On Cloud Nine: Weathering the Challenge of Many Generations in the Workplace

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A recent survey reveals that customer satisfaction with the weather is at an all-time low. It's up to Wally, director of the Weather Consumer Satisfaction Bureau, to sort things out. In this witty fable, the root of the problem is a disagreement between old and new clouds. The upstarts think technology is the answer, while the old guard says there's no substitute for the tried and true. The resulting storms are having a direct effect on customers, who wonder if they will ever see ...

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Overview

"Illustrations by Eldon Dedini

A recent survey reveals that customer satisfaction with the weather is at an all-time low. It's up to Wally, director of the Weather Consumer Satisfaction Bureau, to sort things out. In this witty fable, the root of the problem is a disagreement between old and new clouds. The upstarts think technology is the answer, while the old guard says there's no substitute for the tried and true. The resulting storms are having a direct effect on customers, who wonder if they will ever see sunny skies again. Can Wally reconcile these seemingly conflicting views and leverage the unique strengths of all the clouds into a successful, customer-friendly plan?

On Cloud Nine presents real lessons about what is valuable in the workplace: balancing the past and the future, encouraging diversity of ideas, and more. The story is followed by simple yet powerful tools that will help readers apply these lessons to their own work and organizations."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Joyce Lain Kennedy, Tribune Media Service: ""...insightful in its message....Buy two copies; maybe the book elf needs to visit your boss.""

Houston Business Journal: ""[a] wise and witty fable."""

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814408780
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Wendover (Aurora, CO) is managing director of the Center for Generational Studies and a specialist in generational issues in the workplace. His clients include Sears, Taco Bell, Kinko's, Searle, and the Professional Golfers Association. Terrence L. Gargiulo (Salinas, CA) is an author, speaker, and group process facilitator. His clients have included Dreyer's Ice Cream, Merck, Arthur D. Little, and Coca-Cola. Eldon Dedini (Monterey, CA) is a renowned artist whose cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker.

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Read an Excerpt

On Cloud Nine


By Robert W. Wendover Terrence L. Gargiulo

AMACOM BOOKS

Copyright © 2006 Robert W. Wendover and Terrence L. Gargiulo
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8144-0878-8


Chapter One

Taking Charge

Wally pinned on his shiny new name badge and smiled at himself in the mirror. He looked good, no doubt about it. Who would have ever dreamed that he would be appointed as the new Director of the Weather Customer Satisfaction Bureau (WCSB)? Barely two years out of meteorology school, he had landed one of the most prestigious and highly sought-after jobs in the weather industry. Wally was walking on Cloud Nine, and nothing was going to get in his way.

So what if all of his predecessors had failed? Besides they were "old school" directors. What did they know about today's hip customers? Old ways and old thinking were not part of his grand plan. Wally glanced at his watch. He had better hurry. He didn't want to be late for his meeting with Jerome Numberman.

Wally galloped into Jerome Numberman's office. Jerome had been working as a statistician for the Weather Customer Satisfaction Bureau for more than thirty years. He had seen a little bit of everything. However, the young, plump, rotund face of Wally with its sparkling white teeth and beaming smile was unlike any other he had ever encountered. Wally had a zest for life rarely seen in the meteorology business. Jerome felt tired just looking at him.

Wally's eyes widened as he scanned the posh interior of Jerome's office. The walls were decorated with colorful maps of exotic places around the world, and the extensive collection of degrees and certifications was housed in sterling silver frames. Jerome's mahogany desk was piled a mile high with reports. A typewriter sat prominently in the middle. "That's strange," thought Wally, "I wonder where Jerome keeps his computer?"

With one more scan of the room, Wally answered his own question. Tucked away in the back-most corner of the room were the pieces of one of the WCSB's state-of-the-art computer systems. Considering the shambles made of the parts, Wally was left with the impression that someone had gotten into a fight with it-and the computer had lost.

Wally halted his musings, locked eyes with Jerome, and shot him one of his trademark ear-to-ear grins: "Sure is a pleasure to meet you, sir!"

"Come in, Wally, take a seat, it's nice to meet you too," Jerome grumbled. "Now about the survey you sent me...."

Wally selected a chair and plopped himself down. "Great weather we're having today, huh? Should be like this every day. But then maybe we would be out of a job if it was," he laughed.

Jerome remained silent for a moment and then continued. "Listen, Wally, about the survey you've written."

Wally sat up straight in his seat. "A stroke of brilliance if you ask me. I thought you'd like it. From the research I did yesterday afternoon on the WCSB computer system, we have never conducted a customer satisfaction survey before. How could you guys be in business for so long and never have conducted a survey? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. They taught us in meteorology school to collect as much data as possible. Given your brilliance as a numbers guy, I'm sure you concur with my thinking here."

The veins in Jerome's neck started to swell, and a bright red hue of controlled agitation was beginning to transform his stern, spectacled face. "First of all, Wally, if you had bothered to speak with anyone, rather than rely on those preposterous computers you kids are wedded to, you would have learned that the WCSB has actually conducted numerous surveys in the past, and that they've created more problems than they have solved. Surveys get people riled up. It's not how we do things around here. I remember when ..."

Wally waved his finger back and forth in the air and interrupted Jerome in mid-sentence. "Now, Jerome, times are different. You guys are stuck in your ways. This is what we need to do. It's modern thinking."

Jerome took off his glasses and shook his head in disgust. "Measuring global attitudes about people's satisfaction with the weather is futile. Your survey is riddled with errors and will not yield any statistically significant data."

Wally mustered his best imitation of an air of authority and retorted, "Well, Jerome, we will have to let the results speak for themselves. I'm in charge here and I will send out this survey with or without your help." Wally rose from his chair and headed toward the door; motioning toward the heap of technology on the floor, he said, "By the way, if you want any help with your computer I would be happy to come by sometime and give you a hand." The last thing Jerome saw was Wally's infectious smile.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from On Cloud Nine by Robert W. Wendover Terrence L. Gargiulo Copyright © 2006 by Robert W. Wendover and Terrence L. Gargiulo. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

"Foreword

Introduction

PART ONE The Arsenal of Victory

1. OPERATION MOTIVATION You Can’t Say No to the Drill Sergeant

2. Discipline It’s Habit Forming

3. Confidence The Ultimate Lifestyle

4. Sacrifice Sorry, You Really Can’t Have It All

PART TWO The Business of the United States Military

5. Endstate Understanding the Mission

6. Learning No Such Thing as Graduation

7. Problem-Solving We’re Here to Fix Things!

8. Ethics One Dilemma After Another

PART THREE The Combat Business Model

9. Organization The Structure of Success

10. Execution The Art and Science of High Performance

11. Teamwork With the Emphasis on Work

12. Leadership Something for Everyone

PART FOUR Your Personal Battle Plan

13. Tactics Going for the Win

14. Health Choose or Lose

15. Wealth Leveraging the Military Mind

16. Relationships The Toughest Game In Town

After Word -- Motivating for the Road Ahead

Acknowledgment"

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