Last 25 Posts
Leadership Firm Launches Survival of the Hive Leadership Boot Camp for Companies New Directions, an innovative team-building and leadership development firm, launched their newest service focused on providing an intensive ‘boot camp-style’ course on organizational leadership. The course, a 2-day immersive workshop, uses the firm’s recently published book Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons […]
According to a recent 2014 report from DDI and The Conference Board’s Global Leadership Forecast, the challenges CEOs see as most critical in the near future are human capital, customer relationships, innovation, and operational excellence. However, when asked if they feel prepared for these challenges 55%, more than half, indicated that they did not feel […]
Leadership Speaker and Author Set to Address the Vermont HR Association about the Largest Generation of Workers in the Workplace (Colchester, VT) –– Matthew Harrington, leadership speaker and author specializing in the Millennial generation (1980-2001), will present for the Vermont Human Resource Association at their program “Fine Tuning Your Employees’ Acumen around Engagement and Effectiveness” […]
The values of an organization get a bad rap. Usually they come after the prestigious mission and vision, don’t receive the proper time to be fully developed and are rarely used for what they were designed for. At times they can be characterized as the ‘fluffy’ stuff or the ‘human interest’ piece of an organization […]
Professional Growth and Development Number One Driver for Millennials in 2014 Employee Engagement Trends Report
The 2014 Employee Engagement Trends Report, produced by Quantum Workplace, looked at over 400,000 employees of nearly 5,000 organizations and determined that professional growth and career development was the number one driver of successful engagement and retention among Millennial (1980-2001) employees. Additional research, conducted by The Ken Blanchard Companies, found that there was a gap […]
Consensus is about agreement and support, unlike voting which is just about agreement. It’s a belief that when you disagree, you see something another person isn’t able to see. Therefore, the goal is not to push past you, but to try to understand what you see. It’s not about voting or any decision-making process that […]
One of the vital differences in SDWTs is that silence during decision making is treated as disagreement. This simple difference changes everything in terms of team dynamics. People in a team environment have to show their position on any decision made, whether in agreement, needing time for more discussion or blocking the decision. Right away […]
Usually the first we try to do when we’re brought in to discuss building a culture around self directed work teams is to convince the organization not to do teaming. We know, it sounds counter intuitive for a teaming firm like ours to convince the potential client not to do teams. However, we take that […]
When we train on the new workforce generation one of the most common themes that emerges is how can a Millennial worker become more value-added in a short amount of time. In addition to this theme usually the next sub-theme is ‘…make it practical, real life examples, attainable differences.’ With those two thoughts in mind […]
Mackin Presents Leadership Secrets from a Beehive and New Adaptive Coach Competencies to Vermont State SHRM Conference
Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building and leadership author, presented two presentations today at the annual SHRM Vermont State HR Conference. Her first presentation was based off of her recent co-authored book, Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons from a Beehive entitled Leadership Secrets from the Beehive, while the second presentation focused on The Adaptive Coach: […]
Guestblogger: Betty DiMaria, CEO of Aras Performance – Betty has over 30 years experience in organizational performance, management, and technology. She has worked in the corporate, nonprofit, and municipal sectors—in industries including insurance, health care, manufacturing, technology, government, and association management. In 2012, DiMaria founded Aras Performance Group, and serves as CEO and Performance Strategist. […]
Organizations are always looking for structures that will help drive the necessary changes as well as improve the integration between various functions. There is an option out there – called the Star Point System – that creates a “dual-operating system” which takes responsibility for crossing over functional areas and linking them all together. Years ago […]
Last week we had the pleasure of presenting a half-day workshop for the Vermont Association of Talent Development (formerly ASTD) at Champlain College focused on the Millennial worker. The room had a great mix of generations and professionals all wondering about this new emerging workforce. The assortment of organizations in the room and around the […]
The vast majority of Millennials (90%) do not plan to stay with any given employer for more than five years. More than a third of Millennials (37%) say they plan to stay no more than two years. Almost 40% of Millennials start a new role already planning their next career move in the immediate future. […]
Next month on June 19th, we’ll be presenting Leading Millennials: How to Motivate, Lead and Retain the Millennial Generation in Your Workplace at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. It’s been a while since we’ve done a blog post on this newest workplace generation (born 1980-2001), although our commitment to understanding and interest in the Millennial […]
This is a manufacturing floor operator’s thoughts on implementing a high performance team culture in his organization. They’re about 3 months into it and he is astounded at the results and being seen as a valuable asset to the organization. Just get on the bus!
An organizational change as massive as moving towards a high performance, self-directed team structure should take nothing less than 2 to 3 years to implement fully. The complexity of completing the workload, shifting accountability and power and building collaborative competencies needed at every level of the organization, as well as the general acceptance of the […]
No matter where we go or who we talk with about implementing a team-based organization, there is usually the “we’re pretty much teaming now” or “our teams are really at a high performance already” response. At that point we usually attend a team meeting, or watch a team perform on the floor, or we have […]
In February, Josh Bersin of Forbes Magazine wrote an interesting article on training and development titled, Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now a Priority. In the piece he took a look at the recent 2014 Corporate Learning Factbook study and did a pretty good job analyzing and summarizing the key parts. We thought […]
We recently began work with a fortune 1000 company whose sales have quadrupled over the past four years and who now boasts a more than 6,000 employee workforce. Despite that enormous growth and success, the company is deciding to make massive changes within its culture and the way it conducts business. Why? Why change when […]
Inc. Magazine recently had a feature titled Eliminate Managers? CEOs Who’ve Tried It Explain Why It Works. In the article they discuss the ‘no manager’ org chart and moving organizations from towering hierarchical structures to leaner, flatter structures. Some of the notables who are attempting this include Zappos, education platform Treehouse, video game company Valve […]
I recently had a couple of unique brainstorming sessions with a good friend of mine. Afterwards, he mentioned how much he appreciated my ability to hear his vision and bounce ideas around with him. I thought nothing of it – I love new ideas and expanding upon thoughts. But for him, it was a me […]
Last week we wrote about the need for both a steering team and a design team in order to delegate the heavy demands on leadership to run both operations and designing cultural shifts within an organization. We argued that having both the steering team (senior leadership team), as well as a design team (a team […]
Firm Rebrands with a Focus on Teams, Leadership, and Organizational Health As part of our 30th anniversary, New Directions is excited to unveil its new logo and vision. The new look and vision focuses our services specifically on high performance workplace teams, employee leadership skill and development, and organizational health through cultural shifts and workforce […]
High Performance Teams – The Benefits of Creating Both a Steering Team and a Design Team for Maximum Output
Recently, an organization expressed interest in transforming from a traditional top-down, supervisory model to a high performance, high engagement, lean organizational model. These types of challenges place a heavy demand on leadership in terms of finding the time to run the operations and concurrently design, plan and implement something totally new. As much as leadership […]
In last weekend’s New York Times Magazine which featured the continued political life of Hillary Clinton (and her possible run for president in 2016) much was talked about how Clinton’s team will have to do a re-calibration from previous election attempts/wins in order to have the high ground going into the 2016 election season. This […]
Really Simple, Yet Practical Things We Can Do In Training To Make Sure That Learning, Engagement And Growth Is Occurring
The numbers seem the same. The 2013 State of the Industry (Training) numbers seem similar to what we’ve seen in the past – billions of dollars spent on training employees. Instructor-led classroom remains at the top of the delivery list at 54%, but continues to spiral downward as companies look for the cheap and easy […]
President Obama announced this week the creation of a manufacturing and innovation institute in Raleigh, North Carolina that will be led by North Carolina State University. The new innovation hub is part of a larger effort to create a national network of manufacturing innovation sites. “For decades we’ve been losing manufacturing jobs. But now our manufacturers have added over the last four […]
When Zappos indicated its strategic shift to the concept of “holacracy,” and suggested that management titles would be dissolved, everyone sat up and took notice. What is holacracy? What new social engineering is going on that we need to know about and perhaps copy? Not unlike the buzz of Total Quality Management, Lean, Six-Sigma, and […]
Leadership & Team-Building Firm to Open A Second Office in Albany Leadership development & team-building firm New Directions is adding another location at 920 Albany Shaker Road in Albany, New York at the beginning of the 2014 year. New Directions’ headquarters is currently located at 5 Bank Street in North Bennington, Vermont. The Albany location […]
In a recent Washington Post article titled, Is Leadership Born or Built, the question was again asked, “is leadership born or is it built?” It’s always an interesting topic that garners a lot of attention because of its polarization, assuming that leadership is an either or situation. Most of the article assumes that leadership is a […]
Several weeks ago, we trained a group of employees on team effectiveness as they embarked on a rigorous program where in teams of three, they would be tasked with coming together each week, functioning as a team, to solve a complex business problem. It was clear from the start that these “mini-teams” would need to […]
Well, it happens like clockwork – school starts and about 3 weeks later, my daughter ends up at the doctor’s office. Then the next question is: have you gotten your flu shot yet? (If not, the billboards and road signs will certainly get your attention.) Oh yes, it’s that time of year! Today, we are […]
“The dropout rate of massive online courses is higher than 97%,” recently reported Seth Godin, technology guru and author, on his blog. As a panelist on next week’s The Technology Edge – The Experts Share for the American Society for Training and Development, I feel obligated to share new and shiny technology that we all […]
Jeremie Kubicek, well-known blogger, author and speaker in the leadership circuit, recently wrote a post about strategic retreats. Here’s what he said, “…what I have noticed is that most people come into the retreats like they come into a 10AM meeting – not prepared and a bit frazzled.” Does that seem like it’s the case […]
This past Saturday New York’s attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony “Trump University” that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the […]
This summer’s news included the City of Detroit’s dire financial condition – seeing bankruptcy as the only option for the longstanding state of financial crisis and becoming the largest city in the US to file bankruptcy. Certainly, Detroit made agreements to be accountable to their workers, vendors, bankers, companies and individual tax payers. What does […]
The Manfred Real Estate Learning Center Offers New Fall Classes The Manfred Real Estate Learning Center will offer a series of five classes on relationship selling for local real estate professionals. Classes are open to the public and will be held at the Learning Center located on Albany Shaker Road. The Manfred Relationship Selling Seminar […]
In the wake of this week’s suspension of 13 professional baseball players for alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, including All-Star Alex Rodriguez, baseball historians are suggesting that it is “finally time for action to be taken.” In 2003 the first baseball drug testing identified 104 players who tested positive, but no actions were taken against […]
Deborah Mackin and Matthew Harrington discuss the writing process, how they came up with Survival of the Hive, and why every leader needs to read the book with host Steve Jorgenson.
The Hudson-Mohawk Chapter of the American Society for Training & Development Endorses Workforce Training Series of Albany
Local Chapter and Local Workforce Training Series Team Up To Address Immediate Workforce Training Need The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and its affiliated local chapter, Hudson-Mohawk, has endorsed and will sponsor the recently launched Workforce Training Series of Albany workshops. Designed to be practical and affordable training workshops in the Capital Region, […]
Recently Deloitte released their Global Human Capital 2013 Trends report. This report looked at and analyzed how companies were “pivoting from the recession to the new horizons of 2020.” In the survey and report, which covered more than 1,300 organizations in 59 countries, 90% of global business leaders and HR executives are looking to abandon […]
Local workforce training and leadership development firm New Directions celebrates its 29th year of business on July 18th 2013. The firm, started in 1984 by Deborah Mackin out of her spare bedroom with a $500 loan from her mother, now is a global firm that works with vast array of local and global organizations looking […]
For any of us who fly on a regular basis or have friends and family who do, the pictures of the ill-fated Asiana Airline Boeing 777 crash landing at San Francisco airport were terrifying. But even worse have been the news stories emerging about the co-pilot-in-training, who reportedly had only 43 hours of experience in […]
Developing the area’s workforce, WTS unveils 2013 training and development workshops (Albany, NY) –– Last month Gallup polling released that 7 out of 10 employees hate their job. The CEO of Gallup, Jim Clifton, indicated that 70% of American workers are disengaged at work as a direct result of poor management and leadership. The Workforce […]
Leaders can inspire and engage, or they can disappoint and disillusion employees. Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons from a Beehive takes the lid off a beehive and provides a fun, relevant and reflective look at effective leadership through the eyes of one of the world’s most industrious creatures, the honeybee. Deborah Mackin and […]
As we celebrate this week with Independence Day, it forces us to ask ourselves, “Did the Founding Fathers follow a survival of the hive philosophy?” Outgunned, outmanned, and out resourced against Britain, the Founding Fathers had a few things going for them: resourcefulness, determination, courage, and a passion to survive. In the face of terrible […]
Paula Stopera, President of CAP COM Federal Credit Union, endorses the Survival of the Hive book written by Deborah Mackin and Matthew Harrington and talks about why she “thinks it’s one of the best tools she’s seen in a long time for leadership training.”
Everyone plays a role in defining an organization’s culture. Culture is a compilation of values, principles, beliefs, and actions that ultimately define how an organization works. Many organizations today use words like efficiency, excellence, customer-oriented and lean to describe their cultures. Here’s an important question: would we add the word healthy to that mix? As […]
“Engage!” Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise would say with authority, pointing his finger forward, on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Once he gave the command, the Enterprise and crew would make it possible to move forward, to ‘engage’ the thrusters, to jump into warp drive and continue to explore the universe (of […]
Founder of the Virtual Internship Program Joins Global Workforce Development Firm (Albany, NEW YORK) — Robert Braathe is the newest addition to the New Directions team, as both a business partner and trainer. New Directions is a global workforce development firm located in southern Vermont since 1984 and works with various organizations on staff training, […]
Survival of the Hive is a small, 100-page leadership book in the genre of Who Moved My Cheese and Our Iceberg is Melting that’s colorful, bright and easy enough to read in 2 hours. However, it packs enough leadership “punch” to drive revitalization of an entire organization’s leadership strategy. There are 5 main reasons we […]
What the World’s Most Industrious and Successful Creatures, the Honey Bee, Can Teach Us about Leadership
When we purchased our first beehive, after carefully placing the queen in the hive, we tipped the box upside down and shook 5,000 bees into the hive. At first the bees were flying everywhere. But within minutes all the bees had settled into the hive and begun their work. During the past three years as […]
SEDC Breakfast Leadership Series: Building an Innovative, Multi-Generational Workplace in Tech Valley
Leadership Authors Set To Talk at Saratoga Economic Development Council’s Leadership Breakfast in May (Saratoga, NY) –– Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building author and featured 2013 SHRM Talent Management Conference speaker, will be presenting on Building an Innovative, Multi-Generational Workplace in Tech Valley for the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Breakfast Leadership series on Thursday, May […]
I learned about New Directions Consulting from my College Advisor and Internship Coordinator at Southern Vermont College. Once I found out what type of business it was and had my interview with Matt I felt like I had finally found something that was up my alley, and for a senior in college that is huge! After being […]
We had an interesting discussion recently about the new neuroscience discoveries of the brain and how they impact the difference between expected, desired and delighted quality service. Many organizations have elaborate summaries of what quality service is and is not, how to deliver it and the expectations of employee behavior in various service situations. We […]
Nikki, one of the attendees of Bennington’s Workforce Training Series (WTS), talks about the session she attended, Dynamic Supervision, and how she liked the engagement and tools she gained in just one day.
Deborah Mackin, considered an international authority on self-directed work teams with over 28 years of experience, leads a packed room of business men and women on setting up their own cross-cultural teams. Sponsored by the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC)
In a 2012 study from the Center for American Progress, they reviewed 11 research papers and 30 case studies on employee retention, and concluded that it costs businesses about one-fifth of a worker’s salary to replace that worker. This includes direct costs such as: Separation costs (exit interviews, severance pay, higher unemployment taxes); Costs […]
Deborah Mackin, author of the Team-Building series, and special guest speaker at SEDC’s Breakfast Leadership Series talks to a packed-room on building cross-cultural, high-functioning teams within organizations
TALENT MANAGEMENT: Forming an Incubator and Accelerator Program to Foster the Next Generation of Leaders within Your Organization
Next week I present Preparing for Tomorrow’s Talent Gap at the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Talent Management Conference in Las Vegas. I believe this presentation peaked SHRM’s interest because of the humongous challenge that organizations face in the next 5 to 10 years as Baby Boomers fade out, Gen X steps into the role of […]
WTS Focuses Second Workshop on Employee Fundamentals The Workforce Training Series will be holding the second of four scheduled workshops on May 10th at the Mount Anthony Country Club. The second workshop titled, Employee Fundamentals: The Skills for Exceptional Employees, will be presented by Lisa Dunbar of New Directions and will focus on helping employees […]
It’s time to be a trailblazer in your department, team and organization! As a leader how can you move the ball just a little bit forward and become the leader everyone is expecting you to be? Finding an effective and long-lasting way to get people to be more accountability under your leadership speaks volumes about your […]
Accountability seems to be the focus of most organizations these days. How do we get employees to take more accountability for their actions? What can we do, as leaders, to engender a culture of accountability in our workplaces? Why do some people thrive on accountability, while others avoid it at all costs? Let’s take a […]
New Directions, an innovative training and workforce development firm, announces the promotion of Penny Willette and Matthew Harrington. Willette moved from Office Assistant to Office Manager and Harrington moved from Business Development Manager to Director of Business Development and Operations. Willette of Pownal, Vermont was formerly the Office Assistant at New Directions, having come on […]
Guestblogger: Leslie S. Schreiber, M. Ed, is owner of Schreiber Training, a corporate training company designed to decrease stress and increase productivity through improved workplace communication skills. www.schreibertraining.com Businesses acknowledge the necessity of meetings but struggle with how to make them efficient and meaningful. By implementing a model called “parallel thinking”, meeting time can be […]
The article from New Directions focuses on using the Six Thinking Hats model as a way to get more productive meetings in less time.
As Paul Barowski reflected on his recent discussion with the City of Milwaukee about their ASQ membership, I thought of several key elements that are necessary for quality to take root in city, local or state governments. It’s also interesting to me that despite finding quality departments routinely in manufacturing, engineering, pharmaceuticals and retail, the […]
It seems in this day and age with an app for everything, or a new leadership book that tells you how to be great in under 100 pages, or a pithy, quick, 10 step blog (yes we’re guilty of all them too) – we still struggle to move the needle on actually getting anything done. […]
Vermont Woman Business Owner & Leadership Coach Set to Talk at the Society for Human Resource Management Talent Conference in Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV) –– Deborah Mackin, founder and principle leadership coach at New Directions, an innovative workforce training and development firm in North Bennington, Vermont, has been chosen to speak at the Society […]
IBM has more than sixty certified coaches among its ranks. Scores of other major companies have made coaching a core part of leadership development. The belief is that, under the right circumstances, one-on-one interaction with an objective third party can provide a focus that other forms of organizational support simply cannot. Results of a study […]
Christopher Quinn of The Vascular Group speaks candidly about Deborah Mackin and why he trusts in her expertise and services.
This week I’ll be speaking to two separate groups about teams: the Capital Region HR Association on Executive Teams and the Saratoga Economic Development Council on Cross-Cultural Teaming. Both are looking for ways to improve the functioning of their teams during economic times when the ability to maximize human potential is critical for success. No […]
There is a new type of team emerging with an entirely different framework called Fluid Teams. These are experts from disparate functions and geographies who must get a temporary project or task up and running, sometimes with completely different priorities, beliefs and values.
Thinking about my blog topic for this week, I began to search for the newest and most innovative thoughts on customer service. Who has written a new book? Is there a new catch phrase out there? Then I stopped myself. The keys to exceptional customer service are action steps, not gimmicks. What sets you and […]
Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building author and founder/principle leadership coach at New Directions, an employee training and development firm in North Bennington, Vermont, will be speaking on Cross-Cultural Teaming in the Tech-Valley Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Empire State College from 7:30-9:00 am.
Team-Building Guru and Leadership Coach Set to Talk at Saratoga Economic Development Corporation Deborah Mackin, renowned team-building author and founder/principle leadership coach at New Directions, an employee training and development firm in North Bennington, Vermont, will be speaking on Cross-Cultural Teaming in the Tech-Valley Thursday, March 7, 2013 at Empire State College from 7:30-9:00 am. To […]
One of the fascinating things about couples is how frequently they are attracted to their opposites. In so many ways, it’s as if they are trying to complete the whole picture between two people. Yet, it’s also what creates the tension and disagreements as the couple works out the relationship details. We have a couple […]
60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained relationships with employees. 85% of workplace dismissals in the US are due to personality conflicts. Because your people are your number one resource, it often means many personalities working together in the same office. This can lead to great collaboration, as much as difficult conflicts and misunderstood communications. […]
When faced with the job duty of “maintaining harmonious relationships,” many managers and supervisors in my workshops either: (a) chuckle, (b) groan or (c) sigh. So, when “handling drama in the workplace,” or in other words, “dealing with workplace conflict” was one of the top challenges in my supervisory workshop last week, I was not […]
Vermont ASTD had a chance to catch up with keynoter Matt Harrington prior to his keynote address on engaging the millennial generation on January 31, 2013 at The Professionals Collaborative Networking Event in South Burlington, VT.
Harrington, Subject Matter Expert on the Millennial Generation, Spoke to a Packed Room of Professional Organizations
The Professionals Collaborative Learns About the Millennial Generation Matthew Harrington, Performance Strategy Consultant at New Directions, a workforce training and development firm in North Bennington, Vermont spoke at The Professionals Collaborative’s January networking event, Thursday January 31, 2013 at the Double Tree Hotel Williston Road South Burlington, VT. The presentation, titled, “How to Excite, Engage, […]
TEAMING: Hybrid Teams and Why They Gain Greater Engagement, Idea Generation and Buy-In For Decisions
Lisa and I were discussing a team training recently for a highly technical organization when an interesting dilemma emerged. They call their project teams, teams; they call their project leaders, team leaders. Yet, the amount of actual teamwork going on is minimal. The team is accountable to the team leader; the team leader makes all […]
In this month’s ASQ blog, Paul Borawski asks us to consider how we define quality. Do we have a single declarative definition, or one that is multi-faceted? Does it change based on whether we’re talking about product quality or service quality? Immediately, I recalled a video from years back of Phillip Crosby on a Scottish […]
Next week I present at The Professionals Collaborative (TPC) January meeting on how to excite, engage and motivate the millennial generation specifically in an association/non-profit world. This is a group of organizations that represent many of the associations or non-profits in the workplace development field. It being a new year, I thought it would be […]
I caught the opening of the Dr. Phil show on New Year’s Day. He asks the crowd, “Are you smart? Don’t be shy,” he says. Again, he asks, “Are you smart people?” Of course, many heads in the audience nod “yes.” Then he hammers home, “If you are so smart, why do you make such […]
Vermont Woman Business Owner & Leadership Coach Set to Talk at the Vermont Women in Higher Education’s 2013 Women’s Leadership Conference Deborah Mackin, founder and principle leadership coach at New Directions, a workforce development firm in North Bennington, Vermont has been chosen to speak at Vermont Women in Higher Education’s 2013 Women’s Leadership Conference. The conference […]
Last month I was working with a great management team in a small plant that is part of a larger Fortune 500 business. We were exploring how to re-energize a teaming initiative that had started years before, but took a pause after some staffing changes had occurred. I had interviewed a number of employees about […]
COMMUNICATION SKILLS Building Communication Skills Within Our Leaders [Guidebook] Cross Cultural Understanding [Article] PowerPoint Isn’t Dead But Your Presentation May Be [Article] Today’s Needed Leadership Skill – Lowered Defensiveness [Blog] The Do’s and Don’ts of Body Language in Public Speaking [Blog] 12 Communication Blunders That Can Trip up Managers [Blog] MEETING AND FACILITATION SKILLS Still […]
Guestblogger Kyle Lagunas: A HR Analyst at Software Advice – an online resource for reviews and comparisons of talent management and learning management software, Kyle is a millennial and tech enthusiast who focuses on forward-thinking best practices and compelling conversations in the world of work. While there are many potential benefits of tuition assistance programs (or […]
Each year we look forward to the release of the ASTD State of the [Training] Industry report which cites trends and statistics on employee development. Many of our clients use this data to help benchmark their own efforts, and to forecast trends for the future. The 2011 report, based on a diverse sampling of 461 […]
In his November blog, Paul Borawski makes reference to having the “elevator speech” ready to go when it comes to talking about quality. We thought our contribution to November World Quality Month (#WQM12) might be to help people construct their elevator speeches in a way that’s easy to remember and engages other people. At New […]
According to the American Management Association, the cost of hiring and training a new employee can vary from 25 to 200% of annual compensation. The turnover cost for an employee can be 15%, which means it costs $2,500 to lose an $8/hour employee – the more the employee earns the more it costs to replace […]
A collaborative effort to ensure area workforce training and development. New Directions, a training and development firm in southern Vermont has partnered with area businesses, the Bennington Economic Development Task Force, the Workforce Investment Board and the Town of Bennington to offer convenient and affordable employee training to the Bennington area in a new program known as […]
MEETING SKILLS: Still Tolerating Bad Meetings? Maybe One of These Baker’s Dozen Will Get You Back on Track
In a July 2012 Forbes article, Erika Andersen explores why people continue to tolerate “bad” meetings. She goes on to say that if employees only understood the expense involved, they would see the bottom-line importance of improving each and every meeting they attend. She uses this comparison: “I’ll bet you anything if the leader of […]
This article focuses on the concept that while it’s certainly important to study change management strategies, we often neglect the mix of personality preferences in a change initiative and their impact on its success.
Today is Election Day in the U.S. and we thought it would be timely to address some of the leadership requirements of any Chief in any office. As we go to the polls and elect our next president, we want him to know that there are key leadership skills he needs to have and/or build […]
Last week Deb and I had the opportunity to present at the 59th annual ASQ North East Quality Council Conference in Mansfield, Mass. We presented on the idea of putting together a Quality Days event for staff and what the step-by-step approach would be for others to facilitate such an event. The two-day conference was […]
In June 2012, Healthy Companies International surveyed 2,700 employees from its in-house database of senior managers, HR executives and C-suite leaders to examine employee perceptions of 20 specific manager behaviors. In one of the two lowest behaviors, just 59% of employees said their boss dealt capably with workplace conflicts. “Conflict occurs in every organization,” said […]
This month the ASQ leadership is asking, “How do you increase the value of quality in organizations beyond what is traditionally thought of as a quality function?” The question is framed by ASQ CEO Paul Borawski’s participation in a brand new organization called The Smart New Manufacturing Coalition. Ironically, we believe the answer to the […]
Recently we were approached by a local economic developer and a concerned employer from our community. One of the glaring issues the two parties were seeing in the local community was a dire need to offer basic supervisory and management skills to local employers. This is nothing really new as building fundamental managerial skills is […]
New Directions, Inc. received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Center for Women & Enterprise, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Center for Women & Enterprise is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site […]
Michael Bungay Stanier in his book, Do More Great Work is clear when he says, “Doing Great Work by yourself means it’s not Great Work.” He goes on to say, “To get the job done, we all need support from those around us – family, friends, and colleagues. “ For many of us that can […]
85% of professionals say effective communication is extremely important for strong leadership, with nearly half saying it is the #1 defining characteristic in all of leadership. And yet only 33% of employees say that they are satisfied with their leadership’s communication. We’ve put together the solution with our communications guide that focuses on best tips, tactics, and tools to help leaders.
Looking to cut your training costs? Needing results with your learning program? Our train-the-trainer workshop certifies trainers in adult learning theory, workshop design, and presentation skills. More and more organizations are finding it cost effective to build in-house training teams and purchase scripted modules that are “ready to go.” We have now launched over a […]
This article focuses on the concept that self-confidence, self-awareness, self-control, commitment and integrity not only create more successful employees but also more successful organizations.
In a recent Robert Half International Survey which was taken by more than 2,300 professionals worldwide, 73% of participants thought training was the number one way to increase workplace retention. Soft Is Actually Hard In the same respect we’ve recently come across these numbers as they relate to soft skills in the workplace. We tend […]
Companies follow the talent. In this age of “hyperspecialization,” partnerships and result-oriented projects, consultants can offer a great array of talent, resources, and insight that organizations are scrambling to find. The key is to be a GREAT consultant. What does it take? How do you build the lasting relationships that define your consultancy? Putting together our 28 […]
I recently was working with an organization to clarify the responsibility of leadership in relationship to strategic thinking, project management and functional management. We used the classic RASCI chart to detail who was Responsible, Accountable, expected to Support, Consulted and Informed on numerous tasks and responsibilities. The goal was to help leadership within the organization […]
Long ago Philip Crosby said (and I paraphrase here), “There’s no such thing as good quality or bad quality, there is just quality. Something either is quality, or it’s not.” He went on to suggest that quality is defined as “conformance to requirement.” What would Phillip Crosby and other quality gurus say today about quality […]
Download our article building a time management philosophy that doesn’t focus so much on the newest, coolest app but how to discipline yourself to build an effective time management strategy, philosophy and goal.
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The average worker gets interrupted every 8 minutes and a person with a cluttered desk spends on average 1.5 hours per day looking for things. In our time-pressed work, learning how to manage multiple priorities is critical to success. The learner will be able to: Understand the four components of “time” Employ tricks for expediting […]
Sometimes it flies, sometimes it crawls, but it always passes inexorably. We mark it, save it, waste it, bide it, race against it. We measure it incessantly, with a passion for precision that borders on the obsessive. Time is so vitally enmeshed with the fabric of our existence and yet we’re not always good at […]
Are you ready for the new iphone 5? Have you seen all the new apps? Did you catch the recent Fast Company story about the “5 apps to Help You Swing Back into the Productivity Mode?” It seems like there are more and more resources to help us manage our time better – books, articles, […]
Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure (and job) to go to a couple of different conferences (Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing to name a few). Being in the training and development field, one of the many great take-aways for me professionally has been to see the new innovative ways […]
Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district went on strike Monday morning after negotiations for a new contract collapsed, giving some 350,000 students an unexpected day off but leading to frustrations among parents and indications that a settlement may not be close. Chicago Public Schools and the union representing teachers have been embroiled for months […]
Stephen R. Covey may be one of the most settled souls in the universe. He died on July 16 at the age of 79. Ironically this was one year short of a key milestone he taught others to look forward to. Although his ship might not have reached that major port in his life’s […]
As a manager, supervisor and certainly, HR professional, you may find yourself right smack in the middle of mediating employee conflicts. By the time they reach you, tempers are flared and each person is firmly dug into a hard line of “I will only….” or “I won’t,” and “He must…” or “She had better….” language. […]
“The best way to predict your future is to create it,” said management guru Peter Drucker. We are indeed living in chaotic times full of rapid change and dramatic disruption. Just ask anyone with a business, service or product and the game has only become harder, more stressful and unstable. What used to be a […]
Mackin Completes Certification in the MBTI Step II Deborah Mackin, Founder/President and Principal Performance Strategist for New Directions, Inc. of North Bennington, Vermont completed certification to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Index Step II, an advanced capability in the use of the personality tool. The Myers-Briggs Type Index (MBTI) is an assessment designed to measure psychological […]
There has been so much research done in neuroscience in the past fifteen years that experts have a much better understanding of how the brain functions when it comes to decision making – even as it relates to growing a quality culture. Years ago we believed that information coming into the brain was automatically handled […]
You may wish that sometimes you could do it all yourself — just so it would get done right —but truthfully that’s unrealistic. This workshop will help you to get others to see the inefficiencies in their processes and have a continuous improvement mindset. The learner will be able to: Build a continuous improvement mindset […]
According to a 2012 survey 73% of revenue growing and profitable organizations did so because they excelled at managing change. A 2003 Change Management Best Practice study reported that only 1/3 of change teams used a formal management tool, but of the the ones who did those teams showed an ROI of 143% Change is […]
The dissatisfaction with status quo has been established, the vision is compelling, and yet, when it comes to examining how the organization needs to transform to meet the future, your group struggles. Sound familiar? Perhaps your group is dealing with some “residual” resistance from previous poorly-managed change initiatives. This workshop looks at how an organization […]
The only constant is change. This workshop targets the individual and how he/she deals with change personally. This session will help individuals understand the effects of change, steps to progress through change and help them build crucial characteristics for dealing with change in the future. You may find yourself having trouble sleeping, picking fights with […]
Over 60% of employers say that they are experiencing tension among employees from different generations.
Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce in the next 10 years and yet they’ve been called “one of the hardest generations to work with.
The gap in organization’s talent is coming if it isn’t already here. Baby Boomers are retiring at the staggering rate of 6,000 a day and with them, a great wealth of knowledge and talent.
Strategic planning skills may be one of the best-kept secrets in today’s work world. Everybody in management is talking about it, most management job descriptions call for it, but how many really know what it means and how to DO it? Give yourself, as well as your organization, an extra edge by learning these robust […]
The only constant is CHANGE – we all know it and we all struggle to handle it. During the turbulent days we’re facing, it’s best to have a strategy for helping your staff handle whatever ups and downs come their way.
The MBTI is the most well-known personality instrument. This training takes Type to a new level, examining your leadership team’s strengths and “hot spots” when planning, solving problems, making decisions and managing change. The team will leave the training with clear actions for performance improvement.
Experts suggest that facilitation skills will be an absolute “must have” competency for leaders, whether leading a small group or large project team. This training teaches the 5 Key Steps for Effective Facilitation with hands-on practice in the session.
Caught in the middle of a conflict? Not sure how to mediate conflicts between others on your team? Conflict is a normal part of work life and experts say it typically happens every 20 minutes. This training equips managers and supervisors to react effectively when conflicts occur.
93% of communication is in tone and body language, and therefore a large source of cross cultural miscommunication. Likewise, people with little cultural understanding struggle with the differences they experience related to others from another culture. Deep inside many of us is a belief that relating to a person from another culture should be easy. When it […]
Some people suggest that there is a conflict every 20 minutes in the modern workplace. Those are just the ones we see. What about all the conflicts that are under the surface or gossiped about behind closed doors? It used to be that managers or supervisors were expected to resolve all the conflicts, but […]
“I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do.” “It looks fine to me.” “I did exactly what you told me to do.” “You never told me I needed to do…..” “What right do you have to criticize what I do?” “The blame really lies with your area, not mine.” Any of these sound familiar? […]
As leaders there’s always one behavior or another we’re trying to shape or change in others. What about the chronic latecomer, the constant complainer and the time management challenged? We attempt to give constructive feedback, help them set bodacious goals or focus on teamwork and continuous improvement. Sometimes it clicks; sometimes it doesn’t. What’s fascinating […]
While William Whyte, Jr. coined the term, “Groupthink” in 1952 in Fortune magazine, Irving Janis, a research psychologist, in 1971, defined it as “…the mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive ingroup that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action.” There are historically tragic […]
We have often mentioned David Gleicher’s change formula – D X V X F > R – as an important sequencing of tasks when building a change initiative. When so many leaders jump into the F – First Steps – without building the D (Dissatisfaction with Status Quo and Case for Change) or the V […]
Yesterday, the team at New Directions celebrated our 28th “birthday” of being in business. Long have I heard the stories of how my mother, Deb, started the business – out of her spare bedroom with a $500 loan from her mother, that from small beginnings emerged an international resource for human development. I usually think […]
Employee training and development firm New Directions of North Bennington, Vermont celebrates its 28th year of business on July 18th 2012. The firm was started in 1984 by Deborah Mackin.
The Millennial/Gen-X Conflict: Why They’re Different, How They’re Alike, and What We Can Do To Get Them Working Together
Unlike the size of baby boomers (80 million) and millennials/Gen-Y (78 million), Gen-X has just 46 million members, making it a dark-horse demographic. This can cause great tension and a challenge for organizations as the Boomers fade and Gen-x and Millennials look to fill the ranks. The looming issue for our workforce and our organizations […]
Last month, I explored the effects of a lack of trust in an organization on the success of change initiatives and left you with the question: So, what if you are an organization that botched the last change initiative or perhaps now recognize that you don’t have a trusting environment, and are trying to launch […]
GENERATIONS IN THE WORKPLACE: The Manager to Millennial Challenge – Key Initiatives to Start a Healthy, Productive Workplace Relationship:
This is part of our “Designed To Win” series on the millennial workforce. Full disclosure: I am a millennial. This past week I had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at the Northern New England Center for Financial Training’s annual banquet. While sitting at the table waiting to give a 20 minute talk on […]
Let’s face it, nobody likes conflict. While it may momentarily get our juices flowing, most of us walk away very distressed when we’re in a conflict at work. It keeps going around and around in our heads as we try to process all the various things we might have said. Experts suggest that there is […]
QUALITY TUESDAY: Quality Beyond the Product – Looking at How Quality Can Be Applied at a Strategic Level
The suggestion that some CEOs focus exclusively on product when thinking about quality is exhibited in the lack of support given to quality, both in terms of sufficient staffing and when quality leaders have to exert their responsibility and stop the release of a product. At that moment of intensity, will the CEO support […]
Recently I conducted a workshop on Building Trust and Credibility for two different groups within the same organization. The training topic was chosen by management, though they did have the option of attending a different seminar. To my surprise, the two groups had polar reactions to the subject. One group was excited about the topic and […]
This is part of our “Designed To Win” series on the millennial workforce. Full disclosure: I am a millennial. A couple weeks ago we wrote about two types of millennial workers: the ones that fit “every negative stereotype” and the “connector” millennial, ready to progress in the work world. Well, some called foul at the […]
A companion piece to Mackin’s best-selling Team-Building Tool Kit, this Samples Kit provides all the agendas, protocols, charts, assessments and tools to launch a functional team. These samples have helped team-based organizations such as Coca-Cola, Sanofi Pasteur, Delta Faucet, and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory reach a high-performance platform of teaming within their industry.
New Directions and Deborah Mackin have been working with teams for nearly three decades. Named by many as “the authority on workplace teams” because of our many years in the profession, we have put together a Frequently Asked Questions Guide to help you build your workplace teams.
The skinny on meetings is that we’re not that good at them. Do you go to meetings and tend to sit around listening to endless information sharing rather then problem solve? Do you attend meetings that lack structure, roles or accountability? Do you walk out of meetings wishing you felt more productive or clear on the objective? It can be frustrating, but […]
Built from nearly three decades of working in quality-focused industries, this tool kit takes the best tools applied in organizations such as Coca-Cola, Sanofi Pasteur, Delta Faucet, Crane Currency, the U.S. Navy and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, and puts it into a manageable 15-page guide. Reach peak high quality performance by downloading today!
Based on 28 years of partnering with some of the world’s leading organizations, as well as a keen insight from our on-the-ground experts, this compilation of writings discusses what is critical for innovation in every industry and what it will take for organizations to build the next generation of leadership excellence.
At the 2008 Olympics, Beijing built what has become known as the Water Cube to house many of the swimming competitions of the 2008 games including diving and synchronized swimming. In July 2003, the Water Cube design was chosen from 10 proposals in an international architectural competition for the aquatic center project. The Water Cube was specially designed and […]
In Part I, we explored the beliefs needed to drive assertive behavior and I encouraged you to take our assertiveness survey as a way of reflecting on your current communication patterns and level of assertiveness. If you are like many, you may have found that you weren’t as assertive as you’d like to be, particularly […]
This is part of our “Designed To Win” series on the millennial workforce. Full disclosure: I am a millennial. Every generation experiences what is known as “shared sense-making.” It is the process in which individuals within a generation jointly interpret their environment and create collective narratives from which they derive meaning. This process, through the […]
The day after Paul Borawski, ASQ CEO, posted his blog on The Government/Quality Puzzle and noted that government should be seen as an “essential force of change for quality….through purchasing policy, public policy and use of (or lack of use) quality in the management of government,” the headliner story broke on TSA’s failure to distribute […]
If you are like many new supervisors, you got promoted because of your job knowledge and technical ability. While some of you may have been recognized for your communication skills, others may find that your promotion requires a whole new level of expertise. Just recently, one new supervisor asked me quite openly, “Based on all […]
Part of our Designed To Win series on the millennial workforce For many of us, motivation comes from larger-than-life characters that embody what we all hope to attain someday. Being a millennial, the generation born between the years of 1980-2000, it’s not hard to observe our complete fascination with the ‘celebrity factor.’ Born into an […]
When ASQ CEO Paul Borawski asked this month what makes quality professionals happy or unhappy on the job, I immediately thought of sharing some of the important factors that influence job happiness for everyone. Most of these insights are directly from the work of Frederick Herzberg, a motivational theorist who introduced important research in the […]
If I were to ask you, of all the time you put into preparing a speech, presentation or any other public speaking event, how much of that time is spent on practicing and preparing your body language, most would say very little. The majority of your time would be spent on preparing the content for […]
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. In business, it is seen as a way of coordinating different ideas from numerous people to generate a wide variety of knowledge to achieve strategic objectives (wiki). I like how that sounds. I’ve been watching a lot of cooking shows lately, Everyday Italian, in particular. […]
We’ve been helping organizations implement teams for nearly three decades, with quite frankly, mixed results. While the approach for designing a high-performance workplace is quite well known, the variables that influence success are often not recognized or given the importance necessary for success. I recently finished Jim Collins and Morton Hansen’s book, Great By Choice, […]
MILLENNIALS: Designed To Win – How the Millennial Worker Will Usher In a New Workforce Designed To Win
A blog series written by a millennial To the millennials: You were designed to win. The cells of your body, the synapses of your brain, the muscles in your arms and legs, the consciousness of your soul, the interactions you have with others – all of these were specifically manufactured for you to win. They […]
ASQ CEO Paul Borawski asked us to comment on the question, “How do you “sell” quality to decision makers?” While everyone theoretically believes in the importance of quality, there are times when the demands of the customer cause the focus to shift to speed and cost. Probably many quality heads of departments have been asked […]
My recent work with a traditional organization looking to become team-based has afforded me the opportunity to dig deeper into the role of the coach and its importance in the operation of a team. During a transition like the one above, the title of coach can many times be seen as symbolic, as in just […]
CHANGE: 10 Tips for Supervisors and Managers To Renew and Refuel the Heart of Your Change Initiative
“Running short of cash and unable to sell 1,100 digital imaging patents that could have rescued it,” as Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle writes, Eastman Kodak Co. today took the long-expected but still painful step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As The Associated Press says, this raises the specter that “the 132-year-old trailblazer could […]
Mackin Seen As An International Authority on Teaming Deborah Mackin and her best-selling book, The Team Building Tool Kit, Second Edition (AMACOM 2007) has been published in the Polish language through the publisher Rebis. Mackin, seen by many in the industry as an authority on teams, has coached and provided insight to workplace teams across […]
On a regular basis people in leadership are asked to think at a strategic level, to identify a vision for the future, define key strategies to achieve the vision and convert those strategies into long-term objectives. For some people, this type of thinking is fun, easy and energizing. For others, who prefer to focus on […]
A 3-minute video highlighting an event that we helped to conceptualize, design and facilitate. This one day event kicked-off a strategic initiative focused on quality and continuous improvement with excitement and commitment. Looking to jump start your quality initiative? Not sure where to start? Download our FREE Quality Problem-Solving Tool Kit as a road […]
Intro It had been a long couple of years leading up to the day when my boss approached me and said, “What’s changed Mike?” Not knowing what she was talking about, I shot off an inquisitive look. “Your commitment level,” she said, “it’s apparent that something in you has sparked a renewed commitment to your […]
In November 2011, NDC blogger Michael Harrington wrote about three different types of people: the Conserver, the Pragmatist and the Innovator (Discovery Learning, Change Style Indicator). I want to revisit these three different approaches, and look at how “the fear of doing things differently” plays out in each change style. THE CONSERVER The Conservers prefer […]
When you scrounge around the Internet, you find some interesting and troublesome statistics about most meetings: • Between 35-50% of meeting time is seen as wasted. • Most meetings start 8-12 minutes late. • 75% say agendas are not prepared and distributed in advance. • Less than 30% of decisions in meetings are recorded. • Over 40% of people don’t […]
Mackin Chosen As An ASQ Influential Voice: A social media initiative from ASQ entitled Influential Voices will feature Deborah Mackin, founder and Principal Performance Strategy Consultant at New Directions Consulting, as an ongoing quality thought leader for the series. Influential Voices, a global network of bloggers, is a way to increase awareness of quality around […]
A study of S&P 500 companies over 20 years (1988-2007) shows that those companies that exclusively promote CEOs from within outperform companies that recruit CEOs from outside the company. An argument could be made that most internal promotions, CEO or otherwise, have great potential to add value to companies moving forward in the future. Sure, […]
It wasn’t too long ago that some of us reading this article were sitting in the interview chair, thinking about the right things say and what characteristics to highlight so that we would be offered a job. And yet, knowing what I do now, I wish I could go back to that young professional with […]
Welcome to a new feature on NDCBlogger – the monthly Quality Blog published the third Tuesday of every month. This new initiative is the result of an invitation from the American Society for Quality (ASQ) to begin blogging as part of their Influential Voices series. The goal will be to respond to blogs posted by ASQ’s CEO, […]
“Life is the sum of all your choices.” – Albert Camus (1913 – 1960), French Author And many choices we make. Some experts calculate that most adults make 35,000 decisions each and every day. As Albert Camus suggests, decisions are probably the single most influential factor in individual and organizational success – whether they be […]
Happy New Year! Last year was a rough one for so many people, as we struggled here in the US to continue the economic recovery. For those who have jobs and those who are still searching, I want to issue a “wake-up” call for us in 2012 and beyond. As we use this time to […]
As a yearly tradition we like to showcase the most read NDCBlogger posts in the last year. We think this gives an opportunity to provide knowledge, insights and tips on some of the most discussed and read topics we’ve had the privilege to write. It has been our pleasure to share our real-life experiences and […]
Hope you all have a very healthy holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!
Our business recently purchased iPads for all of our consultants, and I’ve been having fun getting myself organized on it for the New Year. Between my calendar, messages, notes, reminders, and even using Evernotes, I can hardly miss planning ahead and getting everything done in 2011, right? Of course not, because being on top of […]
The Friday after Thanksgiving has, over the years, become a day of holiday decorating at our house which includes hauling out the Christmas decorations and putting up our tree. This year, we also decided that it was the perfect time to re-arrange the living room, make plans to freshen up the paint and refinish the […]
“Let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy American University, Washington, DC 1963 More and more companies are dealing with cross-cultural issues either as a result of having divisions located in […]
New Directions Consulting recently partnered with the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur Boot Camp for a fourth class season this fall. The Entrepreneur Boot Camp is a 12 week course for budding entrepreneurs looking to gain critical skills necessary for starting a business in the capital region. The Entrepreneur Boot Camp is presented in conjunction […]
My brother Matt and I were talking last week about how to approach an upcoming social media training we were doing. On one hand we thought it would be appropriate to teach others about the new/old media currently being used. However, what we felt was missing was the idea of how a person chooses to […]
What is your professional value equation? Are you on the addition side or do your behaviors subtract from your workplace worth? Some years ago I received a distress phone call from a former participant in one of my trainings. Even though she had been chosen to participate in this training based on her potential to […]
Michael Harrington and Deborah Mackin of New Directions Consulting talk about some of the common principles in their Process Efficiency workshop, the Belief: Behavior Connection and Goal Setting.
I recently finished the book, Onward, by Starbucks’ founder Howard Schultz. Schultz does a great job, not only at explaining where Starbucks was at the time that he retook control of the company (after stepping down as CEO 8 years earlier), but he also created a road map on how he methodically brought Starbucks back from […]
You’ve probably heard this statement before; in fact, you’ve probably even said it yourself: “my door is always open.” Chances are you said it to someone, whether it be an employee, customer or someone else who could benefit from your services, but when you said it, did you ever think that your action might have […]
Everyone wants more cash, right? Well…..apparently not. Twenty-first century research on motivation, commonly called Motivation 3.0 (Daniel Pink, Drive), suggests that what employees really want is much more than cash. Today’s workforce is looking for: 1. Autonomy – the desire to direct their own lives 2. Mastery – the urge to get better and better at something […]
B. W. Tuckman was the creator of the Team Development Wheel, which identified four stages of development for any group or team. The first stage is called forming when the team is first pulled together to do the work it’s been assigned. A forming team is on its best behavior; communication is polite but tentative […]
Guestblogger: Robert Gilbert was a plant manager at Rohm and Haas Bayport, Inc. in the early days of “participative management” or what we would now call team-oriented management. Gilbert worked at Rohm and Haas for over 34 years and 10 years as their plant manager. Gilbert now enjoys retirement and discussing the need for American […]
It’s no secret that while almost every job has some kind of speaking or presenting component to it, a majority of Americans hate doing it. Whether it’s the traditional presentation or making those god-awful cold calls, our job demands us to stretch outside our comfort zone at times. As we look at public speaking, in […]
The New Directions Team would like to welcome Penny Willette to our organization. Penny’s official title will be Office Assistant. She will handle the day-to-day operations of the firm, as well as the production of the firm’s employee training and development workshops. Penny formerly worked for Mezze Restaurant Group out of Williamstown, MA as their […]
Name: High-Performance Teaming including the Impact of Personality on Teaming Number of Participants: 15-25 Time Frame: 2 Day Workshop Who should attend?: Best when an entire department or team are trained together, however, individuals will benefit from learning how to build their own workplace teams Participants will be able to: – Understand the definition of […]
As many of you know, our state of Vermont was severely hit from last week’s Hurricane Irene. North Bennington, Vermont, where New Directions is headquartered, was spared much of the Hurricane’s devastation; however the rest of the state is still dealing with the real-life crisis of the hurricane’s aftermath. Wilmington, a town 45 minutes from […]
Download our SMART Goal Setting eBook and learn some of the key techniques to help you focus on attainable and measurable goals.
Download Podcaster: Put Teaming Into Every Day Work Listen to Deborah Mackin & Michael Harrington as they talk more in depth about Deborah’s recent post on “There’s Team & Then There’s TEAMING: How To Get Teaming Into Everyday Work” and how crucial daily teaming is to the health of the team as a whole. Questions being answered: 1) What […]
Recently, I conducted some teambuilding sessions for groups of scientists who have been reorganized into new “platforms” that join together into a single department. Within each platform are scientific “units,” responsible for different parts of the process of getting product out the door. The training sessions are designed to build awareness and commitment toward functioning […]
Name: Group Decision Making Number of Participants: 15-25 Time Frame: 1-2 Day Course Who should attend: Groups or teams who are in decision making positions and want to improve their results Participants will be able to: – Understand what impairs our ability to make decisions – Apply a 4-step “best practice” decision-making approach – Recognize […]
The idea for this blog came in two different stages. Two weeks ago I was sitting in a meeting where Deb, our founder, remarked to a senior level executive, “If you want this initiative to work, you’re eventually going to have to have a decision day.” I had heard that phrase a couple other times, […]
Ten years ago we began to hear a common theme among our clients when talking with them about supervisory training. It sounded something like this: while our supervisors need to be trained, we find it difficult to find the time for them to be off the floor receiving the training. I’d like to suggest that […]
John Kotter, renowned author and change management guru, reported in his book, Leading Change, that 70% of change initiatives in organizations and businesses fail. That is an extraordinarily depressing figure when we also hear that the only constant in life these days is change. Does that mean that we’re all doomed to fail 70% of […]
Judging by the amount of times I’ve run into this phenomenon it’s probably safe to assume that most people have found themselves, somewhere along the way, in the midst of a battle between the operations side of the house, and the corporate / executive side. Now you might be asking yourself, I’m not really sure […]
Team-Building Author Hosts Webinar for ExecSense Deborah Mackin, author of the team-building tool kit series, including The Team-Building Tool Kit, Second Edition in 2007 (AMACOM), recently partnered with Execsense to host a webinar for consultants looking to gain a competitive edge. Mackin presented on The 7 Professional Skills Most Critical to the Success of a […]
How did you react when you first heard about Stephen Slater? Did you say, “Way to go! My hero?” Did you explain away his actions by his obvious high stress? Or were you one to condemn him for his lack of control on the job? Do you think that he woke up that morning and […]
Awhile back I was talking with an HR colleague who had been through the worst three years of his long career, having closed several plants and laid off over 1,500 people. He talked about how utterly demoralizing it was to spend his time dismantling business rather than growing it. He hated being the bearer of […]
[Download Catalogue] New Directions Consulting launches the 27th edition of their Training and Service Catalogue. Seen as a roadmap for many of our clients in developing a rich and robust training and development program, we hope the newest edition provides as much guidance and direction for the next generation. From the Desk of the President […]
Guest Blogger: Jared Eckler is the president of Townsend Leather located in upstate New York. Townsend Leather makes beautiful upholstery leather for interior designs in business and commercial aircraft, in yachts, automobiles and luxury motor coaches, and for residential, hospitality and office furniture applications. Not to be mistaken as mere distributors or marketers of leather, […]
Let’s face it; the road to the top is not always a straight line. Matter of fact, in most cases it’s a combination of a number of factors that strike the exact chord a company executive is looking for in an up-and-coming leader. While these traits, characteristics and skills are not mutually exclusive and there […]
(Albany, NY) –– Michael Harrington, Director of Client Relations & Services at New Directions Consulting, presented Navigating the Workplace at the Young CPA Conference put on by the New York Society of CPAs. The conference was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Albany, NY on Tuesday, June 14th. The Young CPA Conference provided an […]
Some supervisors apply a “one size fits all” approach to supervision. The Situational Leadership II model suggests that a supervisor should vary his or her style of leadership based on the employee’s developmental level. Ken Blanchard, creator of the Situational Leadershi p II model, believes that all employees pass through a job cycle of […]
Carlos sits in the meeting and begins tapping the tip of his pen as Claire explains why she’s disagreeing with the proposed timeline for launching the project. Impatience is written all over his face. He hates these weekly staff meetings, and finds Claire to be one of the major stumbling blocks. To his way of […]
Deborah Mackin, founder and president of New Directions Consulting since its birth in 1984, welcomes visitors to the new website.
Click Here To Download NDCPodcaster: Pleasure vs Accomplishment
Our Training & Services Catalog features over 50 customizable trainings, workshops, webinars and round-tables to meet the individual needs of any organization large or small. This has been yet another challenging year for all of us who own an organization, work in business or non-profits and supervise staff. Specific to New Directions, we’ve had to […]
You’ve been promoted; congratulations! You are excited about starting your new job, vowing to be the best supervisor you could possibly be and never doing what your past “terrible” supervisors have done to you! You are on the road to future success at your company and you’ve got great hopes for tomorrow. However, after a […]
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Did you know 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by Valentine’s Day according to the New York Times! We hate to be dire, but it’s true – goal setting and goal accomplishment can be the Achilles heel to some of your greatest ideas and achievments. However, […]
As managers and leaders we go through stages when certain concepts or philosophies become the “watchword” of the day. So is the case now with the word “engagement.” Many employers are worried that three years of economic turmoil have affected employee commitment. Not surprising really, since the statisticians are reporting that one-third of the workforce […]
Every so often we try to take a step back here at New Directions and analyze the landscape of organizational development. Where are we at and where are we all going? What will we be talking about in 3-5 years? What do our clients need to know today to prepare for tomorrow? These are some […]