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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

Our dads are important leaders in our families. Our culture has provided a number of support opportunities for moms to take a break, express pent up emotions in healthy ways, and openly seek coping mechanisms for stress, all deservedly so. Yet occasionally, our dads might be a bit of an afterthought. How do we honor dad’s role in our family in a way that works for him and gives him opportunities to healthily blow off steam?

Statically speaking, the majority of men will make a series of lifestyle changes that will positively impact their health after they’ve become a father. Creating a family schedule for simplicity often means dads partake in more balanced and regular meals. Fathers tend be more physically active; however, family households are also experiencing a greater balance in child-rearing tasks across moms and dads. This balancecan have many positive influences on the family unit and also put fathers in a position of having to juggle many tasks at once.

The good news for dads is that with increased parenting and other household tasks being added to his plate, the value of fathers has also increased.  Although parental tasks were not included in this list below, Insure.com’s annual Father’s Day Index values dad’s many other efforts at $25,709 per year. To get to this number, common household tasks are Index based on theBureau of Labor Statistics for specific tasks from plumbing, to coaching sport teams, to chauffeuring. This number is also based on working dads rather than stay-at-home fathers. Regardless, this number should help put dad’s contributions to the family into perspective.

The Father’s Day Index 2015

Dad’s job BLS occupation  Hours per week Weeks per year Mean hourly
wage
Annual value
Family finances Accountants and auditors 0.5 52 $30.90 $803
Plumber Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 2 3 $30.53 $183
Helping with homework Other teachers and instructors 10 40 $27.40 $10,960
Coaching a team Athletes, coaches, umpires, and related workers 4 10 $24.35 $974
Handyman Maintenance and repair workers, general 8 6 $20.30 $974
Car maintenance Automotive service technicians and mechanics 2 10 $18.43 $369
Assembly of toys, bookshelves, etc. Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators 3 10 $15.83 $475
Pest removal (spiders, gross bugs) Pest control workers 1 4 $16.33 $65
Scout leader Recreation and fitness workers 5 10 $17.90 $895
Driving Taxi drivers and chauffeurs 9 52 $15.23 $7,125
Moving furniture Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 2 3 $13.65 $82
Barbecuing Cooks 3 52 $10.40 $1,622
Mowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal Grounds Maintenance Workers 2 52 $11.35 $1,180

Dad’s 2015 value: $25,709

Wage source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

This Father’s Day we also wanted to know what makes dads feel valued. We asked three popular dad bloggers, and their answers pointed away from fancy gifts and exotic celebrations and toward everyday stuff:

“It’s just knowing I’m providing for them, everything from their physical to emotional needs,” says Lin, creator of The Busy Dad Blog.  it’s often as simple as seeing the household operate as it should or watching his 12-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter play happily outside.  On Father’s Day, Lin likes to eat and relax with his family and take the day off from worrying.

“I grew up without my father and so I wanted to do things differently for my family,” says Fred Goodall, founder of Mocha Dad, a website focused on fatherhood, and is passionate about parenting and encouraging men to become better dads and husbands.Goodall still carries in his wallet a laminated card his 6-year-old son made a few years ago in preschool. As for celebrating on Father’s Day, each year he and his wife and kids get their photo taken wearing matching T-shirts. He also makes up a questionnaire and asks his kids to fill it out. He saves their hand-written answers from year to year.

“What makes me feel valued is when they do the right thing when no one’s looking. It shows the things you drive home with them stick, they’re learning while they’re watching you.” Says blogger Trey Burley, founder of parenting website Daddy Mojo.  Burley says his favorite way to spend Father’s Day is to go out to breakfast with the family at a nice bagel place and stop by the farmer’s market for fresh fruit.

With dads putting forth so much important energy to do their part to keep households running smoothly, doesn’t dad deserve some special thanks for Father’s Day? You might be surprised to learn that the things that would make dad most happy this Father’s Day is time with his family over expensive gifts. It makes perfect sense that with schedules getting busier for everyone that our fathers crave a little quality with the families they work so hard for.  Make extra time this Father’s Day to let the dad in your life know the value you place on him is priceless.

The Leadership Gap – Building a Bridge

The Leadership Gap – Building a Bridge

Everyday more corporate leaders are retiring. In fact, the U.S. is facing the retirement of 33 million baby boomers by 2020, leaving a rather large and potentially threatening leadership gap for businesses to fill. The process of filling the leadership gap will not accommodate the time commitment needed for training the next generation of leaders.  Additional studies show that only 11% of employees are interested in pursuing C-level leadership positions critical to the success of an organization.

With these tough challenges, companies may need to take a “bamboo” approach to training. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world but only after it takes time to develop a robust root system. This system protects and supports the plant’s longevity, heartiness, and strength.  The bamboo becomes tough to uproot and the plant’s growth becomes explosive.

Companies can be like bamboo and develop a root system that will support them well into the future.Start by considering who the future leaders could be in your company. Who would shoot to higher levels of leadership with the right mentoring and training? Next, gather input throughout your organization, sister companies and trusted partners on the type, style, and execution of the training most relevant. Getting feedback lays the ground work to give a leadership training program that extra boost it needs to be successful. Consider how you might leverage mobile tools, personalization, and the ability to be flexible to help meet the user experience preferred by Millennials to drive engagement and follow through.

Once you have areas of growth identified, consider leveraging subject matter experts from in and outside of the organization to develop and deliver training materials. Keep the lines of feedback flowing and adapt as needed. Through this and other exploratory training and continued learning, your company can begin to tend to its next generation of leaders and grow them to become wonderful assets.

Most importantly, start your transition planning now. On an individual basis, consider how you can stretch your own mentoring skills and seek to teach potential prodigies to lead your organization in its next pursuits. Support them in growing deep strong roots as leaders in your company. If you’re a Millennial and are inspired to lead, seek out a mentor to help you identify your areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

Is your company ready to start a training program targeted to the future leaders in your organization? BBD is here to support you in understanding and executing training and coaching to help your business bridge the leadership gap.

Making Training a Priority

Making Training a Priority

Between the many emails, meetings, and random tasks that have not yet made it on a “to do” list, continuing to enhance your skills as a leader can be a difficult area to give focus. Whether you are responsible for developing yourself, or yourself and leaders in your company, having a plan to stay fresh on your professional skills needs to be at the top of your “to do” list rather than an after-thought.

Leadership begins with a natural or adopted desire to serve others by taking responsibility for creating and delivering on a high level of quality.  Leaders share their quality vision throughout their teams and organizations to bring clarity to how quality will be achieved throughout the business’ operations. Taking time to develop a training program helps ensure you’ll accomplish the expression of quality and that you’ll do so consistently across all points of leadership.

With the motive for training firm, leadership development programs are most successful when they include the following simple elements.

1). Leadership requires adaptability and so should your training programs

Circumstances change every day and require leadership agility in order to assess the situation, evaluate options, and determine the best course of action. The most effective leadership training programs are not rigid rather they allow for the flexibility to change message as the company and leaders grow. One way to ensure your training is on point is to ask the receivers of the training about their biggest challenges.  Develop relationships with sister organizations and understand what their key challenges and training approaches are. Review the training and challenges consistent across your industry. Taking inspiration from these 3 sources will help you identify consistent themes that likely need training focus.

2). Make training a scheduled priority and it will get done

Develop and commit to a schedule for monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, and annual training as appropriate for your business. The content of the training will change with each session but scheduling the training ensures it’s on the calendar and time is set aside to accomplish it. Set aside 8-16 hour increments to minimize distractions and ensure your team blocks off full days for training.

3). Bring in experts to get the best results

Once you know the when and what of the training consider the best sources of information on the key topics. Involve team members knowledgeable on the subjects as well as outside consultants and teachers. This is one of the many areas where BBD can help. We develop customized and out-of-the box training on a variety of relevant leadership skills and practices.  Bringing in outside expects can help bring a fresh perspective to your training and helps increase information retention.

4). Evaluate, ask for feedback and incorporate the learnings

At the end of each training sessions, make sure you have a method of collecting feedback from the training participants. Be open to the information you receive and consider ways to further improve the subject and execution of your training.  Your team will enjoy feeling that you were open to hearing their opinion and will feel like they have more invested in the training. Monitor if the training is effective by establishing metrics for its impact. Metrics should be measurable and relevant to your team specifically. If you are training as an individual, perform your own review of the information you received and document your thoughts on the benefits. Is the training beneficial? Do you feel more prepared than you did prior to the training?

While you are working on training for yourself and your team, consider ways of getting outside of your norm to get new insights on a consistent basis. Look for training events, webinars and luncheons that fit with your needs and schedule. If you are in the Minnesota area, attend our next LIFT event. Visit to get the details and to register http://beyondbbd.com/lift-events/.  While you are at it, seek out additional reading and resources to further expand your knowledge of training techniques and approaches available to you as well. You might start by checking out 5 Ways to Train Yourself to be a great leader.  

Enhancing Give-Back Partnerships

Enhancing Give-Back Partnerships

Corporate responsibility has become a theme that more and more businesses are giving special attention. With proven bottom line benefits, philanthropy is now a part of corporate strategies to increase employee retention, morale and brand awareness.

As the trend towards give-back businesses and business programs rises, tools and resources to help businesses be as giving as they can be are also growing. Whether you are part of business that wants to ensure its philanthropic efforts are organized to make the biggest impact or you represent an organization that needs more corporate partners, new resources are available to help connect you to your goal.

When we are working to raise money for a worthy cause, there is always room for more donations. Amplify your efforts and impact by visiting https://doublethedonation.com/. This site can help you  increase the amount of money you raise from matching gift and volunteer grant programs. The group provides donors with the tool they need to get their match requests in the hand of corporate decision makers. Donors can easily access matching gift guidelines and forms to streamline the process. The site offers direct donation and custom match pages hosted through the Double the Donation page or on your own corporate page.

Many corporations also want to volunteer to support an important cause through their actions and non-profits need volunteers. Volunteer Match makes it easy for giving people and good causes to connect. With over 100,000 non-profit organizations registered and submitting volunteer opportunities and over 9 million volunteers matched to meet their needs, the service is growing daily. If you are a non-profit, post your story and get help incorporating more volunteers into your effort to make your impact even bigger.   If you’re a corporation, plan your next team building event to include a give-back project and you’ll see more smiles around the conference table.  If you are an individual with a giving heart, you can also get involved. Gather a group of helpful friends and make volunteering a pay-it-forward part of your social time.

Momentum begets more of the same. Don’t miss the opportunity to amplify your efforts to tackle important challenges with a few digital clicks. You may be surprised at what a difference connecting to like-minded groups can make in multiplying your impact.

What have you found that works well in connecting with non-profits or corporate donors and sponsors? Please share your comments below.

Green is in Fashion

Green is in Fashion

It’s wonderful to see how so many companies are taking a green approach to their businesses. We’ve talked in previous blogs about how more companies see that having a social consciousness program helps their bottom line. At BBD, we are inspired to see how more and more companies are creatively inspiring green tactics that are far reaching and becoming critical to the literal and figurative fabric of the company.

Eileen Fisher is a privately held company whose brand goes back to 1980’s. The company is known for its simple designs and creative marketing. Since the early 2000’s the company has been making green programs as vogue as their clothing and has added social consciousness to its reputation. The company follows Social Accountability International (SAI) SA8000 standards to ensure social accountability in the work place. The majority of the cotton in their clothing is organic and colored with chemical free dies.

In 2011, the brand began an effort to keep clothing out of landfills as well as provide a funding source to support causes for which the company has a passion. Green Eileen was the eventual product. The program takes in “gently worn” Eileen Fisher clothes, gives donors a $5 gift certificate per item and resells them with all proceeds going to nonprofit groups that have a mission of empowering women.

For Eileen Fisher, sustainability is a way of doing business and it’s been hugely successful. The history of this brand shows that when social consciousness becomes a part of your culture, the answers to what were once tough questions become more and more obvious.  We see many brands and companies demonstrating that cradle-to-cradle processes like the Eileen Fisher model are not only possible, they can be a part of valuing business success.

At BBD, we support companies in reaching their goals for social impact and believe that 100% sustainability is possible. We are here to help you begin making a shift that will show your clients that you and your company have sustainable style.

Leadership lessons from our Armed Services

Leadership lessons from our Armed Services

Self-awareness comes from honestly assessing where you are, what is possible and your opportunity to create change.  We admire and look to businesses and organizations that have observed their own operations and seen opportunities to step up their game even when it seems daunting and success isn’t guaranteed.

One organization that receives a great deal of attention when it comes to leadership and weathering change is our military. The last three decades have marked an important time of reflecting, research and ultimately re-thinking leadership within the U.S. military.  With new information, our military has worked to recreate systems of thinking that support leadership decision-making when challenges arrive.

Armed Services Day, celebrated annually the third Saturday of May,inspired us at BBD to take a look at the key leadership lessons we can use that are proven military tactics.

The faster our lives and world moves, the more emphasis is placed on leadership agility.  The U.S. military introduced the term VUCA,the acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. VUCA soon became a code to help leaders be aware of 4 types of challenging situations that will require a thoughtful and self-aware response.

Do those sound like characteristics of situations you might be facing regularly as a leader?

While it’s helpful to be aware that VUCA is probably going to find each and every leader, perhaps even on a daily basis, the next step to being a great leader is having a plan to respond.  The U.S. Military provides a training doctrine to help leaders anticipate issues, assess interdependent variables, prepare for challenges, and capitalizes on relevant opportunities.

What is practiced and drilled in will be applied in a crisis.

For those of us who have not had the benefit of this level of training to manage change but are hungry for effective leadership tools, the Harvard Business Review published a guide to help leaders from any organization to take intelligent action in response to VUCA situations.

The guide for action is based on how much the leader knows about the situation and how well the leader can predict the results.  Interpreting where a VUCA challenge lives on the spectrum is the first step. The model then provides recommended action and techniques for each situation. These are worth knowing and having in your toolbox regardless of the types of challenges you face as a leader.  With a little practice, you’ll be ready to respond effectively to any challenge.

With it can also come new energy and concepts that flow into all our efforts including our professional lives. Soon our businesses, institutions and organizations begin to be impacted by our new thinking.

Isn’t now the time for new thinking and leading?

Do What Your Mother Said… especially when running a company

Do What Your Mother Said… especially when running a company

On Sunday we will honor and celebrate the moms that helped us become the adults we are today. Growing up, our moms became so familiar to us that it was sometimes easy to brush off the mom-isms.  It becomes common practice, if not a critical rite of passage into adolescence, to think our moms are just trying to meet a daily word quota. Little did we know, moms have guidance that stands the test of time and can serve us well on the playground and in the boardroom.  Perhaps you’ll remember some of them.

Pick your battles – Mom’s words might not have made sense when we were young and full of energy to get into all sorts of mischief and fight every fight. As we get older, have full plates, busy schedules, and responsibilities, our moms suddenly become very wise. The fact is mom knew all too well that there are only so many heartbeats in our lifetime and we need to spend them on what matters most: preserving our energy for the battles that we know in our gut are key and check-in with our energy-spend on the less important stuff. Find a key phrase you can use to help put the small battles behind you so you can be fresh for the big ones.

Treat others how you would want to be treated – In business how we treat our customers is the make or break practice for every company. If your customers don’t feel valued, if they feel you don’t care about their satisfaction, when they can tell you are not interested in “wowing” them, they have no reason to remain loyal to you. Thinking of your customers like the most important people in your business will ensure you are putting their needs first. If they reward you for giving them great service with their loyalty, you have a wonderfully complementary, balanced business relationship.

Be the best you that you can be – After years of hearing how special you are from mom, this statement might have garnered an eye roll. Once again, mom DID know best when she said that you were made for a unique purpose and you should own it every day. Moms can see and believe that we are capable of amazing things if we fully embrace our being. Begin each day as a leader with the certainty that you were made to contribute something that only you can. Your career will grow and you’ll definitely make mom proud.

Actions speak louder than words – You might have told mom you loved her, and cleaning your room and doing your homework showed her you did. Within companies; associates, partners, and customers watch what leaders do to see if you mean what you say. These days it’s easy to demonstrate that you backup your commitments with actions. In a world with vast digital media you can show the world that you mean what you say. Check yourself often to ensure you are following mom’s advice on this one and you’ll be known as a leader with integrity.

Since the beginning of time, moms have been preparing the next generation of leaders. So much of what our moms were trying to teach us was about having integrity and being self-aware. These are key qualities for each of us and especially important when leading and mentoring others. The lessons moms teach can help us go from toddling to team building and all the way to the top.  What were some of the lessons your mom taught you?

Green practices pay greenbacks

Green practices pay greenbacks

As of January of this year, an estimated 1,200 companies in the U.S. had B Corp status. A B Corp is a for-profit corporate entity that contributes positively to the community and environment through its products, services and operations. Even with the mounting increase of companies achieving B Corp status, CFOs still want confirmation that green practices and corporate responsibility will support the bottom line.  Luckily, consumer studies and handy new tech tools hold good news for sustainable companies.

A 2014 global study was conducted by Nielsen surveyed consumers on their willingness to pay for products and services provided by companies’ actively practicing conscious capitalism. The study found that 55% of respondents were willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are making a positive social and environmental impact. Nearly as many consumers (52%) had made a prior sustainable product purchase in the past 6 months.

While consumer-reported past purchases and purchase intent is helpful, it may not be the best predictor of actual conversion to a product purchase. To get the rest of the story, a review of sustainable product retail sales was performed. The review showed a 2-5% increase in sales depending on the product marketing.  Companies which included corporate responsibility as a part of their marketing message and on product packaging saw the most success.

More recently, consumer commitment to spending their green on green products and services can be seen in the creation and usage of complementary sustainable shopping apps. More apps are being developed and downloaded that help consumers find green products. Some examples include:

  • GoodGuide— helping consumers find ethically made, green products quickly
  • Fooducate— giving shoppers a product grade level for each scanned product based on its healthfulness
  • Social Impact— allowing users to search socially conscious businesses near their location

The results of the Nielsen study and the growth of socially conscious consumer apps demonstrates that a growing percentage of consumers are:

  • motivated to spend on sustainable products made by socially conscious companies
  • willing to pay more for them
  • influenced to purchase by a sustainable marketing message.

Share with others how your company is communicating your green efforts to your target market.