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A monthly newsletter of Rochester Professional Consultants Network - June 2021
 

Note from the President

RPCN as an organization rotates its President & VP annually [VP becomes Pres., Pres. becomes Past Pres., and a new VP is elected]. This means that June will be my last month as RPCN’s President. It has been my pleasure to fill this role over that last year and help contribute to the success of the organization.

It has been a unique year for sure, and the global pandemic created challenges that no one saw coming.

I am proud to share the fact that RPCN did not stop due to the shutdown... we moved our signature events and activities online, we continuously adapted and added new events [like a monthly social], we provided pro-bono consulting for small businesses who were impacted by the pandemic, and our visibility and membership has spread and gone international.

Over the past year, RPCN also took the opportunity to take a step back, turn our focus inward and strengthen our foundation. Our non-profit has been refiled with the IRS as a 501(c)(3). A new Strategic Plan was created by the members giving the Board of Directors a fresh focus. The Board and its meetings were restructured and realigned to the new Strategic Plan. Our EHC Team was engaged to help update RPCN’s Values Statement.  11 Committees were defined to take on and share the workload behinds the scenes. Members are highly encouraged to get involved by joining, or offering to help, a committee!

We redefined our alliances and are actively pursuing new alliances to broaden RPCN’s visibility, reach, and impact into the Business Community. We are also increasing the number of volunteer opportunities for our members.

These efforts (and many more) have strengthened our organization’s foundation and prepares RPCN for future growth. They also provide an internal structure where more members can get involved and contribute...  improving RPCN’s potential as a member run organization!

Ethical Consulting Ain’t Always Easy (Beware “Ethical Dilemmas”)

Ethical Behavior

What should you do when your Code of Ethics lets you down? Some ethical choices are easy.

We pay our taxes, don’t lie, don’t knowingly break rules or laws, don’t cheat our clients, etc.

Our Codes of Ethics often contain statements regarding:

1. Confidentiality

2. Knowing clients’ needs and matching our service to them.

3. Being qualified to fulfill clients’ needs.

4. Integrity

5. Conflicts of interest

6. Reasonable fees agreed-to by clients (and no hidden fees).

7. Truth in advertising

But, what do you do when you face a situation that your Code of Ethics doesn’t cover?

Ethical Dilemmas

Our Codes often provide only general guidance. We must decide what they mean and how to apply them. It’s not always easy, especially in “high-risk” situations. Consider this definition: “A dilemma is a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones.” Real-life situations can confront us with dilemmas where the “right” choice isn’t obvious. They might threaten our well-being, security, livelihood, etc. Here’s an example to test your ethical decision-making.

Scenario:

Jane Consultant has a lucrative consulting project with Louise Leader, the CEO of a large company. One day, John Employee approaches Jane: “I need to privately discuss a company issue with you. Can we meet at Starbuck’s at 6:00 this evening so I can get your thoughts about it?” Jane says: “Okay, John. I’ll see you there.”

Later, at Starbucks, Jane asks: “So what’s this all about?” In a low voice, John says: “Louise Leader violates company policy. She doesn’t put major projects out for competitive bids. She has awarded multi-million dollar projects without bidding. In fact, she engaged you for your project in this way.”

John goes on: “I really don’t know what to do or where to turn – I just had to tell someone. I’m afraid I’ll lose my job if I blow the whistle. With two kids in college, I really need the income. Jane, what do you think I should do?”

Decision Time

What’s the ethical thing for Jane to do? Unfortunately, I don’t have the “right” answer, so I’m asking you to think about how Jane might decide (e.g. Should she tell John he’s on his own? Tell Louise about it? Ask others for advice? Do nothing?, etc.) What are Jane’s risks? (Losing her lucrative project? John losing his job? Damaging her reputation? etc.). What should she do next? Not an easy decision is it? I welcome your comments on how to decide.

Send them to me at rflurz@consultantsaccelerator.com

Bob Lurz

Ways to enhance your creativity

Creativity is generally regarded as desirable, and something to be enhanced. With this view in mind, below are some steps to help the development of your creativity. Remember that creativity is not confined to the fine arts - it can take many forms and solve many problems.

1. Insist on giving yourself daydreaming time. Schedule it if necessary. During that time allow no shoulds or musts to intrude. Give your mind this time to float freely, untethered to tasks. Do not think of what you will be doing when this time is over. Allow yourself to gaze out of the window, stare at the clouds, daydream.

2. Be curious. Ask why? How? How come? Don't accept easy answers if they don't make sense to you. Keep digging.

3. Ignore tradition. Just because something has always been done that way, or used for that purpose, doesn't mean things can't change.

4. Play a game with yourself--or with others--in trying to find the most uses other than the obvious ones for every-day items like paperclips, bricks, anything that comes to mind. Like most of these points, this will stretch and develop your creativity muscles. Feel free to get crazy with your answers.

5. Ask "What if?" Pick one aspect of an ordinary situation and imagine what would change if that one aspect were different. Follow this through in all its implications.

6. Widen the range of material that you read. The Queen of Hearts advised Alice to believe one impossible thing every day before breakfast. It was good advice. Allow yourself to become immersed in the worlds depicted by science fiction, history, authors from different countries. Stretch your imagination by contemplating impossible things and parallel universes.

7. Accept your initial ideas without judgment. Give them time to grow and develop before you test them. Butterflies that have just emerged from the chrysalis have wet, crumpled wings that are easily damaged. Give ideas time to develop before you decide if they can fly. The reason brainstorming has become such a standby when group creativity is involved is that all criticism is put on hold during the initial idea-generating phase. Allow yourself the same freedom.

8. Take risks. It is okay to be wrong. By definition, to be creative you must consider new, and therefore untested, ideas. Einstein said that he could have ninety-nine ideas that were wrong before he got the one that was right.

9. Enjoy the PROCESS of creation. Do not focus on the result. The secret and ecstasy of creating is being in the flow, of losing yourself in the process. If you constantly break the flow to check to how the end result will look to others, to ask yourself, "Will it sell?" or "Will it win?" you will subvert the process and possibly damage your creation.

10. Go ahead and DO IT! Don't wait for the perfect moment -  it probably won't arrive. Painters paint, scrape the paint off and paint again. Writers write and delete. They don't wait until they can do it perfectly before they start. You do not need twelve sharpened pencils and perfect silence before you put pen to paper. Remember that Shakespeare wrote in an age when the whole family sat at the same table and shared the same oil lamp. It is unlikely that he had a separate study or could wait until the family had gone to bed in order to write. You CAN follow your muse.

Diana Gardner Robinson, Ph.D.

Did you know? Finding the RPCN Newsletter

Anyone, especially RPCN members, who reads the RPCN Newsletter, knows that not only can they expect a professional production, but that a wealth of information is available in every issue. We can thank Melanie Watson and Diana Gardner Robinson for their efforts in publishing the newsletter each month.

The newsletter provides easy access to all upcoming forums, regular presentations, special events, and articles that are truly meaningful to consultants. Because the newsletter is 100% online, there are links to every function for more details and Zoom registrations.

Of course, you already know this because you’re reading this newsletter right now. However, have you ever thought about something you read in a newsletter at a time when you were not reading it in an email? A feature story, perhaps, an inspirational article by Bob Lurz, or even a “Did You Know” column?

What to do? It turns out that the RPCN Newsletter is available at several places on our website. Here is where you can find it:

1. On the RPCN Home page under Recent News, there is an image with a picture of a phone with text on it directing you to the most current newsletter. Click anywhere on the image and the newsletter will display. Look for

2. Click on News on the main menu and it will take you to a page which lists the current plus the previous five newsletters.

3. Hover over News and you will find a sub-menu, the first of which is Newsletters. Hover over that and you will see not only the current newsletter, but the previousthirteen newsletters. Click on your choice.

So, the next time you want to know something that you remember was in an RPCN Newsletter, you can easily find the issue you need.

Steve Royal

RPCN Video


Watch the introductory video here.

RPCN Podcast

To listen to an RBJ podcast in which RPCN's David Powe and Laurie Enos talk about our great organization, click here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
Friday, June 4, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Members Only Meeting
Presented by Frank Crombe
Wednesday, June 9, 2021
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Marketing by the Numbers
Presented by Laurie Enos
Friday, June 11, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

EHC Lunch N Learn
Facilitated by Dave Bassett
Thursday, June 17, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Business Forum
Friday, June 18, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, June 18, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Prioritizing... It's About Time
Presented by Cindi Crowley
Friday, June 25, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Member News

RPCN member Tom Fecteau is hosting two events in June. The first will be on Monday, June 7th at 3:00PM EDT as part of The Monday Advantage for Owners and Leaders forum, titled: Preparing Your Key Employees For Management - Stop Assuming It's A Natural Talent. You can register via MEETUP at The-Monday-Advantage-for-Owners-Leaders-and-Managers

On Monday, June 21st at 8:30AM EDT, Tom is hosting a session titled Networking Or Not-Working? How To Generate More Leads From Your Non-Client Relationships. This event is part of The Monday Advantage for Entrepreneurs forum. You can register for this via MEETUP at The-Monday-Advantage-for-Entrepreneurs

For any additional questions, you can reach Tom at here or at www.epicventuesgroup.net.

An exciting moment for RPCN’s Lawrence Berger… When visiting Barnes & Noble’s RIT store recently he discovered that they had sold every one of the 25 copies of his recent book of poetry that they had purchased!

In case you haven’t heard of his book “Just Add Words” check out more information about this Instant Poetry volume at:

https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/201636-Instant-Poetry-Just-Add-Words

Enhancing Human Capital
Lunch & Learn Updates

Upcoming April Meeting - Sharpening the Saw

Please join us for the next installment of RPCN’s EHC virtual Lunch –n- Learn on Thursday June 17 at 11:30 AM via Zoom meeting. We will discuss building trust with Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits,” focusing specifically on “Sharpening the Saw,” the Seventh habit. 

We all know that trust is critical in well-functioning teams (whether the teams be internal within a single company or external including clients, suppliers, or partners. We will discuss how, through a continual process of self-renewal and honing the “seven habits” we can build trust and how we can use that trust to positively script ourselves and others and put ourselves on an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement.   

To get more information about EHC, please contact the EHC team at EHC@rochesterconsultants.org or come join us on June 17 at 11:30 via Zoom. The meeting is open to members and non-members alike, but please register as it will help us with logistics of organizing the Zoom meeting.

May Meeting Recap - Management Philosophies

In May’s EHC Lunch-n-Learn we discussed “Management Philosophies”. We defined what a management philosophy is and talked about why managers create them. We took a list of common philosophies and discussed the pros & cons of each. Then we went through a list of different management styles and talked about how they get combined in various ways to create a philosophy. We ended the session with an open discussion. The session was lead by Devin K. Floyd, President of RPCN and President of NYOCON.

Membership Information

RPCN welcomes the following new members:

Maureen Thayer

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the July/August 2021 calendar ad sheet is June 18, 2021. Sign up for your ad here.

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.


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