Project Management

We can’t meet expectations we don’t understand. When managing a project we have to get Key Stakeholder input so we can understand the expectations from those who will determine our success as a Project Manager. This presentation shows the basics for handling a Key Stakeholder interview.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq2cy_84nVk

Got Intuition?

Intuition is something naturally endowed to humans. AND we all use it on some level every day. Unfortunately most of us misunderstand what it is. I’d like to take a moment and perhaps clarify what intuition is through the following distinctions:

Instinct – is a universal component of nature. It relies heavily on our five senses. It is related closely to survival and that part of us that acts faster than cold reason. It functions within our flight or fight brain processes. An example would be the instinctual sense of danger when one smells smoke inside their home.

Intelligence – goes far beyond academics. It is the part of us that thinks, the part that blends experiences with insights through several types of thought processes to help us make meaning. For example intelligence can express itself in these ways:

Divergent or Productive Thinking invents all the new possibilities that have not occurred to you before.
Reproductive Thinking fixates on what has worked in the past and tries to apply it in the present.
Convergent Thinking eliminates and narrows down the possibilities to the one right or two right next steps.

Insight – is like a realization. It happens when we “get it.” For example: Think of the moment when it all came together and you discovered the true identity of Santa Clause. Or, think about the moment you realized that your parents must have had sex…at least once.

Intuition – is a function of awareness that comes from the soul or from the spirit. It springs forth from a source that is neither linear nor rational. It is NOT imperative to our survival. It IS imperative to our spiritual wellbeing, personal evolution and our own creative expression. It is a flash of personal certainty. It is the language we must hear when we want to understand what our soul has to tell us. Intuition is clarity and it always, always brings a sense of peace that we cannot be deterred from. It feels ancient, clean and clear as well as deeply personal. When it guides we just know what we know and we can’t tell you exactly how we know.

I have come to strongly believe that utilizing and learning to trust your own intuition will always lead you to greater clarity and stronger peace-of-mind.

If something has sparked your interest and you want to know more about how to develop you intuition further I suggest you pick up a handy, creative, fun to apply little pocket- book titled: 101 Ways to Jump Start Your Intuition by John Holland.


 

Use WOMM?

Advertising and marketing have never been easier, cheaper, more fun and more effective than they are now.

Because of this, I have become a disciple and evangelist for the tenants of WOMM (Word Of Mouth Marketing).

I grow my businesses by investing time and a few (very few) dollars into developing WOMM strategies and projects.

The more creative your field of work, the better WOMM will work for you.

If you want to enlist or beef up your marketing plans here are three easy ways to do so immediately:

1st – Purchase, study and apply the concepts found in the book titled Creating Customer Evangelists by Ben McConnell and Jackie Hubba.

Or

2nd – Download the cliff-note version of the book by Clicking Here scroll down to Head-trip DISK 4 – How to Create Customer Evangelists

Here you’ll find my interview with authors Ben and Jackie (see Creating Customer Evangelists above) during which we discuss the practical application of each of the six Word of Mouth tenants.

And

3rd – Enjoy this info graphic that details the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s (WOMMA) latest statistics about how WOMM  could be out there working for you too.

Your Work, Your Gift

 

 It doesn’t have to be swirling stars on a canvas.

It could be a number of well-placed tiles on a wall or a few small strands of color.

Be aware.

Pay attention.

Then patch a handful of actions together and mind that they don’t have to be elaborate.

Your work isn’t part of a contest.

Allow it to be a doorway.

One in which your unique and gifted voice joins the chorus of those who live their lives and earn their living by doing what inspires them.

 

Small Wins

Sometimes it is wiser to get yourself quick small wins in terms of your daily “to do” list than it is to take on the biggest, hardest task first.

To this point, a study tracked customers who were given frequent visit cards at two different car washes. Both establishments offered a free visit when all eight spaces on a card had been stamped.

At one car wash, customers were handed their first card with a 20% head start – two of the eight slots were already stamped.

At another location the customers had to start from scratch and work on filling out the entire eight spaces on their own.

Interestingly, after a few months only 19% of those who had to earn all eight-stamps had earned their free car wash. Conversly 34% of those who had the head-start card had earned their free wash.

Many times we find it motivating to have a portion of a goal accomplished right out of the starting gate. On those days when your will-power is low use this bit of knowledge to your benefit. Give yourself the boost of one or two quick wins by planning easy to accomplish tasks first.

And should you try this quick win strategy on, I’d love to know how and when it worked for you.

Author’s Notes

The research referenced above is taken from the book Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Currently I’m reading this book by Chip and Dan Heath in conjunction with an article written by John Tierney titled: Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? Both are quite informative in terms of understanding common roadblocks that prohibit us from making significant change. If you are interested in the article e-mail me, and I’ll send you an electronic copy.

 

 

Victoria and Building a Business Plan

In the process of re-creating her company and her work, Victoria has taken a deep dive into drafting a business plan. Using a crafty little, inviting book titled Business Model Generation she has added some juice to her efforts. Reading this book described the various sections of a small business that fit her thinking versus a standard business plan template. This new perspective seemed to fuel her ability to wrap her mind around the new business she is building.

This week she turned in a big piece of her new plan – a competitive analysis.

She also took herself through a budgeting activity that gave her several insights as well.

Left on her list is her is write up a section concerning her customer segmentation.

Victoria netted many wins as we checked in this week:

First she realized her current desired hourly rate really is the rate she needs to get/ask or in order to meet her reasonable, responsible annual budget. Said another way what she “wants” to ask is what her business “needs” her to ask.

Next, while she might not know all the “hard details” within her competitive analysis section, she has a cleaner view of the eco-system her company is growing up in. She has “enough” of an idea of what is in the environment already in order to begin establishing her differentiation and unique value proposition. She is clearer about which proposals would be good for her to write and which work to leave for others. As my mentor Marshall Goldsmith once told me in a private conversation:

“The successful individuals are those who know what they don’t do and are clear on those few things they do offer.”

All of the work she is doing will not only produce a business plan, it will clarify for her many things:

  • How she presents herself out there in the competitive world.
  • How she re-engineers her website to support her work.
  • How to create structure around what is truly her work and how she presents herself as a professional.

It helps her “see” that she is not just another “consultant” who threw a shingle out and starts looking for work. She is someone who knows how to do what is being asked because she knows how to find out what that is and uses her tools, experience and talent to deliver on it. She is creating a name for herself.

These outcomes were not anticipated by Victoria. Which also reflects back to me one of Ibarra’s tenets in her book Working Identity: We have to experiment our way into our next Working Identity.

 

Author’s Note

Not everyone I support within career transition coaching works as deliberately in the thinking mode that Victoria demonstrates. She is a wonderful case-study of re-invention for those who are analytical, driven and deeply interested in figuring things out intellectually. She supports the Creative Class in her work and yet is not someone I would classify as abstract, creative, … She knows things like what her overhead is. She knows how to hold the left-side of the brain facilitation in place while working with right-brain- dominates leaders and creative class members.  She does this to help them get to the next level within the field of Arts Administration. She loves the creative mind. She is sensitive to it and how it rolls out within the field known as the “arts” while also finding a way to support the business functions so needed in this industry.

 

 

To read the next entry of Victoria’s story click here. 

To start at the beginning of Victoria’s story click here.

What Katy Says About Goal Setting

Sometimes the things we learn come from people both younger and smarter than ourselves.

Enter Katy Bowman. Katy is an up-and-coming bio-mechanically oriented genius (for more information also see “author’s note”). Even at birth it seems she had mensa written all over her. While most of her followers are raving fans of Katy’s wellness and alignment information (which I admit to enjoying as well) what really fascinates me is her scientific/engineering/practical approach to elements of human performance.

I’m kind of a geek when it comes to learning what maximizes an individual’s capacity. So when Katy starts talking about topics like how to set better goals I take note.
What Katie says about Goal Setting by soulsaltinc
Here are three strong pieces of Katy’s advice in terms of the first step in reaching a goal – the goal setting process:

  • First, resist being so lofty when you initially write down a goal that you defeat yourself on the spot.
  • On the flip side, don’t dumb your goals down – the idea is to challenge yourself enough that you can feel a stretch toward progress and positive change. Find the middle ground between stretching and actually accomplishing what you know you can accomplish.
  • Finally, remember that a goal is not the outcome. The outcomes are the result of hitting your goal. So when you set your goal write down your intended outcomes at the same time.

Oh there is much more that Katy says about how to write and reach your goals. And I will certainly share these later. In the meantime, sit down and try your hand at setting an incredibly strong goal for yourself. If you want feedback, send it our way and Katy or I will let you know how solid we think it is.

Author’s Note

Katy Bowman, M.S., is an expert in analyzing human movement. She applies the engineering principles of biomechanics to quantify and analyze the every-day use of the HUMAN MACHINE, and in so doing fulfills at least three critical purposes.

First, she assists us in learning how to reduce common diseases and other ailments. Secondly, she makes all this scientific, mathematical, physics-oriented information actually easy for the us common folk to understand. Finally, she’s damn funny. No really, she’s hilarious.  To learn more about Katy’s background and innate love for anatomy/physiology visit: www.katysays.com and www.alignedandwell.com.

SoulSalt is Moving

SoulSalt Inc. is moving. She is purchasing her first brick and mortar presence in Salt Lake City. Watch for the unveiling of our new location sometime in November.

We are saying good-bye to our Murray/Holladay Road location on the last day of October. Those of you who have loved this accessible and wonderful office-space please spread the news that it is available for rent.

 

Planning Strategically

Today I worked with a client who has struggled to fully utilize the Today and Not Today tool. We sat down and looked over how she was attempting to plan out her day using this tool.

The items on her “to do” list included:

  • Insure that the loan officers are delivering quality customer service.
  • Monitor the training of new employees to make sure they are properly oriented on the company policy in terms of customer service.
  • Manage the customer service call center.

 It might be occurring to you as it did to us that the items on her list require systems and structure in order to complete them. These items are big, broad and strategic.

The Today and Not Today tool is NOT designed to organize your mind around large strategic projects. It is designed to organize the tasks floating around in your head that need to get accomplished one-at-a-time.

Today and Not Today can indeed support  you when working to accomplish a larger strategic project IF you take time to break your project down into smaller bite-size chunks – tasks.

And that is the key to accomplishing large projects and goals – You must first break these into work packages and corresponding tasks.

Today and Not Today is all about helping you stay focused on your priority tasks each day.

Only use it to sort through your small, bite sized tasks.

When you are focused on big goals and larger projects take time to break those down into do-able steps before you add them to your daily planning.

If you want a free copy of the paper version or the I-phone app of Today and Not Today let me know. I’ll be happy to forward those to you.

Visit Today and Not Today on Facebook!

 

 

Project Management Step One – Scope IT!

The first phase in any good project management process is to properly Scope your project.

In this initial phase you, the project manager, act more like a facilitator or coach than a manager.

Your primary job is to take enough time to adequately understand who you must interview in order to effectively scope the vision and deliverables of your project.

When we take this time to find the right key-stakeholders, we prevent future misfires and oversights that could show up later in the project. If you’ve ever had a project derailed in the mid-step because someone from the “top” needed to add their input, you know what I’m talking about.

Effectively scoping your project begins by patiently identifying the key stakeholders before you start planning the project. These are the one or two individuals who will determine your project objectives. These are the same people who will also determine if your project met the objectives.

The two key things you need to do are:

1)    Brainstorm all the potential people that are influenced by your project

2)    Narrow this list down to the one, two, or three key stakeholders who will actually be the critical link that insures that the project is envisioned correctly

If you would like more  information on Project Management you might enjoy downloading Lyn’s related Head Trip Audio file on the topic. [wp_eStore_fancy1 id=9]

Watch this video to get an idea of how to complete this step in your project management process or connect and let’s talk it over – lyn@soulsalt.com[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je5a67x98yU[/youtube]