Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.
TRIPLE III TIME: A Strategy Behind The Strategy
It was mid-term exam time for my American Government & Politics classes this past week and for the most part all of the students did fine. And as I passed the corrected tests back and gauged the reactions…one young man pointed his finger at me and stated: “Now sir I know why you make us do those one page Position Papers each week…to get us practiced to answer these essay questions in the same manner…right?”
Well I did NOT deny the accuracy of this discovery and I completely agreed and said: “Yes I do practice having A Strategy Behind The Strategy for helping all of you get totally ready to get an A on these exams!” And you can guess he was very proud of his revelation and was rewarded with smiles and multiple nods of support from his classmates! I too joined in the smiles…but mine came more from a remembrance of my Dad and his use of A Strategy Behind The Strategy for getting me ready for my tomorrows.
What do I mean?
Think about it…as a very young boy he put me “in charge” of all of our baby calves. I didn’t think it was right…but when he later said he didn’t think I was old enough to drive a tractor yet…I reminded him how much I could do when I was “way young”…and so I was very ready to do tractor-driving jobs…and MORE WORK!
Do you think Dad had A Strategy Behind The Strategy?
And if you don’t think I picked up on Dad’s strategies…I have to tell you I was caught many times by a co-worker or two. Like when we cross-trained everyone in organizational services and even sent “office-people” out in the field to help client-customers face-to-face. Or when we tried to better communicate in a more complete way about Agency activities every week.
Do you think I had A Strategy Behind The Strategy for reducing “that’s not my job” attitudes or “I can’t do that stuff cause no one told me” claims?
Bottomline: Always think about having A Strategy Behind The Strategy as a means of creating personnel and organizational growth. It helps you and those around you consider “What Next?/What Else? possibilities.
LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: The EXTRA Factors of Empowerment
The action of Empowerment… “giving” someone/ some group authority or legal power to do something on your behalf” … is a strong professional personnel decision for anyone at all levels. This definition sounds similar to simple delegation… but it is not.
This months Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: The EXTRA Factors of Empowerment, goes behind the delegation actions and discusses the much needed EXTRA Factors that are key to a successful Empowerment assignment. Although it is understood that no two Empowerment endeavors are the same… I believe there are at least three Factors to consider when initiating Empowerment action.
Enjoy the listen.
TRIPLE III TIME: “Practicing What YOU Preach!”
First let me admit that taking on this topic message: “Practicing What YOU Preach!” has been avoided for quite some time. Why? Maybe because I am not the best…most complete listener that I preach everyone should be?! Or maybe I take calculated risks more often and maybe more risky risks than I would admit to in some of my weekly TRIPLE III TIME blog messages. However, no matter my position, the professional value in this life-long statement of wisdom is regularly accepted across everyone’s workplace and life situations.
Therefore, in order to give “Practicing What YOU Preach!” its full TRIPLE III TIME notoriety, here is a customized TOP 10 that I am sure will hit-home with many:
1. Are you giving someone else’s good idea a real, solid chance?
2. Are you revising your stance that just because your best way worked 15 years ago…it may not be the best way today?
3. Are you giving employees, partners, customers, co-workers, family…a second or third chance?
4. Are you not being immediately defensive when questioned about an action you took?
5. Are you accepting change as standard-business activity?
6. Are you not preparing an answer in your mind…before you hear the whole story?
7. Are you really getting things done ahead of schedule…or are old reminders still necessary?
8. Are you still ignoring quality research and data that says your cool idea isn’t cool?
9. Are you limiting your techno-time or are you now addicted to social media?
10. Oh yeah…are you listening better and more completely everyday…EVERYDAY?
I am sure you are looking in the mirror when you ask yourself the question are you “Practicing What YOU Preach?” about these or other questions. Who knows…honesty may show up.
Have fun with this TRIPLE III TIME exercise!
TRIPLE III TIME: Express Trainings & Learnings
Whether I am working with young adult students or workers employed in any sector and at any level, the costs related to additional education for skill development are always a concern. Tuition, housing and book fees at a university, customized training for your leadership group and/or video-conferenced CNC instruction all carry significant cost factors that impact individuals or a specific company…who are just trying to promote the value of continuous learning.
However, today I believe the assumed value of historic education options has shifted due to cost and skill need prioritization. And as a quiet but effective and efficient compromise…Express Trainings & Learnings opportunities have been steadily introduced in multiple unique online formats.
Check out the following examples:
- Grow with Google: Google Analytics Academy
- HubSpot Academy: Design Foundations: Building brand guidelines and consistency
- FEMA – Emergency Management Institute
- Alison: Empower Yourself
- edX – Harvard University Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
- Coursera – University of Michigan: Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills
And now you are asking: “What are the points I am trying to make in this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message entitled: Express Trainings & Learnings?”
Well first in general I would like everyone to consider the examples given and challenge yourselves, co-workers and those you supervise to seek out quality, no-cost, no-travel online Express Trainings & Learnings courses as a means of creating a customized continuous professional improvement/development plan.
If you are selective in your choices…you will challenge the “you only get what you pay for” belief with credible no-cost options. You may also come to realize that many in the HR profession do not know what they don’t know with regard to the wide range of available new age Express Trainings & Learnings.
Change has happened and continues in this area. Employers are giving more consideration to the quality personal traits of job candidates FIRST and understand that direct job training and learning maybe just a click away.
A concluding final fun thought or two: Modern is…as Modern does. Or better yet: Future is…as Future does. Are YOU Modern and Future doing.
TRIPLE III TIME: Investment Strategies For Your TIME!
Doesn’t it seem like today everyone believes we no longer have 24 hours in a day!? That work time goes by somewhat slow…but home and recreation time races by. That no matter how effective and efficient we try to be with our time management plans…that we never seem to finish one task well enough to satisfy ourselves and thereby move forward to the next project frustrated.
Reality? Fast & Diversified…that seems to be the “life-pace new normal”! So with that in mind let’s take this TRIPLE III TIME message opportunity and talk about Investment Strategies For Your TIME!
First we need to specifically consider your TIME as a special company asset. What do I mean? Think about your TIME as:
- Something only you own
- A limited resource
- Something non-renewable
Then think specifically how you “spend/utilize” your TIME asset everyday. Consider workplace and personal products or services you complete/deliver. This approach may be very difficult…but it is the only means to determine if you are getting an appropriate Return-On-Investment (ROI) for your TIME.
Consider TIME draining activities like:
- Are you “triple-guessing” yourself on a decision already made?
- Spending an inappropriate amount of time with those who chose to do the minimum?
- Participating in “old-news” actions and not future-building issues?
- Finding yourself working for technology demands…rather than making technology work for you to advance?
- Focusing so much to make sure everyone is doing everything correctly….that innovation is ignored?
Bottomline: Devising Investment Strategies For Your TIME is a very personal consideration. Just like no one invests their savings the same way…no two people should invest their TIME the same way.
Give yourself some TIME…to consider your TIME investments. I believe your ROI will be worth it.
TRIPLE III TIME: “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” (or should you?)
First we have all heard the saying: “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”…right? In fact I believe there is even a series of books all about learning how to not get caught up in the little life/work issues. And yes I believe it is easy and almost natural to sometimes worry too much for too long about things that maybe you really don’t have control over.
But now you are asking…why does this week’s TRIPLE III TIME: “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” (or should you?) message seem to indicate that that philosophy is all wrong?
Let me explain.
As I observe the world of work from any angle…I believe the “small stuff” is what separates good from great in so many ways. In support of this belief, let me toss out a few examples to ponder.
- Calling someone back reasonably quick as part of professional courtesy.
- Turning work assignments in early because it’s the right professional thing to do.
- Share communications to all involved…so they don’t “hear it on the street”.
- Compliment those who “go the extra mile”…their smiles are an immediate gratification for both.
- Recognize return business with much more than they expect.
- Notice students who arrive early for class…it will have a lasting effect.
- Don’t hoard the gift of respect…apply it with skill.
- Remember holding a grudge can go both ways and creates professional arthritis.
- Accepting compromise (at any level) sets a replicable example.
- Say you are wrong…when you are.
Ok…I will admit that some of these examples aren’t normally small…but if handled simply and correctly they should stay small.
Finally, think of a real life occurrence of each of these examples and maybe if you just sweat the small stuff…there will be less BIG stuff.
LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: The “First 5” Innovation LEADERSHIP Principles
Innovation Leadership… in my world it is a regular, solid, necessary blended principle in every career and business building initiative. There is less and less room for “that is the way we have always done it” thoughts and action. And the world seems more than ready to seek out something new and special.
This month’s The “First 5” Innovation LEADERSHIP Principles are a group of unique reflections of conversations I had with colleagues regarding our common “always-a-better-way” philosophy.
I tried to fit a lot in a few minutes! I hope you enjoy the listen.
TRIPLE III TIME: A New Day For EMPOWERMENT
It has been quite some time since we have selected or used the term EMPOWERMENT as part of a TRIPLE III TIME message. Yes I have utilized the intent of EMPOWERMENT in many of my consultant activities and in a unique way also in my teaching approaches. However just to make sure we all are thinking about the topic of A New Day For EMPOWERMENT in the same manner… here is the GOOGLE EMPOWERMENT definition:
“The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”
So why are we suggesting “A New Day?”
As we exit the COVID hangover era, I believe it is even more critical than ever to follow an EMPOWERMENT philosophy with workers (and students) in all areas. Our last three years has seemingly clouded the meaning and expectation of full-time work, what it means to mentally and physically be “on-the-job”, re-understanding that doing the minimum is not good job performance, and if wages/benefits go up… so to should the level of job completion responsibilities.
I do understand that the “pool” of qualified employees is low and the concern for retaining good employees is high… so over-extending the principles of EMPOWERMENT may not seem timely. However, I believe that highlighting the importance of high-quality personal and professional responsibility as a workplace culture, will do more to help recruit more appropriate candidates and retain those who understand your/their performance cause.
Taking solid steps toward initiating A New Day For EMPOWERMENT will create a new return-on-investment from your workforce (or class of students). Give it a try.
TRIPLE III TIME: Negotiating With Confidence & Class
We are all sometimes…somewhere placed in a situation when we have to utilize our negotiating skills. The issue or issues being negotiated may appear simplistic and easy to respond to…but often there are multiple “behind-the-scenes” challenges that only come to light as the discussions/debates of negotiating unfold.
So how do you identify and develop YOUR negotiating skills. Do you obtain them from parents, bosses, teachers, colleagues….or mostly from experiences? Yes, again there are helpful seminars on negotiating but have you ever sat down and considered the “art” of Negotiating With Confidence & Class and maybe a TOP 10 list of ideas that may help?!
Well just in case you haven’t given Negotiating With Confidence & Class much thought, this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is just in time to offer a few helpful hints.
- Minimize the number of major issues addressed at one setting.
- Be sure you know what YOU want…but don’t show-up with a “decision-made” attitude.
- Be sure everyone understands the issue the same way/completely/with common grounding.
- Recognize and appreciate the negotiation responsibilities and skills of others in the session.
- Listen with both ears and with both eyes.
- Ask intelligent and respectful questions.
- Try to NOT allow a “postponement trend” to evolve.
- Negotiate options that enables everyone to “win” something.
- Remember negotiated resolution actions must be thoughtful and doable.
- Finally, never under-respect the importance on how the negotiated decisions impact the future of others.
Negotiating With Confidence & Class may require you to professionally “change chairs” to best understand the positions of others during discussions. And if you do it well…I promise respect will follow.
Our Founding Fathers: What Would They Say?
First I have to report that even after writing articles for the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) for a bunch of years, I am still “reawakened” when they assign everyone’s quarterly submission dates!
So YES… I’m saying it’s my turn already.
My newest PA TIMES article is a reflection on: Our Founding Fathers: What Would They Say? with regard to four major topic areas. The topic areas were picked based on their status as priority concerns to every U.S. citizen. I could have written much more on every topic… but I know my thoughts on each area will get you thinking too!”
Enjoy the read. PA TIMES Online: Our Founding Fathers: What Would They Say?