This Week in Positive Change Management : Proactive for Positive Change

01122016 Be Proactive

This is the second full week of January where many people start sliding on their New Year resolutions. However, you must stay diligent and proactive on making positive change. We here at PositivityChange know that you are committed towards manifesting positive change. Here are resources that will help you keep your resolutions during week 2 and beyond.

American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx

LifeHack: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/7-steps-for-making-a-new-years-resolution-and-keeping-it.html

WikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Stick-to-a-New-Year’s-Resolution

Bankrate: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/9-ways-to-keep-your-new-year-s-resolutions-1.aspx

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/01/01/11-easy-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions/#2715e4857a0b5602b36dc328

PhraseMix: http://www.phrasemix.com/blog/5-steps-to-achieving-your-new-years-resolutions

Fitday: http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/3-simple-steps-for-keeping-your-new-years-resolutions.html

 

Project Management Mondays Coming to Positive Change with Carla Radio

Blogtalkradio

 

I am happy to announce courtesy of http://carlarjenkins.com/ that I will debut the Project Management Mondays radio series on Positive Change with Carla. The debut show will air Monday, January 11, 2015 at 6pm. The inaugural episode will cover developing the project charter and my journey towards becoming a Project Management Professionally-certified manager. Check out my show link here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/missphenomena/2016/01/11/developing-project-charter-and-my-journey-to-pmp

This Week in Positive Change Management: Setting CLEAR Goals

01032016 CLEAR Goals

 

There is a new way to do goal-setting that has come about due to agile methodology that has permeated the global work environment. It is called the CLEAR method. CLEAR stands for Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, and Refinable. For those unfamiliar with the word agile, the agile methodology has come onto the forefront in the late 1990s. Agile derives from the software industry. There are four agile platforms:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Here is the Agile Manifesto for reference: http://agilemanifesto.org/

Below is the CLEAR method’s break down for each letter:

Collaborative – No man is an island and teamwork makes the dream work. Collaborative is necessary because we’re in a global economy. Virtual teams spanning across the globe magnify the importance of collaboration.

Limited– Just focus on one thing at a time. By focusing on what’s immediately in front of you helps keep everything in perspective. Worry about the present. The future will take care of itself. For example, there are 5 phases in the process. Instead of focusing on the finish line, clear the 5 hurdles first. Each phase represents 20% completion. You can’t get to 100% completion without progressing through the 20%,40%,60%, and 80%.

Emotional-Buy-in is important towards goal completion. When people are on the same page, it makes work easier.

Appreciable-The Merriam-Webster definition for appreciable is ‘large enough to be noticed or measured.’ In this case, appreciable means disseminating big goals into smaller more manageable pieces. Appreciable is equal to the project management concept of decomposition. You use decomposition to subdivide the work breakdown structure into smaller parts called work packages. Focus on peoples’ strengths are necessary when assigning work packages. The goal to being appreciable is to create synergy from the bottom up in order to bring added value once the goal is complete.

Refinable-Done is better than perfect. Be flexible and add more information once it becomes available regardless of where you’re at in the process. The goal is to deliver the best project. If the customer demands change, get the required approval and change them.

The CLEAR method’s five steps enable people and companies to be more flexible, resilient and able to meet demands in the global economy.

Change is Messy!

12292015 Change is Messy

Change is messy. It really is. A lot of people want change in their personal and professional lives but want it to be nice and neat. Well, that’s not how change works. It is like growth. You cannot grow without some pains. Change is inevitable. It happens whether we are ready or not. This year is no exception. Here are four examples of changes that I have occurred this year and what I’ve learned from them.

Writing for LinkedIn Pulse

I am the first to admit that fear has kept me from writing for LinkedIn Pulse. There are so many ‘experts’ out there that I am thinking that I am disqualified. The turning point comes when I start seeing very bad posts with people misspelling words and writing crazy stuff. That’s when I realize that my material cannot be any worse than the bulk of what’s out there; and, I am right! My posts have been welcomed in my community. Also I have pushed myself to write insightful and educational articles benefitting people instead of trying to hawk merchandise (I mean at least give me a free sample chapter of your book!).  What I have learned about becoming a writer is that LinkedIn Pulse is always a great place to share ideas. I have broken my own rule of only posting once a week because I have so much knowledge to share. I post whenever I have a new idea or topic I wish to share. This platform has also let me promote my radio show which I love because it enables me to pursue another avenue of communication.

My radio show

I have been wanting to do a radio show since September. I love communicating and sharing information with people. Although there have been some false starts and people who think that I shouldn’t do it, I now have my own show. I have decided to go through Blogtalkradio because I see so many others use this platform. Here I’m thinking that all I have to do is create a Blogtalkradio page, talk into my phone’s video recorder and upload it onto my page like Soundcloud.

Wrong! Blogtalkradio is live not prerecorded so even if I do have my prerecorded audio, I still have to sit there at the appointed time and be in the studio. Also I learn that the system doesn’t take .m4a files forcing me to broadcast live. I admit that I still prerecord myself to hear how I sound before going on air. Furthermore, the hardest part is the planning. Radio takes work. I need to devise an interesting topic. I select a blog article then jot down points.

Developing a coaching network

I can be an introvert and I admit that right now my five closest people are all coaches. I am very singular in that respect because I have always relied on my intuition. Whether something is working well or not, I always conduct these self-checks where I evaluate my situation using my intuition. If something is going right, I ask myself how do I continue it going? If it not going right then how do I change it? This year, I have reached out to coaches in areas where I want to grow. I have a career coach, brand coach and business coach. I have even reached out and started seeking financial advice because I have landed my second six-figure job. Coaching has helped me improve my professional network. I have received important feedback.

I will admit that there have been some very rough patches with coaching. I have had some programs and masterminds haven’t panned out. In particular, I have to shell out my own money to do my website when I am supposed to go through the preselected website designer. I later learn after coming out of my own pocket that the leader has stopped referring clients to the designer.

Attending Conferences

This year I have decided to attend conferences outside of DC to expand my professional networking beyond the District and Cleveland. I have attended the Power Networking Conference in Dallas, the Periscope Summit in New York and the TCE Conference in Norfolk. I have acquired a whole lot of personal and professional knowledge that will aid me in my future. For instance, I have developed a new travel regimen, improved my elevator pitch, burnished my LinkedIn profile, and developed my own personal website (this is my virtual business card). Attending these conferences have made me step up my game because I know that I am capable of much more. Getting outside of the District, lets me see how other professionals conduct businesses at the national and global levels. It is quite eye-opening when you get out of your own bubble and see how others operate. The Periscope Summit stands out because this is the first one. You are literally on the ground floor seeing everything unravel in front of you. It is very much like a start-up and the backdrop is New York City. Hey, if I can survive there, I can survive anywhere.

What I have learned is to always be ready and not to fall prey to sales pitches. You aren’t obligated to purchase anything from the vendors. It’s all about your fit and your future vision. Remember, it’s your money. You’ve paid to attend the conference not the vendors. Another thing that I have learned is to develop a better system in order to get to the next level.

Here are my four examples of how change can be messy; yet, in each situation I have managed to learn new things that will help me in the future.

 

 

This Week in Positive Change Management : Developing Your Unique Selling Proposition

12282015 Unique Selling Proposition

In the New Year, everyone wants to brush off their resumes and apply for the all new jobs. The problem with this strategy is that you’re doing the same thing this year as you were last year. Last check, insanity is the doing the same thing but expecting a different result. It is my responsibility to dispense truth and not sell pipe dreams to anyone here. Therefore, I am telling you that you need to develop your unique selling proposition in order to get a new job this year.

Developing a unique selling proposition (USP) is a great way towards managing positive change in the New Year. A USP is mostly associated with Fortune 500 companies but you can still apply these tactics towards bolstering your personal career brand. Your USP lets you develop a positive career message to sell yourself in the global career marketplace.

What is a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

According to Kissmetrics (https://blog.kissmetrics.com/unique-selling-proposition/), USP is what your business stands for. Businesses with a USP stand for something specific, and it becomes what you’re known for.

Multinational brands like Pepsi and Cola-Cola have USPs. You must hone yours to differentiate yourself from the global competition. Yes, I mention global competition because unlike a whole lot of people on here, they are only focused on people in the United States. In the 21st century, you are competing against everyone in the world. Developing your unique selling proposition is a realistic way of landing a job. Below are the steps towards developing your USP (http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/marketing-strategy/branding/developing-your-usp-a-step-by-step-guide). Although these are for companies, I have used for your personal brand:

Understanding your target audience

When I mention your target audience, what I mean the specific employers that fit your skill set. This is important because it is a waste of time to flood Monster and CareerBuilder with umpteen resumes with jobs that don’t fit. Cultural fit is the most important part of your unique selling proposition because it doesn’t matter if you get the money if you are miserable and your coworkers are backstabbers.

What is your competitive advantage?

Your competitive advantage is the one thing distinguishing you from your competitive advantage. I have discussed this in my former article entitled Promoting Your Competitive Advantage here .

Be a Problem Solver

Companies hire problem solvers plain and simple. Your cover letter must answer how you would solve their problems in general. In the interview you generally solve their problems. You DO NOT specifically solve their problems until they hire you and start paying for your expertise.

Testing and Refining Your USP

You have to put your USP out in the marketplace to evaluate its performance and obtain feedback. Feedback is essential towards perfecting your brand. If your USP isn’t generating phone screens or interviews, then you must refine it. Non-response is feedback that you should incorporate in order to get considered.

Communicating Your USP

Also you should refine your USP if you are getting interviews but not jobs. This means that you are doing something wrong in your interviews. Are you communicating that you are a problem-solver? That’s one of the steps. Remember that companies hire problem solvers; therefore, if you aren’t showing that you’re a problem-solver then add this into your USP.

You are a unique individual with distinguishable skills. Using these steps towards developing your unique selling proposition, increases the probability that you will land a new job this New Year.

If you like article and would like to read more check me out on PositivityChange.

 

Harvard Business Review : The Hard Side of Change Management

We at PositivityChange will be the first to admit that change is hard. Yes, we like different circumstances but we dislike how growth makes things uncomfortable. Here is an article from Harvard Business Review entitled The Hard Side of Change Management. It gives 4 points (Duration, Integrity, Commitment and Effort) to more effectively managing change. You can read more here: http://bit.ly/1OkeFf0

Evaluating Your Personal Brand Annual Performance

MoreyPublishing-Blog_BuildingBrands1

Evaluating your annual personal career brand performance is essential. If you want to realize positive change in your personal and professional lives, you must take a hard look at how you’ve performed this year. Here are 5 things that you should use to evaluate your annual personal brand performance. They are: stickiness, retention, responsiveness to change, tactical planning and strategic planning.

Stickiness

Stickiness is how well people remember you. Let’s ask a question: do people remember you for something? It can interpersonal skills, programming, project management, HR or marketing? Is there a trait that whenever someone mentions your name, that person immediately says ‘blank’? If so, then you’ve achieved stickiness.

Now let me ask a deeper question: have you attained subject matter expert status in your discipline? www.ISixSIgma.com defines subject matter expert as ‘individual who exhibits the highest level of expertise in performing a specialized job, task, or skill within the organization.’ Becoming a subject matter expert is the highest level of stickiness. When you’re at this level, whenever someone asks for an expert, they think of you. You are exploiting your core competency when you are a subject matter expert. If you have achieved this status, document the process then list the 3-5 steps towards maintaining your subject matter expert for next year. It is one thing to get there. It is another thing to maintain your status. You want to increase your stickiness in the New Year.

Retention

Retention is indispensable towards leveraging your personal career brand. You retain people based on  delivering high quality work. Ask yourself this question: have people continually returned to you for a particular thing? Retention is the next step after stickiness. Once you’ve reeled them in, do they stay? Evaluate if you are retaining your clientele. If there are less people coming to you to solve their problems, then you should reexamine your personal career brand. Furthermore, if you are retaining more people then take these lessons learned and use them as inputs for next year’s plan.

Responsiveness to change

Change is inevitable. It is the only constant; and, your personal brand must be responsiveness towards it. Ask yourself how flexible are you? Rigidity hurts your career brand. Don’t fear changing your plan because you are not the same person on January 1st as you will be on December 31st. Your personal career brand must incorporate the latest industry changes in order to stay relevant next year.

Tactical planning

Tactical planning is short-term planning that supports strategic (long-term) planning. It’s used for non-annual planning (quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily). With tactical planning, you have to evaluate how your personal brand has performed this year. Has everything you planned for resulted in above-average performance? Has your brand gained more momentum with each successive quarter? Which things have worked for you? Conversely, which things haven’t gone accordingly to plan? When you dissect underperformance, has these things been corrected during the next quarter? If you cannot improve, then drop it this year. Answering all of these questions are crucial towards measuring the effectiveness of your tactical planning. If your tactical planning has exceeded your expectations, then document 3-5 steps per your time metric (quarter, month, week, day) to improve your personal career brand for next year. These steps will be the inputs for your strategic planning.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning is long-term. It is the high-level planning that you do when you start the year. The first objectives that you’ve drafted serve as a guide throughout the year. The tactical planning objectives support the strategic planning ones. The question you should ask yourself is has this year’s strategic planning positioned you towards a better New Year? If it hasn’t then what steps are you taking towards guaranteeing that you’ll sidestep the pitfalls? If it has, then document 3-5 steps per your time metric (quarter, month, week, day) to strategically improve your personal career brand for next year?

You will use these variables to examine the effectiveness. If you are underperforming or ineffective in any of these places, then you can correct these problems now instead of letting them follow you into the New Year.

 

This Week in Positive Change Management: Relax During the Holidays

Keep Calm It's Christmas

 

This is the week of Christmas. Although there are many people still running around looking for last-minute gifts, I am here to highlight the positive benefits of getting rest during the holidays. We don’t want you to overextend yourself. It is essential not to be burnout and stressed during Christmas. Below are 5 articles related towards the benefits of getting your rest during Christmas.

10 Ways to Relax During This Busy Christmas Season: http://snailpacetransformations.com/10-ways-to-relax-during-the-busy-christmas-season/

28 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/g2044/how-to-have-a-stress-free-christmas/

5 Ways to Relax During your Christmas Break: http://careynieuwhof.com/2013/12/5-ways-to-relax-on-your-christmas-break-driven-person-edition/

Relax During the Holidays: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/23/holiday-stress-relief.aspx

How Workaholics Can Relax During the Holidays: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-modern-time-crunch/201312/how-workaholics-can-relax-right-during-the-holidays

PositivityChange wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Federal Reserve Bank Rate Hike Discussion Video

Check out my video discussing today’s Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7JZ_2OoYTA&feature=youtu.be

This video compliments today’s article here: http://positivitychange.com/2015/12/use-feds-rate-hike-as-fuel-to-positively-ask-for-more/