Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Redefining Innovation

i-phones, touch screens, the latest in social networking tools, handheld personal identifiers. What comes next and how do we keep up? How can we gain knowledge to endure, adapt and stay on the cutting edge...?

It is a simple fact that we all enjoy knowing things others don't. So the quest to have the new thing before anyone else and the empowerment of fresh product knowledge has come to define innovation. I, however, define innovation with a fresh perspective and a meaningful way of sharing it. It really is not contingent on a widget so much as a perspective.

How fresh is your perspective?

A few things to ponder:
* People are more important than products
* A widget means nothing if you fail to understand it's differentiating capacity
* To find new perspectives one must stretch his/her mind beyond systematic function

So here are a few tips that might help gain a fresh perspective:

* Conceptualize a new idea and gather input from others to better qualify your vision

* Speak to people in a humanly empathetic manner

* Be Nice

7 Steps to Innovation Sensation:
1. Think of something new; every day
2. Ask people what they think about it
3. Formulate a Vision
4. Be Empathetic in your Communication
5. Be Nice
6. Learn
7. Start Over Tomorrow

* Note: There is no device, machine, copy write or certification that is perfectly necessary to achieve the aforementioned.

Might it be said that innovation is not so much about moving forward with blinders on but finding new ways to engage others....in this case the cutting edge (or long forgotten) methodology of being friendly in your human interactions.

Go now and change the world by making it a better place!

Don't Forget to Remember!

- Dave


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Bridge - Personal Branding & Company Loyalty

I attended a seminar yesterday that introduced Social Media to a group of HR Professionals. I must admit, most were skeptical.
The concerns:
* Lack of Policy Compliance
* Fear of Navigating HR Guidelines
* Misunderstanding of Brand Development vs. Tarnishment

In short, why would we open this can of worms? Many attendees were over 40 and served in administrative roles. They were there to understand how to regulate Social Media participation.

Guess What? There is no such thing as Social Media Compliance!

If you want to manage INDIVIDUALS that work for your organization only one thing matters:


As personal brands rival company loyalty, your company can be elevated or tarnished based on your approach to Social Media.

Choice 1: Try to regulate and watch your brand fizzle...

Choice 2: Empower and Escalate Company Loyalty!

Rules and Regulations are easy. Draw a line in the sand and allow no one to cross without a demerit. That time is gone. Organizations now have to invest in their people beyond standards, best practices, rules and regulations.

Yes. The time has come to take down your guard and truly invest in HUMAN RESOURCES.

Here's a few ideas to build the trust tree:
* Allow Social Media to be part of your work day in promotion of your organizational initiatives.
* Formulate an empowering Social Media Strategy not Social Media Standards

I know it seems impossible to put your company name in the hands of the people who work for you but it has been happening as long as you have existed. If people love your company they wear your logo to stadiums on Saturday, speak your name at Mom's Groups and promote your cause in their every human interaction.

Take away the trust and your company brand will be disparaged on bar stools across the land, in social media networks where one comment can reach 600,000 people globally in a second, at trade shows and industry events.

Is your Alumni Club a Group of Advocates or an Army of Detractors?

Second Most Popular Question in any Social Interaction:
What do you do? (professionally)

Trust is the bridge from Personal Branding to Company Loyalty!

Formulate a strategy for human empowerment and watch your company grow!

Unzip Your Soul!



Monday, November 16, 2009

Inventing Your Method

Rules, Objectives, Goals, Quotas, Expectations.....how much say do you have in that which serves as your daily motivation?

Wouldn't it be great if you made the rules?

We all have to work within certain parameters. There are rules of engagement and mundane tasks along the way. However, there is one thing we are in charge of OUR METHOD!

Your attitude and perception formulate your METHOD:

* If you wake up side tracked by what tasks await you when you fire up your lap top - your day will suck.

* If you know when you hit the office that you are going to be forced to do things you don't want to - your day will suck.

* If you let little disruptions side track your motivation - your day will suck.

On the Contrary:

- If you wake up, pump out a few push ups, look yourself in the mirror and say: "Today is the Day" - your day is within your control (yes, this works).

- If you fill your mind with thoughts of what you can achieve today when you are prepping - you will race out the door.

- If you take the elements of what you love most and find a way to apply them to your job - you will move through the day with greater intent.

It all sounds hokey and it is easy to be pessimistic. But the other way works better. You don't have to be a cheese ball to have a great attitude and once you embrace that you never stop moving forward.

Think about it.....

When you change lanes to get through traffic how much time do you really save?

When you yell at the Barista because she got your order wrong do you feel bad about it when you exit?

When you shoot a seething email to your support team and read it back later, do you wish you would have worded it differently?

Anyone can be an asshole! It is exceedingly difficult to find the positive in things, embrace it and use it as fuel to help others....but once you get it right, you want to do it again and again.

I make a living of helping people and there are days when I hate everyone. But, I have to remind myself that we all need to help one another to get through our struggles, endure and succeed:
- Yes, it is very hard.
- No, we do not often receive thanks for our efforts.
- But, if you understand you have done the right thing it makes everything easier.

Tomorrow, wake up with determination: Do a few push ups, talk to yourself in the mirror, develop ideas for improvement as your first thoughts, dress sharply, move out the door with determination and try to be positive in all your human transactions.

If you can do it for ONE DAY, you can do it for the Rest Of Your Life!

Invent YOUR Method!

Unzip Your Soul,

- Dave


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Navigating the +/- tightrope

We recently had a forum discussion regarding the similarities between Love and Hate. We did not find either extreme of the emotional tightrope but one glaring fact became obvious:

We become defensive when that which we do not possess becomes evident to us

It's pretty simple, really: We work hard, develop knowledge and apply it for the sake of elevating ourselves professionally. So, you put in 60 hours, developed a great new program and presented it to Senior Management....only to receive a plethora of ideas for enhancement and a fair share of criticism.

What do those in the ivory tower know that you don't and when was the last time they did something to better the company?

Your answer to the aforementioned question falls into two distinct categories:

1. There are those who are resistant to change because they have no new ideas

2. There are those who know how to get an idea adopted and are genuinely interested in helping channel your motivation.

How do you know who to trust in such a situation?

Welcome to the +/- tightrope

The Great Dale Carnegie told us: "Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment"! What a difficult idea to adopt. How can you tell me that those who wish to destroy me are actually looking out for me.....the only real answer that matters is your perception of this feedback and how you use it.

So we've put our time in, generated new ideas and have the data to prove our case. Yet we are challenged.....our first reaction is always a warm feeling in the head - pulsating until it is released with an angry retort.....now you've just put yourself in the shoes of the naysayer instead of the change agent.

Here are a few tips for keeping your footing on the +/- tightrope:

* Accept criticism with two words: "Thank You"

* Take a second to digest feedback before you react.

* Know that anyone who offers illegitimate feedback has been identified as an asshole long before you would call them one.

* Like Dale Carnegie said - "Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment".

* Gather in all your gum balls - chew on them for a while - and spit out those that don't taste right.

Unzip Your Soul!

- Dave


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Eliminate Self Imposed Bravado

In a recent interview I indicated that I had vowed to keep my mouth shut during the first year of my employment at my new company:

The host was pleasantly enthused but sighted the need of many professionals to establish themselves within the first 90 days of their employment.

I have two observations from my time in silence that may dispel one's need to knock the door down on their first day:
1. The unapologetic self promoters seem to instantly rub most people the wrong way.
2. Without proven results your musings of the past are nothing more than 'glory day' stories.

I would never encourage one to be a recluse or to keep themselves from engaging in organizational directives. What I am suggesting, however, is that you let your results speak for themselves without touting your achievements.

People admire a person who is humble in their success!

If you are always bragging about your success...when the results dip (and they will) you will turn your bravado into excuses and will be an intolerable person to be around.

I was a voluntary leader in my former organization. I consistently threw my hand up to speak on behalf of the team, I challenged Senior Management and I thought I was admired for doing so...I was not! In fact, there may have been a lot more heads shaking than nodding when I got up on my apple box to preach the team's discontent.

Let's Cut the Crap:
It is insecurity (not confidence) that causes one to think he or she needs to prove themselves to others.
* In allowing yourself to be vulnerable you will open your network to a team of admirers.

Who are you more willing to help:
Someone who asks a question and then retorts that they 'already tried that'...
Someone who genuinely appreciates your advice and applies it!

Dear Readers,
It is imperative that we get to a point of eliminating our bravado. You do not need to prove yourself beyond the results you produce in your daily conquering of your workload.
- If you excel and tout your achievements you cheapen your victories.
- If you fail and try to make up for it with office politics...the crack in the dam opens the flood gates to unemployment.

All of the lessons I am conveying in the UNZIP YOUR SOUL blogcast are a result of my own failures. I urge you to learn from them, try something different and let me know how it works out for you. I do not want you to have to pretend to be a success as I thought I did.


- Dave