I P M A  News

  Information Processing Management Associates August 1993  

1993 Annual Meeting a Success

More than 40 members attended the 1993 IPMA Annual Meeting June 24 at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.  "It was a great time for all" reported Jim Andersen.  "Dennis Jones did a super job as emcee, the food was great and we had a good turnout," he said.

Don Dahl kicked off the event with opening comments emphasizing the importance of active member participation.  In response to Don's invitation many members volunteered to serve on committees.

Committee reports provided attendees an opportunity to learn first hand what the IPMA has achieved this past year and what is being considered for next year.  Accomplishments included the Leadership Education Series, FORUM '92, Executive Conference '92, a very successful membership campaign, high caliber monthly speakers, and reshaping state government information technology management job descriptions.

Hien Hgueyen, Washington Basic Health Care, won two nights accommodations for two at Port Ludlow.  Dennis Laine, Department of Health, and John Davidson, Department of Personnel, won IPMA jackets.

Board Nominations

It's that time of year again.  There will be several openings on the Board this year.  If you are interested in running for election to the Board or want to nominate another IPMA member call Don Dahl at 459-0525 or write him at:

P.O. Box 915
Olympia, WA   98507-0915

Nominations must be received by Don no later than October 10, 1993.  Voting ballots will be sent to each member.  New Board members will take office January 1, 1994.

No August Luncheon

There will not be an August IPMA luncheon in recognition that many of our members take one or more weeks vacation in August according to past experience.

The next IPMA luncheon will be September 2.  Speakers will be Dorothy Gerard and Brad Bingham of the Department of Personnel.  They will discuss the latest developments with the new Washington Management Services program and the RIF Transition Pool.

Mark your calendar for September 2.

Happy New (Fiscal) Year

by Linda Bremer, Secretary

"Ring out the old!  Bring in the new!"  As I reflect on the end of the biennium and the beginning of a new one, I can't help but ask:  What will I do differently this time around?  What did I learn that will help me do a better job?  What do I know now that I didn't have a clue about two years ago?

A set of tools that I use to provide guidance in these times of rapid change, or as some say, in these times of chaos, is Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective Behavior.  Here are some ideas and questions that might provided glimpses of new possibilities and greater results these next two years.

Be Proactive
This underscores the notion we are always choosing.  What will I choose to do differently?  The models of the 1980's won't meet the new demands.  What will I choose in regard to technology, budget, employees, or services, the people we serve?

Begin With The End In Mind
Am I committed to the vision I have for myself and my work group?  Or as Carly Simon sings, "Are you tired of the same old ways?  Take another picture!"  What is in your picture?  What do results (outcomes) look like?  What can I do to leave this place a little better than I found it?  What will be my legacy?  What can I do so our services are of the highest quality and most cost effective?  As an information systems manager, do I acknowledge my changing role as business partner, architect and broker?  What am I doing to increase the productivity of the knowledge workers - the people who use information routinely in carrying out their jobs?

Put First Things First
Now that I have a picture - what am I doing to make it a reality?  Do I have a plan?  How does my plan fit with overall plans?  How do my strategies line up with the agency's / state's goals?

Think Win-Win Or No Deal
When was the last time I saw conflict as an opportunity for making things better rather than defending my position?  All government institutions are facing demands that outstrip resources.  The state's population and its expectations are rapidly changing and we are under greater scrutiny than ever.  What am I doing to ensure that there's no question about the effectiveness of what we do?  How committed am I to seeing the state as a single employer?

Seek First to Understand Before I Seek To Be Understood
Do I listen to those I serve, to the people in my work group, to my peers, to the citizens?  How well do I understand the needs of those I serve?

Synergism is defined as the "joint action of discrete agencies in which the total effect is greater than the sum of its parts."  What am I doing to partner up with other organizations so we can pool resources?  Am I sharing the best practices of my organization and am I learning from others?  Through this newsletter, IPMA offers a great example of sharing experiences and successes.

Sharpen The Saw
The first six habits refer to actions we can take that are more on target with where we want to be.  "Sharpening the saw" refers to taking time away from day-to-day tasks and sharpening our tools so when we need them, they're ready.  "Sharpening the saw" allows us to think about all the facets that make up our lives and the balance that's so crucial to our total contribution.

  • Do I structure my time so I invest it where it will benefit me most?
  • Am I remembering my life needs balance?
  • How do I honor the stewardship of my work, my finances, my family and friends, my health, and my spirituality - that which gives me a sense of belonging to something greater than my individual needs?
  • What did I do today that will contribute to me and my growth - to leaving this place a little better than I found it?

Last year at the IPMA Fall Forum, we had a session on the above seven habits.  IPMA is here to provide a network of support for each of us as we strive for greater excellence in carrying out our mission.  Let's find ways to work more closely together.  Join us and become a part of making IPMA even better and more responsive.

Happy new year!

Successful Managers by

N. A. "Butch" Stssy

Stephen P. Robbins, author of  Organizational Behavior:  Concepts, Controversies, and Applications says "... a primary deficiency of business school graduates is not their inability to write, perform analytical studies, or make decisions.  It's their people or interpersonal skills."

Many graduates of our business school fails as managers "...more often because they lack solid interpersonal skills than because of inadequate technical competencies.  Successful managers must be able to lead, motivate, communicate, work as part of a team, resolve conflicts, and engage in similar interpersonal activities."

To reinforce the importance of interpersonal skills you might be interested to know that a fellow named Fred Luthans conducted a study in 1988 to answer the question "Do managers who move up most quickly in an organization do the same activities and with the same emphasis as those managers who do the best job?

Luthans found managers engage in four activities:  traditional management; communication; human resource management; and networking.

Of these activities, according to Luthans, networking "...made the biggest relative contribution to manager success," defined in terms of the speed of promotion within their organization.  Human resource management activities made the least relative contribution.

In fact, successful managers spend about 48% of their time "socializing, politicking, and interacting with outsiders" according to Luthans.