Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mass Career Customization

Today marks the publishing of a fantastic new book from Harvard Business School Press - Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace with Today's Nontraditional Workforce. Written by Deloitte execs Cathleen Benko and Anne Weisberg, the book explores how the workforce is changing and provides a framework of options for workers and organizations to adapt to the changing needs of today's workforce.

Benko and Weisberg explore six workforce trends that have shaped the new workforce landscape including:
1. Knowledge Worker Shortfall
2. Changing Family Structures
3. More, Better Educated Women
4. Changing Expectations o Men
5. Gen X and Gen Y
6. Technology

All of these forces have led to a new landscape where workers are changing professions, employers, and even opting out of the workforce.

The publication of this book is extremely timely. For those doing business in Canada, you will have most likely been inundated with the latest Census results, which underscore some of the other demographic changes the nation and workforce is going through. You can access the Stats Canada Census site here.

I'll be blogging more on MCC - Mass Career Customization - in coming weeks, as the book is packed with useful information and implications for the workforce today.

The Chicago Tribune recently featured MCC in an article. You can read the article here here.


Jennifer Britton, CHRP, CPCC, PCC
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer {at} potentialsrealized{dot}com

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Are you drowning in a sea of paper?

I'm pleased to announce that I will be hosting a one hour call with TV host and professional organizer, Hellen Buttigieg, this Wednesday evening (September 19th) from 8-9pm (EST) entitled "Help! I'm drowning in a sea of paper". If you are looking for some quick and practical tips to get your office in order and emerge from the pile of paper that may be hanging around, I hope that you will join us. There is no charge for the call, other than your own long distance charges to the bridgeline.

Click here for more information about the call, and to reserve your spot email -- you'll receive an automatic email with the bridgeline information. We are almost at our capacity of 250 callers for the event, so register quickly.

Hellen and I will also be holding the Get Organized Virtual Retreat later this month - Thursday September 27th and October 4th from 7-10pm (EST). Originally launched in May of this year, this group coaching program will give you practical tips and tools to Get Organized in your home environment. We'll be undertaking hands-on exercises during the 6 hours of the retreat, so you will leave the retreat having made major headway in some of your own personal organizing tasks. Space is limited to 15 and is filling quickly. The cost for the 6 hour retreat, plus a group follow-up call, and a Retreat Manual is $250 US -- a fraction of what it would cost to work individually with Hellen and I. I hope that you will join us!

Sign up for the Get Organized Virtual Retreat and payment is available by PayPal at the website or you can call me this week toll free at 1-866-217-1960 to pay by Visa by phone. Feel free to email me at jennifer{at} if you have any questions. We won't be offering this program again this year.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Employee Engagement Revisited

The concept of employee engagement has been on my mind over the last few days and has passed through a number of conversations I have had with organizations. It's almost been a year since I last blogged on the topic, and obviously is still very pertinent to today's workforce.

For those not familiar with the Gallup Research on Employee engagement, approximately 29% of employees today in the US are actively engaged. These employees are more productive, more profitable, have a better safety record, create stronger customer relationships and stay longer with the company.

Anywhere from 54-56% of employees are not engaged. These are employees that are "checked out" - showing up for work, but really not connecting or contributing significantly to the company's bottom line.

The third category from Gallup's research are the 17% of employees who are actively disengaged. The cost of disengagement to the US economy is $350 Billion dollars a year, a very significant amount. Actively disengaged employees are not just "checked out", but they are the toxic employees, whose dissatisfaction has the possibility of spreading to the rest of the workforce.

You can read my earlier blog posts on employee engagement here. In June, I saw Tom Rath, one of the Gallup Researchers, and experts on the topic of employee engagement speak in Atlanta. It was a great presentation and when I get back to my office next week, I'll follow up with some additional research that it coming out, as well as what organizations can do to boost employee engagement.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer {at}

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Resources for Going and Staying Green

I'm travelling this week on work to the Western Coast of Canada, and on my flight today I came across the mention of a terrific initiative - ZeroFootprint. In fact, travellers with Air Canada can purchase carbon offsets for their flights.

Given my own professional roots in environmental management, and having worked with countries of the Caribbean on climate change issues a few years ago, I am pleased and amazed to see explosive momentum and visibility that climate change and other environmental initiatives are receiving at the moment. It's a very different environment than 10 - 13 years ago. I remember teaching a module on climate change in 1994 at York University for Undergraduate students, and when climate change was seen as a unfounded concept of radical environmentalists. It really does seem that people are now starting to understand and embrace the small changes that they can make on an individual level. It's very encouraging.

Here are some of my favorite environmental educaton initiatives and products right now in Canada:

ZeroFootprint - purchase carbon offsets, and also calculate your ecological/environmental footprint
The Green Shopping Bag from Loblaws - a great deal at 99cents, touted to replace 100 plastic shopping bags. It is amazing to see how the bag is becoming a fashion statement in Toronto. This link will take you to other PC green initiatives
Toronto's Green Box System -- our household has gone from a large bag of garbage a week to a two small shopping bags of garbage every two weeks thanks to the GreenBox system, where everything from diapers to food scraps to dirty papertowels can be diverted from landfill
GreenlivingOnline - great resources

One of the intiatives my business, Potentials Realized, launched back in the summer of 2006 to do our part for the environment has been to move the retreat process to a virtual fora (using telephone conferencing). It might seem a little strange to participate in a retreat without being with people physically, but it is a great option, saving you time and money, and also helping the environment. I'd be happy to speak with you about our upcoming virtual retreats which include:

Get Organized Virtual Retreat (with Professional Organizer and TV Host Hellen Buttigieg): Thursday Sept 27 and October 4 (7-10 pm EST)
Your Balanced Life! Virtual Retreat - Monday October 15 and 22 (7-10pm EST)

Later this fall I will also be holding a Virtual Business Planning Retreat for Small Business Owners, and a new virtual retreat for couples. If you'd like me to send you more information on either of these programs, please feel free to email me and I'll make sure I send info once the dates are confirmed.

What are your favorite "green" products or initiatives right now? Please feel free to comment below.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Six Tips for Back to Work Success

For many of us it’s back to work today, just as kids are back to school. I hope that you had a great summer, and are gearing up for the fall. After spending an almost hedonistic 6 weeks based primarily out of my office in Muskoka, it’s back to work for me here in the city.

I thought that I’d share some back to work tips to get you going for this fall:

1. Keep organized: Chances are that you spent some time over the summer months getting your office back into shape (or maybe your desk is still buried under a mountain of paper). To keep it in the same shape you’ve got it in right now, spend some time keeping it in order every week. A little effort every day, or every week will keep it under control.

2.Take time to plan: Many of you have read my writing on this topic before. I am a strong supporter of daily planning for the day ahead (whether it happens the night before or first thing in the morning). Research shows that 15-20 minutes of planning time daily can save up to 2 hours of unfocused effort. What’s your game plan this week?

3.Set some goals or refresh your acquaintance with your goals: What are the major goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year? What needs to happen to get these accomplished? Spend some time this week pulling out your annual or quarterly goal lists, review them and make modifications as necessary. Are your daily activities moving you closer to your goals? If not, what changes do you need to make? What needs to come more into focus?

4. Bring that summer time feel into work more often: Do you ever notice that the pace of work is really different in the summer? What makes summer special for you? What makes you more productive or effective during the summer? How can you bring more of that “summertime pace” into the fall work days?

5.Unwire, just a bit: Many of you may have experienced the joy of unwiring over the summer from your Blackberry, your email and your voice mail for a short while. I’m not advocating unwiring totally during the work day, but ease back into it gradually. Recent research out of Britain has shown that email management is the number one stressor for workers today. What systems can you put into place to get your email and voice mail under control? How much time do you spend checking email? Could you reduce this and chunk it so that your time between email management becomes more productive?

6. Keep enjoying the things that you did during the summer: The summer pace often allows us to indulge in those things that really matter to us – spending time with friends, family, in nature or at the gym. Just because it’s back to work, do you need to drop all those things at once? What can you do to keep some of these activities you enjoyalive during the fall and winter?

I’d be interested in hearing which of these 6 Tips resonate with you, or what advice you have for Back to Work Success. Please feel free to comment below.

Have a great workweek,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960