Clarity Management Consulting

Make Your Thinking Change-Friendly

February 11 , 2012 | | In: Global Business, Leadership

How would you like to transform your progress? You need Clarity to succeed!

I’m sure you would agree that we would all like to transform our progress in 2012, right?

At the time that I’m writing this, we are at the beginning of another new year. As always, we look forward with anticipation to the opportunity to set a new business direction, develop new products and services, and chart a new course. Truthfully, though, we often find it challenging to shift gears and make the course adjustments we desire!

We all encounter the need to change. We know that change is needed in our businesses and even on a personal level. Who among us has never said, “I need to start doing this or that” or I need to stop doing this or that”… but never got around to it?

The key is that before we can change any behavior, we have to change our thinking. My goal is to give you the tools you need for your own personal empowerment. The ability to begin to see business challenges through a different lens means having a sustainable method for changing your direction.

You need Clarity to succeed, and I have developed a program that will help you retool your thinking for success!

Introducing Get Clarity, Succeed Faster!

Get Clarity, Succeed Faster is a new four-step method for developing and maintaining a change-friendly, success-oriented mindset. I am offering this program that I have personally designed with professionals and entrepreneurs like you in mind!

During this program, you will learn strategies for transforming your paradigms and mindsets in a way that will revolutionize your progress. You’ll learn how to leverage your rich experience base and your strengths to develop a mindset that is change-friendly as well as success-oriented.

In Get Clarity, Succeed Faster, you will learn how to unlock your ability to understand how paradigms influence your capability for making the course changes needed to take your business and professional life to the next level. You will walk away with important insights on how to get beyond just saying, “I need to start doing this or that” to saying “how can I transform my thinking so that I can do this or that.”

This 16-week online program covers a four-step process that will help you enhance your skills in recognizing, identifying, evaluating, and transforming the paradigms that are governing your business decisions. You will learn how to develop your own personal empowerment database that will give you a sustainable method for transforming the way you view business challenges.

I have incorporated four modules in this program to address each section of the four-step Get Clarity, Succeed Faster process:

Module 1 – “Recognizing the Presence of a Paradigm” is designed to help you spot the fact that you have a paradigm or way of thinking about a given situation. This is based on my experience which indicates that the first step in changing a paradigm is to realize that you have one in the first place!

Module 2 – “Identifying the Paradigm” involves some thought and exercises intended to help you “Get Clarity” on the underlying paradigm or assumptions that are driving your choices and decisions.

Module 3 – “Evaluating the Paradigm” gives you the tools to step back and really determine whether the paradigm you’re operating with is helpful or a hindrance, and whether the underlying assumptions are reasonable and accurate. This is a way of detaching emotionally from these assumptions in order to be more objective about them.

Module 4 – “Transforming the Paradigm” puts you on a course of progressing toward changing your paradigm in ways that make it serve you better. Now that you have some new information and insights about your underlying assumptions and the way you’ve been viewing a particular issue, you are in a better position to change the way you think about that issue going forward.

Downloads of the following materials will be available on a weekly basis so you can go through the material at a time that is convenient for you:

  • MP3 audio
  • Slides in pdf format
  • Transcript
  • And best of all: your action guide that you can use as a blueprint for moving forward.

Register now and get started! Go to getclaritysucceedfaster.com to register and get your first lesson today!

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Here is the presentation from the November 10, 2011 Women TIES event in Watertown, NY — enjoy!

CLARITY WOMEN TIES 11-10

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Social media is just one of many marketing channels available to entrepreneurs. It is a single component of your toolkit. Moreover, like most marketing channels, it is about sowing now and reaping later. Think of it as a means of building relationships that will result in increased mind share and credibility for your product or service.

Many solo entrepreneurs know they need an online presence, but they have limited resources and can be intimidated by the volume of work. A tailored strategy for social media can overcome these obstacles and help you avoid the trap of having your time consumed by this tool at the expense of other critical business tasks.

Where should you start?

Start with your needs. Recognize that you can design your effort based on your business objectives and available resources. Here’s how to do it.

Decide what you want from social media.

Identify your marketing goals. These may include creating awareness, building your brand, building relationships, and demonstrating expertise. Prioritize these goals based on your needs. Use a tool like Table 1 to determine their relative importance for your business.

Figure out how much time and energy you are willing to spend.

Social media experts generally recommend posting frequently on your blog and on sites such as Twitter and Facebook to maximize exposure. However, you have to right-size your activity based on your resources. Even if you cannot afford to be heavily invested in this marketing channel because of staffing constraints, you can still have an online presence on a scale that suits you. Table 2 can help you plan your time.

Decide where to focus your effort.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and your blog all have the potential to enhance your online presence based on the type of business and your creativity in using the tools. Their relative value depends on your goals, as shown in Table 3. For example, if your aim is to demonstrate expertise, writing a blog is a great way to do it. Then you can use the other tools to direct traffic to your blog.

Execute and engage.

Once you have determined what you want from social media, the time you are willing to spend, and the tools you intend to use, get started! Develop your profiles and add content. Then invite clients, prospects, and business partners to connect with you. Remember to take advantage of your local social media community where you will find opportunities to engage both online and in person. For those in Central New York, the Linked Syracuse-Central NY LinkedIn group, which boasts more than 1,100 members, and the Biz Buzz Social Media Conference are two great examples.

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Rhonda R. Cabrinha and Monica D. Johns have some things in common. They are both business owners and members of Women TIES (Women Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success). Cabrinha is vice-president and equity partner at Ellis, Moreland & Ellis, a locally owned Independent Insurance Agency. Johns is president and CEO of Clarity Management Consulting, a Syracuse-based consulting firm. Both women are also members of the board of directors of the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY). Might this suggest something about women business owners and geekdom?

You bet it does, according to Tracy Higginbotham, founder and president of Women TIES. “It sends a powerful message about women entrepreneurs and their commitment to be fully engaged in securing the prosperity of their communities,” says Higginbotham. As Johns says, “TACNY’s mission supports what has been identified as a critical business imperative, the importance of which cannot be overemphasized, namely the need to advance innovation by increasing the number of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).”

TACNY’s work supports local schools and other educational institutions in their efforts to generate interest in the STEM disciplines among middle and high school students. “Technology and innovation are the building blocks of Central New York’s future prosperity. TACNY’s programs are essential for motivating the next wave of innovators,” said Cabrinha.

TACNY is a nonprofit organization that has served the Central New York community since 1903. TACNY hosts science and technology presentations geared toward middle school students and supports a myriad of local and regional student events, including the Science Olympiad middle and high school competition and the CNY Rocket Team Challenge, just to name a few. The group also offers lectures and tours that address the interests of technology professionals, educators, and other adults who simply want to become more tech-savvy.

TACNY’s signature event is the Celebration of Technology Awards Banquet, slated for September 19, 2011. It will feature Deanne Bell, possibly the most popular woman engineer in the country. As a television personality, Bell is best known as co-host of PBS’s Design Squad and host of DIY Network’s Money Hunters (http://www.diynetwork.com/deanne-bell/bio/index.html ). Organizers are looking to ignite students’ passion about science and technology, and they believe Bell is just the speaker to do it. Visit http://www.tacny.org/news_and_events/vw/3/itemid/546/d/20110919.aspx for event details.

Rhonda R. Cabrinha, CIC is vice-president and equity partner at Ellis, Moreland & Ellis, a locally owned Independent Insurance Agency. She has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance business and held numerous positions with National Grange Mutual Insurance Company prior to joining Ellis, Moreland & Ellis. Rhonda holds the Certified Insurance Counselor designation (CIC). She is a Regional Director of IAAC, the Membership Services Division of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York. She is actively involved in the Syracuse I Day committee, which she chaired in 2009. Rhonda is the 2005 recipient of Syracuse’s Insurance Person of Distinction Award and a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Central New York. Ellis, Moreland & Ellis (www.emeinsurance.com) provides insurance protection for individuals and businesses throughout New York State.

Monica D. Johns, MBA, PMP®, president and CEO of Clarity Management Consulting (www.claritymanagementconsulting.com), has more than 25 years of technical and business experience including positions with General Electric, Corning, and General Motors. Her background includes engineering, process improvement, team development, program and project management, and consulting. She earned her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University at Buffalo. Johns received her Six Sigma Black Belt from the Institute of Industrial Engineers and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential conferred by the Project Management Institute. Clarity transforms businesses from the inside out. With expertise in project management, process improvement, collaboration, and team development, Clarity uses process improvement as an enabler for clients’ strategic goals.

Tracy Higginbotham, president of Women TIES, helps women entrepreneurs in New York State expand their local, state, and regional marketplace. She serves on a variety of business advisory boards and is a guest speaker on a wide range of business topics for local chambers of commerce and business organizations. Tracy is also a columnist for the Syracuse Post-Standard and a two-time recipient of the SBA’s Women-Owned Business Champion Award for Region II. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and postgraduate studies in Business Management. Women TIES (http://www.womenties.com/) provides a variety of exceptional networking, development, and marketing opportunities for women business owners each month.

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Leadership: Are executives and managers trained in quality and process improvement (Baldrige, Six Sigma, Lean Management and/or Manufacturing, others)?

  • Leaders who are not trained in these areas are not committed to quality and continuous improvement, nor can they create an organization that can effectively implement such systems. This is reflected in the quality of the product or service.

Process Reviews and Documentation: Are there periodic reviews of processes, including business and manufacturing processes? Are these processes properly documented? Is the documentation maintained and updated as needed?

  • Periodic reviews and well-maintained documentation suggest a degree of awareness of needed changes.

Data Management: How is process data handled in terms of collection, analysis, and maintenance, and storage?

  • Data management is the lifeblood of any manufacturing process irrespective of the product type. The same can be said of business processes with relatively high volumes, such as invoicing or call center activities. Access to data will drive the ability to measure and improve process performance. Inadequate collection, analysis, maintenance, or storage of data suggests inattentiveness to quality.

Visibility of Process and Quality Culture: Is there visible evidence of the implementation of process and quality principles?

  • Work areas, particularly in manufacturing, should display visible signs of basic process and quality discipline. Examples include work procedures documented at each workstation and implementation of 5S (Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, Sustain).
  • The absence of such things is a visible sign that the organization lags the industry in basic quality procedures.

Individual Training and Certifications: Have employees been trained in critical quality disciplines?

  • Training and certification in quality disciplines such as Six Sigma and Lean empowers and equips employees. This training is critical for continuous improvement.
  • Such skills are essential to supporting quality and customer satisfaction, and ultimately, shareholder value.

Organizational Certifications: Has the organization earned (and does it maintain) general quality and industry-specific certifications such as ISO 9001 and others?

  • ISO 9001 is a well-known and foundational standard. Documentation should demonstrate the organization’s aptitude for and commitment to the tenets of ISO 9001.
  • Other industry standards may also be in order, such as AS9000, the Aerospace Basic Quality System Standard used by defense and aerospace companies.

Occupational Safety: Does the organization have a history of compliance with OSHA and other standards?

  • Past infractions and/or fines will suggest a degree of risk depending on the severity of the problems. The extent of the financial risk could be mitigated in the eyes of customers by demonstrating that plans are in place to prevent further incidents. This would include training, reviews, inspections, and adequate data to indicate that improvements have taken hold.
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Clarity – Creating A Social Media Strategy

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How To Select Innovative Supplier Partners

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Summary of Key Collaboration Enablers

January 23 , 2011 | | In: Uncategorized

Here are a few collaboration enablers that appear to be among current industry best practices. The source articles provide a wealth of information on the success stories of organizations like 3M, Sony, and others.

COLLABORATION ENABLERS Source Article
Deploy a database of technical reports that can be accessed by anyone in the organization http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Use employee-run technology events to create networking opportunities http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Design open gathering spaces where people can congregate and share http://tinyurl.com/collabCERN
Create technology summits and make them accessible by enabling remote participation http://tinyurl.com/collabCERN
Create a “LinkedIn for scientists” for the R&D community http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Share researchers across departments http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Require collaboration and integrate it as a metric in performance evaluations http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Allow employees to spend 15% of their time on projects they choose and allow them to work on outside projects http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Create innovation funds for projects that don’t fit elsewhere http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Collocate resources at critical junctures & enable easy access http://tinyurl.com/collab3M
Adopt spontaneous work styles. Use unified communications to enable spontaneous connections (IM for example). The key is immediate access versus needing to make appointments or schedule meetings. http://tinyurl.com/collabmorethantech
Adopt social media-type communication tools like “fmyi” http://tinyurl.com/collabFMYI
Fit high-tech tools into product development. Examples: videoconferencing w/advanced design software; combine Cisco’s TelePresence with animation design tools; allow for design inputs and changes to be shared in real-time instead of in series – reduces cycle time in development http://tinyurl.com/collabmorethantech
Give everyone access to high-end communication tools like Cisco’s TelePresence http://tinyurl.com/collabmorethantech
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Many organizations are interested in improving collaboration across business units and functional groups, as well as with external partners. To do this requires a culture that is effective and entrepreneurial in nature. Clarity has defined a model for effecting this kind of cultural change. This model consists of five areas that require attention: Training, Networking Technology and Events, Tools and Templates, Policy, and Metrics. These areas are described below.

MODEL FOR IMPROVING COLLABORATION

Area Description
Training

Employees will benefit from participating in training programs that reinforce critical success factors and provide for skills development in collaboration.
Networking Technology and Events

Existing technology offers a number of tools that are designed to enable the communication and knowledge sharing/transfer that are critical to successful collaboration. There are also industry best practices such as internal networking events that foster collaboration as well.
Tools and Templates These may consist of process maps, articles, assessment tools, leadership aids, templates, and/or other tools that can be used in developing a collaborative approach to a given project or program.
Policy

Management policies such as performance appraisals, intellectual property guidelines, and organizational boundaries affect the way teams work together within an organization and with other companies. Some policies will need to be modified, added, or deleted to enable greater collaboration.
Metrics

Organizations that have been successful in developing a collaborative culture cite the fact that they incorporate measures in their performance appraisals to ensure collaborative behavior.
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The Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY) will host a presentation on growing the innovation economy, with a look at regional clusters such as clean tech, IT, sensors, bio/life sciences, and other sectors in which Central New York has a strong asset base. “Growing Regional Technology Clusters” is scheduled for January 11, 2011 from 6:00-7:30 pm and is part of the 2010-2011 Sweet Lecture Series. The local chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is the co-host for this event.

The event will be held in the auditorium of the Whitney Applied Technology Center at Onondaga Community College. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs are preferred and are requested by January 4, 2011. Walk-ins are welcome. RSVP to sweet.lecture@tacny.org.

The featured speaker for this event is Linda Dickerson Hartsock, VP, Innovation and Technology, CenterState CEO and director of industry collaboration for the Syracuse Center of Excellence. Linda also directs the Tech Garden and The Clean Tech Center.

Linda’s vast expertise includes state, regional, and local development, as well as strategic planning and structuring complex projects. She has helped organize regional development efforts across New York State, particularly education-industry partnerships related to emerging technologies, and has been the recipient of numerous federal and state awards related to her work.

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the Technology Alliance of Central New York exists to enhance and facilitate the development, growth, and advancement of education, awareness, and historical appreciation of technology within the Central New York Community. Through its programs and support efforts, the Technology Alliance seeks to further serve members, as well as educational groups and institutions with similar missions, and be the key link among technical societies in Central New York.

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