Tag Archives: competitive advantage

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glamorous resiliency

Glamorous Resiliency Keeps Everyone Going

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A picture is worth a thousand words, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Having glamorous resiliency is important, especially when the chips are down.

What is your posture when navigating the rough waters?

The U.S. economy churns largely due to small businesses. It’s often hard to define a small business. Many believe it is those businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

When you try to find a concise definition, it is challenging. It may depend on the sector, it may depend on the size of the sector, and usually it is based on the number of employees and total revenue.

Small businesses represent the U.S. economic engine.

There is beauty in small business.

Glamorous Resiliency

Often there are fewer rules, politics and cliques are less intense or non-existent. Opportunities for fluid approaches, innovation, and employee flexibility are often greater.

Many small businesses run as they see fit. If it doesn’t fit, then they shift.

They are all fulfilling the needs of the customer.

This makes customer relationships better. They have stronger interactions, more meaningful conversations, and often the help is there exactly when the customer needs it the most.

Small businesses may sometimes be described as disadvantaged. They are known to be harder to scale, less resilient in the face of adversity, and less attractive for on-boarding the best talent.

In reality, this is exactly what makes them more attractive.

In life or in business, recognizing that your disadvantages may actually be your competitive edge, brings an entirely new range of opportunities.

Be glamorous.

Be resilient.

-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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Acquiring trust

Acquiring Trust Even When In Doubt

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In a thriving service oriented, connection-based economy, trust may be your most important asset or, your most significant weakness. Acquiring trust isn’t always easy, yet it is always worth it.

What does your gut tell you?

Trusting Matters

Many people rely on their gut feel or instincts to assess their level of trust. Trust with vendors. Trust with customers, and of course, trust with teammates.

The backbone of trust may come from confidence, expectations, and certainly past experiences. Insecurity and paranoia may also creep into the picture.

Trust is often about giving. Can you give trust?

If we’re going to explore giving of trust you have to consider generosity.

Trust is largely about generosity. Will your generosity be taken advantage of by others?

In discussions it may quickly turn into a slippery slope.

Let’s be realistic though. Trust only comes from generosity. We can talk about earning trust, but in reality, earning is not really the same as simply giving.

Do you have the confidence in people to give more trust? Have past experiences tarnished your future expectations?

Acquiring Trust

Knowing what to expect and when can help boost the confidence factor with trust. In other words, if you know a teammate can handle the task grant them the trust. You’re giving.

If you are in doubt based on past experiences specifically with this individual or specifically with this type of task, then explore the requirements with others involved in order to boost everyone’s confidence. Then give more trust.

One act of giving trust means that there is the opportunity to earn it.

If you want your brand, whether it is a personal brand or organizational, to go up in value you’re going to have to give more.

In our service oriented, connection-based economy you really don’t have much choice.

-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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collaboration

Collaboration Has Long-Term Side Effects

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Do you have collaboration in your workplace? Does your team and the individuals who make it up collaborate effectively? Where do you stand?

People collaborate for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons stem from the concept of mutual interest or the uniqueness of specific capabilities.

If I’m exceptional with a hammer and nails and I partner with some who has mad skills with a handsaw we may be able to build a great house.

When we put my resources together with your resources, we can create something of more value.

Your Unique Team

When we dip inside an organization of people, we often find a unique way to align strengths and weaknesses, then we label it “our team.”

People who are actively engaged in the team share a common goal.

The common goal operates from some very simple principles. What we do today will matter more because of the effort of the team. The end-result and the future results are shared and are only available when we participate.

It is why collaboration matters.

Collaboration Long-Term

Across the long-term team members grow to value the team effort more. The recognition of this value often develops because true team players know that what goes around, comes around. You’ll always end up with more value as a team.

Handling unique circumstances, jumping through hoops for the high value client, or customizing a product or service for someone who chooses a different path.

It’s how you bring exceptional value.

The competitive edge is the team. It is the advantage that every competing organization wishes they had.

-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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Is Trust Your Competitive Edge?

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Organizations of all shapes and sizes strive to improve efficiencies, productivity, and have a competitive advantage over their competition. Do you think trust plays a role in creating your competitive advantage?

Three businesspeople having a meeting in the office with a laptop computer and a digital tablet

Often workplace leaders recognize that trust plays a role with employee teams, but often they can’t see the connection to trust and the bottom line on the income statement. Is there a connection? You bet because trust, or a lack of, is (in-part) responsible for effort, energy, and engagement of all teams. Do trust issues exist within your team?

Warning Signs

Sometimes thoughtless actions, unconscious behaviors, or communication that is misinterpreted can break down organizational trust. You also cannot forget that many people carry trust issues with them. This is sometimes what we call baggage, and this baggage may not even be related to their current workplace or job role. Trust is typically not on or off like a light switch but more in varying degrees or levels. Here are a few (of many) things to watch for as you consider trust levels in your organization:

  1. Chronic finger pointing. Every time there is something wrong, it must be someone else’s fault. A little bit of this is human nature, but in the worst trust scenarios no one wants to be responsible. There may also be a tendency to watch others fail rather than try to help bail someone out when they are heading down the wrong path. You’re all in it together and if you must choose sides, choose your own team. Handing the win to the competition is so disappointing.
  2. Little or no accountability. People who are held accountable also typically recognize their responsibility to work flow, work quality, and contributing to bottom-line efforts. If there is limited or no accountability people may tend to dodge commitments and responsibility adding to re-work, duplicate work, and missed deadlines. Accountability shouldn’t be feared or presented with, “do it or die,” it should be desirable because it is part of the pride of a job well-done.
  3. Wavering decisions. Sometimes a decision to do nothing is still a decision, but a lack of commitment to decisions or choices and chronic, on-again-off-again approaches are a sure sign of minimal trust (or confidence) in the team’s ability to achieve the desired results. Things change fast and a fluid approach is okay. Let’s face it, sometimes you will have to pivot, but when the team makes a decision be thoroughly committed.
  4. Reluctance to attend or speak in meetings. “Shooting the messenger,” will certainly make people more reluctant to share the next time, but so will a lack of respect for feedback related to improving the work. Sometimes the co-pilot notices the obstacle before the pilot, accept feedback and regularly engage in open discussion for organizational improvement. These should not be structured complaint sessions, but more of an opportunity to brainstorm. Meeting participants should bring solutions to the table not just problems. Meeting conversations should be two-way.
  5. Problems tackled through electronic communication. Needless to say electronic communication is wildly popular and it has many advantages. However, in low-trust environments it provides a false sense of security and the opportunity to structure the communication in manner that positions people to win or lose. Later it is often entered into evidence for the judge and jury to decide about who is right or wrong and in many cases this has little or nothing to do with fixing the problem. Tough problems are often best solved face-to-face, and yes, video conversations are better than text only, but still likely not as genuine or effective as an old school get together.

Lower levels of trust hurt your competitive edge by weakening the ability for your organization to perform at its best. In addition to trying to process through internal problems, the external community such as your clients, vendors, and stakeholders are less enchanted by the idea of doing business with you. Your reputation may weaken causing you to have to spend more money to achieve similar results. Piling up on this is the idea that establishing new business relationships is almost always more costly than maintaining existing ones.

Do you think trust is part of your competitive advantage?

I know I do.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Millennials and Gen Z: Your Competitive Advantage

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Experts in industrial sectors, experts in educational systems, and even experts in social and psychology disciplines likely have as much disagreement as they do agreement about the paths necessary to bridge gaps and manage talent across all five workforce generations. Some believe there are not any problems, some believe the problems can’t be solved, and still others believe that the problems are nothing new often stating that we’ve always had generational differences and we should just forget all this generational talk and get back to [real] business.

Joyful group

The Problem

Many business sectors report problems with attracting and retaining the most recent generations in our workforce. Culturally, organizations often struggle with adapting their environments to become attractive for millennials and generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen). One thing is certain, an organization without a strong representation of the most recent workforce generations is an organization without a future.

The Opportunity

Working across the generations or creating an atmosphere of generational neutrality is definitely not a one size fits all approach, but it does create a strategic opportunity. Keep in mind that being on the front side of the bell curve is where opportunity has the biggest strategic advantage. Many organizations are not taking a strategic approach for onboarding the most recent generations, and if your organization chooses to do so, you’ll position yourself for a strong competitive advantage.

Where to Start

Organizations will have to think more strategically. Often somewhat unconsciously, organizations operate by “fighting fires” through tried and true tactical approaches instead of strategy. Every strategy needs tactics but every tactic may not be strategic. Make sure your organization is investing in a strategic approach to onboard and fully utilize the most recent generations. 

Here are three foundation building principles for millennial and gen Z strategy:

Build a strategic approach that incorporates unleashing tacit knowledge. Think succession, mentors, and how to leverage new age ideas with old school methods.

Illustrate pathways for future opportunities. The most recent generations want to understand how their contribution fits and how they can make a difference. Give them a sense of purpose.

Build flexibility into your systems. Most emerging workers believe that there is more than one way to achieve the goal. In contrast, many of the earlier generations believe strongly in the tried and true methods. Flexible approaches are desirable for more  than just engaging across the generations, they also allow organizations to quickly adapt to changing circumstances or markets.

Regardless of how you build it, organizations that adopt a culture that is farsighted and encouraging will win out over those who can’t effectively illustrate their value or purpose.

Are you building a competitive advantage?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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