In the past year I have had the opportunity to view a number of organization charts from agencies large and small… and even a few private sector companies. Keep in mind that I was only able to look at them just for awareness purposes. However, my “always a better way” mind almost instantly took me into that “I wonder if they would let me innovate this” zone!
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message will use my TOP 10 format to raise some innovation zone issues with regard to Organization “Charting”. Our times and purpose are so different today. Does YOUR chart reflect the change factor?
- Does your chart only change when employees change?
- When was the last time you audited your Organization Chart for accuracy?
- Are the positions still valid… the same?
- Are the chart’s service/product divisions appropriate for the times?
- Do the lines of supervision and reporting still make sense?
- Would the Board of Directors understand/support the structure the chart represents?
- Do the job titles correctly represent up-to-date employee responsibilities?
- Is your Organization Chart confusing, overwhelming, not enough or too much information?
- Can you easily see gaps in employee accountability?
- Does your Organization Chart feel like it needs to be a constant work in progress?
The goal of this TRIPLE III TIME message is to simply encourage everyone to review/assess their Organization Chart. Does it give a feel of “where you have been”…or an energy of “where you are going”?
Take a hard look!
Sometimes in my LEARNING MOMENTS podcasts or my TRIPLE III TIME blog messages I promote the need to “take your job personally.” And by doing so I am hoping you make your employment experiences all that they can be and possibly more.
This month’s Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast topic “Are You A Student Of Your Business… Your Job?” … is all about heightening your PERSONAL interest and commitment to being professionally successful. During the podcast I offer a series of self-evaluation questions that should help enhance your “Student” efforts and perhaps become The Greatest Of All Time!
Enjoy the message.
Leadership is and continues to be an ever-learning professional skill area. Even when you think you have “mastered the art” of understanding and implementing great leadership strategies, a new, different, 21st century challenge arises.
Recently a great friend and colleague passed along highlights from a leadership training series her group sponsored. The workshops were presented by Lou Rabaut and here are several self-improvement reminders he shared:
- An emotional (psychic) paycheck is important to an employee’s job satisfaction.
- It isn’t always what is said, but how it is said that influences your team.
- Emotional intelligence is something that can be learned and developed, and will add value to anyone’s leadership and other relationships.
- People who are more emotionally intelligent tend to be more self-aware, self-confident, empathic, curious, passionate, optimistic, adaptable, grateful and balanced. They also tend to be deeper thinkers, change agents, and can discern wants from needs.
- You cannot influence people unless they trust you; trust happens when a person is competent, acts with character and connects with others.
- When engaged in conflict resolution with your team members: define the conflict as us versus the problem, identify shared values/beliefs/concerns, separate opinions from facts, and actively listen.
- Consider using an O3 (one-on-one) meeting with your team members: a regularly scheduled meeting between the employee and the leader, is managed by the employee, sticks to an agenda, keeps alignment/focus, and helps prevent emergencies.
- Remember that not everyone learns the same way you do.
- An effective on-boarding process for a new hire leads to greater probability of retention.
Thanks Jackie for helping all of the TRIPLE III TIME readers benefit from one of the leadership opportunities you arranged for your organization.
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.
Sometimes it is so important as a concerned U.S. citizen and career-long public servant to stop and evaluate the governmental decision-making processes in your own backyard. In my world of work Public Administration In Rural America has and continues to be an ongoing area of progressive concern.
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message is my quarterly American Society of Public Administration article. In it I “gingerly” address the topic of aging rural elected officials and the limited decision-making credentials they often retain. As always I briefly offer a couple innovative system improvement ideas regarding these challenges. However as you read the article…think about small city, township, county and special purpose governmental units and their board make-ups. Concerns?
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.
Professional Affiliations: “An organization or group a person belongs to based on involvement in a particular profession.”
As I have regularly discussed and encouraged professional development and keeping an accurate life-long record of where you have worked…your education credentials…special achievements and awards; I realize one area that I have “skipped-over” is identifying Professional Affiliations. You all know what I am referring to. I mean having a membership with organizations like: Chambers of Commerce, alumni groups, education associations, Farm Bureau…and the list goes on. And in most instances their value comes out during a job search action or career change. Specifically Professional Affiliations are most often listed on resumes to demonstrate one’s involvement in personal development beyond a day job.
This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message however will go beyond just words on paper and focus on the “action value” of maintaining Professional Affiliations. During my career I can not even guess the never-ending benefits I have obtained from my Professional Affiliation networks! Example benefits include basic sharing and learning about new ideas, extending interests in a professional growth area, participating in a cool event and/or just obtaining independent advice on an issue or problem. These are not just stagnant, readable benefits…they are activities that show how your Professional Affiliations are a vital part of your ever growing/changing career.
It is also important NOT to minimize any personal growth/development group you are or HAVE BEEN part of. Being involved in a church choir, joining the FFA, becoming a band or National Honor Society member…and on and on! You will never know when or where one of your Professional Affiliations (old or new) may help you.
Bottomline: Take stock of your TOTAL Professional Affiliations. Take action to appreciate their written and action value. Finally keep building your Professional Affiliations in a diverse way…the benefits are endless.
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.