Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blogging the Sterling :: Eat this burger, why don't you?

Admiral Allen brought his hand-drawn copy of the infamous Baldrige Burger with him to his keynote. When he walked out, I noticed he was carrying papers; I thought he'd fallen and couldn't get up... er, was going to read his speech.

I need not have worried. The papers were merely his burger he'd brought to use as a mental model.

One of my colleagues tells the story about presenting training about the Criteria for Performance Excellence in Miami years ago. During the instruction, he showed the Baldrige Burger, and one of the class participants said, "Hey, I've seen that before. It's in Admiral Allen's office on his white board." At the time, Admiral Allen was the D7 commander.

Admiral Allen was out of the building, so someone in the class with connections was able to get the class into his office. Indeed, there was the burger, along with notes atop each criteria box. The admiral was using the mental model to help him manage and lead.

And he still does.

Noted Admiral Allen, if you go back and look at all the CIAOs, all the categories in the Criteria are covered.

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