Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Basic #1: The Suggestion Box

"Putting pen to paper lights more fire than matches ever will."
-Malcolm Forbes

The Suggestion Box

We’ve advanced. We’ve gotten high tech. We are sophisticated, integrated, and sometimes over-stimulated in the workplace.

This is a time to take a look at the basics, and ensure some subtleties and sound ideas are not being overlooked. The concept of “the right people send the right message to the right customers for the right partnerships and the right wins for both” has a lot of aspects to it, and in the next few weeks, it’s an opportunity to take a look back, a look around and a look to the future…full of basics!

Basic #1: The Suggestion Box
It’s terrific to have a process that has a lot of input and review, formatting and forming opinion within the team, group or full company. Still, the simple idea of a suggestion box is where a lot of lasting ideas originated…and it took a form, a signature, an idea, and feedback…

Suggestion boxes are fast to implement since they take little planning, and/or space/time. Suggestion boxes allow most all involved in your business/practice to make their contributions and share thoughts that they might not be comfortable/confident to share in a group. Boxes can be placed in production facilities and in retail stores, and in any office area, providing a low-cost, high-touch means of collecting ideas!

Ensure you have a few, very few, guidelines in place, such as:
Everyone from team members to clients and vendors are included.
The simple form has less than 10 required responses with the name and signature of the submitter included, and is hand-written.
Reward cost-saving ideas with a percentage of savings for a set amount of time.
Reward leaders who encourage people to contribute.
Have the ideas published/posted.
Get a group involved for reviewing/assessing, and keep a firm timeline for responding.
Announce the program fully and stick with it.
Have contests for implementable winning ideas.
Others you deem appropriate.

You may keep the box for a long or short time. Put a test-drive date on the idea, and see where it goes. If this is not a basic that works well at your place of business, you’ll not have failed at suggestions; rather you will have learned that isn’t a process to use where you are. This will cost you almost nothing, and the ideas you get just might be priceless…

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Practice First

“Practice is the best of all instructors.”

~ Publilius Syrus, Roman author, 1st century B.C.

Practice First

While it may be exciting to get something new out in the field, to patients or to your customers, remember, the patients, customers and clients were once someone else’s...or could be someone else's at some point, so the practice needs to come sooner rather than later, and internally instead of externally.

To minimize issues, embrace the ideas of "practice on your person or your pals and not your patients, clients or customers". This means role-play, situational probing, experiential learning through sharing, and consideration of what may arise when in front of patients, clients or customers. Brainstorm, green-light think through the process, product or approach from many angles.

Sure, you will not be able to cover absolutely everything in your practice efforts, but out of respect for your patients, clients and customers, just remember to value them and practice prior to meeting with them in order to perform, deliver and provide the best service, product, message possible for/to them.

Once you finish your initial practicing, still seek input for future improvements and the next generation/update, and then it's back to the drawing board, or rather practice field, for you and your team in an effort to keep those clients, customers and patients from being someone else's again, for as the quotation reads, our practice really is the best of instructors!

Monday, July 12, 2010

5 Tips for Landing the Job! (As seen on Fox 35)

“There has never been another you. With no effort on your part you were born to be something very special and set apart. What you are going to do in appreciation of that gift is a decision only you can make.” ~ Dan Zadra

5 Tips for Landing the Job!

When searching for a new career, position or role, remember, I.A.A.I. - in other words, It's Always An Interview...even if you have not applied for a position yet. Each person you meet, place you go and site you visit and make comments on is an impression. So, keeping that in mind, still be yourself, have fun, and focus on what matters! The following 5 tips will assist job-seekers in honing their skills:

1) Your resume, emails, bio, and an other communication are a reflection of you...be mindful of your approach, spelling, tone, etc....be professional and about results. Put yourself in a position to make the next move...no stalking...get permission to do so by stating clearly in emails and voice communication when you will follow-up (as opposed to the "feel free to contact me" line).

2) Phone interviews are interviews...dress as though you were in person, have the job posting and your resume in front of you, and conduct the interview in front of a mirror (not for vanity, rather for seeing your impression on the interviewer).

3) In-person interviews are about presence, style, skills and will. Ensure you show you are respectful, fit in, either know or can learn the skills and that you want the position...and have the job description, multiple copies of your resume, and no electronic devices distracting you.

4) Ask for feedback. While it is bold, it is memorable, and you will get it with the right question. Ask something at the end of a phone interview like "Based on this phone interview, is there any reason we would not progress to the next step in the interview and hiring process?", and following the formal part of the in-person interview share "Thank you for the interview. I am interested in earning the opportunity to land this position. At this point, is there any reason you would not hire me for the job?". The interviewers may be surprised, and you may be a bit nervous, but confidence is key, and readiness follows. You may not hear what you want to hear, but it is better to know, and then take the feedback in an effort to grow.

5) Show appreciation throughout...even if you do not get the posted position...often people are asked back for other roles based on how they have behaved. An email "thanks" is not enough. Sure, you can send one, and additionally send a hand-written note. Remember each person's name with whom you spoke. Thank them, and be sincere. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way...sometimes right to a new career!