1 of My Most Coveted Awards: FAT ENCHILADA Award from 1982

A MTEC – Motorola Training & Education Center colleague gifted me this during my last week on the job while we were all out to lunch on October 22, 1982.

I had spent 18 months at MTEC where I had a chance to work directly with Geary A. Rummler, and Neil Rackham and John Carlisle, and indirectly with Ray Svenson. And a great staff of fellow Training Project Supervisors (TPS) at MTEC.

This Award has been on the wall of very home office I’ve had since 1982. As a reminder. Just as one of my “dog tags” has been on my key ring since 1975.

Let it be known to all who read (that’s the humor of John Cone’ shining through)…

FM as Tyrant,

Encountering No Client, Has, Incredibly, Loosely, Approximated our Design Activities.

That’s John’s humor continuing. He was our MTEC class clown, so to speak. He had remarked the week before presenting this to me, one of my most coveted awards, that he had forgotten that I had a sense of humor.

It would seem to have disappeared a while back. 9 months back, in fact.

A Little Context

FM was Functional Manager. My boss at MTEC. I had worked at MTEC for my first 9 months skip-level-reporting to our Director, Bill Wiggenhorn.

Once they hired my boss who lived/worked in Arizona while I sat in the corporate HQ in Illinois, my role was downgraded quite a bit. I no longer sat on the Advisory Council (taking notes) for Manufacturing, Materials and Purchasing – where those disciplines in Motorola culled through all of the Training Requests for what could be – to a final list of what they really wanted to ask the Governance Board to fund – which would determine what would be.

This is where we took orders – after due considerations about the potential Impact and Business Decisions had been made. I the worked on those projects that had been fully vetted and were supported and resourced by my internal clients – who empowered me to do their bidding – and improve performance in their operations.

But when my new boss arrived he wanted to make these BIG and LITTLE decisions himself. So he tried to manipulate the Advisory Council in the Governance & Advisory System that Ray Svenson had helped Bill Wiggenhorn install and ramp up – as they say in manufacturing circles.

He was a manufacturing guy used to making BIG DECISIONS and getting an entire manufacturing facility to stop doing one thing and IMMEDIATELY begin another due to whatever issue had come up.

A collaborative approach was not in his DNA. He micro-managed me and changed his mind so often that I felt as if I were a top, spinning this way and then that way. The last straw for me was when he went against our collective decision about a vendor to develop what I had done the analysis and design of, and had me sign contracts with one vendor, which he then had me renege on two days later.

I was not happy.

So I made my issues known to top management – and asked to be reassigned – but nothing happened – and so when an opportunity came up a few months later – I took it and left.

I left in the middle of several MTEC projects I had going with Geary A. Rummler. THAT was not easy. Rummler had been a mentor and guide before I even knew the man. And after working with him at MTEC and at Rummler’s office back in Summit NJ, the decision to leave was almost the hardest decision I ever had to make. I had worked on what became the MTEC Design Process, based on Rummler’s approach to Performance-Based T&D. That was finalized after I left (and I treasure the copy of that that I have from MTEC fellow Sam Volpe).

And so I joined the small consulting firm owned by Ray Svenson starting on November 1st, 1982. I was the 4th person on his team. I’ve told the story recently about doing a Curriculum Architecture Design (CAD) at MTEC and then one for Ray (and my 2nd wife, Karen) – here – based on their Analysis data. So when I heard about Ray’s intent to add to his staff, I jumped (after due consideration) at the chance.

I did CADs. A lot of CADs that were associated with Ray’s focus on Strategic Planning for T&D, of which the Governance & Advisory Systems and CADs were key, integral parts. And I started doing CADs not associated with his Strategic Planning gigs.

I had started to promote and sell these CAD efforts on my own.

I became a silent partner a few years later and my wife (at the time) became a full partner – based on the advice of our accountant. I remained a sub-contractor to Ray and had a few other clients as well, as the law required.

A few years later I joined as a full partner. And then a few years later my separation and divorce led to us splitting up the business into two entities after 15 years together.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

And now I find myself reflecting on…

What a long, strange trip it’s been


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