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Team-Building Author to Be Feature of SEDC Breakfast Leadership Series

Team-Building Guru and Leadership Coach Set to Talk at Saratoga Economic Development Corporation

Team-Building Tool Kit Author Deborah MackinDeborah 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 register please visit

Mackin, considered an international authority on teaming after publishing three books focused on building successful, self-directed work teams, will be presenting the first of four presentations, titled “Cross-Cultural Teaming in Tech Valley: What It Takes To Be Successful.” The breakfast seminar will expose the under-utilization of skills, talents and competencies in the workplace and how high-functioning teams can capitalize on those lost talents. Having implemented self-directed work teams for over 25 years in diverse companies such as Alcoa, Coca-Cola, Delta Faucet, the U.S. Navy, Sanofi Pasteur and SI Group, Mackin will be exploring the foundational steps to building an organization centered on teaming. Some of the questions she will be addressing include; “What do the successful teams do differently?” “What causes some to fail?” “How do you get a cross-cultural team to speak the same language?” and “What would a road map for teaming look like?”

This is the first time that the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Mackin have collaborated; however, the need for a focus on cultural diversity and building teams has been apparent in the Saratoga region as large organizations such as Global Foundries, IBM and GE have begun to demonstrate a resurrection of global manufacturing in the area. “We met with Deborah a couple of months ago, knowing we had this unique author right in our region, and talked to her about the cultural impact of these large organizations on upstate New York,” stated Dennis Brobston, President of SEDC. “With her many years helping to implement not only self-directed teams in some of the world’s most well known companies, but also from a cultural and global level too, we are very excited for her presentations where she will share her vast expertise in teaming and cross-cultural collaboration with the Saratoga region.”

When asked about the challenges most companies face with cross-cultural teaming Mackin explains that, “There can be many errors, as well as miscommunication when it comes to a cross-cultural workplace. Teams composed of different cultural backgrounds have a greater challenge in understanding how to work together effectively. Establishing foundational elements of teaming and cultural knowledge can help these teams succeed. I will be sharing some of my experiences that have emerged with cross-cultural teams and some strategies that we have seen work really well.”

The SEDC’s Breakfast Leadership Series will be continuing throughout the year with appearances from Mackin in May and October of 2013 and January of 2014. Her topics will include: “Building an Innovative, Multi-Generational Workplace in Tech Valley”; “Managing Your Tech Valley Talent Pipeline and Preparing for Tomorrow’s Talent Gap”; and finally” A HEW Culture: How to Build a High-Engagement Workplace Culture in Tech Valley.”

Mackin will also be available at the end of each presentation for a book signing of her best-selling book, The Team-Building Tool Kit, 2nd Edition (AMACOM.) Glenn Parker, world-renowned team-building thought leader and developer of the Parker Team Player Survey had this to say of Mackin, “I own several of Mackin’s books and they are very useful resources. She writes from experience, not from an academic or research perspective. She works in the field with organizations helping them build and sustain teams. You know her recommendations are based on things that have been tested and worked with real teams in real companies. As a colleague who also works in the area of teamwork, I have a very high regard for Deborah’s work.”

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