Even though this podcast is coming to you from my deer blind and has a few extra shuffling noises because it’s cold in here…I really hope you enjoy my explanation of what I mean when I mention The “CAUSE”! And because it was requested by a great friend…it has special personal and professional meaning.
The strategies for self and/or organizational improvement span a wide variety of topics. One that has come up recently…and although we have touched on it before…is someone’s first impression. But more specifically what do they see when they come through your business door?
So maybe it’s time for a fun test! Have you ever tried to pretend it is your first time visiting one of your business locations and REALLY assessing what you see/hear/feel/smell? All of your senses contribute to your impressions of how positive (or not so positive) you feel during your first visit.
Next as you proceed into the office/business space:
- Are there old, outdated materials posted that automatically project an “old news” image?
- Are desks and workspaces organized and reflective of action?
- When you are greeted do you feel a sense of professional energy?
- Is the lighting good/adequate…or do you have to maneuver to find appropriate reading light?
- By looking around do you observe “answers to your basic questions” …or are you surrounded by confusion or being overwhelmed?
As you can guess there are a number of “What Do They See?” issues that are critical to your professional image. More importantly everyone needs to understand that continuous improvement is NOT just for employees…it is for your facilities/promotional materials/websites too!
ALWAYS FRESH is a good strategy as you address the “What Do They See?” challenge. And remember…there is nothing that can be labeled “TOO FRESH!”
The Indiana Jones movies starring Harrison Ford were some of my favorite movies of all time. It was always “attention-getting” to watch Indiana Jones find clues, partner with unique characters, use non-traditional options/opportunities and keep a positive attitude as he found his way to whatever treasure he was seeking. And even when he attained the special item he worked so hard to find…he often was “rewarded” with the realization that his success brought forward a brand-new challenge!
Well believe it or not…the actions of personal or organizational GOAL SETTING can be YOUR Indiana Jones Moment!
Think about it?
First, when GOAL SETTING it is always important to review your past achievements and challenges in the form of Indiana Jones style clues to help you decide where you need to go next. What actions caused you to smile…no matter the work involved…when you saw a positive outcome? What pursuits required you to use many of the progressive skills, learning and experience from your past? Also, what other continuous improvement clues stand out in your mind that creates almost timeless energy?
Next, think about the multiple people and groups you have partnered with in the past…and have created something great! As you consider GOAL SETTING options, understand that “No One Goes It Along” down the trail of progress. Therefore, be sure to assemble concepts that involve potentially partnering with a diverse list of candidates…both old and new.
Finally, as your GOAL SETTING thoughts evolve beyond what’s been done and on to what the future will be…be sure to give non-traditional options/opportunities a chance! Think of how Indiana Jones would have used today’s technology in his Raiders of the Lost Arch quest? Resource/skill/knowledge/partnership asset-blending all will lead you to a solid progressive core of GOAL SETTING considerations.
And remember, personal and professional GOAL SETTING must not be a negative…just Indiana Jones progressive!
I typically don’t follow the “kindred-spirit” line of thought. But when I read the following: “Lead Innovators, Don’t Manager Innovation” article by Arlen Meyers…I have to wonder (there’s even a TOP 10!) During my Executive Director days, I was so lucky to have led a diverse group of LEADERS. Together we innovated and built a culture of progressive action everyday…EVERYDAY.
Please read “Lead Innovators, Don’t Manage Innovation” at least a couple times. However, the final seven-word sentence says it all.
There are so many leadership challenges and complex decisions that are “front & center” …at all management levels today. And part of every challenge/decision is the quest for both sides of an issue to try and get you to “join their side!” Whether the issue is politics, international debates, religion, schools or 21st century business approaches…every discussion drives you to join a specific side.
But think for a moment if everyone were to agree (even take pledge) that before any discussion begins on a tough topic…that Ranking Compromise #1 will be the exclusive priority?!
What a powerful leadership position! What if every meeting…at every level began with a leader’s announcement that everyone had to identify and discuss at least three compromise options on every issue? There would be NO time allowed for attempts to persuade someone to see and come over to “their side of the aisle”. Nor would anyone have the opportunity to explain why “my way” is better than “your way”. Only compromise.
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message really proclaims that Ranking Compromise #1 has evolved into the most important yet absent leadership trait/skill in modern day time. Ranking Compromise #1 takes mental strength, solid commitment and extreme patience. However, when successful the resulting discussions, positions and future thought would be example setting to everyone…everywhere!
This month’s Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast topic title offers a fun play on words: PIT-STOP LEADERSHIP. However the importance of obtaining, absorbing and appreciating extra leadership help is a serious matter for individual leaders and strong organizations.
I hope you enjoy the moments.
I am sure that if I offered a quiz on organizational professional development training, everyone would be able to contribute at least one example. Probably included in the list would be:
- Customer Service
- Sales & Marketing
- Team Building
- Computer 101/202 (and on and on!)
- Promotion & The Media
However, I can say without any hesitation…I have never seen, heard about or participated in anything that was labeled:
But as you can guess and in support of my Inspiring Innovation company title…I believe it is time to consider a new staff training opportunity
Let me try to explain my basic ideas for training in the area of Organizational SHARING.
The goal of an Organizational SHARING workshop/class would be to identify and discuss the unique principles that would be involved in progressively SHARING: Staff, Funding, Services, Products, Facilities and Performance Outcomes. Included in the discussions would be the challenges of facilitating effective Organizational SHARING that are felt both inside and outside of businesses, agencies, schools and governments. Partnering and collaboration are key sharing words in most strategic plans and mission statements. But remember, think real hard…do we just assume everyone knows the principles and processes and possibilities that come via Organizational SHARING?
Bottomlines: First I believe Organizational SHARING is often quietly blended in some areas of staff training…but today it needs to be SPECIAL! Second, SHARING is difficult and requires open discussion to be employed as an Organizational priority. Finally, I will SHARE an Inspiring Innovations Concept Paper on Organizational SHARING training in a upcoming TRIPLE III TIME message…so stay tuned!
I was one of the luckiest organization leaders ever! Why? Well there is a variety and long list of very positive reasons…. but the greatest was everyone’s acceptance that CHANGE was necessary and planned as part of operational action everyday…EVERYDAY! As a result, we were able to take full advantage of The “Dance” of Change and use it as a continuous improvement launching pad for unique, innovative public service opportunities.
OK…before I go on let me explain what I mean by: The “Dance” of Change.
The “Dance” of Change is when you don’t just take change by the hand and let it lead you. No, YOU take the lead and become the change example-setter and idea generator. You assume the pro-active “Dance” position and help build the new product/service…rather than wait and react to what others design. Also, during The “Dance” of Change…today more than ever before…you take creative steps and make new age technology work for you…rather than let technology be the master of any change actions.
Progressively managing The “Dance” of Change also requires you to be the organization that sweeps customers off their feet with fresh opportunities and an always new perspective. As a result, your group becomes the go-to service dancing partner and the one that can be counted on for quality. Finally, The “Dance” of Change can only be great if everyone that is part of your cause is out on the “bring-it-on” dance floor! Change…positive change…successful change…can NOT be achieved single-handedly or dancing alone.
Remember, you don’t have to be a great dancer when you grab a partner during The (everyday) “Dance” of Change. Just be a leader.
Continuous Improvement has been the center-piece for much of my Inspiring Innovations advisory work over the last few months. It is always interesting to discuss data, performance, customer service, and communication…but I often get a blank look when I ask: “Do you have regular conversations about QUALITY?” Or more specifically how do you/we go about really measuring the QUALITY of someone’s efforts and what do you use as your measuring stick(s)?
Well as you can see QUALITY is a unique performance piece to measure in many work-based situations. And I am sure there are volumes of research information that you could consult and possibly find helpful guidance on this topic. But today how about if we keep this TRIPLE III TIME message simple and focus on the importance of just having A Conversation About QUALITY and maybe to help get thoughts started…consider these TOP 10 ideas as conversation drivers!
- Recognize that QUALITY calculations are mainly offered from a personal perspective.
- Recognize that QUALITY allows for a wide variety of input considerations. (i.e. timing, money, personnel, etc.)
- Recognize that YOUR QUALITY priority will be different than your co-worker.
- Recognize that age affects one’s vision of QUALITY factors.
- Recognize that trust is an impactor of QUALITY discussions.
- Recognize the “outside influences” that regularly shape your QUALITY views (i.e. newspapers, historians, high-level officials, social media, etc.)
- Recognize that people use professional “hiding-places” to escape strong QUALITY conversations.
- Recognize and encourage the understanding that QUALITY has diversity in meaning and measurements.
- Recognize that change is a required standard in QUALITY applications.
- Finally, recognize that A Conversation About QUALITY is continuous improvement at its finest!
Please never shy-away from A Conversation About QUALITY. QUALITY defines who you are as a professional.
New Age Teaching was the priority topic for this quarters American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) guest columnist articles. And as you can guess, I had a couple of strong thoughts and positions on what approaches may help in all educational institutions and at all levels. Please take the time to read each paragraph completely. I really hope you enjoy the article: New Age Teaching “Urges” Meeting in the Middle