Archive | January 2012

Got Leadership Development?

Got Leadership Development?

Leadership Development isn’t just for the front line supervisor. What are you doing to help your leaders develop? What are doing to help yourself for that matter? is offering a FREE virtual conference entitled “Developing Organizational Leadership Capabilities” on February 14 & 15. This virtual conference will allow you to sign up for several topics ALL for FREE. You just need to register at and become a member. Yes, it’s FREE.

There are no magazines to sign up for, no special coupons, no strings attached. It’s truly FREE. I know it’s an AMAZING concept. Educational-based information at no cost. Guess what? You also receive continuing education credits towards HR certifications. (That’s only important to you if you have the HR designations, I know, but it’s still FREE!)

Why should you attend a virtual conference on “Developing Organizational Leadership Capabilities”?

Several reasons…

  1. The IHR is the only institute with certification that focuses on the area of Developing Organizational Capabilities.
  2. A specialty certification increases your market value.
  3. Adds value to your work experience.
  4. Furthers your knowledge
  5. Recognizes you as an industry leader and expert in the field.

So, register today at:

AND don’t forget, we are delivering two programs during the virtual conference:


The Paradigm Shift to Sustainability is scheduled for 11 am EST on Feb 14. Here’s the link:


Sustainability Advantage is scheduled for 11 am EST on Feb 15. Here’s the link:


We look forward to helping you develop your organizational leadership capabilities!


Be honest…Are your employees following poor leaders?

In today’s business, the team leader is the main link between the organization’s goals and the people who are responsible for the daily activities that make those goals a reality. Because of the necessary and integral role that this position plays, it is obvious that good team leaders are keys to the success of any organization.

Many everyday decisions required within this role affect profits, productivity, service levels as well as attitudes and morale. With a role and function of this magnitude, it would seem logical that the process of becoming a team leader would require years and years of training. However, most team leaders have had little or no training in the required skills. Almost universally, today’s team leaders are men and women who have been promoted from being a super worker to being a team leader.

Did this happen to you? Are you guilty of promoting super workers into Leadership roles without providing them the necessary training to be successful? How much is poor leadership costing your business? Do you know who your best leaders truly are? Not the ones you like the best, which of your leaders gets more out of the talent they have than anyone else?

One more question…can you answer each of the above questions with confidence and data to back up your assessment? If you can’t, then you are likely losing thousands of dollars, maybe millions of dollars, each month you allow poor leaders to impact your customer facing employees.

The good news is you can do something about it. It’s not too late to save your employees from these deadly managers.

Use this link to learn about saving your business…





The Power of Attitude

The single most important element to success is 100% controllable by each of us. That’s right, you have the ability to control this element of success every day. The element I refer to is, of course, your ATTITUDE. One of my favorite authors, Charles Swindoll, wrote the following about ATTITUDE:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.

It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, or a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past,  we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.

We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.

And so it is with you, WE are in charge of our Attitudes.”


These words seem so simple and yet so accurate.

Why is it that so many contact centers struggle with the attitudes of their employees? I believe it begins with Leadership. That’s right, it’s our fault for allowing negative attitudes to impact the cultures and results of our centers.

What can you do to change the culture of your contact center?

It starts with assessing where your contact center is today. The assessment I like to use is called D.I.AL.O.G., which stands for Data Indicating ALignment of Organizational Goals. This assessment allows you to accurately take the pulse of your business. You will be able to identify, prioritize, and implement a plan to resolve the issues your business faces. Most importantly, you will receive the feedback from your employees about how ATTITUDE is impacting your business.

If you are concerned about the direction of your teams or you want to measure accurately how your leadership team is performing, then contact us through the link below for a FREE consultation about using D.I.AL.O.G. as a diagnostic tool for your organization:

We will help you achieve your vision of success. 

Sustainability – Developing the Strategic Business Plan

What are some important components to think about when creating and committing to a definition of sustainability for your company or organization? Sustainability is much more of a strategic issue, and we know that companies who subscribe to a higher standard perform better.

Defining Sustainability

We spent a great deal of time talking about what sustainability means and how companies can commit to doing the right things and still see a positive economic impact on their business.

If this is a strategy that makes sense for your company there are three key questions that need to be addressed:

  1. What does sustainability really mean to your company?
  2. How can sustainability become a competitive advantage for your company?
  3. Where and how do you get started?

Sustainability Implementation Model

After recognizing sustainability is here to stay, there needs to be a commitment from senior leadership within the company that moving forward with sustainability is indeed a company wide strategy. This cannot become another program du jour, as program du jour, do not, and will not, create a competitive advantage. The bridge to get started and move to Level 2 is to assess where you currently are with sustainability. This information creates the appropriate jumping off point and with this information purposeful action steps can be established.

Here’s the link to complete the Sustainability Assessment:

Level 2: Initiate

This level focuses on what to do to get started.

In addition to conducting the assessment, we need to look at connecting the sustainability efforts to your strategic plan and shareholder/stakeholder research.

Some examples of action steps in this phase are:

  • Creating a vision
  • Creating a sustainability framework
  • Vision and objectives are communicated to the entire organization
  • A support structure is created

Level 3: Implement

This level focuses on how to roll out an initiative of sustainability to the entire organization and collaboratively align all of your employees and processes with an environmental focus.

Action steps in this phase will typically include:

  • Develop interdepartmental teams
  • Create teams, team charters, and action steps
  • Begin collaborative efforts across departments and through the supply chain
  • Begin employee training and development
  • Public communications begin through sustainability report

Level 4: Operationalize

This level focuses on why it is important to continue integration.

Creating and maintaining loyal relationships with customers, employees, stakeholders, and shareholders is critical for the success of your organization. For small and mid-sized companies it is even more critical because small business are more reliant on a fewer number of key customers, stakeholders, and employees. Creating a loyal relationship is a two way street—your business needs customers, employees, stakeholders, and shareholders in order to be a business. These are the folks who will hold your feet to the fire and make sure they are in a relationship with a company that is environmentally responsible and committed to looking for innovative ways to continue to be better today and in the future.

Interesting statistic: Studies have shown that more than two-thirds of Generation Y workers (born after 1989) say they want their employers to be environmentally friendly. And in fact, one third of allU.S.workers said they would be willing to sacrifice salary to work at an environmentally friendly firm.

What might your employees think about this concept?

Level 5: Transformation

Implementing a strategy of sustainability is never ending. However, at Level 5 we see a total integration of the strategy to the point where it is literally part of the organization’s culture. It is ingrained throughout the entire organization, within all processes and employees’ actions to the point they no longer have to think about sustainability. They just do the right thing. There is a visionary transformation of sustainability and stewardship with standards other organizations consider to be a benchmark of excellence.  All processes, people, and structure are aligned and intertwined with a culture of sustainability creating some of the best results the organization has ever seen—creating a sustainable company!

If your Sustainability Plan needs more work, then contact us at:



Phone: 402 707-4868

If you are looking for more information about Sustainability, then  join us for a special virtual event on Feb 14 & 15 at Just register for your free account with, then sign up for the virtual event at:



Sustainability: Why you need to include sustainability in your strategic business planning?

In our last post, we discussed how sustainability is more than just a fashionable discussion in 2012. Sustainability should be a profitable endeavor and part of your strategic business planning. As you know, the first quarter is likely to set the tone for the remainder of the year. Will you be ahead of the game or struggling to catch up for the remainder of the year?

Let’s take a closer look at the definition of sustainability and how it applies to your strategic business planning. Dictionaries provide more than ten meanings for sustain, the main ones being to “maintain”, “support”, or “endure”. However, since the 1980s sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability and sustainable development, that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

At the 2005 World Summit, it was noted that this requires the reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands – the “three pillars” of sustainability. This view has been expressed as an illustration using three overlapping ellipses indicating that the three pillars of sustainability are not mutually exclusive and can be mutually reinforcing. The three pillars – or the “triple bottom line” – have served as a common ground for numerous sustainability standards and certification systems in recent years. The triple bottom line is also recognized as the global measurement for social and environmental standards of sustainability.

Let’s walk through the model and think about this as it relates to your business.

People: When the area of People stands alone, companies have a tendency to focus on solving problems, putting out fires, and reacting to situations as they appear.

Process: When Processes are not aligned and there is no strategic focus, a departmental mentality starts to bubble to the surface. Variation starts to creep in as each department is focused on self-interest in lieu of process alignment. A silo-oriented attitude is developed.

Environment: When companies focus solely on Environmental issues apart from their strategic direction they are often doing so merely to comply. They “have to,” so, it is viewed as an expense. Or perhaps even worse, they are giving the concept of sustainability lip service because customers or stakeholders are beginning to grumble.

As we start to connect all three components you can actually see how the alignment takes place. There is power in alignment.

When People/Process are brought together it immediately creates innovation, starts to prevent problems, fosters speed, and promotes interdepartmental teams.

As Process/Environment intersects it immediately creates departmental alignment, more efficiency within the supply chain, and promotes an environment of Systems Thinking.

Systems Thinking: The research of Russell Ackoff and Peter Senge is clear: only those organizations that are able to adapt quickly and effectively will be able to excel in their field or market. In order to be a leading organization there must be two conditions present at all times. The first is the ability to design the organization to match the intended or desired outcomes. The second is the ability to recognize when the initial direction of the organization is different from the desired outcome and follow the necessary steps to correct this mismatch.

Organizations that are able to do this are exemplary. Systems Thinking looks at all of the interactions within the organization and in between organizations as a whole.

When People/Environment come together it creates employee engagement, proactive decision-making, and the commitment that sustainability is part of the overall culture which will positively enhance profitability.

This model is a great way to show that the alignment of all of the core components is critical to the success of an organization. If your organization needs to create a more effectively aligned plan, then contact us for a free consultation about how we might help your team achieve a more profitable plan. To set up your free consultation, contact us at:




Sustainability: It’s more than a fashion trend in 2012

It’s become very fashionable and trendy to go “green.” There is considerable social pressure to be “green.” Organizations spend money to conform and we recycle even though it costs time and there is no direct economic return to us. Many employees are looking for their workplaces to encourage sustainability. Some employees will choose employers based upon their level of social responsibility and sustainability is certainly a key part of social responsibility.

As a contact center leader or agent, you may be saying “Come on Dave, we already have recycling bins for paper and cans, what else can we do to be more sustainable?” You might even think being “green” is more expensive and while it may be a social and moral imperative, we can’t afford it.

The concept of sustainability has emerged from being or going “green.” Some contact centers have begun to feel social pressure to implement sustainability programs. Very large contact centers often justify the expense based on the PR value. They’re in the public spotlight more often and the perceived benefit to being seen as a good corporate citizen certainly has value. Leaders of small contact center companies may be more reticent because they lack the resources of their larger counterparts and aren’t in the public spotlight.

Sustainability is more than fashionable

In this economy, all companies, especially contact centers have to be more pragmatic. If there isn’t a good return on investment, we must refuse to act. This can leave the leaders feeling like they are caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they want to be socially and environmentally responsible. On the other hand, they are aware of the necessity to create, not destroy, shareholder value.

In the same way, there used to be a generally accepted principle that obtaining better quality cost more. Higher quality meant higher costs. Then in 1979 Phil Crosby taught us that “Quality is Free.” That is, if quality is defined as conformance to requirements, doing things right the first time is less expensive than doing it wrong and having to deal with the consequences. A Mercedes Benz may still cost more than a Chevrolet, but you aren’t paying just for quality, you are paying for luxury and prestige. The Chevrolet can be a quality product if it is produced in conformance to the requirements. Getting it right the first time will be less expensive. Actually, quality is better than free, it’s profitable. We are just beginning to view sustainability in the same light as quality. Properly implemented, sustainability cannot only be free, it can be profitable. This makes sustainability accessible to small businesses.

Improving profits through sustainability requires you to begin by assessing where you are today. This link will allow you to complete the sustainability assessment:


Our next blog will address the business strategy and process of sustainability.


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