April 5, 2012
Some time ago, a client of ours excitedly commented that she thought what we did felt like team-building with intellect. Even eight years ago, there was something in the comment that betrayed a disdain and fatigue for team-building exercises that are fun and engaging, but lead to nothing of real substance back in the day-to-day life of the workplace. While the purpose of the work we did was not around team-building, the way that we weave sociometry and relationship building into everything we do means that one major spin-off from the work is closer working relationships. When considering taking a group of people at work through some kind of team-building process, it is important to keep the purpose of this process clear in our heads. What kind of relationships are required in order to do the job? What is the context in which the relationships will sit and how can we optimise the links around the common purpose? How much mutual accountability is actually necessary?
To expand a little on my previous article, I’d like to say a little more about teams in the workplace. In that article, I suggest that the dynamics of a group will impact on its ability to work effectively. I realise that I may have been a little relaxed about using the words “group” and “team” interchangeably, however there is an important distinction to be made between the two. I fear the word “team” has been so over-used in the workplace that this distinction has been lost and assumptions made about the necessity for team-building. In my last blogpost, I referred to the work of Wilfred Bion and set out his observations of what happens in groups of humans when unconscious process gets in the way of group effectiveness. As I wrote, humans gather together in groups for a purpose and when the dynamics of the group kick in, they can undermine this purpose and throw the group off course. My assertion was that it is important for anyone who manages a group of people, often called a “team” in our workplaces, to be aware of some of these hidden dynamics so that they can develop greater resilience to keep going with grace and humility. One point of clarification here is that every team is a group, and therefore subject to these hidden dynamics; not every group, however, is a team. Nor, necessarily, should they be.
When I hear someone talking about taking their crew on a team-building day, my heart sinks, as, I suspect, do the hearts of many of those folks in the team who will be subjected to a day of fun, laughs and throwing a cush-ball at each other. I’ve spoken to many people who’ve been on these events and there is a theme that runs through their comments: “What does that have to do with my work?” Certainly, creating an environment where people can get to know each other better while enjoying themselves will create some bonds, but there are some assumptions behind these away-days. The complaint that these events have little to do with the day-to-day requirements of work is valid. Often, there is little attention to the transfer of learning back to the workplace, but this is partly to do with the structure of team-building events; reflection and meaning-making should always be built in to any kind of activity where learning is the aim. It is not enough to assume that just because people have successfully built a raft together, they will transfer their efforts back to the office. I’m not saying that all such events lack this transfer, but many folks I know were left wondering what the point of it all was.
One of the biggest assumptions that needs to be addressed, however, is the one that people who work together should perforce invest themselves in developing a true, high-performing team. In most workplaces, what people call “team” is, in fact, a “working group” and this may be sufficient for the requirements of the people and the organisation. It requires a mighty investment of time, energy and commitment to develop the close-knit structure that Katzenbach and Smith would call a “high-performing team”. While organisations may aspire to be peopled by high-performing teams, the reality is that for many of these businesses, the cost involved in getting there may be prohibitive, both in terms of time and financial resources. It also requires an act of will on the part of the members of these high-performing teams.
I will illustrate with some personal experience. In my own lifetime, I have been fortunate enough to have worked in a high-performing team, as observed by Katzenbach and Smith, and I will describe in more detail below what you would have seen if you were a fly on the wall in my workplace. My second example took place some years ago. We were called in to work with a group of people in a large organisation whose manager said they needed some team-building and that he aspired after them to be in the high-performing category. But then, what manager wouldn’t say that?
The first example has left an imprint on me that will last my lifetime. Many years ago, I worked for a community therapy agency which engaged in some of the most difficult therapeutic work around. It required a high level of professional knowledge and skill, as we were working in the area of trauma and abuse, as well as a high level of personal development in order to deal with the effects of vicarious traumatisation. The work was systemic, and therefore multi-disciplinary, in nature, in other words, it involved the person’s wider system including family and extended family, school and/or workplace, recreational activities, government agencies and other health providers. This was not work done in silos. We were a diverse and cross-functional team and cases were handled collaboratively at weekly meetings. Because of what was required of us in order to do the work effectively, there was a strong need to attend to our own team development. Apart from the actual work we did, we also devoted a significant amount of time to building and nurturing our team. In a working month, I would guess that we would have spent at least eight hours together purely on maintaining team “hygiene”. We reflected on our relationships with each other and the impact of those on our abilities to work well.
Katzenbach and Smith came up with a simple and clear definition of team: “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” Many groups in the workplace might say that they fit these criteria, however I’m not so sure that they are in the high-performing category. Beyond this definition, I believe, there is a spirit or essence which identifies groups as high-performing (HP) teams. An HP team will be leader-full; various members will, at times, take up leadership. Each person will, in different moments, bring forward their specialist expertise around particular topics or issues or take the lead in facilitating some decision-making or drive the team to grapple with something they feel is significant. HP teams work have a deep commitment to the vision of their organisation and strive towards objectives they set themselves and that are in line with this bigger picture, rather than simply achieve work outputs mandated by the hierarchy. HP teams are characterised by open discussions and collaborative problem-solving; working groups attend efficient meetings. HP teams have robust, honest discussions and have highly developed interpersonal skills to manage through these sticky times. HP teams are genuinely mutually accountable whereas working groups take individual accountability; in an HP, everyone (and I mean everyone) takes an active interest in the achievement of the team’s objectives and behaves in a way which demonstrates their inextricable connectedness. All of these were true in the team I belonged to, however, the one thing that really identified my team as an HP team to me was this: everyone looked forward to coming to work so that we could be with each other and, together, meet the challenges of the work. In the many working groups I’ve belonged to, while there were some really enjoyable working relationships, they were based more on personal affinity and we all came to work because we had to.
The second example I described above would sit in the category of my professional blunders. I learnt so much from that work, one of the main things being that not all working groups need or want to invest what it takes to become a genuine team. It is a never-ending piece of work that the team unanimously needs to sign up to. In hindsight, what that manager who contracted us was looking to achieve was some closer working relationship, as it was a relatively new team, however their work did not actually require them to be more than an efficient working group. For a team to achieve high-performing status, they will likely go through a challenging process after which they have developed a deep caring for each other and a strong collaborative ethic such that the achievement of the whole far outstrips the achievement of the individuals working separately. It is sometimes a bumpy ride and not for the faint-hearted. Upon reflection, the nature of the work of this team was such that they did not need to (nor wish to) invest themselves in a process whereby they would have an HP team. Their work simply required that they be a friendly and efficient working group who understood what the organisation wanted from them.
Katzenbach and Smith set out a team performance curve and identified several types of team. The diagram below illustrates this.
For those who are interested, I will leave explanation of these team categories to the London Management Centre, who describe them very eloquently. In this post, I simply wish to make the point that when considering team-building, consider first the needs of the business, the readiness and willingness of the team members to engage in a journey of closer relationship and the time and money that are required to grow a truly high-performing team. One thing I know for sure, we cannot rely on an outdoor pursuits event to be the solution to building a solid HP team.
March 21, 2012
Developing ourselves is not about filling in “gaps”. If we are systems thinkers, we don’t see gaps. A gap is an empty space; where nothing is. We are not empty vessels to be filled; we are whole beings, not “hole-y” beings. We do, however, have things about us that need strengthening and enhancing. We have got this far in our lives with the capabilities that we have had at our disposal through a life of learning, but this is not to say that there isn’t more to learn and develop.
Dr. Russell Ackoff said, “Optimising one part of a system always leads to sub-optimisation of the system as a whole.” This is important to remember, not only with reference to an organisation’s development, but also for an individual. Our workplaces are complex social systems, the many people being interconnected and interrelated. Each person has an impact on the wider system and the other people in the system impact on them. Out of the dynamics of these social systems emerges culture and organisational performance. To take Ackoff’s statement, if we take one person out of a system and, for example, provide some coaching without awareness of that person’s place in the system, impact on the system and impact of the system on them, the coaching will be less than effective. Optimising one person in isolation and without attending to the whole system will lead to a skew.
Similarly, when developing capability within individuals, we need to remember that we, too, are systems. We play a myriad of roles in our daily lives, whether you are a customer service representative, a CEO or a project manager. The whole of ourselves is truly greater than the sum of our knowledge, skills, experience and character traits. This matrix of roles that we play is complex and interrelated; each role we enact impacts on other roles we play. Our character and personality arises from the interconnectedness of all these roles and each time we add a new capability, it affects the whole of our being. Sometimes we can easily discern this, sometimes learning something new affects us in more subtle ways. For example, developing greater self-reflective skills will impact positively on our abilities to put ourselves in the shoes of others.
In the realm of leader (or rather, people) development, it sometimes seems that there is always the next big thing: The Key Skill Every Leader Should Grow. It can be a bit like plate spinning, though; that old trick where someone would rush around trying to keep plates spinning on long thin poles. One week you have to develop your ability to manage diversity, the next week it’s about learning how to deal with the unexpected, the next week you are learning how to listen to your inner voice telling you not to listen to what they tell you the week after that. Madly rushing about from one “part” to another “part” of ourselves is a misguided approach to people development. We need to see leader ability as a matrix of interactive roles; the question is then not “What capability do I need to develop?” but “What is the matrix of capabilities I need to develop, and what capabilities am I over-emphasising at the expense of others?” Leader development should be focussed on the behaviour of the inseparable whole and even if there are specific capabilities that a person needs to strengthen, this should be done with a view to optimising the whole person.
Developing ourselves in a piecemeal, mechanistic way can be as exhausting as plate spinning. Taking a reductionist perspective is also counter-productive; it’s utter nonsense to view ourselves as clocks, with bits that you can take out in isolation and fine tune or replace. We need to remain mindful that our abilities to do something may be linked to a collection of other related abilities. In the same vein, our ability to do something may be hampered by over-use of other abilities. Take the story of the recruitment consultant who struggled to achieve his list of daily tasks. It wasn’t related to poor time management skills, which he had said it was. It was a direct result of being so driven and single-minded about achieving his tasks such that his way of interacting with his colleagues rubbed them up the wrong way and caused them to avoid dealing with him. Because he required the collaboration of his co-workers, he was not able to get through his tasks effectively. When we did some work with this person some years ago, we witnessed his manner with others that betrayed some underdeveloped relationship skills. If we had taken him at his word and gone down the “time management skills” track without looking at his whole being, he wouldn’t have come through with the enhanced people skills he actually needed. His improved people skills ended up enhancing his ability to “manage” his time.
When Peter Senge says that real learning gets to the heart of what it is to be human, I believe he is talking about whole person development, not simply “training” in isolated sets of skills that enable someone to do a job more efficiently. When I’m developing people capability, I apply a matrix that we at Quantum Shift developed some years ago. We use it as an illustrative reminder, not a definitive prescription. This image is limited, in that it cannot truly illustrate the deep and complex interconnectedness of all the roles and how they affect each other, however, it gives some indication. Anyone who is in the business of developing people needs to remain cognisant of the interactive nature of these roles and discover how they impact on each other, for each individual that they work with.
Each of these roles is comprised of a number of sub-roles or abilities. For example, the Decisive Achiever is the one that we enact when we want to get things gone. It is the one that manages time, makes decisions, is organised and is the one that is usually most recognised and rewarded in the workplace. This is the role that our recruitment consultant was over-utilising to his detriment, and at the expense of the other roles in his matrix. He operated out of a belief that if he just came into work and achieved, that would be best. He was blind to the fact that an optimal achiever is actually one that deploys the whole of his role matrix in appropriate measure and in response to the appropriate context. When he realised that his Relationship Manager role was the one that was needed in order to go further, and extended this and applied it in tandem with the Decisive Achiever, he actually got more done and with greater satisfaction for himself and his colleagues. In fact, we heard some months later that the atmosphere in the whole office had improved significantly as a result.
Below is a summary of the roles in this matrix and their traits. The list is by no means exhaustive, however it gives a flavour of the roles.
Because our personal role systems are organic and ever-emergent, developing them is not time-bound. There is no end point. We will develop one thing and this will shine a light on other areas to enhance and extend. To quote Senge, “Personal mastery goes beyond competence and skills…it means approaching one’s life as a creative work, living life from a creative as opposed to a reactive viewpoint.” This means we embark on a lifelong journey of learning and development, taking a continual interest in ourselves and holding a perpetual curiosity about the world. One might say that there is a reasonably finite amount one can learn about, say, time management, but if we engage ourselves in role development, we will keep refining our whole selves to applying our time management skills or our performance management skills or our listening skills well and in an integrated fashion. Doing this over our life times will be an adventure, it will be messy and divergent, it will not be without challenges.
Some key points to remember about working with people in a systemic way:
- Our roles are an interactive system, or matrix, of sub-roles. Developing one in isolation will come at the expense of another or others.
- Development is never-ending. You never “arrive”. There is no end point. As we learn one thing and it becomes part of us, we become aware of the next thing to be learnt. Because we are systems, developing one part of the system will impact on the rest of it and will give rise to the next thing to develop.
- Roles are learnt and enacted in response to real life, not hypotheticals. They are not in isolation, making workplace learning is more purposeful. It is ideal to learn in real time, in response to real needs.
- Developing leadership mastery is a messy business, just like life. It is not linear. It requires some experimentation, some reflection and meaning-making, some knowledge, some rehearsal and trial and error.
August 9, 2011
As the old saying goes, if you have only a hammer, you see only nails. Frankly, I’d much rather have the plumber who opens his or her toolbag and has the whole range of tools necessary, rather than the one who brings only a hammer and uses it for everything. It’d be a pretty botched job if they did. Not only that, I’d much rather the plumber who not only has the full tool bag, but also that he or she is proficient at using all of them.
There is a parallel for personal capabilities. We are systems of ‘roles’, that is we have a whole myriad of capabilities at our disposal. They all interact and interconnect with each other. So when you are having a conversation with your staff about their performance, you use not only your ‘clear communicator’ role, but you also call on your ‘relationship manager’ role (you want to ensure that you have a good working relationship after the conversation), your ‘wise change agent’ role (you want to make sure you provide some coaching or mentoring if required) and your ‘lover of people’ role (you want to let your staff know what they are doing well and applaud them for the unique contribution they make to the business). Obvious, I know.
Rarely do we call on just one of our capabilities at any one time. Because we are interconnected systems of roles, it is therefore hard to justify simply ‘playing to your strengths’ and leaving the rest to good luck. I’ve seen many folks in senior positions do just that. Many people use what they’ve got and try to get by. They overuse a role or roles to mask what they haven’t got. Alternatively, they overuse a role at the expense of another which they have, but which is underdeveloped, so this becomes a default setting. Read my earlier post on personal glass ceilings, this is what I’m talking about.
A manager I know struggled to get two teams to work more closely together; not for the sake of it, but because their lack of cooperation was leading to poor outcomes, late delivery on deadlines and dissatisfied clients. She had superb relationship skills and would have endless conversations with each of them, trying to get them to collaborate more. She requested, she coaxed, she enticed, she pleaded. She tried to persuade, she tried to appeal to their better natures, she discussed. All of this was to little avail and she was beginning to feel like a nag. Want to know the thing that got them to work closer together? It wasn’t her communication or relationship skills, both of which she had in spades. It was her ‘big picture thinker’ role. When she set out the big picture of what was happening, each team got more interested in the other. They saw how interconnected they were and that if one fell down, the other followed. Rather than “Could you guys please fill out those client job sheets fully?” it was “When you guys fill out these forms fully, this team over here has a better picture of what they are required to do and won’t have to waste time coming back to you with endless questions and they also will also provide a finished product that is in line with the client’s needs, is on time and will get the client to come back for more.”
Seems simple I know. But it was the quantum (tiniest) shift that made the quantum (biggest) shift, not only in terms of their outputs, but also in terms of inter-team relations (and the manager’s stress levels). She had tried and tried to use the capabilities she was good at, but when she extended herself in an area which was less developed, she got what she was after. No longer would she then have to rely on her hammer, she could use the right tool for the job. She wouldn’t have to just get by on her good relationship skills.
The point here is, there is a danger in resting on your laurels. You will limit your career, your sense of personal satisfaction and yourself if you decide that you’ve learnt enough or that you can just get by on what got you to where you are in your career. I know of one or two people who are a stone’s throw from nabbing a C-suite position, but have made a (probably unconscious) decision that professional development is just for their staff and not for themselves. ”I didn’t get where I am today by learning how to be a more consultative boss.” Fine.
Hope you enjoy the view as your staff member leafrogs you to become your CEO.
May 23, 2011
Most of us have had moments in our working lives when we don’t live up to our own expectations.
*Think of the manager who is unnecessarily harsh in a performance appraisal when she intended to be encouraging and motivating.
*Think of how we prematurely reject new ideas from others when we intend to be inclusive and open to creativity.
*Think of how we escalate a conflict situation with a co-worker when we intend to reach resolution.
As Homer Simpson would say…. DOH! We take ourselves by surprise……and when we go away and reflect on our behaviour, we wish the floor would open up and swallow us or there was a rock to crawl under. For some time afterwards, we cringe whenever we think of it and berate ourselves saying, “What was I thinking? I can do better than that!” We certainly don’t entertain the possibility that there was anything good in what we did.
And yet, even in those very worst of working moments there is the seed of something good, if we take the time to find it. No matter how small: an intention; a positive attitude; a good opening line; a calm demeanour; there will be something that we already do well, and that we can build on as we learn how to get the whole performance we are looking for. I know what you are thinking: “What a bunch of new age, PC nonsense! It’s this sort of thinking that is sending the economy to the dogs!”
However, to fail to recognise strengths is akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. It is demoralising, demotivating and just plain false to think we have to start right from the beginning again. As Dr. Max Clayton states, “…there tends to be an over-emphasis on the inadequacies of people….When people become aware of what is (good) in their functioning,…problematic areas of their life become easier to manage.”
Learning how to shift a behaviour or attitude in ourselves, therefore, is most effectively done using a strengths-based learning approach. A strengths–based approach to learning is simply one that builds on what you already can do: your current talents and capabilities are the spring board that takes you from good to great. Common sense you might say, and yet really, how common is it?
So why not focus on what is working, rather than on what is not?
At Quantum Shift, a strengths-based approach is inherent in the methodology we use. At the heart of the method is the premise that each of us has within us the role of the creative genius; the seed or potential to respond creatively and appropriately to any situation we experience. As we grow up, we use our creative genius to work out how we will respond to the challenges life brings and we develop a whole range or repertoire of other roles in support; and we continue to do this until the day we die. Our ability to respond well across many contexts and situations is dependent on the roles we have at our disposal; and because we develop our role repertoire directly by experience, this means every experience is a learning opportunity, a chance to grow our role repertoire.
Below is a simple method you can use to help you learn and build on the strengths you have already developed. This exercise is always easier if you can enlist someone to help you out. Bring to mind a recent interaction or conversation with another person at work, where you would like to have done it differently (or better). Re-enact this specific incident or moment with your ‘helper’, so they get to see and experience what occurred even if it is only from your perspective. Remember it is YOUR performance that is at the heart of matter, so what YOU did is the key to the situation.
FIRSTLY, ask the question: What did I do well? It is all too easy to go to what you did badly, but it is essential to start with what went well. This is where the other person is invaluable as they are more dispassionate and therefore more likely to see the good as well as the bad. List everything you can observe, no matter how small; you are building your self-awareness as you do this.
SECONDLY, ask: What did I do too much of? Sometimes we do things so well that they become habitual or overly comfortable default settings, and we over-use them, at the expense of other things that might get us the outcome we are looking for. There is nothing inherently ‘wrong’ in what we did, but we over-used it to the point that it got in the way of an ideal outcome.
THIRDLY, ask: What could I have done more of? What other things could I also have done in this moment that would have got the outcome I wanted? What resource within myself did I under-use?
Making this analysis is vital in order to develop a new behaviour or attitude. Reflecting in this way allows us to free up our creative genius and grow something new from what we already have and who we already are.
May 19, 2011
I’ve been noticing just lately that this word ‘feedback’ keeps coming up. Specifically, it’s being used in the context of letting someone know something about their behaviour or attitude. This isn’t an uncommon word and in workplaces everywhere, people are being encouraged to give ‘feedback’ to each other…..Managers to staff….co-workers to co-workers….in fact, people all over the place to other people all over the place.
Years ago, a wise and much-loved teacher of mine remarked that he never used the word ‘feedback’ when sharing information with someone about their performance. He likened it to the kind of feedback that you get from the speaker on your sound system—grating, dissonant noise. Since that time, I have found myself bristling every time I hear someone say something like, “Can I give you some feedback about what you just did?” or “I think I need to give my staff some feedback about that last project.”
I have to say I tend to agree with his take on the word. I have worked with a fair number of Managers who have to conduct performance reviews with their staff and they talk about giving feedback. And I suspect that is more or less what it sounds like to their staff—grating, dissonant noise. Consider the person about to enter the Manager’s office for a performance review. Consider the thoughts and feelings that will be going through them. Consider the slightly sweaty palms, the slightly shallower-than-normal breathing, the increased heart rate….all signs of nervousness or anxiety. All limbic responses to potential threat or danger; the Manager is not about to leap out from behind a chair and maul them to death, however the limbic system does not operate on a level or reason or logic. However, when the limbic system starts to kick into action, it does cause our more evolved ‘thinking brain’ to operate at less than optimal levels and we don’t take information in clearly. The staff member sits down and the Manager begins a friendly conversation, however the hormones rushing through the staff member’s body have not entirely dissipated. All they hear is grating, dissonant noise—feedback.
So, I hear you ask, am I suggesting that staff shouldn’t have performance conversations with their Managers?
After all, don’t people want to know how they’re doing? And don’t organisations have a responsibility to ensure that people are working to an agreed standard? Of course, emphatically yes to both questions.
I would suggest, however, that it is not the giving of this information that is sometimes flawed; it is HOW it is delivered. I suspect that there are many people who experience any kind of conversation about their performance as a little challenging. Indeed, a comment on how we’re doing will naturally elicit some kind of emotional response inside; we are not automatons. So it behoves the giver of the information to place themselves in the shoes of the receiver and consider how to pass on this really useful information. It is important to consider time and place. Most importantly, it is important to consider the relationship.
I like to think of traffic lights when I share information with someone about themselves. If the light is red, I hold back. In other words, if I don’t feel I’ve done enough work on building a good, trusting relationship, I will be very careful what I say: not because I’m shy of telling people what I think, but because I want the words to actually be heard clearly and not come across as grating, dissonant noise. If the light is amber, I’m getting there, but I can’t be as forthright as I would if the light was green. With a green light, we can let someone know how they are doing in a manner that is honest and open, knowing that they are not feeling threatened or defensive, because we have spent a sufficient amount of time, energy and consideration in building a positive working relationship with them.
January 18, 2011
- You deal with performance issues before they become personal.
- You are able to come up with the ‘right words’.
- You deal with challenging situations or people as they arise.
- You say the ‘hard things’ and still maintain good working relationships.
- avoid these performance conversations, or put them off until we just can’t put them off any more
- focus so heavily on making sure we get the ‘message’ across, that we get ‘hard’ or ‘matter of fact’ and forget about the relationship we have with the other
- overcompensate for the relationship and beat about the bush, couching the message in such fuzzy terms we fail to actually say what we meant to
Well, the truth is there is no step 1, step 2 fail-safe method to having these conversations; a relationship is a two–way thing and we can never reliably predict what another will say and do. However there are some things that are useful to know and some capabilities that we can develop that will grow our ability to better achieve the outcomes we are looking for from our conversations.
While it is certainly important to know some guidelines or tips for conducting a performance conversation, when the thing that inhibits us is ourselves and our emotional responses, what is needed is personal development. This will increase our self-awareness and develop our capabilities to manage emotional responses and learn new ways of thriving when we are called upon to do something that challenges us. Programmes such as the one my company offers, which create the opportunity for you to really learn about your inner workings and to get in control of your range of behavioural responses to challenging people and situations, are the ones more likely to create the changes you are looking for. While programmes such as these are not typical and will stretch you beyond your comfort zone, the benefits of committing yourself to this kind of learning will enhance your work and life immeasurably.
September 13, 2010
Continuing the theme of my previous blog, isn’t the optimal way the one where ‘people friendly’ and ‘performance oriented’ are not mutually exclusive? One of the biggest challenges of contemporary working life is having those ‘difficult conversations’ with others. We all know how essential it is to be able to do this. ‘Systems thinking’ tells us that in modern workplaces, everything is connected to everything else. So if we can’t have those difficult conversations with people early enough, other things will deteriorate. If we leave it long enough, things will often NOT just sort themselves out. Small, seemingly insignificant (and seemingly unconnected) events, incidents, actions and NON-actions always have ripple effects that generate wider consequences; so the manager who thinks bigger knows it is important to take action and get things sorted. Also, these same seemingly insignificant and seemingly unconnected events and non-events are often indications of bigger patterns at play–patterns that need to be modified before they seriously damage the bottom line.
September 8, 2010