Tag Archives: change

  • 0
needs improvement

When “Needs Improvement” Is All You See

Tags : 

The best question to ask may be, “What are your expectations?” The answer can often be confusing. If you, your department, or the entire organization needs improvement what should you do?

We find out in the meeting. “This is a good start, but needs improvement.”

On the performance evaluation, “Work is satisfactory, but there are some areas that need improvement.”

“Next year your goals are higher.”

Needs Improvement

The role of many workplace professionals is to make improvements. That is what we’re always striving for, improve the process, become more efficient, and delight the customer. It is a constant effort to improve.

Yet we often face barriers and roadblocks, obstacles and hurdles, the so-called challenges of change. Most of the things in our pathway to improve are a residue of the organizational culture. The way the organization gets things done.

The management team is supposed to push, encourage, and perhaps passively shout to get the work done. Change is proposed, an action plan put in place, and people are watching and waiting.

You are only on the team because you fit, yet the design calls for change. Things are supposed to improve, yet we only do it our way, the way it has been successful in the past.

The organization seeks outside resources, advertises for new hires, yet whoever signs up doesn’t fit, so they are disregarded.

Clever words are selected, the mission is published and public. The branding video was expensive and demonstrates what it should. Everything is set.

Yet, on the inside, things haven’t changed. Cultural change is supposed to happen fast, but feels impossibly slow.

Things Have Changed

Since the industrial revolution, there has been a lot of change. Largely, we’ve addressed many of the “needs improvement” areas. If the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, the last 200 years have been phenomenal.

Don’t lose sight of the changes you’re making. Work hard and lead through the challenges. “Exceeds expectations,” is happening. It’s happening right before your eyes.

Seeing is believing.

-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.


  • 0
Changing Habits

Changing Habits By Making Room

Tags : 

We are all creatures of habit. Our daily routine, the work week, the weekend, what we do is based on habits. Changing habits is likely important for success but what will you give up?

Habits Produce Results

What we do this week won’t completely shape what we achieve across the next six months.

One small landscaping project tackled at our home on the weekend may improve things, but there will still be maintenance across time to keep it up.

Our daily work habits across the next twenty-six weeks will shape half of the year. What happens across the next three years will be based on the habits of each week of those years.

We do something every day. In fact, we may do many things each day. We occupy twenty-four hours. Eating, sleeping, working, and living life.

When it is time for a change, we must make room. Something goes and something takes its place. We may sacrifice some free time, some TV time, or some phone surfing time. Room must be made.

Ultimately, the question becomes, “What will you give up?”

Changing Habits

Changing habits means you’re going to have to make room. The choice is more important than you may think.

If you give up sleeping, eventually you’ll burn out. Eating or skipping meals, same thing. You recognize that somethings you can’t give up because that supplies the opportunity to achieve other goals.

Everything is a tradeoff.

Setting up your garage with home fitness equipment sometimes seems like a reasonable approach. Only, now you don’t have a place for your car. Worse, if you give up your workout routine the space is completely wasted. You gave up both, everything for nothing.

Making room for new habits is important. Something must change. Give up something.

Just be sure the something doesn’t cost you everything.

-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.


  • 0
shocking change

Shocking Change Includes Disbelief

Tags : 

By now we all know that change is a part of life. Many people will quickly agree that everything around us is changing. How are you navigating shocking change?

Shocking Change

Change often does come as a shock and is followed with disbelief. Someone wins an election. Someone gets promoted, or the one-hundred-year-old business closes its doors forever.

Some will claim that they saw it coming and it wasn’t really a surprise.

In other cases, change happens so slow people barely notice. People age, trees grow, and a new house is built in a tiny corner of the two-hundred-acre field.

In our home or at our workplace, a room gets painted, a picture hung, and a new chair gets placed in the corner. Perhaps noticed and strange for a moment, but then life goes on. In a few days, we forget that something changed.

Surprised About Change?

Big change or small change, we tend to process it the same. At first there is some surprise, maybe a shock and maybe some disbelief. Shortly thereafter, the shock wears off, the disbelief switches to reality, and now it becomes the norm.

Change doesn’t always happen the way we wanted or when we wanted, but it surely happens.

Some will call it progress others will see it as the beginning of the end. Some changes will stick and some have a strange way of circling back around.

Change doesn’t always stick, it doesn’t always stay, and it sometimes feels unfair.

People were once shocked (no pun) by the light bulb, the airplane, and the breakup of Sonny and Cher.

Don’t be surprised with the disbelief that comes with change. Be surprised how long some things stay the same.

-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.


  • -
change barriers

Change Barriers, Are You Jammed Up?

Tags : 

Everything in the world is changing. Truth? Most will quickly say, “Yes!” What are some of the change barriers you are encountering?

Barriers, jams, and bottlenecks, what is hindering forward motion for you or with your team?

Change is Emotion

There is an emotional journey connected with change. Early in the process there is often fear, shock, and frustration. There also may be signs of denial and anger. Our bottleneck, the jam up point, is often connected with stress.

We may feel stuck at stress. Things aren’t moving, or are not moving fast enough. We haven’t let go of the old way and the new way feels too early to be sure. People feel stuck.

Getting unstuck means change. It means acceptance of the new reality, forward motion with the risk of the somewhat unknown.

When things get jammed up, when we are stuck or stalled, something magical happens on the other side. Breaking free of the jam, we accelerate.

Change Barriers

Construction zones on the highway, things slow down, cars merge from two or more lanes into a narrower path. Sometimes traffic stops completely. On the other side, cars burst out of the jam to get back to the speed limit.

This also happens with technology, the server, the router, the processor, things jam up and once free it is like a burst of new energy.

It happens with the ketchup bottle, the mustard, or anything that squirts. Lots of volume, behind a small opening, apply some pressure and it squirts. It’s breaking free from the bottleneck.

Change barriers, the obstacles, the bottlenecks, and even the stress or pressure associated with being stuck or stalled, that isn’t how the story ends. Unless you quit.

On the other side there is acceleration. The pressure is relieved, the flow is great. Things are faster, better, and ultimately more comfortable.

Sometimes we must get through the zone, to get back into the zone.

-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.


  • -
navigating problems

Are You Navigating Problems or Solving Them?

Tags : 

Problems are an interesting aspect of the organization. People go to work every day to solve problems. Navigating problems may be different from solving them. Does this interest you?

The supervisor, manager, and leader, a big part of their day is solving problems. New supervisors often believe that they shouldn’t have problems. Someone may joke, “That is why you now make the big bucks.”

Solving Problems

People organize a meeting, a committee, or a task force, all with the aspiration of solving problems. Sometimes problems go on for what feels like forever. In other cases, the problem seems fixed only to reoccur.

Finding the solution that fixes the problem is important. In many businesses, that is why the business exists, it solves a problem.

Another approach though, is to go around the problem. Change your tactics, your navigation, move around the roadblock or hurdle. This may not solve it, but it eliminates it.

Is this really just common sense? Well, it seems that way, yet many people and organizations get stuck.

Navigating Problems

It tends to happen when the belief is that you must operate within the frame, color inside the lines, or go through a barrier instead of around it.

Problems can become an excuse. They also seem to have a way of granting power to the resistance. Problems can control a situation when the path for a solution seems fixed in one direction.

Instead we often have an option. Navigate the problem instead of solving it.

Navigation means you’ll build a bridge, choose a different vehicle, or make a swift change in direction. The problem may still be there, but it is not stopping you. You’ll navigate around it.

Simple really, problem solved.

-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.


  • -
workplace culture shift

Achieving a Workplace Culture Shift

Tags : 

Interested in making some changes but struggling to figure out how? It’s not surprising that internal force is seldom as successful as consensus and buy-in. What can you do to achieve a workplace culture shift?

There are many factors that spark organizational change. Everything from government regulations, to economic conditions, to a change in organizational leadership.

Please, Not by Fear

Change is often attempted to be achieved by fear. The do it or die concept. The authoritarian approach. Make no mistake, fear can drive change but it likely won’t satisfy long-term needs or direction.

While there are many problems with change by fear, one big one is that change by fear is often not lasting. A second is, it creates a divide. An attitude of us against them. You don’t care about me so I don’t care about you. 

Picking a fight. Dominating with authority. Drawing a line in the sand. None of these will likely leave you with a prosperous and engaged team.

The drama may be interesting but unlikely to change minds, attitudes, or expectations.

Workplace Culture Shift

A better way to achieve a workplace culture shift is to find common ground. Explore options as a team. Discuss possible outcomes and be sure that everyone understands the strategic intent.

Your best shift will occur when the team has examined the options, understands the purpose of a new direction, and agrees that the new path is a good one. Easy and quick to achieve? No, not usually. Worthwhile? Absolutely!

Changing views and changing minds is hard if not nearly impossible. Having team members explore and understand directional choices while finding grounds for agreement is, as they say, “Priceless.”

Picking a fight or pushing people around with authority will likely not create the shift you desire.

-DEG

Do you need some help with strategic direction, implementing a change, or getting buy-in? I can help. Please contact me to start a conversation.

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.


  • -
workplace change

Workplace Change and Remembering the People

Tags : 

Has your workplace decided to shift direction, pivot, or use new technology? Have you changed machines, relocated, upsized, or downsized? Have you been bought by another entity? Never forget that workplace change involves people.

Since I officially entered the workspace at the age of seventeen, I’ve been around more than a few decades. I’ve seen a thing or two.

As we grow and expand our knowledge and businesses, especially with more technology, one constant remains, people.

How does workplace change impact people? How do the people affect the process or outcomes? Sadly, these two questions are often forgotten or taken for granted.

Change and People

Imagine you give Tiger Woods a brand-new set of golf clubs. These clubs are the most advanced clubs ever made. They feature the latest in technology, they are efficient, effective, and they are smart. They are also very expensive.

You hand them to Tiger and send him out on the course. A course he knows well and has played many times. Weather conditions are perfect. Will Tiger’s score improve?

Likely, not at first. He has never used these clubs before, they are different, he’ll need to learn more about them, get a feel, and adjust his style and approach.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this practical example of the outcome of change.

Why then do so many businesses, so many engineers, CEO’s, and other really smart people expect something different with workplace change?

Workplace Change

If you sense that I’m about to jump on the soapbox for a minute, you’re correct. I have witnessed too many business fatalities.

Smart people who have calculated everything about their new equipment or technology. Floor space, power, cost of ownership, and the specifications for throughput or output. They’ve done it all.

Except for one thing. How their people will navigate this change.

Sound silly? It is. I’m begging you. Stop the madness.

Have a plan for how you’ll integrate your change with the people. How they’ll know what to do, when, how far, how high, and how long. Plan for the costs and especially for the time.

You probably wouldn’t tackle heart surgery without a surgeon.

Hire experts who can help you with your people.

-DEG

Need some help with people? Contact me

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • -
baby step pivot

Progress Through The Baby Step Pivot

Tags : 

Confidence is a characteristic that many people have interest in growing. In simple terms, confidence is built through collective small wins. Change is often managed in the same way, a sort of, baby step pivot.

The baby step pivot surrounds us.

Change Happens

The typewriter was a cutting edge device. It emerged, grew, and became a part of business life.

Then the personal computer arrived.

We had big floppy drives, small floppy drives, big hard drives with small storage and then small hard drives with big storage. Suddenly, there is the Cloud.

There was monochrome amber or monochrome green. Color emerged, bulky and big. Then flat panels, first one screen, and then two.

The Theme

In hindsight, there is one prevailing theme. The sooner you got involved the smaller the learning curve.

Along the way, perhaps all of these changes met opposition. They had to migrate through the resistance. Challengers tried to stop progress, scoffed, and argued.

Some people quit jobs, blamed the younger generation, and stayed insistently stuck with the old way.

It represents the way it is, until things change.

Baby Step Pivot

All of the changes happen in a moment. The moment you or the organization you work for decide to make the pivot.

Real change happens through successive tiny pivots.

It is seldom we evaluate the cost of holding out or holding on. There is a price.

First steps are almost always small, awkward, and unbalanced.

The longer you wait the further you get left behind.

Don’t waste any time. The price is too high.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

 


  • -
changing everything

When Changing Everything Doesn’t Make a Difference

Tags : 

New curtains may help, perhaps a new sofa, or a remodeled kitchen. Maybe it will take a new job, a new boss, or a total career shift. Changing everything may not make the difference you seek.

It’s funny where we place the blame. We look to our clothes, look in the closet, or sign up for the job postings feed. The thought is that this is what matters the most.

Of course, change can be good. It can make a significant difference. Change can be positive and leave behind the negative. What may matter most is understanding the root cause of why change feels required.

Understanding Your Change

Listening is an amazing thing. What you hear can make the difference for what you do. Even listening to yourself can be more valuable (or destructive) than what many people realize.

By now we’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness. We know it as a truism. We see some of the wealthiest people still seeking happiness and living in a deeply depressive state of mind.

On the flip side we see some of the kindest, gentlest people who seem to have little more than the clothes on their back, and they are happy.

Certainly, money can matter, and so can people, relationships, faith, and hope.

Perhaps it is time to think twice about what you are changing. Think about the reasons why. Not the reasons you are justifying it, but the true reason why. And yes, there is a difference between the two.

Changing Everything

Changing everything and starting new seems like a good plan.

It is the new furniture, car, or job. It feels good, for a while.

Then suddenly, it just feels the same again.

People waste a lot of energy on changing everything. It may all be possible by changing just one thing.

What is your one thing?

-DEG

Do you need help discovering the one thing for your career or business? Coaching can help.

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


  • 2
career story

How Are You Creating Your Career Story?

Tags : 

Everyone has a story, right? What is your story? I hear a lot of stories about doom and gloom. I hear a lot of embellished stories, and stories that may not even be real. What is your career story?

Career Story

If you aren’t happy with your story, the good news is that you can change it. It really doesn’t matter if you’re early in your career, mid-career, or even in the sunset. Your career is about your story.

We have stories all around us. There are biblical stories, stories of the land before time, and stories about developing nations, economies, and intellect. Your career is not about a single moment. It’s built across time.

If you don’t like how your story is starting you can change it. If you don’t like the flow, or the emerging ending, you can change it.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is understanding your career is not a job. It is not a place, a city, a town, or an industry sector. It is something you’re building.

Seeking Change

If you feel that you need to do something different, don’t wait. You’re going to have to get involved. Make changes, grow your network, find more moments that build your story.

It may begin with what you’re telling yourself. Have you assessed your competencies? Do you need new skills, retraining, or updating? Perhaps.

Keep in mind however, that many people get the opportunity of a lifetime in an area that they aren’t so skilled. And now you’re asking, “How?”

The answer is easy, they have some boxes checked, but they are using their relationships (networking) to create the next opportunity.

What is your next moment? What if you look for the next part of your story, instead of a job. Invest in doing something that feels natural, feels good, and creates connection?

It’s time to build more of your story. People are waiting to hear 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. Navigating Generations – Clarion University SBDC

    April 23 @ 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
  2. WBHRS (West Branch SHRM) Event

    May 8 @ 8:00 am - 9:30 am
  3. Aspiring Leader Seminar – Williamsport, PA

    May 22 @ 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more