Author Archives: Inspiring Innovations, Inc.
One professional development topic that has been talked about forever in many sectors is the expectations that surround the term: Personal Responsibility. In the consultant arena, the discussions most often center on the need for employees/students/co-workers to be more personally responsible for their activities/actions. However, the potential suggestions or plans to directly improve someone’s Personal Responsibility capacities, often lack “enforce-ability” and therefore fall into that “good intentions” area of professional development.
Well, it is time to allow innovation to offer an alternative contribution to this age-old development challenge! So, outlined below are a TOP 10 List of Personal Responsibility “EXERCISES” that if applied correctly…could generate quality results!
- Personal Responsibility SIT-UPS
Personal Responsibility SIT-UPS would require everyone to volunteer to take on one new professional responsibility each week. The size of the new SIT-UPS responsibility would not be the main issue. Instead the EXERCISE of identifying and assuming a special Personal Responsibility task would be the progressive SIT-UPS action.
- Personal Responsibility SPRINTS
Personal Responsibility SPRINTS would be organized to build everyone’s “sense of urgency” responses to matters requiring timely action. Specific timeframes would be applied to project/product assignments…therefore encouraging Personal Responsibility SPRINTS to occur in order to complete tasks in an efficient/effective manner.
- Personal Responsibility TOE-TOUCHING
Often professional development requires employers/students/co-workers to “go back…to go forward”. Personal Responsibility TOE-TOUCHING would focus on having everyone bending down and reaching back to their past experiences on an issue…pull out the positive (or the negatives) and apply them effectively to improve the new/current progress issue.
- Personal Responsibility PULL-UPS
Personal Responsibility PULL-UPS would serve as an EXERCISE in developing group leadership skills. Periodically assigning everyone to assume the leadership role for a project would be a solid Personal Responsibility PULL-UPS EXERCISE and facilitate the need to be a good prioritizer/scheduler/partner when leading.
- Personal Responsibility MARATHONER
Being assigned the role of Personal Responsibility MARATHONER would ensure that everyone would EXERCISE their professional development patience. Certain project/product assignments may require even a year to be completed. Therefore, understanding the value of serving as a Personal Responsibility MARATHONER would offer a great example setting option to others in your organization on the benefits of appropriately applying progressive patience .
- Personal Responsibility CRUNCHING
Sometimes being personally responsible requires you to say “NO” to an idea/action/project! Allowing personnel to hide from this type of responsibility is not appropriate. Therefore, establishing an organized means of ensuring everyone must EXERCISE Personal Responsibility CRUNCHING is a natural area of professional development.
- Personal Responsibility JUMPING JACKS
Taking personal responsibility for organizational promotion is the exclusive purpose for including Personal Responsibility JUMPING JACKS in this EXERCISE list. Sometimes it is just everyone’s responsibility to find their special way to “spread-the-word” and/or “brag” about who you are or what you do as an organization. Ensuring all participate in Personal Responsibility JUMPING JACKS will build organizational strength.
- Personal Responsibility POWER WALKS
Personal Responsibility POWER WALKS would be customized professional development EXERCISES that enable everyone to confidently “walk-past” non-positive, repetitive, minutia and progress hindering conversations (enough said!)
- Personal Responsibility PUSH-UPS
Effectively completing Personal Responsibility PUSH-UPS is the toughest of all professional development EXERCISES! PUSH-UPS require everyone to listen…listen…listen more…listen better…and listen completely. This Personal Responsibility PUSH UP EXERCISE will then enable everyone to “push-up” employees/students/co-workers by better understanding their issues and make suggestions of progress and continuous improvement.
- Personal Responsibility YOGA
The final…but most important professional development Personal Responsibility EXERCISE is YOGA. EVERYONE…yes EVERYONE needs to practice stretching their work-life (and home-life) service capacities, idea-generation, product upgrades, innovation concepts, etc. Personal Responsibility YOGA would require everyone to stretch, bend, reach, extend and dream…because everyone can help build their own future.
This TRIPLE III TIME message is a little longer than normal…so maybe take each EXERCISE as a separate message and make it count for you and those around you.
This month’s LEARNING MOMENTS podcast is a fun message about possibly keeping those promises you suggest every time you say: “If I Ever Get The Chance…”
Just to help I offer a few ideas of my own based on real-life experiences. Be sure to listen closely and maybe even listen a couple times to gather in the special thoughts.
Have you noticed the extra challenges that seem to make “TEAMING TIME” tougher to achieve in today’s world-of-work? Think about it. As you work hard to assemble maybe 3-10 co-workers/associates/colleagues to work together on solving a problem or to strategize on a cool development issue…doesn’t it seem like a “distraction virus” has infected the room?
What am I describing…let me offer these visuals:
- Only some arrive on time
- Some forget to bring something to write with and/or write on
- Some bring only laptops
- Some bring only cell phones
- Some immediately ask: “How long will this last?”
- Some comment: “This isn’t my job area!”
- Some even bring other “regular” work to spend time on
I know you all know what I mean.
I believe Leadership…strong LEADERSHIP is critical to achieve quality “TEAMING- TIME” in the 21st Century. And rather than spend valuable TRIPLE III TIME message space explaining why this is the case…how about a TOP 10 list of progressive “TEAMING-TIME” concepts.
- Communicate an EXACT start time and an EXACT end time for the “Teaming” session…prior to start-up.
- Require that paper, pens or pencils MUST be brought to the room for note-taking.
- Specify that NO technology (i.e. cell phones or laptops) are allowed in the room.
- Announce immediately at session start-up that: “THIS is what we want to accomplish!’ No sidetrack topics will be added.
- If possible, write on a whiteboard or flip chart the 1-5 discussion priorities related to the topic.
- Require each “TEAMING-TIME” member to offer a 1-2-minute opening statement about their interest/role/hopes for the session.
- Drive discussions with a sense of urgency to arrive at a solid outcome.
- Set an example of effective and efficient time management for the session.
- Retain a goal of simple understand-ability for decisions/actions that result from the session.
- Announce that everyone’s thoughts/opinions matter…so hiding during the “TEAMING-TIME” session will not be allowed.
If these suggestions sound old-fashioned…THEY ARE! Pure “TEAMING-TIME” mostly requires caring people…that lead.
Long ago as a young professional working in the public sector…the term entrepreneurship was never expressed in any segment of my world of work. But make no mistake, chasing non-traditional creative and innovative pilot projects, unique program waiver options and/or designing new public service opportunities as demonstration initiatives, were an everyday…EVERYDAY job/career pursuit.
Well, today so much has changed and I am pleased to share my latest American Society for Public Administration PATimes article entitled: Public Sector Entrepreneurship: PART II. It is a continuous piece on encouraging innovation and creativity in all public sector employment opportunities. I hope you enjoy the special examples.
For those who are regular readers of my TRIPLE III TIME blog messages, you are assuming that this “Planting Seeds” message will be a fun tale about my Dad, spring planting season, and why it is important to begin tomorrows work! Well…you are wrong.
Today we are going to take a survey and think professionally WHO supports you by “Planting Seeds” for your development. Then at the same time…look around and consider those who you may influence by “Planting Seeds” in your workplace, at home or during regular conversations with friends and family.
To be more specific, how often do you use “Planting Seeds” words like:
- Quality matters
- Calculated risk-taking
- Investigating for tomorrow
- Influencing decisions
- Driving the conversation
- Experience-based learning
- Everyone’s a leader
- Remembering your roots
- Not always about the money
- TEAMING is HUGE
I believe it is critical to remember the impact you can have by “Planting Seeds” that are positive and progressive everyday…EVERYDAY! Don’t waste this opportunity to make a quiet undeniable daily difference.
One of the most challenging responsibilities of a leader is Managing Negativity in the workplace. Many times…unfortunately…there is one person in your business or agency that complains about their job, whines about change actions, spreads misinformation about leadership decisions, or all of the above…and maybe more. The result is an ongoing leadership time management dilemma and a need to effectively decide how much time and energy should be dedicated to this often-single Managing Negativity issue?!
Well, my advice/recommendation in this TRIPLE III TIME message comes from my career experience as an organizational leader and my consulting learning moments. When you think about Managing Negativity…think FIRST about ALL of the people you manage. Second, determine the percentage this negative person (or persons) make up of your total workforce. For example, one (1) of ten (10) equals 10% or two (2) of fifty (50) equals 4%. Then ask yourself: Am I dedicating as much leadership time Managing Negativity as I am managing/leading the other 9 or 48 working with me who are doing GREAT?
I believe…I know it is critical for those in leadership positions to try extremely hard to use an “equal-time” guide when Managing Negativity. Those who are trying hard and doing well will appreciate the progressive attention and development time with you. Those practicing negativity will receive no more than “their fair share” of your leadership time and may realize that they are not attaining the special attention they seek. Instead their non-productive habits are causing them to become more distanced from you, co-workers and yes, their job.
Managing Negativity is not easy…but being a great leader isn’t always easy either.
Partnerships…PURE PARTNERSHIPS are often the key to high value, long-term personal and professional relationships. Continually enhancing current and developing new partnerships is just the right thing to do! Hopefully, this PURE PARTNERSHIPS LEARNING MOMENTS podcast offers a few helpful hints along this path.
This week I have been involved in a special evaluation project with a long-time partner organization. As you can guess evaluation has not been my career-long area of interest. Mostly I love being on the front-creative end of any project… instead of researching and measuring how it went. However, this time the evaluation event caused me to look back to my farm roots to better realize missed Evaluation Learning 101 opportunities with my Dad
Dad was always a cautious risk-taker. Whether the challenge was crops, livestock, or farm machinery…he was always ready to try something different. I remember tractors. John Deere, Massey Ferguson, International, and even a David Brown. As a young man, it was fun to work with them, test them and see what was special about each. But interestingly, I never knew what Dad thought…nor did he ever ask me? This absence of Evaluation Learning 101 conversation is the point of this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message.
There is a tremendous amount of Evaluation Learning 101 that never occurs due to a lack of communication. Think about it. Do you have regular communication about unique sales techniques you used that worked great? If you helped a person with a ton of challenges get a start-up job through special coaching time…do all of your co-workers know? Or if you partnered with a new group to have greater access to all kind of cool resources… did you share your strategy?
I wish Dad had shared his Evaluation Learning 101 process for measuring options and opportunities. YOUR Evaluation Learning 101 experiences have lifetime value. So share your Evaluation Learning 101 occurrences every time you can. Waiting for a better time to share may never come.
One of the greatest challenges of being an INNOVATIONIST is trying to maintain a steady supply chain of productivity experience. OK…what the heck did I just say? Well, what I mean is that as you work with people or groups and steadily expend your innovation and creativity energy and ideas…you also need to maintain some form of new, unique, non-traditional input dreamer activity to balance the output action.
This balance is an almost necessity in both your personal and professional worlds. Typically, if you have developed a reputation for being the “IDEAS” person (i.e. Innovationist), friends, family, co-workers, students, and business partners all tend to seek your advice on something. The Innovation Drain that results tends to make you wonder: “Am I losing my edge?” … “Are my Innovationist days numbered?” … or “Can I really help whoever find the creative solutions they need?”
My TRIPLE III TIME response/advice is to make sure you better balance your innovative inputs and outputs. First, make sure you take time to connect with “your own kind” (i.e. fellow Innovationists) to gain regular dreamer inputs. Second, seek out books, articles and other written pieces on new approaches to old problems and absorb the concepts discussed. Third, remember that innovative ideas do NOT have to be big and/or save-the-world impacting. Rather, just inspiring individuals to openly share THEIR IDEAS about continuous improvement…is innovation at it’s best!
Finally, don’t allow The Innovation Drain to continue for a long period of time. Quality, confidence, uniqueness and inspirational spontaneity can all disappear.
Let me know your thoughts.
As I have worked with leaders from the private and public sectors, most recently I have tried to emphasize The Value of Example Setting in all that they do. Close your eyes and think about how you would grade yourself and those in leadership positions that you know…with regard to the professional examples that they set.
Seriously, would you give them (or yourself because YOU are a leader too!) an A – B – C – D – E or F with regard to Example Setting in the areas of:
- Time Management
- Use of Dollars
- Partnership Building
These are the TOP 10 Example Setting areas that I believe are “on display” in both your personal and professional life everyday…EVERYDAY! Therefore, remember The Value of Example Setting is PRICELESS…so never waste the opportunity.