Category Archives: Triple III
I am not sure why…but more recently the everyday consultant challenge of Finding The “I Can Help Sweet Spot” for individuals and groups has become way more difficult. I know…everyone who knows me…knows I always have ideas. Whether the issue is dealing with performance, developing new service delivery concepts, customer recruitment, staff training…whatever I have ideas. However sometimes even the best ideas don’t seem to be the right ones.
But then as I thought more about Finding The “I Can Help Sweet Spot” situation, I began to realize that this is NOT just a consultant challenge…it is an everyone who works with people challenge!
Today more than ever before it is critical to consider the “place” someone or an organization is before drafting and recommending alternative ways forward for them. The problems and issues people/groups face today are not traditional or historic. They are different and unique.
Next there is the question of “best fit”. Based on YOUR experiences and knowledge YOU are confident that YOU can identify the best “I Can Help Sweet Spot.” WRONG! The most important consideration is THEIR experiences and knowledge and then how together find a best fit option to move them forward.
Finally, people who work with people need to be prepared to recognize that the Sweet Spot may move forward, backward or even side-to-side during the I Can Help process…and this is something no one can control. It is just important to realize and accommodate.
So please keep these realizations in mind when Finding The “I Can Help Sweet Spot”! in your work/life. Don’t think you are failing when your initial ideas and recommendations aren’t a winner. Your authenticity and caring will be your most valuable asset.
I think we have all thought about having someone you trust, admire, appreciate provide you with some professional coaching when dealing with a personal or work-related challenge. Today society would probably label that as having a “Life Coach.”
But this month our Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast takes an inclusive view of this advising responsibly by discussing both Getting & Giving Professional Coaching. Specifically, the LEARNING MOMENTS shared calls on everyone to realize that Coaching is infused into everyone’s personal and professional lives. As a result, whether top-down / side-to-side / or bottom-up Coaching is high value. Even to the point of making it a part of your organizational personnel policies.
Enjoy the listen.
Recently I was involved in the planning for an entrepreneurial event with a small Committee. The Committee was made up of both public and private sector representatives and fortunately a rather wide range of professionals from different age groups. All of course were/are very passionate about helping people start their own business and create unique products and services. And as we discussed what kinds of “mini-sessions” we should have…the oldest gentlemen in the room suggested “how about a workshop on how we need to begin Recognizing The Little Things As BIG!”
I could tell by the combined looks on everyone’s face that they were not sure how to respond or what questions to ask about his suggestion. So just being me I blurted out: “Ok…just what would we talk/train about in our Recognizing The Little Things As BIG mini-session?” Well without hesitation he cleared his throat and began “How about stressing these things:
First tell everyone to treat EVERY customer like they were brand new.
Second be sure to show or tell customers about one new thing you are doing or selling.
Third don’t assume customers know your best product or service…tell them.
Fourth enthusiastically ask them why they stopped by today.
Fifth make sure your total customer service area is neat, clean and has a confident business feel.
Sixth send out one (1) hand written Thank You note to a customer each week.
Seventh co-promote partner companies as best you can because it’s the right thing.
Eighth give the 10th customer each day 20% of their total purchase or a complementary product/service.
Ninth explain to all that work for/with you that if they can’t smile and laugh on the job they will only help in the back.
Tenth set aside a small but prominent spot in your place of business to display why Recognizing The Little Things As BIG is your company motto.”
As you can guess there was a quick unanimous vote to incorporate a Recognizing The Little Things As BIG session in our entrepreneur event…because we already had THE instructor!
(P.S. He also reminded us that all 10 discussion ideas could work in a business/organization online or in person…with a wink.)
In the September/October 2021 edition of the Public Administration Review (a special journal publication), at long last I discovered an article about Collaborative Innovation!
And although the article was prepared by a group of educators and researchers from the United Kingdom, the fact that it focused exclusively on employment development and the “wicked problems” facing today’s labor market was/is totally professionally encouraging!! So as I considered how to adapt the article’s highlights within this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message, I decided to share critical direct passages so that all committed to quality innovation practices may benefit.
“The core principles of collaborative innovation are that innovation can be supported most effectively through: the creation of spaces for mutual learning among stakeholders and from service users; joint ownership of program design, development, and implementation; and empowered participation among stakeholders, through the sharing of risks, resources, and decision-making”.
“Joint ownership through participation and dialogue can improve the implementation of new and bold solutions when different resources are mobilized, exchanged, and coordinated. Real innovation advocates support forms of collaborative decision-making and street-level teamworking that enable: the integration of ideas and consensus-based approach to the selection of most promising solutions; and joint ownership of risks and benefits and a shared commitment to the implementation of new solutions”.
During Collaborative Innovation “empowered participation is facilitated through processes that manage power and resource inequalities among stakeholders…which are defined as policy makers, funders and other “meta-governors” (public, private, and nonprofit organizations involved in the governance and management of services), and user groups and communities. While some forms of power inequalities remain inevitable, governance and management arrangements can empower relevant communities and stakeholders by endowing them with relevant knowledge, rights, and resources to participate in driving innovation”.
There are a number of GREAT concepts and learnings contained in these article excerpts. I hope everyone reads them more than once and realizes that Collaborative Innovation is always a progressive way forward in both the public and private employment sectors.
Patience and waiting for the right moment are NOT strong personality traits among those considered INNOVATORS. In most instances there is a drive…a need to get the new concept out there for trial and error to determine if the creative idea/project/service is as useful and implementation-worthy as dreamed by the INNOVATOR!
However, in the world of real time one must accept the reality that most co-workers and colleagues can NOT read the INNOVATORS mind…and most have NOT gone through the same development thought processes to motivate the creation of the new idea/concept. Hence the result is a collaborative “air” of reluctance to move everyone/everything forward and at the same time a sense of professional deflation within the INNOVATOR.
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME advice: Step back and “Let It Come To You”. If it sounds like I have personal and professional experience in this area…I HAVE! As an INNOVATOR and having had the opportunity to interact with other INNOVATORS…the “Let It Come To You” strategy has many appropriate alternate progress benefits as you still maintain your new idea energy! Think about these options:
- Use your INNOVATOR moments to “touch” and build on other existing project/service areas with a continuous improvement mindset.
- Continue to “feed” pieces of your new idea/concept with others in your organization…but not your whole innovation.
- Openly discuss the need for project/service improvement in your innovation target area on a regular basis.
- Do not stop researching for comparable unique concepts that could improve your innovation even before introduction.
- Finally, keep in mind that most often the harder you push an idea/concept that may be way ahead of its time…the more distance you might create among those who can make (or break) your innovation.
Be an INNOVATOR! But understand that sometimes you have to “Let It Come To You”.
It is now the first week of our new year 2022! And although I was thinking about a message of inspiration and future-thought… I decided we need to start with a “head-on” TRIPLE III TIME topic: Do People REALLY Hear Me?
Think about it.
In this day and age of fast, extensive and multi-faceted communication…it is very necessary and appropriate to regularly ask yourself: Do People REALLY Hear Me? As I thought about the value of this message I couldn’t help but remember the Charlie Brown cartoons/comic strips where the terms “Wha-Wha-Wha-Wha” were regularly used to demonstrate that no one was really listening to someone important. I believe that too often today when we speak or when we listen…the “Wha-Wha-Wha-Wha” syndrome takes effect.
So what’s the potential remedy to resolve the “Wha-Wha-Wha-Wha” syndrome? Here’s a few TRIPLE III TIME ideas:
- Use a blended written & voice strategy to convey your message.
- Don’t be the only, continuous voice when making a point…allow others to share the responsibility.
- Make it a regular practice to ask: Did you hear/understand what I said?
- Apply a strict time limit to each topic and to the overall time dedicated to an individual or group meeting/training.
- Don’t be afraid to use today’s techno-options for unique short communication “lessons” to help people hear you.
- Consider fun, informal small group “Wha-Wha-Wha-Wha” syndrome resolution sessions.
The answer to the Do People REALLY Hear Me? TRIPLE III TIME topic question does not have to be controversial or negative. If everyone understands that professional discomfort is a natural part of personal and professional growth…the answers to achieve quality hearing/listening may come much easier than you think.
Everyone knows about the challenges and discomforts that come with Having The Toughest Talks with someone. Whether its about under-performance with a co-worker, the canceling of an agreement with a partner company or service provider and/or trying to resolve a conflict issue with a family member or friend…the discussion moments are tough! In response some ignore or hide from the challenge(s) hoping that it might resolve itself. Others might take a “my way or the highway” hardline approach just to move it forward (good or bad) in some way.
No one “enjoys” the Having The Toughest Talks moments. I know that I have touched on this issue over the years in other TRIPLE III TIME messages, but today it is time to give it a special TOP 10 “helpful thoughts” blog segment.
- Treat the person/persons how YOU would want to be treated during a Having The Toughest Talks situation.
- Gather as many “facts” as you can regarding the challenge…but stay open to new/additional facts as the tough talks continue.
- Do NOT enter Having The Toughest Talks discussions with your mind already made up on what will happen afterward.
- Appropriately use each person’s age and experience as measuring tools in assessing the situation.
- Leave other people’s opinions “at the door”.
- Listen well and take notes.
- Correctly compute the values related to action options (i.e. firing the person/canceling services/personnel reassignment, etc.)
- Consider the precedent-setting issues that will result from your action or inaction.
- Don’t ignore the option of postponing action on the issue. Sometimes delayed action is a solid positive step for all sides.
- Finally understand the high-value of compromise while Having The Toughest Talks.
I am sure there are more than these TOP 10 “words-of-wisdom” that would be helpful when Having The Toughest Talks. Please add them to this list and build your own set of resolution recommendations. Responding to Having the Toughest Talks incidents will always be “a work in progress”!
How would you react if tomorrow your boss announced that YOU would be preparing and delivering specialty training to a select staff/customer group next week? Would you be ready and confident… or scared and confused?
Well this months Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast focuses totally on offering grounded progressive concepts as you are Taking On The Trainer Role! However, my message is unfortunately very short and only recommends a few strategic trainer planning ideas. But as you listen, I know YOU will expand on each idea and be ready to deliver a GREAT training!
Over the years our TRIPLE III TIME messages have mentioned and discussed the importance and long term value of mentors and life advisors. I believe we should all have at least a couple individuals that are regularly available and professionally comfortable to reach out to…no matter the issue.
Mr. L & Dr. B have been my 40 year (plus) mentors and life advisors. They always provide common idea-sharing support and wisdom…but at any given moment have the capacities to specialize in a professional or personal area of concern. As a result they both have contributed in different ways to my innovative style and professional approach with useful information and “furture-ish” guidance.
But there’s the III question: When do YOU fill that special mentor/advisor role for someone? Let me offer an example.
Recently a friend and colleague called just to share concerns about a tough education related issue. We talked for some time but unfortunately I was not able to offer him a real solid solution for his problem. However, the conversation ended with this statement: “I know we didn’t find a good answer to my issue but just hearing your quiet, listening voice has helped me a lot.”
The moral of this TRIPLE III TIME message is to always…ALWAYS give someone the best information, help and support you can. The example I mentioned caused me to reflect on others who have looked to me for mentoring and life advice…and I found it happens much more often that I realized. Maybe its my age and graying hair…but it is a special honor just to be consulted. So because you will not instantly recognize your “mentoring-moments”…be genuine and positively thoughtful every time.
Thanks again Mr. L & Dr. B.
One of the most critical responsibilities in running a business, organization, school and/or governmental entity is going through the process of implementing a new program, project or service. Helpfully in most cases there are pre-determined administrative planning guidelines and tasks to complete that will hopefully move you toward successful implementation. But what about assembling the right people? Who should be at the implementation table to ensure the strongest new initiative is prepped and ready?
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is dedicated to describing the 5-M’s of Implementation Essentials with regard to personnel necessary for GREAT new initiative start-up and operation. The 5-M’s stand for: Movement (Innovation)-Money (Finances)-Marketing (Customers)-Management (Staff)-Maintenance (Accountability). I believe it is vital to have strong leaders from within your group that specialized in each of these areas to help design and facilitate the best implementation plan possible!
During my career I was very lucky to have representatives from the 5-M’s of Implementation Essentials involved and committed to “across the board” effectiveness, efficiency, unity and performance everyday…EVERYDAY. Did we always agree on everything…NO! But the ever present drive to find and deliver a product that was better than anything currently available…was always a solid motivator.
Bottomline: When it is time to build the right implementation plan and process for ANY new endeavor, be sure to gather dedicated personnel from the areas of Movement (Innovation)-Money (Finances)-Marketing (Customers)-Management (Staff)-Maintenance (Accountability)…and I know you will be very pleased with the future you build together.