Category Archives: pivot

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consistent influence

Consistent Influence Promotes Patterns of Change

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Are you trying to shape a positive culture? Is a change required to navigate your current business climate? Consistent influence may be the most underestimated action you can take.

How do cultures shift or change? How does a seasoned workplace leader learn new habits that will help him or her navigate shifting workforce ideologies?

Many organizations invest in training. It is the right thing to do. Whether it is technical skills or people skills, training makes a difference and it always matters.

Another important aspect of any organization is its culture. Those collections of ideas, norms, and values. The symbols, the branding, and belief systems. And let’s not forget the role models. Sometimes knowingly or unknowingly people are looking at others for behavioral guidance.

How do you engage to make the good things better, the bad things fewer, and promote a new path to success?

Consistent Influence

Training is an influence. The network of people engaged in your organization is part of the influence. Whether it is employees, customers, or even vendors, they are all part of the organizational ecosystem.

Change doesn’t happen without change.

Recently, a manager commented during a training event, “Getting people engaged around here has been a problem for 27 years.”

After thinking for a moment, I responded with, “Who owns that?”

The room was quite for a few long seconds.

My belief is that this was a fair question.

It’s easy to throw our hands up in the air and claim that it won’t work. It’s easy to blame the onboarding practices, the economy, or the government.

In the end, the organization needs to survive and ideally grow.

Workplace leaders have a responsibility to be relentless in their pursuit of role modeling the desired behaviors for the future. Whether that is getting back to the roots, or shifting forward to meet the demands of shifting societal ideologies.

Consistent influence will help those charged with change create the desired outcomes.

Just like a shower or a bath, training and influence is not a one and done. You have to refresh regularly.

Back to that manager. Following the training, he approached me and thanked me for working with their team. His closing comment to me was, “I learned a lot.”

Practice what you’ve learned.

Consistent influence.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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changing minds

Changing Minds May Be The Secret To Your Success

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What are you seeking to do next? Are you in the business of changing minds?

When you enter the meeting and there is a published agenda you likely have an idea of direction. Even when you may suggest, “I’ll wait to see what they say.”

Nearly everyone is making choices and decisions based on their frame. They have limitations in various directions. There may be some room to compromise or the parameters may be fixed.

Computer scientists tell us that there are variables and constants. Variables can change, but constants remain the same during any program execution.

When it comes to people what are you trying to change?

Changing Minds

Many people want the data, the research, and the history. They’ll decide about their willingness to shift by looking at the constants.

Not every choice is an exact science. Most of our decisions or choices are connected to an emotion. It may be a belief, but belief often lacks science. It’s missing the proof that logical thinkers need in order to feel.

It seems that when you really want to change minds, you’re going to have provide the data, create a belief, or both.

Changing minds then is a framework of thought. It will always be conditioned how people feel about the situation and sometimes that feeling will develop through the data, sometimes without.

Forcing a change is often not successful because people are taking action against their beliefs.

A compelling call-to-action, something that develops through choice is much more powerful.

Thus, the popular comment, “You can’t change people.”

People change when they’ve made a choice to do so.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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gone sideways

Gone Sideways and Self-Help For Your Efforts

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Have you ever felt like the project took a wrong turn? Have things gone sideways? Maybe you don’t even notice it, yet?

Committed people sometimes do some very strange things. Onlookers wonder why the commitment sticks even when there is evidence clearly illustrating it’s failing.

In all likelihood, there are multiple angles or points of view. One of the common yet somewhat unrealized traps is staying committed because of all the effort already put in.

It’s often hard to make the right choice. Someone wants to abort the project early and someone else wants to hang in there because, “We’ve already invested so much.”

Everyone recognizes hindsight often tells a different story, either way.

The right now is not hindsight and it’s also not foresight.

What should you do?

Gone Sideways

For the customer, you need to do the right thing. For the team and even your community, you must do the right thing.

Yes, even for yourself, you must make a good decision now.

Many people believe that every day they are in a tactical firefight at their workplace. So many things happening so fast, so many loose ends, and so much drama.

What do they do?

They fight the fire. They address problems as emergencies and face the wrath of whatever unfolds next.

Problem-solving is a key skill for leadership. If you are good at it, you should be proud. However, when tactical firefights are so commonplace that you fail to execute strategy everyone loses.

The project gone sideways either needs to stop, start again, or redirect. Stuck won’t work and neither will additional wasted effort.

The same is true with poorly performing employees.

Learning from the past is powerful. It goes hand-in-hand with knowing when to pivot.

A strategic focus needs a tactical approach.

Tactics only, without a vision for the future, are sure to send you sideways.

You don’t have to believe it now, but you will when you check your data.

Commit to the strategy. The tactics of getting there may need to be adjusted.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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mindset predicts

Mindset Predicts the End of the Story

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What does the end result have to do with what your mindset predicts?

Everything.

Many star athletes claim that they visualize their success. Fast starts, being ahead at the middle, and strong finishes.

In business, many people and organizations visualize what comes next. Most of the success stories probably don’t start by visualizing hardship or failure.

While what many would label as a positive mindset doesn’t solve all the problems, or overcome every hurdle, it may be the difference between winning and losing.

In any competitive environment, it often feels like a race. A race to be first, a race to endure, and a race of the strongest finishers. Even a race against time, because short bursts aren’t always sustainable.

Visualizing what things look like at the start, the mid-point, and the finish will matter. It will also matter when the measurement is taken. The half-way point, the third leg, or when the clock expires.

Sometimes the biggest challenges are those that you create.

Mindset Predicts

A fumble in the first quarter may be undesirable, but there is still time. When you need a score and fumble with only seconds remaining, all hope may be lost.

Hope is part of mindset. It is why many games are won or lost before the players even take the field.

Winners are sometimes spotted in the first quarter, momentum grows, and a defeat for the opponent is realized.

Perhaps you can’t win on mindset alone, yet it can be the beginning of any defeat.

Story told.

What are you telling yourself?

-DEG

Looking for ways to explore a deeper mindset? It’s why I wrote this book, get it on Amazon.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Hard decisions

Hard Decisions, Bad Habits and Your Energy

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Are you facing some hard decisions? What differentiates the level of difficulty or is it only about comfort, risk, and confidence?

Organizations often make decisions about what things will look like next. They have some level of confidence because they’ve done the math, considered options, and set the timelines.

The decision feels good because they’ve prepared.

Yet it seems that somewhere in the organization there is a gap. Someone left out information, distorted the facts for their own agenda, or acted on impulse out of fear.

Real issues are not always brought to the table. There seems to be too much at stake.

If I speak up, my boss will dislike me.

I’m not really sure. I’ve learned to keep quiet.

Everyone else believes this is the right move, so I will just agree.

The end result of the avoidance to address real issues is often poor decisions.

Was the decision easy or was it hard?

Complexity of Habits

Decisions are more challenging when there are different ideas.

Go to a restaurant with fifty items on the menu, or go to a restaurant with five items on the menu. It is easier to pick from five rather than fifty.

There is one exception. The exception is knowing what you want in advance.

If you always order a cheeseburger, and stick with it, the choice isn’t hard. It’s about a habit, not change.

People and businesses can get stuck with habits.

They can get stuck when the decision feels harder than staying the same.

Hard Decisions

It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to only half-listen. Listening is hard work and that is why so many people listen less. Because it is hard, and takes extra effort.

The same often happens with decisions. The extra effort feels like a waste energy. Energy to get through the day, put up with the nonsense, or listen during the meeting.

The hardest decisions are often the poorest decisions. Not because they were hard but because no one cared enough to put in the energy.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace fairness

Workplace Fairness Should Be Abundant

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Life isn’t always fair, at least, that is what we’re often told. Yet people want to be granted the opportunity for fairness. Can you impact workplace fairness?

Have you ever heard someone suggest that things are too fair?

It seems that the scarce resources are much more noteworthy.

What’s Fair

Fairness becomes an issue when we see differences. In the workplace it is true for gender, race, the generations, and so much more.

People often reference the golden rule. “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” And, in generational talks I often reference that there may be a shift in the golden rule. Perhaps a different view is, treat others the way they would like to be treated.

Despite all of the efforts of many, people still form cliques. They desire to cling to people who are just like themselves or who have exactly the same values and beliefs.

Fairness is problematic for job status, promotions, and perks.

The management team is treated differently than the front-line crew.

Awareness is often the first step in making a positive change.

Workplace Fairness

It is surprising sometimes the number of people who fail to recognize their own ability to be fair. Fairness to you may not look like fairness to someone else.

This is exactly why the golden rule may need some deeper examination.

What is the right thing to do? Do people do the right thing?

Now more than ever it is important for everyone to dig deep and make it better.

Often the first step in making things fairer is dependent upon your own actions. If you feel like it is the right thing to do then there really shouldn’t be a reason why you are not.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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precious workplace resources

Precious Workplace Resources and Using Them

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Marketing is a struggle spot for many businesses. So is making great choices about talent. What are your most precious workplace resources? Are you using them effectively?

Technology and automation are both king and queen in many operations. Business strive to scale. They strive to attain the most efficiency and balance it with low cost.

Time is always a factor. How much, how fast, and how great is the quality? It’s true for both goods, and for services.

Focus is a factor when it comes to resources. Focus on nothing and you’ll likely get nothing.

Businesses and people sometimes focus too broad, or the opposite, too narrow.

The broad approach is often labeled, spray and pray. You throw a bunch of stuff out there and you see what sticks. It’s often the concept of spam.

Too narrow, and opportunities are missed. Product value is weakened or doesn’t fit like it potentially could. Services don’t provide enough depth.

Precious Workplace Resources

In the workplace it is often easy for people to appear busy. Busy is not proof of productivity, efficiency, or effectiveness. It may be proof that motion is occurring, but motion in most instances is not the point.

You can walk or run on a treadmill, yet you aren’t going any place. The argument may be that your improving fitness, and that may be true, but you haven’t changed your location.

It’s true for rocking in a rocking chair, it’s true for writing a book and never publishing it. Unless your goal is that act of doing, you’re not going anywhere.

Effectively using your most precious workplace resources has several important aspects. You should figure out where you’re going, monitor progress, and pivot your plan as appropriate along the way.

Both change and utilization are about decisions and choices. Those opportunities start with awareness.

If you think a lot of motion in the rocking chair will get you across town.

You’re mistaken.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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traveling forward

Traveling Forward Is Your Only Path

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It’s your only path because you cannot go backwards. When you recognize traveling forward is your only route, embracing it becomes less difficult.

You can’t freeze time. It doesn’t stop. Fix a telescope on the constellation Orion and it keeps moving. In our view of the sky, so does the Sun and the Moon.

Returning to Normal, or Not?

There are certainly many lessons being learned during the spring of 2020.

One that perhaps hasn’t been fully considered is that there is only one path forward. You can’t stay exactly the same because you can’t freeze time. You can’t go back either.

There is not going to be a return to normal. A new normal perhaps, but not a return to the old normal. Things are different now.

Changed for a long time, if not forever, people will think differently about social gatherings. Commerce will be different. Certain fears are new or older ones rekindled or solidified.

Will there be an “all clear?”

Even if there is, or when there is, many people still won’t believe it. Some don’t believe it now, and some won’t believe it later.

Fear will impact the quality of decisions. There will be fear of a virus, fear of legal issues, and fear of the unknown.

Fear is always a motivator. Unfortunately, being fearful isn’t the design of the most successful organizational cultures.

Traveling Forward

Forward is your only choice. The cause and effect of decisions you make will affect today and tomorrow, but not yesterday.

Expecting that there will be a return to normal is thoughtless. It’s an assumption based on desire not on practicality.

Tomorrow will be different from today. Even if you tried to stop tomorrow from happening it’s still coming.

When you accept that traveling forward is the only path you should also consider asking yourself what you’ll change.

You have a chance every day to make tomorrow better than the day before. Assumptions about normal are simply a state of right now.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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unexpected choices

Unexpected Choices Spark a Pivot.

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Decisions sometimes need to be made even when it is undesirable. Have you encountered unexpected choices during adverse conditions?

If you have, then you’ve probably recognized that freezing, seizing up, or having a reluctance to consider alternatives may result in poor choices.

People deal with the stress of the unexpected in different ways. Some immediately want to explore while others just want everything to go back to what they considered normal.

In many cases, there is not a back to normal option. The status quo is no longer available. There becomes a new normal.

People often believe that a persons environment shapes who they are and who they become. Others believe that people are who they are, regardless of any environmental observation or stimulus. There is even a psychology based term for this, it is known as the Fundamental Attribution Error.

Our environment is powerful. Situations and circumstances are powerful. Your habits, ethics, and integrity are also powerful.

What do you do or assume during adverse conditions? Are you looking for new options or do you find yourself restricted to known paths?

Innovators seek new options.

Unexpected Choices

You may discover that it is time to pivot. Time to explore the unexplored and discover a different direction.

What do you do when the store is out of your favorite brand?

How do you get to work when your normal route is blocked?

What happens when you don’t have the right tool for the job?

You improvise. Discovery of options and choices provide an opportunity to keep moving.

Everyday decisions always have an outcome. Decisions that you make under pressure or adverse conditions also have an outcome.

Certainly a decision or choice to do nothing is still a decision but the opportunity to pivot gets new things started.

It may be the unexpected choices or options which require you to go in a new direction that yield the best results.

Consider alternatives.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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ideal working conditions

Ideal Working Conditions Don’t Always Exist

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What environment brings out your best work? What circumstances or situations encourage you to try harder, give more, and be efficient? If you are always waiting for ideal working conditions, you’re probably wasting time.

The past two months have created some interesting environments for some. Working from home to help flatten the curve has been a widely adopted approach.

Certainly, it doesn’t pertain to all jobs, some are battling it out on the front lines. Others in certain occupations or business sectors have largely continued on, they’re helping to keep some form of survival alive.

Many, for a few moments believe they stumbled upon their dream job. A job that allows them to work from home. Yet, it doesn’t take long for them to realize that working from home, while different, isn’t always better.

Absolutely there are pros and cons. For some, efficiencies go up, and for others it goes down. Motivation may be different and distractions may be more, or less.

Ideal Working Conditions

Everyone has an idea of their best or most favorable working conditions. Some insist that they cannot work in certain environments. It may be true that the tolerance is out of bounds.

Survivors find a way. They find a path and they walk it. Some might even choose to run it.

Are you adaptable?

Life is always about change. As much as we often don’t like to be kicked out of our norm, we have a way of adapting and surviving. It’s often about the pivot, the shift, and discovering ways for navigation.

Sometimes you create ideal, sometimes it just seems to happen.

You can choose to make the most of any situation.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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