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You might have heard 'business is a contact sport.'
No amount of preparation will be enough once you get punched in the face.
Then the rest is up to your training, background, experience, insight, prior knowledge, and correct assessment of the situation.
Using common sense, learning on the fly, being adaptive, flexible, and creative will get you through some of the business challenges that are out there.
When you know that things that are coming and did not prepare, you deserve a kick in the butt.
But some things come from nowhere and will leave you totally unprepared. These types of scenario are the ones that no amount of preparation will be sufficient.
Take heed, learn everything you need to learn, and take counsel from those that have been there and been successful, not the armchair advisors. To mitigate the risks and weather the storm, your present response matters a lot.
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YOUR THEORY OF CHANGE
Your Theory of Change is your organization's statement as to how your mission will achieve your vision.
What constitutes an effective Theory of Change?
-Clear causal chains leading to change
-Your inputs, outputs, and outcomes reflect the change
-Explains the underlying assumptions of actions, activities, programs, and portfolios
-Gives explanations to other factors leading to or achieving change
-Gives analysis and context of how change can happen and in what conditions
-Accounts for their contribution to the overall change that they want to see
The theory of change is not:
-About defending the theory or framework itself
-Not about being truistic or being tautological
-Being naïve that your theory of change is unique and never been done somewhere, somehow
-Not learning from lessons of other practitioners, not looking over your shoulder to see what others' have done with the challenges and issues
- Too simplistic, myopic, and mechanistic
- The premise that we 'don't know the solution yet, so our theory of change is about proving the theory." Very wrong.
What is your theory of change? Your theory of change says a lot about the quality of the analysis you put in your work and how it makes a difference every day?
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PLANTING THE SEED OF CONSCIOUSNESS
In the Philippines, we have a traditional song that goes....
"Planting rice is never fun"
"Bent from morn till the set of sun"
"Cannot stand and cannot sit"
"Cannot walk for a little bit"
It is not fun at all when you have a water buffalo that wanted to do something else! Life in rural Philippines had changed dramatically but in very remote locations, you can see a farmer with his buffaloes.
I don't know about you but planting the seeds of consciousness starts with preparing the mindset for a new thinking, acting, and doing. It is laying the ground work for future action that will take place in not so distant future. It happens in organizations that are thinking strategic, thinking long-term, and thinking about investing further along. Managers need to think carefully how to set the stage, create an environment where the status quo is no longer adequate to account for challenge, let alone, to compete effectively.
The best scenario is the one that comes from the decision-makers themselves and this goes not by serendipity but by actually nurturing and creating those needs for action, the ownership will be there, and of course, the resourcing will never be behind.
Leading from behind is more art than science. Let your nudge take them where you want them to go.
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FENCE-SITTERS & PRETENDERS
Fence-sitters and pretenders are scared people. They refuse to be involved or pretend to be involved but never to the scale that most people who are committed would. They ruin the possibilities for organizations because they not only favor the status quo but also block meaningful efforts to create waves and progress for the organization.
When you have fence sitters and pretenders, they sit on the sidelines, ensuring that things would hopefully get bad so they can pat themselves in the back and say, "see I told you guys, it wont work because....." There are too many people like that who refuse to be accountable for their actions and how it is affecting the whole organization.
If you are the manager, supervisor, or the boss of the company, make no mistake, these kinds of people are creating the kind of climate that do not serve the purpose of the business and ruin it all for everybody.
Don't put a decaying apple with the rest of the bunch. You know what will happen.
What is the most scary is when these people govern the organization and things are stalled for no logical reason than to protect what is expedient and 'normally done around here." First, they can't lead. Second, because they can't lead they micromanage. And third, they think they are being effective worst, being serving the organization well.
The good and bright people should muster the courage to step up to the plate and either eliminate or dilute the damage that these pretenders can inflict the organization. Ultimately, they should be caught and be rid of.
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Take care of yourself
1. Have enough sleep.
2. Take time to play within the day.
3. Eat healthy foods.
4. Keep a journal or notes for reflection.
5. Listen to soothing music.
6. Enjoy a quiet time with family.
7. Call a friend you didn't see for a long time.
8. Get moving by walking, running, or with a light exercise.
9. Clean your office desk or office room.
10. Pray for a loved one, friend, or a person you want touch.
11. Say a word of gratitude.
12. Enjoy lots of sunshine.
13. Take one step at a time.
14. Be kind to yourself.
15. Forgive and move on.
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Is there any thing that you need to do less of, or stop doing completely?
Instead of putting more stuff on your plate, reflect on what you can get rid of it, literally in your closet or in your life.
A few examples:
1. Too much time watching TV, social media, or games watching
2. Researching and looking but never buying
3. Making excuses not to accomplish or complete an action, task, or project
4. Being overcritical but not committing to anything
5. Complaining on things that you cannot control
6. Taking on too much at one time
7. Not being able to say No! when it is more appropriate
8. Walk away from people or events that do no good to your life
9. Less time planning, more time doing things you love to do in the moment
10. Pleasing people to get their favor or sympathy
How about you? What are the elements in your life that needs to be trimmed or totally abandoned and forsaken? Find it out and have a clean slate for 2019.
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HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Okay, your organization made a big mistake, and the public is talking about it. What can you do?
This is when crisis management kicks in. It is just a matter of time when the crisis comes. It will come and don't hope and pray that it won't blow your organization to pieces. With social media, fiascos, nightmares, and blunders are magnified to the millionth power.
1. Create a plan to address the most critical issues to the least important. Is it a public relations crisis, an environmental disaster, a public health concern, a racist statement, a hostage situation, a sudden accident in the plant causing deaths, etc. What are the paramount issues that need to be tackled immediately, in the next 24 hours, 48 hours, and the first week of the crisis, second week up to the first 3 months?
2. Create a team or committee that will have different roles and responsibilities to deal with several aspects of the crisis. One person will be the one answering to media inquiries. One person will contact the people or customers concerned and inform the relevant stakeholders and agencies of the problem. One person will keep the staff calm and collected, and become that go-to for anything company related. One person from management will address the public and stakeholders via a public broadcast which may require an apology statement or statement that details what the company will do to avert further damage, destruction, or mayhem to the situation.
3. Keep the lines of communication open, internally and to the public at large. Nobody wants to be in the dark about a crisis that is developing that may involve public safety, public health, and life and death, and other serious repercussions. The more the company or organization is open in admitting its omissions and commissions, its errors, and gaps in its practices, solutions can be developed for long-term prevention and mitigation measures.
4. Something significant happened in the company that put them in the news. Whether it is because of certain practices that led to these unfortunate incidents or things that were taken out proportion and perceived in an awful light, these things can propel the company to sudden popularity in a not-so-good way. When Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, all companies associated with the brand had to back off before their sales start to dip. Reputation management is crucial. Companies built brands for decades only to be damaged by malicious intent. Be responsive, address the issue, and take control of the messaging. If your company cannot control its messaging, somebody will, and it may not be on a favorable term.
The steps to crisis management start with creating a process to deal, contain, and control the situation from further escalating, empower a team to deal with different aspects of the case with central coordination, opening the lines of communication to all concerned stakeholders, and take responsive measures until all issues are satisfactorily resolved
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SHOW UP AND DELIVER
Time and time again, this one is very true.
Show up and deliver. Always be ready to take the opportunity that is presented regardless whether it is the right time, place, or scenario. An opportunity is some times disguised as something else.
Showing up means taking action, making commitments, and securing engagements with people that you think will help get you to the next level. It doesn't matter whether it results in a small incremental step. Those steps will add up and will lead to sizable progress cumulatively.
Showing up means taking the courage, while you don't see the big picture, the answer to the problem, or the complete information. It doesn't negate the fact that you showed up, made the effort, and seize the day.
Deliver, when nobody is reading, nobody is listening, nobody seems to care. Deliver consistently, with passion, with love and care as you put your products out, let the world know this is not about the popularity, the number of likes, the retweets, and the instant fame. It is about your message, your story, your contribution. It is about how you relate to your community, your family, and the world.
Showing up ever ready to take the challenges of the day will create the attitude and the frame of mind to move beyond obstacles, whether imagined or not, and will expand your reference of what you-can do!