As individuals and organizations look at different ways to maximize their continuous improvement efforts, one special option would be to encourage everyone to become a “A Student of the Job”! There have been a few TRIPLE III TIME messages when I have gotten close to addressing this concept specifically but not as a single, direct topic…and never with the goal of identifying quality continuous improvement areas that would enable you to take a very personal approach to professional growth.
So first imagine if you were opening a textbook written about your job. What would you learn about its history…where it started and what it has become today? Whether its priorities have remained the same…customers changed… or performance factors shifted?
Next, as you proceed through the textbook chapters, think about how it might discuss the events and actions that have impacted your job over the years. Maybe it would ask what political or economic factors have influenced the growth/decline/limits related to your job? Possibly the textbook would assess your job as critical in today’s and tomorrow’s world-of-work… or is it on the extinct list? Finally, the textbook should include what people say about/understand the value of what you do… or how it is taken for granted?
The last segment of the textbook about your job would contain a long list of “WHAT ELSE?!” ideas/opportunities/progressions that would qualify as continuous improvements. As “A Student of the Job” I believe there would also be a bunch of blank pages that would require the reader to make learning comments and suggestions for the next students.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this TRIPLE III TIME message about the value of being a regular student of your job. Continuous improvement options should not be just the employer’s responsibility… it is the employees too. Therefore, the more you know about your job… it’s past… current status and potential… the more you can contribute to its progressive future.
You never know where your Inspiring Innovations, Inc. work will take you. However recently as different groups and organizations, I work with are trying to “find themselves” in today’s product/service world…I creatively ask the question: Does Your Organization Have Its Own “PERSONALITY”?
No, it is not a trick question…. rather it is a critical awareness factor when identifying the perceptions people have as they interact with you!
Think about it. Does your organization/business have a friendly… approachable… safe… encouraging… supportive… join-ability or chance-taking PERSONALITY? Does your agency’s PERSONALITY intimidate… frighten… confuse… over-power… or underwhelm those who may be your customers, service providers, project partners or colleagues? Or as you look for your PERSONALITY… do you get frustrated because there doesn’t appear to be much of a PERSONALITY at all?
I believe… I know it is very important for organizations and businesses to assess their PERSONALITY at least a couple times a year. Also, I think it would be important to ask all employees and partners to comment on your PERSONALITY. Because the foundation of your groups PERSONALITY… are the employees. Collectively they shape, move and deliver examples of your PERSONALITY everyday…EVERYDAY.
Last month we discussed the first three (3) Emerging Leaders skill-building topics of my TOP 10 list. As professionals evolve into leadership positions, I believe there are new age areas that need special focus in order to keep organizations and personnel moving forward. So this LEARNING MOMENTS podcast addresses three more critical topics to assist EMERGING LEADERS.
NOTE: It may be helpful to go back and listen to the June 2019 podcast to recall the initial EMERGING LEADERS skill-building topics…and then listen to this months!
One of my long-time favorite musician, song writer, singer and sometimes philosopher is the late Harry Chapin. I always appreciated the simplicity of the thoughtful messages he built into his easy listening songs…and how I wanted to listen to them over and over again just to make sure I heard every feeling.
During one of his interviews before a concert, Harry shared the following statement on the importance of COMMITMENT:
“Good people…with strong ideas should be measured based on their COMMITMENT to do good things…not whether they win or lose. Having a strong COMMITMENT to do good…really makes life worthwhile.”
This quote made me think about how I always stressed my COMMITMENT to the “cause” of helping people, businesses and the community as a whole. And yes, I thought about winning and losing…but they were never the drivers for what I did.
Bottomline: I hope as leaders in your workplace, as examples to others in your everyday life…that you find that positive/progressive area of COMMITMENT and realize the value of Harry Chapin’s words.
My Dad always wanted me to run for public office…but I never really seriously considered it. Why? I think first I never was given enough information and instruction about the “How’s? and When’s?” of entering a race. But equally, I always looked toward a State or Federal opportunity…instead of something more local as a stronger starting point.
This quarters American Society of Public Administration article entitled: Public Administration: Closer to Home I hope offers a few suggestion points to those considering public office in their futures. I hope you enjoy it.
Problem Solving is an every day… every job… every organization challenge. And like most professional challenges there are a number of styles, methods, and processes that have been researched to offer you the best options for Problem Solving. But sometimes doesn’t it seem like a number of problems get bound-up together? You know what I mean. I believe it is necessary to first apply simplicity in addressing Problem Solving questions…to sort…to study…and to prioritize!
Therefore, this TRIPLE III TIME message will attempt (with the aid of a TOP 10 list of idea-generating questions) …to help with the Problem-Solving challenge!
- Does the problem totally belong to me…or do I share it with someone?
- What need am I specifically trying to satisfy?
- Is my problem unique or have others tried to solve it?
- What kind of solutions am I looking for in solving my problem?
- What other professionals could I contact for help?
- If I researched my problem…where would I look and what might I find?
- Is this problem a long-time issue…or brand new?
- Are there particular timeframes that push me for a quick problem solution?
- Could the problem be broken up into smaller issues?
- Would it be easy to problem solve based on convenience…or work extra to discover a stronger solution which however may cost more time and money?
I will admit that all 10 questions are common sense based. However, common sense sometimes evaporates when the problem seems too big! Baby steps & simplicity could be major Problem Solving formula ingredients.
Back in my Director days…it was always fun to go to Lansing or Detroit or Mt. Pleasant for some form of agency meeting and show up at the office the next morning with at least one new cool concept. I would use different methods to give the idea a “trial-run” with the gang…just to measure the engagement – level with each person. And it was always fun to have them believe that the concept/idea was somehow generated by inspiration I attained from the meeting/training I attended.
Guess what…rarely was that the driver. Instead, it was the special quiet, lengthy Thinking & Dreaming Time I had while driving to and from the event.
I believe one of the most valuable/critical/motivational professional development tools is DEDICATED…PERSONAL Thinking & Dreaming Time. For me I used the one-two-or three hours of drive time that was available every week. During that period, I was on the job…but I allowed myself to regularly go beyond what was…and dream about what could be. There were no interruptions (remember this was before cell phones took over), so my thoughts and dreams had no limitation influence and I just allowed myself to go way beyond anything that was considered regular.
Bottomline: Thinking & Dreaming Time is a development activity that must be individually organized and managed totally in order to be effective. Professional development is a personal responsibility, so carve out quality Thinking & Dreaming Time…use it well…and appreciate the results.
This months Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENT focuses on the “new-age” skill needs of future Emerging Leaders. As you listen you will realize that I don’t believe there are a brand-new set of leadership learnings for the 21st century. Instead, it is just necessary to appropriately evolve familiar skill areas to keep ahead of today’s more quickened operational and developmental business pace. Please listen closely to this month’s LEARNING MOMENT.
One of the most critical skill sets that every leader should have is the strong ability to effectively Read The “ATTITUDE METER”!
What do I mean?
I believe that there should be a special workshop/training session totally devoted to developing a methodology to assess and Read The “ATTITUDE METER” of individual coworkers or groups…quickly! Too often unrealized “attitudes” tend to become “elephants-in-the-room” that negatively slow or even cancel the best project/initiative efforts.
So, wouldn’t it be cool if a workshop/training session helped you read and deal with attitudes like:
- We tried this kind of thing before and it didn’t work.
- No one ever tells me what’s going on.
- I have 63 more important things I could be working on.
- I hope this doesn’t last into lunch time.
- Will we have enough breaks so I can check my cell phone for emails/texts?
- I hope I don’t have to work with <<?>>…we just don’t get along.
- Certain people monopolize these meetings…someone should say “shut-up”.
- I wish he/she would quit bringing up last week’s problems…it’s old news.
- I don’t feel good so everyone will just have to deal with my poor attitude.
- None of what we are talking about is my job…why do I need to be here?
Well by now you can feel the slight bit of sarcasm in this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message. To Read The “ATTITUDE METER” of people means you can read their minds…not possible?! So maybe the single most important workshop/training session leadership directive would be to tell everyone: LEAVE YOUR ATTITUDES AT THE DOOR….because I need your TOTAL attention on this progress issue NOW!
Simplicity does matter.
When I first started the weekly TRIPLE III TIME blog project…INNOVATION and promoting it was my major purpose! But then based on colleague discussions it branched out into multiple professional development areas. However, make no mistake…INNOVATION is still my favorite topic.
So, this week I would like you to check out (and maybe read more than one) online article from the Innovation Excellence Weekly entitled: “Change Management: Combating Resistance and Driving Adoption Through Innovation” by Tamara Ghandour. It outlines an excellent strategy for change attainment and leaves you with a GREAT summary statement.