Tag Archives: risk

  • -
workplace leaders risk

Workplace Leaders Risk More By Being First

Tags : 

Many people believe that they are paving the way, instead they may be following. Workplace leaders risk more by being first and creating the future. Are you following or are you leading?

It is simple. Being the front runner requires risk that the others don’t have to endure.

Leading or Following?

I can tell you about yesterday’s weather. It is easy to get it correct. Predicting tomorrow’s weather is a little bit trickier.

You can observe a brand’s social media exposure, like, and follow. If they appear to be gaining momentum you can launch a similar campaign. If not, you can observe another. Only opportunity cost from inaction is really at risk. You’re not leading, but following.

The idea to put a camera in a phone, a credit card reader at the parking meter, or create a single cup coffee maker may have been created by people who were leading. The cost to follow after observing the success is much less expensive.

Very few businesses are truly front runners. Very few artists, authors, or architects are launching ideas that are truly original. In many regards, they are following or perhaps expanding upon ideas that they have learned.

Workplace Leaders Risk

Knowing yesterday’s weather report may be a reliable source of information. Describing the exact weather for a May wedding, several months in advance seems foolish, or at least extremely risky.

In the workplace, employees can report on all the historical data. They can produce charts, graphs, and apply a clever marketing spin for a compelling message. A competitive analysis of results may be helpful, but it doesn’t really make them a leader.

Workplace leaders take a risk of knowing when to follow, or when to expand on past ideas or results. They’ll take the most risk when they choose to do it 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.


  • -
risky decision

When Speaking Up is a Risky Decision

Tags : 

We all play a role in the workplace. Even the person who is never asked plays a role. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute, the question is, “How will they?” Have you ever felt that speaking up is a risky decision?

We sometimes evaluate our circumstances in strange ways. Our contributions as an employee may find us offering opinions or retreating to silence out of fear. What do you do?

Fear as a Driver

Much of what happens in our workplace cultures is conditioned by fear. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, but it still happens.

What happened the last time someone was wrong? Did their contribution get labeled as a failure? Did they get uninvited from the team meeting? Are their chances of a future promotion now limited? Were they fired?

Perhaps none of those things happened but that is the message that is often floating around in our head. “I should say something but it is too risky.”

What is your measurement of risk?

Do you withdraw from contributing out of fear? Do you watch your team or organization make costly wrong turns which could have been avoided if you offered your perspective? What is riskier?

Risky Decision

No one wants to make a bad choice or a wrong decision. Sometimes our decisions turn out the wrong way because we lack information.

No one told me the caesar salad had anchovies. 

I didn’t realize how many calories were in the chocolate fudge brownie. 

They person I bought the car from never mentioned the transmission was acting up. 

What carries the most risk? The consequences of politely and appropriately contributing to the conversation or watching the disaster that may unfold if you don’t speak up?

Be careful with your risky decision.

-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.


  • 2
digital age stereotypes

Digital Age Stereotypes and The Challenge for Integrity

Tags : 

How do you manage cold calls? Do you take them? Ever? Do you know who is on the other end of the call? What is the opportunity cost? Have digital age stereotypes contributed the challenge of sales or integrity?

Recently, I spoke with a client about the aspect of selling consulting or training services through cold calling. We chuckled a bit about how things have changed across the years. Things are much different now.

Digital Age Stereotypes

Once upon a time there wasn’t caller ID, there wasn’t voicemail, and it seemed like there was more time to politely address callers. Any caller.

Today it is the agony, I believe, that keeps us away from answering cold calls. The agony of trained callers who are not permitted to accept “No,” as an answer. They just keep pushing, and so it is easier to avoid the call.

It’s a stereotype. “All callers we don’t know are pushy sales people.”

Challenge for Integrity

Put up a website, create an eBay store, or sell on Amazon. There are basically not any rules of engagement or integrity.

If the website looks decent, and the content is compelling, we may buy. If the picture of the eBay item looks reasonable and there is evidence of a “good seller” we may place a bid.

Amazon is selling lots of product that never makes it to a retail shelf. We can argue that is good. It means more opportunity.

We can also argue that it is bad because what is being sold may be junk.

Social media channels are broadcasting get rich quick schemes, work from home and make easy money, or try this new diet with our eight-week meal plan.

Integrity and Risk

Digital age stereotypes have extended our feeling of risk.

It is true for the job seekers (and employers) who find themselves buried in the pool of thousands of candidates. It is true for the unknown caller, and it is true for the online shopper.

Remember, it may be a new age, but your integrity at every level still matters. Build a good brand.

-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+


  • -
safety zone

Safety Zone and The Status Quo Approach

Tags : 

Safety is something that most humans covet. It’s an inherent part of our evolution. We like to feel safe. Is operating in your safety zone or the status quo holding you back?

Safety and the status quo tend to keep everyone stuck.

Status Quo is Sticky

We don’t speak up at the meeting. It is safer to just observe. It saves embarrassment, perhaps revealing a weakness, or worse, getting blacklisted or fired for a bad idea.

We don’t apply for the new job. Maybe we aren’t that good. Maybe we’ll fail, or maybe they will decide they don’t like me so I better stay put. It is safe.

It is often suggested to represent the evidence of loyalty, commitment, or how we do it here.

Gradually, across time, our jobs and workplaces create the feeling of safety and security. There is a feeling of comfort in the status quo.

The Paradox

Yet, every day organizations are mostly looking to serve more, do more, create new, get bigger, be stronger, and last longer.

The contrast between safety and change is sometimes nearly invisible to the employee, yet the lingering feeling is often a cause for discomfort.

It is ever present in the job change. The increased workload. Picking up the slack for another person or workgroup, or the message from leadership that the economic climate requires change.

Safety Zone

It is ironic that the best organizations are the ones operating on the edge. The very edge of in control versus out of control. The organization that pushes the button, finds ways to become more efficient, and takes big leaps while others stand wishfully pondering the edge.

Everything is changing. Changing rapidly. The status quo is not safe.

True for the organization. True for the individual.

Excitement, engagement, and growth happen just on the other side of the safety zone.

-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+


  • -
constructive contributions

Constructive Contributions Are Valuable In The Workplace

Tags : 

Conditioning plays a role in much of what we do. As children or young adults many have learned to keep quiet, to not say anything, and just sit back and observe. However, it is constructive contributions that will have an impact on your future.

Speak Up, Listen, Contribute

Many people are afraid to speak up. It may be from ridicule, from the risk of being wrong, or because past experience has taught us it is safer without comment.

There is value in listening more, and many people should practice better listening, but what things are going unsaid?

How many times have you sat in the meeting with a thought on your mind but you failed to share it? How many times could the lost sale, lost client, or lousy performance have been prevented?

Measuring Risk

The value of constructive contributions is very high but like many high value items it is often very rare.

People often measure risk in the wrong way. What is riskier, speaking up, or watching the team go down the wrong path?

It may be alarming the number of times that things go unsaid. Of course, sometimes inaction may be the right action. How do you know what to do?

Constructive Contributions

When you paraphrase, you often increase understanding and limit miscommunication. What is the risk or the harm? Little or none.

When you build on others ideas for the benefit of the decision, there is little effort wasted and the quality of the decision improves. You also invite future contributions.

When you take a chance, leap, and risk with thoughtful, constructive contributions, you may change the outcome. You may invent something new, better, or appropriately encourage redesign.

The best job security, the highest probability for a promotion, and the insurance of a future for your organization may exist through constructive contributions.

While there may be some risk, the value is great.

Ante up.

-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+


  • -
pleasing everyone

When Pleasing Everyone Pleases No One

Tags : 

You have probably said it, “You can’t please everyone.” If you haven’t said it, you’ve certainly heard it. Are you pleasing everyone, or just creating an atmosphere of average?

Many people like to operate in the averages. They have some willingness to cooperate, to compromise, and they try to just get along.

We see this with room temperatures, the audio volume in the movie theater, and often on the highway as we keep the pace of traffic.

Stand Out

Yet, most people, most products or services provided by organizations are looking to stand out. They aren’t necessarily looking to blend in, to make everyone happy, or to keep operating within the averages. Or, are they?

The dive bar just outside of town may have the best wings, they are different from the franchise operation downtown. They aren’t average, they are exceptional as proclaimed by some. Yet there may be those who find them too hot or the atmosphere inappropriate for kids.

Anthony Robbins, who some admire very much, doesn’t have an average presentation style. It is part of his strategy. It appeals to some, but not necessarily to all.

At the carnival you don’t really remember much about the ring toss, the ping-pong ball throw, or the hot dogs. You remember the biggest, scariest ride that some wouldn’t even think about trying. You did, or maybe you didn’t, but you remember.

How should you position yourself or your organization? Do some things make sense existing in averages.

Pleasing Everyone

At a table in the restaurant our coffee probably comes in a ceramic mug or cup. A fountain soda from the fast food chain often comes in a paper-based cup with a plastic lid and a straw. Most smart phones are close in size and are available in black.

The challenge in all of this is that pleasing everyone is not memorable. That is why the restaurant needs to set itself apart. It is why the dive bar has the best wings, and perhaps precisely why Anthony Robbins is well known.

Comfort and averages keep people locked in to something that is just okay. There isn’t really any risk and so the reward is average.

Yet the business or person who risks giving more, doing more, and being a little different can become memorable. Memorable is probably not based in the average.

-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+


  • -
Handshake return

Should Commitment And The Handshake Return?

Tags : 

Trusting relationships are often cited as the path for mutual success. In a World of hustle and bustle, everything digital, and artificial intelligence should the handshake return?

Many people strive to become trusted by fitting in, finding agreement, and playing the right kind of politics. It is a surface trust, a trust that often ends in a letdown, and one that only matters if both parties have a need.

In highly political workplace currents people strive not to stand out, they hunker down, and don’t bring any unnecessary attention to themselves.

Doing the opposite may threaten the status quo, upset organized labor, and get you shunned from the group. The underground consensus is, get along with the crowd to get ahead.

Commitment is Risk

Trouble often develops because the mutual need doesn’t last. The handshake is missing. What is good in the moment may not be good for the rest of the day.

Colleagues let colleagues down, they drop balls, don’t pick up their toys, and they kick down castles in the sand.

Clients and vendors are for purpose only. Win at all costs, cut everything until you win, keep winning.

Trust is about a promise, so is a handshake. When we trust, promises are kept, commitments are honored, and people do what they say.

Often our clutter is because the handshake is missing. More email messages to confirm, more phone calls to ensure its real, more anxiety because no one knows for sure.

Handshake Return

Should the handshake return? Should everyone be more committed to doing what they say and saying what they’ll do?

Making a promise you’ll keep is risky. Something better may come along. A better deal, a new opportunity, a cause for your promise to be broken.

When winning at all costs is what matters the most, the handshake feels like it carries too much risk. The extra effort and commitment required make it easier to skip or be forgotten.

Bring back the handshake.

-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+


  • -
backwards thinking

Backwards Thinking and Turning Things Around

Tags : 

Some people believe in doing it backwards. The thought is, “I will do it when…” In business this may be backwards thinking and you may discover things are more effective done a different way.

We will train our workforce when we are not so busy.

We will upgrade our computer system when we get a few more customers.

Our building will get remodeled if we hit our goal this year. 

All these things and many more are quite possibly critically important. Important for customers, for scaling, and even for employee morale.

Trouble Spots

One of the trouble spots is that business owners, the CEO, and the board may not always believe in these investments. It often feels a lot safer to do it later. Do it when the time is right.

Unfortunately, some of the greatest opportunities pass by when the organization is not prepared.

Customer service and leadership skills don’t hold an organization back, improvements help build the organization up. Software and hardware upgrades, the same is true. Building size, condition, and ambiance, always make a difference for employee morale and customer comfort. In some cases, it depicts the brand.

Things are easy to suggest waiting for. Will the organization be ready when opportunity knocks?

Backwards Thinking

Being frugal is important and often smart. In business though, you sometimes must leap while you are looking, and you must build the airplane while you are flying it. It is part of the risk assessment and the cost associated with getting the timing just right.

The hospital doesn’t build an addition only when the rooms are full. The restaurant doesn’t get fresh lettuce only when they run out, and the car dealership doesn’t sell their entire inventory before getting more on the lot.

Are you tempted to wait? Backwards thinking may be something worth evaluating. It may be what is missing. Turn things around.

-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+


  • -
Brainstorming session

Brainstorming Session and You Have a Seat at the Table

Tags : 

Many engage in their job role hoping to get a seat at the table. They often wish for the chance to participate, to tell their story, and offer their idea. Have you been invited to the brainstorming session?

Seat at the Table

We know how to act when we’ve been invited to the birthday party, a holiday meal, or even when we are out for dinner with a few friends. We grab a seat at the table and we prepare to eat.

Many people take this opportunity to eat as much as they can. It is a feast. People dive deep and sometimes eat more than what they probably should, but it is not just another meal it is an event!

Chances are good that they have considered many items on the menu. Perhaps, they have even tried a few items that they were unsure about, perhaps something completely new or different.

When you grab that seat, you have an idea what is about to unfold, lots of eating. If you aren’t prepared to eat there really isn’t much reason to have a seat at the table. In fact, you probably shouldn’t take a seat at all.

A similar scenario exists in the brainstorming or problem solving session. If you are not going to dive in deep, if you refuse to consider things you haven’t tried before, or if you believe you are already completely full, don’t take a seat.

Big Problems

Most problems an organization faces that require a brainstorming session are big. If they were small and simple they would have already been solved.

The thought is that big problems require big solutions. Ironically, many of the problems that most mainstream businesses face today are not as big as they appear.

Brainstorming Session

How to ship on time, how to reduce the friction of the customer journey, or the risk associated with forecasting the ROI of the marketing campaign. All of these things are often only limited because someone is in the way. They are occupying space. They have a seat but they aren’t eating.

Many organizations get stuck, stalled, or stopped by someone sitting at the table who believes a roadblock or the status quo is better than the open road.

If you are invited, grab a seat, but only if you intend fully participate.

– 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+


  • -
inner critic

Using Your Critic To Guide Your Inner Compass

Tags : 

What guides your inner compass? What moves you more, the compliment, or the feedback that suggests improvement? Perhaps it should be some of both.

Recently I was using an experiential learning activity with a small group of people from many different parts of the United States. During the activity debrief I said, “compass” and one of the participants from the Chicago area said, “Wait, say that again.”

Unsure of what he was referring to I asked, “Which part?”

He politely said, “The word compass.”

There was a difference in our dialect. I didn’t notice, but he did. He pronounces the word different from me, more of “come pass.” He wasn’t trying to be a critic, but he did notice something different.

Blend In or Be Different

People often fear being different.

In our workplace, we are often taught to adapt, to blend in, and to be a good fit. Certainly, this has tremendous value. After all, the CEO insists on the hiring manager finding someone who will fit. I am not suggesting that is a perfect plan, but it does often happen.

Since we want to fit, we adapt, we learn that we should blend in. We believe we should be what the organization needs and not who we are. This isn’t necessarily bad, in fact, it is the norm. However, when we give the critic inside ourselves too much power we may lose.

Risk Assessment

There is risk involved. We may risk politely speaking up in a meeting, risk sharing our knowledge, ideas, or suggestions.

It is the critic we once heard, the person who corrected us. Corrected our language, our thoughts, and guided us to a way of doing things.

This is certainly important in society. It guides social norms and keeps in check what is right from what is wrong.

Does it also stifle our true abilities? Will it slow innovation and limit our contributions?

Inner Compass

Our inner compass is powerful, but you are still in control. What guides us is important. The trick is to know when to follow your inner compass and when to choose a different path.

Right from wrong, morals, and ethics, are probably good reasons to pay close attention to true North. Your creativity, ideas for improvement, and the chance to make a positive and impactful difference, you may want to consider a little freestyle.

Your critic is only as powerful as you allow.

– 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+


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. Management Essentials – Lewistown, PA

    May 23 @ 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
  2. How to Write and Publish Your Book

    May 29 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  3. Rediscovering Positivity

    June 4 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more