One of the regular topics discussed sometime during each class I teach is what do you look/sound like if someone was: Meeting YOU Online? I don’t have the most recent statistics, but it is reported that people “meet you” online more than 60% of the time… before they physically meet you in person.
Think about that statistic! Then ask yourself: What DO I look like online?
If I GOOGLED you today… what would I find?
- Great, professional pictures or snapshots from a backyard get together.
- Quality, up-to-date resume/education achievement examples or dated information from 10 years ago.
- Appropriate letters/notes of recommendation and praise… or inappropriate messages from “friends”.
With the ever-increasing usage of online tools for business communication purposes, the incidence of Meeting YOU “Online” has reached a new highpoint! Therefore, it is totally up to you to organize and construct the documentation you would like anyone to see. It will require you to take some time and first write down the most important points about you as a person and you as a professional. Also it is critical to be thorough in your research about you. Do not assume that if you “fix” one online site… that all will be improved. Finally, as you post your new online image… be sure the person you are introducing to everyone is accurate, up-to-date and authentic!
Over the past six or seven months I have tried hard to avoid using TRIPLE III TIME messaging space to even mention the COVID-19 Pandemic issue. It is not that I have put my “head-in-the-sand” and believed that it would just go through a cycle and we could all be open for business again. However based on my multiple discussions occurring with private business and public agencies, I thought it is appropriate (and maybe even necessary) to offer this Reintroducing YOUR Personality message.
What do I mean?
I believe today more than ever before… all… yes all product and service industry providers need to progressively revisit themselves and redetermine what their “Personality” is going to be going forward. Reintroducing YOUR Personality should not be easy nor a repeat from the past. Instead the answer(s) might be found by using this TRIPLE III TIME TOP 10 list of questions that may help you sort out your decision.
- Is your product/service exactly what it was one year ago?
- Has your company/agency remained open and flexed with the Pandemic demands?
- Will your staff be required to re-learn their jobs… how to go to work… and be comfortable addressing customer needs?
- Can you be prosperous/successful being only half open?
- Will your marketing plan remain the same?
- Would a unique Personality Planning Session be helpful with all included?
- Will your business/organization experience greater costs… increased profits?
- How will you want customers/community to label you in the marketplace?
- Would product/service diversity be something to consider as part of Reintroducing?
- Or do you think/believe efforts for Reintroducing YOUR Personality to the world are even necessary?
Bottomline: This TRIPLE III TIME message Reintroducing YOUR Personality and more specifically the TOP 10 questions are intended to help bring out YOUR SPECIAL! Don’t follow the crowd… Don’t wait for someone else to determine your reintroduction strategy.
Take advantage of the moment!
So many times I have started a LEARNING MOMENTS message about the Bending… But Not Breaking The Rules topic. However I have never felt professionally correct or confident on framing the podcast in a way that was appropriately progressive.
Well as you listen to this month’s message your will learn how I got the “push” I needed… and how using a Bending… But Not Breaking The Rules strategy can truly be a positive momentum builder in your workplace.
Sometimes as a consultant you have the benefit of looking at and seeing individual or business challenges in a whole different manner. For example, many would laugh when I would comment that “I love to receive grievances!” Most are scared or nervous about the potential that someone or group may file a grievance against them. My position was that if someone felt strongly enough about an issue that they were willing to put it in writing and submit it… there is probably some form of professional learning that could come from engaging with this person/group.
I make it sound easy… but it is/was not. I make it sound like just another continuous improvement exercise… but it is/was not. Instead it forces you to look at your service or product, personnel or policies, structure or location, and consider if all aspects are/were as good as they could be.
Too often leaders are Not Recognizing Opportunities that could evolve from a simple grievance/complaint situation. You can label yourself “the-best-in-the-business”… but are you looking at it through a customer, partner and/or competitor’s eyes?
Possibly the greatest return-on-investment I can report from being involved in numerous grievance situations is/was reflecting on un-noticed gaps in services/products. Given the fact that change is occurring in all areas of our personnel and business lives… gaps in what is missing, needed and necessary appear and grow everyday. Therefore, Not Recognizing Opportunities that can come from challenging times… can be a significant leadership weakness.
Bottomline: Take advantage of opportunities whenever and wherever you find them. And people will know you care.
When your group holds a special planning session/staff meeting, how aware, interested, and engaged are people about the many pieces of Critical Thinking that is occurring around them? Sure, people may be taking notes (just for the record), but does anyone take the time to assess the value of special ideas or concepts that are being expressed? Does anyone think about the likelihood that just because you may not be ready for a cool innovation today… that two months/years from now a passed expressed idea may be a major contributor?
The need to share and deliberate on the multiples of Critical Thinking does not begin and end with groups. Rather it needs to become a special contributing moment for every individual. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again… A GOOD IDEA IS ONLY GOOD… IF IT IS SHARED! You know what I mean. So often great ideas as the result of Critical Thinking never get introduced… but instead remain dormant inside a person who just believes “it’s not worth mentioning.”
The time is way past to begin Maximizing Critical Thinking. I have worked with so many people who I know spend valuable time thinking and rethinking about a solution to an issue or problem. And because the door for inclusion and thinking out loud has never been opened in their workplace… their individual contribution(s) go unattained.
Unfortunately, no one has created a CTT LOGBOOK (CRITICAL THINKING FOR TOMORROW) “app” that would make this concept easy… fun… and immediately implementable.
If I were just more techno-ish!
Make no mistake… I consider myself a CHANGE AGENT. What do I mean? What is a CHANGE AGENT? Well… Google says:
“A CHANGE AGENT is a person from inside or outside an organization who helps an organization or part of an organization to transform how it operates. A CHANGE AGENT will promote, champion, enable and support changes to be made in an organization. They focus on people and the interactions behind them.”
OK… now that we all know what a CHANGE AGENT is… how does that fit with this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message title: Change… Just for the Sake of Changing?
Well first it is important for me to report that MANY times during my career I have been questioned and criticized for driving Change… Just for the Sake of Changing! “We’re showing good progress already… change might be bad!” “The way we are structured should be fine for at least another year… why change now?” “We have just gotten ourselves organized around the changes you made last month, why insist on even more?” These are examples of the arguments I have listened to as a result of my CHANGE AGENT initiatives… and yes, they have merit.
However, here is the “flip-side”. I believe organized work-based change… even just for the sake of change is a strategic personnel development engagement. Just like the aging process… you can’t stop it… just as you can’t stop change impacting your workplace. True you can avoid it… delay it or even deny it… but something somewhere is changing in your workplace everyday… EVERYDAY.
So, if your group can begin to view organized change as something to expect and maybe even look forward to… your drive to Change… Just for the Sake of Changing may no longer be viewed as an organizational negative but rather another step toward strategic progress!
Professional Discomfort is a phrase I have used many… many times during my world-of-work career. And I know it has been included as part of past TRIPLE III TIME messages… but I know I have not separated it and explained the drive and purpose for this special combination of two words.
To me Professional Discomfort is a unique continuous improvement activity for personnel at all levels within an organization or business. More specifically it requires workers to place themselves in a new, different, challenging role… that yes purposely causes them Professional Discomfort. Some examples that come to mind include:
- Attending a meeting where you will be expected to address a group of people… when that is not a regular part of your day job.
- Taking a service position on the “front-line” of your company… when you typically just work in the fiscal department.
- Travel and service other locations that are within your company’s geographic area… when you only usually cover one single town, county, or district.
- Asked to draft a new policy document… when customer service is your specialty.
Professional Discomfort is designed to strategically remove you from your traditional workplace comfort zone and drive you to see and understand the realities of other components of your company or organization. Occasional Professional Discomfort motivates you to not take co-workers or your place of work for granted. It also forces you into a “place-of-diversification” that facilitates new learning and realization of the production activities that surround you. Finally, Professional Discomfort works to dispel the “it’s not my job” personnel notion. I know you know what I mean.
Innovation in any form is always worth talking about. But today… during this time of required separation/distancing/masking… I believe discovering some form of Community Innovation project would be almost therapeutic!
The goal of this Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast is not to offer Community Innovation concepts. Rather the intent is to help you think through how to make the process more successful.
Enjoy the MOMENT.
This quarter’s American Society for Public Administration PATimes article is one of my favorite writings. It was generated by the passing of a dear friend, colleague and as you will read… long-term co-mentor.
The most important part of the article are the ten (10) co-mentoring specialized learnings that were the result of our years as colleagues in public service.
CQ and I hope it helps everyone.
Performance is sometimes an elusive thing. Yes, everyone has numbers/targets that they are striving to achieve. And it is appropriate and logical that comparisons are made from performance a week, month, year and/or even years ago. But what is the most beneficial way forward when it appears that all your best efforts seem to be meaningless when measured against… “how we have always done things.”
I believe and would suggest that when you reach that point when it seems like trying your best and employing multiple actions does not seem to get great performance… focus simply on helping The “ONE(S)” That Matter Most. You know what I mean.
Sometimes it is critical to just listen to help one person/customer find their way forward. Sometimes it is necessary to go back to your base strategy group and be creative for those already committed to the cause. Sometimes recruiting or enlisting the participation of a few more special ONE(S)… is far more progressive than enrolling a large number of “maybes”!
Don’t allow yourself to become lost, distressed and continually frustrated by only staring at the performance numbers. Instead, prioritize some special time… when it appears all of your professional efforts don’t add up… to help The “ONE(S)” That Matter Most.