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Friday 5: Continuous Improvement, Marketing, and Mommyhood

Posted by Maggie Millard

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Jul 18, 2014 2:09:26 PM

maggie_headshot_3As the Director of Customer Experience at KaiNexus, Maggie Millard educates both prospective and current customers about improvement principles and KaiNexus. She also supports our customers on every step of their KaiNexus journey, from implementation services to continued-use support. We asked her to share what she’s been reading this week.  Enjoy!

There's nothing I like to do better at the end of a long day than curl up with some good reading material. I think it started when I was a kid and my mom instituted a mandatory reading policy for the hour before bed. My sisters and I could read anything we wanted, as long as we were reading SOMETHING. For this I'm eternally grateful to her; being able to read quickly and easily has been, I think, one of the most useful things I learned growing up. 

Now I've moved past The Little House On The Prairie and the tales of James Herriot, and spend my evenings reading a wide variety of books and blogs - here's a sampling of what I've been reading lately. 

  1. The Thank You Economy

    This book by Gary Vaynerchuk is turning out to be a fascinating read, whether you're interesting in internet marketing or not. It's all about how our economy is changing from the 1960's Mad Men world of advertising where success meant pouring money into campaigns to overwhelm the airwaves to a new economy where "customers' demands for authenticity, originality, creativity, honesty, and good intent have made it necessary for companies and brands to revert to a level of customer service rarely seen since our great-grandparents' day." I've only just started it, but I'm already hooked.

  2. Who Is Going To Do What By When?

    I loved this article by Dr. Eric Dickson, President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, because of the excellent leadership characteristics it shows. In it, Dr. Dickson talks about how he left his office to visit one of the organization's satellite locations, taking a tour and talking with the staff about their ideas for improving. He says that "We must become the management team who serves the people that serve the patient" - I couldn't have said it better myself. I wonder if he's been reading our Leadership Behaviors That Create a Culture of Continuous Improvement eBook.

  3. What My Dog Trainer Reminded Me About Leadership

    I have three dogs and have been reading a lot about leadership of successful cultures of continuous improvement lately, so this post by Michael Hyatt struck me as twice as interesting as the average article. In particular, Michael talks about how we have to accept that when our team fails it's because of a leadership flaw that needs to be corrected, rather than that we were victims of poor circumstance, in order to do better next time. Of course, this leadership advice was highlighted with with some great dog training anecdotes, making this post a must-read. 

  4. Mommy Shorts

    My favorite thing to read these days is a blog called Mommy Shorts written by mom-blogger Ilana, NYC resident with two young daughters. My first baby is due next month, and I've decided that reading Ilana's hilarious updates about her children's antics, lists of do's and don'ts for parenthood, clever infographics, and sound advice is the best (or at least, the most interesting) way to prepare. If you're a parent (or future parent), subscribe to this blog. 

  5. Husband-Coached Childbirth

    A more practical way to prepare for Baby's arrival is to read the natural childbirth book that coincides with the Bradley Method birth classes I've been taking for the past couple of months. This book tells the story of how the Bradley Method was developed by a doctor who grew up on a farm watching animals calmly give birth to their young, and decided in the 1960s that women could do the same - at a time when most births were heavily medicated, violent, torturous affairs. While I can't say I'm looking forward to labor, this book is helping me feel much more prepared for it.

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