Leadership Development is Changing

Leadership Excellence for Decision-Makers

Leadership is changing daily. What worked last decade or even last year is not necessarily what works today.  The Alber Enterprise Center of The Ohio State University is holding a two-hour overview for decision-makers who may want to further develop their team or simply take their organization to the next level.

Join us for an eye-opening Executive Overview on Leadership Excellence, facilitated by Jim Franks, a 30-year veteran of leadership development, team building, change management, executive coaching, and more.  Jim stated, “When it comes to developing leaders, many people are realizing that excellent leadership can impact the organization’s bottom line. This program will demonstrate how to apply the skills to mobilize teams, foster trust, and ultimately improve job satisfaction and performance.”

Choose your location and date:

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 8:00 to 10:00 am in Columbus, Ohio

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 8:00 to 10:00 am in Marion, Ohio

This executive overview is your opportunity to learn first-hand how this dynamic program can:

  • Liberate the leaders within your organization to do extraordinary things.
  • Create an environment where innovation, ownership and job satisfaction thrive.
  • Transform leaders at all levels in your organization while improving your own leadership performance.
  • Apply evidence-based, data-driven leadership tools — backed by 30 years of research!

Participants will receive a copy of the book, Change your Questions, Change your Life by Marilee Adams, and a $50 discount off the full Leadership Excellence workshop – a complete 16-hour course with personal coaching which will be offered in April.

To register for the Columbus location: http://go.osu.edu/leaderoverviewcolumbus

To register for the Marion location: http://go.osu.edu/leaderoverviewmarion

Building Customer Loyalty: 3 Ways to Move From Good to Excellent Customer Service

Have you ever thought about the difference between good customer service and excellent customer service?  Most of us would agree that there is a difference, but does it really matter? According to a recent survey cited on customerthink.com, 86% of buyers said they will pay more for a better customer service experience. And 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.

Providing good service will allow an organization to survive. But a commitment to excellent customer service goes beyond surviving – to building customer loyalty to create a healthy, thriving future.

True excellence is marked by an excellent customer experience (CX). The focus on providing excellent customer service encapsulates a simple, three-prong model.

Be Prepared. Being ready to serve the customer is the very foundation for excellence. If buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated, then it behooves organizations to spend some time getting to know their customers…what they value and what influences them, and ultimately, being proactive in anticipating their needs and problems.

In his book, Five Most Important Questions, Peter Drucker reminds us that our customers are never static. They are constantly changing, as well as their needs, wants, and expectations. Do the research and use customer analytics that make sense, not just satisfaction scores which only show customer satisfaction from the past.

Be Passionate. Being passionate encompasses taking the expertise (knowledge, skills, and abilities) of individuals in the organization and using it to create a shared-learning organization.  It is an organization in which customer service representatives (CSR’s) become experts, knowing their products and services, and how to do the ordinary, extraordinarily well.

In one study focusing on customer service loyalty, Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that 24% of repeat customer complaints stemmed from an emotional disconnect between the customer and the CSR. Specifically, this means the customer did not trust the answer given to them and/or they thought that the CSR was hiding something.

In order to meet customers’ constantly changing expectations and to provide an excellent CX, our representatives must be armed with interpersonal skills, training and a comprehensive knowledge which will allow them to respond more accurately and articulately, and to quickly find better solutions. Competence increases the customer’s confidence in the CSR and in the organization.

Be the Hero. Being the hero stems from the philosophy that every customer desires and deserves to be treated with respect and care.  Unfortunately, many organization miss the mark with this one! As representatives of an organization, we have the opportunity to make life better, easier, more convenient, and/or to create value in our customers’ lives through the products, services, and exchanges we offer.

According to the HBR article, the number one most important factor in customer loyalty is reducing customer effort. Long wait times, cumbersome paperwork, having to make repeated calls to solve a problem, or having to use multiple channels to get information are all frustrating to a customer. Organizations need to remove obstacles and get rid of things that make it hard for customers.

Being the hero not only involves removing obstacles but also taking every opportunity to add good stuff to the CX. Customers want quick, convenient transactions and products that are true to what is claimed. They want trustworthy representatives who can engage competently and respectfully whenever needed. The success of the CX is tied to the emotions of the experience. Help customers to feel important and valued, and let them know you care and appreciate their business. In doing so, they will walk away wanting to come back for more.

References

Dixon, Matthew, Karen Freeman, and Nicolas Toman.  Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers, Harvard Business Review

Drucker, Peter. Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders, Wiley.

Jaiswal, Vivek. 8 Customer Experience Myths Busted, customerthink.com.

 

 

A Need for Access to Education for Military Spouses

Did you know that military spouses suffer from unemployment at a staggering rate of 12%? According to Blue Star Families, up to 43% of military spouses are not in the labor force. Given the nature of their ever-so mobile lifestyle, it’s difficult to manage a steady full-time job when you might have to move across the country next month. This lack of control over their physical location effects their ability to find a job they enjoy doing while feeling valued. They are also subject to underemployment which is a very real challenge that is less frequently discussed. Military spouses are more likely than civilian spouses to find themselves in a job that is below their education level and with lower pay.

Our vision at the Alber Enterprise Center is to stimulate positive change for maintainable economic growth in individuals, organizations and communities. We are proactively trying to make a difference for these spouses by offering 100% online national certification preparation courses that can be paid with the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) through the Department of Defense. The MyCAA scholarship will offer a one-time scholarship, up to $4,000 over a two-year period, for eligible active-duty military spouses to continue their education.

Once the spouse finishes the online course, they will be given the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills in an in-person externship, mentored by professionals in that field. We will work with the spouse to find an organization near where they’re currently living for them to complete the externship. The cost of the course, which can be paid in full by the MyCAA scholarship, will provide them everything they need to complete the course. This includes course materials, the externship, and the cost to sit for the national certification exam in their field.

Follow this link to read more about our MyCAA courses. https://osu.edu2.com/t-mycaa.aspx

Source: “Social Cost Analysis of the Unemployment and Underemployment of Military Spouses”, Sorenson Impact Center & David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, 2016

Five Leadership Hacks

You know that with better leadership skills, your team could start performing at a whole new level.  Here are five ways to boost your team’s leadership skills today.

  1. Develop your leadership.

As a leader your job is to develop those around you.  Mary mentored and fostered new leaders in our organization on a regular basis.  Dozens of people she mentored went on to become leaders in our organization.  She was valuable because she created other leaders.  Be valuable too.

How do you develop your leaders?  Has your team had formal leadership training?  Our unique approach instills the five traits of exemplary leaders.  Make sure each of your leaders has the skills they need to lead.

  1. Know your people better.

Remember when the standard to meet with direct reports for formal performance reviews was once a year?  No more.  Now the guidance is at least once a month.  This does three things.  One, it builds a sound relationship with your team member.  Leadership is about relationship.  Two, it is a valuable chance for you to get regular, valuable feedback on your organization.  Finally, it gives them a regular update on their performance.  Tackle performance problems early.  Encourage high performers at every chance.  Here’s a good format for the 1 on 1:

  • What is going well?
  • What have you learned?
  • What will you change?
  • What are your next steps?
  1. Vision/Mission – again and again.

The best leaders never forget why they exist.  People hunger for meaning and purpose and a consistent reminder to your team vision and mission will remind them that what they do is significant.  Start every meeting answering the “why.”  Why are we meeting?  How does this meeting tie into our larger purpose?  Do this and they will be more inspired and fulfilled.  “Our meeting today is for (purpose)… which enables us to (mission/vision).”  Simon Sinek said it well, “Great leaders are able to inspire people to act; they give them a sense of purpose or belonging …”  Remind your team of the “why” – and inspire.

  1. Set clear expectations and follow-up.

Is your team working toward some measurable vital result?  We may have told them (or think we did). What is their understanding and what metrics are they working toward every day?  What gets measured gets improved (Drucker).  Is it sales, profit per transaction, repeat customers?  Ensure that your team has what they need and knock down any obstacles.  Are you serving them so that they can meet the expectations?

  1. Recognize results and desired behaviors.

Be the kind of leader who never stops finding the good in people and telling them.  It builds loyalty and fosters high performance.  We asked them to achieve it. Celebrate it.  Recognize everyday behaviors that will lead to results.  For example, long hours to meet a deadline, creative new approaches, serving the customer well, etc.  When was the last time you said it?  Do it today.

Do these five things regularly and watch your team take off!

Marion Student Leaves Center, Makes Impact

(Above) Sabrina Mazyck, right, gathers field data with fellow student intern with National Park Service.

Outstanding students at Ohio State Marion have unique stories. Sabrina Mazyck, born and raised in Ohio, already had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science when she came to Ohio State Marion Campus. Now, she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Engineering and has completed as much of her coursework at the Marion campus before she transitions to the Columbus campus this summer.  We were fortunate to benefit from her skills as a dedicated student employee in the Alber Enterprise Center this past year, and pleased that Sabrina will remain a Buckeye.

“I was fortunate to be able to take courses at Ohio State Marion since the tuition is so affordable. Financial aid is not available to students working on a second bachelor’s degree – only student loans,” Sabrina said. Cost of higher education has been a challenge, but Sabrina is hard-working, creative and persistent.

This student is a real go-getter, with past experience working as an Intern for Senator Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, on issues related to environmental policy.  She wrote about environmental impacts, attended briefings and visited government agencies, and became enamored with everything related to studying and improving the environment. “I feel that I had a tiny hand in the decision-making process around environmental policies (with the Senator’s office),” she said, adding, “But environmental engineers are involved in both policy work and the science behind it all, which means I could make a bigger impact.”

Another interesting internship Sabrina completed was with the National Park Service, where she worked on the Cuyahoga River as a Bioscience Tech Intern. “The Cuyahoga River has caught fire a total of 13 times, dating back to the 1800’s,” she said. Sabrina was part of team who waded in the water looking for zebra mussels and other invasive species, along with conducting organism surveys and recording the data. The group removed invasive species and propagated native plants near the river. “I carried a 50-pound backpack of herbicide and sprayed certain kinds of plants (identified as invasive), adding: “People in environmental work are some of the most kind-hearted I’ve ever met.”

After graduation from Ohio State, Sabrina is considering a Master’s in Ecology or Environmental Engineering. While her diverse experiences and initiative could take her anywhere, she would like to return to Hawaii after graduation from Ohio State in May, 2019.  With a cousin there, Sabrina was able to visit each of the Hawaiian Islands while interning for the senator. She said that the natives’ love of the land (meaning of Hawaii) is real…they are very environmentally-conscious. “The sea turtles are sacred – it is illegal to touch them. The people are so welcoming…I just loved it there!” said Sabrina.

Suffice it to say, Sabrina Mazyck is one student whom we would love to follow along to see where life takes her next. The sky really is the limit.

Embrace the Changes: Quality & Environmental Management Systems

by Larry W. Sheppard, ISO 14001-2015 EMS & ISO 9001-2015 QMS Consultant

Companies currently certified to ISO 14001-2004 and ISO 9001-2008 must be re-certified to the revised standards by September 15th 2018 or risk the possibility of losing their certification.  The new standards did not add any new requirements; however, some of the existing requirements in the 2015 versions have significant changes. Transition for ISO 14001-2004 and ISO 9001-2008 certified companies should be easy to implement since they have an EMS/QMS base that meets most of the requirements of the 2015 version.

This is where the Alber Enterprise Center of The Ohio State University can assist your company during the transition to the new standards. We would be glad to meet with your management staff and present the new requirements in detail.

 Main changes in ISO 14001:2015 EMS

The new requirement is to understand the organization’s context has been incorporated to identify opportunities for the benefit of both the organization and the environment. Particular focus is on issues or changing circumstances related to the needs and expectations of interested parties (including regulatory requirements) and local, regional or global environmental conditions that can affect, or be affected by, the organization. Once identified as a priority, actions to mitigate adverse risk or exploit beneficial opportunities are integrated in the operational planning of the EMS.

 To ensure the success of the system, a new clause has been added that assigns specific responsibilities for those in leadership roles to promote environmental management within the organization.

The expectation on organizations has been expanded to commit to proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, consistent with the context of the organization. The revised text does not define ‘protect the environment’ but it notes that it can include prevention of pollution, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, etc. i.e. environmental performance.

There is a shift in emphasis with regard to continual improvement, from improving the management system to improving environmental performance to be consistent with the organization’s policy commitments.  In addition to the current requirement to manage environmental aspects associated with procured goods and service, organizations will need to extend its control and influence to the environmental impacts associated with product design and development to address each stage of the life cycle, i.e. acquisition of raw materials, design, production, transportation/delivery, use, end-of-life treatment and final disposal.

Main Changes in ISO 9001-2015 QMS

Major Differences in Terminology between ISO 9001- 2008 & ISO 9001-2015

 

ISO 9001-2008 ISO 9001-2015
Products Products and service
Exclusions Not used

(See Clause A.5 for clarification of applicability)

Management Representative Not used (Similar responsibilities and authorities are assigned but no requirement for a single management represented)
Documentation, quality manual, documented records Documented information
Work environment Environment for the operation of processes
Monitoring and measuring equipment Monitoring and measuring resources
Purchased product Externally provided product and services
Supplier External provider

 Documented Information has replaced the ISO 9001-2008 version need for the quality manuals and some procedures to define the documented QMS. Documented Information includes instructions, records of process performances, external provider’s performance, internal audits and management reviews etc.

As part of the continual improvement process risk base thinking was added to the revised standard. The concept of risk has always been implicit in ISO 9001 as preventive action. The 2015 revision makes it more explicit and builds it into the total QMS.

Through the Fog

This morning (Monday, Feb. 20th) I drove from my home to my office in Marion in very dense fog. As a matter fact, I had heard on the early news that there was a severe fog alert out for the morning. It has been a long time since I have driven in such dense fog. As I drove the back roads through the country, I realized that these are very familiar roads to me…I drive these roads several days each week. I know where all of the stop signs are, the curves and the valleys along the road. I know where to turn, where the speed limits change from 55, to 45 to 35. So, one might say, I could drive on auto pilot in this fog. However, I think we would all agree, that would not be a very wise thing to do. As we all know, things can change. Some areas as we are driving in the fog may be easier. It may not be as dense in certain areas and allows us to see a bit further ahead. At other times, there might be an obstacle in our way that we don’t see until the last minute, such as a deer crossing the road (which, fortunately, did not happen to me). The dense fog complicates this because it impairs our visibility. So, I found myself driving slower, being more intentional, more cautious and making sure I was aware of all of my surroundings.

This got me to thinking about the parallel for many organizations. Some organizations navigate very well through the fog. Others have a difficult time seeing what is ahead. Visibility is limited. There are obstacles in their way they don’t see. And this impacts their effectiveness, their employee engagement, turnover, the ability to attract and retain a qualified workforce and most likely, their overall bottom line.

Organizations need to have a plan when the fog rolls in. And there are times when that happens – suddenly and unexpectedly, whether it is due to outside forces (i.e. the economy) or internal forces (change in leadership, shift in supply and demand). How can organizations be strategic about navigating these treacherous roads? There are several things that can be done.

Begin with a mission and vision that serves as the foundation for all that you do. This is your organization’s lighthouse in the dense fog. It helps people see their way. Establish a long-term strategic goal and develop an action plan with S.M.A.R.T. goals. And then use it…refer to it…update and refine as you go along. Get input from your employees – the ones who are doing the work. You would be surprised how many great ideas they have – they just need to be asked and given the opportunity to share them.

Once the fog lifts and you are comfortably back ‘in the driver’s seat’ with clear visibility ahead, be sure to say thank you to those who helped get the organization through the fog…i.e. the challenging time. Begin to look ahead and plan for the next time the fog rolls in…because, as we all know from experience, it will.

AEC’s Partnership with MYCAA

MyCAAOur Center launched in February 2016 new online non-credit courses designed specifically for spouses of active military personnel to take advantage of the MyCAA scholarship workforce development program. The scholarships are funded by the Department of Defense and provide up to $4,000 of tuition assistance to eligible military spouses.  Scholarships can be used to register for dozens of the Center’s online courses that lead to certificates and certifications necessary to gain employment in high-demand, high-growth, portable career fields and occupations. A few examples are pharmacy technician, human resources specialist, childcare specialist, corrections specialist, legal writing specialist, and IT network specialist.

  • Spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2 of any branch of the military are eligible, including activated Guard and Reserve (but excluding Coast Guard). 
  • So far, we have 32 participants and counting in the MyCAA program.
  • Go to go.osu.edu/mycaa for complete details and see the comprehensive list of courses.

FRANK DISCUSSION #1

“As a learning leader in your organization, which program outcome is more important to you: The learners remembering what they learned OR the learners applying what they learned?”

Gibson, Frank 2013 Staff page

Frank Gibson, AEC Program Manager

As you think about the question, take a few minutes to reflect on your career and the learning events you have led. What were your expectations of the learner and how did you assist them in applying what they learned? What kind of structure needed to be in place? What resources were needed (time, tools, etc.)? What worked? What didn’t work? What barriers interfered with the follow-up?

Reflecting on my career, I see my approach to learning has changed over time.  Early on, my approach was more informal, less-structured, and guided by very little in the way of lesson plans. It was a more intuitive and “Just-In-Time” approach to instruction. As I moved up the ladder, my approach evolved to that of a coach. I’d share a few of my experiences, question them, and then call them to action at the end….not telling them what to do per se, but rather aiming to trigger their thoughts about how they might do things differently. Now that I am in the business of education/training, everything about my approach is more formal, structured, planned, written and timed out, with reinforcement and coaching throughout and after the event.

When it comes to training others, first and foremost I focus on enabling the learner to apply what they learned as quickly as possible. With interpersonal skills, for example, I remember acting as a “champion” for 14 managers/ supervisors after the learning event to coach them on using the tools presented in the class to successfully apply what they learned.

In summary, both remembering and applying are important:  remembering the material is required to repeatedly apply what has been learned, and this enables mastery of the new skill or knowledge on the job.

You may want to do a self-assessment as a learning leader. In thinking about your most recent programming efforts, to what degree have you engaged participants in a timely follow-up/support/evaluation? Do you follow a Standard Operating Procedure to assess the degree to which your learners are remembering… and applying?

What are your thoughts?

Frank Gibson is a Program Manager with OSU’s Alber Enterprise Center.

Related Articles:

Understanding the Voice of the Customer in Education

Voice of the CustomerA critical component of Lean Six Sigma is understanding the Voice of the Customer. This concept is essential to identifying activities that are value-added and non-value added or wasteful.

In education it may be agreed that the student is the customer as they are the recipients of the outcomes of the institution. Some disagree with this concept thinking that we are unable to satisfy the customer. At one of my presentations someone in the audience indicated that satisfying the customer in education “the student” means giving them all “As” and that was impossible. Of course this is not correct – this is not what customer satisfaction is about.

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

In the education space the concept of the “Voice of the Customer” has a different meaning than it does in the broad world of consumerism. We tend to think that customer satisfaction rests only on the fact that there is a financial exchange between the customer and the person delivering the goods and that the customer finds value in the purchase.

We need to satisfy the needs of the customer – the student, but what does that mean? It means we need to deliver what is considered as a quality education -one that is delivered so that the student is functional in the wider society. If individuals are able to graduate but cannot either get a job or function at their required capacity, then regardless of what was learned and the grades earned then a quality education was not delivered.

Customer satisfaction therefore is not a passive interaction. For the student to be satisfied, it requires the student to collaborate with the instructor and several different individuals within the institution. The student’s success requires a partnership with the institution which should be promoted and nurtured.

Understanding the Voice of the Customer is a process, a mind-set, a shift in thinking, a culture that needs to be embraced by the entire institution.

Apart from the student, there are several customers who are vested in the education outcome:

  • The parents of the students who might bare some financial responsibility regarding payment of fees and physical and emotional support of the student
  • The loan institutions who might provide assistance to the students
  • All the areas of the institution (business office, book store, advisors, job placement office and other areas) which support or interact with the students directly or indirectly
  • The potential employers who expect a certain level of performance of the students after graduation
  • The institution itself who expects that the performance of students and their ability to be received in the wider society will build the reputation for the school

Well this is my opinion.

To read more on this topic, see the New York Times January 3, 2010 article below:

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/are-they-students-or-customers/#edward

In this article “Are They Students or Customers” five professors from different business schools weigh in on the debate.

“Students are investing time and money with a purpose in mind. The school that does not serve that purpose will not survive.” Stephen Joel Trachtenberg is president emeritus and professor of public services at the George Washington University.

This blog is dedicated to the team at Alber Enterprise Center of The Ohio State University.

Norma Simons is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, president of Performance Innovation LLC, and an AEC Solution Partner.  Norma heads a team of qualified professionals in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma.  Her success is attributed to her unique integration of performance improvement systems such as Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, quality management systems, business operating systems, and balanced scorecards that have enabled the effective execution of organizational strategy and, ultimately, bottom-line results.