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For the term "Consultants".

How Consultants can Handle Conflict of Interest in a Professional Manner

This article examines how working professionals and consultants can handle conflict of interest. The article defines the term and then goes on to discuss the various dimensions involved in conflict of interest. The key theme in this article is that the “Softest Pillow is a Clear Conscience”.

Need for Auditors, Certifiers, and Consultants to be Ethical and Manage Conflicts of Interest

This article discusses the networks of relationships between corporates and auditors, certifiers, and consultants, and how the chances for collusion mean that unethical and poor corporate governance result. The key theme in this article is that changes in company law have made it tougher for such collusion in recent times, but the best way forward would be for self-regulation and professionalism.

Scott Allen – The Balance – Best Skills

Scott Allen is a 20-year veteran technology entrepreneur, executive, and consultant. He has managed teams of software developers, database administrators and data architects, sales engineers, and consultants, implementing solutions for clients including IBM and Amazon. Prior to coming to About, he served as VP of Professional Services and VP of Product Management for Mongoose Technology.

Dianna Booher

An interview with Dianna Booher, Founder, Booher Consultants Inc.

Workplace training seminar set for Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska chapter of the American Society for Training and Development is offering its signature educational program, The Trainer’s Institute, May 17-21 in Omaha. The weeklong program is designed to help work force learning and performance professionals. Those are the trainers, coaches, and consultants who help people do their jobs well. Trainer’s Institute will be held in the Executive Centre Building of Children’s Hospital.

Walt McFarland Named Chair-Elect of ASTD Board of Directors

Walt McFarland, Founder of Windmill Human Performance, LLC, and former executive at Booz Allen Hamilton, will serve as the 2012 Chair-Elect of the ASTD Board of Directors and will assume the role of Board Chair in 2013. Mr. McFarland created Windmill Human Performance after completing a one year sabbatical during which he studied human and organizational performance, multi-cultural talent management, and organizational change at several institutions and organizations including Oxford and Harvard universities and three Fortune 300 organizations. Prior to taking his sabbatical, Mr. McFarland built a $125 million Human Resource (HR) and Learning consulting business in the federal market for Booz Allen Hamilton. He has consulted for the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Department of Defense, and National Institutes of Health among others. Prior to joining Booz Allen, Mr. McFarland led the HR and Change Management business of Hay Management Consultants where his clients included the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Marriott, and the Federal Reserve System. He served as an employee of the Federal Government, with his last role as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

Talent Mgmt Strategies in Recession and Recovery

Providence, RI ( PRWEB) March 17, 2009 — HR Technology Solutions, the developer of the HRToolbench online suite of HR applications designed specifically for small and mid-sized organizations, has announced the release of a white paper titled, “The Day After Tomorrow: What steps should you take to prepare your company and its talent management practices for the inevitable economic upturn?” This white paper provides guidance and direction for business owners, executives and human resource professionals who are seeking talent management solutions suitable both for a difficult economy today and improved prospects tomorrow. “Many business leaders are wondering what initiatives they should work on today to guarantee future success,” said Robert Levy, president of HR Technology Solutions. “This paper shows them how to develop an effective talent management strategy that meets their workforce needs during a recession and gives them a competitive edge when tomorrow’s recovery comes.” With insight from leading human resources practitioners and consultants, this paper discusses how development of competencies should be the basis for any talent management initiative, and drafting comprehensive job descriptions based on competencies will prepare a business to meet its current and future talent needs, among other advantages. This paper discusses how to build that strategy, including: ( Read the entire release on PRWeb.)

Strategic Hiring: Are You Hiring Gunslingers?

Scott Brennan explains how a strategic hiring process that looks at developing internal candidates may be better for the long-term success of your team than always turning to outside consultants.

Simword of the Day: Genre – Virtual Experience Space

Welcome to another month of Simwords of the Day! Today’s word is Virtual Experience Space. I have argued that there are four types of “common” simulations out there today, branching stories, interactive spreadsheets, game-based models, and virtual labs. One emerging type of simulation genre is Virtual Experience Space. Students in traditional role plays often explore some created experience space as input to their work. This space is defined though prop documents handed out over the course of the role play, and interactions with people, including the instructor, playing assigned roles. Now, using relatively commonplace web technology, instructors can create fictitious, scalable situations using large, hypertexted, multimedia repositories for students to explore. The media can include emails, video interviews with the CEO or other clips, and PowerPoint presentations, all accessed through a common portal (or portals if there are multiple teams). Furthermore, only certain links in the repository can be open at the start of the role play. Then new links could open up based on different types of triggers. By accessing this type of space, consultants can learn enough to create recommendations, projects, and plans, even hooking up ficticious characters, that can then be evaluated by real-humans for anything from evacuation plans to new web sites to IT infrastructure to strategic plans.

Seattle to invest $800K in developing transportation dept. workers

(From the Seattle Times) “Dysfunction at the city’s transportation department will cost taxpayers at least $805,000 in consultants, investigations and payouts to employees, but the mayor’s office said Wednesday that the money will be well spent if it improves the department’s performance.” ( Read the entire article.)

Schools hate businesses, businesses hate schools

As a gross generalization, schools hate business and businesses hate schools. Let me defend that: Schools hate business 1. Many academics view any skills that empowers an individual outside of academics as either “vocational” or “turning students into drones of capitalistic societies.” (Yet they have no problem rewarding skills that turn students into drones of academic environments.) I mention teaching subjects like “project management”and”solutions sales” to teachers and they recoil. 2. Professors are even encouraged to downplay their consulting to corporations. Even in b-school environment, what consulting is done, according the school mythology, is prostitution, a pursuit of lucre at the expense of integrity, unless it is done at the board level of a Fortune 500 company. 3. A lot of academics smile when the stock market dives, vindication of both their world view and their own personal career choice. Businesses hate schools 1. Businesses rail against classrooms, even their own training classes. Corporate people love to complain about training classes. “Classes don’t work!” “Training doesn’t teach anything.” “No one ever learned anything of important in a classroom.” Many training books and training professionals love quoting high profile individuals (such as CEO’s or brand-name consultants) hacking at classrooms, thinking “beyond the classroom.” If you listened to all of them talk, you would assume that employees are spending half of the lives trapped in basement lectures. Most people spend less time in classes than they spend waiting in line at their organization’s cafeteria. It reminds me a bit of the supporters of the a flag burning amendment. I wish people wouldn’t burn the American flag as much as anyone, but as far as I can tell, there is just not an epidemic of flag burning. And there sure is no epidemic of too much classroom training. The railing is really just posturing. 2. Business people love talking about academic reform. But when a company is performing sub-par, business people don’t talk about Xerox reform or corporate reform. They talk about change management, growth, and re-invention. They talk about “taking a short-term profit hit” to “restructure.” 3. Even amonst the corporations that do the most training, I have never seen a business sponsor an internal remedial history class, or art class, or literature class, or any kind of liberal arts experience. They say they respect it on a resume, but if you don’t arrive with it, they are sure not going to give it to you. 4. And businesses fight hard for tax breaks, which come out of school pockets. All with a big smile But both sides hide their animosity reasonably well. The development side of schools want donations from businesses. They talk to parents about preparing students for the future. Businesses want to appear helpful and benevolent and part of the community. It is only after the love-fest meetings and PR events do the real feelings emerge. And I believe the friction, the misalignment, this cold war between these two hurts students, hurts our GDP and standard of living, hurts schools, and hurts business. The Hope of T+D In our profession, literally of the people reading this blog, lies either the opportunity to bring these two worlds together, or to create a bigger wedge to push them apart. It is an opportunity (and yes, responsibility) that I hope we all consider as we present our ideas, shape our strategies, postore, define ourselves, and invest in and execute our plans.

Practical Approaches to Leadership Development from 48 Experts

The ASTD Leadership Handbook is an exciting compilation of insights, ideas, and tools that will enable individuals, teams, and organizations to develop their leadership capabilities. This book sets itself apart in a crowded field by emphasizing leadership development and providing practical approaches to this crucial need. Elaine Biech, the trainer’s trainer, edited this substantial – yet practical – collection that contains the wisdom, philosophies, and tools of 48 leadership experts. The ASTD Leadership Handbook presents five major sections: Leadership Competencies, Leadership Development, Attributes of Successful Leaders, Contemporary Leadership Challenge, and a broader view of the leadership discussion. The list of contributing authors reads like a “Who’s Who of Leadership Gurus” and includes such greats as Jim Collins, Len Goodstein, Frances Hesselbein, Jim Kouzes, Cynthia McCauley, Jack Zenger, and many more. The accompanying website provides a wealth of more than 30 ready-to-apply tools like John Kotter’s eight-step process for managing change, Ken Blanchard’s ethics check, and Marshall Goldsmith’s mini-survey for coaching leaders. The ASTD Leadership Handbook gives readers all the insights and applications they need to thoroughly understand and practice its principles, guided by the most respected authorities on the subject. Visit the ASTD store to order your copy. The ASTD Leadership Handbook is co-published by ASTD and Berrett-Koehler Publishers. About Elaine Biech Elaine Biech is president and managing principal of ebb associates inc., an organization development firm that helps business, government, and nongovernment organizations work through large scale change. Known as the trainer’s trainer, she custom designs training programs for managers, leaders, trainers, and consultants. Biech has been in the training and consulting field for 30 years and is the author and editor of more than fifty books. She has been featured in dozens of publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Fortune magazine

New Zealand: New subsidy to boost workplace productivity

(From The National Business Review) — The government has announced a fresh initiative to boost workplace productivity. The new ‘High Performance Working’ initiative will provide a pool of $1m per year to fund a network of specialist business consultants, who will work with businesses to promote more effective use of time and skills in the workplace. “Achieving greater employee engagement and developing sound workplace practices is crucial to growing a successful business,” Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson said in a release today. It is expected that about 70 firms per year will receive between $10,000 – $15,000 in consultant services under the new scheme, which is designed to complement New Zealand Trade and Enterprises’s new training and development voucher programme. Read more.

New Survey from Krauthammer: Around 80% of businesses feel resistant to current difficult business climate

KRAUTHAMMER | London, UK 80% of international businesses feel relatively resistant when it comes to the worsening business climate. 55% will defend their investments in ‘behavioural development’ programmes in areas such as leadership, management and sales. On the downside, 20% say that they will cut their budgets. This and other findings are the results of a probe conducted by Krauthammer in late Autumn 2008. 34% of the respondents forecast a poor business climate for 2009. Around 20% believe they have “low resistance” to a difficult business climate and are planning to cut their behavioural development budgets in line with their predictions. However, over twice as many – 55% – feel resistant – and 42% even plan to raise development budgets. “The news is mixed. The most positive signal we can distill from our probe is that companies will prioritise initiatives with a real and measurable impact. So consultants that excel in sophisticated forms of body-shopping will probably be hit as hard as temporary personnel providers”, comments Ronald Meijers, Co-chairman of the Board of Krauthammer. *) body shopping typically implies filling temporary competence gaps rather than structurally improving a company’s performance. The respondents will defend training and coaching more vigorously than they will consulting. And as many CEOs admit their difficulties in predicting results for 2009, leadership training will be most defended – by 53% of respondents, followed by sales training (47%) and management training (42%). Crossfunctional training such as IT- and language skills will be least defended, the probe suggests. When it comes to coaching, too – leadership, management and sales coaching will be most defended. Overall, training seems less vulnerable than coaching – training will be cut by fewer numbers of people than its coaching equivalents. According to the probe, consulting budgets will be defended by around a third of businesses. Least popular, the probe suggests, will be consulting in “hard issues” such as strategies, operations and structures – only 19% of the respondents would defend it. A combination of “soft” and “hard” issues such as sales effectiveness will be most resilient of consulting propositions – 33% of respondents say they will protect budgets in this area. Nick Girling Senior Consultant, Office Leader UK, Krauthammer Tel: +44 20 8770 7200 Mobile: +44 7900 5648 79 E-mail: nick.girling@krauthammer.com Coaching, consulting and training company Krauthammer assists clients worldwide in successfully uniting permanent people development and sustainable business performance. It offers major change implementation and human capital development programmes at the individual, team and corporate levels optimising the personal effectiveness of leaders and managers, salespeople and negotiators, trainers, coaches, consultants and support staff. Established in 1971, Krauthammer International has 300 consultants and employees, delivering services in over 50 countries, in 15 languages. International consistency and the ongoing professional development of the consultants are ensured by four annual Krauthammer University sessions where every consultant spends between 2 and 3 weeks per year. www.krauthammer.com

Learning Path: Consulting Basics

Learning Path: Consulting BasicsConsultants use expertise, influence, and personal skills to facilitate a client-requested change. Sometimes consultants are external to an organization, and sometimes staff members serve a consultative role for their own organization. Whether internal or external, consultants need considerable relationship-building skills to help enact change. Here are some of the top resources on the basics of consulting skills:1. Consulting Basics (Book) by Joel Gendelman 2. The 4 Core Principles of Performance Consulting (Video) by Joe Willmore 3. Top 5 Consulting Skills Trainers Should Learn (Insight) by Jennifer Stanford 4. What Are the Common Mistakes New Performance Consultants Make? (Video) by Ethan Sanders 5. Consulting on the Inside (Book) by Beverly Scott and B. Kim Barnes

India’s Next Global Export: Innovation

(BusinessWeek)–On a November afternoon, a dozen executives from companies including investment banks Rothschild and Goldman Sachs (GS) and tech research firm Gartner (IT) ringed a conference table in a brownstone on New York’s Upper East Side. They were there to learn how U.S. businesses could develop products more cheaply and quickly by borrowing strategies from India. Speaker Navi Radjou, who heads the recently formed Centre for India & Global Business at England’s Cambridge University, summed up his advice in one word: jugaad. A Hindi slang word, jugaad (pronounced “joo-gaardh”) translates to an improvisational style of innovation that’s driven by scarce resources and attention to a customer’s immediate needs, not their lifestyle wants. It captures how Tata Group, Infosys Technologies (INFY), and other Indian corporations have gained international stature. The term seems likely to enter the lexicon of management consultants, mingling with Six Sigma, total quality, lean, and kaizen, the Japanese term for continuous improvement. Like previous management concepts, Indian-style innovation could be a fad. Moreover, because jugaad essentially means inexpensive invention on the fly, it can imply cutting corners, disregarding safety, or providing shoddy service. ” Jugaad means ‘Somehow, get it done,’ even if it involves corruption,” cautions M.S. Krishnan, a Ross business school professor. “Companies have to be careful. They have to pursue jugaad with regulations and ethics in mind.” Read the full article.

Helping Chapters Thrive

During this economically challenging time, ASTD chapters are looking for ways to remain relevant, cut costs, and attract and retain their members. The ASTD Chapter Services Department, along with the National Advisors for Chapters, have created a guidebook of tips to help chapters to not only survive, but thrive in the current economic climate. The guide includes ideas for chapters related to membership, programming, marketing, finances, and staying relevant. Many of the tips are best practices from chapters who have found success with them. For example, the Midlands Chapter (in Columbia, SC) offers a free guest pass on its website for a visitor to attend a monthly meeting, which then often leads to return guests and new members. In another example, several Chapters are offering Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for targeted gatherings. These SIGs allow members with common interests, such as consultants, those in career transition, or those new to training, to connect together. We expect this guide to be a living document, with additional ideas to be added regularly. Let us hear from you! A link to the full Economic Survival Guide for Chapters can be found on the Chapter Leader Community website.

Fifty-three percent of U.S. Employers Deploy Green Programs in the Workplace

(From Business Wire) — Going “green” in the workplace can lead to more green in the bank according to a new survey released today from Buck Consultants, an independent subsidiary of ACS, A Xerox Company. The survey showed that the number of U.S. employers with formal “green workplace” programs rose significantly last year with many organizations reporting cost savings from reduced use of paper and electricity. Buck’s second annual “Greening of the American Workplace 2009” survey showed 53 percent of employers have green programs in place, an increase from 43 percent last year. Among the organizations that have a formal green program, more than half have implemented the following offerings: Read more.

Dubai: Human resources conference attracts more than 30 world’s best speakers in strategy and expertise

(From Zawya.com) — The International Human Resources Conference and Exhibition (IHRC 2011), hosted by the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR), will bring more than 30 world’s best known thought leaders and innovators in human resource development and organisational reforms to the UAE. The conference and exhibition, to be held in Dubai from Jan. 19 to 20, will set the stage for a global exchange of knowledge and ideas on integrating efficient HR management into the strategic plans and policies of governments and organisations across the world. Over 300 HR practitioners, heads of states, and experts are expected to attend IHRC 2011, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Speakers at the conference will analyse regional and international trends and challenges in education, job creation and talent management, linking the debates to the central theme of the conference, “Human Resources: the Sustainable Capital for the New Era.” The conference has already attracted academics, strategists, trainers and consultants from world-leading centres of excellence in knowledge, innovations, leadership and management and from trend-setting public and private sector organisations worldwide. Read more.

DesignJot, the First iPad App for Instructional Designers

(From Business Wire) — Allen Communication Learning Services is proud to announce the release of DesignJot, the first app made specifically for training professionals and instructional designers, now available for download at the iTunes store. DesignJot is an innovative new tool for the iPad that will help new and seasoned instructional designers, trainers and performance consultants build better training by sharpening the collaboration between designers and stakeholders. “This new app will revolutionize how the foundation is laid for new training courses,” said Ron Zamir, CEO of Allen Communication. “By using this single tool, training development professionals will have all they need to complete a rapid needs analysis and export a high-level course design for an impactful training solution at their fingertips. All this, coupled with the go-anywhere convenience of the iPad, makes this tool truly revolutionary.” Read more.

Changing the Assessment Industry FOREVER: EQ-i 2.0 Launch Events

BIG STATEMENT? IT SURE IS. How do we know? We talked to over 700 consultants, coaches and HR professionalspeople just like you. They told us what they wanted and we listened. Introducing the new EQ-i 2.0 Experience-making you the authority in emotional intelligence. BE AMONG THE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE THE NEW EQ-i 2.0 For an exclusive sneak peek, be among the first to experience the new EQ-i 2.0 at a prelaunch event near you. Please book early as space is limited. Find more information, or to sign up, go to: www.mhs.com/LaunchEvents

Businesses Look to Wellness Programs to Improve Productivity and Lower Absenteeism

New York (PRWEB) — Improving productivity by keeping employees healthy and working is emerging as the top business objective for employer-sponsored wellness programs around the world. The two exceptions are the United States, where reducing health care cost increases overwhelmingly continues to be the top goal, and Asia, where the most important objective is improving workforce morale. These are among the latest trends identified by Buck Consultants’ third annual global wellness survey, “WORKING WELL: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies,” released today. The survey analyzed responses from more than 1,100 organizations representing 10 million employees in 45 countries. “The heightened global focus on improving productivity is a significant trend,” said Barry Hall, a Buck principal who directed the survey. “Business leaders around the world are increasingly recognizing the financial value of healthier workers and the need to better engage employees in reducing their health risks.” Stress is consistently cited as the top health risk driving wellness programs in all areas of the world, except for the United States and Latin America, where lack of exercise and poor nutrition are of top concern. “Employers in the United States and Latin America seem to lag behind the rest of the world in addressing stress and its related conditions such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue,” said Hall. “These are among the most significant drivers of productivity loss and absenteeism, as well as increased health care costs.” Read the full release.

Blogs as knowledge management

Blogs are knowledge objects that can make bottom-up (i.e. useful) knowledge management a reality. As you may be aware, I’ve become a champion of using Web 2.0 technology to upgrade corporate learning and performance. In his Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization (JOHO}, David Weinberger describes the role of blogs inside corporations: Doesn’t this make more sense than paying consultants to install some humongous KM system that nobody uses? Shouldn’t we be capturing the know-how of front-line workers who actually know how? Why aren’t more organizations getting on board with this? jay

Be a Leader of Change! Resistance is Futile.

Facilitating Change is a World Class Sales Competency that needs attention! This subject is so COMPLEX and CHAOTIC that it is very difficult to explain, manage or measure. As a Trainer, it is critical now for you to be able to understand how change affects your company and is reflected in your training. Let’s keep this SIMPLE! Your company is most likely affected by harder economic conditions today and will be driven to improve efficiency, productivity, and service quality. The training methods and outcomes you present to your employees will be a measuring stick for these improvement changes.Change happens CONSTANTLY and you must be able to ADAPT to it. Business Change – Sales Training In Sales Training, be sensitive to teach your team about the size and scale of any management decision. – small to large – and how it affects operation, sector, location, history, and employee population. Change is about moving an organization from a current position to a future condition, for the purpose of marketplace strategy and employee workplace performance alignment. Evaluating sales and marketing change strategies can be done by looking at other company case studies and ROI analysis. But, beware! “Tested” sales strategies and implementations that have been tried before by other organizations may not be the best one for your company or for your team to experience! Also, be careful to look at the effects of bringing in other Subject Matter Experts or Consultants who have had successful outcomes using “tried and true” methodologies that have worked for them in the past. These too may not work in your particular organization. Make sure that the new change initiative is a process to be facilitated rather than a plan that can be dictated to the employees The People vs. YOU! Facilitating change through people is very TOUGH because people are TOUGH and generally RESISTANT to anything that is different than what they are used to – especially if they have created a habit or routine that seemingly makes their life easier. People are more reactive than proactive and changing anything in their world (personal or work environment) can be confusing to deal with! However, through honesty and being straightforward about your change strategy, you can break through any resistance that people give you. The TRUTH will always set you free, even in business where money seems to be king over the people. Nothing could be farther from the truth! You cannot run a business without the power of people. The love of people is the root of successful business in sales! If there is a change initiative approaching where people are involved, brace yourself for the resistance. You can guarantee that too many opinions will be involved! So, like the good Boy Scout or Brownie, “Be Prepared” to brace yourself emotionally and intellectually for the upcoming change challenges presented in front of you. People present problems all the time at the top, middle or bottom of any organization – that will need to be dealt with if the company is to succeed overall. Many organizational studies say that the best change efforts are better left to employee engagement and creative teams rather than top down leadership. Many change efforts have failed because the company demanded the change process to be handled and controlled by corporate policy and procedure with little or no creative thinking allowed. According to Hank Garber, CEO of National Risk Managers in Long Island, NY, (natlriskmgrsltd@aol.com), one way to engage employees in facilitating organizational change is to “make your employees your partners in the process of change”. He also states that you can gain “greater and more effective communication- internal & external- by working to create a sales orientation that permeates every part of a business, leading to increased revenue, client retention, and loyalty by customers and employees. The focus of change should be for the betterment of everyone in the organization as it relates to increase business results that sustain organizational growth.

ASTD Releases 2009 State of the Industry Report

The 2009 State of the Industry Report revealed that workplace learning and performance has withstood the challenges of the difficult economy. Although investment in training was stable in 2008, organizations achieved positive outcomes and successfully contributed to their employees’ development with more formal learning opportunities while using fewer resources. Although many organizations were forced to cut costs wherever possible, workplace learning and performance did not suffer disproportionately to any significant degree. Investment in employee learning and development remained steady through the end of 2008. Although the average annual learning expenditure per employee fell from $1,110 in 2007 to $1,068 in 2008 – a 3.8 percent decrease – it was not large by any means. The commitment to learning is also evident from the figure for average learning expenditure as a percentage of payroll: it increased from 2.15 percent in 2007 to 2.24 percent in 2008. Another consistent trend is decreased spending on outsourcing to external services such as consultants, workshops, and training sessions. Since 2004, organizations have relied less on outsourcing each year. The average percentage of the learning budget allocated to external services was 22.0 percent in 2008, down from 25.2 percent the previous year. Instead, organizations are relying on internal resources for their workplace learning and performance initiatives more than in the past. The average percentage of learning expenditure dedicated to internal resources was 66.1 percent in 2008. Learning professionals successfully found ways to manage learning content while cutting costs in 2008. Learning departments were serving a larger constituency than in the past: the average number of employees per learning staff member was 253 in 2008, up from 227 in 2007. On average, there were 353 hours of formal learning content made available per WLP staff member. Additionally, the average cost per learning hour available decreased 8.0 percent: from $1,660 in 2007 to $1,528 in 2008. Source: ASTD 2009State of the Industry Report Click here to learn more about ASTD Research.

ASTD Press releases new book that promises excellence in internal consulting!

“I don’t get no respect” could be a catchphrase for an internal consultant-but not anymore. A few days ago, ASTD Press published Consulting on the Inside, 2nd edition, and once internal consultants get their hands on this book and start applying its lessons, they will get respect in spades. How are internal consultants different from externals? Well, let’s look at external consultants first. The external consultant-often perceived as having a lot of expertise, experience, and credibility-is brought in by senior executives to “facilitate a client-requested change without having the formal authority to implement the recommended actions.” He or she is often viewed as an objective outsider, someone who has a lot of broad business experience and knows all the latest and greatest business thinking. Often he or she is viewed as a hotshot who is trusted by the executive team to fix an organizational problem. Internals, however, sometimes seem to lack credibility and aren’t taken seriously. They can be viewed as having an agenda, as not being objective. Also, they lack the broad business exposure that external consultants gain as part of their everyday work. However, internal consultants do some advantages externals don’t have: They have deep knowledge of the organization-its culture, its lingo, its history, the ways things are done-which can give them an edge in getting projects off the ground because they know who to talk to and how to make things happen. In Consulting on the Inside, 2nd edition, Beverly Scott and B. Kim Barnes provide all that an internal consultant could need to leverage their advantages and minimize their disadvantages. The book provides an eight-phase consulting model that allows for the often nonlinear and iterative nature of the internal consulting process. One of the new additions to this second addition is a section devoted entirely to the interpersonal skills that are required for success in internal consulting (and in business in general). The skills that B. Kim Barnes brings her considerable experience and in-depth knowledge to include influence, negotiation, innovation, change, and team effectiveness. And finally one the real values of the book are the tools provided both in the hard copy and on the web. These include meeting agendas, self-assessments, processes, models, flowcharts, and more. So read the sample chapter at the Consulting on the Inside webpage, pick up a copy, and get some respect!

ASTD Archived Image of the Day: Performance Feedback and Appraisal, Circa 1978

This image appeared in the Consultants’ Showcase column in the January 1978 Training and Development Journal. PerforMax, created by DDI, provided supervisors with the five skill necessary to give immediate feedback to outstanding, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory workers. What tools do you use to teach feedback skills? How do you effectively manage employee performance in your organizations? For more information about T+D magazine, visit www.astd.org/td.

6 White-Collar Jobs to Benefit from Stimulus

Sunnyvale, CA ( PRWEB) March 3, 2009 — President Obama says the massive stimulus package he recently signed into law will create or save 3.5 million American jobs. Republicans say that number will be less — but all agree that new jobs, including at the manager and executive levels, will be created as a result of the $800 billion legislation. So, if you’re out of work or concerned that you might be laid off by your current employer, is there a stimulus job out there for you? “For most jobseekers, the answer will depend on how well the stimulus plan works,” says Sanjay Sathe, founder and CEO of RiseSmart, the $100K+ job search site and HR service provider. “Initially, many of the jobs created will go to blue-collar workers (such as construction workers), public-sector employees (such as teachers), and those experienced in working with government entities (such as IT pros with government security clearances). “Ultimately, however, the stimulus plan’s backers predict that 90 percent of the jobs created will be in the private sector. This projection is based on the belief that the economic activity generated by the stimulus will lead to new jobs in retail, leisure and hospitality, and other sectors as companies and individuals who directly benefit from the plan begin to spend their windfall.” No matter how well the plan succeeds, Sathe says, it’s safe to conclude that the following six white-collar occupations should see an upsurge in demand over the next two years: 1. Urban planners. “As state and local governments quickly determine how best to use the billions of dollars flowing in from the federal government, they will rely on urban planners to guide them on everything from the best location for new school construction to the environmental impact of infrastructure projects,” Sathe says. “Although more than 60 percent of planners currently work for government entities, an increasing number are employed at architectural, engineering and management consulting firms.” 2. Civil engineers. “After the planning comes the design and construction. Thousands of civil engineers will be needed to design and supervise the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, wind turbines and other projects that get a green light as a result of the stimulus package. The government employs about 12 percent of the nation’s engineers; the rest work in private industry. Civil engineering was experiencing double-digit employment growth even before the passage of the stimulus.” 3. Computer systems analysts. “Improving the technology infrastructure of schools, hospitals and medical offices is an important objective of the stimulus. IT pros will be needed at all levels, for jobs ranging from wiring buildings for Internet access to transitioning the healthcare system to electronic medical records and e-prescriptions,” says Sathe. 4. Medical researchers. “With billions of dollars being funneled to the National Institutes of Health and President Obama prioritizing a ‘cure for cancer in our time,’ the stimulus represents a boon for medical researchers. About a third of medical researchers work for colleges and universities; most of the rest work at private research firms, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals.” 5. Management consultants. “When making complex decisions with big money, corporate and government leaders tend to get sweaty palms — and that’s where management consultants come in,” Sathe says. “Consultants can bring the expertise to analyze vexing problems and develop sweeping, ambitious proposals to solve them. And if something doesn’t turn out as planned, the politicians and execs have someone to point their fingers at when it’s all over.” 6. Auditors. “With so much federal money flowing into so many hands so quickly, there will be a significant need for oversight. Some experts predict that the government may need to hire auditors for its auditors. At the federal, state and local levels, accountants and auditors will be required to make sure the numbers add up,” says Sathe. ( Read the entire release.)

3 Ways to Beat Technology Challenges with the Sales Team

Many sociologists have tracked the evolution of industrialized societies. One key trend these sociologists often discuss is the definitive impact of new technologies on these civilizations. Since the dawn of times, technological changes such as fire, the wheel, farming, the cotton gin, steel, and automobiles have led to rapid advances in quality of life for individuals. While these advances have translated into huge gains for civilization they have become so mainstream the impact these advances have are long forgotten. A more recent technological advancement has also had a huge impact on society. Advances in information technology and the Internet are still being felt, not only on consumers and individuals, but also within sales teams trying to cope with the rapidly evolving set of knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to fully harness the dearth of knowledge and information created. Needless to say, salesperson competency has been buffeted by technology in multiple ways. First, salespeople are no longer the gatekeepers of information about products and services. Buyers arm themselves with information long before the sales call ever occurs. They have access to buying consultants, automatic replenishment systems, decision making models, and customer reviews of products and services. Buyers hold fewer inventories, want just-in-time inventory, and embrace systematic purchasing. Second, salespeople are also called upon increasingly to use technology in their jobs. Hand held devices, mobile computing, instant messaging, social networking, and search engines have revolutionized prospect identification. Customer relationship management systems are intended to help salespeople manage and prioritize their contacts. Selling takes place in new venues and channels. For example, the “click to talk live” feature of many websites blends customer service with telesales in a call-center environment. Selling is also becoming the responsibility of nontraditional sales roles, and companies are cross-training installation, service, product-development, and other staff in sales techniques. While technological advances have shifted the power in the buyer-seller landscape, sales teams have sometimes struggled to keep up. Sales managers and sales trainers have tried to deliver technology into the hands of their sales team and had to improve salesperson skills and knowledge. As a result, sales training needs have evolved at a quicker pace than ever before. Customer Relationship Management software, contact management, email, Internet capabilities, and hand held devices provide more information to today’s salesperson than ever before, yet many salespeople struggle to master the technology (let alone keep up with it). Technology has also helped salespeople stay abreast of product changes, customer changes and market changes. Unfortunately, many sales team members have so much information at their finger tips they have trouble retrieving it quickly. However, where technology has created many challenges to sale team performance, technology has also provided help. Use of technology in sales training has exploded with the advent of podcasting, video-on-demand, and virtual classrooms like second life. Technology has also provided access to new markets and new prospects through online networking tools (such as LinkedIn) and customized search engines that quickly retrieve the most relevant information. Sales portals organize content and provide an easy way to refresh knowledge or brush up on an industry. And learning management systems allow HR professionals and training professionals to customize course content for new and experienced salespeople. With all these technology challenges facing sales teams, how can sales managers and sales trainers help? The following recommendations are given: RECOMMENDATION 1: understand that technology is not an enabler; it’s now the status-quo. Many organizations implement technology for the sake of technology without understanding the impact to the sales team. More importantly, companies can negate technology roll-outs by not focusing on helping sales teams deliver value, in the eyes of the buyer. Since so many buyers use technology daily, sales teams are expected to use technology in a transparent way. It’s now something like breathing. Everyone does it. However, not every company can leverage technology to align to the customer, streamline communication, and facilitate an exchange of value. RECOMMENDATION 2: realize that one technology platform or tool doesn’t solve every single challenge faced by the sales team. While some technologies help sales team members serve the customer better, others can actually bog down processes or stifle the creativity needed to truly customize the buyer experience. RECOMMENDATION 3: realize that bad processes are not helped by technology. Many companies fail to realize that poorly aligned processes and poor policies can impact the buyer-seller relationship more than the use of technology. When these processes and policies are facilitated by technology, the organization just become “better” at getting in its own way.

Training vs. Performance Consulting (Part 2): The Analysis Focus

Description: The types of analysis and assessments that trainers and performance consultants use have many differences. In part two of this four-part podcast series, Joe Willmore expands upon those differences and helps us understand why a performanc

Proactive Learning

Clarkston consultants are encouraged to seek out their own professional development to become trusted advisers to their clients.

Learnings Earnings

May:
Compensation disparities between genders, big-money areas of expertise, and top dollar for consultants are chief among the key findings of ASTD’s 2008 Salary Survey.

Writing Winning Proposals

Writing proposals is the lifeblood of many organizations, individual performers, and consultants. This Infoline issue provides a six-step process to help you write proposals that get results. You will find help with overcoming common obstacles to create a more compelling case for your ideas. Tips are provided for conquering writers block and using consistent style and language with special hints for trainers.

Using Consulting Systems

Discover how to initiate and develop relationships with prospective clients. This issue shows how the organizational systems model is an analytical tool to help consultants gain a holistic view of issues and problems. Problem-solving tools simplify developing alternative solutions, and help clients choose the best one for their particular circumstances.

Outsourcing Training

Outsourcing training is a business reality, but success does not begin and end with giving the work or project to a suitable vendor. This issue will show you how to use outsourcing as a strategic advantage, and to proactively address the many potential challenges of working with external or internal experts or consultants. The issue covers generally accepted contracting costs, typical elements of a consulting contract, and the process for determining which vendor would make the best fit.

From Training To Performance Consulting

Reinventing your training department into a performance consulting department requires a roadmap. This Infoline is your quick and dirty guide. Not only does the issue give you the basics of performance consulting, but it provides detailed descriptions of the responsibilities, duties, and competencies expected of new performance consultants. Your roadmap for change also includes advice on how to make the transition successful by following a carefully crafted transition plan. Author: Madelyn Callahan
Product SKU: 259702 ISBN: 978-1-56286-209-1
Pages: 16 pages Publisher: ASTD Press
Format: Booklet

The Complete Guide to Building and Growing a Talent Development Firm

Position your consultancy for longevity and growth. “How do I position a talent development business for lasting success?” is a question Stephen L. Cohen fields regularly. In his practice, he hears it posed countless times in countless ways by independent consultants, corporate executives, and training suppliers alike. Cohen fills The Complete Guide to Building and Growing a Talent Development Firm with answers. And it is why he has organized this guidebook by key milestones for establishing a successful consultancy—one specifically focused on content, delivery, and instruction. Whether you want to start your own firm or take the next steps to grow, Cohen has been in your shoes. In his 40-year career in talent development, a deep understanding of industry best practices—and their nuances—has guided his many efforts to found, expand, merge, and even sell thriving talent development firms. Delve into timeless lessons for getting your talent development firm off the ground and start moving your business forward. You’ll find sage advice on overcoming barriers to success and tips for handling potential industry disruptions. Learn to: Build a consultancy that survives and thrives the tests of time.

The 2006 ASTD Training & Performance Sourcebook

The 2006 ASTD Training and Performance Sourcebook, edited by training guru Dr. Mel Silberman, draws on the knowledge and expertise of today’s best trainers and consultants. In this one comprehensive book, you will find the tools you need in such important areas as e-learning, communication skills, diversity and cross-cultural awareness, performance improvement, and management development.

The 2005 ASTD Training & Performance Sourcebook

The 2005 edition of the ASTD Training and Performance Sourcebook draws on the knowledge and expertise of 42 top-flight trainers and consultants to present a comprehensive toolkit of the best training activities, group learning exercises, assessment instruments, handouts, and other essential guides for todays busy training and performance professional. The tools presented here cover a wide range of topics from e-learning, communication skills, diversity, and management development. The field-tested guide offers fully reproducible tools contained on the accompanying CD-ROM that will enable you to implement the most up-to-date training programs for your clients quickly and efficiently.

The 2005 ASTD Team & Organization Development Sourcebook

The 2005 edition of the ASTD Team and Organization Development Sourcebook draws on the knowledge and expertise 46 top-flight consultants, team developers, and training facilitators. The book presents a comprehensive toolkit of the most important topics facing organizations today, including managing change, launching organizational initiatives, facilitating teams, goal setting and planning, creative problem solving, building cooperation and trust, and team development. The 40 games, exercises, learning activities, assessment instruments, handouts, tip sheets, and implementation guides are all field-tested and available for use on the accompanying CD-ROM to enable you to implement the most up-to-date training programs for your clients quickly and efficiently.

Stories Trainers Tell

Make challenging concepts more memorable, even unforgettable! Telling stories is a powerful way to make a point, especially when the stories are compelling, well-constructed, and poignant. This book captures thought-provoking stories contributed by trainers, nationally known speakers, consultants, business leaders, educators, and professional storytellers that help make challenging ideas and abstract concepts stick.The stories are organized around major organizational development and training themes, such as leadership, diversity, teamwork, performance and coaching, and customer service. Accompanying each story are tips, debriefing questions, key points, and a follow-up activity to maximize its impact and learning potential.

Measuring Return On Investment Vol. 3 (In Action Case Study Series)

Measuring Return on Investment, Volume 3, presents a variety of approaches to evaluating training and performance improvement programs in HRD. Most of the cases focus on evaluation at the ultimate levelROI. Collectively, the cases offer a wide range of settings, methods, techniques, strategies, and approaches. Although most of the programs focus on training and development, others include organization development and performance management. As a group, these cases represent a rich source of information about the strategies of some of the best practitioners, consultants, and researchers in the field.

Lies About Learning (hard cover)

Executives and other high-ranking organizational learning professionals have faced down a barrage of too-good-to-be-true proclamations and pronouncements in recent years. First were the claims that e-learning would soon replace all classroom training, followed closely by the absolute urgent need to install expensive enterprise-wide learning management systems to track and report on this brave new digital learning world. No wonder seasoned learning professionals find themselves a little jaded. Lies About Learning is a frank and entertaining look at where myth and reality diverge in the multi-billion-dollar workplace learning industry. Written by 12 high-level executives from a wide range of industries, Lies about Learning offers a rare insight into the business of organizational learning. From e-learning, to learning management, to leadership programs, to research and the value of consultants, this book exposes the most prevalent myths and offers the counterweight of reality and real world practice. In the end, Lies About Learning provides executives and learning professionals with the tools to ask the right questions and enable them to make learning decisions that are measurable, predictable, and meaningful for the organization.

Developing High-Performance Work Teams, Vol. 2 (In Action Case Study Series)

Have you implemented high-performance work teams in your organization? Volume 2 takes up where Volume 1 left off in presenting an interior view of work teams as they have struggled to become high-performance teams. It is designed for the practitioner who wants to see real-life examples of team implementation. Talent management professionals, frontline managers, supervisors design teams, team members, and consultants will find Developing High-Performance Work Teams, Volume 2 valuable because it covers a wide range of team issues and discusses specific interventions.

Consulting on the Inside, 2nd Edition

Consulting on the Inside, 2nd EditionA hands-on, practical guide for individuals who live and work as internal consultants to organizations.

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Mintzbergs Five Configurations of Strategic Management

This article is part of the series of articles on the famous management expert, Henry Mintzbergs theories of strategy. Many business schools devote considerable time to Mintzberg’s theories because of their appeal and popularity among management consultants.

Logistics Operations in Supply Chain Network

Supply chain Consultants and professionals find it very essential to have knowledge of the operational field and how things work on the ground.

Strategic Management: Core Competency Theory of Strategy

Core Competencies are strengths that each firm has that cannot be copied by others, can be used across the firms markets and products, and add value to the customers. This theory developed by CK Prahalad and Gary Hamel became quite popular with management consultants and managers world over.

Introduction to Management Consulting

It is a management professionals dream come true when they are hired by the management consulting firms. This article provides a bird’s eye-view of what management consulting is and how it differs from investment banking. The key themes in this article are that knowledge is power for the management consultants and therefore, we suggest some strategies that would help management students and professionals to get hired by the consultancies apart from the long hours and the painstaking work that is needed to succeed in this field.

Consultant-Client Relations

This article introduces the conflict between adhering to the professional code of conduct and following ethical norms by the consultants on one hand and the need for personal enrichment as well as power on the other hand. The key theme in this article is that consultants have to follow their conscience instead of going along with the client and aiding them in unethical behavior.

Own the Future: Insights from Recent Research into Strategizing for the Future

This article is based on the recent book on management; own the Future, from the consultants at Boston Consulting Group. This article discusses and analyzes the top ten qualities needed by companies and business leaders of tomorrow if they are to navigate the future and own it instead of merely following it.

Lessons from Cutting Edge Research on Gender Diversity

This article is based on cutting edge research done by the consultants of the reputed consulting firm, McKinsey. This article that draws its findings from this research argues that though the current state of organizational gender diversity leaves a lot to be desired, there is scope for improvement in the future.