Closing the Communication Gap: An Effective Method for Achieving Desired Results (The Little Big Book Series)

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9781466574885: Closing the Communication Gap: An Effective Method for Achieving Desired Results (The Little Big Book Series)

Improved communication in business means higher profits. Improved communication in government means happier citizens. Improved communication in healthcare means quicker recoveries, fewer lawsuits, and happier nurses and patients.

Closing the Communication Gap can help readers improve communication by closing the gap between what the communicator means and what the listener actually understands. It supplies a complete overview of the various elements and dimensions of effective communication needed to stop talking and start communicating.

Defining and discussing both the formal and the informal communication systems within an organization, the book demonstrates the importance of good communication and details the four types of poor-quality communication. It explains how to create a climate of communication in your organization. It describes how this climate of communication encourages the development of quality relationships as well as what it takes to maintain this culture of communication.

After reading this book, you will understand how to be a better listener, how to use social media in marketing, how to deal with difficult people, and helpful tips for public speaking. You will gain valuable insights on how to talk to your employees, how to talk to your boss, and the best ways to communicate with a corporation.

This book can be read for personal growth or it can be used by a company to teach employees the importance of quality communication. Quality assurance departments will find this book useful in lowering errors and waste in the workplace. The book is also suitable as a communication textbook or supplemental text at the introductory university level.

If a corporation were a person, communication would be the bloodstream.
―Lee Iacocca, Former CEO, Chrysler Corporation

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About the Author:

In the book, Tech Trending (Amy Zuckerman, Capstone, 2001), Dr. H. James Harrington was cited as "the quintessential tech trender." The New York Times referred to him as having a "knack for synthesis and an open mind about packaging his knowledge and experience in new ways―characteristics that may matter more as prerequisites for new-economy success than technical wizardry." The author Tom Peters stated, "I fervently hope that Harrington’s readers will not only benefit from the thoroughness of his effort but will also ‘smell’ the fundamental nature of the challenge for change that he mounts." William Clinton, past president of the United States, appointed Dr. Harrington to serve as an ambassador of goodwill. It has been said about him, "He writes the books that other consultants use." Harrington Institute was featured on a half-hour TV program, Heartbeat of America, which focuses on outstanding small businesses that make America strong. The host, William Shatner, stated "You [Dr. Harrington] manage an entrepreneurial company that moves America forward. You are obviously successful."

Dr. Harrington now serves as the chief executive officer for the Harrington Institute. He also serves as the chairman of the board for a number of businesses. Dr. Harrington is recognized as a world leader in applying performance improvement methodologies to business processes. He has an excellent record of coming into an organization, working as its chief executive officer (CEO) or chief operating officer (COO), resulting in a major improvement in its financial and quality performance.

In February 2002, Dr. Harrington retired as the COO of Systemcorp A.L.G., the leading supplier of knowledge management and project management software solutions when Systemcorp was purchased by IBM. Prior to that, he had served as a principal and one of the leaders in the Process Innovation Group at Ernst & Young; he retired from Ernst & Young when the company was purchased by Cap Gemini. Dr. Harrington had initially joined Ernst & Young when it purchased Harrington, Hurd & Rieker, a consulting firm that Dr. Harrington started. Before that, Dr. Harrington was with IBM for more than 40 years as a senior engineer and project manager.

Dr. Harrington is past chairman and past president of the prestigious International Academy for Quality (IAQ) and of the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC). He is also an active member of the Global Knowledge Economics Council.

H. James Harrington was elected to the honorary level of the (IAQ), which is the highest level of recognition in the quality profession. He is a government-registered quality engineer, a Certified Quality and Reliability Engineer by the ASQC, and a Permanent Certified Professional Manager by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers. He is a certified Master Six Sigma Black Belt and received the title of Six Sigma Grand Master. H. James Harrington has an MBA and PhD in engineering management and a BS in electrical engineering.

Dr. Harrington’s contributions to performance improvement around the world have brought him many honors. He was appointed the honorary advisor to the China Quality Control Association and was elected to the Singapore Productivity Hall of Fame in 1990. He has been named lifetime honorary president of the Asia-Pacific Quality Control Organization and honorary director of the Association Chilean de Control de Calidad. In 2006, he accepted the honorary chairman position of Quality Technology Park of Iran.

Dr. Harrington has been elected a Fellow of the British Quality Control Organization and the American Society for Quality Control. In 2008, he was elected to be an Honorary Fellow of the Iran Quality Association and Azerbaijan Quality Association. He was also elected an honorary member of the quality societies in Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Singapore. He is also listed in the Who’s Who Worldwide and Men of Distinction Worldwide. He has presented hundreds of papers on performance improvement and organizational management structure at the local, state, national, and international levels.

  • The Harrington/Ishikawa Medal, presented yearly by the Asian Pacific Quality Organization (APQO), was named after H. James Harrington to recognize his many contributions to the region.
  • The Harrington/Neron Medal was named after H. James Harrington in 1997 for his many contributions to the quality movement in Canada.
  • Harrington Best TQM Thesis Award was established in 2004 and named after H. James Harrington by the European Universities Network and e-TQM College.
  • The Harrington Chair in Performance Excellence was established in 2005 at the Sudan University.
  • The Harrington Excellence Medal was established in 2007 to recognize an individual who uses the quality tools in a superior manner.
  • The H. James Harrington Scholarship was established in 2011 by the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Inspection Division.

H. James Harrington has received many awards, among them the Benjamin L. Lubelsky Award, the John Delbert Award, the Administrative Applications Division Silver Anniversary Award, and the Inspection Division Gold Medal Award. In 1996, he received the Lancaster Award of the American Society of Quality Control in recognition of his international activities. In 2001, he received the Magnolia Award in recognition for the many contributions he has made in improving quality in China. In 2002, H. James Harrington was selected by the European Literati Club to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Literati Award for Excellence ceremony in London. The award was given to honor his excellent literature contributions to the advancement of quality and organizational performance. Also in 2002, H. James Harrington was awarded the International Academy of Quality President’s Award in recognition for outstanding global leadership in quality and competitiveness and contributions to IAQ as Nominations Committee chair, vice president, and chairman.

In 2003, H. James Harrington received the Edwards Medal from the ASQ. The Edwards Medal is presented to the individual who has demonstrated the most outstanding leadership in the application of modern quality control methods, especially through the organization and administration of such work. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Service Award, which is ASQ’s highest award for service granted by the society. In 2008, Dr. Harrington was awarded the Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award (UAE) in recognition of his superior performance as an original quality and excellence guru who helped shape modern quality thinking. In 2009, Dr. Harrington was selected as the Professional of the Year (2009). Also in 2009, he received the Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University Medal. In 2010, the Asian Pacific Quality Organization awarded Dr. Harrington the APQO President’s Award for his "exemplary leadership." The Australian Organization of Quality NSW’s board recognized him as the "Global Leader in Performance Improvement Initiatives" in 2010.

In 2011, he was honored to receive the Shanghai Magnolia Special Contributions Award from the Shanghai Association for Quality in recognition of his 25 years of contributing to the advancement of quality in China. This was the first time that this award was given. In 2012, Dr. Harrington received the ASQ Ishikawa Medal for his many contributions in promoting the understanding of process improvement and employee involvement on the human aspects of quality at the local, national, and international levels. Also in 2012, he was awarded the Jack Grayson Award. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the application of quality philosophy, methods and tools in education, healthcare, public service, and not-for-profit organizations.

Harrington also received the A. C. Rosander Award in 2012. This is ASQ Service Quality Division’s highest honor. It is given in recognition of outstanding long-term service and leadership resulting in substantial progress toward the fulfillment of the division’s programs and goals. In addition, in 2012 Dr. Harrington was honored by the APQO by being awarded the Armand V. Feigenbaum Lifetime Achievement Medal. This award is given annually to an individual whose relentless pursuit of performance improvement over a minimum of 25 years has distinguished himself or herself with work in promoting the use of quality methodologies and principles within and outside the organization of which he or she is part.

Dr. Harrington is a prolific author, publishing hundreds of technical reports and magazine articles. For the past 8 years, he has published a monthly column in Quality Digest Magazine and is syndicated in five other publications. He has authored 37 books and 10 software packages. His e-mail address is hjh@harrington-institute.com.

Robert D. Lewis (Bob) spent his early years in the civic and religious nonprofit world, where the importance of communication carried an enhanced role. It was there that his study and practice of communication took on serious and academic dimensions. One of his most helpful experiences in communication training was with Dr. John S. Savage, the founder and president of L.E.A.D. Consultants, Incorporated, for 25 years, and currently a senior consultant/trainer for the Kilgore Group. Lewis spent 200 hours in workshops with Dr. Savage and his associates studying listening skills, such as story listening, body language, and neurolinguistic programming theory and techniques. As an ordained minister, Lewis learned the importance of listening, the power of a question, and the importance of effective public speaking.

Currently, Lewis serves on two nonprofit boards of directors and is a trainer, consultant, and financial coach for the APM Foundation for Financial Education (http://www.theAPMfoundation.org). He also serves as a consultant and the director of financial services for Continuous Improvement Ministries (CIM) of Roseville, California (http://www.ciministries.net). He is the vice president for mission support development for Marketplace Missions, Incorporated (MPM), of Auburn, California (http://www.marketplacemissions.net), and volunteers his time to help with the children’s home Sonshine Hacienda (http://www.sonshine hacienda.org), operated by MPM in Mexico.

Lewis has served as the senior pastor for three different churches and as the associate director of evangelism for the California Southern Baptist Convention. He retired from the position of executive director of the Sacramento Association of Southern Baptist Churches in 2006.
In addition, Lewis has directed regional training schools and seminars and has served on boards from credit unions to private organizations. Lewis also served Golden Gate Seminary, Mill Valley, California, as a parttime adjunct professor of supervised ministry and served on the committee that reviewed doctor of ministry candidates’ project proposals, project dissertation/reports, and orals. Other teaching experience includes work as an adjunct professor for the Degree Completion Program at William Jessup University, Rocklin, California.

In 1998, Lewis joined the Performance Improvement Network, doing consulting with Dr. H. James Harrington and Dr. Kenneth Lomax. He continues to do contract work with these men. Lewis holds an AA from Missouri Baptist College, Hannibal-LaGrange Campus, in Hannibal; a BA degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee; and the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California. His e-mail address is boblewis.california@gmail.com.

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