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Archive for the ‘Creativity/Innovation’ Category

What’s Good Enough?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

What is Good EnoughWriting in the 1600s, Thomas Fuller said, “Good is not good where better is required.”

How do we know when “better is required”?

In a work world filled with urgency and the mandate to do more with less, “good enough” can feel like the only way to get through a never-ending, always-expanding task list.

But unfortunately, that can be a direct path to mediocrity.

What’s the impact of good enough in your organization?

What problems do errors cause for your customers, clients, and corporate bottom line?

There are times when good enough really is enough, and trying to achieve more slips over into perfectionism. (more…)

Are You a Hoarder?

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Leadership TrainingNo, we’re not talking about the TV show, and we don’t suspect you of secretly stockpiling paper clips – or even of having too many cats.

But you – or others in your organization – might be hoarding knowledge.

The phrase “knowledge is power”  is sometimes interpreted  as, “If I keep all the knowledge to myself, I will have power.” This is the hoarder model. It’s based on the flawed assumption that knowledge is in short supply, and that if we “give it away” by sharing what we know, we lose something.

The statement “knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied” is a more helpful approach, recognizing the reality that knowledge isn’t a “thing” that, when we give it away, we no longer have. Instead, shared knowledge increases understanding and insight.

When knowledge flows within an organization, that sends a message of trust and confidence to all employees. This alone tends to motivate and energize everyone involved. (more…)

Stress is A Gift

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Stress is a GiftMuch of what we believe about stress may not be true.

In June of last year, Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal spoke at the TED Global conference. Her topic was “How to make stress your friend,” and in it she cited numerous studies showing that how our bodies respond to stress – and quite literally whether stress will kill us or not – has more to do with how we think and act in stressful situations than with the amount of stress we encounter.

When we view stress as harmful to our health, it is: over an eight-year period, 43% of people who viewed stress as bad for them and reported having high stress in their lives died. On the other hand, those people who had high stress in their lives but did not view it as harmful had the lowest death rates of any group in the study, including those who had relatively low levels of stress.

It turns out that what’s actually bad for us is how we view stress, not how much stress we have.

Here are three ways to shift your perspective on stress. (more…)

Race Without a Finish Line

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Race without a Finish LineHighly successful organizations typically don’t settle for “good enough.” Good enough is barely a step above mediocrity, and that just doesn’t cut it in today’s hyper-competitive world.

To stay on top, organizations must always be asking themselves:

  • Is our product as good as it could be?  And, if the answer is no…they make it better.
  • Is our organization as effective as it could be?  And, if it’s not, they work to address ineffectiveness wherever it is found.
  • Are there new opportunities available to us? And, if there are, they figure out how to take seize those opportunities.

Employees in successful organizations aren’t just in a race with the competition…they are in a race with themselves.  A race to achieve the best that is within them. (more…)

Make it Matter

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

John JensonAre you essential to your organization? Would the place fall apart without you, or would it keep running smoothly if you were to leave? These are important questions for employees to ask themselves from time to time.  Why?  Because it often means the difference between short-term employment and long-term success in a job.

Everyone’s work, in some way or another, can positively impact the organization. People who see the part they play in helping the organization meet its goals, and who then consistently deliver their part at a high level, can’t help but become significant.

Communication coach and consultant John A. Jenson explains that there are three things a person can do to set themselves apart. These are:

  • Design  (taking who you are–not who you wish you were–“stepping it up” and then commiting to making that your standard; strong personal designs can be described with words like credible, engaging or professional).
  • Package (making sure that the way you look and act is in line with the design you’ve established for yourself).
  • Deliver (delivering on your claims and doing what you say you are going to do).

(more…)

Sam Glenn Attitude Series

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Business TrainingWhether talking about work or life in general, a great attitude helps us produce better results and increases our sense of well being.

The Sam Glenn Attitude Series is a set of wonderful training videos hosted by author, chalk board artist and motivational speaker Sam Glenn. In these wildly entertaining videos, Glenn uses humor, inspirational insights, and candid simplicity to encourage people to stay positive.

The programs encourage positivity in multiple ways. Glenn illustrates how fun and creativity enhance interactions with co-workers. He also teaches how to adapt positively to an ever changing world, how to deal with other people’s negative energy, and  how employees can keep their thoughts and actions positive on a day-to-day basis. (more…)

Accelerating the Possibility Curve

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

By Dewitt Jones

It’s 8am in the middle of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge. I’ve been photographing snow geese since long before dawn.  Thousands stop here on their yearly migration and, until an hour ago, the morning sky had been crowded with them. Now, however, the sky is empty.

“They’ll bed down right after dawn and won’t get up for anything after that,” the Ranger had told me, “‘About the only thing that frightens them once they’re down is a low flying plane and we don’t get many of those around here.”

Well, they were sure “down” now. I could hear them all squawking somewhere over the corn rows in front of me. A good bit of hiking and I found them, thousands of them, in a tiny lake in the middle of the reserve.

I set up my long lens and waited.  An hour.  Not one flew.  Another hour.  Nope, they certainly were “down.”

In the heat of the morning, my mind began to wander. Strangely, looking at that empty sky and the immovable snow geese, I found myself thinking about the nature of change. In so many areas of our lives, we simply don’t want it. None of us want to get older, or face a new onslaught of IRS regulations, or like having our favorite TV series dumped unceremoniously from the airways. (more…)

Permission to Fail, Sir?

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Organizations whose cultures forbid failure are organizations that will become stagnant, lacking the resourcefulness and innovation necessary to succeed.

When failure isn’t an option, there’s no incentive to take even the smallest risk in trying something new.  If an employee knows he’ll be punished for failing, he’ll be careful to stay well within the boundaries of accepted practice.  And then it’s not just failure that isn’t an option; it’s any kind of change or improvement.

Obviously you don’t want to encourage wildly impractical risk-taking or invite catastrophic failure.  So how can you encourage employees to take sensible risks, learn from their mistakes, and – as the saying goes – “fail forward” into success? (more…)

Diversity: Your Ticket Out of the Comfort Zone

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

We tend to focus on diversity as an issue of workplace relationships.

It’s much more than that.

When we limit our focus to whether or not people are “playing nicely” together, the idea of diversity can take on a lot of destructive baggage.  We can even begin thinking that it would be easier if we had a less diverse workforce.  After all, if everyone were more alike, we wouldn’t have to deal with these issues – right?

Maybe, and maybe not. (more…)


 

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