One leadership topic that never goes off the list as REAL IMPORTANT is Pre-Presentation Planning. It really doesn’t matter if you are presenting to a group of five or fifty…making sure you are “armed and dangerous” with extra topic information is the only way to walk in and walk out of the event feeling successful.
First, I believe it is always critical to leave the group with some form of “take-home” information piece. In this day and age of information over-load, having something to look at…touch and retain some form of shelf-life, is just good communication.
Next, be sure to test yourself by anticipating all of the questions that could be raised by the group. Simple or complex…off-the-wall or direct…try to prepare for all levels of questions. Your ability to confidently respond will display a sense of confidence and completeness that will have valuable leadership “staying-power” within the group.
Finally, organize your presentation with a message design that will encourage them to invite you back! That does not mean that you hold back a necessary item of organizational assistance. Rather consider options of information that prescribe a design of future-viewing that is special to the group and one that only you can provide.
Pre-Presentation Planning is time well spent and an opportunity to introduce innovation…never waste it!
One of the most interesting and challenging areas of personnel leadership and management is observing the internal and external individual Battles For Your Backing.
Think about it?!
As someone involved in organizational or business leadership, consider the different conversations employees have with you on multiple work and non-work topics. How often do they try to convince you that their view is the most righteous view? Or isn’t it interesting for someone to bring up a certain policy change decision and subtly inform you of its good or bad organization wide impacts? Lastly consider the number of times partner organizations “go-fishing” to determine your position on a certain agenda item and proceed to adjust your thinking on the issue to be more in line with their beliefs.
Battles For Your Backing are a very natural, human instinct course of action in the workplace. The most important LEADERSHIP consideration regarding these Battles is the manner in which you deal with them. And for today…because there are so many areas to consider regarding the Battles For Your Backing topic, lets just start with a few simple TRIPLE III TIME professional suggestions:
- Always listen intently, there is always a piece of constructive information in any Battles discussion.
- Consider the source (you know what I mean) of the Backing request.
- Assess your ability to EQUALLY discuss the issue.
- Determine fact versus opinion.
- Ask yourself it you are “swayed” by the presentation or the information quality.
- Is the Battle topic one you would take forward to your supervisor?
- Think about the Battle benefits…is it for the individuals personal gain or organizational.
- Consider if the Battle topic is new…old…or recycled.
- Apply the “Timing Is Everything” phrase to the Battle request.
- Finally, be sure to prioritize your own list of Battles For Your Backing (or you may experience Battles Fatigue!).
Ok…yes, it is a TOP 10 list of Battles For Your Backing items to consider. I am sure you can add more…but maybe this list is a good starting spot!
One of the “techniques” I use as I deliver instruction and teaching in my American Government & Politics class is: Thinking Out Loud! We all know what I am referring to…right? Those times when you say something about an issue or problem…that is a direct result of what you are thinking. Often the statements come out with less of an “opinion-filter” or in the form of an idea that has not been thought all the way through.
By using this technique…what am I hoping for? Simply put…I am offering students the opportunity to freely think, offer ideas that are not impacted by history, politics or money concerns and finally allow for sharing personal thoughts and viewpoints without the fear of employment/professional negativity.
So why is Thinking Out Loud! a special TRIPLE III TIME message topic this week? I guess my answer is all about “inspiring innovation”! I believe that leaders, managers, teachers…those responsible for moving groups of people forward…can all effectively utilize this tool to encourage a free-flow of information sharing. By allowing a safe, open environment for everyone to be Thinking Out Loud!…you will realize a wonderful gateway for cool business development ideas or organizational improvement. Yes there is always the need to maintain group order and focus…but I can testify over and over that appropriate use of Thinking Out Loud! has produced great progress results in multiple situations.
The only simple requirements for Thinking Out Loud! to work are:
- Everyone must be a good listener
- Everyone must participate
- Everyone must be open-minded
I said simple…right?
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?