Tag Archives: technology

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convenient work

Convenient Work, Is This What You Do?

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Modern conveniences have made many things, well, more convenient. Is your job becoming more about convenient experiences? Is convenient work what you do?

Many people wonder about the future of machine learning and A.I. (artificial intelligence). Will my work be eliminated or will people embrace newer forms of technology?

The easy answer to both is, “Yes!”

Embracing Technology is Convenient

Certainly, there will be resistors to technology change. However, when technology changes make things easier or more convenient it is likely that people will participate.

The Keurig coffee maker is one about convenience. It has been popular and embraced by many. Not everyone, but many.

Streaming video for home television entertainment? Embraced.

The smartphone. Embraced.

It doesn’t take long to recognize we’ve shifted to areas of convenience.

Modern travel is a great example. You could take a train from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to San Jose, California, but why would you?

You could write down directions to get a hotel two States away when driving in your car, or you might use a navigation device built into your car or through your smartphone.

Traveling by air you can print your boarding pass, or utilize a QR Code on your phone. Once on the ground at your destination you can hail a cab, schedule a Lyft, Uber, or perhaps a shuttle. Most will do this with a smartphone app. The more information you provide to the app, the better your experience will be.

Convenient Work

There are at least two sides to convenience. There is the side that makes it better for you when you participate and there is the side that means someone else may be getting squeezed out of the picture.

Receptionists were once popular. In fact, some could earn a decent living and meet a lot of people in the process. Today, many of these jobs have been eliminated or minimized by technology.

In many places the same is true for the toll both clerk, the gas station attendant, and the store checkout cashier.

Is the work that you are doing replaceable by technology? Will technology change our lives?

Yes!

Jobs will change because we’ll participate. We’ll participate because it is convenient.

-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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robot work

Robot Work is Important Work

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Do you feel like all you do is robot work? The work that is mindless but still needs to get accomplished?

Some people hire more assistants for this work. There is even an entire marketplace for virtual assistants who work remote. Some of them are available from other countries at a very low price.

Robot Work

It is important to remember that many businesses need human robots. They need the box packer, the floor sweeper, and the paper or digital file administrator. Businesses need humans to interface with the customer, answer telephone calls, provide direction, and process email and orders.

In manufacturing environments, they need machine watchers, product movers, and quality inspectors.

There is a threat however, the threat is the replacement of human robots with technology applications.

If you believe this is real or possible then you may want to consider how you’ll navigate and position yourself for the future.

And for the business, if you’re not moving forward with technology, you’ll likely find a challenge emerging with finding human robots.

On the scale the lines are merging and will eventually crisscross with the human robots declining and the technology advancements growing.

Old news, really.

Two Choices

There are two choices for the business. One choice is to continue to fight the trend and put an enormous amount of effort into search, hire, and retain. The other choice is be more strategic and make the necessary technology investments.

There are two choices for the human robot. There is a choice to move with the flow. Attempt to stay as relevant as possible and outlast the wave of technology. Another choice is to be a front runner to work with the requirements of the organization and be the leader for change.

A box packer is a human robot. An engineer is someone who helps the organization find a better way.

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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capture attention

Capture Attention or Face a Bigger Challenge

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For the majority of the people in the workforce today, the World has changed. Some suggest we are in an information overload society and we filter much more than we consume. What are you doing to capture attention?

When I was a kid, after school I would jump off the school bus and run as fast as I could to my house. It was an exciting time. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Get started on what? What captured my attention?

Whatever it was that a few friends or one of my siblings may have established for what you do after school. At times I played alone. It may have been with a ball, a matchbox toy, or throwing around a few sticks in the nearby woods.

Pace of Technology

Consider this, just a little over a decade ago there were no smartphones. Text messaging really started to take off around 2005-2007. YouTube was founded in 2005, and didn’t start to become largely known until a few years later.

What does this technology history lesson indicate?

If you are in the workforce today and you are more than 25 to 30 years old, things have changed dramatically. It has all happened, right in front of you.

If you lean towards the younger side of the workforce scale you may not really remember much difference. If you are in the middle to older side of the scale, change is very noticeable.

The challenge today for every career conscious workplace professional and every business endeavor is not so much about change as it is about attention.

How do you capture the attention of your marketplace?

Capture Attention

We’re all selling, whether it is our expertise and why we are the right choice for the job or promotion, or whether it is our products and services, or a third category is perhaps, both.

When I was a kid, on a lucky day I had just a couple of friends to play with.

Technology hasn’t made us more reclusive; it has opened up the World.

The challenge then, is being interesting and valuable enough to get the attention of your market.

-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 change

Workplace Change and Remembering the People

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Has your workplace decided to shift direction, pivot, or use new technology? Have you changed machines, relocated, upsized, or downsized? Have you been bought by another entity? Never forget that workplace change involves people.

Since I officially entered the workspace at the age of seventeen, I’ve been around more than a few decades. I’ve seen a thing or two.

As we grow and expand our knowledge and businesses, especially with more technology, one constant remains, people.

How does workplace change impact people? How do the people affect the process or outcomes? Sadly, these two questions are often forgotten or taken for granted.

Change and People

Imagine you give Tiger Woods a brand-new set of golf clubs. These clubs are the most advanced clubs ever made. They feature the latest in technology, they are efficient, effective, and they are smart. They are also very expensive.

You hand them to Tiger and send him out on the course. A course he knows well and has played many times. Weather conditions are perfect. Will Tiger’s score improve?

Likely, not at first. He has never used these clubs before, they are different, he’ll need to learn more about them, get a feel, and adjust his style and approach.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this practical example of the outcome of change.

Why then do so many businesses, so many engineers, CEO’s, and other really smart people expect something different with workplace change?

Workplace Change

If you sense that I’m about to jump on the soapbox for a minute, you’re correct. I have witnessed too many business fatalities.

Smart people who have calculated everything about their new equipment or technology. Floor space, power, cost of ownership, and the specifications for throughput or output. They’ve done it all.

Except for one thing. How their people will navigate this change.

Sound silly? It is. I’m begging you. Stop the madness.

Have a plan for how you’ll integrate your change with the people. How they’ll know what to do, when, how far, how high, and how long. Plan for the costs and especially for the time.

You probably wouldn’t tackle heart surgery without a surgeon.

Hire experts who can help you with your people.

-DEG

Need some help with people? 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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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benchmarking strategy

Benchmarking Strategy And The Edge Of Technology

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Things around us seem to be moving quite fast. Rapid change somehow has become the norm, at least for many. What is your benchmarking strategy? Are you working off the latest or processing on dated belief?

Experience as a Tool

Experience is a wonderful tool. While it may seem odd to label experience a tool, it is something we use to constructively solve problems. Are you drawing upon your past experiences to create a path for the future?

If yes, good, because it certainly can be constructive. At the same time though, individual experience can sometimes be a roadblock.

We have several ways to create metrics or measurements for project evaluation or future strategy. We can measure against past performance (our data), we can measure against benchmark data (public information), or we can measure against management expectations.

What are you measuring against? None of these, one of these, or maybe a combination?

Compared to History

Things are changing rapidly. Our technology and information are a driver for rapid change. In the past 125 or 150 years we have seen an incredible pace of change.

The best way to go to the market to buy or sell products 150 years ago was likely a horse and wagon.

Today going to the market is accessible for buying and selling from a small device held in your hand. Technology which has developed and accelerated in just the past twenty years, some would suggest in the past ten.

An ever present dynamic to all of this is the access to technology. In some cases, it is a willingness to access it.

Benchmarking Strategy

New benchmarks will be set today. Tomorrow more new benchmarks. The day after, the same. We can find many of them on the internet.

Your work group, department, and leadership team will choose whether to access the latest benchmark data or not. What is the benchmarking strategy you are using?

When you strong arm strategy from your personal experiences, you tend to create a future based on the past.

Get out and see what is happening on the edge.

-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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customer service voice

What Is Your Customer Service Voice?

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Most of us have one, a voice that offers our opinions, expresses our values, and sets our desired expectations. Your voice may be more impactful than you realize. What is your customer service voice?

Internal and External

Keep in mind that customer service is both an internal and external part of your organizational culture. What is said, discussed, and believed is a big part of what sets expectations and creates outcomes.

Ship it anyway, the customer won’t notice.

I can’t find their telephone number on their website.

They completely rearranged the supermarket again, now I can’t find anything.

Your voice may be more powerful than you realize. What people say, even to themselves sets the expectations for future outcomes.

Power of Voice

When we believe the customer won’t notice, we’ll allow our work to have less quality. Believing that they won’t notice also signals that they don’t care. The belief becomes that they will continue to buy out of need, buy based only on price, or buy because they are sloppy or not frugal.

Certainly, the idea of fewer customer service oriented calls conceptually saves money. It removes the human cost. Similar to the auto attendant signaling us to “press or say one for sales, two for…” so that we are directed to the correct department.

The real problem may be that people are calling only after the website or help chat has left them with unanswered questions or additional frustration. Better yet is the system that demands your customer number, order number, or telephone, only to get a live person and have to repeat it all again.

When technology drives better service, when the investment is expensive enough to make it better, not cheaper, typically service will improve. Unfortunately, many efforts to remove the human factor are an immediate attempt to cut costs, not improve service.

The supermarket may measure profit and margins by what shoppers select and where they can find it. Single piece candy bars aren’t in the back corner of the store, that is where the milk, meat, and seafood is located.

The store may not care about the amount of energy required for your shopping experience, but they certainly want you see all the high margin items you can conveniently buy from them. In contrast, the e-commerce store allows sort, filter, and easy reorder, plus it arrives at your door.

Customer Service Voice

What we say, what we discuss, and most importantly what we tell ourselves and others will condition our expectations. This is our customer service voice.

When we believe that cheap is all that matters, that is probably exactly what we’ll get.

Perhaps our customer service voice should change. It may require more talk about what we buy being connected with what it is worth, not just connected with what it costs.

These are the businesses that are focused on doing what matters, not what is cheap.

They are out there. Their employees and customers both have the same voice.

– 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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future customer service expectations

Exceed Future Customer Service Expectations

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Retail stores (and online) gear up for back to school. They increase hiring and stock more inventory for cyclical or holiday seasons. They expect more to happen, more sales, more customers, and more revenue. It may represent future customer service expectations.

Most of us try to prepare. We prepare for the surge. Rush hour traffic, the dinner hour at our favorite restaurant, and even the best timing for the grocery store.

Customers and businesses alike prepare. They prepare for the most, more, and when they expect many. Are you prepared for the future expectations of your customers? What experience are they anticipating? What is your perception?

Technology and Speed

Technology is pushing everything to be faster. A telephone call or message once had to wait until we got to the next destination. Conversations or updates waited until after school, after work, until the evening or perhaps even waited until the upcoming weekend.

Many people carry a portable computer in the form of a smart phone in their pocket or purse. They get anxious when it isn’t working fast enough or the service is questionable.

When we have a question we don’t have to wait until the store opens tomorrow or the expert calls us back when he or she can fit us in. We don’t need a paper (hardcopy) dictionary, a thesaurus, or encyclopedia.

We don’t need our friend the professional mechanic to show us how to change our oil or fix the kitchen sink. All that we need is our phone, appropriate service and the understanding of how to seek a digital answer. Or is there something more?

Things aren’t just changing, they have changed. Expectations are increasing faster and many businesses can’t keep up.

Old School and Experts

Of course, there is always the desire for what once was such as the camping trip, the no phone zone, and an opportunity to unwind.

If you can raise the effort for back to school, the holiday season, and to achieve the best timing, do you really understand the future expectations of your customer? If the answers are only a smartphone away how does the expert become valued?

Future Customer Service Expectations

Expectations are created and opportunities exist in your future and for the future of your business.

Expectations create perception and perception is reality. With a little effort, you might be able to predict the future more than what you realize.

– 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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next big thing

Waiting For The Next Big Thing?

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When you are living in the present, it is hard to imagine the next big thing. Some people might think about holding on to the lifestyle, traditions, and comfort of the past. Others are invested in the present, a good thing, but do you ever find yourself thinking about what is next? Are you waiting for it?

Historic Perspective

In the mid to late 1800’s they probably didn’t imagine the impact of what we know as the automobile, the superhighways, and how it all impacts the economy. Not so long ago we probably couldn’t have imagined the impact of the personal computer and even more recently the Smart Phone.

It might have been hard to imagine the concept of a 1980’s era shopping mall in 1920. Yet today after enormous popularity, their future might be changing. At least, the future as we once thought it would be.

Workforce Generations

Today, I often talk with people about the workforce generations. I present about generational differences at conferences, and even help businesses and organizations develop a deeper understanding of how to have this work for you instead of against you.

As people we are often holding on to what works, what is comfortable, and what feels smart. We focus on efficiency, doing the right things, and at the deepest level, survival.

In this regard we’re not so much different from a century or two ago, yet much has changed.

Next Big Thing

Futurists want to predict, discover, and connect with the next big thing. The biggest problem is knowing what the next big thing will be.

It might be hard to believe that not so long ago there was a common belief that the internet might be a fad, that social media was only for geeks, and that shopping on-line was cumbersome, a waste of time, and shipping charges made it too expensive.

There will always be some next big thing. Until that time it might be best to focus what is working today, all the while understanding that it has changed from yesterday and that it might be different tomorrow.

One thing that history shows us is that there was not really much success in waiting.

– 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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Crowd Appeal

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Sometimes it seems like everything in life or business is a paradox. What seems to be real, logical, or a truism, somehow can be twisted or manipulated into something completely different. We see a lot of paradoxical thinking in advertising or marketing. There are metaphors, analogies, and symbols that are somehow targeted to make us think differently.

CrowdByJamesCridland

The idea is, being different makes you remember. The belief is, it builds the brand or gets the sale.

What is so alarming about this line of thinking is that while the strategy is to appeal to the crowd, our best work, the work that is the most innovative and creative will have to be different. Then what starts out as being different, circles back to become appealing to the crowd – a paradox. But this only happens when the crowd is ready, or when the something different is compelling enough to move them.

This is true for movies, books, job seekers, promotion seekers, your business, your car, your house, and your technology choices. Most people and businesses are working towards crowd appeal, but yet they all believe they are offering something different.

You or your business can choose. If you want the job, the sale, or to build the brand, you can appeal to the crowd, or you can offer something different, an option, but you’ll likely never do both at the same time. 

– DEG

Photo Credit: James Cridland


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