This is related to one of the most popular posts on the "Getting Things Done" productivity system and Excel templates. Macy Blanchard (shout-out to Louisiana State University*), was kind enough to share her version of the GTD (Getting Things Done) Excel Template.
Very impressive! I really like the updated headers and additional features such as "level of ease" and hash tags.
You can download it here.
(Original post which also contains original and updated versions from contributors can be found here.)
Thank you, Macy! *Go Fighting Tigers!
Throughout your personal and professional life, you will be tested on things that are ethically right or wrong. How do you decide on what is right or wrong?
There’s a simple test that one of my managers taught me years ago: How would you feel if what you did gets published on the front cover of the New York Times or similar national newspaper? If it will embarrass or shame you, your family, or company – then don’t do it.
Here’s a very recent real-life example::
A competitor contacted our sales group with a request that set off some suspicion. (Her name has been changed to “Kristine” and identifiers of the company and location have been redacted in the correspondence below.)
Initial Website Inquiry (shortened and company name replaced by XXX):
I am an intern working at XXX in Research Triangle Park, NC. I have been tasked with getting three quotes for performing glide force tests per ISO 11040-4 Annex E. My research shows that your 3342 and 5942 can perform this testing. We need one system for our product development lab and another for our production floor... Please include all costs for installation, calibration, training and warranty. For the production floor unit please include the costs for meeting 21 CFR Part 11 compliance and IQ OQ. At this time we do not want a visit, we are obtaining pricing from three vendors. The plan is to decide on a vendor this summer and place purchases later this year. I need to put together a comparison spreadsheet next week; your prompt reply is appreciated. I do not have a XXX email address so please reply to my (redacted university) email.
Reply after we proposed a visit:
“At this time, we are collecting quotes and not open for a call. Once we have narrowed our list of potential suppliers to two, we will invite you and (redacted) in for a visit to help us determine the best partner and provide demonstrations of your testing software and how you handle validation, compliance and traceability. Some of the operators have had experience with Instron in the past and mentioned that we should consider.
… If Instron does not want to put in an offer, let us know as we already have three proposals. As stated previously, I am turning these over to my boss at the end of the week.
The replies raised some suspicion since "Kristine", the “intern”, did not provide a company email address and asked all information be sent to her university address. A bit of research found that a person with the same name was working for a competitor. (I really applaud my colleague for his professionalism in his following correspondence. As Michele Obama said, "When they go low, we go high.")
Message sent to “Kristine” asking for clarification:
…I apologize if I am confusing you with another Kristine (redacted last name) who appears to be an Application Engineer with (redacted competitor). Instron is interested in providing quotes to XXX. In order to provide these quotes, though, I need confirmation that you are an intern working for XXX in Research Triangle Park, NC. I look forward to your response.”
Final Reply from “Kristine”:
“…Sorry for my delayed response. I have just now had a chance to read your last 2 emails.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am, in fact, a grad student at (redacted university) - working on my MBA. I am also an Application Engineer with (redacted competitor) in (redacted city and state). A colleague of mine asked me to leverage my school email address to try to obtain a quote from you. Against my better judgement, I agreed to try - if only for the sociological experiment value. Although I told this person that it was most likely foolish to try, as I have a fairly large digital footprint and a simple search on LinkedIn or Facebook would reveal my true identity. (Redacted last name) is not exactly a “common” name. :)
I appreciate your candor in asking the direct question. I apologize for the attempted deception.
So “Kristine” fessed up (although in a “sorry, not sorry” way) after finally getting busted.
Compared to so many other misdeeds happening every day, this “attempted deception” may seem very minor. But how would “Kristine” feel if this was blasted all over the NY Times, CNN, etc.? “Kristine” supposedly knew that this was wrong from the beginning yet continued to grow her lie with her second reply. It’s wrong on so many levels. Getting a proposal together takes up time and resources from hard-working and good people and distracts them from serving legitimate customers. Exposing “Kristine’s” real company of employment would be an embarrassment to that organization and may lead to her termination. Legally, she committed fraud lying about working at XXX, Company XXX would not be happy with her claim of fake internship and would have second thoughts about doing business with her employer if this was exposed.
Remember that one small lie or "sociological experiment" can lead to a slippery slope in life as Harvard Professor Clay Christensen so eloquently warned against (see post "Tested by Toilet Paper")
We really don’t want anything bad to happen to “Kristine” or even her company (even if it is a competitor...okay, we want them to call us "daddy" but on a level playing field). One of the principles of conduct for my parent company, ITW, is respect for the competition ("Be fair to ITW and to ITW’s employees, customers, suppliers and competitors").
We all have feet of clay.
It’s just a good reminder for all of us to apply the “Front Cover of the NY Times” test when making decisions.
Frank Lio is a Product Manager, Strategist, and Change Agent in the Hi-Tech industry. His growing track record of successes include creating 3 winning software products, leading nationwide seminars, and turning around a failing business unit. He is currently serving a dual role as Product Manager and Business Team Support Manager at Instron ITW.
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