August 2016

Make Your Plans Bulletproof

2016-08-22T18:32:47+00:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , |

This week at work, bulletproof your ideas.

If you’ve got a new idea, a plan, a program; find people you trust who can poke holes in it for you. Not someone who is going to agree with you, nor someone who will simply be combative. Get someone to provide instructive criticism.

The Starbucks marketing team used to practice this all the time. Often to implement an idea would require efforts from the Operations team, the Supply Chain team, the Creative team, the Legal team, the Customer Care team and others. So, instead of declaring or demanding, “This is our idea, now do it!” We would check with each group who had some stake in the program – see how we could make it better for them without diluting the program.

This worked swimmingly.

We got great feedback, fixed things before they broke, and had built-in buy-in from the various teams. We didn’t have to sell or pitch them on the idea – they were part of building it.

Arrive With A Solution

2016-08-16T14:54:02+00:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , |

While you may feel like a smarty-pants worker to be the first to discover and inform your boss of a problem, don’t alert them without also being able to offer a potential solution.

Anyone can point out problems. Finding something broken without a suggested fix can position you as part of the problem. It is when you arrive with helpful recommendations that makes you part of the solution.

Attention To Detail

2016-08-12T09:32:17+00:00 Categories: SandBlog|

You’re looking at an interior detail from the pop-up (i.e. temporary) Museum of Ice Cream located in the Meatpacking District in New York City.

Not only is their lighting made to look like upside-down ice cream cones… But, the walls are decorated with the texture of a sugar cone. Great attention to detail that helps envelope the Guest in their experience.

attention to detail ice cream museum

Hurry if you want to visit, the place melts away on September 4th, 2016.

Source: Mental Floss on Instagram.

10-Point Presidential Formula For Success

2016-08-07T12:14:26+00:00 Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , |

I didn’t know a lot about President Lyndon Johnson, but I’ve enjoyed learning about him via Wikipedia.

While reading the terrific book, The Magic Of Thinking Big, by Dr. Joseph Schwartz. In a section about “Thinking Right Toward People,” Dr. Schwartz featured the 10 Point Formula For Success created and followed by Lyndon Johnson. And now I share it with you…

10 Point Formula For Success

  1. Learn to remember names. Inefficiency at this point may indicate that your interest is not sufficiently outgoing.
  2. Be a comfortable person so there is no strain in being with you. Be an old-shoe, old-hat kind of individual.
  3. Acquire the quality of relaxed easy-going so that things do not ruffle you.
  4. Don’t be egotistical. Guard against the impression that you know it all.
  5. Cultivate the quality of being interesting so people will get something of value from their association with you.
  6. Study to get “scratchy” elements out of your personality, even those of which you may be unconscious.
  7. Sincerely attempt to heal, on an honest Christian basis, every misunderstanding you have had or now have. Drain off grievances.
  8. Practice liking people until you learn to do so genuinely.
  9. Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulation upon anyone’s achievement, or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.
  10. Give spiritual strength to people, and they will give genuine affection to you.

Magic_Of_Thinking_BigWhen I find something helpful in a book I underline it and fold over the page corner. These “dog ears” let me return to the good stuff in a book.

I’m pretty sure this book has the most dog ears than any other I’ve ever read. It was written in 1959 and – other than a few outdated salary and home price references – it is incredibly relevant today.

Do First Things First

2016-08-08T15:04:13+00:00 Categories: TWAW|Tags: , , |

Where to start, huh?

No matter what system you use to plan your activities – paper or digital – sometimes it can be difficult to determine what to do first. Especially since *all* of it is important, right?

I’ve tried lots of approaches over the years, the ABC/123 method combined with a prioritizer tool has worked the best.

ABC/123 Approach

This was taught as part of the Franklin planner system, later the FranklinCovey system, which is still around.

Basically, you rank everything you need to do with either an A, B, C.

  • A = Must do,
  • B = Should do, and
  • C = Could do.

The next step is to take all of the “A” activities and number them 1, 2, 3, etc. with 1 being the most important. You could do this for the lists of B and C items as well.

ABC_TasksI know. I know. It is nice to have items ranked by urgency, but… you’re still stuck trying to determine what is #1 or #2?

That used to happen to me as well. So, I had someone develop code for an online Prioritizer tool. It takes the list you type in and presents you with only two items at a time. You select which of this is more important. It continues to present pairs of items until you’ve ranked them all.

I love it. You will too. Over the years I’ve received letters of “thank you” for making this available.

Using The Prioritizer

To use the Prioritizer, type in all the items in your A-list. (Use “tab” to move from one cell to the next… it works best that way). You’ll hit “Next” at the bottom when you’re done entering.

Next, the Prioritizer will pair up and present items from your list, prompting you to pick which of the two items is most important. It is so much easier to prioritize when you only focus on two things at a time and eliminate the noise of all the other tasks.

choiceWhen you’re done choosing, voila the Prioritizer gives you a prioritized list you may print.

prioritizerSave the Idea Sandbox Prioritizer as a bookmark in your browser. It works smartphones and tablets as well.

ABC_123_TasksSometimes I find myself mid-week, after finishing tasks and projects given new things to work on. I will simply visit the Prioritizer and re-working my list.

Let me know how it works for you. I hope you love it and spend the upcoming weeks and months working on first things first.