Tag Archive: change

You Should Come to This Course. Yes, You.


Our regular readers will know by now that Nicole and I are upbeat, positive people and we get excited about a lot of things. So, when I tell you that we are SUPER EXCITED about our upcoming course in November, please trust that it is not hyperbole.

Why are we so over-the-top and ridiculously excited?

Well, because we believe this course is innovative, and innovation is a good, positive, wonderful thing.

You’ve heard us talk about The Whiteboard Way© before (click here or here). We believe that our method of Process Improvement is what organizations need in order to take the first step into a Process Improvement culture. Often organizations hear about the buzz words – continuous improvement, process improvement, Six Sigma, Lean Six Sigma, TQM, etc – and they go bananas implementing a new program.

And so many of them fail. I’ve seen it happen in three major organizations in both the private and the public sectors.

They fail because they haven’t set themselves up to succeed – they have not considered the importance of change management, culture shift, and stakeholder engagement. It’s as bad as if someone all of a sudden decided they want to be a farmer, and so they bought a big field and started sticking seeds in the ground, without tilling the soil, removing rocks, adding fertilizer, and ensuring the earth is rich and ready to receive the seeds.

Enough of the analogy. You get what I’m saying, and hopefully many of you are nodding your heads and saying, “yup – been there, done that.”

Our new course, Leading Process Change, offered Nov 5 & 6 in Toronto, examines the intersection of Process Improvement and Leadership Principles and enables the learner to influence change and develop a process-based culture. Everyone can benefit from this course, especially if they are responsible for, or thinking about, process improvement in their organization. (Click to Tweet)

You need to come to this course. Yes, you.

What? You don’t think you’re at the right level in your organization to attend? To that I say, pfftrespectfully, PFFT.

Whether you are an employee on a team in an organization who wishes you knew how to influence change so people would listen to your ideas, or a VP trying to figure out why you can’t make process improvements stick, (or somewhere in between), this course is for you.

We have designed the course in two modules, so that people can come to one or both.

  • Module 1 – is all about The Whiteboard Way©, and focuses on the basics of Process Improvement without getting all fancy shmancy and needing expensive software or textbooks.
  • Module 2 – examines essential skills in making sure that change sticks. We have expert speakers on how to communicate & promote your change initiative, how to work process improvement into your strategic planning, and how to be aware of your own emotional intelligence and its impacts on others.

More information is here in this link. I encourage you to read it, and then sign up and bring anyone else who needs to be there (which is everyone, so…). We have discounts for Earlybirds (before October 18th), former students, members of BNI or Verity, and employees of the OPS. And discounts can be combined!

I hope to see you at our course. I promise it will be fun – our past students have rated our training consistently in the top box! (Oh, and the lunch will be fantastic!)


PS – if you have any questions, just shoot us an email at info@whiteboardconsulting.ca/staging.

How to Be a Shirtless Jogger at Work

It is possible that the title of this blog only resonates for those who live in the Greater Toronto Area. It’s also possible that with social

shirtless jogger

media and the global popularity of Rob Ford, that others are now familiar with the awesome Shirtless Jogger. But for those of you who aren’t, let me explain…

Toronto’s famous/infamous mayor, Rob Ford, returned from his stint in rehab this past Monday, June 30th. The next day was July 1st, Canada’s 147th birthday, fully of parades and flag waving and fireworks and BBQ’s and… a shirtless jogger.

At a parade in the Toronto neighbourhood of East York, 35 year-old Joe Killoran, a local teacher, experienced his 15 minutes of fame when he confronted the Mayor with questions to which Torontonians (most of them, anyway) want answers. Mr Killoran was out for a jog, it was a hot day, he was shirtless, he was bold, and the media captured it here.

Toronto Twitter exploded with the hashtag #ShirtlessJogger, and the national media picked it up and ran with it – the Globe and Mail called for more Shirtless-Jogger-Brand Outrage in Toronto.

That got me thinking…

How Can We Have More Shirtless-Jogger-Brand Outrage at Work?

Of course it’s not ok to shout and yell at work, and it’s probably not a good idea to be shirtless unless you’re a lifeguard. But the sentiment behind Mr. Killoran’s actions is that he was fed up and he wanted to be heard, so he saw an opportunity and did something about it.

One of the characteristics of office group behaviour is the tendency to agree with things when around a conference table, and then immediately dismiss or bad mouth them as soon as the meeting is over.

Have you ever seen someone do that? Have you seen groups of people chat away in the break room, complaining about something that was just announced, or about a change that is coming? Were they all nodding and supportive, or refusing to ask questions, while it was being announced? Did anyone actually do anything about it? This is classic passive aggressive behaviour, and it’s not only unhelpful, but can be destructive to office morale and productivity.

This is where the Shirtless-Jogger-Brand Outrage is required.

You can be the person to break the cycle of negative groupthink by being constructive, thoughtful, and open to discussion. This is your chance to openly question, present your concerns, and confront questionable (or seemingly questionable) actions in a thoughtful and helpful.

Once you decide to ask the questions and address the issues, remember that your leaders will appreciate your points much more if you:

  1. Ensure you are in a calm frame of mind. The Shirtless Jogger asked the right questions, and although he didn’t have much choice but to shout, it certainly won’t give you any credibility in the office. So think things through and make sure you’re in a conversational, not argumentative, state of mind.
  2. Be kind and curious. Make sure you have the facts, and where you don’t, ask questions rather than make assumptions.
  3. Plan your conversation. Doing this properly requires finesse and planning – it may even be an opportunity to “coach up“, and that ALWAYS requires planning.
  4. Make an appointment. Unless you find yourself in a spontaneous perfect situation for the discussion or, like Mr. Killoran, there’s simply no other choice but to rain on someone’s parade, it’s best to make an appointment.

Great leaders at all levels have an obligation to constructively question decisions in an open and respectful way. Once those discussions are complete and decisions are made, then the show must go on. Click to Tweet If there is no moral objection to the direction, then we must not only proceed with that direction but support it. Or we leave. It’s that simple.

Be a leader. Be the Shirtless Jogger and inspire change. Then tell us about it.

Until next time,


The Top 6 things your Boss should know about you!

The only way to build a successful high performing team is to understand what makes the individuals on that team tick. To reach that truly collaborative state of mind where the power of the group is greater than any of the individual contributors, and they all know it (and aren’t still competing for your attention) you need to understand those individuals better.    Feel like your boss doesn’t understand you or use your skills adequately? Feel like you don’t get why your team is functioning like a group of individuals and not a team?  Bosses – get coaching.  Individuals, start talking.

The Top 6 things your boss wants to know:3889389-boss-and-business-team-on-white-background

  1. Your career “story”:  Your boss has your resume and  was at your interview – so there’s some basic knowledge there, but what about the story behind it?  I started my career as a temp who was really good at sending out courier packages, better than any temp before me, so they hired me.  There’s alot more to the story, but it’s not a list of my accomplishments and my job skills – its the actual path I took to get there.  This is a great source of information for your boss to understand how you view career progression and how you demonstrate (or don’t) loyalty and engagement with the organization you work in.
  2. Your generational style ( how to communicate best with you):  Everyone and every situation is different.  What is the best form of communication for you? Email? Text? Face to Face, or god forbid (for me anyways), the phone?  Find out the best method of getting the point across in a wide array of situations to get the most out of your team.
  3. Your thinking style (what type of work should they delegate to you):  Are you a Doer, Dreamer, or Analyzer?  Is your skillset best in execution, creativity, or data analysis?  Tailor the work to the type of thinking style whenever possible to get the best results!
  4. Your conflict resolution style (how will you resolve conflict when it arises):  How your resolve conflict will determine your ability to deal with challenging situations in the workplace.  Do you confront and control conflict aiming to win? Do you compromise your needs in order to please others?  No one conflict resolution style is right for all situations, but learning to use each style effectively can yield optimal results.
  5. The 3 P’s: People, Projects, and Personal: The 3 P’s are the easiest way to effectively have a 1:1 with your boss.  You should be able to identify whether there are any conflicts, HR issues, staffing issues, interpersonal issues with anyone on the team, the status of your projects and work, and then is there anything going on personally that might impact your work.  This is a touchy one – this doesn’t mean a lengthy retelling of last saturday night’s escapades, but it may mean – my grandmother is sick in the hospital – I may have to leave early the next couple of days to deal with that.  Just giving you a head’s up.  This helps your boss plan and assign work better – like a boss.
  6. How you like to be rewarded/recognized:

Well, as it is the long weekend, I will leave you to ponder these top 6 things.  Are there more?  Bosses out there what else do you want to know?  Keep us in the loop @whiteboardcons #betterfastercheaper.

Until next week (Ruth will be back YAY!),



The Genius of a Checkbox

CheckBoxIf you’ve been following along our blog for a while, you know that we are fond of the mantra that everything is a process. Whether it’s understanding the voice of the customer, hiring a consultant, coaching, or managing alternative work arrangements, pretty much everything has its roots in process. Heck, Nicole even related having the flu to a process!

So, I have a challenge for you today – just to see if you’ve been paying attention.

I’d like you to look at your place of work and identify one process improvement that would make all the difference in the world to your job.

Samantha’s Checkbox

Last night I went for a walk with one of my bff’s, and conversation turned, as it often does, to work. My friend (I’ll call her Samantha) works as a physiotherapist in a major hospital, and no one is better suited to the job. I think it’s a calling, really. She loves it, she loves the patients, and most days everything is rainbows, puppies, and sunshine.

The conversation went something like this:

Samantha: So again today, I had to deal with referrals that weren’t legit.

Me: What does that mean?

Samantha: Well, in a hospital, physios only see patients if there is a mobility-related need that has been properly assessed by someone else like a nurse or a doctor.

Me: Why?

Samantha: Because not everything is a mobility issue. If you have a headache you aren’t referred to a neurologist right away, are you? No. You’re assessed and things are ruled out. The same goes for patients who don’t want to get out of bed – it may be related to their illness or some other cause. Physios only help with the mobility causes, and when we are referred incorrectly it’s a HUGE waste of time and is annoying to the patient.

Me: So what’s the process for a referral?

(That’s right. It took me, the process geek, 2 minutes to get to a process issue. Kind of scary. Fortunately Samantha doesn’t mind at all.)

Samantha: There’s a referral form that people fill out, or they might just verbally request it during rounds and then fill it out later.

Me: Is there something on the form that requires the mobility assessment is done?

Samantha: No. They just have to put it in the comments when they do charts.

Me: So there’s no checkbox on the form to ensure the assessment is done before the referral is passed?

Samantha: Genius!

What’s Your “Checkbox”?

Now to be fair, finding the improvement and getting it implemented are two different things. I’m sure that Samantha can’t just march up to administration and demand the form include a checkbox.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at potential improvements. Over time, Samantha will have the opportunity to influence and educate those around her, and this will likely lead to an improvement in the referral process. These things just take time and patience. (Click to Tweet)

So there’s my challenge to you. Look around your workspace. What are those annoying things that could be tweaked and improved with relatively little effort? What is your “checkbox” and how can you influence change?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

Until next time,





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