Tag Archives: risk

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worth

Worth It? Is It a Question About Time or Value?

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When there is disappointment or a decision to be made, someone might ask, “Is it worth it?” It seems commonplace yet it may not be asked as often as it should.

Was it worth it when:

  • You did your best work?
  • You cut quality to improve in speed?
  • Someone suggested you deviate from your current path to try something new or different?

Time is a constant for everyone, yet, it is a finite resource. It is one that everyone has the same amount of so the only way to benefit is through productivity and efficiency.

When you spend your time putting in the extra effort, does it make a difference? Time for studying, education, or family, have you balanced it appropriately. When you aren’t sure, you may ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”

Worth It

Life is full of choices and decisions. Life is also full of risk.

There is always risk. Sometimes it is viewed in trade-offs, or viewed to benefit the one, instead of the many.

Workplace risk is often measured as personal risk. A risk to speak up, or stay silent. Silence may allow the team to go off course, on the other hand, disagreeing with the boss might get you fired.

Assessing risk often reaches a conclusion based on a question of worth.

At the pawn shop or flea market, a used item is assessed by worth. The question develops and worth is measured.

Perhaps it should be questioned more. Questioned for compensation, questioned for the customer, and questioned for the activity that you’ll perform next.

Is time part of the equation?

Time and Value

Time is nearly always relevant. It pushes people to weigh risk, prioritize, and assess value.

The next time you’re curious about worth, consider how the boundaries of time change value.

More time often makes things have more worth.

Time is always associated with the price you pay.

-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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hiding problems

Hiding Problems, It Isn’t Useful or Productive

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What happens when there is a mistake or you disagree with a solution option? What is your habit for navigating, are you hiding problems?

A disagreement with the boss seems like an unlikely path to workplace harmony. However, problems swept under the carpet just mean they’ll be there when the carpet is pulled back and the problem reveals itself again.

Leading Sets The Example

Leadership means leading. Whether you are the boss or your average front line employee, you have a chance to lead.

Leading means navigation. Navigation means that things won’t always go your way. True for the boss and true for the direct report. It also means being open minded, considerate of others, and respectful at all levels.

In discussions of employee feedback, I’ll often ask, “If you were doing something wrong on the job for a day, a week, a month, or more, wouldn’t you feel embarrassed if no one told you?”

Feedback is not just another activity. It is a duty and likely a form of art. Practice is important. It isn’t simply the act of spewing out harsh criticism.

When there is conflict, avoidance and not knowing is the worst course of action. Being aware of conflict is the first step to minimizing any harmful effects. Conflict doesn’t have to become harmful. When well-managed, conflict may even be useful for future outcomes.

Hiding Problems

Challenging workplace dynamics and a lack of trust are often contributors to the act of hiding problems.

Employees will measure the risk of doing the right thing with the risk of the consequences of punishment before speaking of a problem.

Problems should avoid being about blame and actions should be targeted at resolution not punishment.

Workplace culture always sets the tone for how problems are managed and how employees will navigate each situation.

That is where you come in. Be a good role model and lead.

-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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skeptical believer

Skeptical Believer, Are You One Of Them?

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Have you factored workplace trust into the success of your organization? Are you a skeptical believer, or just moving about without giving belief much thought?

In workplace circles many people are convinced in what they believe. The right, the wrong, the labels, and the situations. What they see, what they perceive, is truth.

Often driven by expectations belief can be powerful, it can become extreme, and it also can become problematic.

Who do you choose to believe and why?

Skeptical Believer

People often choose to believe those that they trust. When you ask someone why they trust another person what is his or her response?

Do they trust from past experience with the person? Are they stereotyping, making assumptions, or simply giving the benefit of the doubt?

Is this blind belief? Belief based on science?

Much of the belief is suggested to come from a feeling. A trust your gut kind of experience. This trust is often analyzed in your mind based on past experiences.

A bad boss might create some emotional scars. The result, never trust the boss.

A co-worker who sells you out may create an unwillingness to trust team members.

It is often about an organization that looks like this, looks like that, acts that way, has employees who drive the cars or wear the clothes that you connect with a previous good or bad experience.

Risky Trust

Giving the benefit of the doubt in trust scenarios feels risky.

Not giving the benefit of the doubt may be halting progress.

Don’t blindly disregard your instincts, but when you don’t trust ask yourself why.

The absence of evidence may be the perfect reason to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

-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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business forecasting

Business Forecasting, Today Is Easier Than Tomorrow

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Do you know an expert at business forecasting? What you sold yesterday, or what is shipping today, is easy to report. When you can predict tomorrow you have something special.

Some might quickly argue that what happens today will be the predictor of tomorrow. Fair enough, perhaps, yet an actualized vision of tomorrow, knowing the future, seems more desirable.

When you attend the staff meeting, you’ll probably hear some reports about what happened recently, or across the most previous quarter. There may be a comparison to a year ago, or even two, but that doesn’t help anyone know for sure what tomorrow will look like.

Looking out your window right now you can describe the weather. You may also be able to access some weather data from yesterday, last month, or a year ago. Given the forecast for tomorrow or next week is risky.

Even our smartphones may show us historical photos which help us remember what we were doing one year ago, or two, three, or more.

Honestly, it is easy to describe right now, recently, or maybe even last year.

Can you predict the future?

Business Forecasting

Business forecasting is a great skill. It is not the same as strategy development, and certainly, it doesn’t have the guarantees of the report from last week.

Risk is always a factor. The wedding planner may have had a forecast for the 2020 wedding season. It probably wasn’t the doom and gloom that actually presented itself because of the unknown pandemic when the forecast was made.

Product and raw material shortages might be a forecast, or they may actually be factual data following the shutdown of a factory, mining, or harvesting operation weeks or months before. This information may not be a forecast or a prediction, but simply a report based on historical data.

It seems that most businesses seek is information of the unknown. Sure, historical data matters and it may be helpful, but it is unclear if it represents an accurate prediction for tomorrow.

The forecast for the weather is a risk, so is forecasting in your business.

Use the data. Call your best shot.

-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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chance opportunity

Chance Opportunity and Gauging Your Risk

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What about chance opportunity? The opportunity that presents itself, or you create, yet there is risk involved. Should you take it?

People often wait for the opportunity of a lifetime. They nestle in, they coast, they cruise, and they wait.

They may wait for the lottery, a marriage proposal, or a job with a salary that changes everything.

Life is full of risk. Error on the side of caution is often the advice. It may not be bad advice and it also may not be good advice.

Your chance opportunity is going to require some risk.

Will you take that chance?

Chance Opportunity

You have a chance to close a big sale but it requires a lot of unusual effort. You’re busy and can pick some other low-hanging fruit, but those opportunities are with lower revenue-producing clients. Do you put in the unusual effort or stay where it is safe and comfortable?

The product development team at your job needs a new design. There is both a stall and a void in the marketplace and you have an idea. Bringing the idea forward will require you to approach the CEO with some very unconventional strategies. You risk being labeled as crazy or seeking to break organizational norms. Should you speak up?

An unexpected job offer lands on your plate. It is a big change and you’ve been committed to your current endeavor for a long time. It will change your daily routine greatly, but your family would benefit from the additional income. Stay or go?

Lessening the risk is sometimes possible. It is also often a gamble, a negotiation of sorts, and a wrong move might weaken or completely sour the deal.

You’re never going to have zero risk.

It’s true that most cases of big rewards come with even bigger risks. Taking risk lightly is not the solution. Frozen in fear isn’t a good idea either.

This may be your only chance. Are you willing to risk the loss of the opportunity? Have you calculated what that costs?

-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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repetitive workplace problems

Repetitive Workplace Problems and Solving Them

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Problems always exist. In part, that is why we have supervisors and managers. Are you suffering from repetitive workplace problems?

One aspect of leadership is that sometimes supervisors and managers think that they shouldn’t have any problems. The view is that more advanced roles are the luxurious ones. A place to get comfortable, relax, and enjoy.

In you don’t realize it by now, that is a myth in most organizations.

Repetitive problems probably exist because they are hard to solve.

Hard to Solve

Hard to solve doesn’t mean impossible to solve. It does probably mean that the solutions aren’t obvious, aren’t easy, or require additional risk.

Most problems are quickly addressed through experience or theory. People learn to spot resolutions based on previous similar scenarios. They apply their knowledge and expertise and the problem gets resolved.

We solve lots of problems every day. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we are doing it. Yet, the lingering or repetitive problem nags at us.

Repetitive Workplace Problems

You attend the meeting, intending to solve a problem. The team gets sidetracked, the discussion becomes about obstacles, hurdles, and why things won’t work.

Maybe the problem definition is not clear. Maybe you can’t seem to get to the root cause, or perhaps you need more data or information before applying your expertise.

Don’t procrastinate about the problem. It is likely going to require some risk.

Get to the root cause.

If you don’t solve the problem at the root, it may repeat. When you don’t clearly understand the problem, it may continue.

When you get to the root and are willing to get a little uncomfortable and risky, you may discover a new path to problem resolution.

Otherwise, you may stay stuck.

-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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stalled career

Stalled Career And What Will Cause Movement

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Career, work-life balance, and the daily grind, are things feeling a bit stalled or stuck? It may seem easy to self-assess and tell yourself, “I’m not sure about my options.” The feeling of a stalled career is common, mostly because people apply simple logic.

The logical examination considers all of the valuable reasons you are where you are. It considers the ease of the norm, the status quo, and perhaps the safety of no risk.

Feeling Logical

The norm feels comfortable. You know the routine. You’ve grown to appreciate and quietly value the repetitive nature of things being just the way things are. Mostly, you know what to expect, and often, when to expect it. That’s normal.

The status quo shields you from change. It is based on your expectations. Expectations of a secure job position, an annual salary increase, and accrued vacation pay. Work life exists during mostly fixed hours, and you are comfortable steering around long weekends, vacations, and holidays.

Your mind will convince you that this is logical, it makes sense. You can’t do this, or do that, because of the risk connected with a decision.

Sometimes you feel forced to make a move, or sometimes unfortunately your services are no longer needed and a new direction is required.

Regardless of the circumstances people still often feel stuck. Stuck because any other move has already been evaluated and the only choice is to stay right where you are.

The suggestion sometimes is that people will only change when they get miserable enough to make a move. Do you really want to be that miserable?

Stalled Career

I often ask people, “What are you going to give up?”

When our days and our time is completely filled, we have to give up something in order to do something new. Logically, this doesn’t always resonate, mostly because if you are truly stuck it is often hard to see what you can give up.

If you are going to get things moving again. If you’re going to get out of your career stall, you’re going to have consider doing something different.

Different is scary, not always the most logical, or it may seem unreasonable.

In many cases it is not a matter of different knowledge, it is a matter of old knowledge applied differently.

No movement guarantees one thing, you’re stalled.

-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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new ideas

New Ideas Are Not Your Normal

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Do you know someone who knows it all? Have you ever been accused of acting like a know-it-all? Are you receptive to new ideas or would you rather stick with the old?

Many people are risk adverse. They’ve tried risk, it is scary and often doesn’t end well. At least, that is what they’ll say.

Assessing Risk

People often weigh risk inappropriately. In the workplace their personal scale is off balance. They weigh the risk of personal discomfort as greater than needs of the team or organization.

When an employee has a great idea, he or she may be hesitant to mention it. If they have some information contrary to the CEO’s beliefs, they avoid the conversation. The risk of personal harm feels greater than the risk of speaking up and helping the organization avoid some certain disaster.

New ideas are often met with negative fantasies. The doom and gloom that you visualize seems far more real than the possibility of a better outcome.

This is often where instincts and gut feel gain traction.

Ideas that are not our own are a surefire way to invoke an assessment of probable outcomes. Some of those outcomes are rooted in negative fantasies. The assumed pending doom feels more real, than the likely actual outcome.

When we lack new ideas or new outlooks, we’re stuck. New ideas are different, that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong.

Getting to New Ideas

Being a know-it-all, or accusing someone of the same is sometimes a hint that new ideas are not welcome.

If everything seems to be perfect, goals are being met, professional growth is good, and the organization you work for is growing then for the moment it is probably OK to steer clear of any new ideas.

For everyone else, new ideas may be exactly what you need to explore.

-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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something new

Try Something New, That’s Learning!

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Are you interested to try something new? Are you the first one to taste the unknown dish at the picnic or try the unknown from the menu?

At the dinner event hors d’oeuvres are often served. The well-trained staff will likely explain the dish, the teenage volunteer will just hold it out in your space to see if you’ll take the plunge.

Fresh seafood in North Dakota may be risky, but the beef is probably a safe bet.

Exploration helps us learn. It may also be known as research.

Learning Moments

Many people will learn from mistakes. Yet sometimes they keep doing the same thing over and over. The fear of the unknown seems greater than the risk of the consequences of bad moves.

It may feel like there is safety in the known. Other times, the last thing we want is the known.

Hiring managers often have a choice between internal candidates and external candidates. It is common that they know the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the internal possibilities. Yet they are more interested to risk an outsider who they’ve spent an hour or two with during an interview.

When it comes to change, we often want safety.

Very few people are convinced that when they jump, the net will appear.

Something New

It is risk that we may evaluate incorrectly.

At the meeting, the risk of speaking up seems more threatening than the risk of watching the team make another wrong turn. You can help, or offer alternatives, but you may retreat to a place of safety.

Fear of separation may be a root cause, which then leads to action anxiety and ultimately negative fantasies. You assess the situation and become convinced that the worst outcome will result. It’s too risky.

Trying something new may be the exact thing that is holding you back.

Don’t make the same mistakes over and over. Give up some safety for calculated risk.

That’s how we learn.

-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 opinions

Workplace Opinions Determine Fit

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Opinions, we all have them, right? Do your workplace opinions fit, or are they out of place?

For clarity, there is a difference between opinion and fact.

That’s a Fact

Suggesting that the pizza shop on the west side of town has the best pizza is an opinion. Unless, of course, the statement is, “Antonio’s Pizza won the best pizza in Clifton contest for the third year in a row.”

When we suggest that getting to work early is better than staying late, it is an opinion. The same is true for taking breaks, having background music in the office, and whether or not to have Hawaiian shirt Friday’s.

Opinions help form the culture. They help form what is symbolic about the organization, what stands out, and how outsiders remember or connect.

When you want to join the Facebook group, or when you choose to join an organized club or association, there is an expectation of conduct and fit.

Individual attitudes and perceptions help shape the image. They’re often based on opinions, not facts.

Workplace Opinions

There is more than a statement in, “This is the template for all corporate slide decks.” It is true for how visitors are treated, response times for customers and vendors, and how the pecking order of the parking lot works.

Organizations often promote the idea of change. Yet, largely, their opinions and beliefs about whether the clock pendulum ticks left before right, or right before left, is deeply rooted in the culture.

Opinions often determine fit. Opinions also tend to steer the direction of culture.

The next time you give a presentation to the C-Suite, request a lunch appointment with the CEO, or decide to wear flip-flops on Friday, you may want to check the culture for fit.

If it is important that you fit, it is best to develop an understanding of the cultural opinions first.

-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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