Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Great Change Management Resource

Is change in the air for you at your workplace? In your business? In your life?

I've come across a great change management online resource that I wanted to share with you - whether you are a business owner, consultant, manager, staff or individual. The New Change Management Toolbox has an extensive collection of resources (online and offline) for doing work at the individual, team/organization and systems level. You can also connect with others working in the field of change management and contribute to the knowledge base.

I hope that you will check it out!

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Top Book Recommendations for Books this Year

I love books (even though I don’t get enough time to read having a toddler in the house)! These are some of the Top 10+ books I have been recommending to clients this year:

Team Issues:
5 Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
The Relationship Cure - John Gottman
StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Tom Rath

Management/Business Issues
First things First – Stephen Covey
Good to Great – Jim Collins
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
10 Steps to Be a Successful Manager – Lisa Haneberg
Mass Career Customization – Benko, Weisberg

Small Business Building:
Building a Dream – Walter Good
Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi (About Building Relationships)
Get Clients Now! - CJ Hayden

Relationship Issues:
7 Principles for Making Marriage Work - John Gottman

Many of these books are available at the Potentials Realized bookstore I host with Amazon here.

What books have you been reading or have found useful this year for business? What books are on your recommended reading list?

Have a wonderful weekend,

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

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Year End Review and 2008 Visioning - Audio

Every year at this time I send out to my clients a special exercise, to help them reflect on the past year and do some planning and visioning for the year ahead.

This year I am pleased to provide you with a link so you can listen to it:

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I hope that you enjoy it! I know that you will find this useful, whether you are a business owner, manager, virtual team leader or team member.

I'd welcome your comments -- as always, please feel free to comment below.

Warm regards,

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

PS - Stay tuned for a number of special virtual retreat programs to wrap up 2007, and kick off 2008! Space still remains in Tuesday's Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat for Small Business Owners (7-10 pm EST on Dec 11 and 18/07)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Business Owners - 2008 Virtual Planning Retreat

Haven't had the chance to do your business planning for 2008 OR to develop a vision for what you want to create with your business next year?

If you are a business owner who reads my blog you will know my thoughts on how important taking the time to plan for your business really is.

I am pleased to be offereing the 2008 Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat(TM) for Business Owners next month. This is a virtual business planning retreat for small business owners, so you can dedicate time to planning, without having to leave your office. We'll be meeting by phone for an intensive 6 hour planning retreat, held by phone, over the course of two weeks.

So, you get tools to apply immediately to your business and your planning efforts, dedicated space to focus on your business (we meet for 15 minutes of every hour as a group with the rest of the hour spent off line working on individual planning), and the support of a group environment.

Business owners who attend will:
* Develop their vision for 2008 for their business;
* Explore or reconnect with their business values;
* Set their major Business Objectives for 2008;
* Develop a Business RoadMap for 2008;
* Develop their 2008 Marketing Strategy and Plan;
* Develop an operational budget and partnership strategy for 2008.

The Biz Success Virtual Planning Retreat will be of interest to new and seasoned business owners who are committed to conscious, intentional action and planning for their business.

Retreat participants will receive:
* 6 hours of structured retreat time (combination of group work and individual planning time)
* A virtual retreat manual with exercises, tools and templates for their business planning
* A one hour group follow up call in January
* Individual follow up coaching sessions (Gold and Silver packages only)

Space is limited to 12 business owners per session.

Space is still available for the business planning retreat held on:
Tuesday December 11 and 18/07 from 7 - 10 pm (EST)

For more information or to register, please visit the dedicated web page on the program here. You can also email me at info@potentialsrealized.com if you would prefer to pay by Visa (by phone).
Your investment?
Gold Package: $550 for retreat plus 2 hours of follow up 1-1 business coaching
Silver Package: $350 for retreat, materials plus 1 hour of follow-up 1-1 business coaching
Bronze Package: $150 for retreat, materials and recording
It's a win-win for you and your business. Remember for every 10 minutes spent planning, you are going to save at least 2 hours on effort. So imagine the impact of 6 plus hours of dedicated focus on your business planning? I look forward to having you join me!
To your continued business success,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Mobile Workers (M-Workers) Part II

A few weeks ago I did a posting on mobile workers - those professionals who spend at least 10 hours per week away from their office and need to remain connected via technology. I've had some great comments off line from readers who wanted to know more...so here's part two.

Several people have asked, " What are the typical characteristics of an M-Worker?"

Returning again to Cisco's Study "Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce" the study found that mobile workers tend to be:
* Male (Women 67% less likely to be mobile workers than men)
* Those with a degree level education
* Self employed workers are almost twice as likely to be mobile than paid workers -- in part because we need to be, especially when we serve multiple clients

The study even looked at personality characteristics which are dominant in mobile workers, including the need to be an independent decision maker, being a disciplined achiever, and embracing curiosity and exploration. Flexibility and adaptability go hand in hand with the personality of an MWorker (and interestingly the characteristics that I always hired for for many years as a manager).

Another interesting part of the study points to the fact that work-life balance and stress management are key concerns for the mobile workforce. For any of you MWorkers reading this post, how many briefcases/suitcases do you have packed, ready to go by your front door? A few weeks ago, I was joking with a colleague that rather than having a fixation on purses, when I worked as a virtual manager and had staff in 10 countries, my fixation was on briefcases that I could take on and off planes. I certainly know first hand the stress that can be created by living and working on the road. If you are looking for some work-life balance tidbits, I hope that you will jump on over to my Your Balanced Life! blog.

So what are some recommended management approaches for mobile workers? The Cisco study has some great recommendations including some of the more common sense ones (which take on new meaning for M-Workers:
* Providing space for M-Workers to do their job -- so avoid micro-managing
* Aim to understand the context of the M-Workers working world (and their realities)
* Build a high degree of trust with your M-Team
* Ensure that communication is clear, to the point, unambiguous, and delivered at a convenient time
* Reward and recognize M-Workers within the organization (even if they spend more time on the road than at their desk)
and finally, my favourite - invest in team building for your M-Team, ensuring that staff do get to know one another and are able to build relationships with their managers and peers.

I do hope that you will check out the Cisco study -- it's right on the mark and will be of great benefit to any organization with M Workers.

As always - I welcome your comments -- what is your take on M-Workers needs, management strategies and team support? Feel free to comment below or drop me an email.

Have a wonderful week,

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

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Are you an M-Worker (Mobile Worker)?

Are you a mobile worker? IDC predicts that within the next two years one quarter of the global workforce will be mobile workers. Wow!

And what is a mobile worker?

Mobile workers are those who work at least 10 hours per week away from home and from their main place of work, e.g. on business trips, in the field, traveling, or on customers’ premises, and use online computer connections when doing so”
– Electronic Commerce and Telework Trends, 2000

Cisco published an intriguing study earlier this year entitled, “Understanding and Managing the Mobile Workforce” (July 2007).

In it they found that some of the key competencies for mobile workers are:
* Adaptability
* Communication
* Planning
* Organizing and
* Relationship Building

Mobile Working is a trend that is expected to grow. The report also notes that M-Working can enhance productivity, motivation, flexibility and staff retention – key issues facing most organizations today.

How many mobile workers comprise your workforce? What changes in management style are required for managing mobile workers? How are their support needs different than office based employees? What impact do M-Workers have on your team enhancement strategies?

These are some of the issues I’ll be addressing in future blog posts. What are your thoughts on and experiences with M-Workers? As always, please feel free to comment below.

Have a great start to the week,

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

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Who are the connectors in your organization?

Influencing skills play a key role in leadership, virtual team building and also small business growth. I've been reflecting a lot lately on the exponential power of working to effect change by harnessing the power and influence of connectors in organizations.

Connectors are people who are well connected within an organization, whose influence in the informal organization and network is powerful and diverse.

A great example of a connector in my former role as a manager was my assistant. She brought an incredible depth of institutional memory after being in her role for 20 + years, and an even wider network of contacts, allies and colleagues. The success of my work would not have been possible without tapping into her wisdom and having her become an influencer amongst her networks. She never failed to have some imperative contact in her network which opened the door for project success

What's the value of finding connectors in your organization, or organizations you work for?
1. In change intiatives : Ability to transmit information quickly via the connectors to their multilayered networks
2 As influencing skills become an even more important leadership and management trait for teams which are virtual and global, connectors can often bridge the gap between formal chains of command and formal networks.
3. To provide mentoring opportunities for newer staff members, especially if they are not sure if the traditional career development path is for them
4. For small business owners, connectors may often be able to provide an alternative path for approaching an organization you wish to do business with
5. In collaborative, participatory learning initatives, connectors can play a key role in becoming a conduit for information flow and perspectives from different stakeholder groups.

These are just a few -- what role do connectors play in your organization or work you do with organizations? Feel free to comment below.

Have a wonderful start to the week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer(at)potentialsrealized.com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Friday, October 26, 2007

Looking for a tool to boost your virtual team collaboration?

Many of my clients often ask me what is a great software/platform for virtual teams. I’ve recently learned of a great solution which I really want to share with you – Mercury Grove’s Web Groups. It’s an amazing platform!

Originally launched in September of this year, Web Groups provides a collaborative platform for virtual team members to connect and collaborate. Members can share files, share calendars, create lists and create an internal discussion board. Thousands of users globally are taking advantage of this new tool, which you can try for free!

I met with Mercury Grove’s Scott Annan last week and had a delightful conversation about what the platform can do. There’s amazing customer service and support as well! I can’t recommend it enough.

The platform can be used by enterprises, small business and groups of professionals or consultants.

One company that is leveraging the platform is Team Floral.

Here’s an exerpt from a recent newsletter from Mercury Grove about how Team Floral is using the platform:
"TeamFloral is a network of the brightest minds in the floral industry who provide consulting services to flower shop owners. Their services include profit analysis, business coaching, benchmarking data, and business solutions. They provide a unique combination of consulting services and peer collaboration to make each flower shop a success.

Also unique is that TeamFloral delivers 100% of their services remotely through Mercury Grove Web Groups and group conference calls. Members collaborate on discussions and share files online - even their conference calls are recorded and made available through Web Groups. "Web Groups is fabulous." says Sherri Roberson, "Our members use it for the member directory, to post messages, check-in for meetings, and listen to the meetings they miss. We use it every single day."."

Click on over and take a free test drive of Mercury Grove Web Groups right now. What possibilities can you see for your virtual team?

Have a wonderful weekend,

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

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day for the Environment

I've joined over 15,680 other bloggers today for Blog Action Day, a day when bloggers have united to blog on issues related to the environment, in order to raise the awareness of environmental issues.

To regular readers of my blog, you will know that my professional roots are in the environmental sector. Back in 1995 I completed a two years Masters of Environmental Studies degree at a time when the environment was not so fashionable. In fact, I very vividly remember teaching a first year undergraduate environmental studies course which included a one month module on climate change. In those days we were considered "radicals" espousing an incorrect science.

Flash forward to 2007 when climate change has now reached the media mainstream. Just last week the Nobel Peace Prize was given to Al Gore (for his work around climate change including An Inconvenient Truth) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Given my former experience of supporting several across the Caribbean on their climate change policies and legislation, it is very encouraging to see this issue come centerstage for many.

Another encouraging result that the "green" voice is entering the mainstream, are the results of the Green Party of Ontario in last week's Ontario elections. The Green Party had its best results yet receiving 8% of the popular vote. For the first time, the GPO (Green Party of Ontario) put forth candidates in all 100+ ridings. They still hold no seats in the Provincial legislature, but as the popular vote shows they are gaining ground. I hope that their voice will be included in the next election debates and media coverage in four years time!

What are the environmental issues resonating with you these days? Is it conservation at the office? Carpooling? Telecommuting? Recycling more? What action can you take today to lessen your ecological footprint?

Have a wonderful start to the week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer@potentialsrealized.com

Thursday, October 11, 2007

BNet's How to Manage Employees in Remote Locations

I just came across a great article for any readers who are following my posts on virtual teams. Today's business environment is exploding with virtual teams, where employees are managed remotely. As a former virtual team manager myself, I am well aware of the challenges which virtual teams pose, as well as the new management skill sets it requires.

To get a handle on some great tips on how to manage employees in remote locations, or virtual teams, I urge (not just recommend) you to check out Kelly Pate Dwyer's article "How to Manage Employees in Remote Locations". You can find her article on BNET here.

It's a comprehensive article in which she shares a number of super tips including:
1. Build a Strong Team Starting with You
2. Gather the right people
3. Put technology to work
4 Master the Art of Communication
5. Build a Sense of “We”
6. Manage by Results

I really appreciate how the article has placed responsibility on the manager, and also organizational systems needed to enable a virtual team to succeed and thrive. What skills sets do you see as essential for virtual team management? I would welcome your comments.

If you don't read BNet already, it's a fantastic online resource! Check it out.

Have a wonderful week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer@potentialsrealized.com

Monday, October 08, 2007

How To Use Your Website to Disqualify Your Prospects

It's been a few silent weeks for me on the blog, as I have been juggling a number of projects with clients -- a business planning program for entrepreneurs, some corporate work around virtual teams and my regular executive and team coaching client work. I should be here a little more frequently in the coming weeks!

I wanted to share with you yet another great post from Donna Gunter, the Online Biz Resource Queen. I love Donna's writing and information - you can check her out at http://www.onlinebizu.com/.

If you are a small business owner this should be of interest to you:

How to Use Your Website to Disqualify Your Prospects
by Donna Gunter, The Online Biz Resource Queen (TM)

How many hours have you spent this week with prospective clients who are great at draining your time and energy but can't seem to find the money or desire to hire you? I've had my weeks when the number is larger than I'd like to admit. Consequently, several years ago I implemented one strategy that has been my secret weapon in my client cultivation process -- I use my website to disqualify as many prospects as I can.

You may be saying, "What kind of addle-brained strategy is that, anyway?" Simply put, I don't want to work with everyone, as everyone is not my ideal client nor in my target market. A business owner who belonged to the same networking group to which I once belonged was completely flummoxed by what he read on my site. He told me that he had never visited a site in which someone very clearly stated who she was, what she does, and with whom she works. Of course, he thought I was very foolish to be so rigid and turn away clients and "leave money on the table." I confidently told him that I didn't mind leaving money on the table, as there was more than enough to go around. He didn't get it then, and probably doesn't to this day.

Deciding to use your website to disqualify prospects is a very liberating experience. Without a doubt, it shows the world that you know and understand your target market, and that target market feels right at home when visiting your site. Those who don't feel at home leave and find another provider who is a better fit for them. When you disqualify prospects, you:
1. eliminate the tire kickers who have no intention of ever hiring you;
2. create customers who call and say, "When can we get started?" rather than have to be sold on the merits of your service;
and3. decrease the number of information collectors who only want to take your time and energy and, and when they have sucked you dry, move on to the next victim.

To best disqualify prospects, I believe that full transparency about your business is key. When a prospect visits your website, she should fully understand all that there is to know about doing business with you, and have no questions about how you work with clients.

Here are 8 pieces of information that you can include on your website to make doing business with you as seamless, transparent, and easy as possible:
1. Target market. Who comprises your target market? What gender are they? Where do they live? How old are they? How much money do they make? What do they do for a living? Where do they hang out on- and offline? To what civic and professional groups do they belong? Use as many adjectives as you can brainstorm to describe them. If you can actually visualize this group of people in your head (and personally know people who fit this description), then you've got an accurate portrait of your target market. Describe your target market in enough detail on your site so that members of your target market recognize themselves when they arrive at your website.
2. Ideal client. What are the characteristics of the clients with whom you most enjoy working? What are their beliefs? What values do they hold dear? What industries are they in? What are the traits and qualities of great colleagues/bosses/friends that made them enjoyable to work with or be around? Are there foundational issues that need to be in place before someone is ready to work with you? Sometimes it's easiest to generate this list by thinking of the traits of your nightmare clients. This strategy isn't always foolproof, as many prospects can't objectively judge themselves (i.e. they refer to themselves as "totally involved" in a project when most people might experience that as "micromanaging").
3. Know their problems. What keeps your clients up at night and causes them great anxiety and stress? What are the reasons that they seek your assistance? If you need to get a better understanding of the problems of your target market, set up 30-minute interviews over coffee or over the phone with people who fit your ideal client profile and ask them a series of questions about things you want to know more about that will give you insight into their daily lives. Or, join in and participate in their online discussion lists, forums. or blogs and research the kinds of questions being posted. On your website, convey that you fully understand their struggles and difficulties and have walked in their shoes.
4. Solution to their problems. Once a visitor understands that you work with others like him who struggle with same types of issues, that visitor wants to know how you can help him solve his problems. Do you have a process, method, program, or strategy? Is that solution delivered via information products, a consulting contract, a service call, or a service purchase? Do you offer various ways at varied price points to help your target market solve their problems?
5. Demonstration of your expertise. Prospects want to know that you've successfully helped others like them. Scatter client testimonials throughout your site, or post case studies or before-and-after scenarios to show how you helped others in this target market successfully solve a particular problem. Information-rich content also serves to help you demonstrate your expertise, so don't be timid about telling your visitors what you know by posting articles you have written that showcase your knowledge. Don't be afraid to give away your knowledge -- 95% of your visitors won't be able to do it on their own, and you'll be the top-of-mind pick when they are ready to take action.
6. Post prices. Don't assume your visitors will want to call you to discover what you charge. If there are no prices listed, many will leave and go to another site where fees are listed. Post your fees on your website so that prospects can tell if they are easily able to afford what you charge. Conventional marketing strategy says that you should have a conversation with prospects and demonstrate your value before you talk price. I think that's hogwash, and quite frankly, I don't have the time to have these conversations. Use your website to give your prospects a clear idea of what it's going to cost them to hire you or buy from you.
7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Are there questions you answer time and time again? Instead of taking your valuable time to do this, create a FAQ page on your site that answers these commonly-asked questions, and provide a contact form for other questions that someone might have.
8. Barriers to Enrollment: If you offer a consulting-type service, you may offer a comp consultation to prospects who are interested in hiring you. Many times this session simply turns into a "brain drain" session, and the prospect is there only for what he can get without paying from you. Make sure that your prospect is serious about taking action by making him take some action in order to speak with you. You might require him to complete an online assessment or survey before you agree to speak with him. A fellow business coach requires prospective consulting clients to show up with a check for $1000-$5000 and business plans, marketing plans, financial documents and every other document that is relevant to the project they are discussing. The prospects who balk at this are immediately disqualified, and the coach moves on to the next prospect.

Don't let the task of qualifying prospects drain you of your time and energy. As a service business owner, your time is your greatest asset. Use your website to your advantage and screen out all of those prospects who are not qualified prospects.

Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FR*EE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com.

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 teleclass@potentialsrealized.com -- 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} potentialsrealized.com 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} potentialsrealized.com

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}potentialsrealized.com

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}potentialsrealized.com

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

Monday, August 27, 2007

90 Day Biz Success program starts Friday September 7th at 12 pm (EST)

Is this fall the time to take your business to your next level? The next 90 Day Biz Success Program will be launching next Friday September 7th from 12 – 1pm (EST) by phone.

We will be meeting twice a month by phone as a group to look at critical issues for your business success including:
* Creating or Refining your Business Vision
* Leveraging Your Marketing, and creating a marketing plan
* Identifying what gives you competitive advantage and what makes you unique as a business owner
* Critical business systems to have in place
* Developing your 2008 Business Plan

For the past several years I’ve taught small business studies at the post-secondary level, and run small business seminars for women entrepreneurs. I’ve also been a contributing author to Starting Your Own Business – A Guide for Women in York Region (YSSTAB, 2006). I’ve taken the best that I’ve taught and bundled it into the 90 Day Biz Success program, held by phone.

Space is limited to 8 business owners who want to move their business forward, while benefiting from the momentum and accountability of a group coaching structure.

I also meet with each participant once a month for an individual coaching call. Each week you will receive written modules on the topic prior to the call, and you can access the group call recording. Participants also receive 36 biz success tips into the email box, three times a week during the course of the program.

The cost for the program is $297 US (that’s right – less than $100 per month!).

I hope that you will consider joining me for September’s 90 Day Biz Success program – end the year off with a bang, and position yourself for success in 2008.

For more information, please visit the 90 Day Biz Success webpage, or email me at jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com.

Space is limited to 8 – you can register by PayPal or call me to pay by Visa by phone (Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960).

With best wishes for your business success,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
90 Day Biz Success Program
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, August 24, 2007

Change Management - The World Is Flat

One of my favorite summer reads this year has been The World is Flat (Release 2.0) by Thomas L. Friedman. It's very apropos given a lot of my recent posts on change management.

Many of you may have read it already, but if you haven't it's a great book which looks at many of the forces which have "flattened the world", requiring new perspectives, paradigms and ulitmately changing the way we do business.

Friedman goes through 10 of the forces which have helped to flatten the world - looking at topics such as podcasting, community developed answers such as Wikipedia (Wikinomics is another great book on this topic if you haven't read it yet). He also has a great section on how companies can cope with this flatter world.

It's a great read, particularly if you or your business is leveraging, or looking to leverage, change in today's business world. I also enjoyed the section on "globalization of the local" which discusses how this flattening of the world is strengthening local and regional identities in many instances. As a former global manager myself when the early face of "globalization" was not quite as positive -- it is amazing to see how technology is indeed flattening the world, and giving many of us the power to compete and be heard amongst the larger giants.

I hope that you'll consider taking a peak at The World is Flat -- I've added it to my bookstore via Amazon, where it joins many of the other books I've recently enjoyed.

Have a great weekend! I'm going to be retreating this weekend, running Relationships on Fire! a one day couples retreat here in Muskoka. My colleague and collaborator, Sharon Miller, and I will be running this again in the coming months, so if you couldn't join us this weekend in Muskoka we hope to have you join us next time!

With best wishes,

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Join Me Monday Evening at 8pm (EST) for Powerful Time Management Tips

Every month I hold a free Balance call, dedicated to topics which will enhance your work-life balance, productivity and effectiveness. Several of you may have listened to earlier podcasts from these calls (which can be found at the right hand side of this blog).

This month's call (Monday Aug 27th from 8-9pm EST) is on Powerful Time Management Tips, and I thought that you would be interested in joining me. There is no charge to attend other than your long distance charges.

During Monday's call I will be sharing with you five powerful time management tips, as well as doing some group coaching around the topic. If you are committed to focusing more on your leveraging your time this fall, I hope that you will join me.

To reserve your spot and receive the bridgeline information, please email me at info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com with Time Management Call in the subject. I will send you out the brigeline information.

I look forward to having you join me on Monday evening!

With best wishes,

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

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Value of a Break

Some of you will have noticed that I've been pretty quiet over the last couple of weeks here on the blog. I've been continuing to enjoy a change of pace working out of both Muskoka and Toronto - spending less time online and more time interacting with friends, family, clients and associates in person. They always say that change is as good as a rest -- and it sure has been.

Interestingly, my shift in focus has also led to some really exciting new in-person work with clients. As much as I love the "virtual" work I undertake with teams, organizations and individual professionals, nothing can replace the power and depth of in-person interactions.

I'm really excited about the oncoming fall as I will likely be engaged in some national travel and also some new projects. As well, some of my favorite virtual work and programs will continue, including the 90 Day Biz Success Program - set to launch on September 7th.

The launch of the Virtual Business Brown Bag Lunch last Friday was fantastic - thanks to all who joined me for the call! The next Virtual Business Brown Bag lunch is scheduled for Friday September 14th from 12:00 - 12:45 pm EST. Mark down the date! I'll be posting more information about the topic of September's call in coming days, and as always feel free to bring a friend or associate with you for this Virtual Brown Bag!

What break have you taken this summer? What's been the impact of that in your work? I'd love to hear your comments - as always, please feel free to comment below.

Have a great rest of the weekend,

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

Friday, August 03, 2007

A great change management resource

Last week I promised you another great resource on change management. What change has shown up in your work and life this week? How is change management affecting you? I am quite passionate about this subject particularly as the first seven years of my career entailed being hired by organizations that were just starting to go through the change management process -- and in all instances, something that wasn't discussed in the interview process.

As a result of these experiences, I learned pretty early on in my career that change is inevitable, and rather than getting frustrated or scared by the process, to recognize that it is just part of the process. Nothing is stable -- no surprise that I am a Gen Xer!

With economic indications on the horizon, it appears that we may be on another path of change management in the near future -- I may be wrong - and I hope so. Nonetheless, factors such as technology and globalization are continuing to turn the heat up on making change an every day issue in today's workplace.

So at the start of the post I promised a great resource on change management. If you are a manager, consultant or staff member I hope that you will check out Rick Mauer's Beyond Resistance website. He's got an incredible list of resources to access to support you in your change management effort.

Hope that you enjoy!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPCC, CPT
Potentials Realized

Thursday, August 02, 2007

You are invited to the Virtual Brown Bag Business Lunch - Aug 10th at 1 pm (EST)

I’m pleased to announce that starting this month, I will be holding monthly Virtual Brown Bag Business Lunches ™. Similar to brown bags in the workplace (or maybe not) these are going to be interactive skill building and professional development topics related to the business toolkit. Our virtual lunches will be held by phone using a teleconference bridgeline and will focus on a different area of business success – leadership, team management, change management, small business issues, etc. Each month will have a different theme, and I am hoping to invite some guest speakers to join us in the near future.

Attendance is open to anyone who would like to join me for some learning and discussion. For the remainder of the year I will be holding the Virtual Brown Bag Business Lunches on the 2nd Friday of each month from 12 – 12:45 pm (EST). Bring your lunch and drop on in for an informative and interactive lunch time. You never know who may be on the line!

This month is an exception, with the launch of the Brown Bag series on Friday August 10th at 1 pm (EST). Our topic this month will be Developing a Marketing Action Plan. If you are a business owner, I hope that you will drop in for some tips and tool to amp up your marketing!

To attend, please drop me an email with August Biz Brown Bag in the subject line and I will be happy to send you the bridgeline information. Feel free to bring a colleague or associate! Note: callers will be responsible for their own long distance charges. There is no other charge to attend the call.

Future Virtual Brown Bag Business Lunches will be held from 12 – 12:45 pm (EST) on
Friday September 14
Friday October 12
Friday November 9
Friday December 14

Mark off these dates! The brown bag topics will be announced on this blog or at the end of the monthly call

I look forward to having “lunch” with you next week!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Curious about Coaching? View CBS Sunday Morning Report

Curious about coaching? CBS Sunday Morning ran an interesting story on coaching yesterday. You can view it here.

It provides a good overview of what coaching is, and how can support clients in business, life and the home. There's a great eight and a half minute video clip that you can view on the right hand side. I hope that you will check it out if you are curious about what coaching is all about.

As a Certified, Credentialized coach with the International Coach Federation myself, it was wonderful to see how they provided an overview of some of the diverse areas of the coaching profession, including leadership and executive coaching which I provide. They did not provide too much coverage of some of the other areas that I provide coaching in - career coaching, team coaching and group coaching. If you are interested in learning more about how coaching in these areas can support you, I hope that you will visit my website for more information.

I also offer a complimentary coaching session by phone (40 min) to interested individuals to see if I might be a good fit in supporting you to achieve your goals. To schedule a sample coaching session, please email me at jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com.

I look forward to hearing from you and would welcome your comments on the CBS spotlight after you have seen it -- please feel free to comment below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Group Coaching Essentials
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960 (across North America)
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Friday, July 27, 2007

Change Management: Are you ready for change?

Change is an inevitable part of today’s business environment. I’ve been thinking a lot of about change management lately, in part due to requests for facilitation support in this area from companies, as well as what’s showing up on the news and in my mailbox.

I just got a wonderful book from Elaine Beich, who I consider a master in the area of consulting and learning and development. I saw Elaine speak last month in Atlanta at the ASTD conference where she talked about Change Management tools and processes. Her new book - Thriving Through Change: A Leader's Practical Guide to Change Mastery - which I’ve just started is excellent. You can check it out at ASTD Press.

Elaine talks about how the pace of change is getting quicker and quicker. Did you know that the amount of information we are exposed to in one week of a New York Times newspaper is more than what our ancestors were exposed to during a lifetime in the 17th Century? Amazing.

Likewise, she talks about how information is changing at such a rapid pace that some of the information students are learning in the first year of university can be outdated by their third year. Incredible.

Whether you are a student, professional or business owner, how are you keeping abreast of the changes in your industry? What are you doing to be proactive with change, rather than reactive? How are you stepping out to embrace the ongoing changes?

I will be doing a series of blog posts on change management in the next few months – in part to answer some of the queries I am receiving from readers, as well as organizations I work with. What’s you biggest question regarding change? What tools do you need for your organization? What tools do you need as an individual?

I’d love to hear your questions and comments on change – feel free to comment below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized.com

Friday, July 20, 2007

Are you a small business owner struggling with balance?

If so, you are not alone. There is a great article from SmartBiz.com's Jeff Cornwall, "Small Business Owners Still Struggle With Balance" which summarizes some of the highlights from American Express' Small Business Monitor on the subject.

Of particular note, the study found:
  • Female entrepreneurs tend to be more stressed by work/life balance demands than men (71% to 62%)
  • 67% found that being an entrepreneur required some sacrifices, particularly family and friends

On the flip side, it appears that business owners are relatively good at creating personal time during the work day (which for entrepreneurs is not usually the typcial 9-5). 64% of respondents indicate taking some personal time off during the business day. Interestingly, 45% consider taking time off during the business day a "guilty pleasure".

Some really interesting results and I hope that you will click on over to Jeff's article - especially as a business owner working on work-life balance issues.

If you are a business owner looking for some resources on work-life balance, I hope that you will visit my sister blog: Your Balanced Life! where I post regularly on work-life balance tips.

I also hold a free monthly call on issues related to work life balance, typically the 3rd Monday of every month from 8-9 pm (EST). This month's call is on Creating a Powerful Vision of Balance and will be held Monday evening, July 23rd at 8pm (EST). You can join me by calling : (218) 486-1300, access code 503003. Next month's call will be held on Monday August 27th from 8-9pm (EST) on Powerful Time Management Tools. Looking forward to having you join me (note callers are responsible for their own long distance charges).

Have a juicy weekend,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT

Potentials Realized

The 90 Day Biz Success Program starts Tuesday July 24th at 7pm (EST). Are you a business owner who is ready to make the leap from good to great and is looking for a fun, supportive 90 day accountability environment? If so, I hope that you will join us -- space is limited to 6 business owners.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

HR Potpourri, Interviewing Tips

It's HR Blog Carnival Day over at the HR Thoughts, and Lisa Rosendahl, SPHR has done a terrific job of spotlighting some great HR blogs including my post on The Changing Face of Learning and Development.

Hop on over to Lisa's HR Carnival post and you'll be able to chew on a whole range of HR topics -- perfomance, recruitment and social networking. It's a virtual treasure chest!

Another one of my articles is now available at Ezinearticles.com "Interviewing Tips for Employers - Getting the Right People on the Bus". If you are tasked with hiring new staff over the summer months, you may want to check out the article for some tips on how to leverage your interviewing process. I hope that you enjoy!

I am getting ready to make my usual summer move later this week to Muskoka for at least a few weeks (hopefully six). I'll be working a few days a week for the rest of the summer, at a Muskoka pace. Chances are, you'll be hearing from me a little more often here at the blog. You can still reach me during this time during my usual contacts.

Enjoy this week's HR Carnival and also the Interviewing tips!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Changing Face of Learning and Development

With the continued rapid increase of global teams which often operate virtually, the way learning and development is delivered is also changing. I often receive requests from organizations regarding advice on trends and new techniques that they can use to build human capital (individually or in teams) in the rapidly changing business and global environment.

Technology continues to reshape how learning is delivered, and in recent months there have been some very interesting articles on how major corporations are leveraging technology to enhance learning and human capital management.

A number of larger US firms are now delivering training via podcasts. Noted for their adaptability when learning needs to take place, podcasts have the ability to deliver training just-in-time.

Another area which is garnering attention is the use of Second Life by many companies, both as a marketing tool and also as an innovative way to deliver training (typically informal). If you or your company are using Second Life, I’d love to hear from you--- what’s your experience been? How do you leverage it for learning and development opportunities?

The emerging generations (which include Gen Y and Gen X) have added to this push for the introduction of newer technologies for learning and development – which are more meaningful and relevant to the. This whole area is fascinating, and as some researchers are finding the way our brains operate is changing through the generations. I will continue build on former blog posts on intergenerational management in the future – from recent organizational requests it seems that this issue is continuing to be a hot one.

Recent Statistics are showing that learning budgets and hours of training for workers based in the US is continuing to increase (2006 ASTD State of the Industry Report). With an estimated $109.25 Billion being spent on learning and development annually, American companies are spending anywhere from 2 – 2.7% of their payroll on learning and development initiatives. This equals anywhere from $1424 to $1616 US/worker.

In contrast a number of recent studies here in Canada are showing that learning and training budgets and priorities are continuing to shrink (2007 Conference Board Learning and Development Outlook). In 2006 the Conference Board of Canada reported that on average 1.75% of payroll was spent on learning and development, or approximately $944 Cdn/employee. The 2007 figures released a few months ago show a slight decline in these figures.

What are the trends that you are seeing in the field of learning and development? What can be leveraged in your organization? What new initiatives would benefit your human capital pool.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments --- please feel free to do so below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Start Date for the 90 Day Biz Success Program: Tues July 24th at 7pm

Are you a business owner looking to take your business and results from great to extraordinary? Every quarter I offer the 90 Day BizSuccess Program, an interactive group coaching program for business owners.

You have two more weeks to register for the next start date of the 90 Day Biz Success program. We will be starting on Tuesday July 24th (7-8 pm EST by phone). We will meet twice a month by phone for a one-hour group coaching session, and you will have the opportunity to schedule an individual group coaching session (30 min by phone) with me once a month.

During the program, you will:

* Develop or deepen your business vision
* Explore your unique strengths and abilities as a business person, identifying areas to leverage, and possible areas for synergy
* Identify opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other business owners
* Develop your marketing strategy and budget
* Investigate how their business can leverage technology to build their client base and increase sales through an introduction to blogs, podcasts and other platforms
* Develop a concrete business action plan for the next year

We will also be exploring specific topics requested by the individual participants (i.e. leveraging social media, financial issues).

The program is limited to 6 business owners, and we will be meeting as a group on:
July 24, Aug 7, 21, Sept. 4, 18, October 9. Final Call Tuesday October 23/07. Calls will be recorded if you can't make one.

For more information about the program and to register, please click here. The cost for the program is $297 US or $119 US/month (the individual coaching sessions are worth that alone!).

If you have any questions about the program, please give me a call toll free at 1-866-217-1960. I look forward to having you join me!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
90 Day Biz Success Program
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized[dot]com

Friday, June 29, 2007

Stress Free Performance Appraisals

Are you looking for a great resource to “turn your most painful management duty into a powerful motivational tool”?

Stress Free Performance Appraisals by HR Professionals Sharon Armstrong and Madelyn Appelbaum, is an invaluable resource to any manager or professional charged with undertaking the critical activity of performance appraisals.

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the performance appraisal process, different approaches, and is chock full of useful checklists, self-assessments and tips to take your performance appraisal from ordinary to extraordinary.

Very clearly written for the everyday manager, this book is destined to become a well used resource in your management library.

You can order your own copy at Amazon today. Visit Sharon online at Sharon Armstrong and Associates .

Have a wonderful weekend,
Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Small Business Owners vs. Entrepreneurs

Over the next few weeks I’ll be immersed back into the world on small business development, as I am leading a program with two groups of fantatstic women small business owners.

One of the topics we are discussing right now is what is the difference between a small business owner and an entrepreneur. Are all small business owners, entrepreneurs? Can you be both?

Last summer there was a flurry of blog posts on this topic. You may want to check out:
Khurram Masood’s blog post on “Small Business owners” vs. Entrepreneurs : http://myowntrip.blogspot.com/2006/07/small-business-owner-vs-entrepreneur.html
Nick Williams

Small Business Owner Vs Inspired Entrepreneur: 10 Crucial Differences: http://www.sabusinesshub.com/section/content.php?SectionId=8&SubsectionId=12&ContentId=1293

makes an interesting distinction between small business ownership and entrepreneurship:
Here's a simple 3-step description of entrepreneurship:
* Thinking new ideas
* Doing new things
* Creating value in the marketplace
These three steps separate entrepreneurs from other business owners. Creativity, innovation, and unique value are the key ingredients of entrepreneurial businesses.

I too subscribe to the more academic distinction between small business ownership and entrepreneurism. While you can be a small business owner and entrepreneur, not every small business owner is an entrepreneur. Some of the characteristics which set an entrepreneur apart are:
* Higher levels of risk taking behavior. An entrepreneur has a much higher “risk threshold” and is willing to take more risks than the average small business owner
* Greater scale – Entrpreneurs are typically driven by going big (or going home). While many small business owners are content to stay small, entrepreneurs are driven to grow a business (and in many instances move on by seling the business – this process of growing businesses and moving on has led to the term “serial entrepreneur”)
* Innovation is key: Innovation is a key ingredient for entrepreneurs, part of their life blood
* Gifts to see opportunities – Entrepreneurs often have a gift to see opportunities where others don’t, or where others would fail to tred. What opportunities are you seeing in your business today? Will you take the risk to seize them?

What are your thoughts? What other differences do you see between entpreneurs and small business owners? Are you one? Both?

I would welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to comment below.
With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: info[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
The 90 Day Biz Success Group Coaching program starts on July 10th (Tuesdays 7-8 pm ET twice a month for three months). Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Space is limited to 8, so register early!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Work Life Balance and Ethics

Ethics – What’s work-life balance got to do with it?

Deloitte and Touche’s 2007 Ethics and Workplace survey results found a very strong relationship between ethics and work-life balance. 91% of respondents to their annual survey stated that they believe “workers are more likely to behave ethically at work when they have a work-life balance”.

Why is this so?

Chairman of the Board, Sharon Allen, of Deloitte and Touce states,
“When you think about it, if someone invests all of their time and energy into their jobs, it may have the unintended consequence of making them dependent on their jobs for everything – including their sense of personal worth. This makes it eve harder to make a good choice when faced with an ethical dilemma if they believe it will impact their professional success."

The Deloitte and Touche 2007 Ethics and Workplace survey also found that the behavior of management, or at least direct supervisors, set the tone for ethical behavior (77%). At present approximately 30% of full time workers are not satisfied with their current work-life balance. Approximately one-third of full time workers, and nearly one-fifth of part time workers indicated that high stress levels cause conflict between work responsibilities and personal priorities.

So what can we do?

The study found that the top factors which would facilitate an ethical workplace were:
* The behavior of management (42%)
* The behavior of direct supervisors (46%)
Along with positive reinforcement for ethical behavior.

The study also found that compensation, flexible work schedules and benefits were the top three factors which influenced overall job satisfaction.

Download your own executive summary of the 2007 Deloitte and Touche Ethics and Workplace study here.

If work-life balance is a priority for you, I would also invite you to visit my sister blog dedicated to work-life balance – Your Balanced Life! Blog. You will find a treasure chest of work-life balance tips and exercises to support you in work-life balance.

I will be holding a free one-hour call next Monday, June 26th from 8:30 – 9:30 pm (EST) on Balance for the Summer Months. If you would like to join the call please email me at info(at) potentialsrealized (dot)com with Balance for Summer in the subject line. Participants are responsible for their own long distance charges.

I would also invite you to consider joining me for the
90 Day Your Balanced Life! Group Coaching Program which starts on July 17th (Tuesday 7-8pm ET). We will meet twice a month as a group, and once a month you will have an individual coaching session with me. You will also receive bi-weekly work-life balance tips into your email box throughout the 3 months of the program. The cost for the program is $119 US/month or $297 US for the program. Space is limited to 8, so register early (online registration available here)

Have a balanced week,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer(at)potentialsrealized(dot)com

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Presentation Basics

Are you looking for some great resources to amp up your next presentation? Did you know that speaking in front of a large audience is one of business professionals greatest fears?

Here are some great sites to get pointers from, to boost the impact of your next presentation.

1. Presentation Zen: Garr Reynolds Presentation Zen site is chock full of amazing insights, recommendations and tools for making your presentations sizzle. He walks his talk and shares personal insights in such a juicy way. Check out Presentation Zen for some amazing resources including a post on three strategic questions you should answer at the start of any presentation: Who are You? What do you do? and Why does it matter? These are an extension of a story from Brand Gap regarding a consultant who started every meeting with a client using these three questions.

Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter? - So simple, yet so powerful.

Read his post on: Why does it matter and What's your contribution here.

Having just completed a day and a half speaking presentation earlier this week, which involved coordintating a number of speakers, I think that these are two questions which can make or break a presentation - which I've seen firsthand repeated a number of times over the past few weeks.

2. Powerful Presentation Techniques from Paul Gibler, the Web Chef, CONNECTINGDOTS. Paul has over 200 blog posts at his PPT site...dig around there's some great stuff!

3. The PowerPoint and OfficeArt Team Blog from Microsoft -- this is not an extensive blog, but there are some neat pointers on how to leverage your powerpoint!

4. Fortify Your Oasis also has some fantastic postings on Presentation tips. Click on over to Rowan Manahan's blog. He's also got a lot of great stuff related to career management and working life.



Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized

Monday, June 11, 2007

Talent Management: What Is It?

What is talent management?

The Buzz phrase talent management has been bandied around many recent conferences and meetings I have either been speaking at, or attending. So what exactly is talent management and why is it so important?

Talent management encompasses a range of HR, managerial and training functions including:
Recruitment and Selection
Learning and Development
Leadership Development
Succession Planning
Performance management
Human Resource Planning

So why is talent management so important? As I’ve reported in earlier blog posts , the war on talent continues, with skill shortages being forecast within the next five to ten years, as baby boomers start to retire. The cost for sloppy talent management can be high. For example, poor recruitment and selection leading to a poor fit for a new candidate can cost the organization up to a year and a half salary, taking into account the recruitment and selection process, onboarding costs such as training and development, lost productivity etc.

So who is in charge of your talent management programs? Is it HR? Is it the training department? ASTD and Brandon Hall Research recently conducted a poll to looking at who is in charge of the talent management processes and what are the trends. 60% of respondents indicated that training and HR operations are coming together in their organizations and 90% believe that the trends will continue. What does it look like in your organization?

I would welcome hearing your thoughts on talent management, the skills gap and structurally who deals with your talent management programs. Please feel free to comment below.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Brittton, MES, CPT, CPCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What's on your learning radar screen?

I've been a little silent blogging this week as I was attending the 2007 ASTD Conference in Atlanta. It was a powerful week spent with about 9300 learning and development specialists. While I was there I was privledged to facilitate three Learning Labs for conference attendees, which were attended by professionals from across North America, Poland, Malaysia, Japan, the UK. Thanks to all who participated -- I'd love to hear how you are moving ahead with your action steps!

I had wonderful engaging discussions with so many other delegates over the last five days. It was really encouraging to see that many of the issues I've been blogging about, and do work around, are really the up and coming trends and hot points for organizations today:

* Intergenerational Management and Leadership Issues
* Global Leadership
* Virtual Teams
* Values in Organizations
* Corporate Social Responsibility
*Leveraging the Human Captial within your organization

If this is your first visit to the blog, I'd invite you to poke around and click through the different categories. I'm sure that you will find something useful.

What's on your organization's learning radar screen right now? What issues would you like me to be discussing? Please feel free to post your comments below, or contact me directly at jennifer(at) potentialsrealized(dot) com.

Stay tuned for some very exciting upcoming posts, where I will continue to drill into some of these really exciting topics!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Thursday, May 31, 2007

HR Potpourri, Taking Your Team to Extraordinary

It's another exciting end to the week. My blog post earlier this week on Virtual Team Challenges has been picked up by the HR Carnival Blog hosted this week by Deb over at the 8 Hours and a Lunch Blog. The posts she's selected this week go all the way through recruitment, to on-boarding, training and team building. You can check out this week's HR Carnival here. If virtual team issues are also a passion for you, Robin Good over at Kolabora has also picked up the article. He's got a treasure-chest of really great links to articles on virtual teams and virtual collaboration -- I hope that you will check it out!

Another one of my articles has now been posted to EzineArticles.com. If you are looking to boost your team development process, please check out my article: Team Building Tips: Take Your Team from Great to Extraordinary. I hope that you will enjoy the article and take away some tips that you can use for your own team building initative. If you are looking for an external facilitator for your next retreat, team coaching or team building initiative, please feel free to contact me toll free at 1-866-217-1960.

I am off to Atlanta this weekend for the 2007 ASTD International Conference. I will be co-facilitating three sessions early next week for Coach attendees. If you are attending the conference, I hope that you will consider joining me on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday for the Learning Lab for Coaches. More information about this new conference component can be found in your tote.


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

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

90 Day Biz Success Program Starts July 10th

Back by popular demand, the 90 Day Biz Success program starts July 10th. This powerful group coaching program is designed for both new entrepreneurs who are looking to launch their business, as well as experienced entrepreneurs who are wanting to accelerate to the next level.

This ninety-day program combines two group coaching sessions per month (by phone) along with a thirty minute individual coaching session with Certified Coach Jennifer Britton each month. Course participants also receive thirty-six business tips delivered to their email box, three times a week, as well as a toolbox of resources in the program workbook. Course size is limited to 8 business owners to ensure individualized attention.

The program will be held from mid-July to mid-October on Tuesdays from 7-8pm (EDT). The group calls will be held on July 10, 24, August 7, 21, September 4 and 18th with the final celebration call on October 9th. Monthly individual coaching sessions will held a time convenient for the business owner.

Benefit from the momentum created in a group environment, and join other business owners from across North America in this intensive business success program.

Participants will:
* Develop or refine their business vision
* Explore their unique strengths and abilities as a business person, identifying areas for improvement
* Identify opportunities for collaboration and partnerships with other business owners
* Develop their marketing strategy and budget
* Investigate how their business can leverage technology to build their client base and increase sales through an introduction to blogs, podcasts and other platforms
* Develop a concrete business and marketing action plan for 2007
One session will be dedicated to additional topics that matter most to participants.

The program includes:
* 7 one-hour interactive teleseminar programs;
* Bi-weekly topic module notes and resource links;
* 36 business tips delivered to your in-box, three times a week during the 90 day program;
* Three individual 30 minute coaching sessions with Coach Jennifer Britton (held once a month by phone);
* A group follow-up call one month after the program (at a time convenient for the group)

The cost of the summer program is $297 US (that's only $97/month) if paid in one installment. You can also pay in three installments of $119 US. Prices will be going up in September when the next 90 Day program starts. Space is limited to 8 and will likely go fast.

To register, contact me toll free at 1-866-217-1960 or pay by PayPal at the website. Further information about the program and our upcoming 5 week Developing Your Business Vision teleseminar program (starts June 18) can be found here.

I hope that you will join me for either one of these exciting programs this summer, designed to move your business forward!

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: info[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com

Monday, May 28, 2007

What Job Seekers Want in a Position

Late last year I wrote a post entitled, "What job seekers are looking for", based on research put out by Accenture. Recently, DDI and Monster released the "Slugging Through the War for Talent: Selection Forecast 2006 -2007" which had some very interesting findings with implications for HR, job seekers and also managers.

The study found that of the survey respondents (3,725 job seekers, 1250 hiring managers and 628 staffing directors in 5 global regions) felt that the war for talent continues to heat up, with 2007 being no exception.

Job Seekers indicated that they wanted to following in a new position (beyond salary and benefits):
* Opportunities to learn and grow (78%)
* Interesting Work (77%)
* A good manager/boss (75%)
* An organization you can be proud to work for (74%)
* Opportunity to advance (73%)
* A creative or fun workplace culture (67%)
* A compatible work group/team (67%)
* Balance between work and personal life (65%)
* Opportunity for advancement (64%)

Interestingly, the 2006 Accenture study found job seekers listed their top three priorites as:
1. Offers challenging and interesting work - 60%
2. Recognizes and rewards accomplishments - 58%3.
Provides an opportunity for fast career growth and advancement - 44%

From your perspective, how closely does it align with what you think? What implications could this have for your job search or hiring?

The DDI/Monster study also looked at why employees leave their current positions, with the top three reasons being listed by job seekers as:
1. Insufficient compensation, benefits, rewards/recognitiion
2. Lack of growth/development opportunities
3. Did not feel efforts were appreciated

The study finds a discrepency between these internal reasons cited and the staffing director and hiring managers perspective that in fact employees are leaving for external reasons (for example, a spouse moving, returning to school). How would you rate your hiring managers in terms of keeping their fingers on the pulse of exiting employee's reasons for leaving?

If this is an area of interest for you, I would encourage you to take a look at the DDI Monster Survey results and look at how aligned they are with your organization or personal job search. I would welcome hearing your thoughts - please feel free to comment below.

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Virtual Team Challenges

Many of you will know that working with virtual teams is one of my passions as a trainer and coach. If you haven't read earlier posts on the subject of virtual teams I would invite you to check out my earlier posts on the topic:

Defining Virtual Teams

Leveraging Technology for Virtual Teams

Creating the Foundation for Virtual Team Success

As I wrote in my earlier posts, virtual teams bring with them some amazing opportunities, as well as some real challenges which need to be navigated to enable virtual teams to perform at their greatest.

Some of the common challenges which virtual teams face are:

*Navigating across timezones (rather than an 8 hour day virtual teams may be "operating" 24 hours a day, possibly 7 days a week)

* Working across technology - use of different platforms and technology available from the location

* Working across cultures and languages

* Creating a shared vision for all team members

* Nontraditional communication methodologies which may require equipping staff with enhanced skills in virtual communication

For virtual teams to flourish they require that a high degree of trust be established between individual team members. The foundation for this can be started through an on-site teambuiding meeting for all team members. Ideally, the team should have face-to face meetings at the start of their project, or in the early stages, to develop a common vision, protocol and understanding of their roles. Regular (semi-annual or annual) face-to-face meetings can provide the opportunity for the team to further connect and check on alignment on these issues, while working through challenges and opportunities facing the group.

Many times, communication (positive and negative) can be the foundation for virtual team success. What is communication like in your virtual team? What needs to be enhanced? What can you leverage?

If you are working in a virtual team and looking to take your team and results to the next level, I would welcome hearing from you.Much of the work I am doing as a relationship systems coach is very applicable to the virtual team environment. I would be happy to further discuss how this support may benefit your virtual team.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Web: www.potentialsrealized.com
Email: jennifer@potentialsrealized.com

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Job Search Strategies - For Candidates

Copyright 2007 - Jennifer Britton
With university and college graduations just behind us, a huge number of new graduates are heading out to secure full-time paid employment. The next few months especially will be very busy with resume development, interview preparation and lots and lots of hopefully strategic planning for the job you want to land.

As an HR consultant (and having sat at the table at the other side for thousands of interviews) and in my career coaching work, I often receive a number of inquiries regarding tips for job search and interviewing. Today's post, and likely a couple of subsequent posts, will focus on interviewing tips for candidates. If you are an employer, you may want to review my recent posts for you, in the last few months (Interviewing Tips 101 for Employers and Interviewing Tips Part II).

If you are a new graduate, or someone looking to transition to a new position, consider the following:

1. Create a clear vision of what type of position you want:
Ask yourself the following questions: Ideally,
* what job do you want to move into?
* How much pay?
* Where is it located?
* What type of working envrionment is it?
* What's the culture of the organization like?
* What are the hours like?
* What benefits (monetary or other) would you like?

Also consider the following questions:
Where would you like to be in 3 years time career-wise?
Where would you like to be in 10 years time career-wise?

Once you've answered these last questions, ask yourself "What do I need to do to get there?" Working backwards is sometimes the easiest way.

2. Spend time doing research
Based on your vision, spend time doing research on possible companies you would like to work for, or positions you would like to apply to. Time spent on planning and research, and in developing a "game plan" can pay off in multiple ways. Beware, however, of getting stuck in the "research" trap and not moving from this place. The results of your research should inform your next steps and game plan.

3. Build your network
What is the strength of your professional network? Do you belong to any professional associations related to your career? Personal and professional networks continue to play a key role in job search strategies. From keeping abreast of what is new in your industry, to learning about best practices, and what employment opportunities may exist, time spent on building your network can also pay off. Discussions with individuals in your network can help inform your expectations and understanding of what opportunities may exist.

If you feel that your network could be more extensive, look into opportunities within your local community. In addition to in-person formal networking events, there are now a number of virtual/online networking communities.

Relationships continue to play a key role in the world of business -- how can you continue to strengthen yours?

4. Invest time in preparing your resume
Given that it is common for many positions to have hundreds, if not thousands of applicants these days, invest time in preparing your resume. Presentation is key, and watch out for any grammatical mistakes, as well as typos. It may also be necessary to tailor your resume for different positions you are applying for, by highlighting your different skills and experience, based on the job posting.

With the rise of many online recruitment banks/sources, keywords are playing an even larger role. Rather than having an individual scanning through the different resumes received, computers now do this. If certain keywords do not show up, your resume may not be picked up out of the thousands in the "bank" for that important first cut.

More on resumes in a future post.

5. Dedicate time for the job search and Persevere, Persevere, Persevere:
Your job search could take time, depending on the type of employment you are looking for. It can also be a frustrating experience, especially when you do not hear back from companies for an interview. Keep persevering, and strategically applying for new positions as you hear of them. Depending on how you like to work and plan, it may be useful to set aside small blocks of time on a regular basis to scan your recruitment sources, develop your application packages and send them out.

I am interested in hearing what other questions those of you who are looking for jobs have. Please feel free to comment below.

Upcoming posts will focus on interviewing tips, resume preparation and general career transition support.

I will be offering a group coaching program starting this summer on career transition. More details will follow on this blog. I expect that space will fill quite quickly. I will also be offering in the next month or so a free call on career issues - please drop me an email with "Career Call" in the header. I will keep you posted as dates and times for the free call are set.

With best wishes,

Jennifer Britton, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960
Email: jennifer[at]potentialsrealized[dot]com