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 to build people-centered, high-engagement workplaces including Coca-Cola, the U.S. Navy, Alcoa, SI Group, Alcoa, Sanofi Pasteur and locally Kaman Composites, CAP COM Federal Credit Union, KAPL and The Albany Vascular Group.
Mackin set out to create a company that partnered with organizations to increase leadership and strategy, while also providing professional development courses. New Directions provides services in facilitation management, employee training and development, staff and customer surveying, leadership and executive coaching, and organizational strategy and assessment. The firm now boasts a handful of highly talented, successful international consultants, trainers, authors and presenters. Mackin, author of the Team-Building Tool Kit series, first published in 1994 and now in its second edition, recently collaborated with her son, Matthew Harrington, a consultant at the firm, on her fourth book Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons from a Beehive. Mackin and Lisa Dunbar, senior trainer and consultant with the firm, are working with Goal QPC and the MemoryJogger series on a MemoryJogger focusing on teams due out in 2014.
“Show up, on time, ready to go,” states Mackin as she reflects on what has made New Directions so successful and long-standing. “We just continued to provide exceptional service and care for our customers and clients over the many years we’ve been in business. We showed up when we were needed, ready to roll up our sleeves and get into the workplace trenches with our clients. I think we provide a worry-free, get-it-done service for many of our long standing clients – they appreciate that.”
Asked what she’s excited about moving forward, Mackin says, “The amazing amount of knowledge, talent and experience this firm and its collaborators have. We are seeing a shift in the way firms like ours are structured. I believe it will be much more of a partnership and collaboration model moving forward – working with many resources and people to come along side clients to get the work done – as opposed to a go-it-alone model which is how I started. Having written on teams for almost 20 years, I’m always excited to see a group of highly-talented people coming together to achieve a common goal. That’s the era of consulting I think we’re heading towards and that’s exciting.”