and seminars, performance monitoring and training will be part of the package.
Ancillary procedures may also be documented concerning such issues as sales lead generation, the design and outfitting of premises where applicable, vehicle livery, staff uniforms, equipment, display and merchandising techniques, and business stationery."
In the United States, the offering and sale of franchises is highly regulated. This entrepreneur.com article provides that "the federal definition of a franchise includes a business relationship that has three elements:

1. The use of a common trademark ;
2. The provision of operational support or assistance, training or the exercise of significant operating control;
3. The payment of a fee of over $500 in the first six months of operation. This definition includes initial fees, royalties, advertising fees, training fees or fees for equipment. In fact, the lone exception is for goods sold to the franchisee at a bona fide wholesale price for resale to their customers.

If a company has those three elements, it is a franchise. It doesn't matter what you call it. It doesn't matter how you try to disguise it. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...”

If a franchise exists, the franchisor must comply with FTC Franchise Rule and any applicable state regulations. The FTC Franchise Rule provides:
A. General: The Rule imposes six different requirements in connection with the "advertising, offering, licensing, contracting, sale or other promotion" of a franchise in or affecting commerce:

1. Basic Disclosures: The Rule requires franchisors to give potential investors a basic disclosure document at the earlier of the first face-to-face meeting or ten business days before any money is paid or an agreement is signed in connection with the investment (Part 436.1(a)).

2. Earnings Claims: If a franchisor makes earnings claims, whether historical or forecasted, they must have a reasonable basis, and prescribed substantiating disclosures must be given to a potential investor in writing at the same time as the basic disclosures (Parts 436.1(b)-(d)).

3. Advertised Claims: The Rule affects only ads that include an earnings claim. Such ads must disclose the number and percentage of existing franchisees who have achieved the claimed results, along with cautionary language. Their use triggers required compliance with the Rule's earnings claim disclosure requirements (Part 436.1(e)).

4. Franchise Agreements: The franchisor must give investors a copy of its standard-form franchise and related agreements at the same time as the basic disclosures, and final copies intended to be executed at least 5 business days before signing (Part 436.1(g)).

5. Refunds: The Rule requires franchisors to make refunds of deposits and initial payments to potential investors, subject to any conditions on refundability stated in the disclosure document (Part 436.1(h)).

6. Contradictory Claims: While franchisors are free to provide investors with any promotional or other materials they wish, no written or oral claims may contradict information provided in the required disclosure document (Part 436.1(f)).
The FTC recently amended the franchise rule which amendment, the FTC describes as follows:
The amended Rule has a phased-in effective date: as of July 1, 2007, franchisors may follow the amended Rule, or they may continue their current practice of complying with the original Rule or individual state franchise disclosure laws that require an Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (“UFOC”); but by July 1, 2008, they will be required to follow the amended Rule only.

The Franchise Rule gives prospective purchasers of franchises the material information they need in order to weigh the risks and benefits of such an investment. The Rule requires franchisors to provide all potential franchisees with a disclosure document containing 23 specific items of information about the offered franchise, its officers, and other franchisees. Required disclosure topics include, for example: the franchise’s litigation history, past and current franchisees and their contact information, any exclusive territory that comes with the franchise, assistance the franchisor provides franchisees, and the cost of purchasing and starting up a franchise. If a franchisor makes representations about the financial performance of the franchise, this topic also must be covered, as well as the material basis backing up those representations...

The Rule amendments bring the FTC’s Rule into much closer alignment with state franchise disclosure laws, which are based upon the UFOC Guidelines, developed and administered by the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”). Although the amended Rule closely tracks the UFOC Guidelines, in some instances it requires more extensive disclosures – mostly with respect to certain aspects of the franchisee-franchisor relationship. For example, the amended Rule requires more extensive disclosures on: lawsuits the franchisor has filed against franchisees; the franchisor’s use of so-called “confidentiality clauses” in lawsuit settlements; a warning when there is no exclusive territory; an explanation of what the term “renewal” means for each franchise system; and trademark-specific franchisee associations.

In a few instances, the amended Rule requires less than the UFOC guidelines – for example, it does not require disclosure of so-called “risk factors,” franchise broker information, or extensive information about every component of any computer system that a franchisee must purchase.
A good summary of the changes from the perspective of the franchisor is found in this article from Nixon Peabody.

The heart of any franchise relationship is the Franchise Agreement. This FranchiseInfo.ca article provides a good summary of the types of matters treated in a typical franchise agreement, providing in part:
In addition to the many operational and management issues that must be considered by someone who intends to franchise his/her business, there are a number of legal issues that must be resolved prior to granting the first franchise. To someone who is new to franchising, these legal considerations can include the corporate structure, applying for registrations of trade names and trademarks by which the public will know the franchise system and ensuring compliance with any applicable provincial franchise laws. Along with many other legal issues, a start-up franchisor must consider a form of franchise agreement that details the obligations and responsibilities of both the franchisor and the franchisee.

Franchise agreements are usually extensive documents that contain provisions that can sometimes be confusing to someone who has little or no experience in franchising. As a result, anyone who is about to franchise their business should seek the advice and assistance of a lawyer who is experienced in preparing franchise agreements. By working closely with a lawyer experienced in franchise matters, a start-up franchisor can avoid some of the common franchise pitfalls by building a franchise agreement that properly protects the franchisor's rights and obligates the franchisee to operate the franchise according to the franchisor's standards and procedures.

In building a franchise agreement, a start-up franchisor needs to make a number of decisions that will impact the franchisor in the future. While no two franchise agreements are identical, there are a number of common issues covered in most franchise agreements.
The article goes on to address typical contract items such as fees,term, termination, location, territory, services and product limitations,compliance with standards, advertising requirements and obligations and reporting. The article concludes:
By taking the time, energy and money it takes to prepare a well-organized, thoroughly considered and clearly drafted franchise agreement, a start-up franchisor can avoid some of the common pitfalls faced by those who are new to franchising. While the first step in building a franchise agreement is to retain a lawyer who is experienced in franchise matters, franchisors must realize it is only the first step. A franchisor must be prepared to expend the time and energy necessary to build a franchise agreement that works for their particular system. Although it is not a substitute for proper management and monitoring, a quality franchise agreement can often reduce the need for redrafting provisions as the system grows, reduce negotiation and amendments sought by franchisees and increase tools available to the franchisor to develop its franchise system.


Free Exporting Webinar

If you export commercial items from the United States, you may want to participate in this Free Informational Webinar on May 15.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is presenting an introduction to commercial export licensing requirements. This program will assist you in learning the necessary steps to determine your license requirements according to the Export Administration Regulations. The program will consist of 30 minutes of presentation, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. BIS presenters will describe how to determine your license requirements based on the item, the destination, the parties to the transaction and the end-use of the item.

The Bureau of Industry and Security regulates the export and reexport of commercial goods and technologies. BIS also assists the public in its efforts to comply with the law by providing telephone access to export counselors, and direct training through seminar programs offered across the country. This webinar is the first program of its kind for BIS.

The presenters from BIS will be Brian A. Baker, a Senior Electronics Engineer from the Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls, Kathleen Barfield, an Export Administration Specialist and Timothy Mooney, an Export Policy Analyst, both from the Office of Exporter Services.


Live Authentically

From this excellent and inspirational post by Ann Ronan, Ph.D and Certified Career Coach:

1. Know your purpose
Are you wandering through life with little direction—hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement, and you'll have your own unique compass that will lead you to your true north every time.
2. Know your values...
3. Know your needs...
4. Know your passions...
5. Live from the inside out...
6. Honor your strengths...
7. Take time to play...
8. Be aware of your self-talk...
9. Surround yourself with inspiration...
10. Serve others...

When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others—your spirit—your essence.
Via Brewed Fresh Daily


Create Effective Board Packages

This series of posts from Ask the VC provides a good overview of the information you should provide to your Board of Directors in advance of each Board meeting, stating:

A thoughtful board package distributed in advance of your board meeting (combined with the commitment of your board to read said board package in advance of your meeting) is a prerequisite to a good board meeting...One of the distinctions that is critical to understand in order to have effective board meetings is that a board meeting isn't simply a "live”version of the company's board reporting package. (And conversely, a board package isn't simply a paper version of a board meeting.) Board meetings and board packages should be viewed as complementary means of accomplishing two goals—(i) transfer of information and (ii) interactive discussion and critical thought about the state of the business...