Maybe I Should Just Quit?

Monday February 20th, 2017 at 10:00am
Written by Kevin Schnieders - Chief Executive Officer

I was recently speaking to a group of 8th graders when one of them asked an interesting question. "As a CEO," she said, "What do you think is more important: vision or resilience?" I told her that my immediate response was vision, for two reasons: First, vision is the sole responsibility of the CEO. The CEO is the only one who should be writing the initial draft of the vision. It's that person's job to say where the organization is headed over the next three years. Second, resilience, when you're pursuing the wrong goals, is a terrible thing. I've lost a lot of money pursuing the wrong business goals for too long. There is a lot of benefit to failing fast.

I explained further that it is important to determine if you're pursuing the right goals for your life. If you're not having success, maybe you should just quit.

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How to Grow Your Own Talent - ASE Talent Symposium Recording

Wednesday December 14th, 2016 at 8:30am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Jim Bitterle, Managing Partner of EDSI Consulting, presented at ASE’s 2016 Talent Symposium on the topic of growing your own talent.  Check out the video recording if you were not able to join live!

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Developing Workforce Development Strategies

Friday December 2nd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ed Quintavalle - Senior Consultant

A man is in a hot air balloon that is slowly losing altitude. He ends up hovering over the side of the road in the desert. Another man happens by. The man in the balloon calls down to him, "Sir, could you tell me where I am?" The man looks up, assesses the situation, and responds: "Yes, you are about 30 feet in the air on the side of the road in the desert." The man in the balloon, unamused at the response, calls down, "Thanks Einstein ... you must be a workforce development consultant." "What do you mean?" responds the other man. "You just told me everything that I already knew and were no help whatsoever." The fella looks up at the man in the balloon and says, "I would guess that you work for a company that’s in serious trouble." "Why do you say that?" responds the man in the balloon. "Because you have no idea where you are, no idea where you are going, and no idea how to get there from here."

This is a somewhat humorous anecdote for the application of Workforce Development (WD) strategies. I wouldn’t say that WD consultants only reveal everything that employers already know; nor are employers always totally in the dark about their plight. However, when information is qualified through a data-driven analysis, it usually comes as no big surprise for employers where their weakest workforce links are located. Lack of training (critical skills and basic skills) often haunt a company until data is presented that validates what many already suspected.

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Do More with Less – Or is it Less with Less?

Monday October 31st, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Chuck Mouranie - Partner and Managing Director

Organizations are constantly challenged with increased market pressures and declining budgets. This is even more prevalent as we approach a slowing economy. In order to optimize staff efforts, tough decisions are required, potentially resulting in layoffs, elimination of benefits, reduced customer support, or closing facilities.

The result of this “more with less” philosophy ultimately causes increased stress on existing staffs. It tends to place more burden on the highest performers who remain from downsizing. Eventually, these performers become disenchanted with the organization, yielding reduced customer satisfaction and inevitable revenue reduction. Another downside of this decision is when valued employees give up on the company or organization and seek employment elsewhere.

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How to Grow Your Own Talent

Monday October 17th, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Jim Bitterle, Managing Partner of EDSI Consulting, was invited by Tom Borg Consulting to talk talent! Tune in to this podcast recording to learn more about EDSI and how to develop talent in your organization.

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Education and Workforce Development Partnerships

Monday October 3rd, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Ed Quintavalle - Senior Consultant

There’s been a national call-to-action for two-year community colleges and career and technical high schools. Ultimately, educators are responsible for meeting the demand for skills in the global economy.

  1. There is consensus that the foundational academic knowledge needed for postsecondary education and for careers is virtually the same, with growing recognition that academic skills, employability and technical knowledge and skills are essential as well.
  2. We’re seeing widespread agreement that lifelong learning and ‘learning how to learn’ are key drivers of success in college, careers and civic life.
  3. Research shows collaborative efforts in states, districts and communities to strengthen their collective capacity to deliver results that matter.

The plan is for greater student success. It needs to be bolder and broader – “cradle-to-career” strategies – comprehensive, data-driven plans that begin early on and focus on improving measurable progress to career readiness. This new formula shows the most promise for success. Follow-up on the student’s outcome is also important to obtain the metrics to grow this philosophy.

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Eight Things You Must Do When Creating a Turnaround Plan

Friday September 9th, 2016 at 10:00am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

Is your company struggling financially?

If so, it may be time to create a turnaround plan. Turnaround plans assist companies in identifying the cause of underperformance; reverse it and return to profitability. There are a few essential elements to any financial turnaround business plan. Following are some basic actions and best practices to consider.

  1. Don’t waste time. If the company is performing poorly, don’t procrastinate. I’ve seen far too many financial disasters occur simply because managers and advisors are passive. If things are degrading, act now. Time can be your friend, or it can be your enemy. For turnarounds, unfortunately, it is too often the latter.

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4 Reasons Most College Students Won’t Earn a Degree

Thursday June 9th, 2016 at 11:38am
Written by Jim Bitterle - Consulting Managing Partner

As parents, most of us expect our children to go to High School, get good grades, go directly to college and earn their degree in 4-5 years. Although this thinking is logical, it often leads young adults down the wrong path. Did you know, only 34% of High School graduates actually earn a bachelor’s degree? More concerning is this fact; 51% of all young adults who attend college NEVER earn a degree!

Reasons why 51% never earn a degree include:

1) The cost of higher education is extremely high. 

The total cost of getting a degree in 2010 was 4.5 times higher than the total educational cost in 1985. This is based upon inflation adjusted dollars. The financial burden on parents and students has more than quadrupled!

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Top Talent

Wednesday June 1st, 2016 at 1:30pm
Written by Karin Knutson

Jack Welch has a great quote, “The team with the best players wins.” For some, he could be referring to baseball or football, but in business we know the most important team is within the walls of your workplace. Your company likely spends lots of time and money finding people with the skill sets that most closely match your company culture, the challenge is keeping them.

What is the best approach keeping your best talent and avoiding having them swooped up by your competitors? What makes employees want to stay? Here are a few things to consider:

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How Webb's Depth of Knowledge Took Our Training to the Next Level

Wednesday April 20th, 2016 at 8:02am
Written by Kimberly Glenn - Director

For those of us formally trained in education or instructional design, “Bloom’s Taxonomy” is pretty familiar. This framework was introduced back in 1956 and was integral in guiding educators and instructional designers in the creation of learning objectives. Revised many times over the years, this framework consists of three domains and 5 levels within each domain.

Citation: http://educationaltaxonomy.weebly.com/home/may-02nd-20141

For years, this framework has guided instructors and educators as they design lessons and create learning objectives intended to pull learners through, to higher levels of learning. In my role as a Director and Instructional Designer, this framework had been a staple for me for many years. However, about 7 or so years ago, I was introduced to a new model, one created by Norman Webb. This model can be correlated to Bloom's Taxonomy, but focuses more on what is called the "cognitive demand" of a task.

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How to Develop a High-Impact Succession Plan

Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 at 9:01am
Written by Jennifer Giannosa - Senior Consultant

In its basic form, succession planning is a way to identify and develop professionals entering a leadership position. Transition is undoubtedly something every organization experiences - the ebb and flow of people entering and exiting various roles. Some organizations have mastered a process of continuous succession planning. Yet, many small and medium size businesses remain unprepared for sudden or imminent changes that require immediate action.

EDSI has identified a succession planning process to successfully address changes like retirement and loss of key people. The process focuses on the collection and analysis of specific data, allowing for highly customized solutions. One major focus of this process is certainly communication. Communication builds trust and subsequently reinforces a message to employees that their skills and experience are valued.

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Reflections on Dan and Chip Heath's Concept of Bright Spots

Wednesday March 16th, 2016 at 7:45am
Written by Kevin Watson - Director of Business Development

I was recently introduced to Dan & Chip Heath’s concept of “bright spots,” and I wanted to take a moment for reflection.

To watch Dan’s four minute video and read the article about this topic on Fast Company, please click on the following link:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1634997/dan-heath-how-find-bright-spots.


Here’s a small excerpt to illustrate the concept introduced in their book, Switch:

Let’s say your kid comes home one day and shows you this report card.









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Starting with Why - How Livingston County Got it Right

Wednesday February 3rd, 2016 at 7:00am
Written by Kevin Watson - Director of Business Development

"All great and inspiring leaders of the world think, act and communicate in the exact same way, and it's the complete opposite as everyone else."

This is the premise of Simon Sinek's classic TEDx talk "How Great Leaders Inspire Action." During Sinek's TEDx talk, he delves into the biology of human decision-making, and explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others.

Sinek references "The Golden Circle" (shown), and talks about the fact that most organizations/people usually communicate from the outside in.

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Using the Theory of Constraints as a Key Element in Your Growth Strategy

Wednesday August 26th, 2015 at 8:30am

Written by Jim Bitterle - Managing Partner with EDSI 

jbitterle@edsisolutions.com

 

As we work with clients to develop Growth and Diversification Plans (Strategic Plans), we consistently find constraints that limit a company’s ability to grow. Given this, it’s imperative that the Theory of Constraints (TOC) is integrated with your company’s strategy.

If you don’t know what TOC is, here it is in a nutshell. It’s a five-step process to identify and eliminate bottlenecks while achieving corporate goals. Here are the five steps:

  1. Identify the constraint (the process that limits the company’s throughput)
  2. Exploit the constraint
  3. Subordinate everything to the system’s constraint
  4. Elevate the system’s constraint
  5. Identify the next constraint
 

When applying TOC, we often find internal constraints such as equipment, working capital, skilled labor, etc. limit throughput. However, once these constraints are broken, the “market” becomes the next constraint. What does that mean? It means the company needs more sales.  

When sales become the constraint, it is important that the organization becomes entirely sales-oriented. Functions and processes that require modification often include:

  • Pricing
  • Quoting
  • The mix between new business development and account management activities
  • Promotions
  • Go-to-market strategies

If sales are your constraint, remember to apply TOC methodologies to keep everyone focused on elevating the business’s constraint. And if you’re creating a Growth and Diversification Plan, be sure to include TOC into your plan.

Click here for more information about Operational Improvement on our website. 

Founded in 1979, EDSI is a national leader in workforce development, customized training and consulting.

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Human Resources Today

The Tooling and Manufacturing Association would strongly suggest EDSI be selected for any workforce related initiative with the goal of developing a structured pipeline of employee candidates or improving the productivity of incumbent employees. Daniel Kiraly; Director of Education - Tooling and Manufacturing Association

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