TRIPLE III TIME: Leaders + Innovation

I typically don’t follow the “kindred-spirit” line of thought.  But when I read the following: “Lead Innovators, Don’t Manager Innovation” article by Arlen Meyers…I have to wonder (there’s even a TOP 10!) During my Executive Director days, I was so lucky to have led a diverse group of LEADERS.  Together we innovated and built a culture of progressive action everyday…EVERYDAY.

Please read “Lead Innovators, Don’t Manage Innovation” at least a couple times.  However, the final seven-word sentence says it all.




TRIPLE III TIME: Ranking Compromise #1

There are so many leadership challenges and complex decisions that are “front & center” …at all management levels today.  And part of every challenge/decision is the quest for both sides of an issue to try and get you to “join their side!” Whether the issue is politics, international debates, religion, schools or 21st century business approaches…every discussion drives you to join a specific side.IMG_4570

But think for a moment if everyone were to agree (even take pledge) that  before any discussion begins on a tough topic…that Ranking Compromise #1 will be the exclusive priority?!

What a powerful leadership position!  What if every meeting…at every level began with a leader’s announcement that everyone had to identify and discuss at least three compromise options on every issue?  There would be NO time allowed for attempts to persuade someone to see and come over to “their side of the aisle”.  Nor would anyone have the opportunity to explain why “my way” is better than “your way”.  Only compromise.

This week’s TRIPLE III TIME message really proclaims that Ranking Compromise #1 has evolved into the most important yet absent leadership trait/skill in modern day time.  Ranking Compromise #1 takes mental strength, solid commitment and extreme patience.  However, when successful the resulting discussions, positions and future thought would be example setting to everyone…everywhere!


learning-moments-podcast-logoThis month’s Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast topic title offers a fun play on words: PIT-STOP LEADERSHIP.  However the importance of obtaining, absorbing and appreciating extra leadership help is a serious matter for individual leaders and strong organizations.

I hope you enjoy the moments.

TRIPLE III TIME: Organizational “SHARING” Training?!

I am sure that if I offered a quiz on organizational professional development training, everyone would be able to contribute at least one example. Probably included in the list would be:

  • Customer Servicethumbnail_finger-3653375__340
  • Communication
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Team Building
  • Computer 101/202 (and on and on!)
  • Performance
  • Promotion & The Media


However, I can say without any hesitation…I have never seen, heard about or participated in anything that was labeled:

Organizational SHARING?

But as you can guess and in support of my Inspiring Innovation company title…I believe it is time to consider a new staff training opportunity

Let me try to explain my basic ideas for training in the area of Organizational SHARING.

The goal of an Organizational SHARING workshop/class would be to identify and discuss the unique principles that would be involved in progressively SHARING: Staff, Funding, Services, Products, Facilities and Performance Outcomes.  Included in the discussions would be the challenges of facilitating effective Organizational SHARING that are felt both inside and outside of businesses, agencies, schools and governments.  Partnering and collaboration are key sharing words in most strategic plans and mission statements.  But remember, think real hard…do we just assume everyone knows the principles and processes and possibilities that come via Organizational SHARING?

Bottomlines: First I believe Organizational SHARING is often quietly blended in some areas of staff training…but today it needs to be SPECIAL! Second, SHARING is difficult and requires open discussion to be employed as an Organizational priority.  Finally, I will SHARE an Inspiring Innovations Concept Paper on Organizational SHARING training in a upcoming TRIPLE III TIME message…so stay tuned!


TRIPLE III TIME: The “Dance” of Change

I was one of the luckiest organization leaders ever!  Why?  Well there is a variety and long list of very positive reasons…. but the greatest was everyone’s acceptance that CHANGE was necessary and planned as part of operational action everyday…EVERYDAY!  As a result, we were able to take full advantage of The “Dance” of Change and use it as a continuous improvement launching pad for unique, innovative public service opportunities.

OK…before I go on let me explain what I mean by: The “Dance” of Change.

The “Dance” of Change is when you don’t just take change by the hand and let it lead you.  No, YOU take the lead and become the change example-setter and idea generator.  You assume the pro-active “Dance” position and help build the new product/service…rather than wait and react to what others design.  Also, during The “Dance” of Change…today more than ever before…you take creative steps and make new age technology work for you…rather than let technology be the master of any change actions.

Dance Floor With Couples 1934Progressively managing The “Dance” of Change also requires you to be the organization that sweeps customers off their feet with fresh opportunities and an always new perspective.  As a result, your group becomes the go-to service dancing partner and the one that can be counted on for quality.  Finally, The “Dance” of Change can only be great if everyone that is part of your cause is out on the “bring-it-on” dance floor!  Change…positive change…successful change…can NOT be achieved single-handedly or dancing alone.

Remember, you don’t have to be a great dancer when you grab a partner during The (everyday) “Dance” of Change. Just be a leader.


TRIPLE III TIME: A Quality Conversation…NO…A Conversation About Quality!

1538092570700blobContinuous Improvement has been the center-piece for much of my Inspiring Innovations advisory work over the last few months.  It is always interesting to discuss data, performance, customer service, and communication…but I often get a blank look when I ask: “Do you have regular conversations about QUALITY?”  Or more specifically how do you/we go about really measuring the QUALITY of someone’s efforts and what do you use as your measuring stick(s)?

Well as you can see QUALITY is a unique performance piece to measure in many work-based situations.  And I am sure there are volumes of research information that you could consult and possibly find helpful guidance on this topic.  But today how about if we keep this TRIPLE III TIME message simple and focus on the importance of just having A Conversation About QUALITY and maybe to help get thoughts started…consider these TOP 10 ideas as conversation drivers!

  1. Recognize that QUALITY calculations are mainly offered from a personal perspective.
  2. Recognize that QUALITY allows for a wide variety of input considerations. (i.e. timing, money, personnel, etc.)
  3. Recognize that YOUR QUALITY priority will be different than your co-worker.
  4. Recognize that age affects one’s vision of QUALITY factors.
  5. Recognize that trust is an impactor of QUALITY discussions.
  6. Recognize the “outside influences” that regularly shape your QUALITY views (i.e. newspapers, historians, high-level officials, social media, etc.)
  7. Recognize that people use professional “hiding-places” to escape strong QUALITY conversations.
  8. Recognize and encourage the understanding that QUALITY has diversity in meaning and measurements.
  9. Recognize that change is a required standard in QUALITY applications.
  10. Finally, recognize that A Conversation About QUALITY is continuous improvement at its finest!

Please never shy-away from A Conversation About QUALITY. QUALITY defines who you are as a professional.

TRIPLE III TIME: New Age Teaching

teaching-449x300New Age Teaching was the priority topic for this quarters American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) guest columnist articles.  And as you can guess, I had a couple of strong thoughts and positions on what approaches may help in all educational institutions and at all levels.  Please take the time to read each paragraph completely.  I really hope you enjoy the article: New Age Teaching “Urges” Meeting in the Middle 

Learning Moments: Professional Energy


“Professional Energy” is not a topic discussed as a continuous improvement option very often.  This month’s LEARNING MOMENT gives you five categories of Professional Energy to discuss, debate and share.  Have fun determining your greatest Professional Energy Strength!



thumbnail_image1 (1)OK I will admit it…sometimes I fall into a professional “rut”.  What do I mean by a professional rut?  Well it is those times where fresh, cool ideas just don’t seem to come out easily and your mind surprisingly seems to be an empty cavern of blah!  And to make matters worse, it also seems like the harder you try to come up with “next-step” positives and possibilities…the louder the echo is in the space between your ears.

Well in an effort to help in “Combating RUT-BLOCKAGE!”  as you strive to be GREAT personally and professionally, here is a TOP 10 list of helpful thoughts.

1. Go back in time and think about creative games/activities you came up with to cure youthful boredom.
2. Think about if a friend or colleague came to you suffering from “Combating RUT-BLOCKAGE” …where would you start?
3. Reach back and pull out a past cool idea you had…and consider how it could be even better.
4. Change your physical location for a while and maybe see an old challenge in a different way.
5. Remember that simplicity matters…especially when “Combating RUT-BLOCKAGE” ….so keep a new start light and easy.
6. “Phone a friend” (yes, I copied this one) and share your RUT feelings…it will help.
7. Don’t be afraid to take notes about your RUT-BLOCKAGE frustrations.  Visuals often paint interesting (NEW) pictures?!
8. Ease your frustrations (at least a little) by taking a deep breath knowing your heroes also faced “Combating RUT-BLOCKAGE” moments.
9. Pick a totally different topic that is special to you…and think about how you could make it even more special.
10. Finally, smile and laugh at yourself.  It won’t fill the RUT void…but it will make you feel better.  

Let me know which one(s) work the best!

TRIPLE III TIME: “Recommendations & References”

thumbnail_image1Did you ever have a difficult time asking someone’s permission to list them as a reference on an official document and/or to write a great letter of recommendation about you? At those moments did you ever think about “changing chairs” with them and honestly considering what would you say or write about yourself?  What would be the professional traits, qualities, experiences and achievements that YOU could express that would put YOU in a SPECIAL category?

For this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message, I think it would be an excellent professional development exercise to: (1) make a high-quality list of reference points about YOU…that someone would share if asked, and (2) draft a letter of recommendation about YOU that would identify your personal and professional strengths (i.e. show that you are SPECIAL!)

Think about it! And don’t underestimate or ignore the responsibility pressure you may be placing on a colleague…that YOU now are feeling as the Recommendations & References official!

Well as you seriously take on this unique professional development exercise here are a few suggestions:

  • Be honest and don’t exaggerate
  • Draw from your life and work experiences to talk about:
    • Leadership, communication, trust and teamwork
    • Remember innovation actions and calculated risk taking
    • Use examples of continuous improvement, life-long learning and mentoring
    • Consider compromise and consensus building opportunities

BOTTOMLINE: Sometimes Professional Development and Professional Discomfort may have common goals…because it is tough to decide WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ABOUT YOU!


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