Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.
As the world-of-work continues to evolve and change in our high-tech, global, faster paced employment environment, I am always fascinated with the creation of “new” jobs. You know what I mean! Web Designer, Blog Supervisor, Drone Mechanic, Web-Cast Producer and the list goes on and on. But on a less technological and more face-to-face personal level, do you think anyone ever considered the need/value of retaining An Innovation Advisor?
Yes, I said An Innovation Advisor!
Just as many workplaces have an attorney on retainer for legal advice and document-building, wouldn’t it make sense to use that same approach to have access to someone who could:
- Offer non-traditional service/product concepts.
- Help initiate/expand a culture of innovation in your workplace.
- Coach personnel on the generation of new ideas.
- Suggest alternative communication techniques to enhance everyone’s supported understanding.
- Create new-age linkages with other organizations/businesses.
- Help dissolve the “we have always done it this way” mindset.
- Design fun ways to better bring old and new staff closer together.
- Facilitate an inclusion-style of organizational operations to better benefit from everyone’s skills.
- Assist in Board meeting agenda-building/meeting conduct to attain FULL ENGAGEMENT of members.
- Initiate an ongoing “Staff Recycling” process to ensure everyone has high value and never becomes outdated.
An Innovation Advisor would intentionally not “fit” in any one specific area…and would always remain “unique-in-service” to the person(s) they are working with.
Please give this TOP 10 extra “new job” thought.
This week it is time to try and come to grips with the: Always Better… versus the…But Never Good Enough mindsets of people. I believe in most cases people flow from one side of these mindsets to the other based on the topic or challenge. And that shift is human nature, understandable and AOK!
However for the purpose of this “Always Better…But Never Good Enough” TRIPLE III TIME message, I want everyone to think about how you convey your position on this topic…and why that is so impactful.
Are you thinking?
As a leader…did the person you just talked to about performing or achievements in a certain area walk away with a: “there is always a better way approach to this challenge” understanding? Or were they saying under their breath: “No matter what I do it will never be good enough”? Or if you want to say it another way: “I guess I will give it another whack and we will see if it works better!”…versus… “There is no use even trying because I’m just going to get the same not-good-enough answer?” At home or at work, with young children or with adults…leaving the discussion with an “Always Better” instead of a “But Never Good Enough” tone is truly the difference between day or night regarding support and motivation.
I have experienced those that fall on both sides of the Always Better…But Never Good Enough mode of operation. Personally I admit I have never been satisfied with the status quo and pushed hard to find that Always Better way. However, I hope I avoid/avoided conveying a But Never Good Enough attitude.
How about you?
As I have continued to grow and develop in my small business owner role and as a professional consultant, one of the areas that I believe is often overlooked when involved in assessing professional leadership is: Measuring PRIDE. Let me explain.
When you think about quality leadership traits most often you identify: poise under pressure, a great communicator, understanding of issues, a fair compromiser and visionary as some of the top ones. But do you ever think about someone’s ability to express their PRIDE with style, sincerity, and with the right amount of passion (but not brag) as important traits? Logically wouldn’t it be appropriate to apply Measuring PRIDE when you are interviewing someone for a job, considering someone as a business partner and/or agreeing to be a professional reference for anyone? I believe Measuring PRIDE is a true reflection of someone’s leadership character.
So what’s the TRIPLE III TIME point?
As you go forward as a professional please consider Measuring YOUR PRIDE with style, sincerity and passion when you think about:
- Being a friend
- Personal achievements
- Educational achievements
- Professional achievements
- Volunteer efforts
- Mentoring opportunities
- Allowing someone to help you
- Leaving a legacy
- Level of commitment
- Partnership requests
I think addressing these TOP 10 Measuring PRIDE considerations will help you be appropriately recognized as positive, humble and success-driven.
This semester I am again teaching an American Government & Politics course for an area community college. And one of the most important and interesting class assignments is the preparation and presentation of a one or two-page Position Paper each week. Position Papers allow students to pick an issue that they are passionate about…an issue that could realize improvement if it were addressed by a government body…and create discussion about what might be the differing public opinions on the issue. The issues selected and the resulting class discussions are a blast!
Well this week a young lady presented her Position Paper on: Snakes as Therapy Pets. It was obvious she had done adequate research and offered examples of where, when and how different snake species are utilized as therapy pets. The class and I listened…but I have to admit I did not listen as well as I should have. Whether it was my long-term fear of snakes, my internal debate on the class interest in this topic or my own personal nervousness about the snake topic in any form…I began applying: SELECTIVE LISTENING.
You know what I mean…and we are ALL guilty at some point.
SELECTIVE LISTENING basically means that you listen with less interest and with a mindset that has moved on to another topic. SELECTIVE LISTENING seems to occur mostly because of your lack of interest in the speaker and/or interest in what they are talking about. So think for a moment…would I have been SELECT LISTENING if Clint Eastwood, Mark Zuckerberg or my mentor Dr. Bender were discussing the value of snakes as therapy pets? Would I have listened more intently, with more support, and with a more sincere interest in a quality two-way discussion on the topic?
Today, I believe that in so many areas of our personal and professional worlds…we have too much SELECTIVE LISTENING. The high volume of information exchange has somehow numbed our listening capacities. Unfortunately this includes listening in the areas of politics, parenting, communities, friendships and even within family households.
Bottomline: This TRIPLE III TIME message recommends that you work hard to reduce the frequency and areas that cause you to engage in SELECTIVE LISTENING. Why…because?
- You will regret not listening and learning from the words of an aging family member.
- You should not disregard the value of the words of a young child/adult
- You should not ignore the non-traditional words/beliefs/ideas of those you meet everyday.
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.