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Category Archives: project management

New SMART Goals to Help Generate Creativity

 

Use SMART goals to help with creativity

You’ve heard of the age-old SMART goals acronym — smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely — but sticking to such rigid guidelines can sometimes stifle creative thinking and idea development.

We’ve created a new set of SMART goals to help you improve your creative output.

S: Stretch

Stretch your mind. Don’t go back to your usual way of generating ideas. Instead, do something different or unique. Think outside the box — way outside the box! Even your craziest ideas could have some great, realistic components that you can use.

M: Meditate

Our minds are constantly muddled with hundreds of thoughts each day. Take some time to focus on the present moment and pause the other thoughts in your head. The inner peace that comes with meditation doesn’t just help your health, it can help you be more creative and generate better ideas.

A: Ask for Help

Feeling stuck? Reach out to a colleague, friend, family member or even a stranger, and ask for their opinion. The feedback you receive could trigger a whole new series of ideas you hadn’t previous considered.

R: Relax

Have you ever noticed that some of your best ideas seem to pop up in the middle of the night or while you’re taking a shower? The best ideas aren’t usually created when you’re under stress, so take a step back, relax, and let all the information sink in. You may be surprised with what other ideas may come up.

T: Transform

You’ve used the first four parts of our new SMART goals to help generate a list full of information and ideas — now it’s time to take that information and transform it into your final, creative product.

Need help developing creative marketing solutions? We can help! Contact the GREENCREST team with all of your marketing and advertising needs.

 

7 Ways to Succeed at Project Management

team-meeting

At GREENCREST, we’re a little biased when we say we have the best project-management team in the region. Our project managers love what they do, and they enjoy working with our clients and the various industries our clients serve. And, they’re really good at their jobs.

When it comes to project-management, it may surprise many people to know that success sometimes depends more on people-management skills than tactical and organization skills.

Yes, successful project managers need to be very organized. After all, their job is to bring a project into completion, on time and on budget. They need to determine and manage a detailed project scope, create timelines and deliver a quality product to the client. They need to be the ones who keep meetings organized and focused, and they need to create and assign actionable tasks. However, in order to implement this flawlessly, they first and foremost need to be excellent communicators.

Project managers can have a vast amount of knowledge and time-tested methods, but they need the soft skills necessary to motivate their team to perform with excellence. Their team members are their most valuable resource – the true difference between success or failure. Therefore, project managers need to embrace their role as a leader in order to provide the best for their clients.

 

Choose the right team members

When hiring or choosing people for a project team, it is important that team members have the right skill set and attitude to create high-quality, creative and strategic solutions. They should thoroughly enjoy what they do and desire to stay current with industry trends and changes. They should be experts in whom the project manager can trust to provide the best solutions possible for the project.

Define roles and responsibilities  

It is critical for the project manager to define and communicate every team member’s role and responsibility in order to follow the proper processes and procedures. Who is responsible for each stage of the project? Who makes the final decisions? Who needs to be consulted before decisions or actions are made? Who needs to be informed of certain changes?

Motivate your team and celebrate success

As leaders, it is important for project managers to understand what motivates individual team members. Not every team member is going to be enthused about every project. Project managers need to find and use an aspect that will get a specific team member excited and eager to take ownership of his or her role in the project. Equally important is the celebration of success and accomplishments. There is nothing more motivating then being recognized and thanked for quality, hard work and creative ideas.

Listen before making decisions

No matter how much technical knowledge a project manager may have, it is important for him or her to rely on the expertise of the team, their boss and the client. Project managers must listen to what the client has to say about the problem, the situations surrounding it, the business goals, objectives and the industry. They must listen to different team members’ ideas and solutions, and they must respect and value everyone’s opinions. The project manager must also take detailed notes and ask the right questions to challenge and make team members think through their solutions and answers. This will help create empathy and build rapport with your team and clients, and challenging them will help procure the best results for the project and for the team members’ professional growth.

Know your strengths and limitations

Project managers should know their own strengths and limitations, as well as those of everyone on their team. This will help determine who is best fit to implement certain tasks, and it will help the project manager to create reasonable expectations. For example, when developing a project timeline, the project manager should consider the different pace at which each team member works and leave room for revisions in the timeline and budget.

Delegate wisely

Knowing everyone’s strengths and limitations also helps project managers delegate wisely. Good project managers know what they can and should delegate, as well as to whom they can delegate certain tasks. Delegation also enables team members to take ownership of the project and develop leadership skills.

Stay calm and strong when problems arise  

When issues occur, a project manager’s job becomes increasingly difficult. As leaders, it is critical they keep a calm demeanor and focus on working with the team to find a solution. When a project manager becomes visibly stressed or frustrated, it can affect the entire team and weaken morale. When they stay cool, calm and collected, it helps the team stay focused on the goal rather than the problem. It also mitigates the risk of ruining relationships, trust and respect.

 

Overall, project managers need to have excellent communication and people-management skills in order to flourish at their jobs and deliver a quality project. They must stay flexible, listen and constantly communicate details and updates. Building trust and respect with clients and team members will lead to successful, quality results.

Have you had a chance to work with the GREENCREST project-management team? If not, contact GREENCREST today to learn how we can help you with your marketing, advertising, public relations, website and social media needs!

 

Navy SEAL characteristics of strong leadership

By Kelly Borth, Chief Strategy Officer at GREENCREST

A business friend recently passed along a link from Business Insider of a commencement speech given at the University of Texas, Austin by alumnus U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven. He shared 10 leadership lessons from his Navy SEAL training that he describes as a lifetime of challenges crammed into six months. His message was extraordinary for all — especially business owners, CEOs and leaders.

McRaven’s 10 leadership lessons if you want to change the world:

  1. Start by making your bed. Make your bed every morning as the first task, and it will encourage you to complete multiple tasks throughout the day.
  2. Find someone to help you paddle. For the boat to make it through rough waters, every paddle must exert equal effort and be synchronized to the stroke count of the leader. You cannot do it alone; it takes friends, colleagues, the goodwill of strangers and a strong leader.
  3. Measure a person by the size of the heart, not the size of the flippers. Although chastised by taller guys, the little guys with the little flippers always outperformed them in maneuvers. Nothing matters — only the will to succeed.
  4. Get over being a sugar cookie; move forward. The instructors would always find something wrong during inspection. The punishment was to spend the day in a soaking wet uniform covered in sand portraying a sugar cookie. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you prepare or perform; it’s just the way life is.
  5. Don’t be afraid of circuses. Every day included multiple physical events and standards that had to be met to stay off the “circus” list — additional hours of calisthenics designed to break your spirit. Life is a circus. You will fail at times. It will be painful, discouraging and test you to your core.
  6. Sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle headfirst. A seemingly unbeatable obstacle course record was broken when a student decided to make a dangerous move. He slid down the rope headfirst in half the time.
  7. Don’t back down from the sharks. If a shark circled, you were taught to stand your ground. If the shark advanced, punch it in the snout, and it would retreat. If you hope to complete the swim you must deal with the sharks.
  8. Be your best in the darkest moment. During a ship attack mission a SEAL must swim to the deepest part of the ship where you cannot see, the noise is deafening and it is easy to become disoriented. You must be calm and composed to engage your tactical skills, physical power and inner strength.
  9. Start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud. The height of “Hell Week” was 15 dark hours spent trying to survive the freezing mud, howling wind and incessant encouragement to quit. Hours later despite many chattering teeth, one voice rose in song. One person can change the world by giving people hope.
  10. Don’t ever, ever ring the bell. To quit SEAL training you just had to ring the bell in the center of the compound. If you want to change the world, don’t ever ring the bell.

From Smart Business.

 

 

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