Tag Archives: change

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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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flexible resilience

Flexible Resilience May Be The Change You Need

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Do you demonstrate flexible resilience? Having persistence and being resilient doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for flexibility.

It all starts with the mission or goal. It is a form of beginning with the end in mind. A vision for the path to arrive at a specific point at some future time.

People value the concept of being disciplined, persistent, and committed to the goal.

What happens when the goal seems out of reach or across time the vision may hint of needing a slight shift? What happens if the estimates or forecasts were wrong? Maybe the budget wasn’t enough or the human side of change slowed the projected progress?

Should you continue on the same path?

Chosen Path

People will sometimes go to great lengths in an attempt to prove that they were correct. Their wish is to illustrate that they have been correct all along, often in spite of any associated costs.

It may be wise to adjust the mission, shift the goals, and still achieve a higher level of success. Being stuck with a locked-in focus sounds like persistence and commitment but it may be a slippery slope down a never-ending rabbit hole.

Flexible resilience seems like a better choice.

Flexible Resilience

You can attempt to continue to pursue the original path or you can learn from missteps, correct the direction, and still achieve more than you have before.

The act of being resilient, persistent, and committed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning, changing, and growing along the way.

Sometimes the cost of ego or pride is much higher than the cost of a slight shift in direction.

The most resilient know how to spot a rabbit hole before getting lost in it.

-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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unrealized change

Unrealized Change is Always Connected to Opportunity

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“What’s new?” is a common way to strike up a conversation. A common answer, “Not much.” Yet unrealized change is happening all around you.

Thirty years ago, on or around this same calendar date, I got up, went through a brief morning routine of hygiene and breakfast, drove to my office, grabbed some coffee, and started writing code.

At that time, there wasn’t the internet as we know it today. We didn’t have cellular phones, at least not enough to speak about. And if I wanted to read something it probably started with a newspaper, magazine, or book. A real-to-life book, not a digital version.

This morning I got up, walked and fed the dog, popped a K-Cup in the Keurig, grabbed a cookie, and reported to my home office.

My home office is much more like a studio than an office of thirty years ago. Three high-definition cameras surround my workspace, complete with professional-grade shotgun microphones, three lights on tripods, and two-monitors plus one flat-screen TV all surrounding my workspace as I type.

Today I’ll visit one of my university partners while wearing a protective mask, sign some certificates of completion for the participants of an online leadership development training program, and return to my office by Noon.

My afternoon will be spent developing more programs, catching up on some accounting work, and preparing for the delivery of five programs across four days next week.

What’s new?

Not much.

Unrealized Change

I can’t imagine life without change.

People feel strained by what they refer to as information overload.

Many people who are under thirty years of age, the place where this story started, don’t plan to read anything other than the gibberish coming across their 3-inch by 4-inch cellular phone screen.

Much of the workforce won’t go to what might be referred to as a traditional workplace. A human virus plus technology collided and changed things nearly overnight.

More and more people are paid to interpret and dissect information and make decisions or take action based on what they’ve discovered from a digital device than ever before.

Cable television and digital streaming services pour content into homes and workplaces at speeds barely imagined just a few short years ago.

What is known is online shopping is a booming business while traditional retail largely struggles in decline. Thirty years ago, it was called a mail-order company, today its a staple of the economy.

Things are still changing.

Opportunity in Change

What is most useful may not be realizing the number of people you can touch in a single day. The distance that your message, your voice, or image can travel as you work with people in real-time across town, or across the country.

What may be most useful is to recognize the value of change and to determine how you will use it to improve the scope of your life and your work.

Arguably, the pace may have been slower thirty years ago.

So was the opportunity to make a difference.

-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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focus matters

Focus Matters and Changes the Outcomes

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What are you focused on today? Do you believe that focus matters? Will it change the outcomes?

When your work is very scattered it is hard to know where things start, stop, and how to measure progress. Time and effort are always wasted in the act of engagement, disengagement, and reengagement.

Focus Matters

When there is a problem or a crisis on the job, it becomes an all hands-on deck situation. Everyone jumps in to fight the metaphorical fire. They’re focused and it makes a difference.

Focus is often connected with a timeline. It is notable in many of life’s events. On graduation day, everyone is focused on the ceremony, the totality of the grind that brought graduates to the moment. It is also true for major surgery, a wedding, and an election.

When all the stakeholders are rounded up and focused, everything else stops until the event is over.

The long-term outcomes may be more significant. What will the graduate do now? Will the heart surgery prolong life and what will that look like? Weddings are in the spirit of a lifetime and election results last for years.

Resulting Outcomes

The focus is often short-lived when compared with the outcomes. The culmination of the process leading up to the event and what follows are the outcomes of a lasting endeavor.

Never taking the moments necessary to focus, without interruption, in order to create what happens next is often the problem of a failed action.

The real-life firefighter doesn’t put down the hose to browse his or her cell phone, have a snack, or chit-chat about neighborhood drama.

Perhaps what everyone needs is a little more focus and a little less procrastination or interruptions.

Focus is efficient and effective. It matters.

-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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Value offering

Does Your Value Offering Fit The Organization?

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Are you a good alignment with your job? Are you meeting or exceeding expectations? Does your value offering align with what is really needed or is it a bit of a side hustle?

People often try to differentiate between a job and a career.

It is a thoughtful process that makes a lot of sense.

It’s not uncommon that life gets in the way of careers. People get caught up in the hustle and bustle of living and their paycheck has provided the pathway. Suddenly, they are ten years deep and not really sure where things are headed.

In some cases, they haven’t even taken the time to think about it.

Have you ever felt like this?

Career Connections

In economics we often cite supply and demand as a driving factor for price.

It’s also true in your job.

Have you asked your employer about your alignment with what the organization needs in the next six months, or next year? Do you have the right skills?

What training would help close gaps? What experiences would make a greater impact?

Are you a good value to your employer?

Value Offering

People sometimes believe they need a different employer when what they really need is better alignment with their current situation.

Businesses change, customer needs change, and of course, the economy and social aspects change. If you were the best alignment five years ago, is that still true today?

Job or position growth is a two-way street. Yes, the employer has duties and responsibilities and so does the employee.

Where are you bringing value? What value can you bring in the future?

Perhaps the only way to determine this is by asking questions. Yet, many employees try to do it by making demands.

Know your value offering. More importantly, realize whether you are the best fit or not.

The best way to assess your fit is by asking questions, not telling your story.

You may have a job and not a career because you haven’t asked the right questions.

-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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learning opportunities

Learning Opportunities Really Change The Outcomes

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Is attending the seminar a punishment or an opportunity? Education at all levels makes a difference. Do you see learning opportunities or do you see time wasters?

It’s sort of comical how several people can observe the same subject matter and see completely different things.

Values, beliefs, and trendy positions lead some people to appear to believe in something that they may know little or nothing about.

In the workplace, groups form, subgroups form, and there are workplace politics. Politics about who belongs and who doesn’t. Politics about who works, contributes and puts in their time, and of course, who doesn’t.

Many organizations are on a quest to enhance their culture. They want to build stronger more intact teams. They want to improve their communication efforts and get everyone on the same page.

How will they do it?

Learning Opportunities

The best organizations seek to learn more. If time matters, and it always does, the faster you can improve efficiencies, effectiveness, and productivity the better.

The best people in the best organizations make an investment in learning.

A seminar or workshop is not a punishment. It is an opportunity.

If you can learn something new, refresh on something you’ve heard before, or turn a habit slipped into a reinvigorated quest to get better, you’ve gained.

I’ve observed people who fight and argue to stay out of the workshop. At the same time, I’ve observed people who fight and argue that they want in the workshop.

The perspective is different.

Workplace cultures are different.

Learning is something you become part of, you’re pulled, not pushed.

Changing the outcomes means you’re changing the approach. A new twist, a fluid approach, or something different. It’s more than doing the same thing differently, it is doing different things.

Different things change outcomes.

It’s a learning opportunity.

-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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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 proof

Workplace Proof, Do You Believe It?

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If someone told you that sales are going to explode beyond your wildest imagination in the next quarter would you believe it? Workplace proof often requires evidence. Does it also require imagination?

Change is a constant. Sometimes it is more accelerated and sometimes it is more gradual.

Do you believe in the change when you hear about it, or do you need to see it to believe it?

Buy-in is critical for navigating a changing environment. Change is driven by forces. Internal or external those forces will drive change.

As we are about to enter late summer and fall 2020, everyone likely recognizes we are in a presidential election year. Political opinions are everywhere on social media, on television, and perhaps even in your postal system mailbox.

What do you believe? You are influenced by those around you, your friends, and your family? What are your own individual beliefs?

It may be hard to pinpoint exactly what drives your personal beliefs. However, there are little triggers and reminders of what is important to you.

They may give you all of the proof that you need.

Workplace Proof

In the workplace, it isn’t that much different for how you’ll decide what you feel about the next change. You’re influenced in multiple ways about what will happen next. Whether you like it, believe in it, or think it is total garbage.

Role models will provide some of that influence. That influence will be entwined with your level of trust and respect for those modeling new behaviors or strategic plans.

You’ll also observe what others are doing and saying. You may have tendencies towards either leading or following, and much of that may depend on your comfort level, past experiences, and of course, your values and beliefs.

For most people, change requires proof.

Is your job changing? Are economic conditions pushing you towards a change? Do you need your team to pivot to a new direction?

To be committed to what happens next you may first have to decide what you believe?

That belief starts with what you consider to be proof.

-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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new commitments

New Commitments Are Often Necessary

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There might be a change happening, are you aware? New commitments are often necessary and being committed will make a difference for success.

The Olympic diver needs to be committed. So does the Bob Sled team.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley had to be committed, so did NASA, SpaceX, and the Falcon 9.

Business or Personal Change

Our workplaces are experiencing massive change. It is happening in businesses, K-12, and higher education.

Are commitments necessary?

Have you asked yourself or your team recently, “What are we committed to?”

Commitment creates focus and focus will always impact results. A focus on nothing, will get you nothing.

What are you committed to?

Are you committed to a revenue goal, a project milestone, or a career path?

If it is going to happen, focus will be required.

Change often develops in the workplace from both internal and external forces. The 2020 pandemic has ensured that there are some external forces putting pressure on businesses. Change is not an option.

Successful change will require a commitment.

Are you ready? Is the team?

New Commitments

In competitive sports or a rocket launch, there is a commitment. Part of the commitment is focused on a timed event. Once the countdown clock begins there is little chance of turning back.

There is not an opportunity to hesitate or stop. Once it is go, it’s go. All that remains is to perform.

Workplace change often fails because of a lack of commitment. It is also true for the career change or better eating habits.

Maybe it is time you ask yourself if you are committed.

You better know before the countdown clock starts.

-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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