Management Series

InspirationIn organizations, competency is assumed every time a payroll check is cut. The ability to advance through an organization frequently is based on intangibles or unwritten rules of the game. This management series covers many topics while focusing on the myth of meritocracy; the notion that good works are their own reward.
Knowing only the written rules (those items contained in the manuals, procedures, and job descriptions) suggests a significant percentage of the rules remain unknown. Participants explore ways to uncover all the rules, how they apply, the benefits of compliance, and the consequences of non-compliance.

Understanding AA, EEO & Diversity: They're Not the Same Thing!

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours

This seminar provides a good starting point for ensuring a common base of knowledge throughout an organization concerning these critical topics. Our purpose will be to explore the definitions (legal and practical), full spectrum meanings, and responses to terms like diversity, Afrocentric, affirmative action, racism, cultural competence, political correctness, discrimination, quotas, and goals. Through lectures, open dialogues and small group exercises participants acquire a clear and correct understanding of buzzwords and acronyms while developing thoughtful responses to commonly raised questions about AA, EEO, and Diversity. We end the day by bringing all the pieces together in case study exercises. Two sections offered: (1) for non-technical managers and supervisors; (2) for technical managers and supervisors.

Exploring Future Horizons: Beyond Technological Advancement!

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours This session addresses the technology of increased productivity within a multicultural workforce by focusing on strategic planning for individual employees, managers, and the organization itself. Exercises include a review of the organizational mission, goals, the performance appraisal format, and hiring/promotional practices. Subsequently, participants create individual mission statements, goals, and timetables. Also, we explore a strategic plan for change that goes beyond the technology of computer and engineering sciences. Two sections offered: (1) for non-technical managers and supervisors; (2) for technical managers and supervisors.

Looking At Race: A Day of Facilitated Discussion

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours Most organizations have been observing America’s demographic shifts, but have felt uncomfortable about encouraging forums on the subject. These changes in the American landscape are affecting and will continue to affect: recruitment, hiring, and promotion practices (internally); and market targeting, capture, and expansion (externally.) Competition for workers and markets has gone global, and may the best informed organization win! Despite their enormous effects on so many operational issues, managers have not felt sufficiently empowered to engage in frank, employee discussions about how these changes impact the workplace. An exploration of alternative world views provides a context in which to process the issues introduced into this facilitated dialogue. We will discuss how differences in world views, communication, and conflict management present a unique opportunity to examine the truth about the “other.” Ultimately, this facilitated discourse leads to stimulating, thought-provoking enlightenment about cultural myths, their origins, and their impact on the organization. Open to all employee levels.

The Economics of Diversity: It's a Small, Small, (and Very Competitive) World!

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours Our examination of diversity moves beyond the moral and legal context to an economic one. This seminar overlays diversity issues against the somewhat narrow parameters of the organization’s “bottom line” objectives. Our goal is to establish the linkage between well-managed diversity and the achievement of improved productivity and profitability. We explore the competitive impact of increasingly globalized markets on U.S. based multinationals. Further, we discuss the minuscule growth of the U.S. workforce, the trend toward “downsizing,” and limited advancement and/or promotion opportunities within organizations. Collectively, these issues speak to the need for the maximization of all resources: material, technical, and human. Group exercises demonstrate that the productive management of diversity is the effective management of human resources. Open to all employee levels.

Diversity, Productivity and Quality: Exploring the Synthesis

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours Diversity, productivity and quality are critical, interdependent components of successful organizations. This assertion is true whether the organizations operate within the public service or the private sector. The traditional, autonomous examination of each issue shortchanges the strategic planning focus potential, as the individuals responsible for these areas usually have very limited direct interaction. Yet, can quality be addressed without a corresponding examination of productivity? In addition, how can productivity be enhanced, a primary stage in the improvement of quality, without addressing issues of diversity? How can cost containment efforts be pursued without eroding quality, productivity and diversity gains? We will address these questions and others in this workshop. The session will provide a holistic perspective of the diversity, productivity, and quality issues affecting government organizations by exploring connections between: diversity and the law; supervisory and decision-making skill development; diversity and productivity within project teams; communication and conflict management and resolution techniques; managing conflict and increasing efficiency and productivity; cost/expense containment and unresolved conflicts, complaints, absenteeism, inefficiency, settlements and awards. The workshop will be intense, informative and highly interactive. Participants are encouraged to share and assist one another in the collective learning process. Open to all employee levels.

Work It! The Critical Components of Customer Service

Recommended Course Length: 4 Hours Optional Advanced Session: 3 Hours Consumer attention to the presence and quality of customer service is at an all time high. Nearly everyone responds better when they are treated with care and respect. Whether you are a public or private enterprise providing goods or services, support or supplies, tangibles or intangibles, utilizing good customer service is an excellent means of market differentiation. Furthermore, providing exceptional customer service is a great brand marketing tool and loyalty builder; two outstanding competitive advantages! Ironically, many organizations minimize the significance of service. In fact, some organizations consistently fail to identify all of their customers and appropriately service them. This oversight is both internal and external in scope, as many organizations never seem to recognize who their real customers are. Aside from the clearcut example of the external client base, departmental customers do exist (all too often secretly) inside many organizations. How often do internal bottlenecks and riffs occur because exceptional service practices are not in place? What is the resulting economic impact in terms of profit and/or productivity? The benefits of nurturing a workplace culture that believes good customer service starts at headquarters and radiates outward are vast. This course focuses on the four critical components of customer service: courtesy; communication, consistency, and competence. Participants will be able to recognize a customer when they see one and be prepared to delight that customer with service. The seminar features lecture, group activities and a case study exercise. Open to all employee levels.

Working with the ADA: New Challenges, New Opportunities!

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours The cornerstone of this seminar is an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. The focus is an informative and provocative assessment of the ADA and its impact on individuals and organizations. Discussions center on the challenges and opportunities presented to organizations as they become more inclusive in their hiring and promotion considerations for the more than 43 million disabled Americans in the potential worker pool. We explore attitudinal obstacles faced by the disabled that frequently are as limiting as architectural obstacles. Participants are encouraged to discuss their concerns and comfort level issues about disabilities and the disabled in an environment that is both instructive and accepting. Open to all employee levels.

Communication & Conflict Management: Pieces in the Diversity Puzzle!

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours As people from different cultural perspectives and world views come together within organizations, successful communication styles can become a challenge. Seminar participants examine the impact of diversity on communication, conflict management and resolution within the organization. The increasing presence of foreign nationals and native-born Americans who learned English as a second language presents another communication challenge. We discuss the reciprocal aspects of effective oral communication, particularly the responsibilities of speaking and listening. We then examine the impact of communication on the ability to manage and resolve conflict. Conflict management styles are introduced and examined from culturally diverse perspectives with the goal of developing a repertoire of resolution skills. Practical team building techniques are emphasized. Two sections offered: (1) for non-technical managers and supervisors; (2) for technical managers and supervisors.

Ethical Decision Making

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours Ethics and values-based training is critical for teams and organizations wishing to enhance productivity and the quality of work life. All individuals and organizations operate within an ethical framework, whether or not it is clearly delineated. Often, the challenge is not simply dealing with ethical challenges and conflicts when they emerge, but recognizing the intricacies of the conflicts. There are two dominant arenas in ethics: secular and sacred. When individuals who may be operating within sacred or spiritual ethical arenas operate in organizations frequently utilizing secular systems of ethical analysis, conflicts inevitably emerge. This training component focuses on expanding the participants’ knowledge base of both secular and sacred systems of ethical analysis. Ultimately, this leads to a higher level of cross-cultural competency, as ethical analysis frequently is tied to elements of culture. As the base of information about “the other” expands, so does the level of trust and respect within the organization. The focus on trust and respect, as essential aspects of the ethics and values training, will undergird training in communication, conflict management and diversity. Training methodology includes the coupling of presentation information on varied ethical frameworks with discussion and exploration of individual values and belief systems with case studies. The perennial challenge is the dichotomy of identifying and understanding personal ethical views and accepting the fact that they may not be shared by individuals within the team. Open to all employee levels.

Dealing with Ageism: Golden Oldie or Workplace Relic?

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours Those aged forty and over comprise the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. Our traditional definitions of middle-aged, elderly, and old now are subject to renewed analysis. These golden oldies .are staying in the workplace longer than ever before, because they are living longer, healthier lives, enjoy their work, and, subsequently, need the money. Increasingly, older workers feel they cannot afford to retire and therefore stay in positions that expose them to downsizing and technological obsolescence. All too often, the needs of the business turn against golden oldies and transform them into workplace relics. This is true especially in high-tech environments. Facing the angst of apparent misplaced loyalty, older workers deal with unique work related stress. The increased demands for flexibility, cross-training, mobility and even relocation are stressful particularly for more mature workers. This seminar provides an opportunity for older workers to deal with the aforementioned issues in an atmosphere of concern, encouragement, and support. Open to all employee levels.

Addressing Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

Recommended Course Length: 6 Hours Because people constitute both society and populate workplaces, it follows that societal dynamics and individual differences continually fuel a number of workplace issues. This is no more a new observation than acknowledging the existence of racial, ethnic, gender, class differences. Yet, American workplaces are transforming into congregations of people who often labor in environments of distrust, intimidation, and anxiety. Virtually no workplace is exempt from some aspect of these ills. We have concluded that focusing on compliance with Title VII regulations keeps employers out of court, but does little to improve the workplace for workers. While compliance may save operating costs by minimizing fines, settlements, legal fees, etc., it is not necessarily profitability or productivity enhancing, key performance indicators, respectively, for public and public sector organizations. Is it unreasonable for workers and managers to be guarded in their interactions (peer-to-peer or vertically) due to fear of reprisal rather than respect for the individual? Who is responsible for setting the behavior example? What is the organization’s policy? What is the law? How accountable am I? This training is designed to answer these questions. Open to all employee levels.