Innovative Strategies for Today's Needs and Tomorrow's Challenges

How do I recover when things do not go as planned?

Things aren’t working out the way you planned. The results, thus far, are less spectacular than projected. You suggested this solution. You even received a few pats on the back from senior management for your novel approach to problem solving. So you took the lead and assembled a team. Initially, things looked promising. There was a bit of resistance (crossed arms; sideways glances and under-the-breath comments from a few of your colleagues), but you had solid research on your side so success was anticipated. Yet, the outcome produced no fireworks! Just deflated air and lowered eyes at the mention of your project in follow-up team meetings.

How to recover when things don’t go as planned

Pre-emptive move: Review and make adjustments
To stave off the naysayers, be open and honest with progress from the start. Let people know what is working and what is not. Fear of failure lends itself to hiding and side stepping when things just aren’t working as anticipated.

Maintain visibility and effectiveness in all other areas of your responsibilities
It’s easy to barricade yourself in your office or evaporate behind technology. Maintain visibility and effectiveness when experiencing major changes to let your team know you are actively engaged and focused on not only finding a solution to this challenge, but also in other areas.

Include your team or expand your team to find new solutions and a turnaround strategy
American Industrialist Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Don’t waste time pointing fingers or blaming others. Enthusiastically engage your team in reexamining benchmark metrics and root causes, and to identify alternative approaches. Expand your team to add talent and differing perspective to the problem solving process.

Keep lines of communication open
Be a conduit of information to senior leadership and subordinates. Express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a clear, succinct, and compelling manner in both oral and written mediums. Adjust language to capture and maintain attention to critical issues when interest wanes. Sideline frustration by actively listening and understanding what others say throughout the process.

Recognize when to call in an outside expert
In an era of skin and bone staffing, many are called upon to become in-house “experts”. However the challenge may demand more professional and technical skills and experience. Present senior management with cost analysis of the project to highlight the benefit of utilizing outside consultants if needed.

Understand that it may take a while to rebuild confidence
Remember the oft-used phrase “You’re only as good as your last sale” or, the not oft-used but just as important, “They may not remember what they had for dinner, but they always remember the dessert”. Don’t let a disappointing outcome define you. Persistence and accountability is the key to overcoming a short fall and getting to the well-remembered dessert to gain confidence. Success is achieved by overcoming multiple attempts.

January 17th, 2014 Posted in Q & A | No Comments »

Need Inspiration?  The Idea Network provides the spark!

The light bulb over your head pops on, brilliantly illuminating a path toward a future opportunity…the heart and mind races with the excitement of potential…and a passion is born! It’s a great idea…one of the best ideas ever. Now how do I make it work?

The Idea Network is a resource to help ignite the “spark” to take your idea from theory to practice while maintaining the passion. The Idea Network is an ongoing dialogue between those who have taken steps to move their idea from concept to reality and those who have a burning desire to do just that. The Idea Network will highlight individuals who have started businesses or introduced new concepts within their organization. We’ll discuss their challenges, solutions and current business perspective. And through our Q/A, we hope to share resources, establish connections, and help you get started and stay focused while transitioning through all stages of your big idea’s life cycle.

We hope you visit The Chenault Group site and visit The Idea Network often. We hope to not only deliver practical advice, but provide Idea Network participants with strategies and connections that will help bring your “big idea” to light.

Spark a conversation!  Leave your questions, thoughts and comments for The Chenault Group.

January 16th, 2014 Posted in Q & A, The Idea Network | No Comments »

2014: A Renewed Commitment to Core Services

 Happy New Year!

Hope all is well as 2014 unfolds.  This year has already opened with many interesting projects.  I continue to provide consulting for the Middlesex County Small Business Development Center at Rutgers School of Business.  And the experience has been extremely educational.

Feedback from business owners puts this challenging business climate in perspective.  I’m getting quite a bit of real, front-line concerns from the business community.  Besides looking for financial resources, increasingly, many businesses have been seeking advice on how to safely attract, select and retain talent to grow their businesses.  So I have been busy developing learning sessions, conducting one-on-one consults and researching resources to address a wide array of Human Resources issues.

Recently, I delivered a learning session as part of an intensive Walmart/Sam’s Club sponsored Small Business Boot Camp.  It’s an excellent program that connects small businesses with vital information and support (and it’s free for businesses with five or more employees).   

Last year we experimented with taking on diverse projects that weren’t traditionally in our wheelhouse.  We met some great people, worked with some incredible organizations and learned quite a bit about ourselves as a business service provider.  Most importantly, we learned that even though we were able to deliver what was promised, the old adage rings true: “You can’t be all things to all people.”

This New Year brings us back to the essence of The Chenault Group, Inc.  Providing companies with creative and sustaining learning and development strategies that help elevate an organization’s collective IQ will be the impetus of all our actions.  I am truly excited and energized about our renewed commitment!

So, how are things shaping up with you?  Feel free to connect when you have a free moment.  I would love to find out more about you and how The Chenault Group can help you achieve your goals.

January 16th, 2014 Posted in The Idea Network, Work Like You Own It! | No Comments »

The Idea Network

The light bulb over your head pops on, brilliantly illuminating a path toward a future opportunity…the heart and mind races with the excitement of potential…and a passion is born! It’s a great idea…one of the best ideas ever. Now how do I make it work?

The Idea Network is a resource to help ignite the “spark” to take your idea from theory to practice while maintaining the passion. The Idea Network is an ongoing dialogue between those who have taken steps to move their idea from concept to reality and those who have a burning desire to do just that. The Idea Network will highlight individuals who have started businesses or introduced new concepts within their organization. We’ll discuss their challenges, solutions and current business perspective. And through our Q/A, we hope to share resources, establish connections, and help you get started and stay focused while transitioning through all stages of your big idea’s life cycle.

We hope you visit The Chenault Group site and visit The Idea Network often. We hope to not only deliver practical advice, but provide Idea Network participants with strategies and connections that will help bring your “big idea” to light.

Spark a conversation! Click on the comment to leave your questions, thoughts and comments for The Chenault Group.

January 16th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

YOU ARE MEANT TO BE THE NEXT BREAKOUT STAR!

You are meant to be.  You are meant to contribute.  Believe these words and you will be on your way to achieving the life you want.  Although just believing you are meant to be will not make it happen.  Hard work is required.  You have to put some muscle behind it.  Not doing the work cheats you out of invaluable experience of learning and applying newly learned skills into daily practice.  It’s the experience of working with the belief of being a valuable contributor that enables you to articulate and share what you have learned with others.

So take a few deep cleansing breathes (Do it right now!) and:   

Think Big:  Write out your BIG Goals

Consider what you want in life.  What do you want to do, have and be?  Write it out.  Not in simple words and phrases.  Be specific and detailed.  By taking pen to paper (best method) you can create a clear image of what you want.  Use the journalist approach by answering the questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why.    Remember to be detailed and specific when writing out your goals.  (Who is involved in helping me reach my goals?  Where do I need to go to get information?  Why is it important that I do this?)

Once you have written it out.  Read it aloud.  Not in a whisper, but read it aloud with confidence.  The action forces you to hear and feel what you have written and make adjustments.  Now re-write it.  This time make the picture you’ve created even bigger.  For example if the goal is a new job, expand that goal to create a visual of you in the highest position possible.  Remember, you are meant to BE!

Plan with a beginning and end date in mind

Once you decide what it is you want to do, have and be, select a realistic date to actually be doing, having and being.  Circle that date on every calendar (even on your mobile devices) and post the date where you can see it daily.  Every time you see that date it will serve as a reminder that there is work to do to meet your deadline.

Communicate/Share/Welcome Feedback

Not since we were in grade school have we been more secretive.  Remember we sat at the hard one armed desk and wrapped an arm around our paper to cover our answers.  We were afraid someone would see our circles, checks and multiple choice answers and take credit for our hard work.  Now is the time to be open to sharing our ideas, dreams and goals.  Sharing reinforces our intentions internally and externally provides vital feedback, support and resources.

Yes, there are folks out there who may take the ball and run with it.  Or even more terrifying, pour cold water on our fire.  But YOU are meant to contribute.  No one can do what you do, how you do it.  Your ideas will remain yours.  It’s all in the passion, execution and delivery.  They have your distinctive DNA.  The return on the investment of openly sharing ideas outweighs anything someone else could possibly do with them (At least you’ll find out who is really in your corner).

So do it.  Share. You will be surprised at how communicating with others can keep you motivated and uncover new information that can move your ideas forward.

Continuous Learning

Once you know what you want to do, to have or to be, the world will continue to spin on its axis and bubbling brains of other human beings will continue to pump out new and exciting inventions that will change the way we do things and how we interact with each other.  Investing time to keep abreast of new tools, methods, research and information will help keep your engines primed, pumped and moving in the pursuit of your goal.  Learning about new technology, industry trends and even key people in your relevant field help shape the process of goal attainment along the way.

Keep your mind open to learning and information will present itself.  Suggestion: Say aloud to yourself, everyday (even throughout the day), “I am going to learn something today!”  Let that be your mantra.  And you will learn some things that will push you into the 2014 spotlight!

         

January 5th, 2014 Posted in Resources | No Comments »