Tag Archives: plan

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listing strengths

Listing Strengths and Weaknesses

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Do you recognize your strengths? What about weaknesses, are you aware and motivated to do something about them? When you start listing strengths and weaknesses your next move is either change or denial. What will it be for you?

Self-Assessment

What do you see first? Do you see the strengths or weaknesses in your own performance? You can’t be great at everything and you probably aren’t terrible either. Do you care enough to make changes?

Many managers and organizations become (subconsciously) focused on weaknesses. In their effort to be effective at problem solving and firefighting they learn to approach deficiencies with rigor and flare.

You must wonder, which is better, focus your energy and effort on growing strengths or fixing weaknesses?

Grow Talents?

If I am the football coach and I observe the excellent skills of a quarterback do I try to make him a defensive tackle? I’m not suggesting that is impossible, but honestly, would it make much sense? If blocking and tackling isn’t his thing should we fix it?

Sometimes we must focus on growing our talents and not on fixing our weaknesses.

Certainly, some people would like to approach their strengths and weaknesses with balance. Place some effort on both areas. Capitalize on strengths and talents and build or improve some of the deficiencies. Perhaps a good plan.

Listing Strengths and Weaknesses

Still others may consider that self-assessment and reflection doesn’t really matter all the much, just jump in and get something accomplished. In their mind, deny the importance of assessment in the first place, and let’s just get moving sounds like the best plan.

If you don’t know where you are at, or where you are going, it is going to be hard to express where you are headed.

Create your list, know it well, build a personal strategic plan and make sure you aren’t in denial.

-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 innovation

Workplace Innovation is Peanut Butter and Chocolate

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Have you ever wondered who first connected peanut butter with chocolate? Perhaps it was the other way around chocolate with peanut butter? How does this connect to workplace innovation?

You must wonder sometimes, how does real innovation occur? Is it by luck, by chance, or perhaps an accidental connection?

Exploring Different

Who decided to put ketchup on potatoes, cheese with eggs, or little tiny marshmallows in cereal? Was it all intentional, or was it an accident?

When someone takes the chance, takes a risk, and is willing to explore it changes the norm. It creates the unexpected. Somewhere deep inside the unexpected exists the breakthrough.

When we want to make something different happen the belief is that we need a plan. People and companies develop a plan. They form a strategy, design tactics, or establish a new procedure.

Does that happen by chance?

Workplace Innovation

Most of our plans develop through brainstorming. A strategy discussion, an idea dump, a throw things on the wall and see what sticks.

When you are looking for a breakthrough you can’t expect to color within the lines. You can’t expect a rigid system to have enough flexibility to allow for innovation.

A plan or a system strives to eliminate surprises. It is a rigid guideline for creating an anticipated result.

There isn’t much room in rigid systems for innovation.

We don’t get peanut butter with chocolate unless someone breaks the status quo. There isn’t an opportunity to spice up our potatoes, add a little cheese to an omelette, or find the marshmallow in a breakfast cereal.

If you’re looking for workplace innovation, seeking to find a breakthrough, or to change the results, you’re first going to have give up the rigidness of the current plan.

-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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backup plan

What Is Your Backup Plan? Do You Have One?

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Is it smart to have a backup plan? Is there a plan B, or does a plan B set you up for failure with plan A?

Some motivational experts and gurus will suggest that you shouldn’t have a backup plan. They’ll tell you that any thought put into a backup plan means that you are already planning to fail.

Smart Actions and Plans

I wonder if any of these gurus have a spare tire in their car? If you have a spare, does that suggest you’re planning to get a flat?

I will give them credit for the positive inspiration. It makes some sense to me. At the same time, a backup plan can certainly be very beneficial.

Many professionals have alternate plans.

In the sales presentation if things aren’t going well, you may shift gears to a slightly different discussion. The outdoor wedding, the high school graduation, or family picnic may require a backup venue in-case of bad weather.

On a dreary day an umbrella may be smart. Is that a plan?

What about data? Using the Cloud may have benefits, but there is still a plan.

Backup Plan

Only the novice, the amateur, or the over-confident hustler will enter without a backup or contingency plan. It is not something you dwell, or something you spend more time or resources on as compared with your “A” game. However, there is still a plan.

You wouldn’t leave a plane at 10,000 feet without a parachute. Most people today can’t even leave their home without their cell phone.

If you’re going to do something big. When you’re expecting high risk and high reward. You better have a backup plan.

It’s not self-defeating. It is smart.

-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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career strategy

Career Strategy When Nothing Works

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What you’ve tried has failed. What you were convinced would work totally bombed. Have you ever felt jammed up and stuck? Your career strategy is important but so is execution.

When Nothing Works

Looking back what was the failure? What didn’t work? Did you have a bad plan or was it more of a faulty execution, accountability, or a lack of persistence?

Many people are attracted by the shiny object. The tall building with lots of glass, the successful employee with special parking, or the top dog who drives the expensive car.

It could also be the assumption of extended vacations, international travel, or a work from home schedule. Certainly, the big salary, stock options, or expense accounts also create attraction. All shiny objects.

Did your projected path and the associated outcomes consider the political currents, the cultural aspects of the business, and both a short and long-term trajectory?

What about your stubbornness, arrogance, or confidence? Did you create a my way or the highway impression? Did you visualize how you would go with the flow or was it more of an against the crowd view?

Career Strategy

I meet a lot of people with good intentions. Just as many people who want to change the world. And a great number of people who have a great plan with little action or a with a case of severe procrastination.

Often, we get jammed up because we let ourselves down. Our expectations are not realistic, goals are too vague, and there is limited or no accountability.

When you are considering your career strategy you should be sure you have specific goals, a solid plan of action, and a method to stay accountable.

Otherwise, you’re just chasing shiny objects. You’re impressed by the illusion that strong thoughts or good intentions will pave the way.

Ask yourself the tough questions. Answer honestly.

Allow for adjustments but be persistent and patient with your strategy.

-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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career coach

Resume Writer or Career Coach, Which Do You Need?

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Considering all the reports of a flourishing economy, many people are seeing an opportunity for a career change. Finding your dream job may still have its challenges. Do you need a resume writer or a career coach?

Some people believe that what they really need is a good recruiter.

Yes, these folks are out there and many of them are doing a great job. However, not every hiring manager or organization is utilizing these resources.

Setting aside the recruiter aspect, what do you need? What will help you land a better job?

Resume Writer

Your resume is important. It should be finely polished. It should be grammatically correct, use appropriate keywords, and unveil a good representation of your background, experience, and education.

Writing a resume can be a struggle. People often wonder how to best illustrate their experiences, show credibility, and appropriate professionalism.

It’s true that your resume is important. Its quality should be exceptional.

Is your resume why you’re not getting the job? Could it be your interview skills? Is it that short lapse in employment or lack of education?

Digital World

Nearly everything is digital today. This makes it extremely easy for hundreds of people to apply for nearly any job. A little tailoring to a cover letter (if it is requested) and your resume, press a button or two, and you’re done.

Certainly, it is not just that is easy. Often you are required to register with the hiring entity. You must enter some background information and jump through a few small hoops, but it is much easier than the old school paper and typewriter method.

As a result, larger firms are feeding your highly polished professional document through their software system that is scanning for keywords, filtering, and suggesting (only) some of the best matches.

Are you still wondering why you aren’t getting calls? Or are you getting an interview here or there but not being offered the job?

Some will still blame the resume, and it could be a factor. Perhaps there is something more.

Career Coach

Enter the career coach. A career coach is not a resume writer or a recruiter. They are someone who can help you set direction, consider where and how to search, and perhaps help you prepare for the interview process.

There are two significant roadblocks I often see.

The first is that job change seekers are often focused on their weakness. Therefore, they assess that everything that happens next, (or doesn’t happen) is based upon that weakness. A form of confirmation bias.

A second factor that inhibits most successful searches is the lack of a good plan. Having a plan to send out some resumes is not a plan. That is a tactic.

A good coach can help you fine tune your goals, develop an appropriate plan, and identify tactics that will lead you to success.

Your next job will require a good resume. It may also require a well-established and well executed plan.

-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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perfect plan

Creating a Perfect Plan or Failure

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Most great efforts happen when there is a plan. Do you have a vision? Have you invested in creating the perfect plan?

Some people, and businesses, try to launch without a plan. Their plan is to go with the flow, let things unfold, take unknown risk or never consider the probability of success.

Risk of Failure

Why would anyone want to launch without a plan? Part of the challenge for why this occurs may exist in the idea that plains can fail. Even the best constructed plains may not turn out exactly as desired.

This may create an underlying fear, apprehension, worry, and avoidance. Who wants to be responsible for a plan that didn’t work?

Yet there are many other people and businesses who have realized that while plans work, they often don’t. This isn’t a surprise, in fact, it may be a realization that becomes part of the plan.

On any given day most people don’t know exactly what traffic will be like on their commute. Businesses don’t know who will call, who may postpone, or what equipment may break.

The emergency room at the local hospital exists and serves because they have planned for the unplanned. They don’t know what the next shift will bring. Who will arrive, how many, or with what problems.

Perfect Plan

Perhaps the secret to creating the perfect plan exists not in what you’ll do to execute the plan, but what you’ll do when things go astray.

Planning for the unplanned may be the hardest part of the plan. It is difficult to know how much, how many, and whether to embrace or deny.

A few things are guaranteed when you create the perfect plan. Perfect plans will encounter setbacks, delays, and hidden costs. People in the system will need more time, get bored, or skip town.

Revenue goals or funding streams will be missed or worse, stop altogether.

Your vision and plan are important. Equally important is what you’ll do and how you’ll react to imperfection.

-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 RespectNavigating 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 plan

Customer Service Plan and Other Aging Items

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Start with a plan. That is what many business experts suggest. We go to a conference room, boardroom, or gather for a campfire style chat around the coffee table. Do you have a customer service plan and is it working?

We already know that the best plans are only the best plans when they are properly executed. Organizations strive for buy-in, engagement, and loyalty. It is true for buying in to the plan. It is true when you sign up as an employee. The plan means there is an expectation.

Aging Items

When I buy a car and it breaks I expect the warranty to cover it, or I know it has aged out of the warranty. At this point, the value has changed. The original capabilities are somewhat less. The tires, wheel bearings, and engine life have eroded, at least a little.

The same may be said about our clothing, a vacuum cleaner, or our home. Across time and through use, they deteriorate little by little, bit by bit, and they are never the same as the first day.

Of course, some things we consider an investment. Paint a room, install new carpet, and get a new roof, perhaps a home now has more value.

One of the biggest challenges for us in the workplace, after the plan has been made, after the buy-in has occurred and employees and systems have launched, will it be an investment or a consumable?

Customer Service Plan

Some of the best customer service plans deteriorate across time. Exceptions become rules, what protects the customer shifts to what protects the organization, and the list of what is in the box declines in value.

That bright shiny plan, it grows dull, declines in value, and needs maintenance or a rebuild.

A customer service plan is about its impact on culture. Across time, culture is about tradition and becomes what is expected.

Your customer service plan should be an investment.

– 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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Good plans fail

Why Good Plans Fail And Judgment Inspires Outcomes

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What’s your plan? People ask that question often. What’s the plan, what are we doing? Have you thought recently about why good plans fail?

Having a good strategy is important. There are plenty of ways to start developing one. There are also plenty of ways to overanalyze, and become paralyzed with fear.

One of the best questions but the one not often asked is about the quality of the plan. Is it a good plan? This is typically not asked, because instead it is judged.

Good Plans Fail

Most plans are judged. The gamble of working or not working, being fun, exciting, and the risk, or a lack of risk, that will generate the momentum required for success.

It’s all judgment. Typically, judgment based doubt, not on optimism.

When the plan is rolled out, doubt will appear. Doubt is often confirmed in the moments that immediately follow. When in doubt, the naysayer has your back.

Judgment Inspires Outcomes

The trouble with a lot of good plans is that they are judged by naysayers. If judgment is going to occur, perhaps it should be different. Judged for why it will work and not why it won’t.

What if it is a good plan? What if the judgment, the bias, and the stereotyping confirmed success instead of denying it? Would the outcomes change if it were judged by success and not the possibility of lurking failure?

Often good plans fail before they get started.

Lead Each Other

Suggest the opposite, look for what will work. Consider why things are different now, and the possibility of how this plan will make things better. This is a team who leads each other, a team who works with optimism, hope, and a good plan.

The team that believes they have a good plan and the one that does not are probably both going to be right.

The reality that the new plan might work will prevent a good plan from failing.

Somebody has to lead. Plan accordingly.

– 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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Resolutions

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Late December is a time of year that many start to consider a New Year resolution. What people are really looking for is a fresh start, a do-over, or an opportunity to make things right. Most people start with a plan, which is a good choice, but what leads them astray is not their plan, but their future choices.

ChampagneByQuinnDombrowski

What is sometimes obvious to others seems least obvious to those embedded in the plan. Often cited is the standard escape of, “I didn’t have a choice.” When in reality it was the only choice they chose to see. Consciously or not, it was a choice. Typically, it is the choice that required the least action, felt less risky, or had the least amount of push back.

Many New Year resolutions fail not because of a lack of a plan, but because of a plan that lacks good action.

Your next year is all about your choices.

Cheers!

– DEG

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski


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