Tag Archives: pivot

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fluid approach

Does a Fluid Approach Seem Like a Good Path?

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A plan and a goal always seem to make sense. Are your goals rigid or do you use a more fluid approach?

Are you a little bit more of a perfectionist or do you scribble outside of the lines?

Most pathways start with a vision. It is a plan, of sorts, with directions, timelines and milestones. Spoken or sometimes unspoken they are all part of the plan.

Plans are designed to work. They are expected to achieve outcomes by going through barriers, leaping hurdles, and most certainly against all odds.

Some people identify with a system, a structure, and a protocol. It might be similar to a flight plan, a rocket launch, or a thousand-mile road trip.

Not everything fits inside the plan, and that is when the plan becomes even more important. The what if’s, or what to do when, are all expected to be part of a really good plan.

Have you budgeted for fluidity? Does a fluid approach make sense?

Fluid Approach

Sometimes people call it a backup plan. Plan B is often suggested for execution will all else has failed during plan A.

Those committed to the plan are hesitant to jump off plan A and switch to plan B. They may insist that plan A has not been exhausted yet and staying the course is most important.

Leadership requires resilience in the face of adversity. Plan A or plan B, both might contain a pathway for success.

When you plan for fluid approaches, it doesn’t necessarily mean one pathway must close in order to access another. It also doesn’t mean that one is right and one is wrong.

You still have a choice with your goals.

Stalls, delays, or dead-end stops are likely not as good as study movement.

When time matters, and it nearly always does, a detour around the block, and then right back on the original trajectory is probably much better than waiting for the traffic jam to free itself.

Leadership keeps things moving and makes way for a reason or logic to embrace a shift. Belonging often means safety, security, and a sense of accomplishment.

When getting there is the objective.

A fluid approach may be your best path.

-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 commitment

Workplace Commitment Results in Something

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The team doesn’t like the new announcement and psychologically they commit to finding ways to state that it won’t work. In contrast, they love the new announcement and push even harder for end-users to adapt to the new standard. Workplace commitment is often the difference between forward motion or being stuck.

Things are always changing. We’re in a world of constant change. If you are not changing, it is simple, you’re stuck.

Outside of values, ethics, and integrity, success for nearly every organization depends on forward motion.

In the early 1900’s people may have liked their ice box. Sticking with one today seems a little silly. In the 1950’s people in business offices were addicted to their typewriters. Around the turn of the century during the early 2000’s, many people only used cellular phones for shorter or on-the-road calls, not as a primary device.

Workplace Commitment

Outside of your box, outside of your frame, things are happening. Early adopters always have the benefit of the upside of the curve.

The upside of the curve carries risk. It carries a risk for how tall the curve will become, how flat it is on top, and how slowly it will start to down on the other side.

Everyone has a choice for which they will commit.

In most cases, they’ll either commit to some risk and forward motion, or they’ll commit to staying stalled. Stalled arguably, may also be seen by onlookers as decline.

It’s important to know your own strategy for tomorrow. What you commit to will impact not only your own fate but perhaps the fate of the origins of your paycheck.

New and improved may not always feel better, especially at first.

The refrigerator required electricity. I suspect this was thought of as a disadvantage by many.

-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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lane selection

Lane Selection May Be a Form Of Strategy

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Are you staying in your lane? Lane selection for your career path may be more important than it seems.

Many people are excited about new opportunities, and for good reason. Boredom is a leading factor in workplace disengagement.

Have you ever been advised to stay in your lane?

Of course, it is not highway driving that I’m referring to, it is analogy about your job or career.

There are plenty of ways to expand and grow. Plenty of opportunities to take some risk, try something new, or move in a different direction. Yet, beyond the somewhat apparent risk of needing to hone new skills, there is another risk.

The risk of doing everything you do poorly.

An economic downturn may be as much to blame as an economic upturn. Both businesses and people alike are searching for what works best.

In a world of constant change, you may need to do more than just do things differently, you may have to do different things.

Lane Selection

You should make conscious choices and use specific strategies on your quest. Throwing a bunch of things at the wall to see what sticks sounds appealing. Especially, when you can’t see a clear path. However, this often quickly leads to being a master of none.

Whatever you do, choose your lane. Make conscious decisions about direction shifts or portfolio additions.

Pivoting matters, it always matters, largely because nothing stays the same for long.

In every field, and in every business sector, there are people throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.

This shouldn’t invite chaos. Choose your path, consciously, strategically, and don’t give up too soon.

Swerving benefits no one.

It’s reckless.

-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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doing work

Doing Work and Getting Stuff Done

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Are you doing work and getting a few things done? Is that what it takes? Is that all it takes?

People often talk about their work as a path for income. A means to an end.

Is that really you or do you want a little more?

Chances are good you’re interested doing a little more than just getting by. You may have some interest in supporting the mission of the team, helping to grow the business or even simply be recognized as a top performer. In other cases, you may have interest in growing your career. And for some, all of these things apply.

Everyone who has an interest in doing a little bit more can change their language to help them make a change. Yes, it may be that simple.

Changing your language has many benefits. It will not only change your outlook but may also change your levels of comfort and confidence.

Doing Work

Instead of simply, doing the work, what if you thought about it with a different goal? Doing the work means your goal is to finish the job. However, if your quest is to improve your work things start to change a little.

People often seek a change, they want to pivot, improve, do something better or different. It applies to everything from how they are perceived by their boss, peers, and direct reports; to bigger loftier goals or even a career move.

What you tell yourself will condition what happens next for you. If you go to work each day to simply do the work, you’re probably not going to make any kind of change. You’ll be stuck.

Instead, go to improve your work. Do it for yourself, your team, or the customer.

You’ll grow through the process of persistently working towards something more.

-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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formal meetings

Formal Meetings or Hallway Chatter, Which One?

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Many businesses want to make a choice, pivot direction, or start something brand new. The team is assembled. Often within formal meetings. Is that the best idea generator? Is it where the decisions are made?

When the conference room lights are turned out and everyone is gone are there continued discussions happening behind closed doors?

Is there a meeting after the meeting? When the Zoom session is over is there another meeting, a telephone call, or a long email message?

Formal Meetings

Brainstorming sessions can be very productive.

Unfortunately, it often takes advanced facilitation skills to bring everything out. Important items are left unsaid, others are strategic and prearranged to create a specific flow, or worse, they’re selectively designed to navigate towards a predetermined outcome.

Wouldn’t it be great to capture it all?

No manipulation, no behind the scenes strategy, and just open and honest flow?

Some of the best and most truthful ideas come from the hallway chatter. That is when the information isn’t being protected, guarded, or facing criticism.

Hallway Chatter and Cocktail Napkins

Many great ideas and inventions are said to have occurred on a cocktail napkin. Some appear on yellow legal pads, others in an executive portfolio, and still others are written in a spiral bound notebook.

As it turns out, many of the decisions made, policies adopted, and future directions are the product of the conversation outside of the meeting.

They happen when ridicule is less feared and the consequences are only fairy tales or negative fantasies. There seems to be less risk and yet more power.

Pay close attention to the new idea presented in the hallway. Take a look at the cocktail napkin drawing, or what is presented from the ruffled edges of the yellow legal pad.

Often these are the honest ideas and the ones having enough risk to actually spark positive change.

-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 ruckus

Workplace Ruckus And What You Should Do Next

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Have you experienced workplace ruckus? Of course you have. It happens often and it might be something good if it is properly managed.

In late 2002, Honda developed and released for the 2003 model year a small scooter type motorcycle that was called the Honda Ruckus. Powered by a small 49cc engine it likely has its roots in snappy short urban commutes.

Did it make a ruckus?

I’ve seen a few, but I’m not sure how many have been produced or sold. On a small scale, the name does seem to make people curious. Someone in R&D was behind this effort, they literally had to make a ruckus.

What about your job? What happens in your workplace? Are you making a ruckus? Should you?

Are you providing services or shipping goods that show that you care?

It isn’t always easy. In fact, it is often hard to put forward the effort required to only deliver the absolute best.

It requires dedication, commitment, and a willingness to produce time and time again with the customer in mind.

How will the product be used? If you were receiving it what would you want it to look like? What would exceptional levels of service feel like?

Workplace Ruckus

Most people in most organizations are striking some type of harmonious balance. A balance between what is viewed as practical, just good enough, and keeps costs low, as compared with what delights the customer, demonstrates high value, and spreads the good word.

When you care enough to strike a good balance you may also care enough to make it better than before. Build it better. Deliver it better. Create happy and loyal customer relationships.

When you really care you may have to make a bit of a ruckus.

Rally the team, get excited about opportunities, feel the need and be encouraged by change.

Everyone on your team is in it together.

Making a bit of a ruckus seems like a pretty good idea.

-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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train tracks habits

Train Tracks and Habits Have Much In Common

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How are your habits similar to train tracks? The answer may be easier than you think.

Much of what you do each day is derived from your habits. Habits built around a schedule, the food you’ll eat, and even how you’ll communicate.

By default, most people look for the easy road. I’m certainly not suggesting they are lazy. I’m suggesting that people are wired to look for efficiency and effectiveness.

If you drive an automobile to work, what route do you take? Where do you stop for fuel or coffee? Chances are, you have some habits connected with this behavior.

The same is true in your household. How you clean, do laundry, or prepare meals. Largely, it is probably based on traditions or habits.

The work that you do, or the baseline competencies for your career are largely structured around habits. You know them to be effective or perhaps the most convenient.

Train Tracks

Prior to the explosion of the automobile, trains ruled.

The rails will carry a heavy load, they are largely consistent and you know exactly what to expect and when.

One problem is, trains operate on a fixed route. If the tracks are blocked, you’re stuck or stranded. If the train doesn’t move, there are not good options. You can’t effectively detour.

People tend to get on fixed routes too. Their tracks are built to follow the rails of a particular path.

It is a habit.

Luckily, there are other choices, should you choose to take them. You can easily re-route or change your path and direction. You can take new turns, double-back to reposition, speed up, and avoid roadblocks.

Do you want to? Do you need to?

Some habits are good and desirable, others, not so much. You may want to be selective on the tracks that you choose, or even which side of them you exist on.

Full steam ahead.

-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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future gamble

Future Gamble and What You Should Bet On

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What is your future gamble? Are you taking some risk or just moving along from day-to-day? Do you have a plan?

Many people get an automobile loan for five years. Homebuyers may secure a mortgage for fifteen years; some will go thirty. There is a gamble on what your future will look like financially.

In the 1980’s I scraped wallpaper off the wall of an older home. Someone wrote on the wall underneath and provided the date in 1914 when they hung the paper. Was that paper hanger still alive? What was his or her thoughts as they scribed the date? What was the story?

It is difficult for nearly everyone, or perhaps it is better stated as, anyone, to forecast their own future. Yet, some will stumble into something, and others will hold regret or perhaps place blame for a future that never developed as they hoped.

Your future happens for you, or to you.

Certainly, there are always unexpected circumstances. There are roadblocks, surprises, and dead-end roads. It has been said many times that without a plan, you’re planning to fail.

What is your future gamble?

Future Gamble

Your future is a long-run game. It is made up of thousands or millions of moments. Choices, decisions, and outcomes, they are all part of those moments.

Persistence pays the most dividends in the long-run game.

It is about what you do every day across time.

That is precisely why having a plan is so important. Without a plan, you don’t get where you are going. You get where you end up.

Every January people are thinking about what lies ahead. It is a bet placed on what will happen next.

Metaphorically, they write a date on the wall and then cover it with wallpaper. It is a marker placed in time with or without a prophecy for the future.

In the future someone will peel back that paper.

What happened in-between?

If that is your story, will it be worth telling?

Have a plan. Be persistent. Bet 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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persistent behavior

Persistent Behavior Changes Future Outcomes

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Do you practice persistent behavior? It’s that programming of your mind and efforts that cause you to forget the obstacles and visualize the success. Do you do it?

Many people want to make a change, some people feel forced to make a change. How do you get beyond any obstacles and reinforce the direction you seek to travel?

Persistence may be the key.

More Than Once

How do you start to educate a 3-year-old? Persistent feedback. What about when he or she is eight, ten, or fifteen years old? Persistence feedback.

Your family bought a puppy. How will you train it? Hopefully through repetitive, positive reinforcement. What we call housebroken or house training is the simplest and most common form of learning from persistent behavior.

As people our minds shift from thoughts and analysis, repetitively, across time, to belief. For workplace professionals it often comes down to a belief in what will work, or a belief in what won’t work.

Your team engaged in some training. Will any of it stick? Did it make an impact and how long did that impact last?

Persistent Behavior

What are you programming your mind to believe?

When you decide you are not good at math, good with people, or good at strategy development you have two choices.

First, you can accept this programming and make excuses while you succumb to the belief that you don’t do these things well and it is better for someone else to take the lead.

Or, second, you can change your programming to create belief through successive and persistent behavior that will change the future outcomes.

Yes, some people are more talented in some areas as compared with others. That is true and should not be ignored. However, what will change your future is based on the effort placed on what you will do today.

Do you need more practice?

Practice Reinforces Belief

Training to develop your skills is important. Training for the individual, team, or the entire organization can make a significant difference.

It makes a difference when it changes the beliefs. Beliefs create habits. Habits are what you do each day that create outcomes.

You may have taken a shower this morning or a bath last evening. The positive effects of that won’t last long. You have to do it repetitively, across time.

Persistent behavior that focuses on small wins that build one upon the other is the best way to reinforce positive beliefs about future outcomes.

Pay close attention to what you focus on.

-DEG

This is exactly why I wrote this book:

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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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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