We are experienced, knowledgeable and confident
Situation: A Fortune 500 Company contacted us because some of the most talented women were leaving the organization. Some of them were starting their own businesses but others were being hired by the competition.
They were worried about the loss of talent and reputation. They also wanted to position themselves in the female market and be known as a place where women could succeed.
Our process: We conducted an organizational survey, and interviewed senior leaders. We interviewed women in their workforce and women who left, in order to identify key reasons why women were leaving.
Findings: Senior executives had very narrow views of leadership methods. These views interfered with their ability to see women as leaders in their organization, so women were not being promoted past a certain level. This thinking permeated the culture of the organization. Senior leadership was methodology based as opposed to focusing on the outcomes.
Solution: We helped the CEO develop and implement an inclusion and utilization strategy that was more outcome based. This included a new plan for recruitment, and retention of women in the company. As the organization’s mindset changed, more women were given opportunities for promotion. Women are now in senior leadership and they have increased market share in the female market.
Situation: The Director of a public agency contacted us because older employees were starting to retire and there were not enough new hires to take their place. Those that were there were not yet qualified. There was tension amongst the younger new hires and the older more experienced employees that was interfering with succession planning and implementation. The Executive Director recognized the potential to increase productivity but knowledge sharing was at a standstill.
Process: We shadowed the executive director and other managers and employees to observe interactions, lack of interaction and reaction. We conducted generation based focus groups.
Findings: Older more experienced employees had assumptions about younger employees. They were concerned that the younger people would be leaving. Younger, newer hires thought they couldn’t ask questions or makes suggestions to the older employees.
Solution: We created a facilitated dialogue process between younger, newer hires and older, more experienced employees. As a result, older and younger employees are now sharing information, experience and technical knowledge. They are able to get more work done in shorter times and better serve their customer base. A formal mentoring program was established to improve succession planning. The agency continues to do well despite budget issues in this economy.
Situation: A national trade association had a decrease in membership and income. The association still had to serve their membership, and develop and implement a strategy for growth. The Board of Directors was suggesting they start lay-offs in order to cut costs. The CEO contacted us to help with maintaining productivity during this time.
Process: We met with the Board of Directors, the leadership team and human resources to review the current state of the association, future business objectives and identify challenges. We also surveyed the employees
Findings: Staff was not doing all they could to bring in new members. There was a lack of participation and communication between leadership and employees, and morale was low. During the survey process we saw that employees had ideas and suggestions to improve the organization but they didn’t think that input was being valued.
Solution: We worked with the Board and Association leadership to meet with employees, discuss their business challenges and employee generated solutions. Employees were willing to work less hours if it meant that people could keep their jobs. Individual employees had undiscovered skills and experience that would help streamline the process of communicating with membership to identify their needs. They also planned a way to improve membership involvement through the use of online resources.
- President stressed out- passing stress on to employees
- Obvious lack of focus
- Taught president how to relax and be clear so stress not passed on to employees
- Improved communications
- President on floor
- Letting employees know and the help that he needs
- Employees less stressed, more focused- and less worried about job loss
- Engagement and utilization
- Enroll, engage, negotiate, utilize
- Desired outcomes and how to achieve them
- Help senior leaders break down obstacles that interfere with employee productivity
- Develop a mission and vision and strategy for engagement
- Develop diversity councils and ERGs
- Lower stress environments
- Creating environment of trust
- Identify, leverage and utilize employee skills and talents
- Develop and implement recruitment, engagement and retention strategy
- Drive initiatives and culture change throughout the organization
- Market culture change and initiatives
- Train senior managers to be more influential leaders
- Enlist employees in achieving outcomes
- Developing trust
- Break through biases and other obstacles
- Identify and break through personal obstacles
- Identify strengths and challenges regarding stress and balance, and develop and implement solutions
- Set up cross functional systems
- Giving and getting feedback
- Inclusion- Gender, Generation, LGBT
- The best person for the job is more than years of experience
- How to be a better listener and be an leader of influence
- Getting employees to respond
- Say what you want
- Don’t waste listening or talking time
- High potential employees- develop
- Shadow coaching
- Executive stress solutions
- Executive wellness
- Decision making
- Present ideas with confidence
I would be glad to go into further detail about any of these points if you would like or talk with you about several more if needed.
My clients have included; Diageo, Renaissance Hotels, Pillsbury, GE, Applied Materials, City of San Francisco, Motorola, Monster, Kaiser Permanente, National Association of Female Executives, McDonalds, ABM, and the IRS.
I am the author of the book “Putting Diversity to Work, how to successfully lead a diverse workforce.” (Thomson, 2003)
My articles and ideas have been featured in publications such as; The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Managing Diversity Journal, Multicultural Diversity Workforce Advantage, Black MBA, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Working Mother, Women’s Health and Fitness, SF Business Times, CNN.com, and Your Cheating