Hey everyone, here we go. . . . . .
IN OUR WORLD
After last weeks whirlwind of travel, I spent a couple nights in my own bed and jumped on a flight to Atlanta to have the great opportunity to work with the support staff for one of my all time favorite clients.
On of the Repeatable Successful Acts (RSA) elements is “Attack the Second Level”. This has translated into a unique and powerful strategy that is running independent of the RSA platform. Organizations are pushing resources to their support staff recognizing that a well trained support staff strengthens the bottom line return on their sales teams. I currently have three support staff initiatives that I am involved with based solely on the Attack the Second Level strategy.
Next week I have a great opportunity to be involved in a product development initiative right here in Dallas then mid-week I jump on a plane to Minneapolis and begin part two of an education initiative by teaching Interpersonal Communication Skills.
These are the types of projects that get my motor going and make my job (if you can call it that) the most fun I can possibly have!
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THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
I spend most of my time in meetings. , I am intimately aware of what constitutes a good meeting and equally, what constitutes a bad meeting.
Here is the first problem, most people think of all meetings the same and though they share certain attributes, and all meetings are different. Some are informational, some are designed to “fire up the troops”, some are educational and some are on a grand scale involving thousands of people. With each meeting comes a responsibility – to make sure it is a worthy use of time for ALL involved. I like you have attended literally thousands of meetings where at the conclusion I said, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT.
A meeting, at any level. Is a shared experience. It is a use of time, valuable time.
Here are a few very basic ideas around the dreaded concept of meeting:
- SIMPLIFY: It never fails that an agenda is developed that has 50 items. Forget that, no one will be engaged in any topic when they feel like they are sitting under a waterfall of stuff. Try to fight the urge to add items and restrict yourself to only critical core content.
- PERSPECTIVE: If you are planning the meeting think about the perspective of the attendees. If you were attending and not running the meeting is a meeting you would want to go to, or that you would speak highly of or is it another waste of time?
- EXPERIENCE: For larger company wide meetings, think experience instead of meeting. What can I do to create an experience? What can I do to make the content delivery unique and powerful? What can I do to create real positive energy that can carry the participants towards accomplishing new goals?
Those are just three questions to help you focus on making a meeting something that people look forward to attending.
One of my clients schedules informal team meetings every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Yep, three times a week. But get this, the meetings NEVER last more than 3-5 minutes. Just quick updates. They are focused and driven with intent.
Meetings take all kinds of form, you be the driver of success and stop wasting creative time on meetings that elicit groans.
MOVIES: The Expendables: Hey, I know it’s a bunch of geriatric old guys running around with guns and dodging explosions, but it was really fun.
NetFlix Fans: Kick-Ass: WARNING – WARNING – This movie has a ton of inappropriate violence and it’s delivered by an 11 year old girl. Now that I have that off my chest, the movie was a pretty good adaptation of the graphic novel and my demented movie going mind kind of dug it!
TV: Start marking your calendar for some of the new TV shows hitting the living rooms big screen. On Mondays (after House MD, of course) is new crime drama called CHASE. Early words is that it will be one of the best of the US Marshall themed shows (yeah, there are a couple).
BOOKS: Nice Teams Finish Last – Miller: The name of this book alone was enough to turn me off, BUT it does a good job of helping teams learn to deal with difficult issues and how avoiding the uncomfortable problem is never the right answer.
MUSIC: A fantastic very young Elton John doing one of my favorite tunes – Burn Down The Mission.
WEB SITES: The economy needs a boost – BUY SOME SHOES!
SOUTH OF NORMAL
I’m standing in the security line at the airport and there are two guys traveling together right behind me. They were involved in a conversation about what a “piece of @#*&” that consultant they hired was. They say; if you are not smart enough to run your own company you should sell the damn thing. One of them said; “I’ve never met a consultant that was worth anything”.
I couldn’t resist engaging them.
“What business are you guys in?”
“Plastics” (I swear it wasn’t the guy from The Graduate)
“Plastic manufacturing, I asked”
“Yep and the damn guy didn’t know a thing about our business. It was a moron that hired him.”
One of them asked what I did. Consultant told them. Sorry, they said. No worries. I asked if I could describe a scenario based on their discussion to stimulate their way of thinking. Sure, they said.
How much do you know about the following: Ball Bearing manufacturing, soft drink manufacturing, athletic shoe manufacturing? Nothing they said.
What if I told you that within those other unrelated fields were ideas that would benefit your processes, your sales efforts and your idea development? What if the world outside of plastics manufacturing contained ideas that would help your human resources, that would simplify your strategic planning process, that could be molded (notice the use of a plastics word – smart huh!) to fit your unique and successful organization without a complete disruption to your current systems? Would that be of value?
Both paused and the younger of the two said, “Yeah, that would be valuable”. The old of the two gave me a skeptical look and didn’t respond.
Not bad I thought, a 50% shift in thinking in 45 seconds.
As I was headed to my gate, the old guy came up to me and asked me for a card. He told me; “I’m not sure if what you said can actually happen, but it was interesting enough to check your stuff out. I didn’t want John (the younger guy) to think I was so easily impressed.”
Not bad, a 100% shift in thinking in 45 seconds!
Drop me a note with your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Adios and Aloha.