419.296.1664 info@cf-pm.com
The Importance of Action Planning

The Importance of Action Planning

The fourth quarter is a critical time for all organizations. You’re driving sales to finish the year strong, and you’ve set your sights on an even stronger 2020. You’re adapting products to meet demands your clients and prospects expect for innovation in the future. This is the most important time to engage in the process of action planning. Why don’t more organizations commit to action planning?

Here are three of the most common reasons:

  1. Leaders believe they need more information than they really do. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “people may overestimate the amount of evidence they evaluate before making up their minds, paying costs to acquire information that will go unused.” Gathering additional data often isn’t necessary and certainly isn’t cost-effective.
  2. Organizations are inherently adverse to failing. When it comes to the decision-making process, the fear factor kicks in. What if the decision is a bad one? What if we make a mistake? It’s much easier for organizations to not make a decision than to admit to fear of failure. But, being paralyzed by fear, means never knowing if it was a good or a bad decision. 
  3. Most teams are accustomed to evaluating, but not executing. During an interview on the radio show, Money Talk, “eighty-percent of organizations fail at the execution part of the strategy.” Execution lies in the hands of the people of the organization. In our experience, any strategy can work if the people responsible for it plan AND execute.

Center for Practical Management offers a disciplined process for Action Planning. Our highly interactive development workshops help organizations do four things:

  • Brainstorm opportunities for revenue growth, expense control, innovation or productivity gains
  • Identify up to 3 creative solutions using multi-voting to gain consensus and buy-in
  • Form teams to develop SMART Action Plans and agree to be accountable for execution
  • Track outcomes with facilitated monthly teleconferences that track progress, review successes and obstacles

Acquiring skills for successful execution of strategic planning can help organizations achieve their growth goals in new ways.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com. Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company

Becoming a Highly Effective Facilitator

Becoming a Highly Effective Facilitator

Andragogy (AN-DRUH-GAH-GEE): Try saying that three times fast. It’s harder to pronounce than it is to understand. All it means is that adults learn differently than children. When we’re young, we learn mostly through lecture, memorization and repetition. As adults, we learn by doing. Being actively involved in the learning process, adult learners process and remember more information.

So how can you become the kind of facilitator that impacts adult learning and “wows” your participants? With practice, and understanding the levels of learning (Awareness, Acquisition, Application, and Transfer), you’re bound to lead a more effective and memorable discussion.

Here are critical skills that a facilitator needs to possess to be effective:

  • Questioning: A variety of questioning techniques elicits group or individual responses and create active participation. Types of questions to include: Direct, Redirected, Reverse, and Group.
  • Listening: Good facilitators actively listen to their participants. This encourages a clear line of communication between the workshop leader and his/her attendees.
  • Mixed Media: Flip charts and PowerPoint help give structure, momentum and focus to a workshop. Keep in mind that handwriting, color, font and layout can add or disrupt to your workshop.
  • Body Language: A strong facilitator controls participants in a variety of ways. If you are leading a discussion to highlight important information, stand in the front of the room. Alternatively, when you want to increase participation or relinquish control of the room, sit with the group or stand/float around the room.
  • Transitioning: Transitioning from one talking point to another links content for the participants. Include benefit statements in your transitions, this encourages buy-in and motivates individuals to learn.
  • Feedback: Providing balanced feedback allows the facilitator to keep participants informed as to if they are on track with the workshop goals. Feedback should always be accurate and objective.
  • Time Management: Pace your presentation and allot time for breaks. Be specific about when you want participants to finish an activity or return from lunch. This eliminates the guesswork of when you can expect everyone to return.

You’ll need expert skills in Questioning and Transitioning for the problem participant. Participants who dominate the discussion or become argumentative can affect the entire group’s learning.

If you have a Dominant or Argumentative individual, try these tricks:

  • Reseat the entire group
  • Avoid eye contact and focus your attention toward others
  • Address their concerns during a break
  • Agree that people can “agree to disagree”

 Understanding how participants learn, and using the skills above, you’ll create an engaging and memorable training experience.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com. Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company

Teams & Teambuilding

Teams & Teambuilding

Every leader in business is looking for the secret to relationship success. The unique dynamics of individuals within a team can be the single most time-consuming part of a manager’s job. Skilled managers use a variety of tools to uncover just the right the level of interaction a team of individuals needs to be their best selves, and best team. 

Yes, fun team-building events set a stage for employee interaction outside of the day to day workplace. Unfortunately, they can fall short of their goal for improved business teaming because forced, casual socializing may or may not appeal to everyone.  

For sustainable success in building positive and productive teams, smart organizations choose manager development over team-building events. Training that leads to managers becoming mastery-level coaches are ones who discover the importance and impact of their role on individuals for team performance.

Beyond knowing unique talent and skills of each individual contributor, a master coach knows what motivates each team member. How skilled are your managers with coaching individuals to excel as part of a team?

Rank your managers’ knowledge and skills with these critical management activities:

Clarifying Expectations. Do employees receive consistent, highly-focused, face-to-face conversations with their managers about expectations?

Track Performance. Do employees consistently receive measurable evidence and conversation about their performance?

Setting Goals. Do employees receive the opportunity to engage in goal setting conversations related to their contributions?  

Planning. Do employees on the team have the opportunity to work on action plans for improved performance and productivity?

Reinforcement. Do employees receive consistent skills training and development to expand their value to the team?

Coaching. Do employees receive an effective balance of quick coaching and formal coaching to achieve individual growth?

Next time someone in your organization suggests a team-building activity, look to manager skill development for teaming. Ask one of our Performance Partners about our flexible and customizable training programs for management skill development.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com. Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company

Incentive Program Targets Sales Growth

Incentive Program Targets Sales Growth

SANDUSKY, OHIO – The Center for Practical Management has expanded its suite of consulting services to include sales incentive planning and development.

Our new Incent Program serves any business operation that relies on relationship management success for continued growth in retail sales. Understanding what motivates your sales team is key to the strategic direction you choose for incentive planning and related skill development activities.

Incent offers clients a comprehensive assessment of their current sales culture and employee participation in performance rewards and recognition. A planning and development phase offers clients customized options for qualitative and quantitative research such as Mystery Shopping, Focus Groups, and Surveys. An Action Planning session with key stakeholders provide facilitated planning and development for a strategic change initiative.

“Center for Practical Management believes in maximizing employee potential through effective goal setting and incentives that responsibly drive sales culture initiatives,” says Rebecca Oeltjenbruns, owner of Center for Practical Management. “Whether your organization is creating an incentive program from scratch, reviewing a current one for compliance, or preparing for regulator examination, we can help you develop a winning strategy for sales growth.”

Center for Practical Management is a consulting firm offering training and development solutions and research programs for organizations seeking to improve financial performance, employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com