Craig NealI have known Craig Neal for a number of years, as a matter of fact I attended one of his “The Art of Convening” meetings at the Gap in Northern California several years ago.   I recently reconnected with Craig and had the opportunity to discuss his newly released book entitled “The Art Of Convening-Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings, and Conversations“.

If you are like me, you have attended lots of meetings during your career and frequently walk away wondering “why” did I attend?  If you have ever asked this questions, then Craig’s new book “The Art of Convening” is a must read.

In my interview with Craig we discuss what he refers to as “authentic engagement”.  Authentic engagement is , simply, a genuine expression of what is true for us, and an attentive listening to what is true for another, or others.  Why this simple human interaction often eludes us can be a matter of habit, distrust, faulty modeling, lack of attention, or fear.

Craig has created a wonderful model in the book that assists “the convener” in understanding the art associated with creating a gathering.  The model is referred to as the “convening wheel” and at the center is “The Heart of the Matter” with eight adjacent spokes:  Clarifying Intent , The Invitation, Setting Context, Creating the Container, Hearing all the Voices, Essential Conversations, Creation, Commitment to Action.   Craig states that there is a lot of pressure in our lives to go, go, go all the time–to drive to results and spring into action, often before the actions’s optimal time has come.  It’s counterintuitive to take the time to reflect on how we ill be in relationship with others. In a way, we have to slow down and do the internal due diligence to know what results we really want to drive and when it is time to take the action.
If you are at all interested in better understanding how to hold meeting with meaning, purpose and aligned outcomes then I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of “The Art Of Convening“.  This book will instruct you with essential questions to better understand your purpose, your meetings purpose and the associated actions you really would like to achieve from meetings, gatherings and most importantly conversations.  I hope you enjoy this interview with one of the masters in the business of “authentic engagement”.

You can learn more about Craig and Patricia Neal the authors by clicking here to be directed to their website.

Roger ConnorsI recently did an interview with Roger Conner the author of “Change the Culture, Change the Game“.  In our dialogue together we discuss the importance of having a organizational culture of accountability.   As Roger states in the book, either you will manage your culture, or it will manage you.   Organizational culture is nothing more that the way people think and act.  Every organization has a culture, and they either work for you or against you.

Roger and I discuss what he refers to at the Results Pyramid, which is the tool that his organization uses to help create accountability within organizations.  At the core of the Results Pyramid are the experiences, beliefs, actions and ultimately the results that are created.   So the leaders of the organization must create the needed culture, the culture produces the results, the most effective culture is a culture of accountability then this helps transition the organization into one with a competitive advantage.  Sounds simple doesn’t it.  Well hold on just a minute—this only happens when the people in every corner of the organization make the personal choice to take the Steps to Accountability–and each step builds on the previous one.

So what are these steps of accountability that are require to produce results.  1) See it– means moving Above the Line or staying there whenever a new challenge arises.  2) Own it-means being personally invested, learning from both successes and failures, aligning your work with desired company results and acting on the feedback you receive. 3) Solve it-requires persistent effort as you encounter obstacles that stand in the way of achieving results.  When you take this step, you constantly ask the question “What else can I do?’  4) Do it– the final step in the process, represents the natural culmination of the first three steps–it means doing what you say you will do.

If you think that this stuff is just for business people, think again.  The basic principles that Roger speaks about in this book are so important to your own personal growth and development.  If you follow the sound advice in the book about being personally accountable, not only to yourself but to those you work with you will find a wonderful transformation in your personal life.  You can only imagine the amazing results that occur when you can get a whole organization where personal accountability is the guiding light for the employees.  This is a company that you will want to do business with.

I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of “Change the Culture, Change the Game“.  It will give you the guidance both personally and professionally in creating cultures of accountability, once you know the forumla for creating accountable people,  positive organizational transformation is bound to occur.
If you would like to learn more about Roger Conner’s and Partners In Leadership  please click here, and enjoy my interview with Roger.

Dee Edington, Ph.D.If you are interested at all about the future of wellness and healthcare, then you need go no further than our guest for this podcast Dee Edington Ph.D.  Dee is the author of over 500 articles on the subject, and his new book entitled “Zero Trends: Health as a Serious Economic Strategy” certainly is a must read for anyone involved in the delivery of wellness and healthcare solution.

In my interview with Dee we discuss the two major problems that need to be solved: the rising cost of healthcare in America, which is eroding profits at an accelerating rate and leading toward disaster for businesses.  As well as the do-nothing approach which is not a solution at all.

Dee suggest that we need to move from a sickness orientated culture to a culture of health, a culture in which we not only care for the sick but also enable the healthy to stay healthy.   This is an approach that lowers healthcare costs and as the same time increases productivity and human satisfaction.

Edington quotes  Albert Einstein “the world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.”    It is clear that after all of these years of the same medical approaches to managing health, more doctors, nurses, hospitals, procedures and devices will not solve the problems.  Edington disagrees with those in the medical profession and some of the health economists and politicians who argue that prevention and healthy lifestyles will not lower the total costs of sickness or lead to a better way of life for individuals and businesses.  The information and data presented in “Zero Trends”  will support the argument that improved health status will not only reduce healthcare costs for companies but also increase performance and productivity in the workplace.

The bottom line is that we need to focus on bringing back vitality to our businesses and the people that work in them. The new model for healthcare in America redefines healthcare as a combination of illness and wellness strategies.  It is designed to help employers enable employees to become self-leaders in maintaining their energy, vitality and overall performance.
If you are interested in learning more about “Zero Trends” then I highly recommend that you visit the Health Management Research Center at the University of Michigan by clicking here.  You can also purchase Dee’s book at this website by clicking this link to take you directly to the book’s landing page.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful interview with a man who has dedicated his career to helping us better understand the challenges we are facing in healthcare.

Nick McCormickI recently interviewed author and consultant, Nick McCormick, who’s new book entitled “Acting Up Brings Everyone Down” is a great read for anybody managing employees.  In our interview together we discuss the reprocutions of childish behavior in the workplace and the effects is has on productivity.

We have all known someone at one time or another that just loves to fuss about whats going on in the office.  Nothing is ever right, and they have a tendency to place blame for what is not right outside themselves.  This example is common, and as Nick explains, it is the  job of the manager to help the employee to understand that they need to start taking responsibility for their actions.  Many of the stories that Nick uses in the book to get his point across are one we can all relate to as children.   Nick develops a wonderful correlation between the behaviors we expressed as children to similar behaviors that get acted out in the workplace.

Acting up Brings Everyone Down” also has wonderful “do’s” and don’t” at the end of each chapter, these summary “do’s” and “don’t”  give a summary of the actions that managers can implement within their organization to overcome the childish behavior and have the employees start taking responsibility for their actions.   This is a wonderful book and a very quick read, which is what every manager in the workplace needs.  I would encourage anyone who deals with people in a work environment to read this book, and most importantly implement Nick’s recommendations.
If you would like more information about Nick’s new book, please visit his website by clicking here.  I hope you enjoy this interview with author Nick McCormick about the challenges all managers are faced with in managing employees.

Marti SpiegelmanI received an email from Marti Spiegelman stating that she was going to be interviewing Rinaldo Brutoco from the World Business Academy for her radio show entitled “Awakening Value“.  I have to admit that I was quite intrigued,  because she is a practicing  modern shaman and in all the years that I have done interviews on Inside Personal Growth I have never had the opportunity to interview a shaman, and Marti graciously accepted.

In my interview we explore so many fascinating aspects of Shamanism, as well as discussing a program she as developed for CEO’s entitled “The Conscious CEO.  As Marti explains it shamanism is a word that means nothing more than “keepers of the wisdom”, and in accent indian traditions the elders in the tribes would pass on this wisdom from generation to generation.

There are two keys to the training. The first is mastery of the shaman’s state of luminous awareness.The second is mastery of the fundamental principles that underlie all shamanic technologies. As these principles are revealed to you, you are taught how to use them the way they were originally intended – to grow you, fully and passionately into the genius you actually are and create pathways for your gift to be received in the world. In the process of mastering luminous awareness and receiving multiple levels of shamanic intuition, you develop for yourself a new way to walk in the world, a new way to understand life and your place in it, a new way to be your power and your passion.

These teachings are an integral part of Marti’s course entitled “The Conscious CEO” that she conducts a couple of times per year.  If you are a CEO of an organization or in upper management the shamanic technologies that Marti imparts as part of her course will certainly awaken your consciousness as well as allow you to open up to developing a corporate culture of “awareness”.  Marti speaks about “relational awareness” as our unconscious but when you become a modern shaman you become very aware of your connection to the environment and everything around you.  The development of this sensory of awareness will heighten one’s ability to connect, allowing for endless possibilities.
If you are looking for a new way to perceive your world, with fresh eyes and an open mind then I encourage you to check out Marti’s website by clicking here.  Also you can listen to her regularly broad casted Voice America radio show by clicking here.  Enjoy this wonderful interview with an amazing modern day shaman Marti Spiegelman.

mick ukleja headshotI met author and thought leader Mick Ukleja at the Innovation and Humanities Summit that was held on the campus of Chapman University in Orange, CA.  I was certainly fascinated by his topic about “Managing the Millennials” also the title of his new book.

If you have not been following the generational differences, the millennials are the generation born between 1987 and 1996.  The curiosity for Mick’s work began a few  years ago when his consulting firm began to notice the frustration among manager and business leaders with integrating younger workers into their organizations. Activities that in the past had been relatively straightforward–like recruiting, retaining, and rewarding–now seemed more challenging than ever.  60 Minutes, the CBS television journal, even did a report about the millennial phenomena where stories portrayed reactions that ranged from amazement to incredulity to outrage.

Mick’s firm GeNext Consulting decided to so some research with both the managers who were having challenges, and those where were effective in their management of the millennials. They analyzed thousands of statements collected during interviews with both managers and Millennial employees and found a pattern of responses that they referred to as perceived orientations.  As many of us know perceptions are not necessarily reality, but perceptions acted on or unchecked often become reality and contributed to the tension between the managers and the millennials.

It is my perception after having personally worked with many people from this generation that they are one of the brightest generations to have graced our planet.  Their focus is work-life balance, reward, self-expression, attention, achievement, informality, simplicity, multitasking, and meaning.

The bottom line is that if managers want to learn how to ease the conflict and tension, which frequently are based on the biases and perceptions which as mentioned are often not reality, then they would best treat the millennials by including them, engaging their opinion and disarming them by treating them as equals.  Millennials will react much more favorably, and many of the differences will vanish.

As Mick points out there seem to be two camps with respect to perspectives about Millennials. One camp believes that Millennials are victims of ‘trend inflation”, meaning that the media has created how they are perceived and consultants are creating a niche industry as a result.  Millennials are bright, motivated and great to have around.  The other camp see millennials as free agents lacking loyalty or commitment to their organizations.  However you want to view millennials they are here to stay, and it would be best to learn how to work with them in harmony.

Mick’s new book certainly provides the reader with the knowledge and insight into how to best lead and work with the Millennials.  Please go to his website by clicking here to get more information on working with Millennials, and enjoy this great interview with Mick Ukleja.

Jeanne Meister I had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Jeanne Meister the co-author of a new book entitled, “The 2020 Workplace“.  The purpose for me reaching out to Jeanne and conducting this interview is that Jeanne and her colleagues spent an extensive amount of time researched  the workplace of the future and their findings are quite revealing for both the employee and the employer.

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering how our workplace is going to change and what are the predictions for the future.   The First major change is that you will be hired and promoted based upon your reputation capital.  As a matter of fact, reputation capital is going to be the top currency in the 2020 workplace.  Reputation capital is the sum total of your personal brand, your expertise and the breadth, depth and quality of your social network.

The Second prediction is that your mobile device will become your office, your classroom and your concierge.  Mobile phones and tablets will be the primary connections tool to the Internet for most people in the world in 2020.

Third, the global talent shortage will be acute.  The global competition for highly qualified workers will take shape int 2020.  Beside there being five generations in the workplace, there will be a shortage of certain skills, not just workers. Fourth, recruiting will start on social networking sites. Recruiting for the vast majority of professionals jobs will start in one of the highly trafficked social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Second Life. Fifth, Web commuters will force corporate offices to reinvent themselves.  Knowledge workers are increasingly choosing to work at “third places” which means informal public places such as cafes, coffee shops, hotels, book stores, etc.

There are 20 predictions that Jeanne and her colleges have developed as a result of their research, and believe me “The 2020 Workplace-How Innovative Companies, Attract, Develop, Develop and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today” is a must read for anyone wanting to learn more about how our workplaces are going to evolve.

This book is also recommended reading for upper management of organizations wanting to compete with the global workforce.  One thing for certain, we are going to see lots of changes, and your ability to embrace the changes will determine both your personal and organizational success.

If you would like more information please visit “The 2020 Workplace” website by clicking here.  Enjoy this very engaging interview with Jeanne Meister a true thought leader and futurist in the field of trends in the workplace.

Jessica Pryce-JonesDo you remember what Walt Disney used to say about Disneyland? –That is was the happiest place on earth.  If you have ever visited Disneyland or Disney World then you will experience a culture of people that really love their work.

I recently learned that of the trillions we are spending on health care in our country,  that 70% of the dollars spent are allocated to five chronic diseases of which depression is one of the aliments.  This is a staggering amount of money being spent to keep our workforce happy and more productive.  What I am wondering is why are so many of us reverting to anti-depressants to just sustain our life, and why can’t happiness be a natural life occurrence?.

If you have some of these same questions, then you are going to love my interview with author Jessica Pryce-Jones about her new book entitled, “Happiness at Work“. In our interview together we explore the mindset that is part of a happy productive person and the associated workplace environment that fosters happiness.  Jessica spent over five years studying 3,000 people and compiling data on what creates happiness in the workplace.  She discovered that there are five main components of happiness at work, and they are:

  • Contribution: For individuals, this means achieving one’s goals, having clear objectives, raising issues that are personally important, and feeling secure in one’s job. It also consists of being listened to, getting positive feedback, being respected by one’s boss, and feeling appreciated.
  • Conviction: This means being motivated, feeling effective and efficient, showing resiliency when time are tough, and perceiving that one’s work has a positive impact on the world.
  • Culture: People who feel they fit well at work enjoy their jobs, like their colleagues, appreciate the values the workplace stands for, believe they are being treated fairly, and feel that they have control of their daily activities.
  • Commitment: Means identifying your overall purpose, finding meaningful work, being interested in your job, and believing in the vision of your organization. Increasing commitment is just as much an individuals responsibility as it is a corporate one–the company’s vision and strategies should be understood at every staff level.
  • Confidence: It’s important to choose jobs, goals, and challenges that push the boundaries of one’s comfort zone in order to grow confidence. Increasing confidence also means creating safety mechanisms and support when trying new and difficult things.

So, if you want a workplace filled with happy workers who are more productive, engaged and willing to contribute, then you need to read this wonderful book by Jessica Pryce-Jones.  You can also visit her website by clicking here to learn more about her company iOpener, and the studies she has completed.

Enjoy this wonderful interview with someone who know what it takes to make a workplace the happiest place on earth.

Michael E. Gerber I believe most people in small business know author Michael E. Gerber.  Michael has written a new book entitled, “The Most Successful Small Business in the World: The Ten Principles“.  Michael is a fascinating and dynamic man, not to mention a prolific writer.

In his 70’s Michael still travels the world speaking his message with great passion and zest for life.  In my interview we explore one of his new ventures entitled “Origination‘”.  I would highly recommend that you click on the link and watch his compelling video.  I am not someone to watch a 20 minute video on the Internet, but this video was quite compelling and intrigued me enough to learn more about what Michael is up too.

Michael reveals in “The Most Successful Small Business in the World: The Ten Principles” is a must read for any person in business.  Gerber’s ten principles will help you to break out of the vicious cycle before it starts in your new business. He’ll help you to embrace the energy of exploration with a road map for taking your vision beyond the obvious.  Only then can you build a company that provides continuous fulfillment and personal growth, and can expand the income, services and positive contribution to your employees and community.

Gerber’s ten principles will help you to: 1) identify your company’s essential “system”–its highly differentiated way of doing business that will be the cornerstone of your success.  2) Build a business of great imagination;a self-reliant “reach” that will create economic certainty in any climate. 3) Create a center of growth and learning for your employees, that will in turn develop you business beyond any standard that formerly existed. 4) Instill a higher purpose that can move yourself, your business, and your customers to greater levels of fulfillment and growth.

If you are looking for a truly different business book with wisdom, guidance and simple formulas for success—then you have landed on the right book.  Please visit Micheal’s website by clicking here for more video, audio, radio shows and more.

The website is beautiful and loaded with great free content. Enjoy this lively interview with a true master at small business,  Michael E. Gerber.