Tag Archives: pivot

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workplace effort

Is It About Workplace Effort or Workplace Change?

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“Baby Boomers refuse to change. Millennials only want it their way and expect things handed to them.” Common statements, are they true? Is it about workplace effort or is it more about workplace change?

It is a popular stereotype that traditionals and baby boomers don’t like change. At the same time, similar yet opposite stereotypes are often given to millennials and Gen Z. (Generations Chart.)

Workplace Change

The truth is, adversity to change is a commonality across the generations, not a difference. Tell anyone that they need to change or that their job role is about to change you’ll likely face some immediate concern.

Change breaks that comfort zone for everyone. It makes people of all ages uneasy, nervous, and afraid. It may be very short lived, or it may continue for some time.

However, the argument that change is more difficult for those who are more seasoned may have some truth.

In many cases, but not all, the longer we do something that appears to work, the more convinced we become in the method. It may also be that we don’t like the feeling of the unknown, the feeling of effort required, and the admittance of, “I don’t know how.”

Workplace Effort

Change requires new learning, new patterns of behavior, and it requires giving up something to make room for something different. It takes effort.

As a little kid we may resist learning to tie our shoes, ride a bike, or even perform chores. Of course, at some point, for most, we desire to be more grown up and we commit to learning. Effort is part of the process.

Does an 85-year old feel any need to learn to use the latest smartphone? Do they want to learn how to play the latest video game? Perhaps they don’t see a strong connection with how this impacts their future.

The change required in our workplace isn’t really about age. It is about perceived effort compared with impact. We ask ourselves, “Is this worth it?”

Change feels worth the effort when the reason is compelling.

-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 culture shift

Achieving a Workplace Culture Shift

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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.


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showing up

Showing Up Seems To Make Sense

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There are many stories out there about the effects of low unemployment numbers. Some doubt the validity of the numbers, some suggest they can’t find anyone to hire. Others are just thankful that employees are showing up for work.

I want to ask, “Is that the best we can do?”

If our expectation as an organization leader is that we are grateful when people are showing up for work, something must be wrong.

Showing Up

I remember years ago when the chairperson of a community workforce meeting stated that finding employees was a challenge for local business owners. The chairperson asked a CEO in attendance, “Are you fully staffed, and if so, how are you doing it?”

The response of this CEO took me aback. He said, “Simple, we ignore the pot.”

What he meant was that through drug testing they were willing to overlook someone who tested positive for marijuana use. This was in the early 2000’s.

I’m not writing this to spark a debate about marijuana use. I’m expressing this scenario to ask, “Is this the best we can do?”

What is going on when organizations must lower their standards in order to onboard or keep employees? Worse, what is happening when they are happy they have succeeded? When they are overjoyed that people are showing up?

Tough Problem

I recognize that this is not an easy problem to tackle. I also recognize that there may be many factors involved.

Things that often bubble to the surface are things like, generational challenges, pay scales, and dirty jobs.

Maybe it is something a little more complex and less obvious. Perhaps there are connections to the organizational culture.

Does the CEO measure the value of employees as human capital (an investment), or are they measured as an expense (keep this number low)? There is a significant difference in the mindset.

When we are overjoyed that people are just showing up for work, we’re caught in a downward spiral.

Maybe the standards need to change. Maybe the culture, the business model, or the vision of leadership should pivot.

Just showing up, is that the best we can do? 

-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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culture pivot

Do You Have a Culture Pivot or Are Things Stuck?

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Businesses and individuals alike often set out on a path for change. When things aren’t working the CEO may decide the organization needs a culture pivot. Is something broken or what is prompting the shift?

Perhaps it is too much shifting, or maybe things seem to be stuck. What is happening at the root?

Symptoms, Causes, and Marketing

There may be many symptoms of a culture problem for your organization.

A feeling of being stuck, stalled, or stopped is one of them. You may also wonder why clients aren’t engaging, products aren’t resonating, or the leadership point of view isn’t persuasive anymore.

Much of what happens in organizations or what moves them into action happens because of marketing. Certainly, there is external marketing and advertising. Internally and externally we can consider personal marketing, influence, and persuasion. Is anything working?

What will make your desired culture pivot a success?

Culture Pivot

When you want change yet things are staying the same, you have a problem.

How much time and effort are you devoting to working on a solution? Often, when things are stalled, it is feels easier and safer to just go with the flow. Then you’re stuck.

The culture pivot you desire is likely attainable. Root causes for being stuck may vary, but repeating what you’ve always done likely won’t get things moving again.

What are you doing to market your pivot? What will make clients engage? If engagement isn’t happening, perhaps you aren’t marketing effectively.

Are employee teams bought in? Are you persuasive? Do they believe you? What evidence is shaping their actions, behaviors, and beliefs?

If your quest for a race to the top feels more like it is heading for a race to the bottom, check your marketing.

-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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baby step pivot

Progress Through The Baby Step Pivot

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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+

 


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scowl face

Scowl Face Won’t Create The Change You Seek

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People unconsciously become convinced that moods get results. Act out, act up, be unwilling to compromise or meet halfway, these are the tactics of children. Are you wearing a scowl face in an attempt to create change?

Sometimes children get their way with the scowl, arms crossed, and foot stomping. In the workplace, this still brings people to action, sometimes. If it is the boss, there may be a good chance.

Scowl face sometimes feels appropriate, but it likely never is. The impression created from childhood that this is the way for change is not so realistic in the grown-up world.

Change Adverse

Largely, people are change adverse by nature. Change makes them feel uneasy, nervous, and afraid.

It isn’t the way it was always done, it’s not the tried and true method. Change has failed before, the thought is, it will continue.

When we understand that people don’t like change, we can also understand that the change being sought may not be personal.

Changing the process, doesn’t mean it is a personal attack. A change to better connect with customers, it isn’t personal. Rearranging teams, employees, and altering policies, it probably isn’t personal.

Scowl Face

If we are leading change, or are a part of the change, or both, we’re not going to get very far with a scowl face. It may send a message, but it is the wrong message. It may create short-term action, but the long-term consequences are undesirable.

In the workplace, for the employees, for the groups, departments, and teams, don’t try scowl face.

If you’re going to create the kind of change you need, you’re going to need everyone on board.

Creating action is sometimes the biggest illusion that you are creating the change you need.

-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+


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awaiting change

Awaiting Change or Making Change Happen?

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What will be different today? Will something change? Many people feel excited about the possibility. They are awaiting change.

Is this what will spark change or do we have to engage deeper, in a more meaningful way?

Constant Change

Most would agree that we are in a World of constant and rapid change. Some live for this exhilarating feeling, others want to climb back into their box.

On the other hand, many people and businesses feel stuck, trapped, or worse, going backwards.

We are all responsible for change. Change seems to happen more when the reason for change is clear. When there is purpose, direction, and vision.

Awaiting Change

One trouble spot often is, people are just waiting. They are waiting to be inspired, waiting to connect with what matters to them, and looking for clear vision, a roadmap they can follow.

Today perhaps we’re all marketers. We all must sell, promote, and create connection. Like it or not, we’re in a connection economy. As the digital age shoves more data in front us things don’t get clearer, they get more nebulous.

In a fuzzy world, we resort to instinct, our instinct resorts to trust. We ask someone.

The testimonial is more important now than ever. The people you meet, they have value. What they say will have impact on your direction. When we listen, we’re building our own vision.

What To Do

Ask yourself, “What would the savvy marketer do?”

Launch a new OOH campaign, engage with video, build an incredible and resourceful website? One thing is certain, they are going to try to connect with emotion, a purpose, and a vision.

When you recognize what matters most and stop waiting you’ll start changing.

Connect yourself or your team with authenticity, respect, and high ethical standards. Maybe it is what people are waiting for. Maybe it is what matters the most.

Stop waiting, start connecting, promote the vision, and listen. Things will change.

-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+


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forced change

Forced Change Doesn’t Work As Well As Consensus

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Change surrounds us. It may be hard to find an argument with that idea. However, does forced change ever really work? Can you force a change?

Certainly, there are external forces of change. We have technology forcing change, government regulations may force change, and even shifting economic conditions are likely to force change.

Managing Change

How do you manage forced change? Can it be managed? Does forced change happen internally?

There are always both external and internal forces putting pressure on organizations to change. The outcome of pressure applied is reactionary change.

We all realize that reaction may not be as good being proactive.

When we present ideas, concepts, and new directions we are hoping for change. Does the debate at the water cooler invoke change? What about the private discussion after the staff meeting? Does that bring about change?

Fighting for Change

It is easy to find disagreement. It is easy to pick a fight.

A culture of, “We fight about it.” may bring about some change, but it may not be the change you had in mind.

While external forces cause change for organizations, internal change or buy-in may require a completely different strategy.

Decision by consensus is different from persuasion, it is different from majority vote. Forced ideas seldom lead to consensus. Debates, arguments, or fights seldom create buy-in.

Forced Change

Some people will always go with the flow. They’ll follow the crowd. Fence sitters can go either way but often watch for the path of the majority. People with strong views can transition to extreme views as their influence grows.

Picking a fight and creating a divide is likely not what you have in mind. Forced change is often only the residue from the attempt, the bitterness that teams harbor and relive over and over in their minds.

If you want positive change and an intact team you’re going to have to use skillful navigation to create the buy-in. Forced change doesn’t work.

-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+


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nomophobia

Nomophobia, Workplace Anxiety, and Motivation

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Human behavior is a factor in our workplace every day. Behaviors and habits shape decisions and choices from the moment our eyes open until the moment we sleep. Have you heard of nomophobia?

While I’m not sure, and I’m not confident in the origin of the word, its existence is real. At least as early as 2014, Psychology Today, published an article about nomophobia. In the article it states origins to the year 2010.

Nomophobia

Nomophobia is defined as an anxiety associated with the fear of being without your cellular telephone, or at least without its use.

Many people can probably relate. Forget your phone on your way out the door and you would think you left a pan of bacon cooking unattended on the stove. We impulsively want to run back to change our situation.

Is nomophobia real? Of course it is real. Fear will drive human behavior. Afraid of what we’ll miss, who may call or text, or simply being disconnected from our friends and family will alter our behavior.

As with any phobia, anxiety increases. Desirable performance will likely decrease. What we should be doing shifts, we change. Our human reaction to fear and panic is now in control.

I’ve often wrote about the cautions associated with fear as a driver for motivation.

Do this or get fired. 

Sales are down and we’re going to have to cut back.

Next week we are installing a brand new software system. 

Fear in the workplace will change performance. It may also change buy-in, communication patterns, and certainly fear will change the end results.

Habits Move Us

People are creatures of habit. The habits that we have every day will drive the outcomes of our performance. Change your habits, you’ll change your performance.

This is true with eating, exercise, and what happens (or doesn’t) for our career.

When something that has become a habit suddenly becomes unavailable, goes away, or changes, there will be a reaction. The ultimate question is, “Will the reaction be productive or counterproductive?”

What you remove may be exactly what was keeping it all together.

-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+


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dramatic change

Dramatic Change and the Squeaky Wheel

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Most stories are dramatized for the intended benefit of audience engagement. When change is happening in your workplace is it dramatic change?

It starts at a very young age. Children cry or dramatize the situation to garnish more attention, bring attraction to the problem, and spark someone else into action.

Often it is valid, sometimes it gets labeled as crying wolf, eventually the scale of drama is balanced out or the child gives up.

Workplace Drama

Drama in the workplace is common. Problems are often exaggerated, circumstances expanded, and somewhat minor situations capitalized on for a desired result.

Sometimes it happens with customers. The business representative moans through it, describes the pain involved, highlights the specialty of the experience but still gives the customer what they want.

In contrast there may be a different strategy. A strategy where the mistake is covered up, disguised, or camouflaged. The intent may be to make the business look strong, accountable, and error free.

Future Interactions

The interesting part is that internal or external service and the associated experience sets the stage for future interactions.

I can accommodate your need, but just this one time.

We aren’t supposed to do this because it is so costly but I will make an exception. 

This requires manager approval, I will ask. It is unlikely they’ll agree but I’ll do my best. 

Drama may be more common than you realize. It is fueled by emotion and often ignites reciprocity. Perhaps desirable in sales and service.

Dramatic Change

Changes in policy, scaling up, scaling down, economic turmoil, and even government regulations may spark dramatic change in your organization. How will the change be navigated?

Will the change process smooth and effortlessly? Will it be camouflaged, transparent, or dramatized?

You likely won’t remove the drama because drama is a choice. Your choice will condition the impact and engagement of others.

Drama is the squeaky wheel. A squeaky wheel may get oiled or get replaced.

-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+


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