Category Archives: Triple III
As a consultant you often get asked for advice or ideas on issues or projects that are not really in your area of expertise… yes marketing! But if you think about it…if the name of your company is: **INSPIRING INNOVATIONS, Inc.** it does make sense that potential customers may ask you about new, cool “innovative”, “inspiring” marketing ideas!
Well, don’t ever think that I would not take on a new challenge. And just to at least deliver this special message in my “comfort zone” style; here is a TOP 10 list of marketing thoughts to consider:
- Stay simple! Big words and long sentences don’t capture attention.
- Focus on one (1) service or product. Promoting a group of things at the same time often creates confusion.
- If possible cool colors adds “attention-drawing” value.
- Target market. Go to where your potential customers hang out…online or in-person.
- Experiment using different marketing options. Don’t assume what will or won’t work.
- Test market your initiative with those you trust. Make sure you ask and get honesty.
- Don’t be lured into being a marketing “copy-cat”. Originality matters.
- If your contact info is included…offer more than one option if possible.
- Product/Service exclusivity is an important marketing message.
- Finally however possible be consistent and regular. Sometimes marketing initiatives need to “age” to be noticed and effective.
You now have my first TRIPLE III TIME Marketing Advice message. I hope one or more ideas help.
One of the major action strategies I use everyday…EVERYDAY in my role(s) as a leader was/is to utilize co-worker EMPOWERMENT to maximize organizational performance and progress. What do I mean by EMPOWERMENT? Think about this simple definition:
“Empowerment-allowing people a choice of performance method and holding them responsible for the results.”
As an employee development tool, empowerment action makes a lot of sense and usually results in good outcomes. However, sometimes in my coaching/consulting moments, my client-customers ask a ton of good questions about “how do you make empowerment work”?
With those questions in mind, how about if we consider these TOP 10 TRIPLE III TIME ideas as The Recipe For EMPOWERMENT!
- Allow Empowerees (yes another new word) time to research work/performance improvement ingredients.
- Enable Empowerees to form new/unique co-worker alliances to improve products/services.
- Commit to the agreement that “perfection” is NOT the expectation…just improvements.
- Support failure in some areas as part of the creativity process.
- Do NOT add “we have always done it this way” comments as a component in your EMPOWERMENT recipe.
- Remember to permit Empowerees to change the recipe as the development process “bakes”.
- Plan for unexpected product/service expansion and/or diversity as EMPOWERMENT grows.
- Employ a new product/service “taste test” (i.e. evaluation system) to reinforce the “responsibility for results” promise.
- Be prepared for criticism and negativity from outside your organization.
- Utilize transparency with Empowerees and share outcomes (positives and negatives) with all involved.
EMPOWERMENT is progressively contagious. So, use The Recipe For EMPOWERMENT with positive optimism. I never regretted its use or potential!
Did you ever think about the option of studying your customers in the format of a science project? Think seriously about it. In my consultant role too often I find that businesses and organizations do not allocate enough time and energy to the natural rediscovery of who their customers are and how they may have changed over the last year or years. And if you are wondering how I facilitate the rediscovery process, here is a list of questions I toss out for individuals or groups to consider when thinking about Customers: Always A Science Project.
- Are your customers historically the same (i.e. male/female/age/income/urban/country/etc.)
- Are your products/services always changing and therefore always causing you to search for different customers?
- Have you ever ranked your customers in relation to their value to your company/organization?
- Do you want a different customer base?
- Do you not really care about a target customer as long as someone is coming through the door or visiting your website?
- Do you “test” new products/services to determine evolving value/need?
- Have you ever changed your hours of operation to consider alternate times to be open?
- Can you consider a transportable business location option…to go to where today’s customers are?
- Have you surveyed customers to help you determine “What-Else” to include in your product/service line-up?
- Do you think GOOGLE, McDonalds, GM, Frito-Lay, and other private and public entities engage in Customers: Always A Science Project actions?
I guess the most important point of this special TRIPLE III TIME TOP 10 list of customer questions is to NEVER TAKE CUSTOMERS FOR GRANTED! Be and stay up-to-date on your ability to be the best and customers will respond.
As our whole economy moves to better position itself locally and across our country…Goal-Setting individually and organizationally has never been more important. So when I read this quote from Orrin Woodward, an author/speaker and management expert, I knew it would be ideal for this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message.
“A goal is a planned conflict against the status quo. By helping teammates develop believable and achievable goals, and the corresponding rewards for achieving them the leader can inspire his/her teammates without micromanaging!”
Did you re-read that first line? “A goal is a planned conflict against the status quo.” When I read that I thought immediately about:
- Innovation & Creativity
- Private & Public Entrepreneurship
- Pilot/Demonstration Projects
- Always A Better Way Vision Statements
Truly I can not think of a more determined and change-driven way of saying its OK to try something new and different!
Today I believe there exists a wide-open opportunity to use Goal-Setting as a motivator for every employee to offer up a new idea or two. If the Goal-Setting discussion process is facilitated correctly by leadership…the opportunity for personnel and company growth could be tremendous!
In a recent workshop session I challenged the group to determine if they…their products and services…were Indispensable to their/today’s marketplace. And as I witnessed a lot of questioning looks on the faces of those in attendance, I realized I needed to better explain my question with a more exact definition of Indispensable.
The definition I gave them was a series of words. I stated that in order to consider yourself or your organization Indispensable…are you:
- All Important
The reaction of the group was quite humbling. And even though they were confident that they individually and as a group were Indispensable…they felt really challenged by THE Value Test!
My Indispensable: THE Value Test was actually very simple. Specifically I first asked:
- Have the potential customers coming through your doors changed? Answer: YES…a lot!
- Have the organizations/businesses you work with changed? Answer: YES…a lot!
- Finally have the needs of the customers/organizations/businesses changed? Answer: YES…a lot!
Then I asked if everything around you has changed “a lot”…what/how have you changed and thereby increased your Indispensable VALUE to the marketplace?
Well I am not going to give you the details of our follow-up discussion. Instead I want everyone to apply the Indispensable: THE Value Test to yourself, your business and/or your organization. Are you Essential, Vital, All Important, Crucial, Imperative, Key and Necessary?? This type of unique strategy session is high value in every workplace situation.
Give the “Test” a try. Honesty and awareness are great motivational and inspirational outcomes.
The task of Leadership Decision-Making for any business or organization is NOT designed to be easy. Whether it is deciding on a financial investment, down-sizing strategy, personnel matter…whatever, every issue has different challenges and mandates appropriate time and deliberation.
Think about it.
In almost every decision area the issue of profit or loss or cost versus benefits come up for assessment. Or maybe with regard to personnel, a certain decision may result in someone being laid-off or transferred to another town, state or even country! SO many considerations have to be reviewed and it is challenging because there is not a PERFECTION IN DECISION-MAKING Guidebook?!
Well this TRIPLE III TIME message is intended to offer a Leadership Decision-Making idea I have benefited from over the years that I call: The “Little-Bit” Strategy. The basic principle of the The “Little-Bit” Strategy is simple…try and make sure your decision on anything helps EVERYONE involved to come away a little bit better and happier. Whether it is awarding separate contracts to two different organizations and thereby sharing the income and responsibility, or assigning a job to a team instead of a single individual and thereby growing diverse project input. The benefits far out-weigh the challenges.
The “Little-Bit” Decision-Making Strategy does not prioritize attempting to please one single individual or group. The “Little-Bit” Strategy also doesn’t cater to the biggest whiner or loudest voice. Its goal is leading by inclusion and shared responsibility.
It’s worked well for me.
One of the most common “critiques” my III partners have regarding the preparation of these weekly messages is that “I have too many messages in one message!” And although I can argue…99% of the time they are absolutely correct. Because as I reread and proofread my drafts…I too can feel the multiple messages, confusion and questions regarding “what is he really trying to say!”
In these growing times of information and messaging overload, it is critical that we assess whether we are Simply Speaking or Speaking Simply. Do we take appropriate steps to make sure our communications convey an accurate, non-wordy, straight-forward message? Do we understand the need for political correctness, but not at the expense of promoting a greater number of issues that cloud our purpose and communication intent? Or do we try to be efficient in our number of messages we send and thereby “say” too much in one which then causes confusion on what is most important?
Speaking Simply is a “cause” that will serve everyone well at home and at the job. If you find yourself Simply Speaking…those reading or listening will get lost in the backlog of words and essentially quit hearing and the most direct meaning of your message is gone.
Ok D.S., J.B., and J.L. I know I’ve said enough.
Worker shortages are a major contributing factor to the supply chain product and service voids felt all around the world. “HIRING NOW” signs can be seen posted everywhere in business windows large and small. Those working in the labor exchange systems have been additionally pressed from both the employer and potential employee standpoint to help make the perfect business-personnel selection decision.
As I have witnessed this scenario unfold, an interesting “weakness” in the worker recruitment process has arisen. With the additional usage of technology in the recruitment, screening and worker selection system, the incidence of Sharing “Multi-Skill” Qualifications has strategically declined.
What do I mean?
I believe that due to the fact that many companies and organizations have now gone to an online application process, the opportunity for candidates to offer a more in-depth description of their total skills has been reduced. Individuals often have skills that may not directly apply to the job they are seeking…however they may be ideal for another project that is “in the hopper!” And with interview and screening time always at a premium, the likelihood of having a segment for Sharing “Multi-Skill” Qualifications is highly unlikely.
It is my TRIPLE III TIME recommendation that improvement for Sharing “Multi-Skill” Qualifications lies equally on both sides of the desk. Job applicants must make it a written and verbal priority to strategically share their direct and indirect employment skills. Business/organization leaders must also structure their employee recruitment systems to capture the maximum professional skills information they can on every candidate.
An additional 30 minutes in both areas could prove invaluable for everyone’s future!
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is about the importance of periodically going through an evaluation process of Recognizing/Identifying Gaps & Weaknesses in you as a professional and/or the organization/business you work for. Isn’t this possibly the greatest example of “professional discomfort” you can think of!?
So then I want everyone to think hard about this professional discomfort generating activity…and honestly determine if you can really complete this type of an evaluation thoroughly.
I can report that I go through this type of process at least once a week. And during my self-assessment steps I think about:
- Did I cover all topics that seemed necessary in the American Government & Politics classes I teach?
- Were there gaps in my instruction or weaknesses in my delivery because I wasn’t prepared?
- Did I interact or follow-up with every consultant customer on their expectations of me…and my assignments to them?
- Did I reveal gaps or weaknesses in their organizational structure, product line, communication methods, etc.?
As you can see there are multiple approaches and useful results that may come out when Recognizing/Identifying Gaps & Weaknesses. Often you may find trends, situations that can lead to creativity and innovative alternatives. And if you extend your assessments to include your team of co-workers, Agency or company, who knows what progress concepts could be suggested.
Finally the Recognizing/Identifying Gaps & Weaknesses activity may help you realize that you may be too close to an issue to see it clearly and/or discover that the problems may not at all be what you thought.
Bottomline: Do NOT just conduct the Recognizing/Identifying Gaps & Weaknesses activity on a random basis. It’s value arises from assessment consistency.
Growing up in a caring family and eventually spending my entire career centered in assisting people/businesses/organizations to “be better”…has caused me to realize that recent times have pushed everyone to try and help even more quickly/completely than ever before.
Think about it.
Our governments are sending millions of dollars to all areas of our economy to help and improve our country. Technology experts are designing and sharing faster, more efficient computer programs every day. Local schools and colleges are blending and modifying learning/training opportunities that quicken the process of education progress.
So how are we doing?
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is a simple answer and recommendation that we all try Slowing The Rush To Help responsibility. What do I mean in everyday practical terms? I mean we need to give the same amount of time to LISTEN to those needing help…as we do prescribing a help solution. Next as we consider an opportunity to help we need to offer assistance based on the TRUE NEEDS of a customer and not help in a way that “fits” our own professional convenience. Finally by Slowing The Rush To Help we may realize that more money or specialty services may not be the best help option. Instead applying PATIENCE, maximizing non-routine OPPORTUNITIES, recruiting additional RESOURCE PARTNERS, and CUSTOMIZING helpful action steps may prove more beneficial.
If we begin Slowing The Rush To Help…time and timing will be on our side.