helps tech companies and small businesses with turning ideas into action, and action into PROFIT. Tom Cooper, our principal coach, is a certified John Maxwell trainer, coach, and speaker. Call us: 240-668-4799
Steve Dorfman is a master of customer service; engineering your customer experience. Since 2006, Steve has owned DrivenToExcel where leaders come to him to help them create or reinvigorate their company’s customer service culture. His highly interactive talks and training programs are designed to educate, engage, and develop front-line staff. Steve helps his clients do things like create remarkable experiences for their own customers and clients, build a consistent referral business and increase repeat customer loyalty … all of which translates to strength in culture and increased profits. I am interested to see how Steve has done that, coming out of a background where Steve had worked as a sales consultant for a luxury automaker.
Landon Johnson is the Founder of Talant, a sales and marketing effectiveness consulting firm. Landon has a background in management consulting as well as a short stint as head of sales for a software company. During that season, he recognized a large gap between how buyers want to buy and how sellers sell. Closing that gap is the mission that launched Talant in 2001. Since then has worked with software and tech organizations of all sizes across the country.
There’s a key link between HR and direct customer care?
What are the simple keys to increasing profits through HR?
In today’s podcast we dig deeply into these issues and talk about how HR can act as a strategic enabler to your business.
Is it possible for HR to really support you in your vision? We’re not talking about “old school HR thinking” (blocking and tackling to make sure that you don’t get sued) – We’re talking about how HR can add huge value to your bottom line. You won’t want to miss this one.
Today I have the privilege of interviewing Karen Usher from TPO, Inc
Karen Usher is the Founder and Chairman of TPO, Inc. During her career Karen has worked with hundreds of executive teams to help them improve their leadership and achieve their business goals through the people they employ.
Her career combines change management, HR leadership, and entrepreneurship, even founding her first of three companies in 1981. Karen leads the firm’s strategic planning and is practice leader for TPO’s succession planning services.
Back in the days when I was a manager overseeing tech folks, a team member came to me about a training class she wanted to take.
It was relevant to her work, and we had the budget to do it. She was hard working and smart, and I wanted to keep her, but I said no. Why?
As a boss I had spent a lot of money over the years sending people to training classes which were a total waste of time and money.
I have since learned the key to making training programs an incredible investment for companies, and learned exactly what I had been doing wrong.
The goal of training is:
For team members to gain critical skills and
To use those skills to help move the business forward.
We’re talking about getting people to change what they DO after a class.
According to persuasion expert Dr. BJ Fogg of Stanford University, there are three elements in getting people to change.
Motivation – Why do they want to change?
Ability – Do they have the skills and opportunity to change?
Triggers – What will remind them to use the skills and motivation?
The keys to making change really stick
The person must have some motive to do things differently.
Everyone’s favorite radio station is WII-FM – “What’s In It For Me?”
Why do they want these new skills? What do they want? How will having these skills help them get it? What’s wrong with what they are doing now?
BEFORE the class, as you’re deciding whether to pay for it, invest some time thinking about what’s in it for the team member.
Ask them to think about why they are motivated to do this.
Will the class teach the skills your team member needs?
This is what most training programs focus on. Specific skills in a particular area. Most of the time training companies do a decent job of this – but not always. It’s a good idea to make sure that the topics are relevant and that there’s a refund policy if the class doesn’t deliver the value promised.
How will the team member remember to use those new skills instead of “what they have always done?”
I have rarely seen any formal system or program to help team members with this part of the puzzle. We all know that accountability matters. Having someone who can help you overcome your resistance and to whom you are accountable makes the difference between success and failure.
Champion athletes do this. Weight Watchers has used this principle to build an almost $2B business. It works.
We have an easy answer!
We offer a system tuned to adult learners – triggers to help them remember what they were supposed to be doing, accountability programs and support with open Q&A to help them firm up their grasp on those new skills.
Ongoing educational system
Deep Dive techniques
Back to the story
Getting back to my team member, six months before her request I had sent her to a different class. After that class I didn’t see her apply a single thing that was supposed to have been taught in the class!
I had observed this with her before, too. I think that I failed her. I don’t think that anyone had ever set an expectation for her that she would be held accountable to USE the skills taught in the class. I had that expectation in my mind, but I didn’t communicate that to her – until I told her why I was saying no.
Without a comprehensive system of Motivation, Ability, and Triggers, you’re probably wasting those training dollars.
Give me a call to talk about how I can help you with
Communications, and more.
We offer a powerful system that will equip your team with skills and empower them to perform in amazing ways.
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
As Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Dan O’Brien thoroughly enjoys the power of positioning in growing client brands, using the most advanced digital techniques available today. With a pulse on the marketplace and technology trends, Dan likes to collaborate with clients to align their programs with their audience’s media behavior. This always includes a unique combination of highly effective rich media content and distribution channels that together accelerate awareness, adoption and results. Dan believes PR has never been more measurable, interesting and fun!
He previously owned his own PR and marketing agency, was the global director of advertising for Accenture and led a number of blue chip accounts as a Senior Vice President at J. Walter Thompson. He holds a Masters in communications from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University.
That’s a question I get all the time. The answer is: it depends!
The cost for these services depends on the level of service that you’re looking for. As you might expect, coaches charge more based on two factors:
How much time they spend working with you personally (or with people on our team) and
The value that they bring to your organization. Frankly, if you’re running a larger organization, you’re going to pay more for the help of a coach.
Three Basic Models For Coaching
1. Group Coaching
Group coaching helps you get an outside perspective from your peers once a month or quarterly, usually for a full day at a time.
In group coaching the executive joins a roundtable of other executives, usually in similar size businesses, and usually outside your industry. These programs can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars a month, but generally it will run between $1,000 and $2,000 per month for a year long program.
If that sounds expensive to you, there are programs available through departments of economic development or the SBA to provide low or no cost mentoring to small businesses.
2. Individual Coaching
In individual coaching, the executive meets personally with their coach on a weekly or biweekly basis. The job of the coach is to help you get out of your own way. A great coach should ask you tough questions that will make you think differently. For example – I recently asked a client – “You really believe that your industry is reactive. Why do you believe that? Are new problems coming up all the time, or the same old problems? Could you develop standard approaches to each ‘old’ problem?”
Sessions last about an hour, and you should expect that the coach will not leave you comfortable.
You should expect to have some “homework” between sessions – to help dig deeper and think more about the items covered in the session with your coach.
Many coaches work on an hourly fee basis. You should expect to pay as much as you’d pay for an attorney. A Harvard Business Review article from 2009 says that coaching may be as inexpensive as $200/hour up to $3,500/hour.
I work with clients on a fixed fee basis. My clients know exactly what it will cost each month, not matter how much they call me.
3. Organizational Coaching
In other cases, executives want to make investment not only in a single leader, but also want to bring in a customized program which will align their lieutenants with the senior leaders and help all of them to grow.
In engagements like this, fees can run from $15,000 to over $100,000 per year depending on the number of people in the programs.
These programs may include: Individual coaching for some executives, group coaching for leadership teams, team building programs, development programs on leadership, communications, problem solving, strategic planning, tactical planning, and more. Programs may involve weekly, monthly and quarterly sessions with different team members, and it’s all based on bringing the best program your budget allows.
Is Executive Coaching Worth The Money?
What do you get for your money? A 2003 study from Metrix Global showed an ROI of 788% – that means for every dollar invested in executive coaching, study participants reported organizational results of almost eight dollars!
Here are some more stats from the International Coaching Federation’s 2009 study on Coaching Effectiveness.
I meet with business leaders all the time who want to make their company stronger and better.
Leaders like you want to take their team to the next level. Many times people want to know who else does what I do, too.
I’m a firm believer that you need a coach, and I want to help you find the right coach for you.
List of local coaches
Lowell Nereberg – Lowell ran companies before and shepherded them as they grew. He has tremendous experience to help you and your team as you are making important decisions.
Debbie Zients – With The Alternative Board – Debbie offers a program for entrepreneurs who participate in roundtables to help each other.
Ken Gosnell – Founder of the local chapter of C12 – a forum for Christian business owners – provides a place for business leaders who believe that their faith is an important component of their business and are looking for encouragement and support.
Laurie Maddelena – Bringing a background of leadership in the financial services industry, Laurie connects with business leaders through what she calls “success circles.”
Tony Mayo – I have heard Tony Mayo speak, and have seen his work with clients. He brings a powerful prospective and helps leaders with focus. He’s a smart guy, and can do you good.
Ingar Grev – I have watched Ingar work with a client who was in the process of creating a significant plan for leadership alignment in a partnership. He does a fine job with balancing the “ideal future state” with the realities of operations while making improvements.
There you have it – six potential places to turn to look for an executive coach. We all need an outside perspective. Who is YOUR coach?
Keys to a great coach experience:
1. Find someone you trust – having an emotional connection is important.
2. Find a coach who helps you think outside your box.
3. Find a coach who will call BS on your BS. Holding you accountable.
Hopefully you’ll find a fantastic coach and see your business really soar to new heights!
What’s the biggest problem you’re facing in growing your business?
I’ve been in a group mastermind this month, focused on Dan Pink’s (#DanielPink) new book: To Sell is Human
It’s fantastic. One of the things he talks about is how to “pitch” ideas. He describes the “Pixar Pitch” which is the formula that Pixar uses for their stories.
Here’s the formula:
Once upon a time
Because of that
Because of that
It’s the pattern of all Pixar movies.
Here’s my BrightHill Group version of the “Pixar Pitch”
Once upon a time, many years ago I was young geek who worked on software and IT projects.
Every day I watched too many good people and good projects fail to meet business goals.
Have you ever seen failed projects at work? It hurts, doesn’t it?
One day I discovered the secret to successful projects.
I learned that leadership is the key to effectively moving people and delivering business value.
Because of this I began to study what it means to be a leader and how to lead others effectively. I learned that leadership is a skill that can be learned, and over time I practiced those skills and became a better leader.
Because of this new awareness, I began to see that few tech leaders understood this secret. Few of them ever study these types of skills. I really wanted to help them learn what I learned.
Until finally I created a business with to help tech leaders get more from their teams. Would you like to know how I do it?
Stay tuned for more upcoming podcasts on what a Tech CEO needs to know about Accounting, Legal, Project Management, Sales and much more!
About Steve Johnson
Steve is a popular keynote speaker at forums throughout North America and author of many articles on technology product marketing and management. Before founding Under 10 Templates (http://Under10Templates.com) Steve was a Pragmatic Marketing instructor for 15 years and personally trained thousands of product managers and hundreds of company senior executive teams.
I’ve got an amazing interview to share with you today. I cornered the former COO of Forrester Research for a powerful and insightful conversation about how technical team members can communicate with the CEO.
Core questions answered in today’s interview:
What’s inside the head of the CEO?
Isn’t CEO work just Schmoozing and BS?
What are the two essential things that technical folks need to know so that the CEO will want to listen to them?
Is B-School a requirement for tech folks? (You may be surprised by Charles’ answer!)
What about networking? One secret to long term success!
About Charles Rutstein
A 14-year veteran of Forrester Research, Charles served as chief operating officer. He oversees Forrester’s global operations and works with chairman and CEO George F. Colony to implement the company’s worldwide strategy. Working with George, Charles managed the launch of the company’s role-based strategy and leads Forrester’s client group organizational structure. Through his tenure, Charles has directly managed nearly all of the company’s primary offerings, including research, consulting, events, and Forrester Leadership Boards. He has been a member of Forrester’s executive team since 2006.
Previously, Charles served as president, Forrester Americas, overseeing Forrester’s largest geographical segment in North, Central, and South America.
Charles joined Forrester from Price Waterhouse Management Consulting Services, where he was a principal consultant. As a member of the Price Waterhouse Global Systems Solutions Center, he helped to devise and implement technology strategy for many of the firm’s largest clients. During his tenure at the firm, he wrote a best-selling book, Windows NT Security.
Charles has had wide exposure in national and international media, including The McNeil-Lehrer News Hour, ABC, Bloomberg, Canadian radio news, CNBC, NBC, MSNBC, and NPR.
Charles holds a B.A. in economics from Hobart College and an M.B.A. in strategic and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Spend some time with Tom and you quickly realize that he is not just talking a good game, Tom really believes in what he says and more importantly he lives what he teaches! Tom’s the real deal, he cares about the people he touches and he does what he says he’ll do! — Mark Strosnider Career Development Manager RE/MAX Town Center