Tag Archives: change

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protected ideas

Protected Ideas Halt Forward Motion

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Are there protected ideas in your workplace? Those ideas that are on sacred ground, untouchable, or off-the-table?

While some thoughts or ideas may be off-the-table due to legal concerns with protected classes, discrimination, or even harassment, others are often felt to be untouchable without good reason.

Protected ideas are not open to the consideration of new ideas. In these cases, new ideas are blocked, refused, or otherwise disregarded because they might upset the rhythm or flow of processes or systems, or worse.

Quality systems sometimes struggle to find the balance between locked in for specifications, and the opportunity of innovation.

Quality systems expect the exact. The exact should be able to be replicated a million times or more.

Innovation expects development, change, and new directions.

Then the idea of continuous improvement surfaces and that adds stress to the quality system.

A tug-of-war.

Are you protecting old ideas?

Protected Ideas

Productivity and growth are often halted when the effort is spent on defending and protecting, in leu of exploring.

There is often a counterproductive mindset of, lock everything in place and never change. Yet, change is a requirement for progress.

It may be possible to explore a new path without sacrificing an old way. Just because the old way has been proven effective does not mean that it will always be the best way.

Fast moving businesses and organizations discovered this to be factual during the early days (and on-going) of the 2020 pandemic.

Perhaps there is a balance, a happy medium, or a method to embrace both the tested and the unexplored.

People say that it is so, but where is the 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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remembrance

Remembrance May Be Creating The Change You Seek

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What sparks change for you? Remembrance of past events may be the key to keeping the future on a different trajectory.

Every day, everybody has a chance to make a difference. They might make a difference for themselves, their family, or for the organization they work for. What helps drive them forward?

Reliving past negative events may not always be the best idea, yet, at the same time, pretending it didn’t happen may mean that nothing was learned.

The best place is probably a balance of somewhere between.

Influence Happens

Change might be considered to be created by influence.

Influence of the people, the forces on a structure or a system, or careless actions that might be categorized as a mistake.

When people are creating influence, they do it through words, actions, and behaviors. It might also occur in a marketplace through advertising, marketing strategies, and social forces.

Influence may even be created by government rules and regulations, technology changes, and the economy.

A pandemic might be a force of influence.

Should influence be a driver for change?

Remembrance Creates Change

Observations or the study of the past may create a positive position for future change. When people realize how something does not work, it might also illustrate segments or pieces of success.

Woodworkers, chefs, and business coaches might all learn something from trial and error. Try a little of this, or a little of that and notice what is working and what is not.

Over a period of time, skill improves and the practice of the craft is honed.

In workplace circles many people fondly label that as experience. Sometimes it is said to be missing from a formal education.

Do you remember what you’ve learned?

Remembrance is an opportunity. An opportunity to change the course of what happens next. It might also be an opportunity to shy away, retreat, or withdrawal.

It’s entirely up to you.

-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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different habit

Start a Different Habit to Change Your Outcome

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Maybe you simply need a different habit? Is that the pathway for change?

If you are hungry and grab a candy bar what is the lasting effect? What if when you want that candy bar you grab a piece of fruit or some carrots instead?

No rocket science here, right? In fact, it all sounds kind of boring.

Imagine though, what if you started to change some of your basic ways of doing things?

What if you took a walk instead of responding to something nasty on social media?

What if you called a friend to ask them about their day instead of complaining about your own?

Imagine if you could find a way to trade anger for delight.

Replace one thing, with something different. Conceptually it isn’t really that hard.

Why aren’t you doing it?

Different Habit

In general, most people tend to follow the path of least resistance. When they tire, and want to slow down, they want it easy, not hard.

It’s easier to flop down on the couch instead of taking out the garbage.

Why walk six blocks when you can drive a car there instead?

Don’t park at the empty spots way furthest away from the store, fight for a spot as close as possible.

Easier, requiring less energy and less effort.

Even in social skills. It is easier to not listen than it is to concentrate on what someone is saying.

Having the discipline to make a difference starts with personal choice.

It is how different outcomes magically appear.

-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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society shift

Society Shift, Is It Change You Can Manage?

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Is there a society shift? You bet, it has been happening for hundreds or even thousands of years or more.

Is the pace of shift or change different? Likely, yes, the access to information, thought leaders, news media, and even social media have likely accelerated the pace.

It is good, bad, or indifferent?

What are your thoughts?

Culture Change

People use the word culture to describe many different aspects of societal connections. Culture is sometimes linked with race, especially in third world countries. Culture may be linked with occupations, such as farming, artists, or perhaps even architects. And one of my favorites is, culture that is connected to workplace norms.

Culture can shift, things change, technology is a force that drives changes in culture. Other forces might include government actions, environmental concerns, and the economy.

There is also the force of the people.

Some people want to hold tight to older values and beliefs. An Amish community might be a great example.

Other people want to change the rules, insist that there should be more diversity, more fairness, and more generosity granted to those who might be labeled underprivileged or less fortunate.

Largely it’s a tug of war between old-school and new-school.

Society Shift

It is often suggested that there are two sides to any story. It may be true for the kids on the playground who engage in some disruptive behavior and it may be true in the workplace.

A natural reaction for many people is to become very opinionated about their side of the story. Emotions often run high and anger erupts.

Social media is a great example of a medium where emotions, debates, and arguments are placing pressure on what may have once been considered a cultural norm.

Some people suggest a quieter reaction, or what may be considered to be no reaction at all. Play it safe, play it somewhere in the middle.

You are probably not going to stop change, cultural or societal shifts. They are always moving, some faster than others. There may even be evidence of ebb and flow, expansion, contraction, and a full-circle back to the way things were before.

The way you choose to navigate change will have a lot to do with what happens next.

You may not be able to stop or control the changes around you.

You can choose how you’ll respond.

-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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moving forward

Moving Forward, Sticky Leadership Ideas Sell

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We’re moving on, or we’re moving forward. It’s a charge that many people have grown to expect as their team moves from obstacles, setbacks, or even failure. Is this good leadership?

Leadership requires responsibility. It requires action, effective communication, and fosters opportunity.

Change is often based on a decision. Sometimes it is based on a need, an obstacle, or an event.

Revenues falling short, you have a need.

Good momentum, suddenly halted, and you may have an obstacle.

Some unexpected force, an act of God, a stock-market crash, or a pandemic, any of these and many others might signal the start of an event that requires change.

Leaders often come to the table with new ideas. It is considered to be a fundamental part of leadership.

Are your ideas good? Will your idea work? Are you able to get buy-in?

Moving Forward

Whoever made the first donut likely did it accidentally or with purpose. Either way, the first donut, at the time, may not have seemed like a good idea.

We could probably say the same about flavored coffee, the personal computer, or built-in cameras on telephones.

Arguments against, or obstacles in the path, may have been a challenge that needed to be overcome.

It first, it may not have seemed like a good idea. Too expensive, or simply undesirable.

Creating change, or examining a product life cycle, can often be represented on a bell curve. In the beginning, not much is happening, it is hard to gain momentum. After the peak, it is much harder to grab a piece of the market or be successful.

The most difficult challenge may be that in the early moments, a good idea may be a tough sell. No one seems to know if the idea is good or bad.

Leader’s Lead

There are many components of leadership. The idea is that leaders lead forward. They help discover, create, or engage with forward movement.

Good ideas are often a hard sell at first. When a good idea gets sticky, you’ve probably achieved buy-in.

It’s more than just having an idea. Leadership includes the act of making them sticky at just the right moment.

Most ideas are just ideas until they move forward.

Long curves or short curves. Jumping on the curve early has the most advantage.

Belief often conditions what happens next.

-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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meeting discussion

Meeting Discussion, Listening, and Being Heard

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What does your meeting discussion look like? Better yet, have you considered what your discussion feels like?

Some meetings are informational. Someone speaks, others are expected to listen, take notes, and then to proceed with the prescribed information. It isn’t intended to be interactive. It is more of a press briefing.

In many workplace meetings, there is heavy interaction. Questions raised, statements that sound like questions, and rebuttals.

Most businesses feel that they have room to improve on communication. At one point, or another, they’ve had a breakdown in communication that felt costly.

It might be happening in their internal meetings yet often it isn’t recognized.

Meeting Discussion

Depending on the meeting format and agenda, some people may attend a meeting to be heard. Listening is secondary.

This can be the case when the culture has previously illustrated that meetings are mostly informational, intended to be a meeting leader speaks and everyone else listens.

After all, the meeting leader may have a point to be made. A point or list of points that are intended to change something in the present and for the future.

Changing forward direction may come from a compelling speech. It may come from a good or bad experience. Something shocking, delightful, or that reduces pain.

For everything else, listening may be more important. Listening helps provide clarity, gain understanding, and illustrate values and beliefs.

People don’t jump on board when they lack trust. People who have different values or beliefs struggle with information that feels contradictory to their own personal pathways or agenda.

Suggested change meets a lot of opposition when it is dictated. It gains much more traction when others see it as a pathway that works.

A discussion makes more difference when compared with a command.

-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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slow growth

Is Slow Growth Better Than No Growth?

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The easy answer is, yes. Slow growth is probably happening all around you, sometimes you don’t even realize it. Yet, a lack of action can lead to no growth, and worse, decline.

The operating environment lovingly known as Windows was first released in 1985. It’s grown a lot in 35+ years.

It may have been hard to see it growing from day-to-day but over longer periods it is easier to see.

Much of your daily environment has been changing and growing across months, years, and decades. In addition to computing products, look at transportation, radio and television, and even kitchen appliances. Growth, and lots of it.

People often take for granted what is happening for the development process. Whether it is a technology device or professional growth.

Change and growth often go hand-in-hand, but change can also lead to decline. Stopping or stalling is often the first indication that some decline is about to emerge.

My belief is that the airline industry has declined. The service and reliability of schedules has been in deep decline since the 1990s. While there are many influences and factors, from my experiences, it is a fact. It’s declining.

What are your personal aspirations? Are you growing personally or professionally, or have you stalled, or worse?

Slow Growth

There are many metaphorical expressions and evidence of unrecognized growth. Trees are a great example, they seem to grow very slow, then suddenly, with a more intentional observation, they are big.

Something big or something small, there is change every day.

An idea, an expression, or even an opportunity to see something differently than you have before.

People learn to listen better (hearing is instinctual, listening is a developed skill), observe better, and even be more empathic or generous.

Stops or stalls don’t last very long. As quickly as they happen, without appropriate action they are just about to decline.

This is exactly why whatever is happening in your environment, you need to change. It may be slow, almost unnoticed, but across time it still matters.

Slow growth is always better than no growth.

-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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changing landscape

Changing Landscape And How Your Workforce Adapts

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Are you facing a changing landscape? Has your workforce changed or is there a need for change?

Change can be tough.

There are many people who are eager to change. They’ve grown tired of the old ways, the boredom, the monotony. They might also see opportunity in change and believe change works.

At the same time there are many people who are unsure of change. They are comfortable in the old ways. Knowing what works and how to do it feels safe.

Change resistors are quick to shout out potential problems, obstacles, and roadblocks. Things are happening too fast for them, the unknown means confusion, delays, and more emotional labor.

What are the real objections? What is happening, at the root?

Is it fear stopping progress?

Changing Landscape

Newsflash, things are changing.

The rate of change seems to be accelerating. What has transpired in the last 18 months (2020 pandemic) has sparked a lot of change. Even greater is the transformation across the most recent 50 or 60 years.

Technology is changing everything. Adapting and growing with it comes with a price.

The price of avoiding it and staying the same is much greater.

In a tight labor marketing people are going to work with what they consider the best companies. Many workforce experts have suggested we are heading into a time they’re calling The Great Resignation.

Are you listening for the objections?

Change resistors are often masquerading fear with objections.

Will your workforce adapt, hold the organization back, or will they move on to what they perceive as greener pastures?

Working towards a greater understanding of risk, reducing fear, and improving confidence may be the best way to navigate change.

People are counting on you.

-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 tenacity

Workplace Tenacity, Turtle Race and Bunny Hops!

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How do you approach work? Are you in the groove of getting by, or are you charging ahead by giving the best example of workplace tenacity?

Having the commitment and approaching your work with rigor are characteristics that should not be forgotten. Work is called work for a reason.

One of the best examples of leadership comes to you through role models. Role models often pursue their work unknowingly. They are unknowingly are serving others through their own example.

Are you an example of tenacity?

Workplace Tenacity

Change is a constant. So is the reality of shifting duties, responsibilities, and careful navigation.

Many hard-charging employees believe that the way to succeed is through merit. Merit matters, it matters a lot, but for the fast-trackers it seems that one of the most important attributes is navigation.

Knowing when, how, or having luck on your side and managing it well is just as important as having a technical skill.

Are you flexible? Can you pivot without wavering? Do you compromise, can you balance actions and behaviors while not going too far outside of the lines?

Work is often about mastering your craft. That means not only technically, but by careful navigation.

It might be more about a race of turtles, not the zig-zag fast hops of rabbits. Observation suggests the rabbits are winning, but one or two hops in the wrong direction can mean devastating consequences.

Consider building skills centered around your expertise and supplementing your efforts by careful navigation.

Technical skills are abundant, the greater challenge is navigation.

Tenacity means you’re in it for the long haul.

-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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competence evaporates

Competence Evaporates Unless You Adjust

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Is it possible that competence evaporates? The process of losing your skill or an area of expertise over time, does it happen?

Assume you are a master sales person. You thrive on in-person, face-to-face interactions. You read the body language, tell a story or two, and ask questions about family and life right after a brief discussion of the weather. Your competence at selling is high.

Then a pandemic emerges and you can’t be with people face-to-face. Now it’s an avatar, an email, or a text message. You still believe you have high competence in selling, only every skill you once used to sell is nearly obsolete.

Evaporated, gone, useful perhaps, but the environment for selling has changed dramatically. The future means you may have to close the deal differently.

Competence Evaporates

The skills you build across time are earned. Often, earned the hard way, by hours and hours of doing, learning, and repeating.

Developing a high level of competence in any field doesn’t happen overnight.

Many people call themselves coaches in the workplace. Coaching is a profession that takes decades of careful practice and patience to hone the craft. You can read some books, watch some videos, and even go through specialized training, perhaps one-day earning an advanced certification.

Across time the methods shift. The social trends ebb and flow. The way of doing things slides.

Like a few drops of saline in a petri dish, things start to evaporate.

The competencies you acquire may be the foundational skills you need to move forward, yet many people hold on to those hard-earned methods for far too long.

When you want less evaporation of your competence, you’re going to have to do something new. You’re going to have to explore different things.

It’s a chance, and some risk, but getting left behind while you watch things evaporate isn’t ideal either.

-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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