Our company puts on an international conference each year that brings together industry leaders and visionaries highlighting trends within the management solutions industry. The event is the signature event of our company’s entire year. Because of this, it’s important for us to put on a compelling show and tell a story that resonates both with members of our network as well as people in the public spectrum looking for ways to build the perfect staff to help their businesses thrive.
As we plan our event, the biggest question we need to ask is what do we want people to get out of the conference experience? What would captivate their attention enough to make them take time away from their place of employment, presumably hop on a plane and make the journey to Phoenix, Arizona? To ensure we did create compelling content, we designed the conference story arc to be a cohesive journey that answers this, and other important questions, for all conference attendees. This year’s story arc is all about transforming the way we look at talent in all businesses, large or small. People are not your problem, they are your solution.
It’s all about people
People are the lifeline of any good business. Yet so many leaders look at members of their workforce as an expense or as a number. Changing the mindset to reposition workers as the solution to your company’s problems, instead of being the root of a company’s problems, can entirely change the fortunes of a business. With a series of compelling speakers including well-respected business leaders, core members of the TTI Success Insights leadership team and world-renowned inspirational speakers, we will tell that story in a series of main stage conversations that will change the way attendees look at talent, and people in general, moving forward. This event is about people, for people.
Proactivity vs. reactivity
President of Global Distribution, Rick Bowers, will set the tone by stating the vision for what to expect throughout this action packed day. Immediately thereafter, former sports agent turned public speaker, Molly Fletcher hits the stage. She will talk about how businesses should consider creating meaningful change when they’re not in a crisis mode. So many times, business leaders wait until something bad happens then react to it. What would happen if the issues were preemptively addressed before the negative ever occurred? Molly Fletcher’s goal is to shift the mindset for every single person in the room. Taking a proactive approach about when and how we make changes in our businesses – and in our personal lives – Molly will show us how much more successful we can become if we change our way of thinking and taking action.
Increasing through convergence
After Fletcher gets us to change our mindset, our journey towards better understanding people and business travels down a completely different road. World-renowned speaker Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, will get attendees to take note of where unrelated things intersect and to observe the convergence of those two items. Creating innovation out of that convergence can propel us and our businesses to have sustained and substantial growth. The key to making this happen is to innovate not iterate.
Think about companies such as Apple or Tesla that have year after year sustained growth and/ or successfully launch product after product that appeals to the masses. A common theme found within these companies is that they look for new ideas in very different ways from most businesses. They ask questions such as “where can I find an intersection between seemingly unrelated things and how can I innovate off of that?” Truly thinking outside the box, companies such as these always seem to be ahead of the rest. Johansson will bring this concept to life by demonstrating success stories and revolutionary new ways of thinking.
The buck stops with the leader
While the two initial keynote speakers will undoubtedly have an immediate impact on attendees, many leaders may sit in the room and think the ideas are great but that they may not have the right people to put these ideas into action. Negative talk, or at least a seed of doubt, may start to creep into these leaders’ minds. Ron Price will counteract those thoughts and fears by changing the mindset of those in the room. Often the mindset of “c suite” leaders goes to a place that says people can be a leading reason for not achieving a certain level of success. Price plans to challenge that mindset by putting accountability back on our leaders.
Ron’s message is that people are not an asset on a balance sheet or an object that can be easily replaced with a better, more-efficient model. We have to begin to think of every person in human terms, regardless of their position, title or the salary they command. Every single employee has the ability to connect to the vision of the company and they can make a strategic difference in the success of the company. This theory holds true from minimum wage workers that serve one specific task to executive-level leaders that are responsible for the overall health of a company.
Messy Strategy and bottom-up thinking
After lunch, Ashley Bowers will discuss the concept of “Messy Strategy,” which is based on a “bottom-up” strategic planning process. Messy Strategy involves every employee seeing themselves in the company’s overall plan. This strategy works when all workers have input in the plan and work toward a common goal. With buy-in from the entire staff on the front end, it becomes a two-way agreement between the staff, leaders and owners of the organization to all be rallying around one common goal.
Mental discipline of a leader
Leaders have to be willing to have those tough conversations and accept criticism from time to time in order to grow. Accepting feedback and learning from it can have a direct impact on achieving company-wide goals. Respected business advisor Andy Johnson will talk about the mental discipline of a leader. While a lesser leader may be more inclined to replace employees who don’t agree with him or her, rather than accepting some of the criticism for failures, a great leader has the mental fortitude to accept all feedback, good or bad, for the betterment of the organization.
Andy will walk through how to develop the trust at all levels of the organization. He will define and exhibit exactly what it means to have mental discipline.
Building trust and authenticity
When leaders create trust and authenticity inside organizations, they begin to get good, honest feedback from their employees. Building on Andy’s theme of trust, Brent Patmos will be talking about building trust and authenticity in the organization. People are a valued human asset, not a reason or scapegoat for company struggles. The focus on people turns into a positive message.
Brent will instruct leaders to embrace every individual for who they are and what they contribute. Then, he’ll encourage leaders to connect what every employee contributes to the company’s operational or strategic plan. Doing so will generate rewards from which all participants with benefit.
Another key takeaway is the important fact that leaders do not need to be the smartest person in the room. Fearing being shown up, leaders often avoid bringing in talent that may be smarter or more skilled than them. It becomes an issue of control. The more a leader is able to let go of control and trust his or her staff, the more effectively a company can function. Every employee needs to be part of the overall strategic plan and even the leader needs help accomplishing goals.
The overarching story
Think of an organization like a major metropolitan highway. So many times, members of organizations build their own highway to accomplish their goals. One department takes one path, a different department takes another. Eventually, everyone is going in different directions and none of the paths meet. The result is chaos and confusion which leads to stress and bottlenecks. When everyone is traveling in the same direction on the same highway, everyone arrives at their destination quicker and happier.
As a thought leader in people management, TTI Success Insights’ annual conference will be a conference about people, for people. It’s about understanding people’s value to an organization and learning how to get the most of an organization’s people. Whether the attendee is a business coach, a human resource manager or an entrepreneur, understanding how to manage people in the most effective and efficient way while thinking creatively in new ways will change the way companies do business.