Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.

LEARNING MOMENT PODCAST:“Brag-Ability?!”

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Inspiring Innovations
LEARNING MOMENTS
May 2020 Podcast
“Brag-Ability?!”

“Brag-Ability”?! Yes, it is a fun, innovative way of stating the importance of having the ability to authentically brag about a special capacity of your business or organization. Another way of explaining Brag-Ability is to truthfully state that you are one of the “Best-In-The-Business” regarding the delivery of a certain product or service.

This months Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast is all about establishing an area of Brag-Ability for your business or organization. A positive, progressive area that colleagues, customers and the general public recognize as “Something You Stand For” … everyday… EVERYDAY!

Enjoy the message.

 

TRIPLE III TIME: “Always ANOTHER Way!”

Always ANOTHER Way Picture

When the idea of starting up a professional development consultant business was a career-changing priority for me… all kinds of questions/decisions were placed on the table.  What would the name of the company be? What type of motto/slogan would be applied to the services? What logo, emblem or picture would be used to offer the best image of progress, innovation, and creativity?

Well as you can see/know… Inspiring Innovations, Inc. and a picture from around my home were selected as the business name and image. But today this TRIPLE III TIME message is more about the “Always A Better Way!” motto.  I believe everyone connected to my business understands that my consultant assistance will ALWAYS be about finding a better way to accomplish a goal to get the job done. It is what I/Inspiring Innovations, Inc. stands for.

But today and maybe just for this time in our world… how about if we amend my business motto? So instead of Always A Better Way…lets stress the need to support creating: Always ANOTHER Way!.

Maybe even an “Always ANOTHER Way!” TOP 10.

  1. Lead by example… more than ever before.
  2. Switch places with your customers and know no two are the same… more than ever before.
  3. Don’t get mad at technology… because it didn’t want to be stressed either… more than ever before.
  4. Life-long learning is no longer just an option… more than ever before.
  5. Help those around you return to work… apply extra patience… more than ever before.
  6. Don’t assume your online messaging is perfect… perfection doesn’t exist… more than ever before.
  7. Appreciate the physical contact of just shaking/holding someone’s hand… more than ever before.
  8. Be encouraging, creative, and professional about changing job routines… more than ever before.
  9. Don’t keep new, alternative ideas to yourself… they are needed… more than ever before.
  10. Don’t be quick to say “this will never work” … first, try Always ANOTHER Way… more than ever before.

Maybe print this TRIPLE III TIME message and have it handy in case you need Inspiring Innovations, Inc. reminders… MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!

TRIPLE III TIME: We Are All Teachers… Sometime!

TeacherIt has been a while since I came across a writing that I wanted to share via a TRIPLE III TIME message.  The sixteen (16) universal teaching techniques listed below were included in an article written by Chuck Salter.  In his article, he linked great teachers with effective classroom leadership and believes these techniques need to be nurtured and applied continuously.  Check them out:

  1. It’s not about you; it’s about them. [Let students share too!]
  2. Study your students.
  3. Students take risks when teachers create a safe environment.
  4. Great teachers exude passion as well as purpose.
  5. Students learn when teachers show them how much they need to learn.
  6. Keep it clear even if you can’t keep it simple.
  7. Practice vulnerability without sacrificing credibility.
  8. Teach from the heart.
  9. Repeat the important points.
  10. Good teachers ask good questions.
  11. You’re not passing out information. [This means that you are teaching others how to think.]
  12. Stop talking –and start listening.
  13. Learn what to listen for.
  14. Let your students teach each other.
  15. Avoid using the same approach for everyone.
  16. Never stop teaching. [This means be approachable after class time.]

We Are All Teachers… Sometime!  At our job, at home, with family, friends, or colleagues… teaching happens.  So keep this list handy and use it often.

TRIPLE III TIME: ASSET INVENTORY – Timing is Everything

As we all appropriately plan for a “reopened” future in our own worlds of work, there can be no better time to complete an insightful ASSET INVENTORY. No matter the services you provide or product you produce… taking strategic planning time to identify and evaluate the multiple assets we have inside and outside our organizations or businesses… is time well spent.

Look first at any organization’s greatest asset… personnel.  Consider the following questions:Asset Inventory Image

  • Is everyone in the “right position” and making the maximum contribution?
  • Is there a need for new/different training that could/should be organized?
  • Are there going to be new/unique personnel responsibilities that need to be assigned to certain staff?
  • Is there the potential of job changes, retirements or quits in the near future… and have succession plans been drafted?
  • Others??

Next, think about facilities.

  • Are there even more improvements or adjustments that should be made to accommodate “online-everything”?
  • With “workplace safety” now having an extended meaning… what else needs to be done?
  • What facilities changes would make you the maximum “go-to-place” for your product/service?
  • Is asked… what would your client/customers say about your facilities?
  • Others?

The final ASSET INVENTORY – Timing is Everything TRIPLE III TIME topic is partnerships.

  • Consider the new/alternative partnerships that have evolved due to the pandemic… will you build on them?
  • Do current partners know they are your partners and why?
  • If you surveyed your staff… would they recommend additional partnerships… maybe cancel some current ones?
  • Also, if you surveyed current partners would they suggest new service/product offerings?
  • Others??

I realize that taking stock of your assets has been a previous TRIPLE III TIME priority.  However, I guess when you think about the ASSET INVENTORY – Timing is Everything message… I hope you understand that some things never can be taken for granted.

TRIPLE III TIME: “Fix-A-Techno-Form Day!”

Fix A Form Day imageI am not sure exactly when it started… or who started the “name-each-day-phenomenon”?!  You know what I mean.  That April 20th is: Eat a Cheesecake Day… or September 19th is Clean Your Eavestroughs Day… or December 10th is Build Your Frist Snowman Day! (I made all of these up… just for the record.)  But for this weeks’ TRIPLE III TIME message… I would like to proclaim Friday, April 24th as: “Fix-A-Techno-Form Day!”.

First, my intent for this exclusive “Fix-A-Techno-Form Day!” is to encourage everyone to go online in their business, organization or even personal areas and make a cool upgrade.  Whether the upgrade is modernizing a form, updating information on your website, changing certain color schemes, or just adding an enthusiastic message… right now is a key time to employ a “Fix-A-Techno-Form Day!” strategy.

Why? Think about it.

With all that we have been through over the last few months… the value, information, accuracy, and up-to-date-ness of your online presence has grown a hundred-fold!  Consider the expanded status of e-commerce transactions, applications for government service, and just the instances of sharing multiple forms of messages!  By initiating a “Fix-A-Techno-Form Day!” (or maybe a week or month?) you could make sure all aspects of your online appearance and personality are modern, fresh and welcoming.

So, during this extensive “work from home” time, don’t think about sharpening your pencil to get and stay ahead… rather SHARPEN YOUR MOUSE and support the not-so-official “Fix-A-Techno-Form Day!”

TRIPLE III TIME: UNPLANNED CUSTOMER SERVICING

During the last few months with all the challenges everyone has had to face… adjust to… apply maximum patience… and struggle to think about “that better day.” With the writing of each TRIPLE III TIME message, I have attempted to continue with positive, useful concepts that may help on a professional or personal level.  Specifically, I have tried to avoid references to COVID-19 and/or use of that Pandemic word because there was no feel for progressiveness (if that is really a word) in any message using those terms. However, today with news of designs of “reopening” the world around us… it is necessary to revisit a Leadership/Communication/Innovation/Special Development topic that has changed in all public and private sector areas: UNPLANNED CUSTOMER SERVICING.

thumbnail_ImageThink about it… and when you do… picture your mother or best friend sitting across the counter or desk in front of you.  Also understand that this TRIPLE III TIME message is intended to focus your awareness (and make a few suggestions) on UNPLANNED CUSTOMER SERVICING expectations and to begin adapting a long-term strategy for dealing with them.

Here they are:

  1. More than ever before begin your CUSTOMER SERVICE by better understanding THEIR expectations… they will be different.
  2. Embrace the notion that “distancing” may have to be the norm.
  3. Revisit your telephone communication methods, style, length, etc. for effectiveness and efficiency. Specialized listening will be key!
  4. Don’t expect janitors/custodians to be the single cleaning agents… take a personal role.
  5. Don’t be angry or afraid of an “online-everything” world.
  6. As customers… employ extra patience to local businesses… their adjustments are probably bigger than yours.
  7. Redesigning your business/organization customer service physical layout… may be the timely thing to do.
  8. Don’t fight the multiple techno-options for conducting staff meetings. (Make technology work even better for you).
  9. Use this unfortunate event to consider other simplicity/efficiency actions in all that you do.
  10. Allow new/unique ideas for better UNPLANNED CUSTOMER SERVICING to be considered… from EVERYONE!

Bottomline: The goal of the UNPLANNED CUSTOMER SERVICING TRIPLE III TIME message is to push you harder to see the future.  The TOP 10 awareness points are intended to have you think about how our customers will have different expectations when they contact you in person or online.  And because every service/product offering is different… so too should be your re-energized CUSTOMER SERVICING strategy.  Be a leader in this area… not a follower.

 

 

LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast: Telling YOUR Career Story

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Inspiring Innovations, Inc
LEARNING MOMENTS
April 2020 Podcast
Telling YOUR Career Story

I know I have mentioned it before in my TRIPLE III TIME blogs and sometimes for sure in these LEARNING MOMENTS podcasts.  But this month I felt it is timely to explain the professional and personal value of Telling YOUR Career Story!

Unfortunately, I don’t believe people understand the powerful impact one can have on others by simply sharing their lifetime experiences.  The wins… loses… goods and bads are all quality LEARNING MOMENTS.  When you think about cool people you know and wonder about their career journey… remember how important Telling YOUR Career Story to family, friends, co-workers and colleagues might be!

 

TRIPLE III TIME: CONFLICT “Made Easy”

In the consultant world and more specifically in the field of working with people, dealing effectively with conflict resolution is a principle assignment.  Whether the issue is money, performance, personnel… well just about anything… having a calm, thoughtful and progressive methodology for resolving the conflict issue is critical.

Think in-depth about your multiple conflict moments.  Did you apply patience, good listening skills, compromise options, and a “we are in this together” resolution approach?  Or did everyone get off into side-bar conversations and issues that only seemed to expand the area and levels of conflict?

CONFLICT Made Easy ImageWell with all of the regular life and workplace challenges that create conflict everywhere… EVERYDAY… we need to spend a little TRIPLE III TIME applying a CONFLICT “Made Easy” approach.

What do I mean? I guess I mean it is necessary to “peel back the conflict layers” and try and simplify the challenge.

  1. First, determine exactly WHAT DO I WANT? … independent from the conflict.
  2. Remove all past problems that come from working with the person or persons involved in the conflict.
  3. Ask everyone else involved to also identify exactly WHAT DO I/WE WANT? as a progressive solution.
  4. Totally limit the “But what about’s” added to the conflict discussion.
  5. Qualify the inclusion of any “past precedents” that involve the conflict.
  6. Write down everyone’s progressive solution compromises early in the conflict conversation.
  7. Remind everyone that conflict is a TEAM sport and winning is accomplished together.
  8. “Going back to go forward” from time to time is a positive conflict resolution action.
  9. Avoid if possible diverse participation options (i.e. Skype/video-conferencing/telephone/etc.)
  10. Repeat multiple times during the conflict resolution session: THIS IS WHAT I/WE WANT!

Are these TOP 10 CONFLICT “Made Easy” suggestions… EASY?  NO!  However, if you and your group even just agree to start practicing these basic interpersonal discussion actions during conflicts… I believe progress will be your reward!

TRIPLE III TIME: Finding & Developing a Modern Era Balance of Life

Did you ever wonder what a: How to Achieve a Balanced Life! Workshop agenda would look like today?  What would be the major topics of discussion? What would be the focus of breakout sessions? And what would be the workshop “take-aways” in oral or written form… that a year from now you would remember them?

Would you ever have thought the topics might include:

  • Around the clock TV-News-Sports
  • Mass Shootings Can Happen Anywhere
  • Virtual vs. Face Time Continuous Learning
  • Life After a Pandemic
  • Hateful Politics Unlimited
  • Shopping Locally in a Global World
  • Jobs/Careers/Earnings… What Can You Count On?

But then think a little more.  How could you address even one or all of these topics well in a cool, one-day, How to Achieve a Balanced Life! Workshop?

Well for those who tried to “skip-ahead” in this TRIPLE III TIME message to find the answer… guess what… no answer… just advice.

Grandparents(1)Sometimes you have to go back… to find the best way forward. My Grandma and Grandpa used to pass along a ton of great, thoughtful points of advice.   One I remember more today was: “You better know what you want most… because you only have so much time in this world.”  So maybe (with this advice in mind) a How to Achieve a Balanced Life! Workshop would NOT address any of the topics listed… but would instead talk about how you use your LIFE-TIME today… EVERYDAY.  The session could also discuss the notion that YOU have control over what you think about… what you do… and the value of each.  And finally, my Grandparents would want the workshop to require you to write down (not email) the TOP 10 life things you want most.  I think they would agree that if you had a good idea of what you want most… YOU could lead a classy How to Achieve a Balanced Life! workshop.

What do you think… could you??

 

TRIPLE III TIME: INNOVATION Means – Focus on the CAN DOS… not the CAN NOTS!

red crossIt is very difficult to draft a TRIPLE III TIME message that attempts to ignore or totally look beyond the impacts of the COVID-19 virus… believe me I have tried. Even when I go back to the beginning of Inspiring Innovations, Inc…. I think about the basic definition of INNOVATION: Introduce Something New… and I realize that all the scientists are working very hard on finding a new cure… right?  But what about all of US… how can we maximize our innovative spirit today… tomorrow… in spite of the virus limitations.

Well, I suggest that we consider an alternative INNOVATION definition!  One that says: INNOVATION Means – Focus on the CAN DOS… not the CAN NOTS!  This means that during this time of endless lists/rules of everything we CAN NOT do… how about if we put together a unique TOP 10 list of CAN DOS!!

  1. Prepare a “Let’s Go Beyond” list of CAN DO initiatives to consider when you return to your day job (and not just regular restart actions.)
  2. Complete a “Reconnect” project right now that includes conversing via telephone (not social media) with at least 5 cool leadership colleagues.
  3. Draft a “Concept Paper” on a personal/professional development component that you will start TODAY!
  4. Complete an in-depth staff evaluation… on yourself and be critical and honest.
  5. Identify one (1) person/organization that you would like to partner with on a project… and initiate the conversation TODAY.
  6. Assess your communication tools, process and timing… determine 3 things you could do better.
  7. Consider your “example-setting” practices. Are you a GREAT example setter?
  8. Ask yourself: Who/What inspires me? Why?
  9. Undertake at least one (1) “mindless” project. (Give your mind a break from the news and worry)
  10. Determine if you are a good decision maker? Do people come to you for discussions or decisions?

Bottomline:  (For today especially) Pick at least one of the INNOVATION Means – Focus on the CAN DOS… not the CAN NOTS TOP 10 ideas… and have fun.

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