Tag Archives: management

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Penn State Smeal

Developing Middle Managers – PSU

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Developing Middle Managers

Learn key managerial competencies in planning, communication, decision making, and more in five full days of this highly interactive classroom experience complemented with online resources. Completion awards a Professional Certificate in Functional Management, 3.6 CEUs, and 35 SHRM PDCs.

Dennis Gilbert and Mary Kay Williams will be serving as faculty for the Penn State Smeal College of Business, Executive Programs.

This is a 5-day program starting on April 8, and concluding on April 12, 2019.

For additional information please contact Sue Greene:

Smeal College of Business
The Pennsylvania State University
484 Business Building

University Park, PA  16801

Telephone: 814-865-6341


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bloomsburg university

Management and Leadership Certificate

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This Management and Leadership Certificate program is being brought to you by a special partnership between Bloomsburg University and the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce.

Dennis Gilbert, is serving as the instructor/facilitator for this series.

This five-module series is designed to help participants develop and sharpen skills that relate to leading in today’s workplace environment. It is appropriate for existing workplace leaders, managers, and supervisors; or those who are new or emerging.

Throughout the series, each module will provide specific learning objectives and will be delivered by a subject matter expert who will utilize a pleasing combination of lecture, experiential learning activities and exercises, and real-world examples.

Professional course materials will be provided and will include assessments, activities, and other learning enhancement components to help each participant individualize their learning experience.

The five, three-hour modules are:

  1. Supervisor Effectiveness
  2. Effective Communication for Managers
  3. Conflict Management
  4. Navigating a Multigenerational Workforce
  5. Being a Great Mentor or Coach

Sharpening management skills and your leadership presence are valuable for navigating today’s workforce. This series will help you prepare and improve your role as a leader.

This program is scheduled as follows:

March 19th

April 2nd

April 16th

April 30th

May 14th

Currently it is set as a half-day program to begin at 10:00 AM and end at 2:00 PM.

To submit an application to participate or to get more information please contact:  Deb Thomas at Bloomsburg University by calling 570-389-5162.

This program qualifies for WEDnetPA grant funding (for eligible businesses). For additional information please contact: Jennifer Williams at Bloomsburg University by calling 570-389-4004.

More Details

 

Columbia Montour Chamber

bloomsburg university


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time investment

Time Investment, What Is Your Return?

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Nearly everyone is worried about time. A question to consider is, “Am I making a time investment, or just spending time?” Most investments are measured by the value of their return.

Against the Clock

Is there time to stop for coffee, use the restroom before the meeting, and time to process a few email messages before digging into the next project?

We often wonder, how will we have time for family, time to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, or simply enjoy life?

We struggle for time measured against the clock. Only so many minutes, so many hours, and the disruption of not knowing what will happen next.

There is the race against the navigation system in our car, the sprint to the deadline, or the marathon of the month.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are you agonizing over what you will accomplish today or are you assessing your investment for this year?
  • Is what you are working on this week about building something great or really about attempting a shortcut?
  • How much time will you spend today reliving what happened yesterday instead of applying your energy towards tomorrow?
  • What lasts longer your celebration of a win or your agony about something that took a wrong turn?
  • Is there a return on worry, a return on procrastination, or a return on gossip?

What happens during our time?

Time Investment

We can manage our time like a budget. An hour here and an hour there. A few minutes to say, “Hello” to our family, a minute to pet the dog, and a bite to eat while we drive our car. That’s largely about calculating the spend, not assessing the investment.

Minutes or milestones, where is your focus?

When life feels like a stopwatch it may be worthwhile to reflect on your investment. Use a calendar.

-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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productivity trap

Would You Believe Time Is a Productivity Trap?

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Ask someone if they are going to the fitness center, and they may say, “I don’t have time.” Ask about running errands, paying bills, or doing the laundry, people may suggest there isn’t enough time. Could it be that time is a productivity trap?

What is time costing you? When life is all about the opportunity cost, what are you paying?

Time Spent

We make a lot of decisions every day. Many of those choices have to do with the time we spend. There are opportunities that are either gained or lost.

What choices will you make about time today?

How much time will you spend:

  • In the drive through lane at the coffee shop?
  • Studying the quality of the selfie image on the social media thread?
  • Procrastinating about work to be done instead of jumping in?
  • Proofing an email that took you two minutes to write but you’ve been studying it for ten?
  • Picking up your phone, turning it on, assessing in-bound data, turning it off, putting it back down?

What if the cost of an hour changed? Instead of sixty minutes it became fifty? How would this affect your productivity?

Productivity Trap

Imagine you are on the job for eight hours, but you lose ten minutes each hour. Hours are now fifty minutes. The workload and opportunities remain constant.

You lose one hour and twenty minutes per day. That is more than six hours per week. On average then you lose over twenty-four working hours per month. That would be more than 288 hours per year, which is more than seven work weeks.

If you were absent from your work for more than seven weeks what would have changed? Would nothing change, or might you suggest that everything would change?

Taking time for granted is the biggest productivity trap of all.

Waste less.

-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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entire project

Fun Stuff Only or Managing the Entire Project

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Chances are good you have some project management skills. Certainly, there are project management professionals too, those who make a living managing projects. Are you skilled at managing the entire project?

I’ve worked with many different project management personalities.

There are those who like to talk about the project, but do very little tactically. There are those who hate the meetings and small talk but accomplish tremendous amounts of work.

Group Style

If you serve in a project group, a committee, or have the responsibility to lead or manage projects have you considered your style? What would others say about your style?

Years ago, I worked with a committee who had the responsibility for numerous events and activities throughout a year. Annual kickoff committee meetings always brought out a good amount of committee participation. Like many committees as time moved forward, participation dropped.

There were always standouts. The naysayers, the roadblocks, the pessimists, and on the other end of the spectrum there were the overachievers, the overcommitted, and the volunteer for everything (produce little) members.

Amid all this there were the steady members. Those who held things together, attained little recognition for large contributions, and dug in and got things done.

Do you pick and choose your contributions?

Entire Project

The most successful workplace professionals are well rounded with project management contributions.

It’s not appropriate or effective to manage only the pieces you truly enjoy.

If you’re inviting the in-laws over for dinner chances are good you’ll have to clean the house first. You’ll have to plan the meal, snacks, and beverages. Shopping for the necessities are on the list too. Then the meal prep, delivery, and the after dinner clean up.

Sure, you can delegate with the bring a dish, or bring your favorite beverage, but it’s still your responsibility.

Doing only the fun stuff only won’t complete the project and may result in unfavorable judgment.

-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+


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planning meeting

Planning Meeting, Will It Cause Action?

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A new idea seems to come out of nowhere. The competition launches a new advertising campaign, or sales are not reaching the goal. Do you have a planning meeting to discuss the next steps? Will your next meeting result in action?

Planning Meeting

Planning meetings, strategy sessions, or meetings for general updates, are any of these meetings effective? The best answer is probably, “Sometimes.”

There is value to talk. While we know that talk is cheap and it is much easier to say something as compared with actually doing it, there is still value.

Properly structured positive affirmation discussions can be inspirational and help to improve confidence. Both are often needed for high performance. Similar to the coaches talk before the big game, or the friendly, “You’ve got this!” before your big presentation, talk matters.

When you have a planning meeting to discuss what happens next, it may create the atmosphere that causes action. When teams fail to say it, it often fails to get done. So talk about it, and talk about it often.

Open Discussion

Are there items that should be said but are not discussed? Once again, the answer is probably, “Sometimes.” However, that may be a nice way of saying, “Often.”

During the planning meeting, it may be what is not being said that has relevance for high performance. Fear often prevents people from mentioning the forgotten item, the one that no one wants to do, or the new obstacle that popped up last week.

Looking for a software solution to help manage your meeting? (BlueSky)

Goals that you expect to come to fruition require some discussion. They may require updates, the keep it on track analysis, and inspiration to leap beyond the rough spots. Instead, these areas are often silenced because of the fear of being the messenger.

Planning meetings are not a waste of time when the discussion sparks positive action.

It’s the huddle before the next play of the game.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Have effective meetings

Do You Have Effective Meetings?

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Are meetings really just a waste of time? Organizations of all types and all sizes often believe that they get work done through meetings. They improve communication, adjust focus, and motivate the team. Do you have effective meetings?

Most likely, the difference between doing good work and doing great work has something to do with what happens between meetings. Are your meetings setting the stage for the proper outcomes?

Belief About Meetings

Often the belief is that meetings are held to improve communication, yet the dynamics of the group often create an environment that doesn’t share, but chooses to withhold information. Yes, it is true.

The other common belief is that more communication will improve miscommunication. This is of course, very unlikely.

Show me an organization with a staff of more than a dozen employees and I’ll show you an organization that likely believes they have some communication challenges. Do meetings really make this better? It may depend on the purpose, but it will always depend the preparation.

Organizers and Planners

In order to make the most of what happens between meetings you should ask some questions before getting started on planning your next meeting:

What is the purpose of this meeting?

What is the desired outcome?

Who should be invited?

What is the best use of everyone’s time?

Where should the meeting be held?

Who will monitor or pursue accountability for recommendations, actions, solutions, to-do’s, measurements, metrics, and goals?

Who has the authority to make the decisions, are they invited and are they attending?

What is the budget?

How will priorities be set?

Is this a recurring meeting? Is it a task force, committee, or project management gathering?

Meeting Participants

And for the attendees:

How will you prepare?

What solutions have you thought of?

Have you met or exceeded the objectives?

What is the most constructive recommendation you can bring forward at this time?

Are you committed to outcomes and keeping the meeting productive?

Have Effective Meetings

Most important of all is when a meeting lacks focus on measuring effectiveness; chances are substantially higher that participants have labeled them a waste of time. Mind-set is critical and recurring meetings become part of the culture.

If you’re working for what happens between the meetings, keep them brisk, effective, and performance measurable.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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people resist change

How to Manage People Who Resist Change

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Change is happening all around us. Despite any opposition, despite feelings and emotions, change is happening. In the workplace, how do you manage the people who resist change?

Announce the new marketing plan, a strategic direction, or personnel changes, and people will disagree. It isn’t the exception, it is the norm.

Listen and Learn

The people who resist change can tell us a lot. First, they self-identify, which is a management bonus right up front. Second, we have to listen carefully. They may have some good points. When properly managed, they can actually help strengthen the change.

What often happens is that those responsible to manage, or those responsible to engage with the naysayers attempt to smooth over the change, make everyone happy, and find some neutral ground, compromise.

Will Compromise Work

Compromise seems logical. It feels like the right thing to do. Until no matter how hard or how much you bend, shape, and twist the change there always seems to be another argument about why it isn’t the right direction.

Of course, there is always the possibility that they are correct. Maybe it is a bad move. Perhaps, but when you work around the naysayers long enough you may discover that it is the same people regardless of the change.

It is a pattern. Goals aren’t being achieved, problems are occurring, measurements are accurate but the indications are clear that something needs to change. Still, the naysayers find a reason to resist. Management tries to find a way to appease.

People Who Resist Change

So how can you make everyone happy? It could be that what really makes the naysayers happy is to express that they aren’t happy. They want a voice. They want to be heard. Objections and criticism give them a platform.

The dynamics of any change are situational and circumstantial. However, sometimes the best way to make the naysayers happy is to give them their platform and keep moving forward.

Certainly, it is a delicate balance of knowing, understanding, and making good decisions when you are responsible for the outcomes. Listen carefully and learn, sometimes though you just need to keep moving.

– DEG

Originally posted on December 1, 2017, last updated on October 22, 2018.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer Service Rules

Customer Service Rules and Misunderstood Costs

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It happens all the time. Something affects profits or progress and the organization makes a new rule. Does it make sense to make customer service rules from one bad example?

Nearly every business will tell you that they value the customer. They cite examples of how hard they work for delivering an exceptional customer experience. Do they live up to doing what they say?

Certainly every organization needs to protect themselves from fraud, deceit, or profit erosion. They need customer service rules but at what cost?

Customer Service Rules

In the early 1980’s I worked in a retail drug store. I stocked shelves, unloaded trucks, swept the floors, and sometimes worked at the checkout register. At the time this retail drug store chain was doing very well, with many stores and lots of valued customers.

Somewhere along the way, some smart folks in district or regional management came up with a new rule. The new rule was that every purchase had to go in a bag and the receipt had to be stapled to that bag. No excuses, no exceptions.

What a disaster.

Rules in Action

One day as I nervously worked the checkout register while the regional manager looked over my shoulder I allowed a repeat customer to take their pack of cigarettes and a candy bar (after paying) and leave the store with receipt in hand. No bag and certainly no receipt stapled to it. Immediately I was summoned to come to the back of the pharmacy. I was scolded and sent back to the register.

What management didn’t realize is that for whatever reason they invented their rule, it was hurting their customers.

We had repeat customers come in every day to make a purchase. Purchasing everything from a candy bar, to cigarettes (big in those days), to a magazine or newspaper. They never returned anything or made a large purchase. They loved the store and they didn’t really need a bag.

These loyal customers loved it right up until the moment management started hurting their experience.

More than a Job

I was probably only 17 or 18 years old, but I knew better. I saw what was happening, it was ridiculous.

Regional management never seemed to get it. The local managers did but they were under strict guidelines from regional and corporate management.

It was supposed to be a job, but really it was the start of my education.

I miss those days.

You know—happy customers and all.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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  1. Developing Middle Managers – PSU

    April 8 @ 8:00 am - April 12 @ 5:00 pm
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