Friday, November 27, 2009

What's your meeting style?

I'm sure that many readers here at the blog participate in virtual meetings. Prehaps maybe even too many! As a facilitator, I am always interested in seeing "who" participates in meetings, and what their style is.

There's a terrific article on The Top Ten Meeting Personalities which Jackie Yearney over at has posted. Take a look. She's cut to the core archetyping some of the key personalities that show up on virtual meetings.

Which meeting personality matches yours?

Have a terrific week!


Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Infusing Coaching Skills into Managers

Coaching skills are critical for managing in today's ever changing landscape. Equipping managers with enhanced coaching skills is an important piece of building internal capacity, strength and resilence within organizations.

Dan Kennedy over at the Great Leadership blog wrote the following article on Infusing Coaching Skills into Managers. He proposes four solid tactics to start equipping your management team with enhanced coaching skills.

I appreciate Dan's comments, especially as I am working right now with a number of corporate clients on enhancing coaching skills and/or developing internal mentoring programs. Several months in to many of these medium term iniatives we are starting to really see tracking and a changing landscape of business relationships with is having an impact on the bottom line.

How are you building coaching skills with your management team?

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (8326)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Team Building Critical for Smaller, More Virtual, Teams

There was a great article last week by Marcia Heroux Pounds entitled, "Go team! Need for collaboration greater when there are fewer employees". Click here to read the entire article.

Whether it's conflict resolution, getting to know one another better, or learning to leverage new roles, this fall's focus really seems to have moved to the team environment. I must admit that the requests we've been getting for team retreats, team coaching, and team assessments has increased quite significantly this fall. I hope that you will enjoy reading through the Team on Thursday column from the last year and a bit.

How have the recent economic and workplace events shifted your organization's value on team work?

What's the most burning issue facing your team - virtual, or intact - right now?

How would an investment into your teamwork transform business issues you are facing right now?

Questions about what support might benefit your teams right now? Please give me a call or drop me an email.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416) 996-TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Monday, September 21, 2009

How to Develop a Leadership Development Strategy

Dan McCarthy, over at Great Leadership, wrote a fantastic post last month on How to Develop a Leadership Development Strategy. He goes through 7 key steps/stages which are essential in developing a leadership development strategy.

Regardless of economic situations, leadership development is still seen as a critical investment for many leading organizations. Staff and teams may be getting leaner, and in these times GREAT leadership is imperative.

I really enjoyed Dan's post given that I have been very involved in developing several leadership development strategies with partner organizations in the year. A number of them are now rolling out in pilot and secondary phase, and it is amazing to see how seeds planted are starting to sprout within these teams.

Dan's really got a handle on the importance of a holistic, structured approach, one that is grounded in competencies.

What do you see as essential ingredients for GREAT Leadership development?


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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Team Productivty and Conflict

What happens to your team productivity when there is conflict?

There is a wonderful article recently published by the Vancouver Sun "Productivity affected by conflict management" which highlights research looking at the impact of conflict on team productivity.The article states,

"Researchers Kristen Behfar at the University of California, Randall Peterson at the London Business School, Elizabeth Mannix and William Trochim at Cornell University, say there are three types of teams that get bogged down in conflict and suffer as a result.

In their recent study in The Journal of Applied Psychology, they observed that rule-bound teams, equality-focused teams and unresolved teams paid dearly when conflict was not handled well. They noted that productivity declined as did team morale."

Conflict is inevitable for teams. What conflict is showing up in your teams? What is the impact of it? What approaches are supporting the team(s) to successfully navigate the conflict?

Have a great week,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP

Potentials Realized

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How adept is your workforce to change?

A recent survey from Right Management found that"employees of nearly one-third of North American companies — 31 percent — adapt poorly to changes at work, hurting their productivity", as reported by Carrie Mason-Draffen of The survey also found that only about 1 in 4 employees had the "agility to change". Read the whole article here.

How adept is your workforce to change?
What support are you providing to employees?
What vehicles are you using to support changes (training/coaching etc)?
What areas are you providing support in change management for?

A number of readers have emailed me regarding the silence here at the BizToolkit blog -- thanks for asking how things are going. It's been a very busy 2009 -- providing support to teams and inidividuals throughout the change process through team coaching, workshops and offsite retreats. It's also been a busy spring working on establishing and building a number of mentoring and leadership development programs with clients. On top of it, I am also working on the completion of a book which will be published in early 2010 by Pfeiffer Wiley.Needless to say, as much as I would like to be keeping up with regular creative juices have been somewhat overstretched. I do hope to be able to return to regular posts in the next few weeks when a number of these projects are onstream and/or completed.

With all the changes that are happening these days a huge competency for teams and professionals is around resilence. This is a topic that's been quite popular with clients. Consider the following questions:
What is your own professional resilience these days?
Which employees and teams are the most resilient in your organization?
What support do you need to shore up your resilence?
What action steps can you take to boost your resilence this quarter?

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments...please feel free to comment below.

Warm regards,

Jennifer Britton, MES, PCC, CPT
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416) 996-TEAM (8326)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

BizTip: Creating Boundaries

What are the boundaries you have established with your business? Many business owners only realize their boundaries once they have been encroached on.

The ability to be your own boss and have greater flexibility and self-direction are characteristics which often lead people into self-employment.

Take a few moments and ask yourself:

  • What are your current boundaries for you and your business?
  • How are you respecting these?
  • How are your boundaries being encroached on?
  • If boundaries are being encroached on, what's acceptable?
  • What needs to change?

Some boundaries that you might want to consider are:

* The times of day that you work (i.e. you don't work before a certain time, or after a certain time)

* The times of day that you meet with clients

* The amount of money you are willing to invest in ....

* The amount of time you are willing to invest in .....

*The number of interruptions you are willing to have

* The amount of time you are willing to give things

After you have looked at these questions, select one that you want to focus taking some action on. What specific change will you commit to? Start developing a habit around this new area through ongoing action.


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC
BizSuccess Group Coaching

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Virtual Team Leadership: Resource

As many of you know, Virtual Teams and Leadership are two ongoing themes for this blog, stemming out of my earlier work as a leader with virtual teams globally through my work in the international development sector. I continue to be amazed at how virtual team leadership skills, along with project management and global/cross-cultural management skills continue to be some of the most important skills for this decade, and unfortunately, skills that many organizations are really needing to improve.

There was a great article this month in CLO Magazine which addresses this increasingly important area of virtual team leadership:

Virtual Leadership for a Virtual Workforce by Jerry Fjermestad as featured in CLO Magainze, March 2009.

Jerry mentions that
"Leaders are responsible for the vision, planning, engaging the team, coaching, training, team learning, networking and promoting, among other skills".

He also mentions that
"The results are that virtual teams are at least as effective as face-to-face teams, and according to Powell, Piccoli and Ives, under some conditions, they are even more effective. Leader development leading to high-performance teams leads to successful organizations in this new virtual environment".

  • How are you developing your leaders for the virtual realm? What's working? What's not?

  • What are the challenges you are experiencing as you move forward with leadership development for these leaders?

  • What else, beyond strong leadership, is needed to enable virtual teams to florish and really perform optimally?

Have a great week,


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP

Potentials Realized

Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Ph: (416) 996-TEAM (8326)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Teams on Thursday: Teams in Transition

With change becoming the new constant in today’s workforce, more than ever teams are now in transition – sometimes with new leadership, sometimes with new team members, often with both.

How do you create an environment for the team to go from 0-100 (or at least 60) with limited budgets, resources and time?

I am in the process of writing an article on essentials for teams in transition in which I explore six essential ingredients:
1. Creating a Common Vision and Goals
2. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities
3. Looking at Common Values
4. Identifying Trust and Respect
5. Looking at Individual and Team Strengths and Capabilities
6. Developing Effective Communication Strategies

How does your team rate on these? How much attention are you giving these factors?

Without a firm foundation teams cannot meet, or sustain, their optimal productivity.
What other ingredients do you see as essential for teams in transition?

Have a great week!


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CHRP, CPT
Potentials Realized
Ph: (416)996-TEAM (8326)
Email: info{at}potentialsrealized{dot}com

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Succession Planning: Cause for Panic?

Succession Planning continues to be a hot topic in the world of talent management. Even with current economic conditions, organizations are realizing that they may not be well equipped to address changes within their workforce.

A recent study, "Ensuring Leadership Continuity: Currrent Trends In Succession Planning for C-Suite Executives", by Acheive Global found the following:
* 49% do not have an established succession plan for C-level exectuvites
* 16% have an executive vacancy
* 37% expect to have a vacancy this year

So what are some of the barriers identified?

*31% - doesn't seem urgent
* 26% - time investment
* 21% - Complexity of What Needs to Happen
* 7% - Budget Expense
* 6% - Not Applicable
* 6% - don't know

Many of you will recall that last year at this time I participanted in a webinar series for Succession Planning for Small and Medium Size Businesses in York Region, Canada. The estimates in early 2008 were that approximately 75% of business owners would be retiring within the next 10 years, with a limited number having succession plans in place. The importance for York Region, like many regions across Caanda is that small and Medium Size Businesses make up a significant proportion of the economy. In York Region, this has been estimated at 97% of all businesses. Even with the current economic conditions, while many business owners, and C-Level employees are delaying retirement decisions, ulitmately succession plans will be needed by small, medium and large businesses.

A major barrier identified by the AcheiveGlobal program is that many organizations don't know how to implement succession planning approaches effectively.

Questions? Please feel free to give me a call as I have been working on the development of several succession planning strategies with SMEs as well as larger companies, at C level and middle management over the last year.


Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPT, CHRP
Potentials Realized
Phone: (416) 996-TEAM

Monday, January 12, 2009

90 Day BizSuccess Program Starts Fri. Jan 16th at noon (ET)

Where could your business be in the next 90 days with some focus, tools and accountability? Join me and a handful of other business owners for a 3 month group coaching program which focuses on giving you the tools, structure and focus to take your business from where you are to where you want to be. This program is specifically designed for solopreneurs and service based providers.

The program includes:
7 x 1 hour group coaching calls
36 BizTips delivered into your mailbox 3 times a week for the 90 days
Monthly lazer 1-1 sessions with me
The BizSuccess Manual (sent out as a weekly modules)

During the program you will:

* Create Your Business RoadMap for the year
* Explore your core strengths and abilities as a business person, identifying areas for leverage
* Acquire knowledge of core marketing principles to help you develop a marketing strategy and budget
* Bust through limiting beliefs you hold about your business
* Learn how to leverage partnerships with other business owners
* Investigate how your business can leverage technology to build client base and increase sales through an introduction to blogs, podcasts and other social networking platforms liked LinkedIn and Twitter

You’ll leave each group coaching call with some new ideas, insights and also action steps before we meet next.

We’ll be meeting on Fridays from 12 - 1 pm (Eastern) on Jan 16, 23, Feburary 6, 28, March 13, 27, April 17, 2009 (by phone)

Cost: $347 US for the 3 month program

To register, or for more information, please visit here or call Jennifer at (416) 996-8326/Toll Free: 1-866-217-1960.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC

Widely known for her work in group coaching, Jennifer is also a widely recognized busienss coach. Since 2004 she has coached (and taught) a wide number of budding entrepreneurs through college and government sponsored programs. She’s also a contributing author to Starting Your Own Business in York Region: A Woman’s Guide (2006) and was part of the 2008 Succession Planning Webinar Series for Small Businesses. Throughout the 90 Day BizSuccess program, Jennifer weaves together her passions for group coaching and business development work.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

10 Signs it's Time for a Team Tune Up

10 Signs It’s Time for a Team Tune Up:

Even in a downturn, teams - like cars - need a tune-up to keep running along at peak performance. For many organizations right now, with the changes that are happening, teams may be the most stable entity in a company.

Here are 10 indicators it's time for a team tune up:

1. The team needs a new vision/plan to achieve your business results (or needs to reconnect with your old ones)
2. The team has new leadership
3. The team is unclear about their roles (which often leads to conflict, things falling through the cracks or toes being stepped on)
4. Staff feel undervalued - and performance is going down the tube
5. Gossip is flourishing…as are the water cooler discussions!
6. Team is undergoing, or emerging from, a change management process or a merger and acquisition
7. The team is operating in silos (one part isn’t talking to the other)
8. It’s been a while since you’ve stopped to recognize and celebrate your achievements
9. You need to get from 0 – 100 given the current business climate
10. You want to be proactive!

What tune up does your team need?

Click here for some of our current team support programs (assessments, coaching, training, retreats) or download our Team Services brochure here. We bring 20 years experience of working with teams face to face, as well as virtually (to reduce costs - and the carbon footprint), with teams in 20 countries around the world.

Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton
Potentials Realized
Team Services
Phone: (416)996-TEAM (416.491.8326)
Email: info{at}

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Year, New Predictions

Happy New Year Everyone! It's an exciting time of year -- new year, new resolutions and possibly some new habits.

I love all the predictions that are made at this time of year -- it always seems to open up new possibilities and new perspectives.

It also seems like a lot of different issues are hitting different people's radarscreeens - depending on where you live and what you do.

However, two of the most common themes wherever you are, are the ECONOMY and CHANGE.

Here are some of the trendspotting articles I have enjoyed lately:

US News Top 30 Careers for 2009: With all the change that's going on in the world of work, this is an interesting list of project top careers for 2009. Which ones would you like to explore?

US News Best Small Businesses to start in 2009: Ready to take the plunge into the world of self-employment? This article may stimulate some new thoughts!

Hot Fitness Trends for 2009 from WebMD: Is anyone else seeing a spike of attendance at the gym? The pressures of the economy seem to be supporting many to find better balance and stress management.

ASTD's 2008 State of the Industry Report: The ELearning Council has a nice summary here of some of the major workplace learning trends last year.

What trends are you watching this year? What are some of your new resolutions?
Have a great start to 2009!
Warm wishes,

Jennifer Britton, PCC