Tag Archives: Inspiration

What the heck is a Gruzzle?

So… What is a Gruzzle? That\’s what I said the first time I spoke with G.L Hoffman, a brilliant blogger and entrepreneur with a penchant for word puzzles that stimulate surprisingly deep thinking. Actually it\’s fairly simple. A Gruzzle is a combination graph and puzzle. And they are fantastic for generating conversation and new ideas.

Leadership Lessons via Gruzzle

Leadership Lessons via Gruzzle

G.L. is working to spread the word about these things, and I enjoy them more than enough to share a few with you. He has created dozens of them and incorporated them into a few packages that are targeted toward HR professionals. The first ones I saw were the onboarding group, and that\’s when I knew he was onto something special. If you are looking for straight talk, then look no further. He helps you to tell employees like it is, and it can help to develop some desperately needed communication.

Stuff you need to know

Stuff you need to know

Sometimes it\’s hard to say what really needs to be said. It can be awkward or just plain weird. Want some help? How about this one?

Starting the hard conversations

Starting the hard conversations

If you\’d like to know more or order your own pack of HR Gruzzles, contact him on Twitter or via the contact page on his blog. I’m going to do another post on this in the future, but don’t you want to grab one before they’re everywhere?

Running Logs and Your Performance

training log I keep a running log. I\’m not great about it, but I can still give you a fairly approximate average of my monthly mileage, and I can even remember some of the more memorable workouts (like the one on New Year\’s Eve in 2006 when I ran 7 miles in twenty degree weather while my family prepared for a party). Anyway, that running log helps me in multiple ways, and I think you should have one, too. Even if you\’re not a runner, it helps to chart your progress and make note of milestones. What if you used a log at work to keep up with your accomplishments?

Victories

Did you finish a big project at work recently? Write it down and try to capture some of the specifics (dollars saved, process time cut, etc.). You might also want to put that on your resume. Next time you need it for a job search, it will be updated and full of your latest accomplishments. On a more short-term basis, it’s a great way to put together your performance review comments┬áto make sure your work is being recognized.

Trends

Seeing an ongoing issue in your weekly work life? Make a note of that recurring event. You might not have an answer now, but looking back in a few days/weeks/months might help you see the problem from a different angle and provide some valuable insight.

Beware

Some runners can predict injuries/illness before it ever happens. A heavy workout regimen can take its toll in the long run, and work is the same way. If you\’re consistently handling tough tasks and seeing signs of too much stress, then you might want to cut back a bit. Sometimes the best way to make progress is to pull back, reset, and leap back in with renewed energy.

Keeping track of your progress for the long-term should reveal a steady upward trend. There will be ups, downs, and lateral moves, but the overall goal should be to increase your performance level. And five years down the road when you look back and see how far you have come in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.

20+ Ideas to Inspire Creativity

tweet1This isn\’t going to appeal to everyone, but I\’m putting it out there just the same. I get questions often from my many blogging friends. They usually center on finding new ideas to write about and keeping the spark of creativity alive. Even though I\’m technically an HR newbie, I pride myself in creativity. I wrote a lot of fiction before I started writing the kind of stuff that I do now, and I\’ve always been able to cobble together a story from a single thought fragment. So here are some ideas for you to inspire your own creativity. If you\’re a blogger, you\’ll be using these ideas for that. If you\’re not, then they might help you with something else. Trying to solve a problem at work? #6 has helped me with that dozens of times. I\’ve also included these as a free PDF for your downloading pleasure! Put it up by your computer and check it when you\’re stuck. 20+ Ideas to Inspire Creativity

1. Take an old post and explore it from a different angle.

2. What do you read? Watch? Listen to? Enjoy? Each is a source of inspiration!

3. Open your RSS reader. Find a post you starred/enjoyed. Write a corollary or a counterpoint.

4. Use Google Alerts to show you news on a given topic.

5. Use Google Trends to find something “hot” to write about.

6. Turn off the radio in the car. You’d be surprised what happens when you don’t have music drowning out your “voice.”

7. Make a funny top 10 list.

8. Find a calendar of holidays and pick one to write about.

9. Find a quote that hits you a particular way and expand it into a paragraph or two.

10. Take a well-known phrase and apply it to your blog’s focus to develop a topic.

11. Review an item that you’ve used recently (book, movie, service, etc.)

12. Take two or more blog posts from other bloggers and tie them together with some of your own thoughts.

13. Predict something. It can be funny or serious, but it should stimulate readers.

14. Take an opposing stance to your normal ideas and try to make it convincing.

15. Force yourself to come up with 25 ideas for something. Anything. Twenty four of them might be horrible, but one could be a gem! 50 is better.

16. Write from a different point of view. Maybe try to demonstrate the POV from the VP level, manager level, and entry level.

17. Find someone to talk with about your blog. It can give you ideas, get you motivated, and help you propel yourself to a new level.

18. Find a new place to write. Even if that means lying in the closet floor with a laptop (Hey, whatever works!).

19. Comment on other blogs and use that as the basis for a new post. Similar to #3, but you give the other blogger a little comment love as well.

20. Go back and pick one of your first dozen posts to update.

21. Save your drafts. Even if it’s not looking like a good post, you never know when inspiration will strike and help you turn that puppy around.

22. Have a conversation in person with someone. Let that stimulate your brain. Quote the person in the post (people love that!).

23. Revisit your blog’s purpose and what you want to accomplish. Just refreshing yourself on that should give you some ideas, especially if you can think back to why you started it in the first place.