Continue Enhancing Developmental Efforts to Excel in 2021

The conclusion of 2020 marks a year memorable in many ways.  The end of the year will not miraculously resolve challenges experienced throughout, however, it does provide an opportunity to harness this experience in preparation for the future.  This year all organizations have had to strategically rethink the way they do business.   Leaders learned to reach their teams in new and novel ways and employees approached their work from unfamiliar context and perspectives.  As we enter the new year, take advantage of the notion that “change begets change”.  Seize this opportunity of transition to create an ecosystem in which your employees, and hence your organization, are poised to succeed now and into the future.

Just as your organization is unique, every employee is in a different phase of their journey with distinctive challenges and opportunities.  Successful organizations are examining the complete employee lifecycle to align and add value at each step along the way.  By focusing on individual needs and targeted growth, investments in employee development produce greater engagement, productivity, and return.  Career Partners International delivers human capital consulting programs across the globe at all levels of the organization.  Below are just a few examples of ways in which our CPI Partners help their clients chart a successful course for the future, even during the uncertainties of today.

Executive CoachingIt’s no secret that 2020 has upended how people relate and integrate to get work done.  Digital markets, consumer behavior, leadership development, and general workplace processes have been disrupted by cats walking across video screens, children interrupting negotiations or planning sessions, and even lost connections to critical server-held documents.

What has not changed in 2020 is that people must pivot; leaders just need to pivot more quickly.  Our talent development practice has paid close attention to supporting leaders who have had to hold things together on a grand scale, make incredibly difficult decisions around remote work and employee well-being, and navigate turbulence like never before.  Here are three specific behaviors our executive coaches have found critical for leaders to harness and leverage if they hope to be successful in the future.

Listen more.  Our current environment has proven that people will step up and step in when their voices are heard.  The current style of interacting in a “zoom room” has opened the door to incredible innovation.  

Get comfortable with intimacy.  Having visibility into peoples’ homes and moods is the new normal.  Boundaries are more fluid as we seek to truly embrace diversity, equity & inclusion.

Build trust and transparency. Remote work and easy commutes are here to stay.  Leaders must over-communicate and lead with integrity knowing that individuals and teams will rise to the occasion when trust is there to get work done.

Adena Johnston, D. Mgt.Master Corporate Executive CoachVice President and Practice Leader, CCI Consulting

Professional DevelopmentMany of our clients are looking for new and innovative ways to support the development of their employees to create a better employee experience, build stronger engagement & retention, and identify new leaders across their enterprise. Using our PowerAmp Coaching approach, we have provided clients with a solution that combines high touch live coaching with an AI based technology platform that allows them to bring development to a wider range of employees within the organization.

Our clients are using this solution to provide development skills for those employees who would not normally be selected for leadership coaching programs yet need to be strong in their roles as leaders within teams, across networks, and in their daily activities.  PowerAmp Coaching is also being used to identify employees who are most interested in their career development, ensuring returns on investment.   We are working with organizations to integrate this solution into high potential programs, greatly reducing the risk of spending development money on employees who are not willing to invest in themselves.

The way we work has changed significantly over the past year; PowerAmp Coaching provides a great opportunity to bring forth leadership skills at a large scale on a virtual basis.

Larry FisherVice President, Career Transition & Executive CoachingThe Ayers Group

Retirement CoachingWhat a challenging time we live in!   Many individuals have been faced with a career change they were not expecting, which often leads to a major point of reflection on the future.  For those between 50 and 70, it is especially difficult to determine what is important in life, beyond their traditional job.  The New Horizons LifeOptions-Lifestyle Planning program provides an ideal platform to help participants plan beyond just the financials of retirement, should it be in the next 15 days or next 15 years.  Retirement is a key milestone of the employee lifecycle and organizations that support their employees in preparing for this journey have found greater engagement, increased transparency, and stronger succession planning.

Coaching a future retiree with New Horizons provides them with the opportunity to learn new things about the journey which they are about to embark as well as confirm their predetermined thoughts about retirement; both are important.  During the assessment phase of the program considerable time is spent understanding that our past job was, for many of us, the total embodiment of who we are to ourselves and to our community. For many this means re-inventing oneself and discovering other aspects of life we love. For others, this means accepting that we are more than the subject matter expert in an industry, we are a grandparent, a friend, a yoga lover, a woodcarver, a whatever.  Some have gone on to “encore careers” matching their passion with interest; a Supply Chain Director who took on piano lessons, a Data Analyst opening her own catering company, an HR Training Manager volunteering to teach reading in the inner city, and many more.  By shifting the vision of retirement to an opportunity, rather than a looming and uncertain inevitability, employees can become more engaged and involved in their own succession exit. New Horizons are out there to be explored…now more than ever!

Gregg LevineSr. Career Transition ConsultantRatliff & Taylor

Career ManagementAs we approach the new year, many firms are looking at new and compelling ways to enhance employee experience.  Talent is feeling overwhelmed, disconnected, and at risk of burn-out.  Driven by trends related to a new social contract, an ever-evident war for talent, and rapidly changing environments, employees are hungry for more transparency and support related to career growth and development.  In fact, research from Fuel50.com shows that a staggering 81% of employees feel that their skills are not being fully utilized at work.  As talent leaders consider investments for next year, providing scalable and accessible access to insights, coaching, and mentorship support and learning opportunities will be key to satisfying this pervasive demand.

To add to this, research still shows that organizations are more inclined to hire externally, even though the data shows the merits of looking internal first.  This parallels research that shows only twenty-one percent of respondents believe their managers have the skills required to help employees develop their careers. Forty-six percent of survey respondents from a recent Deloitte survey say managers resist internal mobility.  Coaching and feedback are now table stakes competencies for leaders to do the important work of engaging and growing talent.  Investing in coaching, feedback, and productive conflict skills is essential to building or enhancing career agile cultures.

Liane TaylorCareer Engagement Practice LeaderThe Talent Company

In preparing for the new year, understand that the needs of nearly all employees have evolved, as have the tools available to support them.  Whether 2020 brought a struggle or a windfall, a challenge or an opportunity, continuing to invest in the people that make an organization great will yield sustainable positive returns.  Career Partners International Members all over the world are here to support the growth of organizations, their leaders, and their employees during every point of the journey.  We wish each of you a prosperous New Year.
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Minnesota Speaks – Leadership in The New Work Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic is administering an exhausting, once-in-a-centurystress test to every system of American life and culture. Organizations areworking to maintain effective, efficient operations as employees, customers, and communities at large face constant fluctuation and ambiguity.

With no immediate end to the pandemic in sight, CPI Twin Cities explored how the circumstances impact companies and leaders. Below is an excerpt of their research. To download the complete document, click here.

What Are You Doing to Create Vision andFocus?

Leader responses to this question created a wide spectrum. At one end, theorganization achieves very little in the way of vision and focus because thebusiness is in survival mode. At the opposite end, companies conduct globaltown hall meetings (involving 25,000 employees) to reaffirm values, crystallize vision, and re-establish core business strategies. Companies committing to vision and focus prioritize four areas:

Focus #1: EmployeesRespondents agree on the need to ensure employee safety, listen to concerns, show compassion, and demonstrate flexibility. One leader stated that his HR team created a customized work plan for each employee to alleviate pandemicrelated stress at the individual level. Multiple organizations delivered care packages to employees’ homes.

Focus #2: CustomersThe importance of prioritizing customer needs during the pandemic comesthrough in remarks like efficient and streamlined focus on the customer and unblinking focus on providing the best possible customer experience. Laser accurate customer focus helps employees understand they are responsible for business viability because success in the future depends on customer treatment during the crisis.

Focus #3: The BusinessSome organizations capitalize on opportunities that emerge from the pandemic. One company, citing positive opportunism, deviated from core business strategy and the traditional product line to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE). Other respondents referenced tweaking strategic plans to redeploy resources.

Focus #4: The FutureEffective leaders are communicating a growth agenda through 2022, while also sharing specific go-to-market strategies for 2021. One executive highlighted early communication on how the company is better positioned post-pandemic.

To download the complete document, visit Career Partners International – Twin Cities.
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Take a Time-Out to Celebrate Your Team

I have always found the beginning of December to be a time to reflect on the year that has been.  It is such an energetic time with opportunities to meet with folks I haven’t seen in awhile, re-establish old business connections, and generally feel that ‘peace on earth – goodwill towards others’ that is the hallmark of the season.  Concurrently, we see our pace of work become a bit frenzied.  Our end of year tasks coupled with the demands of the holiday season can make for stressful times.  And importantly, everybody looks forward to holiday festivities in their own organization; be it a big year end party, a staff potluck, or a festive lunch to celebrate the year gone by.

Then along came the year 2020 – a year that has turned social gathering and connectivity on its head!

So, this year I started to reflect on what the Holidays really mean.  Perhaps this is more than just an event or a season but rather a frame of mind; the holiday spirit, if you will.  An expression of goodness, wellbeing, and peace on earth.

At the beginning of this year, many people reflected on 2020 in the context of 20/20 vision.  For those of you lucky to have 20/20 vision you know how incredibly sharp and focused your vision can be.  I recently underwent laser eye surgery in a vain attempt to acquire that elusive 20/20 vision.  Upon completion of the procedure, there are a few tense days where your vision is blurry and you wonder if you made a big mistake.  Your eyes just need rest, a ‘time-out’ to recuperate, and after a few days it is the most magical experience; truly clear vision without glasses or contact lenses.  I am left to wonder if perhaps, in some strange way, the year 2020 has given us that ‘time out’; the rest we required to refocus.

The holiday season is upon us and it is time to once again take a time-out to think about what might be most important to our team.  Here are a couple of ideas that organizations and leaders can use to help recognize our incredible employees who have worked so hard under the most unusual of circumstances this past year:

One Size Fits One.  No two people are alike, so you will really need to think about what is important to each person in your organization.
Some people love the gift of time.  With Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year, is there an opportunity to give a little more time off?
As Olivia Newton-John sang, “Let’s get physical”.  I say, “Let’s get flexible”.  Of all the years where flexibility is critical, 2020 has proven to be the one.  What can we do to be a lot less rigid throughout this special time?
The Holidays are always a tough financial time for just about everybody.  Is there a possibility to kick up the incentives this year?
Have fun!  Many organizations have adopted this principle throughout the year, and I think it’s time to double down on it for the Holidays (Do not lose sight of the fact that not everyone will want to participate.  Make sure you do not force activities on those that would prefer not to join.)
Get off technology.  How about sending a hand-written card to your employees or customers?  Pick up the phone and talk to somebody “live”.  What about dropping by and saying “hello” to your employees/customers in person while adhering to the strictest of physical distancing protocols?
As simple as this seems, be grateful.  Many of us have much to be grateful for; let’s embrace it.

Has 2020 let you pause to think a little harder about the things that are of utmost importance to us, our organizations, and our people?  Is this the gift of 2020?  Determining what is truly important to us? Uncovering what we really value in our lives and the places where we work?  Focusing on what does and does not matter?

I know many of you have reflected on these questions over the past several months and I believe the opportunity to stop and reflect has been the greatest gift of all.  Consider this for your employees as you thank them for their extraordinary efforts in the Holiday Season.

Terry Gillis CEO, Ahria ConsultingChair, Board of Managers, Career Partners International

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A Methodical and Scientific Approach to Professional Development Coaching

Career Partners International has partnered with LeaderAmp to design PowerAmp Coaching.  PowerAmp Coaching is the world’s first professional development coaching program delivered by trained coaches augmented by rigorously created Artificial Intelligence.  This combination of professional coaching paired with technology gives organizations the power to provide coaching at a previously unthought of scale and significantly enhanced ROI.

While other programs may offer individual content and some form of guided development, none can match this level of scientific rigor and targeted development.  Many forms of coaching can provide participants with an experience that “feels” positive.  PowerAmp Coaching takes this to the next level by increasing engagement, measuring improvement, and providing transparent progress tracking to the client organization driving continued advances across the workforce.

One of the many unique elements of PowerAmp Coaching is the Time Trial.  Designed to identify those with the highest potential for coaching success, the Time Trial not only ensures the best application of development investments, it also uncovers hidden talent and organizational enrichment priorities.  Through brief assessments and AI guided prompts, participants will take part in self-guided development, demonstrating commitment to a coaching engagement.  By focusing efforts on those who are most prepared for and receptive to coaching, organizations can ensure that funds invested in development are being optimally allocated and motivated individuals are being appropriately engaged.

After successfully completing the Time Trial, the unique journey into modern development begins.  Participants are assigned a trusted CPI coach and complete computer adaptive self and 360-assessments to establish a baseline.  These proprietary and scientifically validated assessments, developed by LeaderAmp, measure each participant in 18 unique dimensions.  By focusing on the dimensions that each participant or organization has deemed most critical, coaches are able to ensure targeted development and progress.  Throughout the process Artificial Intelligence works in tandem with the coaches to track the emotional experience of participants, ensuring assignments are neither too challenging nor too simple, keeping participants in a growth mindset.

With over 50 Member Firms and 300 locations around the globe, CPI is uniquely positioned to deliver coaching to national, multi-national, and international organizations with a proven and uniform approach.  CPI’s experienced and credentialed coaches amplified by LeaderAmp’s scientifically developed content create greater levels of scalability, bringing access to quality coaching to all levels within the organization.  With artificial intelligence and modern engagement techniques, PowerAmp Coaching democratizes the professional development field and creates stronger leaders and employees.  Whether supporting high-level individual contributors, guiding new leaders, identifying diverse pools of talent, expediting change management, or solving for other complex issues, PowerAmp Coaching provides innovation and intimacy driving sustainable results.  
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Targeted Professional Development and Coaching Excels Teams to Success

Unprecedented, chaotic, new-normal, turbulent, challenging, these are just some of the descriptors of today’s business environment.  Clearly, 2020 has brought new levels of complexity to the working world. Organizations are asking more and more of their employees, leaders, and managers; many of whom will rise to the occasion, but so many may not be equipped to do so.  In conjunction with LeaderAmp, Career Partners International is pleased to introduce PowerAmp Coaching, an industry first professional development and coaching solution designed to deliver measurable results, with a scalable model, and a greatly enhanced ROI.

Executives have long experienced the benefit of professional coaches.  Great coaches have the ability to provide insightful, meaningful, and actionable advice and guidance.  They address specific opportunities for improvement in an individual, rather than the more general recommendations offered through training or study.  Historically, coaching has been limited to the upper echelon of organizations due to its complexity and costs.  PowerAmp Coaching’s unique application of Artificial Intelligence within the coaching solution allows for increased transparency and endless scalability.  Organizations can provide coaching to whole teams of participants ranging from hi-potential individual contributors, to new managers, to experienced leaders, and more.  Each participant will benefit from a consistent process augmented by technology with measurable results while receiving personalized coaching resulting in measured improvements.

Group training sessions and online courses are valuable in delivering large numbers of participants the same guidance and messaging.  Coaching is unique in that it targets an individual’s areas of improvement and, when implemented at scale, leads to lasting improvement across the organization.  PowerAmp Coaching is designed to eliminate the risk from coaching by first identifying those with the most potential to gain from the program, then by maintaining constant communications with participants to ensure they are practicing between sessions.  Amplified by LeaderAmp, PowerAmp Coaching utilizes Artificial Intelligence to prompt actions and to quickly interpret engagement levels.  With this capability and high levels of engagement coaching becomes more expeditious and effective.

PowerAmp Coaching creates the biggest impact when applied to organizations’ most difficult problems.  With state-of-the-art assessments, scientifically designed to be accurate and precise, organizations measure participants’ starting points across 18 dimensions.   Participants can then focus on the skills that are most in need of development.  The effects of the coaching engagement are then measured to determine real progress made from start to completion.  PowerAmp Coaching makes professional development and coaching accessible to all levels of an organization with the transparency and targeted growth that proves the ROI of each coaching relationship.
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Career Partners International Launches PowerAmp™ Coaching – Industry Leading Professional Development Solution

Career Partners International (CPI) is pleased to announce the launch of PowerAmp Coaching, the world’s first professional development coaching program delivered by trained professional coaches amplified by scientifically created artificial intelligence.  This combination gives organizations the power to provide the benefits of coaching to otherwise unreachable populations all while minimizing risk and ensuring a solid return on investment.

CPI has launched this program in conjunction with LeaderAmp, founded by Dr. Matt Barney, Organizational Psychologist.  In Dr. Barney’s previous work as the head of learning and development in major organizations around the globe he identified three key obstacles to successful coaching engagements.  First was the inability to view and measure progress in real time.  Second was the difficulty in predetermining which participants would succeed in coaching.  Third was the limitation of delivering coaching to those only at the highest levels of major corporations.

PowerAmp Coaching combines the expertise of proven coaches with the tracking and guidance of custom-built and validated artificial intelligence.  This unique solution starts by identifying those in the organization who will most benefit from coaching then quickly identifies areas for improvement based on proprietary, peer-reviewed, and validated assessments.  With these highly accurate and precise tools, organizations and coaches can see which participants are on track and which need more support.   By partnering with AI and utilizing consolidated project management tools, coaches provide greater levels of support to more participants, opening the possibility of coaching to more employees than ever before.

“In my nearly 30 years in Human Resources and Learning & Development, I have not seen a coaching program so rooted in sound science.  Coupling CPI’s excellent coaching capabilities with LeaderAmp’s scientific approach and participant guidance bring previously unheard-of possibilities to the world of Professional Development,” states Bill Kellner, CEO of Career Partners International.

With over 50 Member Firms and 300 locations around the globe CPI is uniquely positioned to deliver coaching to national, multi-national, and international organizations with a proven and uniform approach.  PowerAmp Coaching combines this coaching presence with scientifically sound and proven technology to deliver measurable results to employees at all levels and in all corners of the world.  PowerAmp Coaching solves what have historically been the most difficult employee development problems faced by virtually all organizations.
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The Leading Advantage: Partnering With DE&I Consultants

Dr. Brandi M Baldwin, of CPI Austin, Texas, is a psychology and business professor turned coach who focuses on D&I, motivating millennial leaders, and advocating for equity in all levels of organizations.

This episode explores key components and measures in a successful DE&I coaching or consultant engagement.

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The Leading Advantage: DEI An Organizational Journey

Adrianna Gabriel of CCI Consulting joins the show to discuss how organizations can begin or continue forward on the path of their DE&I Journey.  As an Executive Coach and Training Consultant, Adrianna specializes in Diversity & Inclusion to promote workplace cultures that increase belonging.  Cultural change can be difficult, but with a structured approach it, like other business challenges, can be overcome allowing organizations to flourish.

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Embrace an Inclusive Approach to Diversity for an Improved Employee Experience

Written by Adrianna GabrielExecutive Coach & Training ConsultantCCI Consulting, a CPI Firm

In the midst of the current pandemic, the social unrest after George Floyd’s death brought diversity and inclusion back to the number one spot on the agenda of many organizations who feel compelled to take immediate action.  As a result, HR leaders are being relied upon heavily to guide businesses through tough conversations. Many companies have rushed to initiate unconscious bias trainings, set diversity hiring targets, and add minority-owned vendors to the supplier list.  While these tactics do push organizations forward and serve to drive some measure of change, they only scratch the surface and likely overlook the most important piece in the diversity puzzle: inclusion.

Companies can hire diverse employees, but how will those employees feel when they get there?  Will they be invited to share their most unique and creative ideas, or will they be asked to fit the current culture norms and leave their authentic selves outside?  More than ever, top employees, no matter their age, race, or gender, are seeking inclusive workspaces where all the pieces of their whole selves are considered to be assets rather than weaknesses.

Making inclusion central to your culture and employee experience doesn’t happen overnight, but through deliberate effort and committed leaders, organizations can begin taking steps to ensure that all employees feel welcomed, celebrated, and trusted.  Below are a few points for consideration when ramping up or reinforcing inclusive behaviors at your organization.

Do It for the Right Reasons

While great research has been done to highlight the business and financial returns that diversity provides, organizations will not obtain those results through representation alone.  By positioning metrics at the forefront of the business case for diversity, the human factors associated with caring for your “most valuable assets” get negated or forgotten altogether.

Organizations implementing new diversity-based initiatives with the sole intention of quelling disgruntled customers and employees may find that promises aren’t lived out day-to-day. Over time, this can erode trust and just-in-time efforts will fall on deaf ears.  Leading with a focus on inclusion without tying it to return on investment or reputation will position you as a company who doesn’t just do things right, but who also does the right things.

Take a Systematic Approach

Inclusion is not a training event.  As stated, trainings are a wonderful start when developing maturity around D&I in the workplace. For example, it is important to teach employees the skills needed to have challenging conversations while displaying empathy and staying within legal boundaries.  However, to reinforce behaviors, learning in training, policies and procedures should be examined to determine how well they support or discourage an inclusive environment.  Consider ways to prevent biases from creeping into performance management and succession planning conversations.  Evaluate hiring and onboarding strategies to ensure an inclusion-based approach.  When integrated with the organizational systems that keep the business moving forward, inclusion goes from theory to practice and a method for accountability is developed.

Embrace Continuous Learning

When developing inclusivity, organizations have come to see that initial steps, though well intended, may be a bit clumsy.  Outgoing messaging may be misinterpreted or even too general to have an impact. Internal conversations open the floodgates to a variety of opinions and beliefs. During this time, it is important for organizations to acknowledge the potential for mistakes up front, but to also commit to learning and improving moving forward.  Like with picking up a language, understanding can only be achieved when we marry our current knowledge to something new.  Moving beyond diversity and into inclusion requires taking steps past good intentions and into ongoing improvement.

Allow Time

Like any other culture change, changing the way that people think and engage around inclusion requires patience, compassion, and time. Even with the right messaging and procedures in place, employees will naturally embrace change at varying rates and as a result of different touchpoints with the concepts.  Don’t be surprised to find that some employees are hesitant to call each other out on exclusive behaviors or are not bravely displaying their authentic qualities all at once.  Continue to share the stories of committed leaders who had the vulnerability to include, thereby making it safe for others to do the same.   Over time, remain vigilant about keeping inclusion on the front burner, and the environment will slowly but surely shift.

In this new world of work, creating inclusive environments doesn’t mean asking employees to change their personal beliefs, but it does mean that they are expected to uphold a new standard of workplace behaviors because diversity is great, but it only wins when we take an inclusive approach.

Adrianna GabrielExecutive Coach & Training ConsultantCCI Consulting, a CPI Firm
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