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Signet client celebrates success

Regional powerhouse public accounting firm MFA celebrated the firm's 30th year with its 100 members by inviting over a thousand clients and friends of the firm (including Signet’s Charles Parry and his wife MJ) to a gala event in their beautiful HQ in Tewksbury MA.

MFA gala

Open workshops on Continuous Improvement available in D.C.

Leading global training company Hemsley Fraser now offers a Continuous Improvement open-enrollment workshop in Washington D.C. designed by Signet's Charles Parry. Participants select a real work process for improvement that they apply what they learn to throughout the day, coming away with practical tools and a concrete plan for how to initiate and lead continuous improvement.

Professional development for Project Management professionals

Last winter, two workshops Signet provided for Project Management professionals in Michigan were sell-outs, so we were invited back to provide further skill development. When Lessons Learned Aren’t – What PM’s Can Do to Change That presents a systemic view of the Lessons Learned process. It then guides participants in identifying and fixing missing links in their organization's Lessons Learned processes so that real value is produced from their Lessons Learned efforts.

Firm opens to provide Emergent Learning services for the social sector

Former Signet consultants Marilyn Darling, Heidi Sparkes-Guber and Jillaine Smith have opened a sister firm to Signet, Fourth Quadrant Partners, dedicated to helping organizations, collaboratives and networks learn from their work together around what it takes to achieve challenging social sector outcomes. Their services include implementing the ideas described in the research report A Compass in the Woods and orchestrating developmental evaluation processes using Emergent Learning. The report details common learning challenges grantmakers face and good practices this research discovered. Key insight: Most foundations over-invest in discrete learning activities and producing “lessons learned” at the end of a program – but under-invest in closing the loops that result in visible improvement.

Action Review Cycles taking root in Europe and Asia

The senior leadership of Hertel, a fast-growing $1.2B global industrial services firm with 12,000 employees has brought the mindsets and leader behaviors of ARC into being part of the everyday disciplines of their work. A 100 year old privately held company headquartered in the Netherlands, Hertel's promise is to Perform, Deliver and Improve. And it keeps that promise, without exception. The use of ARC in China is the first known use of ARC in Asian countries. Congrats to Hertel for their vision and disciplined leadership!

Professional firm's use of AARs and BARs featured in INC Magazine

“BARs are not the place to get up to speed. You show up up to speed”. Senior leaders of Moody Famiglietti & Andronico, a New England CPA and financial consulting firm, decided to bake learning into every customer engagement. “AARs and BARs--they're famous here now,” says partner Matthew Boyle. “When an e-mail goes around saying 'There's a BAR at 3 on client X' everyone knows exactly what to expect” – a hyper-efficient meeting that includes each person who interacted with the client within the past year, and employees with experience in similar projects for different clients. Before the meeting, the presiding partner distributes a prep packet that includes the client's tax and audit information. Read more

Signet at Society for Military Engineers showcase

SAME promotes and facilitates engineering support for national security by developing and enhancing relationships and competencies among uniformed services, public and private sector engineers, and related professionals. Signet's Marilyn Darling and Charles Parry discussed the challenges such organizations are facing, offering Signet's perspective on solutions, for example:

Why can't we get Lessons Learned to stick?

In the past decade, the impulse to “not re-invent the wheel” became “capturing and replicating Best Practices” which translated into IT based knowledge management solutions. As we all came to see, “Build it and they will come” failed to deliver on the promise. What is needed at this point is not more software, but a cultural adjustment. Read more

How do we get more buy-in to continuous improvement by line employees?

Methods used in continuous improvement often fail to get enough traction to pay off.
1) It is not clear enough how engaging in improvement matters to line employees—so they do the ol’ check-the-box;
2) Analytical tools are applied outside of the flow of work (by specialists or in classroom settings)— so there is a disconnect between thinking and doing;
3) Employees don’t see follow-through when they suggest improvements—so they check out. Read more

How do we keep our capacity to respond to emergencies from eroding?

Let's look at that by asking more detailed questions:
- Are there ways to raise the bar on HSEEP standards for Lessons Learned?
- How do we build accountability over time and changing conditions?
- How can we speed up the rate of cultural change to improve preparedness? Read more

Our institutional memory is walking out the door—what can we do?

First, we need to identify the core capabilities needed to succeed in the future and put a method in place to grow and sustain them. This requires a way to develop and implement practices that surface tacit knowledge. Then, you need a means to embed that know-how in the organization in ways that will improve results in the future. Read more

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