Tag Archives: pivot

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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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adaptive change

Adaptive Change Is Different From Innovation

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You recognize things are changing. Have you been experiencing adaptive change?

Many people, likely most people, realize that change is always happening. There are technology advancements, societal shifts, and even history that becomes understood in a different way.

Is there a status quo? How long does a status quo last? It is minutes, hours, a year or more?

There are pockets of people who want life exactly the way it was years ago. There are groups of people, the Amish come to mind, who believe the ways of the past are the pathways to the future.

In a world of constant change the riskiest place to be might be staying in the status quo.

What do you do? Do you adapt or do you innovate?

Adaptive Change

Many people are on the path to adapting. Change is happening. Sometimes too slow and sometimes too fast. In some cases, the expectation is to go back to the old way of doing things. It suggests that perhaps there isn’t a new normal.

Think of the cars of the 1990s, or older, on one hand, it seems not that long ago, on the other, the technology in newer automobiles is drastically different.

Is different better?

It may depend on who you ask. If you’re driving a brand-new car, as compared with one manufactured 20 or more years ago, you’ve adapted to change.

Sure, it’s still an automobile with four tires, but many things about its movement, suspension, comfort, and onboard tech are very different. Perhaps, you didn’t even notice.

It is true for your computing devices. From mechanical storage drives to static storage, to the cloud. As an end-user do you even realize where your data is being stored? If you are a smartphone user, probably not. You’ve just been going with the flow.

If you engage at nearly any level in society, your community, or your workplace, you’ve probably changed recently.

Adaptive change doesn’t make you an innovator. Yet, innovation is something someone is doing.

There is always a new normal.

-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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escape stuck

Escape Stuck and Change Your Future

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Are you able to escape stuck? Have you ever had difficultly letting go of something that you know needs to go?

It might be anything. A pair of old shoes, jeans you wore a decade ago, a bad habit, or even a relationship. Are you holding on to something that you should let go?

Perhaps the opposite of change is the status quo. It is a place where most people like to hang out. It may feel safe and comfortable. Habits are hard to change. Good or bad, habits can become very sticky.

While it might sound silly, a few years ago I had to let go of an old washing machine. It was hard to see it go. We’d been through so much together. Our relationship lasted more than 20 years.

Now I’m stuck with a 1999 Chevy Tahoe. A lot of miles and the rust is tearing it down, but I still don’t want to let it go.

Sometimes we want something new so bad it is easy to break free. Throw it in the ground and bury it, done.

In other cases, we hold on too long.

Escape Stuck

Fear may be part of the problem. The unknown about what is next and what will be different. It’s true for so many things.

Yesterday in a seminar there was some discussion about leadership and culture. A participant expressed boldly, “It’s not the 1990’s anymore!” To me, it was an interesting perspective. I feel like I cut my management teeth in the 1990s and I’m proud of that, yet a workforce generation or two removed and it appears unwanted and not worthy.

At the same time. I came to realize that I’ve changed. I don’t suggest the same things that I use to offer as consideration for a solution. I would never suggest some of the behaviors or cultural attributes that seemed normal back then.

Are some businesses and organizations stuck? Are the people?

You may be more stuck than you realize, or you may be letting go and you don’t even notice it.

If you are still moving, you must not be stuck.

If you are stuck, now is the time to get something moving.

-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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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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