What is the Name of My Game?

By: Daniel T. Bloom

Every day our organizational management is confronted with the rush to Big Data and its impacts on organizational metrics. However, this rush is failing to understand one critical factor in making a decision.



Consider this:  It is a dreary, overcast day and so you decide to go to the mall to do some shopping. As you enter your favorite big box store, you see an 18-year-old, blonde, blue-eyed girl head directly to a particular display. I am not trying to create a stereotype but rather to demonstrate the basis of big data.

Marketing has spent large sums of money to create an experience based on big data to create a vision of the ‘why that 18-year-old would head to that particular display.’ Their models extensively study the correlation behind the demographics and desires of certain population groups and how they result in purchases by these groups.



In the readings on the implications of big data in HR, one article suggested the use of a tool called predictive analysis. The example they provided was that big data told an organization that every time a certain manager interviewed a candidate for an open position, the hire resulted in a failed hire. The extended logic was that if this hiring manager was the next manager up for an opening, the odds were that the hire would not last. Correlation is great for certain aspects of the organization, but HR needs to look at the causality of the human capital management issues are clearly understood.

Return to our predictive analysis example we discussed above. It is critical that when we have a problem with a process, it is almost never a people problem. If this is correct, then the fact that a particular manager is interviewing failed hires is not the grounds for a valid correlation. Rather, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the process. Is the reason that the hires fail due to the wrong cultural fit? Is the reason the hires fail due to the wrong skills for the position? The use of the continual process improvement methodology provides you with the tools to discover the root causes of the process problems that a concentration on correlations does not and cannot.



When we determine that in order to correct the obstacles to the hiring process, we need to find a driven method to empower change in our organizations. Cause and effect determination is method to drive that change. The TLS Continuum (Theory of Constraints- Lean- Six Sigma) provides a roadmap to discover the causes of the process problems.

We are not suggesting that Big Data does not have a place within our organizations. It certainly does in areas like sales or marketing. But when the success of our organizations is dependent on knowing why we are experiencing process errors there is a better route to go with the TLS Continuum and the Continuous Process Improvement tools.

The TLS Continuum combines the tools of critical thinking with those evidence-based tools of Lean and Six Sigma to produce a congruent system which identifies the obstacles (TOC) and then removes the obstacle (Lean) and then concludes with the application of six sigma to create the standard of work and remove variations.


About the Author

Daniel T. Bloom SPHR, SSBB, SCRP is a well-respected author, speaker and human resource strategist, who during his career has worked within a wide variety of industries. He has been an educator, a contingency executive recruiter, a member of a Fortune 1000 divisional HR staff and the Corporate Relocation Director for several real estate firms in the Tampa Bay area. He is an active member of the HR social media scene since 2006 with contributions to Best Thinking.com, WordPress, Human Capital League, and Recruiting Blogs.

He has also published three books—Just Get me There in 2005 which is documented history of the Corporate Relocation Industry, Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma published in 2013 and the Field Guide to Achieving HR Excellence through Six Sigma in 2016. He has also written over 40 articles which have appeared both in print and online on various HR issues.

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

By Dr. Tony Alessandra

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time!

Successful people break large tasks into smaller ones.

I use the word chunking to describe this process. For instance, when I landed a contract to write my first book, Non-Manipulative Selling, I had six months to write it. On my “To Do” list every day of those six months was: Write book.

Six months went by, no book. The publisher gave me another three months. For three more months Write book appeared daily on my “To Do” list. Still… no book. Finally, the publisher gave me a final three months or else I would lose the contract and have to return the advance.

Fortunately, a colleague gave me the concept of “chunking.” He asked me how many pages I had to write. Answer: 180. How many days to write it? Answer: 90. He told me that every day my “To Do” list should say: Write 2 pages of book. I must write two pages. If I got on a roll, I could write four or five. However, the next day, I still had to write a minimum of two. By following his advice, I finished the book in thirty days!

A final technique for managing your goals comes from Dr. John Lee, time management expert. He says when a task pops up, apply one of the four D’s: Drop it, Delegate it, Delay it, or Do it. Consciously choosing one of those strategies every time you face a task will keep things progressing smoothly.

Platinum Rule® Strategies for Self-improvement:

High ‘D’ styles are great at “doing” and “delegating”, but could improve on how to delegate. They need to take time to explain each task, realize that others will take longer to start and finish than they would, and not forget to say “please” and “thank you.” A little kindness and praise goes a long way to getting others to want to help you.

High ‘I’ styles are great at starting big projects, but struggle to finish many of them. They need to focus on accomplishing the small steps each day. They thrive on small pats on the back. They need to continually remind themselves (through positive affirmations) that they are becoming more focused and more productive each day.

High ‘S’ styles are very persistent people. They stick with projects until completion. However, they need to work on their confidence by soliciting less feedback during the process and presenting larger chunks of work for approval.

High ‘C’ styles are great at perfecting projects, but they sometimes get lost in the details. Remember: 95% correct (and out the door) beats “perfect every time” but late. They need to find someone else to “perfect” their work and learn to finish sooner.

C-Suite Network Brings Its Trusted Community of Executives to New York City

July 14, 2016 09:00 ET

C-Suite Network Brings Its Trusted Community of Executives to New York City

Registration Is Now Open for the C-Suite Convene in New York City From September 12-13

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Jul 14, 2016) – The C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, will gather executives from across the country at TheTimesCenter, located in the heart of New Yorks’ vibrant Times Square district, from September 12-13. This is the first time the event will be held in New York City. The exclusive convene will showcase top C-Suite leaders and business school thinkers as they share ideas and gain valuable insights to build their own leadership and strategies.

Registration is now open for the two-day event, which connects attendees with industry experts, who share their wealth of experience and knowledge through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interviews. New York’s convene will feature an exclusive lineup with content geared toward C-Suite interests.

Past presenters have included Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari Corporation & Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater and CEO of Brainrush; Kevin Jonas, musician and start-up founder; Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE; Paul Carbone, CFO of Dunkin’ Brands and more.

Content includes:
•Technology impacting how we relate to customers
•C-Suite secrets for protecting, growing and expanding your brand
•How to radically improve collaboration across your company
•Spotlight on technology that is boosting customer loyalty and its ability to deliver revenue growth
•Being the best leader of a diverse team

Networking and an engaging speaking program allow attendees to gain a competitive edge, incredible knowledge and key insights to bring back to their companies for continued growth and operational excellence.

“I’m thrilled to be bringing our C-Suite Convene to New York City where the company was founded,” said CEO and Co-founder, Thomas White. “The C-Suite Network strives to give its members exclusive access to their peers where ideas can be shared and invaluable business deals completed, there is no better place for that than New York.”

For more information about the upcoming C-Suite Conference or to request an invitation visit http://c-suitenetwork.com/conference/.

About C-Suite Network
C-Suite Network is the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, with a focus on providing growth, development and networking opportunities for business executives with titles of vice president and above.

C-Suite Network brings leaders together through C-Suite Collective, a private online community for executives. C-Suite Network also offers invitation-only conferences held three times per year, custom-tailored content on the C-Suite Network blog, C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio, C-Suite Book Club, and educational programs from C-Suite Academy.  Learn more at www.c-suitenetwork.com, or connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Contact Information

Media Contact
Gena Larsen
TallGrass Public Relations
Email Contact

Why Customer Service Training Is the Ultimate Differentiator


By: Adam Toporek

We live in a world of incredibly sophisticated tools and techniques for designing customer experiences. Comprehensive big data, detailed customer personas, and extensive customer journey maps are just some of the tools organizations use to imagine and create best-in-class customer experiences.

Yet, too much of the work done in the C-Suite doesn’t translate to the front lines, creating a gap between design and execution.

Good customer journeys too often go bad.

For many B2C organizations, the failure is human; team members simply do not deliver the experience as designed or are unable to adapt when the customer’s experience deviates from the expected journey.

What separates the best-in-class customer experience companies from the rest are culture and training.

Why Training Matters

The real world that frontline teams experience is messy and difficult. From broken systems to irate customers, frontline reps have to navigate a wide variety of emotional, organizational, and psychological challenges.

Most customer service training deals with technique not emotion, with systems not psychology; yet, what frontline reps struggle with is the mentality of service — understanding their own outlooks and attitudes and coming to grips with the psychological mechanisms that cause customers to act the way they do.

Even the best frontline team members are not designed to be successful at reactive service, to say and do the right things when the going gets tough.

On the front lines of service, training is what separates the average Joes from the superheroes.

Tips for Effective Training

There is an old expression: “Practice doesn’t make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect.” The message being that if you practice the wrong things, you will not get the desired results.

Too much customer service training is focused on the perfect journey, on “here’s what to do when everything goes right.” But effective training should address the challenges that frontline teams face in the real world, the “what if” scenarios that derail frontline team members and throw customer experiences off track.

Here are three key areas that you can center your training around:

·     Delivering Effective Communication — How much of a customer’s experience centers on communication and yet how little focus does this crucial aspect of service get in most training? Communication training should focus on key areas like first impressions and greetings, delivering key experiential moments, and handling difficult situations. Communication training should incorporate key phrases, power words, and, whenever possible, real-world simulation through role play.

·     Creating Painless Transfers — In Be Your Customer’s Hero, we discuss the 7 Service Triggers that are hot buttons for customers today. One of the most important service triggers is being shuffled, which refers to the hassle and stress of being transferred repeatedly to resolve an issue. Transfer training should focus on how to minimize the number of transfers through better routing and empowerment and how to eliminate the stress associated with transfers through techniques like warm transferring and assuring accountability.

·     Anticipating Expected Issues — While customer issues are never completely predictable, organizations can find patterns in the most common service issues. In my customer service keynote speeches, I often advise applying Pareto (or 80/20) analysis to identify the few challenges that make up the majority of service issues. By training for these expected issues, teams will not only be able to navigate them more effectively but will also learn key principles that they can apply to other situations they face.

The above tips are but a few of the many customer service training ideas you can implement to make your team’s customer service skill set Hero-Class®.

Differentiate Through Training

To set your organization apart from its competitors, begin by designing a heroic, best-in-class journey and then create a robust training program to help make sure that journey is consistently well-executed.

Many organizations create excellent customer journeys that succeed on a piece of paper or a computer screen but are never fully realized for customers in actual practice.

In a world where sophisticated customer experience design tools are available to almost everyone, it is execution that wins the day and training that separates good service from great.

In customer service, training is the ultimate differentiator.

About the Author

Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. As a 3rd-generation entrepreneur with extensive experience in retail and franchising, Adam brings a unique lens to organizations that need to train their frontline teams to deliver Hero-Class® experiences to customers.

Adam is the author of Be Your Customer’s Hero: Real- World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (AMACOM, 2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog.

From Huffington Post to Entrepreneur, Adam has appeared or been cited in nearly 100 different media outlets, including podcasts, radio, and television.

Adam has an MBA, a Certificate in Customer Experience from the Center for Services Leadership, and is a Certified Net Promoter® Associate. When he’s not speaking or delivering high energy customer service workshops, he can be found co-hosting the Crack the Customer Code podcast and writing extensively about customer experience and customer service.