Category Archives: Triple III
Does your design style and methodology for “getting-the-word-out” regarding your products and services sound/read more like a survey of a piece of property instead of the OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME!? Does your promotion presentation of your products and services look similar to what it did 5-10-or maybe even 20 years ago? Do you place consistency and regularness ahead of creativity and innovation…and employ an “Off The Shelf” principle for describing what’s available in your store/business/organization?
Well this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is all about taking a step or two out of what might be traditional in your business world. Today I want everyone to think totally about a “NOT” Off The Shelf promotion plan!
I believe…no matter your product or service…that there are new ways of drawing new or renewed interest from potential customers. I also believe progressive newness is not always going to cost more money. Think about:
- Allowing people to customize their service/product in some way.
- Creating a series of different choices…that are customer driven.
- Blending product/service options together to solve bigger challenges/needs.
- Using alternative packaging/signage that tells customers that your intent is offering “NOT” Off The Shelf opportunities.
Bottomline: We all need reminding that successful businesses and organizations have customers that brag about their unique…special products and services.
Do your customers brag about you?
Sometimes it is beneficial to look back and try to identify the “Best-Of” actions that resulted in multiple positive/progressive outcomes. One of the areas that I believe it is important to regularly study is successful models of Creating→ Building→ Feeding The “DRIVE To EXCEL”!
What am I trying to say?
As leaders I believe it is critical to be able to identify specific actions and/or activities one undertakes to motivate co-workers to go beyond what is expected. And I do not want to discuss when their “DRIVE To EXCEL” was just a once-in-a-while thing. No… I want everyone to look internally and externally within their organizations to seek out those incidents that directly contributed to Creating → Building → Feeding The “DRIVE To EXCEL” in individuals and maybe groups for an extended period of time! So, are you confused… lost… not really getting this TRIPLE III TIME message? Well I have always believed in example-based learning…. and maybe it’s time for a customized “DRIVE To EXCEL” TOP 10!
- Send pairs of workers to one of your competitors and have them report on the pros and cons of their observations.
- Make random assignments by saying: “If you had no rules and all the money… how would you make our products/services better?”
- Encourage everyone to be a VISIONARY!
- Create special assignments for individuals with complete responsibility and short timeframes.
- Re-blend work teams all the time.
- Change seating “traditions” for every meeting, class, or training.
- Bring in non-traditional training/trainers.
- Go out in your world-of-work and ask someone different: “What do YOU think about…?” … at least weekly.
- Assume the role of a customer… and ask yourself: “Do you like what you see/hear in your company/organization?”
- Finally, take this TRIPLE III TIME message and make everyone in your organization make recommendations addressing the challenge of Creating→ Building→ Feeding The “DRIVE To EXCEL!”
What would be your Return-On-Investment?
When you read this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message title: “Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions”…what do you think about? Do you think about how you are doing in your relationships/performance on the job/planning for the future/or just simply…am I being the best person personally and professionally I can be? Well no matter the topic Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions is never easy!
So as you can guess, this is an extremely challenging topic to share quality ideas/suggestions about. Even choosing the right words to make the best, most appropriate, positive points in this TRIPLE III TIME message has caused me to use more of my eraser than usual already…but here goes.
First, understand that today in our world any issue has more “consideration factors” than in most years/decades past. As a result the simplicity in asking good, effective, timely questions…regardless of topic, seems to have evaporated. Instead it is necessary…even critical to allocate more time, more thought to asking the best questions.
Second, prioritize committing yourself to be someone Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions as a matter of good business. Additionally, make a commitment to ask them with true professionalism and for the purpose of helping “the cause”. Your questions can not be self-serving but to share mutual awareness and development.
Finally, as you continue Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions, those in leadership positions will begin noticing your value in being more knowledgeable, more clear and more progressive regarding challenging issues facing your organization.
Is Asking the TOUGH…TOUGHEST Questions easy? Absolutely not! However, are there classy, professional development opportunities contained in taking part in this undeniable responsibility? 100% YES!
If you looked up the word NETWORKING in an Oxford Dictionary & Wordpower Guide, you would find the following definition:
“Networking-A group of interconnected people…keeping in contact with others to exchange ideas and information.”
The definition and actions that surround the term NETWORKING sound simple and pretty easy to accomplish…right? But for the purpose of continuous professional development this TRIPLE III TIME message will offer a little more in-depth scientific assessment of this “maneuverable” term.
First, I believe to be a high-level NETWORKING agent you must always go beyond your current group of inter-connected people. Stretching yourself to network beyond your comfort zone, is professional development at its finest! Also, with my belief that the need/cause of innovative diversity must always be part of your planning for quality life and work tomorrows…NETWORKING beyond expectations is high value.
Likewise, with the understanding that a good idea can only be good if it is shared…NETWORKING with ideas and information is only logical. But in order to “science it up”…could you categorize your NETWORKING colleagues? Maybe create special section areas like political, private business, education, guest speakers…you get the idea. Or periodically create a NETWORKING challenge/contest about a certain problem issue and who can offer the best solution. Or maybe establishing a specific time every year to have an online moment when all share “The Best Ideas Ever!” for everyone to learn from.
Never underestimate the power of regular, expansive, diverse NETWORKING. It has a wonderful way of expanding your thoughts and idea-generation in the most progressive/positive way.
No matter the product or service, almost all organizations or businesses large and small today have stepped up their focus on QUALITY. Some have a special employee designated exclusively to pursue and enforce QUALITY policies and procedures. Some companies/agencies even have an entire department assigned this very important product/service function.
Well for some reason during my recent consulting learning moments, thoughts about my Grandfather crept into my mind regarding how would he approach the QUALITY issue? Grandpa Nick was a lifetime farmer. No not a big acre/livestock farmer…just a small, proud, solid farmer. And some of my strongest memories of him are seeing him out hoeing a field of beans in almost 100 degree heat in his traditional wide-brim straw hat, dark green pants and long-sleeved shirt (i.e. his uniform). Most vividly I remember stopping to visit on my way home from college and asking: “Grandpa I can’t see one weed in this whole field and didn’t you hoe it once already…what is the point?” His smile was always the same and as he wiped the sweat off his forehead, his answer was both simple and timeless:
“It is the weeds you cannot see that separates a good field of beans from a bad one. If I offered to pay you or Grandma a quarter for every weed you could find…I bet you would find quite a few. And keeping weeds out is not a one day, one time job. You have to make the hoeing out weeds part of your everyday…that’s just good farming. So, when people drive by my fields of beans, they know that my beans will be the best, cleanest beans around…and I’ll make more money too! Now let’s go inside and see if Grandma has a few cookies.”
QUALITY is everyone’s job and you have to take it very personally. Don’t wait for someone to find QUALITY concerns or minimalized products or services in your organization or business. Remember my Grandpa’s words and seek/get out the weeds every day.
Achieving and maintaining some form of continuous growth is an everyday challenge to entities operating in both the private and public sectors. No matter if you manufacture auto headlights or operate a local pre-school, keeping your current workforce, supporting a solid payroll and having a progressive eye on the future is a situation that all of us need to continually revisit and plan around.
Controlled Diversity is a common sense organizational growth strategy that is appropriate for all to consider. What is Controlled Diversity? Controlled Diversity is a limited plan of action for growth and development that YOU control! Standardly, it requires everyone in your workplace to consider what new products/services are “connectable” to your current assets and employee base for ease of expansion. Also, embracing a Controlled Diversity mentality pushes everyone to continually look at upgrades/modifications to your established products/services that could easily/economically expand your customer bases.
I don’t believe Controlled Diversity is a totally new growth concept…rather it is the INCLUSION element recommended in this TRIPLE III TIME message that makes it more comprehensive, relevant and timely today. By following a future plan of growth that purposely includes everyone may give rise to positive results like:
- Activation of internal trends to stay involved in seeking new markets.
- Diversion of attention away from being labeled as a one product/one service company.
- Inspiration for EVERYONE to take responsibility for EVERYONES collective employment and financial future.
Think about applying Controlled Diversity to your organization…is now a good time?
As you can tell from this month’s Inspiring Innovations, LEARNING MOMENTS Podcast title… I have a very personal position on this topic. Today so much has changed with our use of technology and it’s application to our worlds-of-work.
No one wants to be told, “YOU Really Need to Stay Up With the Times”… but doing a “self-techno-assessment” of your status is an important action. So enjoy my discussion on this high value issue as it applies to both your personal and professional life.
As an everyday leader inside and outside your world of work, setting and being the best professional example you can be is critical. Yes, I know we have talked about example setting in other TRIPLE III TIME messages…but have we ever discussed the importance of looking back to measure our example setting actions? In other words have we ever asked ourselves directly: “Do YOU Practice What YOU Preach?”
You know what I mean! Example “Do YOU Practice What YOU Preach?” issues are easy to identify. Think about:
- Do you avoid doing personal stuff at/during work hours?
- Do you practice your own version of allowances for “comp-time” or follow Agency policy?
- Do you share company/organization information equally among co-workers?
- Do you advance company gossip or never “go there”?
- Do you engage in professional development training/workshops as you prescribe for others?
- Do you invite communication advice and/or ideas from all?
- Do you maintain your work/office space?
- Do you step-up to help others or with special projects?
- Do you allow yourself “dream-time” to be continually creative?
- Do you show up late…leave early or set a positive attendance practice?
These ten (10) examples of “Do YOU Practice What YOU Preach?” are just a short list of the leadership “preachings” that have appeared in TRIPLE III TIME messages over the years. And although I do not support offering repeat messages, I do support regularly assessing personal professional progress (i.e. measuring do I practice what I preach!).
There are so many critical personnel issues facing those responsible for manpower in businesses and organizations in today’s world of work. Candidate RECRUITMENT is often part of every consulting session I take part in no matter the private or public sector employer raising the issue. Understandably the majority of my ideas and recommendations are customized for every group. However, I have to report that no matter the entity…no matter the size of the company and no matter the service or product they supply, the initial question I raise regarding RECRUITMENT of workers is: “How old is your stuff?”
Specifically, how old are your job postings, the job descriptions, the media your use to get the word out, the recruitment methods used by your competition and finally is the position you are recruiting for really the specific area your organization needs help in? Too often companies or agencies practice RECRUITMENT BY CONVENIENCE! Instead of doing appropriate employee skill need research…those responsible follow traditional RECRUITMENT and hiring practices (i.e. the most convenience option). The end result is that the person hired may be great…but the job expectations may be much different than what was advertised and discussed thereby creating early two-way confusion and the potential loss of a good person.
Today more than ever before every organization should avoid RECRUITMENT BY CONVENIENCE. Everything…YES EVERYTHING has evolved, modernized, gone high tech and become more job task specialized. Therefore, I recommend that before even launching a personnel RECRUITMENT campaign, conduct an employee skill need analysis with the future in mind. It will be more than worth your time.
It is not surprising that no one regardless of their area of responsibility enjoys the task of personnel evaluation. Most times the forms utilized are formal, ranking someone as a 1-2-3-4-5 is difficult, the conversations that circle around the process are typically uncomfortable and the relationships people have on a day-to-day basis standardly become challenged based on how good or bad the evaluation results are.
Next think about the priorities contained in the evaluation format. Primarily the focus of any evaluation is on what you have accomplished…old news right? And then for corrective action the discussion is how to improve the bad old news…right again? Given the speed and complexity of change occurring in our business and public service worlds of work…is this design really the best use of one-on-one professional development time??
I believe we need to apply innovation strategies to the function of evaluation. How about if we start by embracing the concept of: Evaluating The “FUTURE YOU!”? Remember employees are a company’s/organization’s greatest asset. So, if you are strategizing for continuous improvement…wouldn’t an Evaluating The “FUTURE YOU!” format be most appropriate/necessary?
This format could consider each employee as a small business. As a result the evaluation would require the employee to create their own skill, product, sales, performance, and creativity plans going forward. The discussion would concentrate on what additional value they would bring to themselves and in so doing improve the company/organization. Placing the main focus on the person and their development plan may feel odd at first…but consider the issue of computer upgrading. Computers need to be tended to and upgraded periodically to be needed and more useful to the agency. Maybe by using an Evaluating The “FUTURE YOU!” component for personnel reviews, you may find a new, unique full-growth organizational strategy for upgrading and adding value to your workers!