Seminar Descriptions

The Credible Company: Communicating with Today's Skeptical Workforce
The  goals of this seminar are to improve participants' understanding of the unprecedented, even revolutionary, changes affecting the contemporary workplace and what those changes mean for communicating with an increasingly skeptical and insecure employee audience. Seminar facilitator Roger D’Aprix will base the readings and discussions on his 2009 book The Credible Company. Using selected readings from the book and other original source materials, you and your peers will discuss with the facilitator and one another:

  • How today’s economic forces are affecting the attitudes, concerns and cultures of contemporary work organizations
  • How to create a communication strategy and tactics to enhance leadership credibility
  • The leadership communication challenges faced by the leaders you assist with their communications
  • Your reactions to what is or is not practical and applicable in your own work experiences
  • The impact of leadership trust and actions on communication credibility

Change Management
Execute change efforts effectively and you're a hero--but most often, change efforts are complex, messy, and impacted by cultural forces.  This course examines concepts, models, roles, and best practices concerning implementing change initiatives. After completing this seminar, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify critical success factors that impact the effectiveness of change programs
  • Use change management models to plan and appraise change efforts
  • Consider factors that influence individual behavior that facilitates or hinders implementation

Collaboration Maturity: Designing Partnerships for Trust and Synergy
Understand the current nature of interactions; and how to reach and work at the optimal level of shared interactions based on the goals of the organizations involved and the situational dynamics. An expert facilitator with large- and small-scale organizational analysis experience will guide discussion around questions like:

  • What are the best working conditions for collaboration?
  • Can collaboration be engineered?
  • When, if ever, is collaboration not appropriate?
  • Who gets to make decisions in a collaborative partership?
  • Analyze and apply research on the factors that create a healthy communication infrastructure

Communication Systems - The Rules and Tools
Learn how to become the architect of a coherent and vibrant system of rules (policies, procedures, and standards) and tools (technologies and vehicles). In this seminar, you’ll learn to:

  • Use systems analysis tools and visualization
  • Design an information systems analytics study and contrast this to traditional communication audits
  • Develop a communication strategy, vision, and standards based on an underlying communication theory and your organization’s brand and culture

Context Matters: A Seminar on the Critical Role of Context to Internal Communication
Just about everyone agrees that line-of-sight, the ability to connect one’s role and contributions in an organization to the organization’s strategy and priorities, is critical to employee engagement. But too often it is the missing element in an otherwise sound communication strategy. The difference-maker is context. If people understand the context of their work—the marketplace in which the organization operates, the challenges it faces in succeeding in that marketplace and the needs of its customers and other constituents, line-of-sight is a much simpler proposition.

The goals of this seminar are to examine:

  • How the context in which an organization functions affects people’s ability to understand their work roles and relationships;
  • How unprecedented marketplace and workplace change is affecting the ability of communication professionals to do their jobs and to create sound communication strategy;
  • How to better conceive and manage the role of the communication professional in facilitating employee engagement;
  • The face-to-face communication role of people managers in creating context and engagement in a digital world.

Crisis Communication
Explore an integrative and comprehensive framework for managing internal and external responses to crisis events. As a result of readings, case studies, projects and discussions with the facilitator and one another you will:

  • Examine effective and ineffective responses using case studies from Johnson and Johnson, British Petroleum and Xerox
  • Learn the fundamentals of crisis communication
  • Know the essential elements of a crisis communication plan
  • Better appreciate the necessity for proactive crisis communication strategy and plans
  • Discuss your reactions to the communication principles and determine how they apply to your role and responsibilities
  • Consider the benefits and challenges of an open communication culture during crisis
  • Apply what you learn to a crisis communication project relevant to your work

Developing Organizational Knowledge
Organizations hold an immense amount of data, information, and knowledge but are often poor stewards of these assets.  Knowledge management (KM) systems are designed to better identify and utilize valuable organizational knowledge.  In this seminar, you will learn about:

  • Knowledge assets
  • Knowledge management (KM) systems
  • Techniques to help your organization do a better job in developing intangible assets to their fullest potential

Evaluating Emerging Technologies
Learn what’s hot and what’s not even on the radar screen, and how to assess if and how you should adopt a new technology. By the end of the seminar, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify emerging technologies that can be applied to organizational communication
  • Use evaluation criteria and research to decide whether or how to use these technologies to achieve organizational performance goals
  • Predict and avoid risks and potential legal / ethical / usage issues
  • Select an emerging technology for an actual organizational goal, specifying general design and management criteria to maximize its effectiveness

How Not to be Lied to by Statistics
Bad data are worse than no data. Good data tell a story; it paints a picture. Using numbers means knowing how to organize the data clearly and allowing the numbers to tell the story they have to tell. Whether evaluating others' data and conclusions or collecting and interpreting original data, decision makers must know how to see the forest and avoid being led astray among the trees. By the end of this course you will have learned:

  • How to recognize when data are misleading or incomplete
  • How to discriminate between coincidence and connection, between randomness and pattern
  • How to read the story the data have to tell and draw the conclusions the data allow

Leadership and Coalition-Building
Leading means more than managing. In this two-week session, you’ll identify your leadership strengths and weaknesses, and develop new ways to leverage your strengths and preferences,  in order to build effective teams, and to manage upwards. You’ll apply these new ideas to an actual workplace situation and get feedback from your fellow learners. You’ll learn:

  • To identify your personality type preferences and how this relates to your leadership style and your ability to build coalitions
  • How to distinguish between and use your power, authority, leadership, and influence
  • Proven ways to gain face-time and credibility with executives
  • Why managing your boss improves your standing with employees
  • Reflect on how you will  develop the skills you need to build coalitions

Making Virtual Work "Work"
Teams working virtually can be remarkably productive, even outperforming groups whose members work side by side. Learn new rules about how to manage virtual teams and change some assumptions about policy and practice around human resource management and information technologies. You’ll learn:

  • Basics on team effectiveness and how that relates to virtual interactions – virtual work
  • Full technology spectrum immersion is not required for virtual work
  • How to put together an effective collaborative virtual leveraging enterprise
  • Management implications for virtual work

Project Management for Facilitators
Develop skills in writing and using RFPs, budgeting, scheduling, coordinating responsibilities, and using collaboration technologies to bring successful projects in on time and within budget. In this seminar, participants will develop skills to:

  • Weight the pros and cons of outsourcing
  • Write and respond to RFPs
  • Manage projects across teams
  • Identify new online collaboration technologies to lead virtual teams

Needs Analysis and Performance Consulting
Move beyond being a creative producer to a consultant who identifies and closes business performance gaps, using a set of analytical methods and a wide variety of solutions. In this seminar, You’ll learn to:

  • Identify why conventional, discipline-based methods for solving organizational performance problems are flawed
  • Describe several models for performance consulting and needs analysis
  • Apply analysis models in order to identify performance gaps and select appropriate
  • interventions
  • Discuss and apply concepts about the barriers and enablers to adopting performance consulting and gaining buy-in from clients and sponsors

Planning and Executing the Surveys You Really Need
Carrying out a survey well is harder than it seems. Properly executed surveys provide valuable data that inform actions; poorly conducted surveys induce costly mistakes. Eliminating systematic bias and random error allows decision makers to profit from survey research. Understanding the key strengths and weaknesses of surveys further enables consumers of information to interpret others’ surveys advantageously.By the end of this seminar you will have learned:

  • The art of effective and efficient questionnaires
  • The science of choosing survey participants to be able to draw conclusions from the results
  • Traditional techniques and topical technologies, and the advantages and limitations of each

ROI and Beyond: Demonstrating the Value of Communication or Performance Systems as a Business Asset
Today more than ever, professionals in communications, training, and performance consulting are challenged to prove their value. While many practitioners are beginning to calculate the actual and potential ROI of their projects, this measurement technique is just the beginning. Communication and learning systems have ongoing strategic value as intangible assets and a competitive advantage to organizations. You’ll learn:

  • When, why, and how to calculate cost/benefits and ROI measures (and when NOT to).
  • How to use proven models and templates to pitch your projects as long-term intangible assets.
  • Strategies for protecting and leveraging your intellectual and business properties, creating an income stream for communications and training.

Solving Performance Problems Across Cultures
Solving performance problems within a single culture requires a systematic approach frequently using a performance improvement process. However when addressing performance problems across cultures (as in global business) various cultural dimensions can complicate a single-culture performance improvement process. This seminar combines practical applications with the theoretical foundations necessary to gain an understanding of cross-cultural issues and performance management processes needed by today’s global business managers. Participants will be introduced to concepts in performance management including the HPT Model© developed by ISPI, and asked to consider how utilizing the HPT Model might be affected by cultural issues. In this seminar, you will:

  • Develop a working understanding of a variety of cultural dimension and issues that impact working across cultures
  • Develop a working understanding of performance improvement tools
  • Apply the knowledge of cultural issues and performance improvement tools in an integrated fashion when managing performance across cultures.

Strategic Planning
Acquire a deeper understanding of strategy concepts and learn to develop a strategic plan that creates alignment with organizational priorities and cultivates influence with senior leadership. In this seminar you’ll learn to:

  • Describe the concept and purpose of “strategy” and how it is conceived in your organization.
  • Recognize and select appropriate approaches and tools for creating a strategic plan.
  • Describe key components of a communication/training function strategy.
  • Apply strategy concepts to formulate an initial strategic plan.