Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.

TRIPLE III TIME: Motivate With Challenges

How are you best motivated?  And/or as a leader…how do you motivate people/groups to be better?  Do you use bribery…money, time off or maybe even a promotion?  Or do you go the other route and try intimidation…threats or demotion/dismissal from the job??!!

I believe to be effective…really effective on the job and/or as a leader, you must know your own personal motivation “ignitors” and your style of motivating those you are responsible for.

Looking back my Dad utilized a Motivate With Challenges technique for getting my brothers and I to take on more responsibilities on the farm.  It would start with words like:

  • “Kids your age aren’t ready to drive a tractor this big!”Boy with cows
  • “Your cousins take care of more calves than 10…but you guys aren’t ready.”
  • “Ma thinks it will take you 3 days to finish hoeing this field of beans…I said 2…but she is probably right.”

Over these early years the Motivate With Challenges occurrences were many and I can testify that we exceeded every expectation…every time!

Without a doubt during my career I have utilized the Motivate With Challenges approach personally and professionally…most of the time with a great deal of success.  Quiet, subtle but steady…this style of motivation is uniquely contagious.  It does not drive motivation via rewards or threats…rather the motivation comes more from within each person/persons being motivated.

Self-assess your motivation priorities and maybe start with your “roots”.


learning-moments-podcast-logoThere could never be a better time than right NOW to strategize about Setting GOALS for yourself.  Short-term and long-term… personal and professional… it is time to get out those legal pads (or maybe dial up an Excel spreadsheet) and begin the process of mapping out some important goals for yourself for the upcoming year(s)!

This month’s “Setting GOALS” Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast discusses my TOP 10 ideas for getting started with your plan. Remember to have fun with Setting (YOUR) GOALS! Enjoy the podcast.

TRIPLE III TIME: 2025 Public Administration Retreat Agenda

Retreat-Agenda_M.PichlaOne of my promises to the American Society For Pubic Administration (ASPA) publication group was that INNOVATION would always be my principle area of focus for my quarterly article. Well as you read the 2025 Public Administration Retreat Agenda piece, I hope you are able to place yourself in a public sector leadership role and maybe dream a little bit about priority topics and related potential discussion.

Progressively dreaming forward into the year 2025 should NOT be a “stretch” … rather just a natural step forward.  So don’t simply read the article… participate in it.

2025 Public Administration Retreat Agenda

TRIPLE III TIME: “And The Survey Says…!”

survey saysI would guess that most reading this TRIPLE III TIME message have heard the host of one of those TV game shows report the correct answer to a certain question by announcing:  “And The Survey Says…!”  And no matter if the contestant is right or wrong in their guess…the surveyed answer often is unique or surprising to the audience.  So here’s the leadership question:  Do you use the survey tool to help get a better awareness/understanding of your businesses status/impact?

During my entire professional career I have used a survey strategy to assist in making future planning decisions.  Now don’t assume that I prepared a classic research survey instrument with all of the “bells and whistles” that one finds in science/administrative journals.  No, most times I relied on putting together no more than five (5) basic questions regarding our service to customers, agency performance, public position, whatever…and just calling/emailing caring people to just get their input.  In some situations I would even ask the people I contacted to continue the “survey” with someone they knew to get more thoughts/opinions.  The goal was to obtain quality input with no pressure, expectations, timeframes or detailed discussion…just genuine reaction.

I believe authenticity sometimes gets lost or distorted by perceived expectations when seeking someone’s input.  By utilizing an occasional, simplistic “And The Survey Says…!” approach to information/opinion gathering, your opportunity to get frank help on “what next” can be effective and efficient.  No you will not get the anticipated perfection elements you may be looking for…but remember perfection really doesn’t exist.

TRIPLE III TIME: Job Shadowing (An Established Policy?)

This TRIPLE III TIME message is targeted to every employing business and organization… and inclusive of both the private and public sectors.  And as you read along, think about whether your Personnel Policy Handbook has a small section totally devoted to Job Shadowing?  In these times of worker shortages and the multiple efforts to identify new, good employees, consider how open your group is to allowing Job Shadowing?

I believe the simple action of offering Job Shadowing in your workplace is a totally over-looked opportunity by future job candidates and every employing organization.  Most people really have very little knowledge about what happens on a day-to-day basis and the production expectations of jobs in all fields of employment.  This knowledge/awareness gap is even magnified today given the heightened workplace health concerns and increased use of technology.

What am I recommending?  First consider the following questions:Hi I guess we are job shadow partners

  • Do you/your company really, progressively employ Job Shadowing opportunities?
  • Does your business have a written policy promoting it?
  • Can you even name one (1) person as a past Job Shadowing example?
  • Where do you promote/advertise that we (our organization) endorse Job Shadowing?
  • Is our Job Shadowing policy open to everyone or maybe just high school and college students? (Why limited?)

Today I think all employers need to adopt a pro-active approach to Job Shadowing.  Do NOT wait to be asked if someone can job shadow in your workplace…ADVERTISE IT!  Also do NOT assume people know what work gets done inside your workplace… ACCURATELY TELL THEM.  Job Shadowing may be a key short and long-term recruitment benefit!

TRIPLE III TIME: Delegation Through Trust

In our new in-person versus remote on-the-job workplace situations, the leadership responsibility for true DELEGATION Through TRUST has become clouded and incomplete.  What do I mean?  I am suggesting that as leaders today it is more difficult to share experiences, offer guidelines, learn professional habits and gain necessary insight in order to feel an appropriate level of delegation confidence.Delegation Throught Trust

DELEGATION Through TRUST is always deeply linked as a component of quality personnel management.  Call it a “two-way-street” of communication, understanding or building an organizations operational future, DELEGATION Through TRUST must be developed and accomplished everyday…EVERYDAY!

Therefore, in order to obtain confidence in the DELEGATION Through TRUST arena, it is critical to address the pitfalls.  First understand that a 24/7 communications world has directly weakened the links to this responsibility.  Next realize that extra DELEGATION Through TRUST example-setting efforts must be made by both parties in order to attain positive professional growth (i.e. SHOW ME whenever you can!).  Finally, be considerate of the variances in distractions that may be occurring in a remote workplace.  In-person workplace settings most often enable you as the leader to control distractions…but remote locations…???

Bottomline:  Great leaders are not just good at “their” jobs, but are also great at addressing DELEGATION Through TRUST!  So, make a commitment to be a GREAT LEADER and apply necessary additional thought and assessment time to your future DELEGATION Through TRUST actions.

LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: “Beginning” An Innovation



Building on innovative opportunities has always been a personal and professional priority for me. It (innovation) is/has been part of my leadership style and operations mindset… so innovation actions just seemed natural! When a good friend asked: What factors do you consider when planning the introduction of a new innovation… I really had to stop and think!!


This Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast on “Beginning” An Innovation is my attempt to identify and very briefly discuss four main factors I believe are key to this issue.  I know there are other factors and each individually could fill up an entire podcast!  But for this month hopefully this message  offers a good start.


TRIPLE III TIME: Assignment:  Write A NEWSWEEK Article!

It has been difficult to avoid discussing the COVID pandemic and its huge impact on people, organizations, businesses and governments.  TRIPLE III TIME messages are routinely committed to sharing progressive professional development thoughts and ideas for individuals and groups to ponder.  However, in the most recent past I have observed a great deal of confusion and indecisiveness with regard to returning to work, truly being “open-for-business” and how to send the “right message” to customers and the public at large.

NEWSWEEK PICTUREWell one of the consulting strategies I have used to get entities and individuals moving forward and envisioning their future is to give them an Assignment:  Write A NEWSWEEK Article!

What do I mean?  Exactly what the title of this blog message says:  Assignment:  Write A NEWSWEEK Article!

As we all move forward, we all need to share a vision of who we are and where we are going as an organization.  Topics that a “special editor” will (at a minimum) want you to cover in YOUR NEWSWEEK article may be:

  • Re-stating who and where you are
  • The value you bring to your region
  • Historical examples of how you have positively impacted people/your area
  • What makes you/your organization special…everyday
  • A select group of “I Bet You Didn’t Know” success facts about you and your business

It is critical that everyone take ownership in the future.  I believe the Assignment:  Write A NEWSWEEK Article facilitates and involves everyone to think about what do we want people to know about us…what we do/make that is special…and what our future means to everyone who reads the article.

(P.S.  I have never been disappointed in the results of making this assignment!)

TRIPLE III TIME: Pre-Presentation Planning

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.

TRIPLE III TIME PICTUREFirst, 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!

TRIPLE III TIME: Battles For Your Backing!

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.

Picture 2Battles 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:

  1. Always listen intently, there is always a piece of constructive information in any Battles discussion.
  2. Consider the source (you know what I mean) of the Backing request.
  3. Assess your ability to EQUALLY discuss the issue.
  4. Determine fact versus opinion.
  5. Ask yourself it you are “swayed” by the presentation or the information quality.
  6. Is the Battle topic one you would take forward to your supervisor?
  7. Think about the Battle benefits…is it for the individuals personal gain or organizational.
  8. Consider if the Battle topic is new…old…or recycled.
  9. Apply the “Timing Is Everything” phrase to the Battle request.
  10. 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!

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