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Q&A with Strategic Coach Ed Tyson

Mar 21st, 2014Comments Off on Q&A with Strategic Coach Ed Tyson

the marine corps veteran and expert facilitator answers questions on strategic planning

 

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Ed Tyson has accumulated more than 20 years of leadership experience in a broad range of non-profit, private and publicly-traded organizations. As both an internal and external consultant, Ed has worked hand-in-hand with boards, leadership teams, C-level leaders, and subsidiary presidents from around the country to assess and solve issues ranging from solvency to strategy. Ed is a master facilitator, tested executive coach, and an individual, group and organizational development expert.
 

BRAINARD STRATEGY: First of all, what is a strategy?
EDWARD TYSON: Much has been written on just what a strategy is. When it is comes down to it, I believe it is quite simply a schema for resource deployment. Whether you’re talking about a sports team or a business, resources (human and otherwise) are finite and therefore the trick is to deploy yours in such a way as to make and take advantage of opportunities without fully depleting your supply or falling prey to the maneuvers of others or general environmental circumstances.

BRAINARD: What separates a good strategy from a bad strategy?
TYSON: Good strategies are pervasive. They penetrate to the bone. They drive organizational structure, process and technology deployment. They are, like my definition, succinct and easily understood (and repeated). When the rubber hits the road, the actions of thousands of people across an enterprise may very well be complex (particularly to view from the outside) but the truth is it only looks complex because to those who are executing it are able to make dynamic, autonomous decisions based on arising conditions with very little thought and pre-coordination (because the strategy is simple, well understood and therefore easily translated into action). Complex strategies on the other hand, are rarely understood by the people who need to act, placing a high burden on management and communication structures that are rarely designed to be dynamic enough for today’s market conditions.

BRAINARD: Why are mission, vision and values so important when discussing a strategy?
TYSON: For a strategy to make any sense at all, it must be formulated from a deep understand of the purpose of the organization and a clear picture of success – otherwise your strategy may win the wrong game and therefore lose the right one. Consider, for instance, Eastman Kodak. They thought they were in the film business and therefore ignored a technology their own engineers produced. They tried to win the wrong game; and, by the time it was clear what the right game was, they had lost.

Values are important precisely because culture is so important. Values are the signposts of the culture you want/need and culture is the invisible river running through everything and everybody in every organization. Anything you try to execute (including even the best of strategies) must pass through its mighty waters – the only question is whether or not you’re going to be going with or against its mighty current. Organizations that pay attention to culture have determined the characteristics and/or behaviors that will enable success within their unique organizational environment and they formalize these concepts in their values. Organizations that don’t just have values but live their values hedge their bets that come execution time, their team is riding the rapids downstream, rather than exhausting themselves fighting against the raging waters they failed to harness.

BRAINARD: What is the biggest mistake you have seen when implementing a new strategic plan?
TYSON: I’m not sure it’s the biggest; but the most common mistake I see is mistaking tactics for strategy. If you’re running around trying to “socialize” a huge deck of slides, detailing a three-year plan full of beautifully crafted initiatives that will transform every corner of the organization, you’re making the same mistake many of us (including myself) have made at some point in their careers. Before trying to nail down all of the tactics, you need to get really clear on the underlying strategy and then communicate it…maybe even only it. Then, let your business units play with it for a while and develop business plans based on the strategy. When the plans come back, you get to see how deeply the strategy was understood by your leaders and their teams. And, they own it on a whole new level.

It’s worth noting that what keeps most of us from doing this is fear. Can you imagine the sheer horror of presenting a single, albeit well-crafted, sentence the board? In truth, I’ve never had the “stuff” to be quite that extreme; but I’d love to…just once. In reality, we need to think the strategy through enough to help others appreciate what we mean. How will it affect our structure, our process and the technologies we deploy? The trick is stopping at a few and allowing the strategy, not the tactics, to take root within the organization. A wise man once told me, “When you try to cover too much, you cover too much (meaning we obscure it from view).

BRAINARD: Who needs to be involved in the strategic planning process?
TYSON: The key word in this question is “involved.” I am a firm believer that as many people as possible should be involved in the gathering/providing of information about the company and the marketplace. The more people you are able to reach out to, the richer the information and the more ears that are primed to hear what you come up with.
In terms of the actual planning sessions, I am fond of holding multiple sessions where you start with your leadership team and then steadily winnow the group down to just the executive team for final decisions and word-smithing. I believe this strikes the right balance of listening to your people, engaging your leaders and ultimately resting the final responsibility where it belongs – on the shoulders of the executive team.
BRAINARD: How do you ensure the success of your new strategy?
TYSON: I believe firmly that there are no guarantees in life. A perfect strategy does not equate to perfect execution or success. However, the principles I’ve cover here are the concepts and practices that I live by:

  1. Make it simple, make it pervasive.
  2. Get clear about your purpose and your picture of success.
  3. Respect the power of culture to accelerate or thwart your progress.
  4. Let your team define the tactics.
  5. Give a voice to everyone, engage your leaders and then decide.

We’re Hiring: Vice President, Sales for Northern California or Colorado

Mar 13th, 2014Comments Off on We’re Hiring: Vice President, Sales for Northern California or Colorado

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Title

Vice President, Sales

Location

Northern California or Denver, Colorado

Reporting Structure

Reports to Marissa Waldman, Senior Vice President of Sales 

Company Information

Brainard Strategy is a business consulting firm specializing in strategic planning and leadership development. We are a regional consulting firm dedicated to delighting our clients via our values of Candor, Responsiveness, Flexibility and a Focus on the Pursuit of Knowledge.

Organizations throughout the United States engage Brainard Strategy to design and implement strategic planning, organizational effectiveness and leadership development initiatives. They do so because Brainard Strategy has a proven track record of successfully combining hard sciences with soft skills. Our expert consultants and broad network of certified coaches allows us to provide both the expertise and geographic reach that our customers require. A recognized thought leader in our areas of specialty, Brainard Strategy’s philosophy and content is informed by our vast business experience and leading edge research.

Since our start in 2005 we have delivered business results for hundreds of corporate clients and inspired tremendous leadership growth in thousands of individuals.

Essential Qualifications

  • A consultative sales professional with 5+ years of experience.
  • Utilizing a complex solution sales methodology.
  • Experience selling Leadership Development and Strategic Planning preferred but open to an individual selling any type of intangible solution.
  • Experience selling into Fortune 1000 clients across verticals.
  • Selling to the senior line.  Selling to heads of HR, Talent, Leadership Development, Training & Development and/or the “C” Suite.
  • Ability to talk intelligently with an appropriate level of business acumen
  • Proven track record achieving and exceeding annual quota assignments of $500K+
  • Used to an average transaction size from $25K to 500K.
  • A strong new business developer with a proven ability to close new business as well as manage and grow existing client relationships
  • Strong relationship building internally.  A collaborative team player.
  • A creative problem-solver; ability to listen to a client’s issue, assess the situation and identify a solution
  • High initiative and self driven sales professional with a strong executive presence
  • Exceptional communication skills; written, verbal and presentation
  • Ability to travel within the region
  • Demonstrated success working from a virtual home office
  • Strong work ethic
  • Bachelor’s Degree required

Benefits of the Opportunity

  • Brainard Strategy is regional consulting firm that is a recognized leader in strategy and organizational development.
  • Join a financially stable firm that grew 40% last year and is poised for strong growth in 2014.
  • Brainard Strategy has a high degree of breadth and depth to our offerings (Strategic Planning, Leadership, Coaching, OD, Culture Transformation, Executive Team Alignment, Succession Planning, Assessments, etc).
  • Work for an organization where a great deal of business comes from client referrals.
  • Brainard Strategy has a collaborative culture and team-oriented environment where your success is a priority.
  • Report directly to Marissa Waldman, SVP, Sales & Marketing and 7+ year employee of the firm
  • Work from a virtual home office.
  • Very light travel.
  • Strong financial upside; no cap on earnings.

How to Apply

E-mail your résumé and cover letter to mwaldman@brainardstrategy.com.

Click here to DOWNLOAD this job posting.

Pictures from Brainard Strategy’s Holiday Party

Jan 30th, 2014Comments Off on Pictures from Brainard Strategy’s Holiday Party

On December 5, Marissa Waldman hosted Winter Wonderlodge, an apres-ski themed gathering for friends and colleagues.

Q&A With Executive Coach Nancy Wallis

Jan 30th, 2014Comments Off on Q&A With Executive Coach Nancy Wallis
The distinguished academic and hands-on mentor shares the secrets to great coaching

We sat down with Dr. Nancy C. Wallis, a Brainard Strategy coach with a lifelong history of interweaving academic pursuits with practical leadership intelligence for organizations.

Dr. Wallis has designed leadership development and organizational theory courses for several business schools and has supervised doctoral dissertations contributing to the leadership literature. She is currently a professor at Pitzer College, Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management, and Danube University.

BRAINARD STRATEGY: First of all, how do you define coaching?
DR. NANCY C. WALLIS: Leadership coaching includes fostering a trusting relationship between two professionals that allows for deep dialogue around important facets of leadership. It is the co-creation of a learning space, which can support exploring shadow areas, as-yet unexplored perspectives, and growth opportunities to support leadership transformation. In a nutshell, leadership coaching is working with another executive to discover new methods to be one’s best in ways that allow others’ to be their best.

BRAINARD: What makes a coach successful?
DR. WALLIS:  coach is successful when the leader she is coaching gains increased self-awareness, develops increased capacity to understand complex situations, and act effectively in them. Success inspires a continuing leadership learning process, such that future transformation is likely. We discuss that the most effective leaders develop the discipline of continuous learning, practicing and remaining dedicated to one’s own leadership development, no matter one’s role or circumstances.

BRAINARD: What is your personal coaching style?
DR. WALLIS: It is important to build a trusting relationship early in the coaching process which is, in effect, a holding environment that we co-create. This allows for an individually tailored combination of supports, challenges and stability necessary for the exploration of assessment data in combination with personal history and experiences such that deep learning and growth can occur.

BRAINARD: What sets Brainard coaches apart from others?
DR. WALLIS: It is important to build a trusting relationship early in the coaching process, which is, in effect, a holding environment that we co-create. I strive for an individually tailored combination of supports, challenges, and stability necessary for the exploration of assessment data. Deep learning and growth are tied to personal history, experiences, and new knowledge.

BRAINARD: What do you do best?
DR. WALLIS: I enjoy building engaging relationships in which clients can expand their leadership capacity and competence in ways that uniquely address their personal and professional contexts. I particularly enjoy coaching engagements with leaders who have a deep learning orientation and are seeking to expand their repertoire of meaning making and action taking to reflect more complex ways of understanding their organization and current global influences.
BRAINARD: What kind of clients do you work with best?
DR. WALLIS: My commitment to clients who are seeking lasting transformation in their leadership impact is to bring state of the art leadership concepts, models and developmental supports and to integrate these within their unique developmental journey. I work best with clients who are curious about and committed to their leadership development, to increasing the health and effectiveness of their organization, and who are committed to guiding their organizations forward as we together address vital and emerging issues related to organizational health and social and ecological sustainability.

Karen Hill to Moderate Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Panel [1.28.14]

Jan 28th, 2014Comments Off on Karen Hill to Moderate Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Panel [1.28.14]
Brainard Strategy Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Karen Hill, will moderate a panel featuring athletes, a nutritionist, and a medical specialist. Bring your questions or tweet them using hashtag #jdrft1d.

Balancing Exercise, Nutrition, Medicine and Other Factors for Active Type 1 Diabetes Lifestyles

Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014 | 6:00 PMjrdf
Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center
520 Superior Ave.
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Click here to download the event flier!

November’s Reading List: EXCELerate Your Bookshelf

Nov 21st, 2013Comments Off on November’s Reading List: EXCELerate Your Bookshelf

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How to Measure Training Results

We at Brainard Strategy use the Kirkpatrick Evaluation tool to evaluate our trainings. We measure the cognitive and behavioral change of leaders in addition to the impact on the bottom line. So while our approach and methodology remains consistent with Kirkpatrick’s evaluation tool, we seek to reveal the impact that the leadership development program has for your Return on Investment.

For example, at the conclusion of the EXCELerate program, each executive team has a chance to present their strategic work project in front of the board or the C-level suite, demonstrating new knowledge and an improved skillset. The work project represents more than theory and comprehension, it shows tangible growth into new arenas and profit categories for the company as a whole. That’s why this book matters: it helps you convey the ways in which executive development is a strong investment.

Extraordinary Leadership

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While top-level leaders may be exceptionally gifted and successful, they often have gaps in their skills in such vital areas as interpersonal relationships, adapting to rapid change and complexity, partnering and sharing responsibility and accountability, and inspiring and motivating others.

Extraordinary Leadership contains a rich collection of wisdom, experience, and insight on a variety of topics relevant to senior leaders such as authenticity, credibility, emotional competence, social intelligence, developmental relationships, growth through connection, ability to learn, life-stage development, and overdone and fatal flaws. Get a first hand account about what it is that your senior leadership could be wanting out of an executive development program.

The Leadership Pipeline

We understand that a manager’s responsibilities are different then an individual contributor, a director, or a Vice President/Senior Executive. There are a number of key role transitions managers must deal with over their career: from managing oneself to managing others, from managing first line managers to leading functions, groups—and eventually—entire businesses.
Organizations that recognize these transitions can put in place a “leadership pipeline”; By teaching leadership in addition to management, top talent can be equipped with the tools to handle all of their career transitions within an organization. By including multimodal training courses and assignments, EXCELerate helps build your leadership pipeline so that skill development is mapped to the exact level your leadership and leaders-in-training find themselves. How prepared are you?

 

10/16: Ultimate Software Presentation in San Diego

Oct 8th, 2013Comments Off on 10/16: Ultimate Software Presentation in San Diego
Savvy companies understand that the battle for top-tier talent is fierce. But how do you find the right people with the right skills at the right time—and keep them satisfied and performing optimally in the right positions so both the individual and the organization can prosper?

Join us at this seminar to hear Michael share tips on how to elevate your talent management techniques to the highest level. We’ll discuss the ways that unified talent management solutions can boost productivity and your bottom line. Plus, you’ll get a firsthand look at UltiPro®, the award-winning unified HR, payroll, and talent management solution from Ultimate Software.

Date:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Time:
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location:
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
11582 El Camino Real, San Diego (Del Mar), CA
RSVP:
Please RSVP by October 11, 2013

 

Stream Michael’s Interview on OCTalkRadio.net

Oct 8th, 2013Comments Off on Stream Michael’s Interview on OCTalkRadio.net
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Did you catch Michael Brainard’s interview live on OCTalkRadio.net’s show, Critical Mass, on August 21st?

Host Richard Franzi and Michael discussed a wide range of topics, from entrepreneurship to Michael’s background as a professional boxer and Division I wrestler.

If you missed the show, you can listen to the podcast on-demand now! Click on the icon below to listen on Soundcloud:

Save the Date: Brainard’s Holiday Parties

Oct 2nd, 2013Comments Off on Save the Date: Brainard’s Holiday Parties
Join us on December 5th or 12th in Orange County or San Diego, respectively, for our annual winter gathering. Can’t wait to see you there!

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June 2013’s Featured Reading List

Jun 2nd, 2013Comments Off on June 2013’s Featured Reading List
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Visionary Leadership

Successful leaders know that nothing drives an organization like an attractive, worthwhile, achievable vision for the future. Leadership expert and best-selling author Burt Nanus finally shows why vision is the key to leadership and demonstrates how any leader can use a logical, step-by-step process to create and implement a powerful new sense of direction in his or her organization.

Designed for individual leaders to develop their own vision statement, this book guides readers through the mechanics of forming a vision, guidelines for developing the scope of the vision, and processes for implementing that vision.

Execution

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In recent years, companies have embraced big business ideas like revolution, reinvention, breakthrough thinking, audacious goals, learning organizations, and the like. While all of these ideas can make a huge impact on any business, they are pointless unless you translate them into concrete steps.

Without execution, the breakthrough thinking does not take place. Learning adds no value and people don’t meet their stretch goals.

4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4 Disciplines of Execution (4DX) is a simple, repeatable, and proven formula for executing on your most important strategic priorities in the midst of the whirlwind. By following The 4 Disciplines:

• Focusing on the Wildly Important
• Acting on Lead Measures
• Keeping a Compelling Scoreboard
• Creating a Cadence of Accountability

leaders can produce breakthrough results, even when executing the strategy requires a significant change in behavior from their teams.

4DX is not theory. It is a proven set of practices that have been tested and refined by hundreds of organizations and thousands of teams over many years. When a company or an individual adheres to these disciplines, they achieve superb results—regardless of the goal. 4DX represents a new way of thinking and working that is essential to thriving in today’s competitive climate. Simply put, this is one book that no business leader can afford to miss.

May 2013’s Featured Reading List

Apr 30th, 2013Comments Off on May 2013’s Featured Reading List
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Leadership and Self Deception

Through a story everyone can relate to about a man facing challenges on the job and in his family, the authors expose the fascinating ways that we can blind ourselves to our true motivations and unwittingly sabotage the effectiveness of our own efforts to achieve success and increase happiness.

It changes your own image of yourself and your mindset as a leader. You see yourself and the barriers that you put in front of yourself and other people. You begin to see people for who they are without the veils that we put in front. As Michael has said, it breaks down your ego so that you are no longer ego driven.”

True North

True North shows how anyone who follows his or her internal compass can become an authentic leader. In this important book, acclaimed former Medtronic CEO Bill George and coauthor Peter Sims share the wisdom of these outstanding leaders and describe how you can develop as an authentic leader.

True North takes you on a journey of self-discovery in finding your passion about leadership for your own reasons and what motivates you. The most successful leaders, the authors learn, rarely start out wanting to get rich. They are inspired to make a difference, to test their limits, to follow a passion.

Leadership Challenge

Leadership Challenge serves as a resource for any leader, whether a college student organization president or a Fortune 500 company‟s Chief Executive Officer. Kouzes and Posner’s book is organized in a series of chapters that explain and clarify their suggested “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.”

The book aims to help leaders engage in these best practices, in order to strengthen their leadership skills and abilities. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. Kouzes and Posner describe these Practices not as components of a leader‟s personality, but behaviors that are available to anyone through committed practice. Within the Five Practices outlined in The Leadership Challenge there are also “Ten Commitments of Leadership.” Through their explanation of the Five Practices and Ten Commitments, Kouzes and Posner showcase real life success stories of leaders, as they apply to each practice and/or commitment.

Join Brainard and Willis for An HR Mixer in San Diego – 5/9/13

Apr 20th, 2013Comments Off on Join Brainard and Willis for An HR Mixer in San Diego – 5/9/13
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Click the image to RSVP!

 

Introducing our newest Brainiac…Karen Hill!!!

Apr 5th, 2013Comments Off on Introducing our newest Brainiac…Karen Hill!!!
We are very excited to add Karen Hill to the Brainard Strategy team as VP of Sales and Marketing.  We have known Karen for 12+ years as a colleague and a friend.  Karen has a proven track record of success in Sales and Marketing, Human Resources and Non-Profit Leadership. Two specific attributes excite us most about Karen.  First: Karen’s reputation is one of integrity, client-centricity, resourcefulness, and impeccable work ethic. Secondly…she is a perfect FIT.  Karen matches our values of candor, responsiveness, and the pursuit of knowledge, exactly.

Karen joins our team bringing a platinum reputation at an exciting time in our firm’s history.  Our business strategy is on point, we are launching a best in class executive development program and we now have the best talent in the market!

Please join in the celebration as we welcome Karen to the Brainard Strategy team!

 

Karen Hill

EXCELerate Preview Day — April 17th

Apr 1st, 2013Comments Off on EXCELerate Preview Day — April 17th

EXCELerate: An Innovative Approach to Executive Development

Brought to you by Brainard Strategy and Willis

BREAKING NEWS! This program has just received 3 hours of pre-approved HRCI credit!!  That’s right…3 hours of FREE credit with breakfast included!!

Join us on April 17th for a hands-on opportunity to discover EXCELerate, our long-awaited multi-modal executive development initiative. We’ll help you to understand the unique attributes of our truly blended, comprehensive and integrated platform. You will have a chance to experience two modules, including Building One’s Executive Presence and Systems Thinking.

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Western Private Equity Conference — 4/18/13

Mar 27th, 2013Comments Off on Western Private Equity Conference — 4/18/13
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Join Michael Brainard and the Small Business Investor Alliance for the Western Private Equity Conference

The Western Private Equity Conference provides the opportunity for lower middle market fund managers, limited partners, and investment bankers to network, learn best practices, and find out the latest developments in the legislative and regulatory environment. The event also features a Dealmakers Wine Tasting Receptionclick here to view the list of Limited Partnerand Intermediary Table Hosts.  To learn more, view the conference agenda here.

Featuring Brainard Strategy Principal, Michael Brainard

Michael’s session will be titled Gaining Leverage from Management Assessment and Strategic Alignment. Pre or post acquisition, understanding key executives’ areas of strength and development will greatly enable the PE firm to make changes based upon science not relationships. The conversation will include insights into the evaluation of the management team’s strategy and how that strategy aligns with the creation, capture, and delivery of shareholder value.

Why Attend?

Are you a Fund Manager, Limited Partner, Intermediary or Select Service Provider? WPEC features:

  • Real peer-to-peer, senior-level networking opportunities: the 2012 Conference attracted over 100 lower middle market professionals and service providers from across the U.S.
  • Informative Discussions and relevant content: discover what our panel of Limited Partners have to share about investing in the lower middle market
  • Regulatory and Legislative Updates: learn what’s happening on Capitol Hill and how it will impact your investments

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network in Los Angeles: >>register now<<.


View Larger Map

Where: The InterContinental Los Angeles — Century City
2151 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, California 90067
When: April 18, 2013
Time: 11:30 AM – 5:10 PM

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Download the Agenda

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Register Here

Michael Brainard at Women in Construction Operations – 4/25/13

Mar 20th, 2013Comments Off on Michael Brainard at Women in Construction Operations – 4/25/13

WiOPS Logo

A tool to sharpen the skills of women in construction.

PRESENTS…

Mentoring and Career Development

Define objectives, myths, and best practices from “both sides” of the mentor and mentee perspectives.  Michael Brainard has designed and implemented dozens of mentoring, coaching and career development programs for many companies across industries.  Michael will be accompanied by a panel of women in leadership positions from various companies. The practical discussion will offer many tools and insights for the participants.

Panel Participants:

  • Michael Brainard — Brainard Strategy
  • Lynn Salo – Allergan
  • Tammie Brailsford –MemorialCare Health


View Larger Map

Where: McCarthy Building Company
20401 SW Birch Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
2nd Floor Training Room
When: April 25, 2013
Time: 5 – 5:30 PM Networking
5:30 – 6 PM Dr. Brainard
6 – 6:30 PM Panelists
6:30 – 7 PM Q&A

To RSVP for this event, please contact Shaabini Alford at: events@womeninoperations.com

Membership information, please contact Amanda Corbet at info@womeninoperations.com

A donation of $20.00 per person is requested.

Click here to download the flyer

Nominate Now for 2012 National Human Resources Association Executive of the Year

Oct 6th, 2012Comments Off on Nominate Now for 2012 National Human Resources Association Executive of the Year


CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

The NHRA Orange County Affiliate will be hosting its 17th annual Human Resources Executive of The Year celebration on Thursday, March 7, 2013. This special event will honor the 2012 Human Resources Executive of The Year.

We need your nominations.

  • Anyone, NHRA member or non-member, may recommend worthy candidates for nomination.

Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Be in the top human resources leadership position in the company and a member of the executive management team.
  • Must have been with their current organization, and in current executive role, for a minimum of two years.

Candidates will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Overall leadership ability.
  • Quantifiable direct impact on the business as a whole.
  • Demonstrated, quantifiable contributions to the human resources function within their organization, and to the field as a whole, in keeping with our NHRA motto of “Connect-Excel-Lead”.

Please submit your recommendations for nomination no later than November 30, 2012, via email, to Marissa Waldman at mwaldman@brainardstrategy.com

Nominations should include a brief summary of how the nominee excels in the three areas mentioned above, the name and contact information of the nominator, and the name and contact information for the chief executive officer of the company.

Thank you for your participation in the nomination process. We are looking forward to another exciting and rewarding Human Resources Executive of The Year event.

If you have any questions please contact Marissa at 949-533-9258

Free Webinar on 8/21 with People Talent Solutions, our New Partner in Talent Management

Aug 1st, 2012Comments Off on Free Webinar on 8/21 with People Talent Solutions, our New Partner in Talent Management
Here at Brainard Strategy, we know that value for your company comes in the form of solutions that are uniquely scalable and customizable to your business needs. Succession planning enters the 21st century with Talent Blueprint, our newly recommended software solution.

As your talent pool grows, so does the need for an agile, dedicated piece of software that simply and intuitively outperforms Excel or Word-based succession and leadership identification platforms. Developed by Southern California-based People Talent Solutions, Talent Blueprint is an easy-to-configure application built on a Microsoft interface. It works right from your desktop.  Talent Blueprint is an alternative to the complex web-based/SaaS/Cloud platforms that require large investments and long-term contracts. Talent Blueprint allows your team to efficiently:

  • Search employee data on over 50 different criteria
  • Instantly answer executives’ questions about the state of talent in your organization
  • Create extensive talent pools for multiple jobs Identify internal candidates for critical jobs in seconds – not hours, days, or months
  • View and interact with enterprise level dashboards
  • Display employee profile reports
  • Compare talent side-by-side
  • Track retirement of critical talent
  • Instantly identify retention risks
  • Track and understand skill gap issues between employees and jobs
  • Track and understand readiness issues between employees and jobs
  • Get critical information in one click
  • Create multiple reports and export reports to Excel
This fully supported, one-time license is available as a 30-day free trial and is continuing to be built and administered by career-long talent management experts.

What next?

Check out the video introduction, visit Talent Blueprint’s product page on LinkedIn to read reviews.

Announcing YOUR Strategic Leadership University

Jun 8th, 2012Comments Off on Announcing YOUR Strategic Leadership University

6/4: Michael Brainard Moderating Panel for American Society for Training & Development

Jun 4th, 2012Comments Off on 6/4: Michael Brainard Moderating Panel for American Society for Training & Development

OD SIG ~ How OC’s Leading Corporations Manage, Develop, and Retain Top Talent

June 5, 2012 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Brandman University, 16355 Laguna Canyon Rd., Irvine (map)

Come learn the latest techniques that organizations are using to integrate their talent management function. Michael Brainard, CEO and Founder of Brainard Strategy, will moderate a panel discuss on best practices in talent management.

Panelists will include:

  • Anne St. John from Memorial Healthcare
  • Laurie Jerome from Experian
  • T.K. Herrin from Edwards LifeSciences

You won’t want to miss this interactive session that will be highly engaging and informative.


  • You must login to the website to access this rate.

Brainard Strategy Celebrates San Diego’s Healthiest Companies

May 16th, 2012Comments Off on Brainard Strategy Celebrates San Diego’s Healthiest Companies
With its year-round enjoyable weather, proximity to beaches, deserts and mountains, and a high concentration of military and ex-military personnel, San Diego provides a unique environment for businesses to encourage a healthy living and working environment. This rich culture of recreation and fitness is set to be celebrated in a survey conducted by the San Diego Business Journal for its third annual Healthiest Companies Awards. This wide-ranging survey and ceremony is designed specifically to highlight employers who not only set a high-standard, but raise the bar for providing safe, healthy and productive work environments.

A confluence of many trends has led to industry-leading companies improving working conditions across the board. Though it can be difficult to measure the direct return on investment of Wellness and Health Benefits programs, conclusions from the National Institute for Health Care Reform highlight “the effects that wellness [programs] have on employee loyalty and satisfaction and on enhancing the firm’s reputation and brand.” Employees operating under safe conditions and provided adequate access to breaks, healthcare and other essential services, perform at higher productivity and can provide significant long-term savings for employers. As social media has improved access to information and lapses in protocol, the cost of unsafe working environs has the potential to significantly impact profits, public opinion and investor relations.

As such, the San Diego Business Journal’s 2012 Healthiest Companies Awards is a celebration of advances and successes in the realm of employee satisfaction. For the second year, the newspaper has turned to Carlsbad-based Brainard Strategy, a full-service business leadership and strategy consultation firm, to develop, administer and analyze a wide-ranging survey of local businesses to determine benchmarks and achievement in this discipline.

Through coverage in the San Diego Business Journal, businesses were asked to opt-in and answer questions such as “Is employee health part of the company’s written mission, vision and values?” and “Does your company have an annual wellness budget?” The survey also collected open-ended answers that were judged by a panel of experts in the field. This survey is a unique way to consider the many factors that make up the success of a Wellness Program, including the level of services provided, communication frequency, involvement and responsibility taken by upper-level management and budgetary considerations.

One unique trend to note is the way businesses of different sizes monitor employee health, create initiatives and measure success. A smaller firm might seek to implement more organic programs, such as a communal salad bar for lunch or physical activity options during breaks. Larger companies may devote resources to providing a company gym or healthy meals in their cafeterias. By recognizing firms with clear goals and leadership in this field, it is possible to determine industry-leading best practices and for companies without a wellness and benefits initiative to find inspiration and ideas in this fast-emerging field.

What a Wonderful World: Nancy Wallis’ Speaking Recap

Apr 19th, 2012Comments Off on What a Wonderful World: Nancy Wallis’ Speaking Recap
On April 10th, Brainard Strategy and the International Society for Performance Improvement presented a guest lecture from Nancy Wallis, entitled Leadership From Within Change. There was much excitement in the air as attendees from over 40 companies and a host of former and current students of Dr. Wallis’ came together to hear concrete and useful approach related to the Theory U framework by Dr. C. Otto Scharmer. This framework provides a way of considering leading transformational change.

A powerful attribute of this model is that it applies to both individual and systemic levels, showing how we can move through the “U” process to connect to our authentic Self and thus a deeper sense of knowing.  Doing so supports the creative processes at the foundation of genuine mastery in any field and allows us to connect to the magic at the heart of fundamental transformation.  Used in combination with well-developed project management and change management tools, organizational leaders can guide their organizations to new levels of performance.  Participants discussed examples from organizational settings, locating where they might be stuck in the U, and actions to move them forward.

Judging by the tremendous positivity expressed in post-session evaluations, this is a topic that resonates across many fields and careers. Brainard Strategy looks forward to many more moments of insight with Dr. Wallis and the challenges related to being an authentic leader in these challenging times.

Click here to download the presentation as a PowerPoint format.

You’re Invited! VP HR Martini Bar – 4/19/2012

Apr 19th, 2012Comments Off on You’re Invited! VP HR Martini Bar – 4/19/2012
Brainard Strategy, along with Intercare and Resources Global is excited to invite eligible Vice Presidents of Human Resources to our Martini Bar mixer on Thursday, April 19th! Check the flyer below for more information.

What a Great Night at the NHRA-OC HR Exec Of The Year Banquet

Mar 19th, 2012Comments Off on What a Great Night at the NHRA-OC HR Exec Of The Year Banquet
Behind every great brand, there is a Human Resources Executive tasked with developing systems to recognize and reward dedicated employees, recruit forward-thinking prospects and maintain overall job satisfaction for a wide range of staff and services. In Orange County, California, an incredible pool of talented HR executives have dedicated themselves to supporting the robust market of influential companies in the County and for 15 years, the National Human Resources Association of Orange County (NHRA-OC) has recognized the leadership of influential HR executives at its annual gala.

On March 15, 2012, NHRA-OC gathered at Hyatt Regency Irvine to commend the achievements of three regional executives. Marcy Bruskin, VP of Human Resources at Freedom Communications, Inc., was awarded for HR Excellence in a Challenging Environment. John Holtrust, Senior VP of Human Resources at Microsemi Corporation, received a trophy for HR Excellence in Transformational Leadership. The big winner of the night was Caroline Kenyon, Global Senior VP of Human Resources at Oakley, Inc., who was recognized for Excellence in HR Innovation.

This inspiring, and sometimes irreverent, banquet has grown to be among the most important gathering points for the industry each year, in part because of a keynote address given each year by regional CEOs on the importance, trends and necessities of leadership in Human Resources. The new, larger location has given room for the National Human Resources Association of Orange County to grow to be one of the largest organizations serving HR professionals in the country. Guests at the Brainard Strategy sponsored table were treated to fantastic wine, tasty food and a wonderful evening of networking with friends and peers.

For the past 3 years, NHRA-OC has collaborated with Brainard Strategy to further survey the award nominees and to provide a valuable leadership development opportunity. Our firm conducted 360-degree assessments with the nominees’ supervisors, peers and direct reports. 360-degree assessments are a confidential feedback process intended to gather information on leaders’ workplace behaviors. Through the debriefing process, Brainard Strategy met with each candidate to discuss ways to continue leveraging their strengths and to explore opportunities for further  growth in their own professional leadership style.

“The difference often comes down to their approach,” writes Jennifer Konkin, a Brainard Strategy Consultant, about her experience facilitating the 360-degree assessments. “Great HR executives have a strong sense of self awareness that enable them to genuinely apply their strengths in leadership to business needs.  A good HR executive designs initiatives where a great one leverages initiatives to drive business strategy.”

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