A New Way to Work

Success and change without burnout by Dr. Geri Puleo

Archive for the tag “meetings”

Hiring for Competencies (VIDEO)

The world of work is changing rapidly and affecting both employees and the managers who must find the “right fit” in the hiring process.  Many of us feel overworked as we constantly strive to complete projects faster in the name of “efficiency.”

But this can lead to a major recruitment dilemma:  when you’re in a hurry to fill a job opening, it’s often tempting to hire “anyone” to do the job.  But this reactive strategy is done at your own peril!

Instead of striving to fill the job with “any warm body,” it’s critical that candidates are interviewed by focusing on the fit between their competencies and the job’s duties and responsibilities.

If you’re a job candidate, understanding this pervasive switch to competency-based hiring will drastically change the way that you prepare for a job interview.

In this 2-minute video, I offer 3 quick tips to help you understand the role of competencies in the hiring process.

HINT:  If you’re a job candidate who needs help preparing for a job interview, please check out my on-demand eCourses om interviewing by clicking on the “Job and Career Change eCourses” tab of this blog.

Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning company focused on techniques to eliminate the 5 workplace stressors that create and sustain burnout:  Job Change, Organizational Change, Work-Life Imbalance, Poor Leadership and Management, and Ineffective Human Resources.  An entrepreneur for over 25 years, author, keynote speaker, blogger, career coach, university professor, and researcher, you can see her “in action” in her TEDx Talk on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFkI69zJzLI.  For more tips and ideas, please subscribe to her weekly “Success @ Work” eNewsletter at https://drgeripuleo.lpages.co/success-work-opt-in-page.  To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com

Paradigm Shifter #19: Creativity and implementation are NOT mutually exclusive – success requires both

Paradigm ShiftEmployers place a high premium on creativity in their workers.  Learning to “think outside the box” is a critical skill to successfully compete in today’s constantly changing market and workplace.  But it takes more than great ideas to be successful.

Success – today and in the past – requires not only creativity, but also follow-up and implementation to convert an intangible idea into a tangible innovation.

Having owned my own businesses for over 25 years, I’ve found that coming up with new products and services is relatively easy – in fact, it’s downright fun.

However, my experiences have also taught me that it takes analysis, critical thinking, perseverance, determination, risk management, and simple hard work to manifest those ideas into something tangible.

The combined ability to not only create but also to implement requires a new approach to prioritizing, problem solving, and decision-making.  Success in today’s age of unrelenting change requires both.  For example:

  • You’re a key player in major brainstorming sessions regarding new product development – your ideas are great and everyone is inspired. But, when it comes time to do the hard, often monotonous work of actually manufacturing these products, you tend to walk away and delegate that “operational stuff” to the “non-creative types.”  If the products don’t go to market, it’s their fault for not being able to realize your ideas.
  • You’ve earned the reputation of being methodical, diligent, organized, and efficient – but you’re also known to be somewhat change resistant. Trying to incorporate new ideas into your established routines and processes tends to have a ripple effect that (in your mind) creates chaos.  Why try to fix something that isn’t broken (at least not yet)?
  • You’ve decided to really expand your business with several new product lines – all of which are so important that they need to be developed at once. You’re excited and energized, but after several months of trying to juggle wide-scale product development along with your routine tasks, you’re frustrated because you haven’t made significant progress on any of these products.  A year later, none of them is ready to go to market.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

Depending on the culture, some companies bestow kudos on the creative types for their vision and rule-breaking.  The “operational types” and analysts are considered to be less important to the company’s future than the visionaries.  Conversely, other companies rely so heavily on effective operations that they silence the “crazy” ideas from those “creative types.”  Being able to do what we say we can do is more important than “wasting” time trying to innovate within our companies, fields, or industries.

What I have learned is that, while status quo operations can leave us vulnerable and ill-prepared for a constantly changing environment, creativity without disciplined implementation is just a dream that never takes form.

Making the shift from an operational/managerial mindset to one that embraces creativity/leadership –and vice versa – can be a challenge.

The difficulty might be from the necessity of using both sides of our brains in interacting with our environments.  Another cause could be expectations of the organizations in which we have worked.  Yet another cause could be our own histories relating to the types of recognition that we have received.  Finally, society is somewhat intent upon “pigeon-holing” us:  you’re either a creator or a doer.

In today’s era of constant, unrelenting change, learning to feel comfortable with both creativity and implementation is a critical competency to finding a new way to work.  This powerful synergy of creating and doing is hard to duplicate.

Here are just a few tips to help you embrace the synergy of being able to create and implement:

  1. Identify your preferred style: First determine whether you tend to approach problem solving and decision making from a creative, “outside the box” perspective OR a linear, analytical approach.  This is both your starting point and your default style.
  2. If you tend to be more creative: Try to visualize the steps between where you are now and the culmination or realization of this new idea – not just a paper trail, but a colorful movie depicting the journey.  Be curious and use your creativity to peer into all the different routes that you could use to go from “here to there.”
  3. If you tend to be more analytical: Challenge yourself by asking, “what if?”  What would happen if you changed any of the assumptions or individual elements needed to achieve a goal?  Be fearless and use your linear thinking to mitigate risks by preparing for obstacles that are unforeseen on the surface.  Take pride in your ability to uncover those “hidden” obstacles and develop appropriate responses.
  4. Befriend someone who is your opposite: If you are a creative, make an effort to truly understand the thought processes of an analytic – and vice versa.  Remember that one approach is not superior to the other:  in fact, both are necessary to successfully compete in the modern workplace.
  5. Good news: the tools of creativity and implementation can be learned:  Regardless of your preferred style, each perspective can be understood as a set of tools used to prioritize activities, solve problems, and make decisions.  Balancing creativity with implementation results in visualization plus action – perhaps one of the most overlooked secrets to success.

Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning company focused on techniques to eliminate the 5 workplace stressors that create and sustain burnout:  Job Change, Organizational Change, Work-Life Imbalance, Poor Leadership and Management, and Ineffective Human Resources.  An entrepreneur for over 25 years, author, blogger, career coach, university professor, and researcher, you can see her “in action,” watch her TEDx Talk on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFkI69zJzLI.  To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com

Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

OK, I admit it — I hate attending most meetings.

Why?  Because in over 30 years of meetings, I’ve found that there is rarely a set agenda, attendees tend to come minimally prepared and there doesn’t seem to be a defined reason or objective to hold the meeting in the first place.  And most people feel that the meeting takes them away from what they’re supposed to be doing.

Meetings shouldn’t be a necessary evil.  Meetings (either face-to-face or via teleconference or webcasts) can be a great way to brainstorm, keep everybody apprised of what’s going on and monitor progress toward goals.  Just like I believe that we need to find a new way to work, I also believe that we need to find a new way to meet.  So I’ve created my Top 5 list of what I believe makes a great meeting.

#1:  Respect people’s time.  Start when you’re say you’ll start and end when you say you’ll finish.  It’s amazing how time limits help focus attention on the real reason why you’re meeting.

#2:  Do the preliminary work.  When I launched Tri-State SHRM (a local chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management), I had all the Board members submit a 1-page maximum summary of each of their committee’s goals and the progress that they made on those goals in the previous month – and they emailed it to all the members 2 days before the meeting.  One page of bullet points.  Not only was it easy to pull together, but it was also easy for Board members to read – which means that they actually reviewed it before the meeting.

#3:  Don’t rehash what everybody already knows.  Just like it’s bad practice to simply read a PowerPoint slide to an audience, it’s equally bad practice (and, quite frankly, rather insulting) to read your report verbatim in a meeting.  Focus on the highlights.  Consolidate similar activities into one statement; for example, if all the goals have been met on 2 projects, just say that.  Keep it simple.

#4:  Don’t confuse apples and oranges – make the reason for the meeting clear.  Some meetings are progress meetings that summarize what has been accomplished on key projects.  These are the quick status updates – so keep them short.  But before you can have the status updates that focus on efficiency, you have to have a brainstorming and idea building session that determines whether these projects are needed in the first place – in other words, you also have to focus on effectiveness.  Since ideas take time, these can be longer.  The trick is not to confuse these two very different types of meetings.  At Tri-State SHRM, we had a quarterly idea session that was face-to-face (usually over breakfast or lunch – which was great for teambuilding, by the way) that was supplemented with monthly status updates via teleconferences in-between.

#5:  Everybody doesn’t have to be at every meeting.  Only invite those people to the meeting who have something substantial to contribute or will be affected by the results.  I was once asked to drive 5 hours to attend an all-day meeting – where my “contribution” was a 10-minute PowerPoint.  I refused to attend and instead was conference called into the meeting.  Since all the attendees already had my PowerPoint handout, I simply needed to summarize and answer any questions that they might have.  Not only would it have been costly to the client to have me attend in person, but it was also a waste of time, effectiveness and efficiency.

Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President and CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., an eLearning company focused on techniques to eliminate the 5 workplace stressors that create and sustain burnout:  Job Change, Organizational Change, Work-Life Imbalance, Poor Leadership and Management, and Ineffective Human Resources.  An entrepreneur for over 25 years, author, blogger, career coach, university professor, and researcher, you can see her “in action,” watch her TEDx Talk on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFkI69zJzLI.  To contact Dr. Puleo, please go to www.gapuleo.com

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