Tag Archives: tactical

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tactical emergencies

Tactical Emergencies May Be Holding You Back

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Do you spend a big chunk of your day [metaphorically] fighting fires? Is it time to change the approach? Tactical emergencies happen, but when they are the norm there should be corrective action.

We could start with hiring practices, or we could jump into training approaches, and then we could even jump into egos, systems, and most of all strategy.

Do you have the best approaches to work or are you just getting through each day?

Every time you are fighting a fire you have temporarily abandoned strategy. Whether it is five minutes, five days, or five weeks. Both strategy and tactics are important, yet both require balance.

Are you doing too much tactical?

Tactical Emergencies

Workplace leaders are often out of balance. They feel trapped. Trapped in picking up the pieces for production or performance failures that are happening all around them.

What do they do?

They put out fires with little afterthought of how it started, why it started, or especially why they are continuing to pop-up.

In order to regain balance, they need to do something different. They need to stop the cause of fires.

Misbelieve 1 – No one is capable of providing the oversight that I provide. That is why I’m here. I’ve worked my way up by being the one who fixes everything from a hiccup to a catastrophe. Checkpoints: ego, training, aged cultural systems, or values.

Misbelieve 2 – Training takes too long and no one cares enough. There isn’t enough time. We need to get the people working not training, after all, we have a schedule to meet. My job is to pick up the pieces. Checkpoints: training is an investment, not a direct expense, culture, purpose, and long-term strategy.

Misbelieve 3 – It’s been done this way for years. That’s exactly how we’ve stayed in business. It’s hard to find new talent. Checkpoints: strategy, technology investments, skills, culture, business reputation.

Sometimes it feels like the only way to get out of a hole is to dig. Sometimes while you are digging you misunderstand how you got into the hole in the first place.

Being more strategic and less tactical may be much more effective than showing up with a helmet, an axe, and sirens blaring.

-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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managing problems

Managing Problems and Your Job Description?

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Does your job description include managing problems? For many, this is an assumption. A presumed duty and competency requirement.

There seems to be two schools to navigating workplace problems.

Which School?

The first school of thought is, managing problems is our job. As a supervisor, manager, or other workplace leader, we solve problems.

Having a strong awareness to solve problems can be a good thing. However, like anything, too much may be too much.

Are you spending your day fighting fires? Are you proud to be able to fix and solve almost anything? Being a good problem solver is great and something to be proud of. At the same time, always tactically fighting fires does not give the operation time to be strategic.

Another school of thought is that problems are not my problem. Some workplace leaders believe that problems are a distraction and that they shouldn’t have any. Theoretically, you can see how they may come to that conclusion. In reality, problem solving is always going to be part of their job.

Managing Problems

The best leaders are striking a balance between the tactical approaches of problem solving and deploying strategy. They understand that solving problems matters and is important, yet at the same time strategy will make a difference for better future positioning.

Is problem solving an assumption in your job description or does it literally exist? In either case your ability to solve problems may be a big part of why you have the job.

Never assume that problems are something you shouldn’t have.

-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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easy strategy

Easy Strategy, Jump In To Get Started

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What you accomplish today may be based entirely on a tactical approach. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, soon someone will have a “fire” for you to fight. Is there an easy strategy, or is this it?

Solving Problems

People often take great pride in being the workplace problem solver. Yet at the same time they wonder how they’ll accommodate the strategic needs that their job demands.

In truth, most things are easy to say and harder to do. As we’ve all heard, “Easier said than done.”

Saying it is critical. Chances are far greater that it will get done if it is said first, without being said, good luck.

Congratulations, so now you’ve said it.

Is Everything Urgent?

Getting out of our own way is also easier said than done. We know the urgency to close the sale, the urgency for better quality, and the urgency to ship.

For the workplace leader jumping in has never been more important, but always jumping in is perhaps not the best strategy.

Urgent problems become fewer with more strategic direction.

Easy Strategy

When we develop strategy, it consists of objectives, goals, and a tactical plan to make it all come together. Getting overwhelmed and stuck in the tactical approach isn’t part of an easy strategy.

Stuck doesn’t mean that there is an absence of motion. Motion should never be confused with reaching the objective, unless the objective is motion.

A rocking chair gets a lot of motion but it doesn’t go anywhere. The same is true for your spin class or an amusement park carousel.

Jump Correctly

If you are going in circles every day. When you are tactically putting out workplace fires, fighting the good fight, and being part of the team, you may be getting a lot of good work done, are you really aren’t going anywhere.

Considering all your commitment to ship, the easy strategy feels like you should jump in.

Jumping in often isn’t a strategy at all. It is a lot of motion that accomplishes important stuff, but it seldom solves the real problem.

Avoid confusing process with product.

-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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stop fighting fires

How to Stop Fighting Fires

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It might be one of the most common metaphorical expressions in the workplace. The phrase, “fighting fires,” probably implies that many unexpected, urgent, and important to fix immediately issues are popping up in your workday. Have you ever felt like you want to stop fighting fires?

Many organizations that I work with on strategy development express that much of their daily workplace life is spent fighting fires. I’m glad we’ve connected, because it might be time to become more strategic versus tactical in their approach.

Having tactical skills is excellent. Identifying tactics that will help you pursue your strategy is also excellent. Being overwhelmed with having to quickly drop everything and tactically handle workplace emergencies might mean you need more strategy.

Stop Fighting Fires

Here are a few thoughts to help you move away from a fire fighting approach:

  1. Root Cause. Effective problem solving begins by getting to the root cause. When we don’t, the problem will likely occur again. Don’t just provide the patch or quick fix. Take the time to understand the root cause and fix it for the last time.
  2. Delegate. Are you the only person who can address this situation? Are you the best person to address it? The answer might sometimes be yes, and sometimes be no. Sharing the load with a peer or delegating to a direct report might sometimes be a reasonable course of action.
  3. Train. Is everyone appropriately trained? What information, advertising, or promises are leading people to a situation where everything is an emergency? Step back from it all and ask yourself why. Are you solving problems at the root? Provide appropriate training.
  4. FAQ. What are the frequently asked questions? What are the repetitive scenarios? Frequently asked questions might be signaling other underlying problems. Perhaps adding a frequently asked questions page to your website or contained within your product materials would be helpful.
  5. Focus. Sometimes we’re looking for an interruption. It is a strange way of procrastinating. Sure, you can’t stop the telephone from ringing and you definitely don’t want the opposite (never rings) but perhaps not every situation is truly an emergency. Stay appropriately disciplined and focused.

More Productive

The most productive and efficient people are probably also the most strategic. If you want to stop fighting fires and start getting more done you’re going to have to plan appropriately.

Look beyond the problem and develop a strategy.

– 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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