How strong is your marriage? This thought provoking question was the focus of an article in the April 19, 1999 issue of NEWSWEEK. The magazine published a quiz prepared by John Gottman that tests the strength of a marriage. To take the test, you respond “True” or “False” to each of the following ten statements:
Give yourself one point for each true answer. If you scored above 6 or more, Mr. Gottman predicts that you have the makings for a strong marriage. If 5 or below, your relationship could stand some improvement and would benefit from some work on the basics, such as improving communication.
How strong is your marriage to Activity Based Management (ABM)? Are you and your organization madly in love with ABM or close to a divorce? Answer each of the following ten statements with a “True” or “False”:
Give yourself one point for each true answer. If you scored 6 or more, I predict that you and ABM have the makings for a strong marriage. If 5 or less, your relationship could stand some improvement and would benefit from some work on the basics.
My wonderful wife of 30+ years reminded me last year that husband is both a noun and a verb. I am a husband (noun). But to be called a husband, I must husband (verb), e.g. perform activities that are the responsibility of the husband. Tony Evans says in his book NO MORE EXCUSES that when the average man is asked, “Do you know the responsibilities of a husband?”, they respond “I don’t know” or will give an answer that reveals they don’t know. You must know (noun) before you can do (verb). The same issues apply to Activity Based Management.
As discussed in my book PRYOR CONVICTIONS, ABM is also a noun and a verb. ABM is not just a system or body of knowledge (noun). ABM is also a verb e.g. perform activities, implement improvements, make decisions. The ten ABM questions listed above are a test to determine if ABM is both a noun and verb in your organization. To have a strong marriage, it takes both a noun and a verb. Know it and do it.
As it has been often said about marriage, “Two heads are better than one.” Or as President Woodrow Wilson said, “I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.” To strengthen ABM and its benefits in your organization this year, add some brains. Consider some targeted ABM training to fill knowledge voids or specific requests from ABM system users. Expand the breadth and depth of ABM in your organization. Or maybe some onsite ABM coaching from a seasoned and successful ABM consultant would be a logical next step. And don’t forget that over forty books on ABM principles, uses, case studies and techniques are available to increase your knowledge and imagination.
Don’t settle for less than “10” in marriage or ABM. Take steps beginning today to improve your marriage and make ABM a lifelong partner.