Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.

TRIPLE III TIME: Ageless Example Setting

For some reason lately a growing number of people… from all parts of my personal and professional life… have been asking: “Aren’t you going to retire soon?”  And then they follow up THAT question with an extensive list of all the things I won’t have to do if I just move into that retirement phase. Most I think are surprised when I don’t answer with any kind of comment… but I know they feel they have ventured into a uncomfortable life area… so maybe silence IS the best answer.

To be honest, I don’t think I can/will ever take “retirement” seriously. But as I considered how to share this “retirement-related” TRIPLE III TIME message with you… thoughts about example setting… the importance of Ageless Example Setting… quickly became the most important point to discuss.

What do I mean?

I mean that everyone should understand that they are an example to everyone around them everyday… EVERYDAY.  And because of this issue a special TOP 10 reminder may be timely!

  1. RESPECT others not because you have to… but because it is the right thing to do.
  2. PARTNER with others if you have the opportunity… because more brainpower creates a better product.
  3. LISTEN better than everyone… it is the best way to learn more.
  4. EXPLORE new and different customer service options… it will keep you fresh.
  5. SHARE ideas and concerns openly without criticism… it will build your network.
  6. KEEP PROMISES that you make… it shows character.
  7. GIVE BACK in actions to those who have helped you personally and professionally… they will remember too.
  8. COMPLETE initiatives/assignments… because half-done is a score of 50%
  9. INNOVATE because you can be the future… and not be considered “old news”
  10. LEAD when asked… if you don’t you may never be asked again.

These are my TOP 10 Ageless Example Setting priorities.  I am sure there are/will be more (because no one really retires from example setting!)

LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: “Competency”

“COMPETENCY”… how do you define it… how do you measure it… and how can you prove you have it in a certain area?

COMPETENCY is a vital concern for every business/organization… everywhere.  Having a competent, quality workforce is a mission pursued by many and often a challenge to achieve.

This month’s Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast attempts to offer some professional development thoughts about COMPETENCY and how personal responsibility is a Key.

TRIPLE III TIME: Contributing To the “Staff-Time” Specialty Library

One of my favorite consultant workshop participant activities is to work with everyone individually and together to draft a “Staff-Time” Specialty Library. What is a “Staff-Time” Specialty Library? Well in my innovationist mind, the “Staff-Time” Specialty Library is a log of one-page outlines/descriptions of unique learnings of staff that have the potential for personal/professional progressive sharing.

Think about it.

A quality “Staff-Time” Specialty Library could consist of skill sharing in areas of:

  • Artwork or painting
  • Creative Writing
  • Mathematics/Accounting
  • Mechanics
  • Technology Usage
  • Woodworking
  • Business Development
  • Community Activities
  • Music
  • And On & On

And then the question: Why a “Staff-Time” Specialty Library?  Well the rationale for going through this activity is to first show everyone who people are outside their organization/business jobs.  In a safe fun way, the activity tends to build a sense of family within the group that is always a good return on investment. Finally, the “Staff-Time” Specialty Library may also uncover excellent, unknown personnel skill-sets that could be applied to regular work functions.

As the facilitator of the workshop it is also great for me to see the recognition by staff that training workshops don’t’ have to be completely only about the business/organization.  Finding and sharing everyone’s single bit of SPECIAL is HIGH VALUE… everyday… EVERYDAY!

TRIPLE III TIME: The Responsibility to Share

Every once in a while I read an article/newspiece I feel strongly about sharing. On Sunday November 1st Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press released an article entitled: “Election will be meaningless if we don’t change our ways”. Yes it’s about the election and all the negatives it has produced.

However if you look at it with progressive personal leadership eyes… it offers a GREAT view of what we need to do to positively go forward… together.

Please read it carefully and completely. And thanks Mr. Albom for sharing it… so I can share too.

TRIPLE III TIME: Time Management VS Time Discipline

Leaders… REAL LEADERS I believe are facing a new and different challenge today.  It is a silent and somewhat invisible challenge… but it is LIVE and growing.  The challenge for leaders and those who work with them is: Time Management VS Time Discipline.

I can see the puzzled looks… so let me explain.

Time management is defined as the processes of organizing and planning how you divide your time between specific activities.

Time disciplines are the social and economic rules, customs and expectations governing the measurement of time.

So, with these two definitions in mind… think about todays workplace, job expectations and how they continue to evolve.  Also think about the personal and professional adjustments many/most are making with regard to Time Management VS Time Discipline. Adjustments like:

  • 24/7 Communication/Orders
  • Remote/Virtual Transactions
  • In-Person formats… that are now an option and not the standard
  • Unclear performance/quality measuring “sticks”

As leaders, how do you/we positively/progressively coach/advise/support achieving quality Time Management VS Time Discipline.

Today unfortunately there is NOT a solid black line between when a regular workday ends and home/personal life begins. Rather it seems like there is a massive cloud of different shades of gray that blends all responsibilities together. As a result, I believe everyone’s ability to practice quality Time Discipline in this area has been lost. Regardless of age… education level… or workplace role, no one seems to be handling Time Discipline better… which means everyone’s Time Management skills also suffer.

Bottomline:  This TRIPLE III TIME Time Management VS Time Discipline message is intended to raise everyone’s awareness of this negative phenomenon.  There are no simple answers… but please just be good leaders by understanding this challenge more clearly.

TRIPLE III TIME: Meeting YOU “Online”

One of the regular topics discussed sometime during each class I teach is what do you look/sound like if someone was: Meeting YOU Online?  I don’t have the most recent statistics, but it is reported that people “meet you” online more than 60% of the time… before they physically meet you in person.

Think about that statistic!  Then ask yourself: What DO I look like online?

If I GOOGLED you today… what would I find?

  • Great, professional pictures or snapshots from a backyard get together.
  • Quality, up-to-date resume/education achievement examples or dated information from 10 years ago.
  • Appropriate letters/notes of recommendation and praise… or inappropriate messages from “friends”.

With the ever-increasing usage of online tools for business communication purposes, the incidence of Meeting YOU “Online” has reached a new highpoint! Therefore, it is totally up to you to organize and construct the documentation you would like anyone to see.  It will require you to take some time and first write down the most important points about you as a person and you as a professional.  Also it is critical to be thorough in your research about you.  Do not assume that if you “fix” one online site… that all will be improved.  Finally, as you post your new online image… be sure the person you are introducing to everyone is accurate, up-to-date and authentic!

TRIPLE III TIME: Reintroducing YOUR Personality

Over the past six or seven months I have tried hard to avoid using TRIPLE III TIME messaging space to even mention the COVID-19 Pandemic issue. It is not that I have put my “head-in-the-sand” and believed that it would just go through a cycle and we could all be open for business again.  However based on my multiple discussions occurring with private business and public agencies, I thought it is appropriate (and maybe even necessary) to offer this Reintroducing YOUR Personality message.

What do I mean?

I believe today more than ever before… all… yes all product and service industry providers need to progressively revisit themselves and redetermine what their “Personality” is going to be going forward.  Reintroducing YOUR Personality should not be easy nor a repeat from the past.  Instead the answer(s) might be found by using this TRIPLE III TIME TOP 10 list of questions that may help you sort out your decision.

  1. Is your product/service exactly what it was one year ago?
  2. Has your company/agency remained open and flexed with the Pandemic demands?
  3. Will your staff be required to re-learn their jobs… how to go to work… and be comfortable addressing customer needs?
  4. Can you be prosperous/successful being only half open?
  5. Will your marketing plan remain the same?
  6. Would a unique Personality Planning Session be helpful with all included?
  7. Will your business/organization experience greater costs… increased profits?
  8. How will you want customers/community to label you in the marketplace?
  9. Would product/service diversity be something to consider as part of Reintroducing?
  10. Or do you think/believe efforts for Reintroducing YOUR Personality to the world are even necessary?

Bottomline:  This TRIPLE III TIME message Reintroducing YOUR Personality and more specifically the TOP 10 questions are intended to help bring out YOUR SPECIAL!  Don’t follow the crowd… Don’t wait for someone else to determine your reintroduction strategy.

Take advantage of the moment!

LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: Bending… But Not Breaking The Rules

So many times I have started a LEARNING MOMENTS message about the Bending… But Not Breaking The Rules topic.  However I have never felt professionally correct or confident on framing the podcast in a way that was appropriately progressive.

Well as you listen to this month’s message your will learn how I got the “push” I needed… and how using a Bending… But Not Breaking The Rules strategy can truly be a positive momentum builder in your workplace.

LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: Bending… But Not Breaking The Rules

Triple III Time: Not Recognizing Opportunities

Sometimes as a consultant you have the benefit of looking at and seeing individual or business challenges in a whole different manner. For example, many would laugh when I would comment that “I love to receive grievances!”  Most are scared or nervous about the potential that someone or group may file a grievance against them.  My position was that if someone felt strongly enough about an issue that they were willing to put it in writing and submit it… there is probably some form of professional learning that could come from engaging with this person/group.

I make it sound easy… but it is/was not.  I make it sound like just another continuous improvement exercise… but it is/was not. Instead it forces you to look at your service or product, personnel or policies, structure or location, and consider if all aspects are/were as good as they could be.

Too often leaders are Not Recognizing Opportunities that could evolve from a simple grievance/complaint situation. You can label yourself “the-best-in-the-business”… but are you looking at it through a customer, partner and/or competitor’s eyes?

Possibly the greatest return-on-investment I can report from being involved in numerous grievance situations is/was reflecting on un-noticed gaps in services/products.  Given the fact that change is occurring in all areas of our personnel and business lives… gaps in what is missing, needed and necessary appear and grow everyday. Therefore, Not Recognizing Opportunities that can come from challenging times… can be a significant leadership weakness.

Bottomline: Take advantage of opportunities whenever and wherever you find them.  And people will know you care.

TRIPLE III TIME: Maximizing Critical Thinking

When your group holds a special planning session/staff meeting, how aware, interested, and engaged are people about the many pieces of Critical Thinking that is occurring around them? Sure, people may be taking notes (just for the record), but does anyone take the time to assess the value of special ideas or concepts that are being expressed? Does anyone think about the likelihood that just because you may not be ready for a cool innovation today… that two months/years from now a passed expressed idea may be a major contributor?

The need to share and deliberate on the multiples of Critical Thinking does not begin and end with groups. Rather it needs to become a special contributing moment for every individual. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again… A GOOD IDEA IS ONLY GOOD… IF IT IS SHARED! You know what I mean. So often great ideas as the result of Critical Thinking never get introduced… but instead remain dormant inside a person who just believes “it’s not worth mentioning.”

The time is way past to begin Maximizing Critical Thinking. I have worked with so many people who I know spend valuable time thinking and rethinking about a solution to an issue or problem. And because the door for inclusion and thinking out loud has never been opened in their workplace… their individual contribution(s) go unattained.

Unfortunately, no one has created a CTT LOGBOOK (CRITICAL THINKING FOR TOMORROW) “app” that would make this concept easy… fun… and immediately implementable.

If I were just more techno-ish!

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