Production is at the center of all business. Knowing exactly how much you’re getting from your managerial staff and the employees working under is imperative. Under-performing sectors of the office can shed light on quarterly gains/losses, and it’s here where you might determine how understaffed or overstaffed your company is once the accountant comes calling.
But sometimes it’s not about the size of the employees. Sometimes it could be the structure of the business where, in some cases, it isn’t as uniformed as it should be. Part of that could be from being a startup and not having immediate access to amenities such as a larger office space and/or top-of-the-line technology at their employees’ fingertips. Mostly though, it’s a case of insufficient training for all parties involved…from the CEO on down to supervisors to entry-level employees. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 27, 2012 No Comments
We are all looking for more time. We all claim that there is insufficient time in our days to accomplish anything, let alone something we actually want to accomplish. My solution to this is the biblical concept of tithing. Take 10 percent of anything you are currently doing and dedicate it towards your real goals, and aspirations.
If you are watching 3 hours of television a day, then take 30 minutes for yourself and your dreams. You still get 2 1/2 hours of television but you also get 30 minutes closer to achieving your dreams. That 30 minutes a day, over the course of a year is equal to 5.21 weeks of work. What could you accomplish if you had over 5 weeks of work to concentrate on a project? What could you achieve with that amount of time dedicated to your dreams.
Google allow for their people to work 1/2 of a day per week on projects that are interesting to them. Many of their ‘new’ products are directly related to that freedom of ideas, expression and the necessary time to develop those ideas.
Tithing of time, allow for you to accomplish so much with nominal loss of those habits we have created over a life time. So, what excuse do you have about not having sufficient time to work on your goals?
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 25, 2012 No Comments
Napoleon Hill “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
Zig Ziglar “Goals are dreams we convert to plans and take action to fulfill.”
Unknown author “Goals that are not written down are just wishes.”
Jim Rohn “Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.”
Mark Victor Hansen “Big goals get big results. No goals get no results or somebody else’s results.”
Seneca “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.”
Norman Vincent Peale “All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.”
Author unknown “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
Milton Berle “I’d rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who is reaching for a star. I’d rather be a has-been than a might-have-been, by far; for a might have-been has never been, but a has-been was once an are.”
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 18, 2012 No Comments
One of the most important aspects to the process of goal settings is to first establish and define your goal. The truth of this evident in a statement made by Lee Iacocca: “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” For one reason or another, when we write something down it seems to be more permanent. It is rarely forgotten and we are constantly reminded of it.
To help illustrate this, think about why we write down a grocery list every week. We do this so nothing is forgotten or skipped over. We make this list so every necessary item and component is purchased. If you have ever gone grocery shopping without a list, you know how confusing of an experience it can be. You seem to be all over the store, only to get home and realize things you had forgotten to buy.
It is quite one thing to say you want to accomplish something, but without a clear and defined plan; few goal settings are rarely accomplished. It is too easy to get sidetracked without a plan to keep you on the path to your goal.
The first step in your goal settings plan to set a goal is to write the plan! Commit the goal and yourself to paper and you are more invested in the process and therefore much more likely to succeed.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 14, 2012 No Comments
If you’re like most, you have probably made a few resolutions for the upcoming year. And if you’re like most, you’re probably wondering what went wrong with all those wonderful intentions. You may be asking yourself, ‘Why can’t I stick to a diet,’ or ‘I just don’t understand it; I promised myself that I’d go to the gym,’ or “Why am I so weak.” It seems like such a puzzle to try to figure out why all of this different resolutions seemed to fail. Unfortunately, despite our best intentions, the ability to change our habits is only as good as your motivation to start to change yourself.
The main reason for failing to fulfill these objectives is an inability to realize the full benefit of a goal. When trying to get off the couch to go for a run, you may find it difficult and start to rationalize with yourself that, “loosing an extra 10 pounds won’t be that big of a difference,” or say ‘I am fine with my appearance just the way I am.’
Due to our inability to realize the full potential of our goal, we ultimately give up and fail. The same is true for goals in our professional life. Because we fail to realize the full potential of a goal in our professional life, we simple let opportunities fall by the way side.
However, with the help of Bryant Nielson and ‘Lengthen your Stride’ you will be able to better realize your long-term personal and professional goals by realizing your full potential. After realizing the full potential of all your goals, you will be increasingly motivated and extremely more likely to complete your goals and become more of a success in both personal and professional avenues of your life.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 8, 2012 No Comments
There are three (3) things that are always included in the successful conclusion to a successful goal cycle. They are: commitment, completion and closure.
Commitment. Unless the person making the goal is committed to working on and towards a particular goal, it is at best nothing more than a wish. Commitment is the spark that ignites the fire that moves a person.
Completion. What is the use of working a on goal and stop when you are just feet from the finish line. Working towards 80-90 or even 95% of the objective is nothing more than falling short. We need to focus on completing the goal! 100% is only what can be acceptable.
Closure. When you first establish a goal, you set your destination. Our commitment to working on the goal is our vehicle that will take us towards that horizon. Completion is insuring that our vehicle has sufficient gas to reach our destination. Closure is our reviewing our goal and enjoying the achievement that we have done.
By employing the 3 C’s in every goal situation, we insure that our overall plan and actions are successful and our long-term direction is still where we are seeking.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On December 30, 2011 No Comments
Too often we find that we blame others for issues that impact us and our lives. We suggest that our life is the result of what others have done or are doing and we eliminate our responsibility towards those events. My suggestion to any possible resolution is to take 100% responsibility.
Take responsibility for what you are contributing.
Take responsibility for what you are acting upon.
Take responsibility for what direction events are taking you.
This reminds me of a merry-go-round. As a child, the charm of the merry-go-round was that it did not go far, you could see your parents every 15 seconds or so and that there was reassurance in their support as you went round and round. The problem with the ride is that it did not do much else. Too often, we find our life, both personally and professionally, not much different than that merry-go-round. We just continue going in circles and are afraid to get off the ride.
Taking responsibility for everything is our first step towards getting off this ride. So, what are you doing to get off the ride? Are you happy with your life? Your marriage? Your family? Your spirituality? Your health? How about your professional life?
You cannot expect any other outcome without changing your ride!
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 2, 2011 No Comments
Even ordinary efforts, given enough time, can produce extraordinary outcomes.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 1, 2009 No Comments
It seems that we have the idea that New Year’s Resolutions should apply only to our personal issues, such as health, career, and family. As learning and development professionals, we can make five simple resolutions for 2009 and pave the way for more efficient and cost-effective training. Not only will you improve learning at your organization, you will continue to justify your worth in a tough economic climate.
First, promise to use needs analysis before saying, “I do” to a training request. This may be difficult in this climate, where some training organizations are hanging by a thread and expected to do whatever comes their way. But your needs analysis can be positioned as a way to get every penny’s worth of cost and time – and that’s important for organizations that are lean in pocketbook and staff.
<!–more–>When you are asked to take on a project, ask questions first. For example, a training request may arise from employee mistakes. In this case, ask what’s wrong. This question leads to a discussion of what the employee group is doing right now and how they are making the mistakes they are making. In cases where there is no apparent mistake, ask the stakeholders what the expected outcome is. Are employees supposed to learn a new process, a new product, a new system, or a combination of all three? From this, you can determine what the change is going to be – and how to focus your development and delivery efforts.
Second, make a promise to know your audience. It’s easy to get caught up in the needs analysis, delivery methods, and instructional design, but don’t forget that your entire purpose is to serve the population you’re developing for. We know that the world has changed in many ways and in a very short period of time. But we should also be aware that the emerging workforce is tech savvy and ready to learn on a need-to-know basis, and some of them may not remember a time without computers or the Internet! But then again, we have people from the “greatest generation” returning to work to supplement dwindling retirement accounts.
With all of this in mind, try to discover the learning and life characteristics of your audience during your needs analysis. If you’ve got fresh-from-college management trainees, gear your training toward their life experiences. If you have mixed groups, throw in elements from all of the groups to keep the training moving along – and to remind every trainee that the workforce is now a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge. But for 2009, don’t design training based on your own experience. Know your audience and make each program work like a charm.
Third, fill your training with examples and real-life problems. Again, it’s easy to talk about procedures, customer service, and leadership from a knowledge standpoint. But if there is no application for the audience, they are losing out on the learning experience. For example, customer service training can be enhanced with case studies or scenarios in which participants must choose a reaction or outcome to the situation. Processes or regulations can be taught in the same manner: explain the rules, then create a scenario that describes a breach of rules – and have the participants solve the problem.
Fourth, in relation to examples, create the opportunity for training participants to practice at every opportunity, both in the classroom and on the job (OTJ). If you are teaching technical skills, arm participants with a quick reference guide or tutorial and then “set them loose” on a practice system. The customer service scenarios we described above can be followed by role plays, where a “customer” is given a scenario and asked to act it out with a training participant.
In relation to OTJ practice, try a new approach. Send trainees out to their jobs with a list of activities they must complete with their manager’s guidance. Create a checklist or rubric that details the activity and the expected outcome so that the manager can provide feedback and correct any errors. Make the job an extension of the classroom and you’ve just further proven your worth as a learning organization.
Finally, try to enter 2009 with your delivery staff in mind. Don’t send them to the classroom unprepared. Create a formal train the trainer program for each new course – and write the train the trainer into the formal development time for the course. Have instructors “teach back” the material in the classroom setting so that the design staff can see if their ideas work in “real life”. Have the instructors take the tests, try out the quick reference guides, and act out the role plays before they go into the classroom. With this method in place, you’ll have top- notch instructors who know every part of their program.
Times may be tough, but your learning organization can continually prove its worth by putting these five resolutions into place today.
Copyright 2009 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.