Archive

Tag: teams
  • Appreciative Inquiry 101: Finding “The Flip” to a More Positive Outcome


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    Positive thinking is more than just a tagline.

    It changes the way we behave.

    And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better,

    but it also makes those around me better.
    -Harvey Mackay

     

    A fundamental practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is to focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. Doing so enables us open up our thinking to explore our successes and opportunities rather than obsess about our shortcomings or failures. This practice does NOT mean that we sugar-coat or overlook reality. It simply means that we build on our immediate and local assets rather than focusing on what is not there or not desirable.

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  • Worried About Getting the Right People on Your Team? It’s Not as Important as You Think


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    An assistant city manager recently told me about her frustration with a team she had formed to work on a special project for the city. Their task was to develop solutions to reduce the number of errors in the utility bills sent to customers.

    Like many organizational issues, this one was not restricted to one department, so she pulled together a cross-functional team of employees to identify the source(s) of the errors and recommend ways to fix them. These were smart, dedicated folks who had a proven track record of getting the job done.

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  • Effectively Managing a Project


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    Public sector projects are complex projects often involving staff across multiple departments and may require access to professionals that are external to the organization. Projects can range from creating an internal newsletter, revising policies, acquiring and redeveloping a property for economic development, or creating a new outreach project. These projects, with their variations in size, stakeholders, and complexity, all share in common that they must contend with issues of scope, time, and cost. Success will undoubtedly require “project management” skills.

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  • We Have To Stop Meeting Like This!


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    Some meetings really are a waste of time. A recent survey reports American workers spend up to 9 hours a week preparing for and attending general status meetings. Status meetings are defined as a meeting in which team members update one another on completed and active work tasks.

     

    I’d rather have a root canal! More than half the respondents (60%) said they spend more time planning for status meetings than they spend in the meetings themselves. Such meetings undermine productivity. Nearly half (46%) say they would prefer doing any number of unpleasant activities, such as watching paint dry, getting a mullet hairstyle or commuting 4 hours to and from work, than sit in a status meeting.

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