Does your design style and methodology for “getting-the-word-out” regarding your products and services sound/read more like a survey of a piece of property instead of the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME!? Does your promotion presentation of your products and services look similar to what it did 5-10-or maybe even 20 years ago? Do you place consistency and regularness ahead of creativity and innovation…and employ an “Off The Shelf” principle for describing what’s available in your store/business/organization?
Well this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is all about taking a step or two out of what might be traditional in your business world. Today I want everyone to think totally about a “NOT” Off The Shelf promotion plan!
I believe…no matter your product or service…that there are new ways of drawing new or renewed interest from potential customers. I also believe progressive newness is not always going to cost more money. Think about:
- Allowing people to customize their service/product in some way.
- Creating a series of different choices…that are customer driven.
- Blending product/service options together to solve bigger challenges/needs.
- Using alternative packaging/signage that tells customers that your intent is offering “NOT” Off The Shelf opportunities.
Bottomline: We all need reminding that successful businesses and organizations have customers that brag about their unique…special products and services.
Do your customers brag about you?
This month’s Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast is intended to help everyone realize the value of utilizing a “TEN (10) YEARS AHEAD!” organizational planning strategy. Is it easy to predict that you can see the future… NO! But isn’t it necessary to offer “leap-frog” product and services innovative options to maximize worker, business, and education workplace opportunities?!
Listen closely to the purpose behind the “TEN (10) YEARS AHEAD!” discussion… and then the simple hints that could help you lead in this area.
Sometimes it is beneficial to look back and try to identify the “Best-Of” actions that resulted in multiple positive/progressive outcomes. One of the areas that I believe it is important to regularly study is successful models of Creating→ Building→ Feeding The “DRIVE To EXCEL”!
What am I trying to say?
As leaders I believe it is critical to be able to identify specific actions and/or activities one undertakes to motivate co-workers to go beyond what is expected. And I do not want to discuss when their “DRIVE To EXCEL” was just a once-in-a-while thing. No… I want everyone to look internally and externally within their organizations to seek out those incidents that directly contributed to Creating → Building → Feeding The “DRIVE To EXCEL” in individuals and maybe groups for an extended period of time! So, are you confused… lost… not really getting this TRIPLE III TIME message? Well I have always believed in example-based learning…. and maybe it’s time for a customized “DRIVE To EXCEL” TOP 10!
- Send pairs of workers to one of your competitors and have them report on the pros and cons of their observations.
- Make random assignments by saying: “If you had no rules and all the money… how would you make our products/services better?”
- Encourage everyone to be a VISIONARY!
- Create special assignments for individuals with complete responsibility and short timeframes.
- Re-blend work teams all the time.
- Change seating “traditions” for every meeting, class, or training.
- Bring in non-traditional training/trainers.
- Go out in your world-of-work and ask someone different: “What do YOU think about…?” … at least weekly.
- Assume the role of a customer… and ask yourself: “Do you like what you see/hear in your company/organization?”
- Finally, take this TRIPLE III TIME message and make everyone in your organization make recommendations addressing the challenge of Creating→ Building→ Feeding The “DRIVE To EXCEL!”
What would be your Return-On-Investment?
When you read this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message title: “Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions”…what do you think about? Do you think about how you are doing in your relationships/performance on the job/planning for the future/or just simply…am I being the best person personally and professionally I can be? Well no matter the topic Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions is never easy!
So as you can guess, this is an extremely challenging topic to share quality ideas/suggestions about. Even choosing the right words to make the best, most appropriate, positive points in this TRIPLE III TIME message has caused me to use more of my eraser than usual already…but here goes.
First, understand that today in our world any issue has more “consideration factors” than in most years/decades past. As a result the simplicity in asking good, effective, timely questions…regardless of topic, seems to have evaporated. Instead it is necessary…even critical to allocate more time, more thought to asking the best questions.
Second, prioritize committing yourself to be someone Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions as a matter of good business. Additionally, make a commitment to ask them with true professionalism and for the purpose of helping “the cause”. Your questions can not be self-serving but to share mutual awareness and development.
Finally, as you continue Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions, those in leadership positions will begin noticing your value in being more knowledgeable, more clear and more progressive regarding challenging issues facing your organization.
Is Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions easy? Absolutely not! However, are there classy, professional development opportunities contained in taking part in this undeniable responsibility? 100% YES!
If you looked up the word NETWORKING in an Oxford Dictionary & Wordpower Guide, you would find the following definition:
“Networking-A group of interconnected people…keeping in contact with others to exchange ideas and information.”
The definition and actions that surround the term NETWORKING sound simple and pretty easy to accomplish…right? But for the purpose of continuous professional development this TRIPLE III TIME message will offer a little more in-depth scientific assessment of this “maneuverable” term.
First, I believe to be a high-level NETWORKING agent you must always go beyond your current group of inter-connected people. Stretching yourself to network beyond your comfort zone, is professional development at its finest! Also, with my belief that the need/cause of innovative diversity must always be part of your planning for quality life and work tomorrows…NETWORKING beyond expectations is high value.
Likewise, with the understanding that a good idea can only be good if it is shared…NETWORKING with ideas and information is only logical. But in order to “science it up”…could you categorize your NETWORKING colleagues? Maybe create special section areas like political, private business, education, guest speakers…you get the idea. Or periodically create a NETWORKING challenge/contest about a certain problem issue and who can offer the best solution. Or maybe establishing a specific time every year to have an online moment when all share “The Best Ideas Ever!” for everyone to learn from.
Never underestimate the power of regular, expansive, diverse NETWORKING. It has a wonderful way of expanding your thoughts and idea-generation in the most progressive/positive way.
One of the communication problem areas that arise in every organization is deciding: “Who’s job is it?” Different employees who are responsible for different areas of production or service do not always make inter-organization communication a top priority. Often, they follow a mindset that believes:
- “He or she doesn’t need to know everything about this or that.”
- “I think (insert name) or (insert name) will get this message out so let’s wait until they do it.”
- Or simply: “Communication is not in my job description so I’m not going to start doing it now.”
Well, I believe that no matter your job or status in your organization/business, everyone…EVERYONE sometime may have to assume the role of “DELIVERING THE MAIL!”
Attaining and maintaining success in any organization hinges on GREAT internal and external communication. Assuming someone is sharing your new product/service information, changes in customer service timelines, quality control responsibilities, the addition of a new employee or all of the above (and maybe more), is an area of operational responsibility that can and should be progressively shared.
“DELIVERING THE MAIL” from a personal level increases message value, adds authenticity, encourages information sharing and most importantly puts everyone on an equal plane of knowledge and understanding. If everyone is smarter in your world-of-work…every component will be more successful no matter the challenges.
LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast
Professionalizing Your Faceless Image
Sometimes in our personal and professional race to be the quickest, most hi-tech and 21st Century “cool” individual… we lose track of certain success attainment principles. Specifically, I mean communicating with quality and completeness in our social media world-of-work.
Applying a high-level communication quality control thought process is the message contained in this months Professionalizing Your Faceless Image LEARNING MOMENTS podcast. Think hard as you listen to the discussion and then apply a self-analysis social media communication test. How is your image?
No matter the product or service, almost all organizations or businesses large and small today have stepped up their focus on QUALITY. Some have a special employee designated exclusively to pursue and enforce QUALITY policies and procedures. Some companies/agencies even have an entire department assigned this very important product/service function.
Well for some reason during my recent consulting learning moments, thoughts about my Grandfather crept into my mind regarding how would he approach the QUALITY issue? Grandpa Nick was a lifetime farmer. No not a big acre/livestock farmer…just a small, proud, solid farmer. And some of my strongest memories of him are seeing him out hoeing a field of beans in almost 100 degree heat in his traditional wide-brim straw hat, dark green pants and long-sleeved shirt (i.e. his uniform). Most vividly I remember stopping to visit on my way home from college and asking: “Grandpa I can’t see one weed in this whole field and didn’t you hoe it once already…what is the point?” His smile was always the same and as he wiped the sweat off his forehead, his answer was both simple and timeless:
“It is the weeds you cannot see that separates a good field of beans from a bad one. If I offered to pay you or Grandma a quarter for every weed you could find…I bet you would find quite a few. And keeping weeds out is not a one day, one time job. You have to make the hoeing out weeds part of your everyday…that’s just good farming. So, when people drive by my fields of beans, they know that my beans will be the best, cleanest beans around…and I’ll make more money too! Now let’s go inside and see if Grandma has a few cookies.”
QUALITY is everyone’s job and you have to take it very personally. Don’t wait for someone to find QUALITY concerns or minimalized products or services in your organization or business. Remember my Grandpa’s words and seek/get out the weeds every day.
TRIPLE III TIME: USA Legislative Priority Registry
I have never really said it before, but I do not/will not ever take for granted my quarterly opportunity to write an article for the American Society for Public Administration PA Times publication. With this opportunity, I share innovative concepts that I believe will help the field of public sector administration and all who work in this field.
This quarter I discuss the creation of a USA Legislative Priority Registry. Yes, I know the title sounds a little awkward, but I believe the principles of this initiative are ideal for our national public sector future.
PA Times: USA Legislative Priority Registry
Achieving and maintaining some form of continuous growth is an everyday challenge to entities operating in both the private and public sectors. No matter if you manufacture auto headlights or operate a local pre-school, keeping your current workforce, supporting a solid payroll and having a progressive eye on the future is a situation that all of us need to continually revisit and plan around.
Controlled Diversity is a common sense organizational growth strategy that is appropriate for all to consider. What is Controlled Diversity? Controlled Diversity is a limited plan of action for growth and development that YOU control! Standardly, it requires everyone in your workplace to consider what new products/services are “connectable” to your current assets and employee base for ease of expansion. Also, embracing a Controlled Diversity mentality pushes everyone to continually look at upgrades/modifications to your established products/services that could easily/economically expand your customer bases.
I don’t believe Controlled Diversity is a totally new growth concept…rather it is the INCLUSION element recommended in this TRIPLE III TIME message that makes it more comprehensive, relevant and timely today. By following a future plan of growth that purposely includes everyone may give rise to positive results like:
- Activation of internal trends to stay involved in seeking new markets.
- Diversion of attention away from being labeled as a one product/one service company.
- Inspiration for EVERYONE to take responsibility for EVERYONES collective employment and financial future.
Think about applying Controlled Diversity to your organization…is now a good time?