Tag Archives: purpose

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Organizational purpose

Organizational Purpose is a Planned Path

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Organizational purpose is the single most important aspect of getting to where you want to go. It is an expectation of leadership. Does everyone know your plan?

Create buy-in for the change.

Get everybody on-board.

Rally the troops.

One way to struggle is by not making the path clear. Another way is to state what you want as the end result, only the end result doesn’t connect with any specific mission.

Workplace leaders are sometimes baffled by the lack of understanding among employee teams.

Plan the Journey

When you board a plane headed to Dallas, Texas, you expect to touch down in Dallas, Texas. Where the plane is headed is announced in advance, your ticket matches, and you are usually briefed from the cockpit or steward.

It makes sense. You arrive in Dallas.

A different way is to decide you want to go to Dallas, only there isn’t a clear plan or path. You recognize you’re going to get on a plane, yet there is no specific way you’ll get there. You may decide to swing by Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago.

Cost of this undefined trip isn’t known or understood. Timing is flexible or undetermined. You need to end up in Dallas, and you’ll get there but no one is sure of when.

When the purpose or the end result is unclear or when the objectives are not connected to the measurement of time anything can happen. It often does, or perhaps, a surprising outcome, nothing happens.

When you pick a movie from Netflix, you’re usually aware of the genre and the approximate length. Sign up for the workshop and you know the date, time, and location. You’ll also have an idea of the topic and length. Even your navigation system in your car sets some expectations.

Organizational Purpose

When your organizational purpose is more like a slogan don’t expect momentum to carry you through the tough spots.

Make lots of money.

Please every customer.

Just do it.

Slogan’s are important and are typically flexible by design. They are not a mission or a road map. They are more all encompassing rather than specific. A catch-all.

Don’t count on your organizational purpose being defined by a slogan.

Worse, who knows when or if you’ll ever achieve it.

-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 purpose

Does Your Team Understand Workplace Purpose?

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One of the most basic elements of building a successful organization is the ability to rally the people around a workplace purpose. Have you considered lately how that is working in your team or department?

Setting the Stage

The development stages of the organization are simpler. There are fewer people, less moving parts, it is easier to watch over the entire operation.

Across the months, years, or decades things start to shift a little. More people join, more problems have become apparent and more rules and policies are put in place. Without careful and purposeful intention, things often start to get lost in the shuffle.

Often larger work groups and teams are doing tasks or following guidelines that they either don’t understand, or worse, they misunderstand.

The big picture with strategy is out there. It may be in the publicized mission statement, unfortunately from the strategy room to the front-line things get lost in the translation.

Department managers sometimes become confused about the true strategy, the why of the business. They respond to measurement, metrics, and performance criteria, but their response lacks the understanding of purpose.

As time moves forward some disorganization may occur. The purpose is confusing, the front-line works towards metrics, but they often do not understand why. Managers insist somewhat blindly that this work, their work, is part of the strategy, however, they too suffer from understanding why.

Workplace Purpose

When groups of people and teams are employed to create work, provide a service, and do great things it is very important that they understand the purpose.

Understanding workplace purpose is everyone’s responsibility, yet it often doesn’t exist.

In the best organizations everyone leads at some level. Otherwise, you have a bureaucratic conundrum.

-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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bad workplace attitudes

Bad Workplace Attitudes Lack Purpose

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You’ve probably noticed a bad attitude at some point in your life. It may be at work, in the grocery store, or at the red light. Have you noticed bad workplace attitudes?

There are plenty of reasons why someone may be illustrating a bad attitude. Sometimes it is because something happened outside of work and this person is still dragging it around while on the job. In other cases, it may be connected to purpose.

Why Purpose?

Start a conversation about purpose and some people will perk up, but others start looking at their cell phone.

Purpose is critically important and often misunderstood. It is also linked to bad workplace attitudes.

When the junior executive doesn’t understand why she or he must change the verbiage in the quarterly report, an attitude may develop.

What about the staff member that must drop everything and go make copies for the upcoming meeting?

Does a bad attitude emerge when the project that the team pushed for doesn’t make the budget?

All these scenarios and hundreds of other examples are connected to a lack of understanding about purpose. Often purpose is taken for granted. Many people don’t understand the connection.

Changing Bad Workplace Attitudes

People often connect work with reward. The mindset is, “I do some work and I get paid.”

You can do the same thing with your dog. Teach a dog that when she sits, she gets a treat. I love dogs.

People are not dogs.

When you want to give people energy, excitement, and a reason for commitment and hard work. Give them a purpose.

People who understand why the verbiage in the report matters are energized to make the changes. When they understand why the copies will make a difference, they make them.

A project not making the budget is disappointing, but the team remaining intact to launch something new or different can be great!

-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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dreaded performance review

The Dreaded Performance Review

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Performance evaluations and reviews are a special opportunity in the workplace. Are they clouded with inappropriate feedback? Are you about to receive the dreaded performance review?

Golden Rules

There are a few golden rules. Sadly, many supervisors don’t have adequate training or preparation to create a scenario where the review helps, not hurts, future employee performance.

Some of the rules are simple. The review should not be about a opportunity to blast the employee for poor performance or shortcomings on goals and objectives.

If this is an annual or semi-annual review those shortcomings should have been addressed long ago.

However, the review should be about goals and objectives. It should include meaningful and valuable goals that are directly connected to the larger organizational mission.

The Agony

Why do people dread performance reviews?

There are probably at least several reasons. Here are a few:

  • They’ve had a bad experience in the past.
  • The team is chattering about upcoming reviews and citing how terrible that day will be.
  • There is little or no understanding of the real purpose of the review so they see no value.
  • Setting goals and objectives makes them accountable to change.
  • Their supervisor has identified that reviews are a meaningless waste of time.

You get the picture. One or more of these characteristics have plagued or undermined the true purpose and value associated with performance reviews in many organizations.

Dreaded Performance Review

If you are a supervisor you have a responsibility. You should also have a commitment to the success of every member of the team. Future employee motivation is likely directly connected to the successful performance review.

Consider that your team will react to their review. One way or another. Do you want the next six to twelve months to show positive performance improvement?

Above all, the success (or not) of everyone will largely be based on what happens next.

-DEG

Do you need help with creating a positive culture and experience connected to the employee performance review? Contact me.

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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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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Interesting Story

Interesting Story, Now I Get It

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People have told stories for thousands of years. Is story telling the way we learn, grow, and become more successful? Do you have an interesting story?

Story Value

Go to any museum and you may wonder about the story. The artifacts are there, they are clearly visible and on display. We can often read a short version of history on a plaque or push a button to get an audio version. This helps us connect, but we still don’t always know the story.

If we are shopping for a used car, we may want to know the story. When we go to a new small town, or a mom and pop restaurant we may wonder, “What is the story here?”

Better yet, watch an episode of American Pickers or Pawn Stars. When they buy something, they want to know the story. Often you’ll hear the stars of these shows ask about the story and declare a perceived value based mostly on, you guessed it, the story.

Interesting Story

In the workplace, our connection with purpose, why we do what we do, is meaningless without the story.

When we are in training seminars or workshops the value of the training is increased with the story.

You’ve likely heard of death by PowerPoint. You’ve witnessed the endless slide decks that could simply be displayed while the participants watch and read. There is not really a need for the so-called, presenter.

When you want buy-in for your change. When you want your employee teams to learn more, be more, and connect more, you may want to consider the story. Most employable people can talk about or read a slide deck.

When you attend the meeting, go to a seminar, or take a seat in the grand ballroom at the conference the question you really want to know the answer to is, “Do you have an interesting story?”

– 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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team motivation

Team Motivation and People Who Care

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Getting people motivated to move or spring into action, is it possible? What are you doing about team motivation, is everyone excited and engaged?

Certainly, there are people who scoff at the suggestion of motivation. They believe that motivation is entirely intrinsic and that you cannot get people to be more motivated. We also can’t forget about the authoritarian, he or she believes that fear is the best motivator. Do it or you are fired.

Possibility of Motivation

There is likely little doubt for anyone that motivation does have an individual component. That is, one person may be more motivated or less motivated than another based on the stimulus, the working environment, and even their historical perspective.

People are mostly motivated by purpose. Do you agree, when you have a purpose or understand the purpose you may then decide to be motivated or not?

Here is a basketball. There is the hoop. How many shots can you make in one minute?

We need to ship one hundred cases today. Our previous best is ninety-six. Let’s get started!

When you understand the purpose, the goal or desired result, you may become more motivated. Of course, the quick argument is that you have to care. If you don’t care about the number of baskets or the cases of product then you probably won’t start.

Team Motivation

Fundamentally, this is exactly why hiring for character, integrity, or attitude is so important. When someone doesn’t care, you are left with the decision to revisit purpose and see if they will ever care, or get them off your team.

What everyone who cares is most concerned about is accomplishing the work. They want to make a difference and to feel satisfied with their individual performance and the performance of the team. Caring is the first factor for team motivation.

When they care, they perform.

– 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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What drives effort

What Drives Effort At Work? What’s Your Purpose?

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Motivation is an interesting topic. People are motivated in many different ways. What drives effort at your workplace?

Many people quickly grow tired of the daily grind. Alarm clocks, a quick shower, a large (extra large) coffee, or maybe some will throw back an energy drink and then it is off for the morning commute.

Once on the job, what provides the motivation for what happens next?

Motivation at Work

Certainly, many would hope that fun is a factor. Believe it or not some people really do enjoy their work. Even for those work-equals-fun people, sometimes things can grow a little stale. Overall though, when things are fun people are engaged, their energy level is high, and the work feels satisfying.

Many others are on a mission. There may be something they’ve procrastinated about, something that is late, urgent, and needed to be finished yesterday. They get stuff done, because a customer (boss, co-worker, external customer) needs it.

Some are thinking more about strategy. They will consider how to navigate the system, what the future needs are, or they will put in the extra effort to finish a project or product that has been in the blueprint phase for some time. They’re engaged because their future depends on it.

Somewhere lurking in much of this effort is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen if the work isn’t timely, of high quality, and tasteful. What if the deadline is missed, the outbound truck arrives early and leaves the same. What if sales aren’t closed, the wrong stuff is advertised, and the webpage lacks hits?

Fear creates a lot of energy. It is almost like a rocket, extremely powerful but it doesn’t last long, the fuel is gone. Purposely (or not) motivating through fear is largely not a good idea.

What Drives Effort

What if effort was driven by purpose? Purpose is the reason that we work hard to do what we do. The amateur athlete has a purpose, and in the short run, it isn’t about money. The entrepreneur has a purpose and it is typically connected with their passion.

When we are focused on a purpose, everything becomes more important. When you accomplish what is important it is satisfying and sometimes fun. It may take grit, it may be connected to the daily grind, but the result is what matters the most. Doing it is a labor of love, or interest.

The rocking chair rocks, the stationary bike spins, and the rowing machine rows, but none of them go anywhere. The desired result is something different. Perhaps to relax and unwind, or for fitness, weight loss, and more strength.

We can be motivated by many things, but if what we do isn’t important, it really doesn’t matter that much. Knowing the purpose may be the biggest factor for what drives effort at work.

– 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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get motivated appreciative strategies

10 Ways To Get Motivated Now

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Motivation is an interesting thing. It is an emotional connection stimulated by a purpose. People debate whether motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic. Are you able to get motivated?

You might get many suggestions about what to do to get more motivated. If you don’t connect with any of those suggestions it isn’t going to make any difference.

Different Ways

I often suggest when talking with groups about workplace motivation that you can be motivated by fear or inspiration, or by punishment or reward. It seems there is a negative side and a positive side.

Motivation then, driven by emotions, can be very powerful. Willpower, a subject I love also has a connection here. In the workplace, our best motivation comes from having a purpose. Purpose can break down walls, eliminate stereotypes, and bring harmony to the team.

Do you want to get motivated or help to motivate others? Here are ten ways to jump-start your workplace motivation.

Positive:

  1. Be professional. Set a standard, be the expert, role model what you and others in your profession or trade would want to be recognized as, or for.
  2. Legacy. Good for any team, but especially good for individuals in the twilight of their career. What mark, standard, or lasting impression do you want to leave behind.
  3. Dream big. Every day someone goes bigger, faster, or better. You can be the best in your town, your state, your region, or the world. It isn’t about competing, it’s just about bigger and better. Goals are achieved, history will be made.
  4. Humanity. You do it to help others. You choose to be kind, generous, and sharing. It is a chance to become part of something, not for the pay, not to compete, but to just do good for humankind or a specific cause.
  5. Connection. We work best together. We are successful because of each other. People want to come here, be here, and do good work. It only happens because we do it together. Everyone is leader and follower.

Negative:

  1. Competition. I will not, or we will not be defeated. You can compete against other people, other businesses or even race against time. There are winners and losers, you’re going to win.
  2. Embarrassment. We have to do this, we must do this or we’ll be shunned from the tribe. Most of all we will be letting others who count on us down. We don’t want to be losers or outcasts.
  3. Revenge. There has been some wrongdoing and you’re going to change that. You will work harder and smarter than before. While the enemy sleeps, you’ll be stealing their food.
  4. Inferior. Often connected to image, brand, or legacy, your work, product, or service is not good enough. You will not stop until it is perfect. The perfectionist in you just won’t allow that.
  5. Fear. The boss says I must, and I don’t want to lose my job. I need this job and no matter what it is or how much I don’t like it, I do it because I have to do it. Hey, I am getting a paycheck.

Get Motivated

Perhaps the greatest thing about motivation is that it all works. Some might take you to the dark side, some is short-lived, but all of them may get the job done. Should you motivate from the positive or the negative? The best answer may be, it depends.

Motivation can be situational. For the strategy session it may be positive, when goals are slipping it may be more negative. All of it connects back to emotions and purpose. I always suggest positive over the negative and in some cases, the lines between the two may get blurry.

Anyone who doesn’t understand or care about the future outcome will probably lack motivation.

Understand the purpose, believe in it, and you’ll be pulled, no reason to push.

– 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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business roadmaps appreciative strategies

When Business Roadmaps Are Useless

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Processes are important. Systems designed to follow a standard, replicate quality, and improve efficiency are also important. All of these may be connected to a plan, a map. Business roadmaps aren’t always the right tool. Some people aren’t wandering because they lack direction.

You wouldn’t suggest using a map of the United States to help someone get across town, find the nearest gas station, or the best coffee shop. Better yet, you wouldn’t hand someone a globe at Central Park North in New York City and tell them to use it to get on the subway and go to Wall Street.

Modern technology has provided us with some easy methods to find our way from point A to point B. Many people have an electronic map, a way finder, and it is in their hand, purse, or pocket. It will likely even speak to you. Maps are useful but not for every directional purpose.

Business Roadmaps

Businesses and organizations are always trying to find their way. They go to great lengths to plan, design, and deliver a roadmap for employees to follow. They talk about timelines, milestones, and goals. All very important, but it might not help employees find their way or understand why.

Guiding the way with a roadmap is useful to those who already see the big picture and who are committed to it. Everyone else, those who are uncertain, not committed, or lack trust for the described outcomes really do not have use for a map.

Sometimes what employees need are not more directions. They don’t need more standards, a process, or a system. All of those things are useless when they don’t understand why they should go.

Pictures and Purpose

What they really need is someone to connect them with the purpose that leads to the big picture. They aren’t lost, a lack of direction is not why they are wandering.

Most people can follow a map, or have someone tell them when to yield, turn, or stop. The solution might not require more direction.

Productivity, efficiency, and quality really don’t matter that much when they aren’t committed to the purpose.

A globe doesn’t help much on the subway. Handing them business roadmaps won’t be helpful if they aren’t lost.

They’ll reach for the map when they understand why.

Have you answered the question about why?

– DEG

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

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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