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matrix vision newsletter
Christmas Crackers Issue
December, 2008 - Vol 1, Issue 3
In This Issue
Some Christmas Stories
Lessons Learned
Christmas Gift from Guy Kawasaki
How Internal Quality Surveys Improve Service
Quick Links
Join Mailing List
Story of the Month
Grandpa decided that shopping for Christmas presents had become too difficult.  All his grandchildren had everything they needed, so he decided to send them each a cheque.
On each card he wrote:
'Happy Christmas, Grandpa'
'P.S. 'Buy your own present!'
While Grandpa enjoyed the family festivities, he thought that his grandchildren were just slightly distant. It preyed on his mind into the New Year. 
Then one day he was sorting out his study and under a pile of magazines, he found a little pile of cheques for his grandchildren. 
He had completely forgotten to put them in with the Christmas cards.
Christmas Quotes
"Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money."
Author Unknown
 "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
Calvin Coolidge
"Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect."
Oren Arnold
"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child." 
Erma Bombeck
"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C.  This wasn't for any religious reasons.  They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."
Jay Leno

Christmas Banner 
Welcome to the matrix vision Christmas newsletter.  This month's newsletter is a little light hearted - after all it is Christmas. While we have lots of Christmas stories and quotes, we have also included articles about:
  • getting value from your training investment,
  • a case study on how internal quality surveys can be used to improve quality and
  • a link to a great new website

Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome!

We would like to take the opportunity of wishing all who read this newsletter a Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2009.
Some Christmas Stories

Holly 1

It was just before Christmas and the magistrate was in a happy mood. He asked the prisoner who was in the dock, 'What are you charged with?'

The prisoner replied, 'Doing my Christmas shopping too early.'

'That's no crime', said the magistrate. 'Just how early were you doing this shopping?'

'Before the shop opened', answered the prisoner.

It was Christmas Eve in at the meat counter and a woman was anxiously picking over the last few remaining turkeys in the hope of finding a large one.

In desperation she called over a shop assistant and said, 'Excuse me. Do these turkeys get any bigger?'

'No, madam, 'he replied, 'they're all dead.'

A long time ago, in Communist Russia, there was a famous weather man named Rudolf.

He's always had a 100% accuracy rate for his forecasts of the Russian weather conditions. His people loved him and respected him for his faultless foresight. He was particularly good at predicting rain. One night, despite clear skies, he made the prediction on the 6:00pm news broadcast that a violent storm was approaching. It would flood the town in which he and his wife lived. He warned the people to take proper precautions and prepare for the worst.

After he arrived home later that evening, his wife met him at the door and started arguing with him that his weather prediction was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard. This time, she said, he had made a terrible mistake. There wasn't a cloud anywhere within 10 miles of the village. As a matter of fact, that day had been the most beautiful day that the town had ever had and it was quite obvious to everyone it simply wasn't going to rain.
He told her she was to be quiet and listen to him. If he said it was going to rain, IT WAS GOING TO RAIN. He had all of his Russian heritage behind him and he knew what he was talking about. She argued that although he came from a proud heritage, IT STILL WASN'T GOING TO RAIN.

They argued back and forth for hours , so much that they went to bed mad at each other.

During the night, sure enough one of the worst rainstorms hit the village the likes of which they had never seen. That morning when Rudolf and his wife arose, they looked out the window and saw all the water that had fallen that night.

"See," said Rudolf, "I told you it was going to rain."
His wife admitted: "Once again your prediction came true. But I want to know, just how were you so accurate, Rudolf?"
To which he replied, "You see, Rudolf the Red knows rain dear!"

Holly 2

Lessons Learned
Santa SchoolIn these difficult economic times organisations must get the maximum benefit from their investment in the training and development of people. This is what Professor Harry Martin observed in the Wall Street Journal on 15 December, 2008.

To ensure that employees apply what they have learned in training, employers must cultivate an office culture that encourages change, writes Cleveland State University professor Harry J. Martin.
Organisations can do this by having trainees outline how they plan to utilise new skills or knowledge in their position, or receiving a progress report from their colleagues or supervisor on how their training has impacted their performance. By putting their action plan in writing, trainees are able to visualise the tasks that need to be accomplished, reduce confusion, and have a document they can measure their progress against.
At one Midwestern company that adopted this post-training technique, a significant improvement in productivity targets was reported three months after training. Peer meetings in areas of the organisation where management support for training was considered poor also enhanced trainees' performance.
From American Society of Training & Development 

We want to help ensure that your investment in the training of your people is maximised.  Please give me a call so that I can share some ideas on how you can do that CLICK HERE
Christmas Gift from Guy Kawasaki 
Guy Kawasaki I had the opportunity recently to participate in a webinar with Guy Kawasaki.
Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine books including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
 As an example of Guy's commonsense advice I have included an excerpt from a speech that he gave at a graduation ceremony for students at Palo Alto High School.  
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is to accept the known and resist the unknown. You should, in fact, do exactly the opposite: challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
Let me tell you a short story about ice. In the late 1800s there was a thriving ice industry in the Northeast. Companies would cut blocks of ice from frozen lakes and ponds and sell them around the world. The largest single shipment was 200 tons that was shipped to India. 100 tons got there un-melted, but this was enough to make a profit.
These ice harvesters, however, were put out of business by companies that invented mechanical ice makers. It was no longer necessary to cut and ship ice because companies could make it in any city during any season.
These ice makers, however, were put out of business by refrigerator companies. If it was convenient to make ice at a manufacturing plant, imagine how much better it was to make ice and create cold storage in everyone's home.
You would think that the ice harvesters would see the advantages of ice making and adopt this technology. However, all they could think about was the known: better saws, better storage, better transportation.

Then you would think that the ice makers would see the advantages of refrigerators and adopt this technology. The truth is that the ice harvesters couldn't embrace the unknown and jump their curve to the next curve.

Challenge the known and embrace the unknown, or you'll be like the ice harvester and ice makers.
To get the full speech CLICK HERE

However the real value that I got from listening to Guy Kawasaki on the webinar was his most recent venture.  This is a 24/7 electronic magazine rack with articles on many different topics. The website is aptly named alltop - because it covers all topics
This a valuable website from an information and research perspective and that is why I see it as a Christmas gift from Guy Kawasaki.  To go to the alltop website CLICK HERE
How Internal Quality Surveys Improve Service
20/20 Logo 
Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings-from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation. Look at this case study to see how powerful feedback can be.  
Case Study:  How ADP Uses 20/20 Insight for Internal Quality Surveys*
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) is one of the largest providers of a broad range of mission-critical, cost-effective transaction processing and information-based business solutions. Since purchasing 20/20 Insight GOLD in 2000, ADP has assessed more than 16,000 individuals.
The software is used on an almost daily basis for the Ohio Valley Region of ADP's Major Accounts Division. The 20/20 Insight administrator sets up projects for a variety of applications, including: 360-degree feedback, internal and external customer feedback, and training evaluation.
ASP has had excellent success using the program for annual internal quality surveys requested by the region Management Team. In this application, other departments provide feedback to a specific department whose services they receive. Since they all need to work together for the benefit of the client, it's important for each department to learn about its strengths and areas for improvement from its internal customers.
First, the manager of a given department identifies the departments that will give feedback, along with the specific individuals who will complete the questionnaires. The manager provides that information to the administrator, who creates the survey. The survey is brief, typically no more than 10 scaled items, plus one open-ended question for general comments. Respondent relationships are the names of each department giving feedback, such as Client Services, Implementation, Finance and Sales. That way, the data can be displayed in reports according to different customer groups.
Once all the responses have been collected, a PDF file of the report is sent to the department managers, who then discuss the results with their upline manager. Afterwards, managers share the report with their peers in their department. Together they identify problem areas to target and create an action plan for improvement.
Because ADP has conducted these surveys over multiple years, they're able to compare the current year to the previous year to check progress towards completion of goals. These internal quality surveys have significantly improved the level of service that ADP's departments provide to each other.
*Information provided by ADP
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.

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Next month we will be starting the new year with a newsletter that addresses "Managing Change".
All the Best,
Barry Signature
Barry McMaster
Matrix Vision Pty Limited