Category: Business

My Notes From Sara Robert’s CMMA Presentation


Sara Roberts
Roberts Golden Consulting

Author of Light Their Fire: Using Internal Marketing to Ignite Employee Performance and Wow Your Customers (Kaplan 2005) and has been quoted in numerous publications including Business Week, Inc. Magazine and Forbes.

  • Sara is the President and CEO of Roberts Golden Consulting headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

What if you were given the chance to change or die from a doctor?  What if they doctor said, if you don’t make changes in the way you think and act, you wouldn’t make those changes?  Of course you are going to make those changes.  Don’t bet on it through because medical research shows, 90% of the people don’t make the necessary changes to save their own life.

Dean Ornish knows how to make people change.  Ornish in 1993 took 333 patients with heart disease got them to quit smoking, diet, twice weekly meeting, mediation, relaxation, yoga.  They had a coach that sat down with them and have measurable and achievable results for them.  Most doctors frame up the fact that people will die if they don’t change, he taught joy of living.  After three years, 77% stuck with those lifestyle changes.

  • He reframed it
  • He engaged them
  • Gave them constant guidance
  • Worked right alongside them while they’re making the change
  • Ensured accountability for new behaviors

5 out of the top 10 reasons things fail is because we lack change management planning

Within the next ten years, the ability to effectively manage change will be the number one necessary skill required of business professionals.

A company needs periods of stability to regroup and regain energy.  If you don’t know what “normal is” you don’t know how to optimize things.

Designate a “Change Guardian”

  • An executive that has his or her finger on the pulse of the company or a cross-functional change councel that you for for that purpose.
  • Similar how PMOs manage portfolios or how executive counsils prioritize projects from a financial perspective
  • Has a birds-eye view
  • Ensures initiatives are prioritized and aren’t competing


  • Influence attitudes, build credibility and make connections across the company


  • Provide the skills, tools and environment for employees to do their jobs effectively


  • Provide employees with the latitude to make decisions that benefit the customer and organization


  • Ensure accountability at all levels

Engage Your People

  • Know your audiences – get a handle through “stakeholder analysis” and understand where they are
    • How is it going to impact me?
    • What’s in it for me?
    • Is there a role for me?

Raise the Urgency Level

  • Show others the need to change – help them see, touch, feel
  • Make the message tangible – emotions not just numbers
  • Stop Senior Management “happy talk” – put more honest out there
  • Highlight performance gaps
  • Use customers and shareholder testimonies

The goal of this initiative is to debureaucratize processes in order to prioritize markets to maximize our sales and capitalize on margin optimization resulting in the better utilization.

The most important thing to remember about communicating a new direction is that its most powerful when its communicated through behavior.

Hilton empowers every employee in the hotel to comp a customer if they are not 100% satisfied.  They have done research and found that employees take it very seriously and do not abuse that privilege.  For every dollar Hilton gives away, they get seven in repeat business.

Curt Garbett: Red Tree Leadership & Development


I am at the CMMA Fall Conference and wanted to share my notes with everyone from Curt Garbett, the keynote speaker.  Curt brings his experience and expertise to the Red Tree following previous employment with Right Management Consultants as VP of Sales and with the Covey Leadership Center as Senior Account Executive.  In his current position as Vice President , Curt has worked with a host of well-known companies including Frito-Lay, McDonalds, the US Navy, AT&T, Sun Microsystems, Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard, BMW, Novartis, and Starbucks.

Types of Change

  • Change done to us
  • Change we initiate
  • Change we request of others

One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change.

Four Change Skills

  • Skill #1 – Anticipating Change
    • Noticing smaller changes early to predict what is likely to happen next.
  • Skill #2 – Taking New Actions Now
    • Doing something quickly, evaluating the results, and moving quickly again.
  • Skill #3 – Moving Beyond Fear
    • Realizing when fear or comfort hold you back, and moving past it
  • Skill #4 – Imagining Real Success
    • Creating a picture of what you really want to happen

“Some people change when they see the light, other change when they feel the heat” – Caroline Schoeder

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less” – General Eric Shinseki

When is change a good idea to you?

  • When things are stagnant
  • When you are failing

Change is a good idea when it is my idea.  When it is someone else’s idea we resist it.

Change is:

  • Innovation
  • Doing something differently
  • Evolution
  • Inevitable
  • Terrifying

Smell the cheese often so you know if it is getting old.

When you change what you believe, you change what you do.

The trap of the comfort zone.  Don’t get comfortable in what you do, always push yourself.

“The brick walls are there for a reason,” he said during his lecture. “The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” – Randy Pausch, the Last Lecture

His daughter didn’t know how waves worked the first time she went to the beach.  She went running out in the water and a few second later got nailed by a wave which knocked her over.  As soon as she was able to get back up, bam…another wave.  The waves of life aren’t going to stop coming so learn to adapt to them.

Office Space


I came across this and had to laugh because just yesterday I was talking about finding a way to hide our department’s printer.  Now obviously hiding a refrigerator full of beer and a printer are for two completely different purposes and I don’t condone drinking at work but hiding a refrigerator and a printer are still related in their own bizarre way.  Our company is taking all of the printers away from each department and is installing one networked copy machine per floor.  I think that is a great idea if the goal is to reduce the number of printers, reduce the cost of maintaining those printers, decrease toner cost, and last but not least the cost of a depreciating asset.  However the decision also means employees now need to basically walk across the building to get their print job (never mind the fact that it may be confidential).  This means you pass lots of co-workers who you usually catch up with (you get distracted).  By the time you actually get to the printer you then find someone has likely walked off with it.  I joked yesterday we should hollow out a file cabinet and hide our 150 pound monster printer in it.  I had a toaster in my office to cook my wonderful sugary goodness morning treats (Pop-Tarts) until Scott sent a picture of my violation to HR (OK it was a funny joke).

My point is, why do offices have to be setup to be as unproductive as humanly possible?  Want good coffee (stuff that won’t burn a hole in your stomach)?  You have to walk to another building to get it.  I actually asked Facilities if we could put a coffee maker in and was told no because it is a fire violation.  OK yes it probably is and I don’t want to be blamed for endangering fellow co-workers lives but can’t we think of something?  Oh and by the way I am the resident Emergency Response Coordinator for our floor so if I set the building on fire I at least know what to do now that I have been through 2 hours of training.  I even got a fancy orange vest that makes me look all official.  We put  a man on the moon and we can’t find a way to make getting good coffee to an employee without it involving a marathon?  Want a fork, knife, or spoon?  Yeah you have to walk to another building to get that too.  Want to microwave your food at work?  Yeah we used to have two microwaves and one broke so now you have to wait 15 minutes to nuke your 4 minute lunch.

People want things near them for a reason…to save time…and listen up companies…this ultimately saves you time.  Say what you want about Jason Calacanis but the man has moments of brilliance.  I once heard him say on a podcast that he buys his employees lunch because it keeps them at work, keeps him “up” on what is going on in the office, and keeps them productive.  Southwest Airlines founder Herbert D. Kellehe also knows this because he is famous for saying “you have to treat your employees like customers“.  I work for a great company and it does care for its employees and no company is perfect but when you make a change that affects your employees the thing I am reminded of most is you have to poll your employees before making a decision so you make sure your decision doesn’t ultimately affect morale and the company’s bottom line.  If you poll your employees and you still don’t listen, then that is an entirely different story.

The Livescribe 1GB Pulse Pen

A person I know at work has this pen and seems to love it.  If you have one let me know what you think.  I personally just take my laptop everyone I go but very cool concept.  Oh and PS, if you are not following Chris Brogan via his blog or Twitter account you definitely should as he is awesome!

Your Company’s Mission Statement

Does your company have a mission statement?  Some of you may have already heard what Google’s mission statement is but if not I thought I would share.  Google’s mission statement simply says that it’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”  That is a pretty tall order but also a pretty cool idea.  I think anyone who controls data controls lots of knowledge so you have to be careful who you entrust.  Do you trust Google?  If you want to read more on Google and their mission you can do so here.