Problem Solving typically is NOT an easy task. However, taking the easy way out of a challenge or not asking the tough questions during the time of the challenge… is not quality Problem Solving at all!
As leaders I believe we need to hope that INNOVATION can be a standard outcome of every Problem Solving challenge. I hope you enjoy the discussion.
Sometimes as I consider topics for the weekly TRIPLE III TIME blog message… I try to look more specifically into one of the foundation Inspiring Innovation, Inc. principles: LEADERSHIP/COMMUNICATION/INNOVATION/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. This week however the Balancing Personal/Professional “Inputs & Outputs” is truly one of those topics that fall under that SPECIAL category… because it affects all four principles! So how should we start the balancing act?
First, I think everyone should conduct a Personal/Professional Information Inputs Assessment at least once every 90 days. As part of the Assessment, list (in detail) the different Input sources that you allow to enter into your “space”! The list will be extensive. Personal conversations, social media, telephone calls, radio, magazines, television, mail, and the list goes on. Then think about the “relationship” you have with each of these sources. It is family, professional colleagues, general news pieces, training opportunities, sales efforts, and/or political ads? Really consider the purpose, value, frequency, and quality of the Inputs.
Then conduct a similar Assessment on your Personal/Professional Information Outputs. What do you say, email, design, promote, or publish? Are you selective in your information sharing Output practices… or wide open? Are most of your Output messages critical or complimentary? Do they contain solid data/facts/instructions… or are they ramblings of what is, could be, should be, or confusion? How often do politics impact your Outputs?
As you can see the Assessments I suggest are not easy… nor do they provide a perfect suggestion for Balancing Personal/Professional “Inputs & Outputs”. Instead, this TRIPLE III TIME message is a simple reminder that if you want to improve your LEADERSHIP/COMMUNICATION/INNOVATION/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Skills… you need to strategically balance the sources and content of information that you receive every day and then be open, honest and balanced in your information sharing interactions with others. Just like quality and authenticity… BALANCE MATTERS!
Good or bad… I believe today we live in a time that is constantly seeking an open forum for Idea Generation versus (immediate) Action Planning!
It is so difficult to understand and accurately estimate the time and resources required to climb back to a solid “progress-for-all” situation. Health concerns (both physical and mental), fiscal risk-taking and strategically picking the right social and economic answers will remain a challenge for some time. Therefore, let us take an entrepreneurship-style leap and promise to keep our minds wide open as we commit to a Idea Generation Versus Action Planning strategy.
Specifically, what am I asking?
I am suggesting that we dedicate some time and surround ourselves with Idea Generators only. Then we would all agree that there are no rules and we have access to a ton of money. Do you think the group would come up with some unique problem-solving solutions? The focus would not require the drafting of an Action Plan… but just a large list of progressive ideas. No one would have to vote on anything… because every idea would be welcomed and valued.
Interestingly, I believe you would discover:
- Who is committed to the change you seek.
- The unspoken creativity that evolves when ideas are written down.
- The challenge that “if you have a better idea… put it on the table” is HUGE.
- The progressive power that is felt when comments like: “That’s too old-fashioned”, “It won’t work”, “You don’t understand”, or “You are the one that needs to change”… are NOT allowed.
Bottomline: Too often great potential ideas die or are never heard due to a rush to develop an action plan. Give IDEA GENERATION Versus ACTION PLANNING the appropriate progress space… and positiveness will result.
It is always interesting as I work with individuals or groups on operational practices to ask them about their “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” policy? As one would expect, I always get a “WHAT POLICY?” look! I then go on to explain that everyone/everywhere makes decisions and takes action based on giving someone the “Benefit-of-a-Doubt.” Yes, it sounds funny and something you maybe don’t want to admit to… but I believe it exists. So this week lets use this TRIPLE III TIME to take a more serious look at What Does YOUR: “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” Policy Say? … and what TOP 10 Professional Factors might need to be considered if your policy was “real”?!
- Achieved past positive results when given the “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” on different issues.
- Displayed a willingness to prioritize the issue and not place it on a to-do list.
- Showed strength in communicating before, during, and after the “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” assignment was given.
- Expressed understanding of the importance and impact factors regarding the “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” challenges.
- Scored high honesty points when measured against other personnel.
- Voiced common comprehension of “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” limits/expectations.
- Promoted ability to operate successfully in a self-motivated environment.
- Did NOT offer an early list of negatives that would hinder “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” issue progress.
- Would standardly grant you the same “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” support if needed.
- Respects the notion that “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” credentials MUST BE EARNED!
Bottomline: When you as a Leader causally say: “I’m going to give you the “Benefit-of-a-Doubt” on this issue…” I hope you have this TOP 10 handy for reference.
Strategic Planning is a very standard, futuristic organizational development activity that is used by both the private and public sectors. Usually, an independent consultant is retained to help facilitate the process and concurrently draft a document that hopefully gives everyone a progressive design to move forward. Some plans are formatted to provide a five (5) year projection… while others may only look forward a couple years. Regardless, it is always helpful to employ a proactive plan that Boards, staffs, and communities may view as the future.
But what about now? No one EVER planned for or around the situation we all face today.
Well in an effort to offer a mini “where do we go from here” idea, I believe an appropriate starting spot would be to Revisit Your Groups Strategic Plan.
First, look through the whole document. Don’t be in a hurry… but try to prioritize 1-to-5 actions that would be reasonably achievable. Use simplicity, timeliness, and organization-wide participation as your guiding prioritizing principles.
Second, don’t rekindle your agency momentum alone. Involve a representative group of go-getters from all levels within the organization. Be sure to openly entertain ideas and suggestions for taking solid, progressive restart steps.
Finally, if you find yourself asking the question(s) if you are doing the right thing… STOP! Then turn the question(s) around and ask yourself to list at least three (3) reasons why you should NOT take new action. Make yourself write them down… to make sure YOU are listening.
Waiting for the right moment results in just one thing… WAITING!! Take the lead and set a progressive example.
LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast
Empowering is a progressively powerful word. Equally, Intrapreneurs are/can be progressively powerful impactors in and around your world-of-work! Therefore when you blend these two words and intentions together… you have the opportunity to share a great LEARNING MOMENTS podcast episode.
Empowering Intrapreneurs has been one of my professional priorities during my whole career. Hopefully, the suggestions I share can help you make it a priority with you.
One of the most important assignments/responsibilities any employee may experience is to Make THE Presentation! First, it seems like everyone has an issue about getting up in front of a bunch of people and offering a cool/solid presentation message. No matter the excuse: “I’m not a good speaker” … “I come across poorly” … “I’ve never done it before” … or “I will become physically sick”… as a leader, I have never completely let anyone off the presentation “hook”!
Today I believe that it is a critical world-of-work skill set… to have the capacity to Make THE Presentation. In fact, in every one of my college classes, I inform every student that they will never know when, where, or why they may be selected to present a job-based topic in their future workplace. So, this week’s TRIPLE III TIME will focus on a special Make THE Presentation TOP 10!
- Prepare your presentation based on what you would want/need to hear… if you were in the audience.
- Look beyond the basics of your topic and maybe offer an example or new option.
- Don’t just read it to people… “feel” your presentation to people too.
- Never be in a rush… message “digestion” often is different for everyone.
- Write down questions people may ask… being over-prepared is being prepared.
- Whether sitting or standing making your presentation… posture matters.
- Select the best, simple, descriptive words possible (Multiple interpretations cause multiple meanings.)
- Let people know WHO you are speaking for… yourself, the company/agency… WHO?
- Practice doesn’t really make a perfect presentation… but it sure helps.
- Finally, just be you… be authentic.
I hope these ideas help… let me know.
For those who know me… I mean really know me… they know that I have not been a supporter of program evaluations. Why? First evaluations are all about “old news” and/or activities that took place in the past. My focus was and continues to be on the future and “what next!” Second, evaluations never seemed to be “up-with-the-times”. The evaluation forms, processes, questions, and reports always were basic, historical, and by-the-book. There never seemed to be an interest or priority set around linking evaluation to innovation.
Well as you can see from this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message, my quarterly American Society for Public Administration article is dedicated to Using Evaluation To Infuse Innovations! My history discussion and progress suggestions may not be easily accepted nor usable. However, I will now admit that the use of quality evaluation findings can and should be contributors to infuse innovations in public service programming… whenever the opportunity arises.
Enjoy the article!
Several months ago, I was asked to be the 2020 Graduation Ceremony Speaker at a local high school! Of course, I said “YES!!” and began planning what I would say when the May 29th date arrived. Well as you can guess, the COVID-19 issue has caused the cancelation of almost all major social gathering events and it quickly became an alternative challenge to prepare a video-version of my speech.
Please know that: (1) I completed it well ahead of schedule, (2) I had great extra video-prep help to make it look cool, and (3) just to make sure everyone viewing it enjoyed the messages… I began the speech with a GOATS (Greatest Of All Time Speaker) package of helpful hints… that I “magically” ordered online!!
Here were my main points:
- Remember Your ROOTS
- Brag about your home area/high school/learnings from home (if you don’t… who will?)
- Keep a Career ROOTS Diary “forever” that includes education/job/achievement information
- Consider yourself a SPECIAL HYBRID with knowledge and skills… that contains Career ROOTS only you have (and are still growing)
- Practice RESPECT
- Look people in the eyes when you talk with them
- Listening well is one of the greatest forms of practicing respect
- Shake hands when you greet people… LIKE YOU MEAN IT! (People remember)
- Just Be YOU
- Be authentic in your conversations and actions
- People recognize FAKE stuff… (would you buy a fake Babe Ruth autographed ball?)
- Family, friends, and co-workers enjoy and want to be around REAL/AUTHENTIC people… so be one!
- Don’t try to be someone/something else… just be YOU!
I really appreciated the opportunity!!
The “zone” of communication has taken many new and different turns in lieu of the multiple unique challenges we all have been facing. So too in the area of marketing. Trying to mold and deliver the most appropriate and effective product/service information… I believe… has become a much greater and ever confusing assignment.
Think about it?!
Think of all the dollars that are spent on radio promos, video spots, newspaper ads, billboards… and the list goes on. Are people really looking, reading, and absorbing the message you want? Are people becoming “screen-time adverse” and somewhat reluctant to embrace any form of media due to the constant… always bad news phenomenon?
Well this TRIPLE III TIME message is about the “We Are All in This Together” thought process. And if we extend this process and picture everyone sitting around the dinner table… it is now time to politely and regularly as everyone to: “Please Pass the WORD!”
What do I mean? I mean that today more than ever before it is everyone’s responsibility to promote, explain, identify and be a testimonial to good products and services in your area, region, and State! Be the first one to offer positive experience information, details about service quality, professional manner, and cool customer service. Also, when someone asks you to “Please Pass the WORD!” for a business or agency… don’t be wordy. No… just be simple, clear, and timely in your delivery.
The best promotional/advertising campaign is still found in person-to-person sharing. So, as you sit at the “I’m a supportive citizen table” today… everyday… make sure you loudly ask/say: “Please Pass the WORD!!”