Our Managing the Mobile Workforce Tools and Tips Webinar is Next Week

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We’re so looking forward to our second American Management Association webinar. It’s next week, December 1st, and the title is Managing the Mobile Workforce: Tools and Tips for Supporting and Motivating Your Staff.
It’s always a pleasure to work with our friends at AMA. It’s always great when people invite you back!  Here are the details if you or others you know are interested in attending.
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Engagement On The Go with David Zinger of the Employee Engagement Network

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I love to write. I love public speaking. Call me crazy, right? We know that many people avoid both of these activities like the plague. One of the reasons I enjoy these is because I am totally engaged when I am performing them. Each demands my total attention. Each is interactive and iterative, moving toward, but never achieving, perfection. Each results in a product that, usually, sends some positive feedback my way. Each requires a skill which, as it improves, causes me to feel a certain amount of pride in my work. Each makes a difference. Each is something that I find inherently enjoyable – the pleasure is in the doing, not just in the reward.

In short, writing and public speaking are the kinds of activities which, for me, are what I think people are referring to when they talk about employee engagement. For others, fixing cars, computer programming, or keeping track of accounts payable result in similar “engagement”, though neither of these three would for me. Each of us is the same in what motivates us and each of us is different. Great leaders know what both of those are for their followers, and therefore what it takes to create motivating work environments for each unique set of workers.

I was recently interviewed by David Zinger of the Employee Engagement Network. He called it Employee Engagement on the Go: Managing the Mobile Workforce. It was a pleasure talking with him and I felt him to be a kindred spirit. I was honored he’d ask me to come talk with him about our book, Managing the Mobile Workforce.  He seems like a genuinely caring person who is making a positive difference.

I am not an expert on “engagement” per se, so it was fun to upgrade my knowledge of “engagement” abit. That included reading some scholarly papers, in particular a couple by Brad Shuck, who has done a great job of synthesizing what the academic world is saying about engagement.  McGraw-Hill has a book out called Re-Engage: How America’s Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times, by Branham and Hirschfeld. This was a good one since I’m always interested in what we can learn from what the “best places to work” practice. Also, David Zinger himself has a huge amount of information (groups, discussion, feeds, blogs, videos, and more) on the Employee Engagement Network website.

The result – I had a great time during the 45 minute webinar and we covered a lot of territory. It produced a very highly downloaded video, which must have struck a chord with folks thinking about the juxtaposition of engagement and the mobile workforce. I hope you’ll check it out if you have time and interest.

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My first magazine cover – move over A-Listers!

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OK, I’ve never had paparazzi follow me, or groupies, or anyone, actually, other than friends from whom I borrowed a book or hammer or the like who were tracking me down. But I must admit that when David and I got our first magazine cover I felt a bit like a celeb.  We owe it all to the nice folks at Brilliant Results magazine, who featured us in their June, 2011 issue.

I’ve written for the magazine before, so when MaryAnne Morrill, the editor-in-chief, asked if we’d be interested in being their cover story we jumped at the chance. I’d communicated with Maureen Williams, the publisher, when Managing the Mobile Workforce came out and she’d kindly expressed interest in it, and the two of them just seemed like the kind of people with whom you always want to work. Their covers always are great art, and the article was alot of fun to work on. The magazine itself is a terrific resource.  They are focused on:

“…providing leading executives from primarily Fortune 1000 companies with powerful, results-oriented, cutting edge marketing, incentive and motivation/recognition ideas. We give our readers the tools they need to build the relationships, find the resources and get the results that every successful marketing, branding, or employee recognition campaign needs.”

Check out the article – I hope you enjoy it!

To find more out about Brilliant Results follow Maureen’s tweets – @Bresults – and be sure to follow their magazine.

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Our Interview with “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It” co-author Jody Thompson

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One of the most exciting ideas out about ways to develop highly motivating, productive, and enjoyable work is “ROWE“.  That stands for Results-Only Work Environment, an idea that was developed and then made accessible by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson via their highly readable and successful book, Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It.

In a ROWE environment, they say, “people can do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done”. That sounds revolutionary doesn’t it? No more mandatory arrive-at-the-same–location-at-8:00 a.m.-depart-at-5:00 p.m. work policies.  No more managing by walking around, unless it’s virtually (no one might even be there….).  If you go to their website or read the book you’ll see all sort of examples and statistics which show that productivity goes up, voluntary turnover goes down, job satisfaction up – in short, every indicator seems to be going in the right direction.  (Whew!  Managers can start rejoicing at the great results, right, along with their employees who will be dancing in the aisles.  Well, maybe – there might not actually be any aisles – or halls – where the workforce hangs out if your organization goes ROWE, eh?).

In one sense, there’s nothing all that novel about ROWE is there?  Farmers, craftspeople, professionals, small business owners and many, many others over the decades and centuries have had “getting the work done” as the main priority, and for folks like that the time, place, and activity is determined by the work itself. Not some organizational policy meant to keep everyone showing up at the same time and place whether it makes sense or not.  What Jody and Cali have done is move the concept to the larger workforce, and they have good examples showing how that can be done.

We had the good fortune to spend some time with and to interview Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It co-author Jody Thompson.  She was gracious with her time – she and Cali are in much demand these days – and is obviously passionate about ROWE and what it can do for organizations and workers.  Listen to our interview with her here.

Let us know what you think.  Do you think it would make sense to Go ROWE at your workplace?  What would hold you back?  What could help make it happen? Are there better ways to get the work done in your work environment?

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Our American Management Association Webinar

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Our American Management Association (AMA) webinar this week was a blast.  Titled Managing the Mobile Workforce: Tools and Tips for Supporting and Motivating Your Staff we presented information from our book about performance management for mobile workers, 8 principles for motivating mobile workers, tools for working with the mobile workforce and a bunch more.

AMA does as professional a job on their preparation and production values as any group I’ve worked with.  Dave Summers and Peg Pettingell were the folks – true professionals and fun to work with – from AMA who prepared us for the show and then interviewed us.

We had some excellent questions from the participants signed up for the show and also from Dave and Peg.  To me, that’s when it gets really interesting and challenging.  Will I know anything at all about what they are asking?  (Most of the time, but not always… David always saves me when we do these because he knows ALL about this topic.) Will I say something silly? (Well, it’s been known to happen….).  These questions can give a good idea about what is on the minds of people out on the ground.

In January we recorded one of AMA’s Edgewise Series “nuggets”.  They have so many great authors in these, including people like Dan Pink and Seth Godin, that it was a true honor to be included in that group.  You can actually still listen to that recording.

As always, we were in a rush. David was in Boston getting ready to present our book to an organization and some of its stakeholders.  I couldn’t make that trip because we had our Leadership Boise graduation that night (another wonderful experience I’ll write about one of these days.  (I graduated from Leadership Albuquerque quite a number of years ago, and both these community leadership development experiences were excellent and are highly recommended).

Coming up, a June Treasury Executives Institute presentation for senior Treasury leaders in Washington D.C.  Lot’s going on!

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Our Lunch and Lead Presentation

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The University of Idaho has a wonderful series in Boise called Lunch and Lead.  This year the topic is kaleidoscope thinking and it’s free to the public.  What is kaleidoscope thinking?  Well, it’s all about shaking up your thinking.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter has said that “Leaders need to develop ‘Kaleidoscope Thinking’ – a way of constructing patterns from the fragments of data available, and then manipulating them to form different patterns.  They must question their assumptions about how pieces of the organization, the marketplace, or the community fit together.  Change leaders remember that there are many solutions to a problem and that by looking through a different lens somebody is going to invent a new way of doing things.

Here’s our presentation (video) about Managing the Mobile Workforce. In it we actually pull out kaleidoscopes to make the point that leaders need to shake up their thinking about the workforce, and to bust some paradigms about where, when, and how work can get done.  It was a wonderful audience.  We started with….well, you’ll see…

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Lunch and Lead presentation tomorrow

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For our Idaho Treasure Valley friends, David and I are presenting at the University of Idaho’s Lunch and Lead tomorrow. If you’re in the area and you’ve been wanting to hear about our book and the mobile workforce this might be a good one – and it’s free!  We’d love to see you.

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Voice of America – Real Recognition Radio Authors of Managing the Mobile Workforce

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What an amazing experience  this was to be hosted by Real Recognition Radio hosts – Roy Saunderson and Max Brown. Both Michael and I had a chance to be interviewed by the best in the business of talk radio and especially on the subject of LEADERSHIP!

To listen in on this program -

At 1:00 pm Eastern or 10:00 AM Pacific -  the live show will begin automatically.  No sign-in necessary!

In 24 hours the link will be downloadable and also be available on iTunes, which does show up as a podcast

We will also post this on the radio section of our site with a listen now link.

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Clemons Kroth Featured in Inc.com Article

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We recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Eric Markowitz of Inc.com. The article, How to Manage a Virtual Sales Force,  includes some nice quotes from our interview and book, and also has a very nice discussion of the challenges, strategies, and dynamics are of virtual sales teams.  Worth a look!

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The Mobile Workforce Will Revolutionize Your Industry

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My first TrainingIndustry.com blog was posted earlier today.  This is very exciting not only because of the reach and scope of this excellent organization, but also because I’ll have a venue to talk about training, leadership, and organizational development issues I would never have a chance to cover otherwise. It’s a forum that allows for enough length to have substance and is immediate enough to talk about what is happening right now.

CEO and Founder of Training Industry, Inc., Doug Harward, offered both David and I the opportunity to blog for TI, and you can expect something from him soon.  He of course is the entrepreneur-technology guru of our book, Managing the Mobile Workforce.  I’m not sure what I am, but I do enjoy writing about our field.

My first post is called The Mobile Workforce Will Revolutionize Your Industry, and in it I imagine what might happen in healthcare over the next few years.  I hope you’ll visit TrainingIndustry.com to see all the great information and opportunity they offer, and also to read my post.  I’d love to hear how you think your industry might change through an increasingly mobile workforce.

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