Tag Archives: change

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Interesting Story

Interesting Story, Now I Get It

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People have told stories for thousands of years. Is story telling the way we learn, grow, and become more successful? Do you have an interesting story?

Story Value

Go to any museum and you may wonder about the story. The artifacts are there, they are clearly visible and on display. We can often read a short version of history on a plaque or push a button to get an audio version. This helps us connect, but we still don’t always know the story.

If we are shopping for a used car, we may want to know the story. When we go to a new small town, or a mom and pop restaurant we may wonder, “What is the story here?”

Better yet, watch an episode of American Pickers or Pawn Stars. When they buy something, they want to know the story. Often you’ll hear the stars of these shows ask about the story and declare a perceived value based mostly on, you guessed it, the story.

Interesting Story

In the workplace, our connection with purpose, why we do what we do, is meaningless without the story.

When we are in training seminars or workshops the value of the training is increased with the story.

You’ve likely heard of death by PowerPoint. You’ve witnessed the endless slide decks that could simply be displayed while the participants watch and read. There is not really a need for the so-called, presenter.

When you want buy-in for your change. When you want your employee teams to learn more, be more, and connect more, you may want to consider the story. Most employable people can talk about or read a slide deck.

When you attend the meeting, go to a seminar, or take a seat in the grand ballroom at the conference the question you really want to know the answer to is, “Do you have an interesting story?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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need training

They Need Training, As The Leader I Don’t

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More common than you may think, the finger is pointing the wrong way. It seems pretty silly, but authority often gives the power of the point. Pointing to this, or pointing to that, and proclaiming a lack of change is the problem. Does your organization need training?

Adapt or Change

One often forgotten part of training is that training means change. Sometimes the boss will point out who needs training, but in his or her mind that means everyone else needs to adapt to their style and way of doing things.

This could be a great idea. It could also be a voice that screams divide and conquer. Conformity under duress is not consensus.

Scorned Employees

Many organizations have scorned employee teams. Employees who have been punished for trying a new way, expressing a different thought, or not abiding by the directions of the boss. Certainly, this may be a balancing act for any employee, and for their boss.

The best path, the one that feels safe, is the path of not too much or too little, just the right amount.

Why are employees sometimes punished for trying to make things better? Is it fear that causes the punishment?

Fear of Inferior

I will never forget the boss who wouldn’t participate in the playful online IQ test. The boss who shared with me how he will have to, “knock her down a few pegs,” because she spoke out of turn in a meeting. And a boss who advised your only role in the meeting is to listen, not contribute.

Another all-time favorite for the list are the bosses who want assessments for the team but are absolutely not interested the same assessment for themselves.

There are countless times that a business owner has recommended training when the front-line team is not the only place that training is needed.

Need Training

There are so many ways to engage, to inspire, and to lead. The small business owner, the boss, or the otherwise noted workplace leader should recommend training and be open to employee development. Not doing so would be such a waste.

One question the leader should always ask, “Are WE getting better?”

Training applies to everyone.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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worked yesterday

This Worked Yesterday, So It Will Work Today

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Habits are what carry most people through each day. Self-improvement experts are always suggesting that people should change their habits. If it worked yesterday, will it work again today?

Many people stick with what is familiar.

Right arm in the right sleeve first, it is the way to put on a jacket.

Coffee before any work begins.

The number four combo in the drive-through restaurant.

In the workplace people often groan about boredom. They can’t stand Monday, start a little happy dance on Wednesday afternoon, and are excited for the end of work on Friday. Included in their status quo are the grumbles about their repetitive, monotonous, and humdrum jobs.

They retire there, but before they do, in their final days, they discover something. They discover that it is their chance to leave something behind. Perhaps it is a legacy, a chance to make an impact, a chance to tell the story of how to make it better and why the work matters.

Risk Change

Some of the best companies have failed. Some of the best companies have changed.

People sometimes proclaim, “Nothing will ever change around here.” Yet it is that same story that they work for each day.

Some businesses strive for process improvement through Six Sigma, or other cleverly named methods of perfecting a process. Reduce waste, improve efficiency, and have no defects.

It is fantastic during the build. It accomplishes something. Long term it creates a mindset of perfect it, lock it in and never change. Then there is the concept of continuous improvement, but then people are at odds with the philosophy. Do we change or stay exactly the same?

Habits are micro steps to creating an outcome. They build confidence or destroy it. Lessons are learned, some should be kept and others discarded. This worked yesterday, it took a while to perfect the process, lock it in. It will work today.

What is familiar is comfortable. Habits are supposed to be the process that creates the desired outcome.

If it worked yesterday, it will work today.

Worked Yesterday

Some things never change and some shouldn’t. Some shouldn’t be the way they are, and some should never have started.

One of the best ways to start your day may be with the optimism of your first day.

I am not completely sure what is going here, but I really want to learn something new.

Maybe this is the best habit of all.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Will AI change

How Will AI Change Your Service?

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Let the cat out of the bag. If you aren’t paying attention to Artificial Intelligence (AI) you may get left behind. Of course, many of us are adopting it and using it with micro changes that are so subtle we barely notice. How will AI change your service?

Easy Targets

Customer service and the customer experience are easy targets for AI intervention. Computers are increasingly storing more and more information about human interactions, behaviors, and patterns.

While privacy has been a concern, it is all happening very fast, and sometimes without your knowledge. These are important aspects, but this likely won’t stop the process.

Simulated voice technology is rapidly expanding. Computers are calling people, and people find it hard to recognize the difference between a human, and the computer. There is face recognition in pictures stored on your phone, the social media channels have data about you, and some suggest big brother is watching.

How can all of this benefit us? It is simple really.

Can You Imagine

Imagine you wake up in the morning, check your calendar on your phone, send a text to person you are meeting with that day that you’ll arrive by 9:00 AM. Later you go to your car, your car won’t start and your car battery starts to lose power and eventually dies. Now you won’t make your 9:00 AM.

AI knows all of this. It knows your calendar, who you are meeting, and that you confirmed the appointment. It knows you tried to start your car several times. Your car reported a check engine situation and right before the battery died it sent an electronic signal indicating what was happening.

Will AI Change Your Service

Now you need a ride, you need to notify the person you are meeting with, and you need to know how long until you can actually arrive. Guess what, AI can manage all of this. It knows your location, how long until Uber can be there, the location you are going to, traffic patterns, and more.

No need for you to panic, make calls, calculate times, and adjust schedules. AI can do it all. In fact, it can not only do it faster, it can do it better because it has more data on current situations that may affect your journey.

The future of the best customer experience exists in AI. It has already started.

Therefore, the best question may not be, “How will AI change your service?” The best question may be, “How fast can you jump on board?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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things will change

Things Will Change. Will You, Are You?

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Many people just want to move forward, yet they compare and contrast everything to the past. Often people are looking for differences and identifying that the unknown may not work. Things will change, the biggest question may be, “Will you?”

My cell phone failed a drop test last week. I knew immediately that there really wasn’t a choice, but to replace it. Two and a half years is a long time in the technology world. I didn’t really want any change, but I felt that I had no choice. Things have changed, and so have I.

Better Future

There could be lots of argument about technology or society. The big question often is, “Will the future be better?”

We are on the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI) and while that has many scary aspects, especially those connected to privacy or jobs, it is our future. It is not even likely, it is a given. AI is happening and it is happening without a stop sign.

Our future won’t be the same. Some things will work, some will delight, and others will cause fear, hesitation, and distrust.

All of this is likely not much different from a first ride at 35 mph in an automobile. Not really different from the introduction of the motorized bicycle, or to be flying several thousand feet high in a winged motorized vehicle.

There were people who likely scoffed at the idea. Said it won’t work, wouldn’t last, wouldn’t stick, and was dangerous. In the early 1990’s some proclaimed the pending emergence of the internet was a fad, it wouldn’t last, and people largely would not be interested to join.

Things Will Change

Many predictors of the future base their predictions on the past. This is often true for individual behavior. It is not so true for society or world cultures.

Things will change if you allow it to happen. Your workplace can become better, more prosperous, and successful. The way you did it three or five years ago may still work, but if you’re not eager about what is next, it is time to start looking.

The question is not about when, because the timing is now.  The only question remaining is, “Will you?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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changing organizations

Changing Organizations and Why Some Never Will

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What you like, you like. Many people like the comfort of knowing the outcome, even when it may not be favorable. What is one thing that changing organizations have in common? It may have something to do with the people, but it is more likely about attitudes and beliefs.

Same Story

Many people get up and go to work each day. They may not be particularly happy or sad, angry or excitingly engaged, they are just existing. They learned their job a long time ago. Starting the day is easy. They’ve been doing it five times per week for years.

These people have a certain attitude about change. They don’t really like it. For them, it seems to make sense to live with the known, the repetitive, and the understood. It probably started as an adolescent. Get up go to school, come home, do some homework and chores, and repeat.

Certainly, there isn’t really anything wrong with any of that, it seems like it is safe. Not really too risky, and you likely know the results. It is an attitude about how to earn a living and build a life.

Thirst for Change

There are other attitudes as well. Some people see things that aren’t working and they want to fix them. They see a goal, and they want to beat it. When they hear about a competitor’s success, they want to exceed it.

Are these different people? Perhaps you could make that argument but really, the people have different attitudes or beliefs on how to execute. This is exactly why some organizations will never change and why many will wait until it is too late or until they are beyond the energy of the curve.

Changing Organizations

Changing organizations, the ones that makes room for change, the first adopters, technology seekers, and fast trackers, they’ll have success and some failures. They experience the front side of the curve, or at a minimum they act before it is too late.

It is the organizational attitude that allows people to lead. Front-runners know how to petal and to push, and they create the ride that pulls everyone else along.

All of the other organizations are coasting. The best question may be, “How long can they coast?” The down side of the curve will only last so long.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Status Quo

Confronting the Status Quo, What Is It Worth?

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Some work doesn’t come with a price tag, it is priceless. The hardest work for organizations is often confronting the status quo. It is the ground where experience and knowledge meet and advise that any change is a counterproductive threat to the work accomplished so far.

What’s it Worth

Think of the business ventures that failed to change, or changed too late. There are some good ones. Kodak and Blockbuster are two.

Many people believe that their workday energy is best spent fighting to keep the status quo. They need to use their energy wisely. Otherwise, someone may change something. That seems like a waste.

Imagine the onlookers at Kodak, watching digital imagining bit-by-bit, byte-by-byte, weakening their traditional film business. The very energy spent to protect the status quo was actually energy spent on their own demise.

All of that energy spent fighting to keep things the same. What is that worth?

Energy Spending

Imagine instead if all of the energy spent on protection was spent on real work. What if it was spent navigating the hurdles, the obstacles, and confronting the status quo. What would that look like?

Think for a moment, what if all of the resources were instead spent on observing what is challenging the customer and then making it easier, better and faster to do business. Instead of cheaper, with less overhead and reduced touch points.

What if the customer was considered the best investment? What if it started internally and spread virally externally?

Is it possible to reduce the friction of the customer journey? Can the organization shorten lead times, ship sooner, and stand by the product, will they?

What if internal teams actually started working together and stopped pointing fingers, and casting blame across departments?

Status Quo

What hard work would you rather do?

Confronting the status quo is hard, but for those who put in the effort and carry it through to produce lasting change that saves businesses, it is priceless.

All of that other hard work. It isn’t worth a dime.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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c suite authoritarian

How to Navigate the C Suite Authoritarian

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We know that we should do it his or her way. We know enough not to speak unless we are asked. The C suite authoritarian is out there. Is there one in your organization?

C suite Authoritarian

They are out there, thriving on the throne. They probably are not guiding the best organizations but they may be guiding one that is reasonably successful.

The C suite authoritarian thrives on a mismanaged and misguided means of power. They typically live by the, “my way or the highway” approach. They are the authority, sometimes in their mind, the only authority. You should listen, or else.

What is missing with the C suite authoritarian, nearly everything except for the flexing of muscle and the motivation caused by fear.

Motivation through fear is almost never a good thing. Motivation through inspiration is the standard to set. The authoritarian lacks this though, leaving the employees feeling forced to participate.

Navigating the Rough Stuff

Navigating the C suite authoritarian can be tricky, but here are a few universal guidelines that may help.

  • Expecting Change. If you are expecting to change the authoritarian, you may face much disappointment. Remember this person typically only see’s things his or her way. They know it to be the best way (in their mind) and you’re not going to change that. Stubborn is a word sometimes used. Don’t expect them to change.
  • Understand Metrics. Most authoritarians are pushing towards some specific metrics. For them, the value of the person typically takes a backseat to the value of the metric. They, by nature, are not really a people person. Results are what matters and the employees are merely a vehicle to get results. Consider focusing as much as possible on metrics.
  • Gain Trust. Probably no one feels lonelier than the authoritarian does. They like it that way, since everyone knows [sarcasm] it is lonely at the top. The authoritarian typically doesn’t trust, that is part of why they command through demands. They also may be a bit paranoid but will deny both. Show them you’ll take the hits and keep on ticking, you’re here for them.

There are so many factors to consider and for the employee who doesn’t know which way the wind will blow today, it is terribly disappointing.

Authoritarians Thrive

Generally speaking the authoritarians thrive in areas where or when unemployment is in their favor.

They often appear in the mom and pop business, or are often present in the largest gig (or only gig) in town. If unemployment is high, there are fewer choices so people put up with it. Still, trust is typically very low in these organizations and turnover and absenteeism are high.

Not surprising, the C suite authoritarian is often the first to complain about a lack of available workforce. Sometimes it is true, sometimes it is the organizations reputation that limits interest.

Your Choice

Long term you typically have two choices. You can leave, or you can lower your expectations and navigate the system. If you navigate carefully and get closer to the top, you may be the shining example, the light in the tunnel, or the hope that the rest of the team needs.

Every great future story of success probably has a chapter about hardship. I have always liked the story where the underdog wins.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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simulation experience

Simulation Experience, It Is Not The Real Thing

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Are simulations and real life experiences the same thing? When we want to change or transform an organizational culture, can we do it through simulation? Do you have simulation experience or the real thing?

Real or Simulation

In our organizations, we can experience safety training, productivity training, or be warned of what is, or is not, harassment.

We may also get training about culture, leadership, and the importance of delivering exceptional service.

I can play a fifty-nine minute video on my sixty-inch television that looks like a fireplace burning. This is a simulation. Sure I can turn up the heat and put on some ambiance music and make it all seem pretty cool. Is this the same as the real deal? What have I just experienced?

Is the video game, the scary movie, or reality TV show the same as real-life experiences? We sometimes like to think so, it gives us an experience but that experience exists within a safety zone. It is not real. The consequences are different and as a result so are the experiences.

Simulation Experience

When people have had a close call, a near to the real experience, experience, it may be enough to alter behaviors. It seems that the key may be to simulate as much as possible to create the feeling of reality. This is still, always, simulation experience.

So when we want to transform an organization. When we want to deliver a better sales experience, better customer service, and have a culture of growth and inspiration. A simulation may not be enough.

We can’t live within the comfort of safety that is provided by the simulation. The real thing has to occur. Sure, we may get inspired or motivated to attempt a positive change, but until we actually experience it, it is just a simulation.

The simulation experience provides safety. It shields us psychologically from the real thing.

That makes it pretty easy to turn off the transformation and go back to the comfort of our safety zone.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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New habits

New Habits Are a Decision You Can Make

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Personal or professional change is always a topic that invokes interest. Many people consider that they want to make a change, make a difference, or discover something new. Have you considered how new habits are about decisions you make?

Wanting New Habits

Someone will suggest that they want to get more exercise, read more books, or learn more about something they have always wanted to do. What is required to make this happen? The quick and easy response is change.

Your days are likely filled with activity. Depending on your work, your personal responsibilities, and your discipline (note discipline, not motivation) you can make a change. The question you may have to ask yourself is what will you give up?

Out with Old Habits

Old habits are hard to kick. Attraction to the path of least resistance is easier than the discipline required to make a change.

I want the chocolate cake is more desirable than I won’t eat the cake because of the outcomes that will follow.

Taking a little snooze while watching some television is easier than getting dressed in some workout gear and heading to the gym.

Having a nice cup of coffee and processing emails or joining in the office chat is easier than calling some clients to ask about the recent service you provided.

Sometimes we can this motivation, but it really is more about discipline.

Requirements

New habits require at least two things. They require you to give something up, and they require you to have the discipline to continue to do the new repetitively.

When I’m coaching people they often can’t see how they will make a change. Their day is full, their time is committed, and their energy and work to life balance is set. It makes me smile because that is exactly why we are talking. They need a change.

New Habits New Steps

Recognizing the need for change is the first step. Next, you have to consider what you will give up. Will it be the chocolate cake, the television snooze, or the smooth and easy flow of what you call the daily grind?

If you’ve decided you need a change. Identify what you’ll give up and commit to the discipline to stick to it.

New habits are possible but only when you decide.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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