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General Articles

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  • 26-Nov-2010 10:45 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    by Bob Lurz,Strategic Strength Consulting

    2010 Strategy Sessions were held on July 30 and October 29, with 18-20 people at each, including non-members. Ruth Balkin recorded the proceedings at both sessions & Mike VanderGaag sorted the first session ideas into themes. President, Linda McQueen, challenged us with the “ripple effect” networking concept: RPCN will raise awareness and recruit members through “RPCN acting as a group” and through “RPCN members acting through their networks” like a rainstorm and ripples spreading out in water (aka “Members as Ambassadors”). Also, we will continue to improve RPCN’s value to members through our website, and processes that make it easier for members to learn, market themselves, etc.

    The enthusiastic participants generated a large number of ideas and suggestions (a “Rainstorm Brainstorm”). Many (including some non-members) volunteered to take action and “make it happen” for the items that “grabbed them” (Note: The ”Top List” ideas received 4 or more votes. Item numbers (e.g.1.D) have been retained here for tracking purposes). The participants liked the strategy sessions because of: 1. Participant involvement, 2. Things are going to happen because people volunteered, 3. Fun, 4. Brain power of the group, 5. Non-members participating, 6. Member participants are not just the “usual core”. 

    Action Volunteer Responsibilities

    If your name appears next to an item below, your responsibilities are to:
    • Meet / Communicate with co-volunteers to work as a subcommittee to plan your action.
    • Make a proposal/plan (If possible, before next RPCN Board meeting via Linda McQueen/Jen Ulrich).
    • If approved, move forward and update Board via Jen Ulrich one week before monthly Board Meetings.
    MAJOR STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

    The underlying goals are to:
    • Make RPCN & benefits well-known (Aim: recruit members, and support RPCN events).
    • Increase Value for RPCN members (Aim: recruit and retain members).

    Strategic Objective 1: Build Alliances with other organizations.

    Strategic Objective 2: RPCN members actively promote RPCN to people/organizations in their networks. (Members as: “Ripples in water”, “Ambassadors.”)

    Strategic Objective 3:
    Increase RPCN Value for Members

    STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: Alliances


    Current Alliances: Spurred by the 2009 Strategy Session, RPCN has already established alliances with:

    The Self-Employment Assistance Program at NYS Dept of Labor (SEAP).
    Since Dec. 2009, RPCN members have been doing monthly 30-minute “mini-forums” that give the attendees a taste of RPCN Forums, promote the benefits of RPCN, and invite them to RPCN meetings. (R.Lurz-lead, C.McManus, L.McQueen, B.Sears, L.Dessert, B.Vallee)

    Rochester Works!
    In September 2010, RPCN presented a 2-hour workshop on “What is a Consultant? / Would I want to be one?” for Rochester Works members (closing with the benefits of RPCN). Another session will be held in early 2011. (R.Lurz-lead, C.McManus)  

    (STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1: Alliances, continued)


    Alliance Ideas (new) from 2010 Strategy Sessions (Carol McManus - Team Lead)
    • 1B. Take Mini-Forum presentations model (ala SEAP) to other organizations. A potential-alliance list of about 30 organizations was generated.
    • Invite leaders from other organizations to do programs/make presentations at RPCN.
    • 1D. Establish RPCN connections with local Business Incubators-HTR, etc. (Bob Lurz-lead, Don Giancurso, Bob Lewis, Dave Bassett)
    • 4J. Offer RPCN services nationally as a think tank.
    STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2: Members promote RPCN to their networks

    RPCN members actively promote RPCN to people/organizations in their networks.
    • 2A. Survey members for associations they are members of, or have key contacts they can leverage for RPCN. Include Social Networks ala LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. (This is a current Board action. Should connect with S.Royal Members Skills survey).
    • Inform members of the expectations for their promoting RPCN.(Linda MCQueen)
    • Educate members how to promote RPCN to their networks. (Linda McQueen)
    • RPCN Members invite their network contacts to RPCN meetings.
    STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3: Increase RPCN Value for Members
    • 3Q. Skills Inventory of RPCN Members (For RPCN Website. Potential clients can find consultant skills they’re seeking, and members can find consulting project partners).
    • 7B. Skills Inventory template for member survey (Linda McQueen, Tony Perrone,     Bob Lewis)
    • 7C. Create member survey which includes skills [and members’ associations] (Steve     Royal)
    • 7E. Create PDF documents to be filled in: full list of items and templates (Bill Brown)
    • 3F. Mentorship (Bob Lewis, Steve Royal)
    • 3J. Logo of RPCN on members’ websites (Emily Carpenter, Paul Lowans, Jerry Seward)
    • 7J. RPCN have a “Consultants Incubator” process. Also, use for recruiting (Bob Lurz, Linda McQueen)
    • 3E,7D. Certification for consultants, including qualifications & educational program  (Brian Kane, Carol McManus, Mike Van der Gaag, Dave Bassett)
    Other Top Ideas without specific strategic objectives (4 or more votes).

    Marketing
    • 4C .Emphasize business to business with RPCN members. (Jerry Seward, Ruth Balkin)
    • 4E. Branding - instantly recognized in the Rochester region. Blog with testimonials/benefits.
    • 4P. Approach D&C, etc about a weekly column like the RWN. 4Q. Also, query Rochester Business Journal for articles they need (Jerry Seward-Lead, Bob Lewis, Dave Bassett, Sue Kastan).
    Planning
    • 6E. Build a long-term RPCN Strategic Plan and Process. Strategic process, as it is now, has a long-term vision component. As baton passes from president-to-president, we should have a process that doesn’t lose the long-term vision and strategy, while allowing the President freedom of action.  (Bob Lurz, Linda Mcqueen)
    • 6E. Have a presentation/meeting every 6 months to review how we are doing against strategic plan. (Linda McQueen, Lori Cohen)
    • 6E. Action items that have volunteer’s names will be added to Board Minutes “Action List” (Linda McQueen, Jen Ulrich)
    Measurement
    • 6I. Measure RPCN’s success in meeting member needs, and other key measures. (Lori Cohen, lead)
    Honorable Mention Ideas without Strategic Objectives (3 votes each)
    • 3C. RPCN Webinars
    • 3R. Help members enter their complete, high quality profile on RPCN website
    • 4D. Publish compilation of success stories
    • 4K. Franchising RPCN
    • 4M. Have a Skype (chat) channel on RPCN Website. (Bill Vallee)
    • 4O. Blogs on RPCN Website: e.g. Consulting, How to hire a Consultant
    • 6D. Capitalize on Rochester’s inventions; lots of patents; hotbed of intellectual creativity
    • 6G. Hold a few meetings in other sections of the area - geographically diverse meeting locations
    • 6J. Outreach to Syracuse & Buffalo

    Action: Next Steps for Volunteers and RPCN Members


    Volunteers will become champions for their issues. They will enlist others to help them analyze the ideas for viability, plan an approach, and take action. More volunteers are needed. All members have the responsibility to volunteer and help make RPCN even more successful. If you have other ideas for RPCN’s success, or to volunteer, Contact Linda McQueen, or any Board member. (Action: All RPCN Members: Volunteer by contacting any of the people in this article. This expands your network and develops relationships and trust with your fellow members.) For article corrections call Bob Lurz.

    Bob Lurz, “The Strategy Navigator”.
    RPCN Strategist & Business Forum Facilitator.

  • 26-Apr-2010 2:42 PM | Anonymous
    by Robert Whipple, MBA CPLP

    You have probably asked yourself, “How do people become motivated to perform at peak levels over a sustained period of time?” Perhaps you found yourself coming up with incentive programs that reward based on money, vacations, or perhaps merchandise in an effort to motivate your employees. The reality is, motivation comes from within each of us is not generated by picnics or T-shirts. As a leader, do not seek to motivate your employees; rather, focus on building a culture of trust where individuals make the choice to become motivated.

    How can a leader help people to achieve higher levels of motivation? The job of a good leader is to help others find the best ways to keep motivated, based on their own motivational styles and outlooks. Leaders also should create an environment that inspires and encourages employees so that they can feel their personal motivational processes are supported and valued. Leaders can help create positive morale and motivation within their team and within each individual employee by creating a corporate culture of trust and affection. That will help employees become more internally motivated because they will:

    • Feel like a part of a winning team that respects and values all members for what they have to offer. This helps employees feel both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards when they are doing their best work.
    • Appreciate their co-workers and seek ways to help them physically and emotionally.
    • Understand the goals of the organization better and commit to help as much as they can in order to achieve the goals individually and as a team.
    • Enjoy the social interactions with people they work with and respect them as co-workers as well as friends.
    • Respect their leaders and want them to be successful.
    • Feel like they are part owners of the company and hold themselves accountable.
    • Feel appreciated and recognized for their many contributions which helps increase self-esteem and confidence levels.

    These advantages help generate a culture of respect and trust.

    Creating this kind of culture

    What is culture in an organization? Webster defines culture as the social structure and intellectual and artistic manifestations that characterize a society. For an organization, culture means how people interact, what they believe, and how they create success. If you could peel off the roof of a company, you would see the manifestations of the culture in the physical world. The actual culture is more esoteric because it resides in the hearts and minds of the corporate society, in addition to observable behaviors.

    Achieving a state where all people are fully engaged is a large undertaking. It requires tremendous focus and leadership. It cannot be something you do on Tuesday afternoons or when you have special meetings. You need to see evidence of this in every nook and cranny of the organization.

    Leaders create winners at work. Many people feel forced to endure an unfair world where they feel like a failure. In organizations of exceptional leadership, the exact opposite occurs. People enjoy their work because their leader has created a culture of winners. People bond as a winning team, and joy and celebrations replace the drudgery of work. These are the lucky few that work in organizations where the leader understands how to leverage the small win.

    Jack Stack, Author of the Great Game of Business, wrote:

    “Winning is not just a matter of pride, of course. It is also a habit. Unfortunately losing can be a habit as well. When people are in the habit of losing, you won’t see fire in their eyes, only sand. If you want to light the fire, you have to begin by creating wins and celebrating wins by making a big deal out of little victories and then building on the little victories to achieve bigger victories. It’s a way of putting fun in the workplace literally. We throw parties and hold celebrations at the drop of a hat. What we’re really doing is creating a team.”

    Excellent leaders understand a key mission is to create this type of environment. They know that when they establish a culture of winners, the entire organization will prosper and win.

    Personal success is defined, not in terms of wealth or power, but in doing worthwhile things. There are wealthy and powerful people who are utter failures, just as there are many successful people who have no money or fame. It is the journey, not the destination that embodies success. Earl Nightingale, in his program titled “Lead the Field,” identified success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal” and later modified it to simply “the pursuit of a worthy goal.” Notice it is not achieving the goal or receiving awards for accomplishing amazing feats. Rather, success is in the pursuit.

    Once you have reached a particular goal, immediately set out a course for the next increment of your life. If this new goal is worthy, the simple pursuit will mean you are successful. This process will allow you and others around you to experience the elation of success every day. It is there in the fiber of daily living as long as a worthy goal is being pursued. Teach this insight to everyone in your organization. It will take the drudgery and pressure away, adding joy in its place and helping with self-motivation and increased morale.

    It is important for leaders to avoid trying to “motivate” workers. Motivation is not a magic pill that can be purchased with pizza parties or dress down days. Instead, leaders should focus on creating the environment where workers choose to motivate themselves.



    The preceding information was adapted from the book The TRUST Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, by Robert Whipple. It is available on www.leadergrow.com.

    Robert Whipple is also the author of Leading with Trust is like Sailing Downwind and, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online. Bob consults and speaks on these and other leadership topics. He is CEO of Leadergrow Inc. a company dedicated to growing leaders. Contact Bob at bwhipple@leadergrow.com or (585) 392-7763.

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