Articles and blogs tackling issues  and encouraging continuous improvement

Virtual Meeting 101

In this new reality of virtual meetings replacing face-to-face interactions, it is imperative to consider how our non-verbal communication through the small window of a computer screen may affect people’s impressions of us.  In a virtual conference room, nonverbal cues often speak louder than our words. Eye contact is an important component for building trust through communication and unfortunately is one casualty of communicating through a video platform.  ”Direct eye contact is nearly impossible on a video call.  To demonstrate artificial eye contact in a call, individuals will need to stare directly at the webcam. However, by staring at the

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Combat Decision Fatigue

In a standard day, the average person makes 35,000 decisions!  What to eat, what to wear, turn left, turn right, start this project, make that call.  No wonder the term “decision fatigue” was created to describe this drain on our mental energy.  In today’s volatile environment, the ability to adapt and make critical decisions takes on an even more heightened importance and that exhaustion you may be feeling could very likely be decision fatigue.   We place great value on the process at SMART and following a process for making important or difficult decisions can help us be more successful

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A Timely Reminder

We dusted off this SMART.remark from a previous election year because it is still a good reminder today. Having informed political views and exercising your right to vote accordingly is so important. But, sharing your political views in the workplace just isn’t a good idea. “People’s political beliefs are too closely tied to their identities to be discussed without incident at work. Disagreeing with someone else’s views can quickly alter their otherwise strong perception of you. Confronting someone’s core values is one of the most insulting things you can do. Granted, different people treat politics differently, but asserting your values can alienate

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AI Primer

Data Literacy is now named as a critical job skill by employers as companies are increasingly utilizing data to drive decisions. This move to data-driven organizations requires data literacy skills in all roles and levels of the organization, because without people being equipped with the skills to understand the data and utilize it to make best decisions, the data is wasted. Do you speak data? The linked article provides a primer on Artificial Intelligence (AI). “The use of AI and machine learning (ML) is occurring in a wide range of solutions and applications, from ERP and manufacturing software to content management,

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Pivot Like a Pro

“Pivot” is a word we’ve heard more than ever over the past six months. As the world suddenly and drastically changed, businesses and organizations are exploring ways to adapt and evolve to survive and thrive in this new market. Change seems the new normal. Change isn’t comfortable for many people, but it is a critical skill in today’s environment. As individual contributors, we have the exciting opportunity to be part of these new solutions, but it requires staying nimble and responsive to the needs of the ever-evolving workplace. Consider these tips for Pivoting Like a Pro: – Be ready and

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Kanban for Everyone Resources

After our “Kanban for Everyone” Smart Talk on October 22, 2020 presenter, Alex Garrett, recommend these additional resources. We hope you find these resources helpful! Alex Garrett: LinkedIn Page  Downloadable Document: Kanban for Everyone Resource List BOOKS: Kanban from the Inside:  Mike Burrows has written my favorite introductory Kanban book. It introduces Kanban through the values (which we didn’t talk about, but they’re still very important) and shows how the principles and practices work together build a human-centric organization. KftI also describes some of the other models, like Lean and Theory of Constraints, that work with Kanban to provide even greater

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Accept Criticism as a Gift – 9/25

Continuous Improvement requires us to be open to input and change.  Input can sometimes be delivered or perceived as criticism, and that can be tough to receive.   Tough but important.  The simple truth is, other people can often clearly see our blind spots when we don’t.  So, receive that feedback and view it as a valuable gift you can use to continue your development, both professional and personal. ”Constructive criticism is not an insult or a reflection on who you are as a person. It’s merely someone’s observations about his or her interactions with you in a business context. Whether

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Work Smarter with the 1-3-5 Rule – 9/18

They take many forms but most of us operate off some sort of to-do list for our workday, or at least we should.  It’s important to identify and prioritize the important tasks for the day to help ensure we stay productive, not just busy, or as we like to say, work Smarter not harder. Working Smarter can often require shortening our to-do lists. By identifying what is most important and including only what we can reasonably accomplish in a day, we have a greater likelihood of staying to task and accomplishing those goals.  1-3-5 Rule – This prioritization strategy advises

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Remember to Take Care of You – 8/28

Feeling at your Zoom capacity?  Feel like the line between work and personal life has disappeared?  Feel a little like your life has turned into the plot line from the Groundhog’s Day movie?   You are not alone! So, let’s first give ourselves a pat on the back.  As consultants, we are making this quarantine situation work, projects are moving forward, customers are being served, all thanks to your agility and commitment.  But, we’re not done yet so it’s important to build a serious focus on self-care into our routines to stay strong for the long haul.  Check out the linked

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