Case Histories

 

Joseph S. Schlegel

Regional Sales Manager-East GTEL/GTE

Dear Cherie:

I am writing to inform you of the success our candidates experienced in GTE's recent reorganization.

I would like to thank you on behalf of my sales people for enabling them to display the very best in themselves in these interviews and allowing them the opportunity to continue on with their careers at GTE and secure new jobs outside the company. The New Beginnings/Inner Negotiation workshop was instrumental in giving these people a strong feeling of confidence going into the interviews; and the result was 100% placement.

Every General Business Account Executive found a home in the new branch office, including three of my direct reports promoted to the Major Account Executive position, (Richard Schmidt, Bob Ward and Wayne Gilchrist).

The chances of "sweeping" the candidate pool were not very high when this reorganization was announced Yet after it was over, I received many calls from Directors, Managers and Interview panel members commending me on how well prepared and professional our sales force came across in the interviews. Needless to say, I feel very proud and honored to be associated with such people. Much of our success goes to your New Beginnings/Inner Negotiation workshop m April to which we invited all our salespeople.

The skills they honed in you interviewing and videotaping sessions were visible to the panelists. In addition, each candidate was required to perform a sales presentation for the panel, which again, was practiced in yow workshop.

We also claimed some success by GTEL sales people who chose to leave the company. Three former TAM'S have obtained sales positions with both MCI and Sprint, Patrice Green, Mia Dumaine and Leah Parks, respectively. The resume writing portion of the workshop was of specific value to these people.

Thanks again, Cherie.

Sincerely,

 

Bob Furstenau

Production Director of Meredith Corporation

When I took over the Production Department at Meredith, we had a group of talented players who as a team lacked both direction and incentive. There were ongoing communication issues, a lack of trust, respect and accountability for deadlines or press dates. We worked without a coordinated vision for the future, spending thousands of dollars on overtime to meet deadlines, coordinate schedules and cope with different personalities. The Community Focus Project went into effect in 1989 and still continues today. We were able to address our concerns in a constructive manner.

Through the work of The MMS Institute, we have begun to empower each member of the community to excel to their fullest potential and have working relationships, which reflect in excellent work products. We have educated the magazine group as to who we are and what we can do for them. Additionally, we work to support the needs of internal customers as well as our outside suppliers. We’re learning that the key is building people skills into the process up front, and that long-term payoffs require and investment in team building now. We’re building alliance with leading vendor and industry experts, becoming courageous and communicative. They’ve taught us to ask questions such as “what if?” in order to find out the answers that allow us to do our jobs well.

With the help of The MMS Institute, we were able to save Meredith Corporation in excess of 2.7 million dollars. Through the unique team building technology, The MMS Institute helped to create an environment where we could all work together to solve the problems in the department. We learned a sense of community, and began to appreciate and support the efforts of our co-workers.

As a team, we found new ways to improve our process. We have greater community spirit and have learned effective techniques to support other members and associated of Meredith Corporation.

Thanks to the efforts of Lynn Stewart and MMS Institute, we’re not only saving money as a result of our new process, we’re building a foundation on which to continue our success and future growth.

 

Larry Katz

Area Sales Manager,

General Business Division of GTEL

Dear Lynn,

The MMS teambuilding effort enabled us to overcome obstacles such as apathy, lateness, absenteeism and unresolved conflicts, and motivated our team to a new level of performance. Thanks to The MMS Institute, we’ve not only reaped the benefits of the interpersonal skills and communication tools within our own division, we’ve spread the success through other departments. Our progress in a very short period was phenomenal.

GTEL’s Southern Region sales reached 50% of the quota ($561,000) during its 3rd quarter of 1990, and 75% of quota ($776,000) by the end of the 4th quarter when the period was completed. By the first quarter of 1991, the General Business force reached 114% of quota or #1,367,000, representing a real dollar increase of 143% in six months.

The MMS Institute developed a teambuilding plan that emphasized the positive rather than the negative, improved the line of communication between our Account Executives, Telephone Account Managers and Regional Sales Managers. In short, we built a climate of trust among all of our team members.

As Areas Sales Manager for GTEL’s General Business Division, I felt an obligation to create a positive environment with my employees. I wanted them to feel good about coming to work, their relationships with other employees and to projects this throughout their relationships wit out customers.

After seeing the affects of the plan and how it has contributed to the success of the Southern Region, we’ve decided to implement a similar teambuilding plan in our Northern Region.

Thanks for all of your hard work,

 

Kimberly Underwood

Senior Manager, Project Management,

Hyperion Solutions, Inc

Dear Lynn,

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about the impact your presence has made on me here at Hyperion. Your coaching and input have allowed me to interact at a much higher level with my manager, my team and my peers. I feel very comfortable talking with you and seeking your advice. You have been right on target, providing guidance tailored specifically for our environment, and not a cookie cutter solution for companies “of our type.”

I would like to outline some of the specific situation that you have helped with:

1. The Synthesis- This activity could very well have gone the way of two previous employee surveys – nowhere. Instead, your approach was personal and you displayed an extreme level of honesty and trust. My personal participation in the process was very positive – it made me feel that our brand new vice president cared about the important issues and that by having you here in the first week, he meant business! At a time when many colleagues continued to leave the organization, and having been through various levels of non-management my entire career at Hyperion, this was key to my retention with the company.

On a management level, the synthesis allowed me to see what the people I worked with cared about and to measure my own priorities against the whole. It was quick, it was honest and it was to the point!

2. Peer Relations – In the course of the synthesis process, I was able to talk about a peer on the management team that was causing a lot of stress on the general team, was not performing and needed attention. You not only helped me talk about this, but also helped the top management teach bring the situation to a quick resolution that was positive and did not cause the individual embarrassment. This was very important because it was the first action from our new vice president and it was swift and fair, sending a strong signal to the management team.

Unfortunately, we hired a replacement that was worse than the first person. Given the interactions you and I have previously, I chose to this as a learning experience and called on you to run through various conversation scenarios to improve my interactions with this person. I have used these scenarios and they have given me more confidence and control in similar situations with abrasive personalities.

3. Core Team, Employee Owned Change – I am proud to have a member from my team, Virginia Van Duran, on the core team here at Hyperion. Having this team act on the synthesis and having a formal “place” for new organizational ideas is a very positive change. My project management team contributes ideas in our staff meeting that we ask Virginia to take on the team on a regular basis. It makes my team feel that the organization listens, and Virginia really enjoys being an active member of our new culture!

4. Mediation - The most important thing that your provided to me to date is when you helped me articulated my emotions, feelings, and concerns to my vice president. I had not had a manager in a long time and had difficulty conveying my thoughts to the new one. I really appreciate the way you listened to my thoughts, helped me organize them in a way that I found comfortable and then mediated the conversation with my manager. This really opened the door to my career in this organization, because it allowed me to build up a level of trust and comfort to move forward. In articulating my concerns and questions, I feel that my vice president was no longer expected to read my mind and in turn took those questions and answered them not only for me, but also for the entire organization. I now enjoy a level of interaction that is very positive. I was able to open up to my peers and ask for true teamwork. I am able to project a positive attitude about our new processes to my team and other that I work with.

The outcome is that I feel that I would for someone who values me, and who will mentor me to the next level and teach me things about this business that are unique in the industry. If we had not had this initial conversation, if you had not been able to get me to open up on these issues, I would probably be working somewhere else. I do not think that would have been the best outcome for my long-term career growth, and certainly would have been a missed opportunity.

I wanted you to know that your contributions have been very valuable to me. I would personally recommend you to other organizations and individuals. Thank you for all you help, I look forward to our continued interactions.

Sincerely,

 

Bob D. Freinberg

Executive Marketing Office,

Electronic Offsite Services

Dear Cherie,

I would like to take a moment to recognize your contribution to me and my respective teams over the last five years. We have collaborated on many projects and your unwavering, loyal support has been important as well as a key factor in the outstanding results we have produced. Your skills and abilities have proven to be extremely successful in results- driven businesses who are constantly challenged. We have both witnessed 300% increases in sales and customer satisfaction. A $150 million business unit has been transformed into the corporation’s #1 Sales & Service operations. Furthermore, our management has been viewed as the corporation’s “best” front line team and we have experienced less employee turnover than any business unit. You have a remarkable ability to make a significant difference in the lives of those you touch.

The MMS Institute enhances the management team’s ability to reach its business goals. This is done through coaching, facilitation and feedback in all aspects of leadership and management, which encourage individual excellence and team collaboration. This is especially true when leaders seek team ownership of critical success factors necessary to fulfill the business mission. Your multi-step approach acts like a buttery transmission enabling the management team’s engine to reach the speed or rpms necessary to operate in overdrive. Your vision, communication, prioritizing and action management processes provide the fluid, which lubricated the transmission.

Your skills are integral to building the management team’s confidence to achieve higher levels of performance without distraction or disruptions. As your clients connect and reach higher levels of performance, you possess the ability to “hot sync” the management team with its priorities and actions. Your approach uniquely allows individuals to recalibrate their professional and personal needs in conjunction with the next set of business challenges.

Cherie, you have personally helped me remove blind spots, enabling me to exceed my expectations. Any leader and key management team who commit time, energy, engage your services and apply your principles will absolutely achieve remarkable results. I have no hesitation in recommending you as a long-term “partner” to any leader, who truly wants to change a culture, make a significant contribution, and leave a legacy worth remembering.

With gratitude and respect,