Archive for May, 2011

Missing My Hero, Missing My Dad

My Dad’s life will not be chronicled in history books.  His name will not be mentioned in middle school classrooms around the nation as a great man in history.  There will be no statues in his honor, or streets named after him.  But my Dad was a great man.  His life was worthwhile, meaningful, and impactful, and his passing leaves a void in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

When I think of what makes a great man, some key things come to mind.  Honesty, integrity, compassion, empathy, the ability and desire to teach, and a commitment to making those around him happier, better people.  This is what my Dad was to me.  He challenged me to be a better person, and he helped us all in many ways to make the most of our lives.

Dad and Me Silversword Golf Club Maui

 Over the years, my dad touched those around him in many ways.  He always wanted to make everyone around him happy.  He wanted each moment to be a memorable one, no matter how mundane or routine.  He liked to make memories.  My Dad was always getting people together, whether it was a day of golf before a wedding, meeting for breakfast after a family reunion, he was always the last one there, making sure everyone else had what they needed, and were enjoying themselves.  My Dad was always surrounded by people having fun and enjoying life.  Growing up with my dad, this was one of the things that, to me, made him larger than life.

I hope that I am the type of father to my kids that my Dad was to me.  He was there for me, no matter what.  He once drove for four and a half hours to OshKosh Wisconsin and sat in a bone-chilling downpour to watch me play football.  I wasn’t a starter, and I didn’t play a lot, but if his kid was doing something, then he was going to be there no matter what.  My dad was always there, always telling us he was proud of us.  He was there for everything, graduations, cheerleading competitions, Saturday morning football games in another state, weddings, birthdays.  If it was important to you, then it was important to him.

My Dad was always there to dispense words of wisdom and useful advice, sometimes even when you didn’t ask for it!  He has touched not only my life, but many of yours as well.  He went by many names, Dad, Timmy, Unc, and Grandpa, and he was always there for whoever needed him.  Whether it was advice on parenting, marriage, finances, or work, he always wanted to share a helpful opinion.  I didn’t always appreciate it at the time, but later when I looked back, he always seemed to be right somehow.  His advice was always sound and useful.  One of the many things I am going to miss is being able to pick up the phone and call my dad to ask “Hey dad, what do you think about this….”

The world has lost a great man, one that made a difference to all of us.  My Dad leaves a legacy of laughter and happiness, and he would want us to celebrate his life and remember what he shared with us.  I know there will be difficult times and sadness as we deal with his sudden loss, but the one thing I know about my Dad is that he would want us to celebrate the memories we have of him, and the good times we had together.

So Dad, I just want to say “thanks” and “I Love You” and save me a spot at the first tee on that golf course in heaven.

This was the Eulogy I wrote and delivered on April 16th, 2007….

Tim Privette



Planting the seed for 2012 Organizational Planning

So I have worked at some really large companies here in Minneapolis and have come to realize they move slow towards change, so I decided to plant a seed for planning in 2012. Since planning for 2011 is already in the books!  Try this approach for your BIG reorganization in 2012 (seems like this BIG organization changes .  Because let’s face it at least 50% of the fortune 1,000 companies will do one of this in 2012.  The only problem they have been doing it for 50 years now with similar or worse results.

1. Survey your employees, shareholders, and customers and ask them this question:

What is one problem we have?


2. Again survey your employees, shareholders, and customers and ask them this question:

What would be one thing you would innovate within our company?


Now gather up all this information and pick the Top 5 problems and Top 5 Innovation ideas.  Now the next thing you do will sound absolutely crazy and a lot of work, but that is ok that is the purpose!

Next post Top 5 Problems List within your company and ask all your employees which one they would like to solve and ask them to put their name next to the problem solving initiative.  That is it.  If the employee has some skills, passion or purpose wanting to solve it they will put their name next to it.

Next post Top 5 Innovations List within your company and ask all your employees which one they would like to tackle the innovation and ask them to put their name next to the status quo breaker or catalytic mechanism initiative.  That is it.  If the employee has some skills, passion or purpose wanting to innovate they will put their name next to it.

There you go your top  10 projects for 2012 and the resources and organizational structure to go with it. Yup you have a problem solving organization. The company moves away from the silo’d business structure of Marketing, HR, Customer Service, IT, Legal, Merchandising, Distribution, etc. and builds teams with this eclectic group of skilled people to solve the problem they signed up for!

Now in these new problem solving departments or project teams you have all the experts, roles, and titles banded together to solve the problem or problems. No duplication of people or roles across silos,  problems get solved,  people are happy they are doing what they want to be doing, problems get solved, cost are reduces,  produce more revenue and profits, and unfortunately you may have to reduce staffing levels, but this may help reduce costs of products or services good for consumers. The reason the last one happens is every silo today have similar problems but duplicate the solution and tools across those silos.  This typically happens more when trying to innovate, but happens in problem solving also!

End result of this planning is 5 Problem Solving and 5 Innovation Implementing Organizations.  The company is no longer structured around industry specific silos, applications, or skill sets. This is no way to say companies still do not need these skill sets, because companies do.  Companies still need HR, Marketing, Technology, Supply Chain, PR, Communications, Business Operations, Customer Service experts, they just need to be deployed as ecosystems to solve problems or innovate.

So if you have some leadership authority at your company start suggesting this now and then by 2012 you should be able to execute! What do you think the hurdles will be?  What behavior characteristics are going to be evident when proposing this?  How do you think leadership organizations will form around this idea?

It would be pretty interesting see this initiative come across your email inbox, intranet or enterprise social business application, hey! Would you participate?

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