Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.
One of my personal Inspiring Innovations, Inc. business priorities is to NEVER deliver service “reruns” to different individuals or organizations. What do I mean? I mean every consultant moment, workshop and/or training must be special and individualized for everyone. However, this week I may be breaking my rule.
Let me explain.
During my Director days I produced a TOP 10 list of Agency work/service priorities for every upcoming week. The TOP 10 could cover new projects, meetings, joint ventures, fiscal reports… anything and everything! It was a great management tool and kept everyone “in the game” of Agency initiatives and always looking toward the future!
Then after 30 years of progressive, creative and fun leadership… I found myself leaving to do Inspiring Innovations, Inc. activities full time… and without being too sentimental I had to put together my last TOP 10 for my co-workers. And only because of sincere requests for a reminder rerun, here it is.
- ACTION: Be leaders everyday… I expect nothing less. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: The road going forward for the Agency is set up to the best of my ability… pave it with good work. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Follow the visionary quote that says: “The best way to predict the future… is to invent it.” ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Keep a “family-feel” in the organization… it keeps you grounded. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: When you finally see a USDOL Performance Standard called INNOVATIVITY… be sure we score high. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Always know I will take ALL of you with me wherever I go and whatever I do… because no one goes it alone. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: When you try a new initiative, don’t do it the way Marv would… DO IT BECAUSE WE WOULD! ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Remember to always give 100% to the CAUSE. If you don’t… what are you saving the rest for? ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: If you try to hide from change… know that it will be much bigger when it finds you. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
- ACTION: Thirty years is a long time to be lucky… thank you for allowing me to be the lucky one. ACTION DRIVERS: Everyone
Thanks to everyone for seven (7) years of TRIPLE III TIME blog messaging. Enjoy the holidays.
This week I have the semester ending opportunity to assess and score the results of students taking their Final Exam in my American Government & Politics class. As you can guess my exams are a little non-traditional… but a whole lot about “What do YOU think?”. The exam consists of a variety of essay questions and each student has a choice of the required number of questions they must answer. But the question that is most fun and interesting are the answers that come from the last question:
“Ten (10) years from now… what job will you have and what part of this American Government & Politics course impacted you the most and why?”
Right now, I bet you are asking yourself… where is the Inspiring Innovations TRIPLE III TIME message in all this verbiage?
Well, just like students in my class answering that last Final Exam question, reflection… Professional Reflection is the special “test” assignment for this weeks message. What if you were asked:
“Given all of the challenges you faced during calendar year 2020, what action or occurrence professionally impacted you the most and why?”
I am sure the COVID issues would strongly influence your response to this question… but what about you and your world of work? Consider:
- Are you more tech-savvy?
- Can you really do your job without personal contact?
- Have new business products/services been created in your profession?
- What skill-set areas have you “stretched” and which ones have contracted?
- What type of motivational speech could you give to co-workers… today?
- Are you happy because you didn’t have to change at all?
- Did you feel like you wanted to find a new job?
- Is there a training area you wished you had?
- What professional resources or people did you look to for guidance?
- If you knew then what you know now, would you do anything different?
Professional Reflection is an exercise that really should have no specific timetable. Therefore asking yourself pertinent growth questions is something that all professionals need to ask in some way or form… just to observe/determine personal movement.
So how would YOU answer this Final Exam question??
LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast
Prioritize NOW Planning
There has not been a time when quality planning for any organization or business has been more critical. Call it strategic planning or figuring out what we are going to do over the next year or so… getting a progressive plan together for the future is a must!
This Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast offers my version of new era planning I label: Prioritize NOW Planning. It emphasizes the frequency of change… its impact on action based on solid, timely planning… and of course the need to allow space for innovation.
I hope you enjoy the listen.
“Hello is this President Elect Joe Biden? You don’t know me, but my name is Marv Pichla and I am calling to ask you to take a close look at my latest American Society of Public Administration PA TIMES quarterly article about creating a Council of Past Presidents! Why? Because as good American citizens we all need to help the country in the best way we can… and this is my contribution.”
I can’t think of a better way to introduce this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message: Council of Past Presidents. The ASPA article lays out the rationale, purpose and design for maximizing the learnings that can only come from those who have held the office of President of the United States!
I hope you enjoy the article.
Today I believe a leadership group getting together regularly and focusing on: In Search of Customers Lost, would prove to be valuable on so many fronts. Think about it. The group could/should look at an entity’s physical presence, marketing strategies, product/service diversity, regular/online sales, delivery methods, costs and timing issues…to somehow reclaim old and new customers.
Also during the leadership group sessions, it would be appropriate to ask a unique series of: In Search of Customers Lost questions:
- Are we disconnected with those in need of our products/services?
- Is accessibility to our products/services THE issue… or are we just assuming it is?
- Given the times do people really know what our main products/services are?
- Have we decided to just wait for improved times… and thereby really don’t feel the need to act?
- Is it leadership acceptable to have our products/services become less than essential?
- Are potential customers “relabeling” our entity in an inaccurate way?
- Could there be a means to create “strings of compatibility” among our products/sources to make them more special?
- How much work ethic, creativity, and skill personnel equity are we losing/wasting?
- Should we somehow go In Search of Customers Lost … and find out who they are, where they are and why they are a lost customer?
- And lastly, aren’t we all some form of leader in our company/organization… and comprehensively concerned about In Search of Customers Lost ?
Yes, if you counted, these are my TOP 10 In Search of Customers Lost questions. They are not easy, they do not allow for “hiding spots” … but they do ask you to accept some form/level of LEADERSHIP in devising necessary answers.
Well if you have not paid attention or missed some of the pickups parked on the side of the road near a patch of woods… it is deer hunting season! And one of he “sayings” related to this season I have heard over the years was: “If You Are NOT OUT THERE… Then You Are NOT IN!”
What does this statement mean to those involved in deer hunting?
Simply it means that if you: (1) sleep-in, (2) decide it is too cold, (3) watch a movie, or (4) go to work on an overdue project; you will not be out in the woods and not seriously be in the hunting game for the necessary times that are available!
OK go ahead… now ask how does all this special information add up to a quality TRIPLE III TIME message?
Well I believe this statement: “If You Are NOT OUT THERE… Then You Are NOT IN!” also very appropriately applies to the need for timely, dedicated, workplace COMMUNICATION. Whether you are in private business or offer services in the public sector, if you fail to have a regular, strong and even unique process for getting your message out to those you work with or work for… you are really NOT OUT THERE and thereby NOT IN the game of effective successful COMMUNICATION.
Just like getting your hunting blind/food plots ready, communicating regularly in a quality way sets you up for better business/service opportunities. Also building in diverse methods of communicating within your workplace network can also enhance your potential of “being in the right place at the right time” (also a favorite deer hunting saying).
Bottomline: Be OUT THERE with great COMMUNICATION and you will be IN with greater business/service success.
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!
- RESPECT others not because you have to… but because it is the right thing to do.
- PARTNER with others if you have the opportunity… because more brainpower creates a better product.
- LISTEN better than everyone… it is the best way to learn more.
- EXPLORE new and different customer service options… it will keep you fresh.
- SHARE ideas and concerns openly without criticism… it will build your network.
- KEEP PROMISES that you make… it shows character.
- GIVE BACK in actions to those who have helped you personally and professionally… they will remember too.
- COMPLETE initiatives/assignments… because half-done is a score of 50%
- INNOVATE because you can be the future… and not be considered “old news”
- 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!)
“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.
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
- Technology Usage
- Business Development
- Community Activities
- 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!
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.