NEOVET – A Cross-Sector Collaborative Start-up

Thanks to Chad, a creative and original organization is readying to impact northeast Ohio in a powerful way. NEOVETS is a cross-sector collaborative that will improve the economies and attraction of the region by matching military families to the resources they need to call our community home. Chad’s coaching and leadership have put this exciting design on the launchpad.

Collaboratives are notoriously tough to manage, yet Chad’s style of organizing and delivering strategy, structure and support have kept it together and productive. He combines his preparation and delivery with humor and a subtle persistence to keep the groups involved engaged, productive and moving forward. Chad’s follow-up, too, is impressive.

On a personal level, Chad is invaluable. His coaching and support motivate me to keep moving forward without feeling that all I’m doing is taking steps leading to more steps. Chad makes sure I take responsibility for producing the desired end result. “Chief Catalyst” only begins to describe how Chad Cook can help you and your organization.

Wendy Matthews, MNO
Your HR Business Partner

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Working Less & Doing More – Part 1

Companies today expect more work from fewer people. This creates an action orientation that is driven by checklists of tasks. Some of us get lulled into doing low-priority work that has little value just to get it off our list of “to-do’s”.

There is an easy solution!!

Beware; You Will Have To Change Your Current Behavior!!

Prioritize Your Tasks to Focus On the Important Work

  • Circle the three to five most important projects or tasks on your list that require your attention today.
  • Now commit to spending ten-minute increments on each. And, immediately start working on the first one. When the ten minutes are up, stop where you are and move on to the second task. Repeat until you’ve made it all the way through the list of circled tasks. Now take a ten-minute break.
  • Commit for fifteen or twenty minutes each task/project this time (whatever your tolerance for change can take), and do it again.
  • Take another break, then commit for 30 minutes per task/project. And so on.
  • When you know you’ll be working such a short burst of time, any resistance you have is more likely to disappear. Moreover, since your brain knows you’ll be hitting all your important projects, rather than obsessing about what you’re not doing, you can focus completely on each task in sequence.

Speed processing your tasks is not multitasking! Never try to do two things at once, don’t respond to interruptions, and give 100% focus to each task as you work.

You’ll soon find yourself working less, doing more, and leaving early enough to go home and have a wonderful life.

Questions or comments?  call 330.329.3137 or email

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Red Shirt Relationships Becoming More Important (Guest Blog)

With the increasing intensity of labor shortages, social media in recruiting is becoming more important than ever before. According to recruiting guru Peter Weddle, “The art of social recruiting involves the development of two kinds of candidate relationships”: Blink Relationships, those that can “establish trust and familiarity in the blink of an eye” and Red Shirt Relationships, those that involve having talent waiting “on the bench”.

Following the sports analogy, Weddle calls them Red Shirt Relationships because “a red shirt player is one who is part of a team, but not yet actively participating with it in competition”. Though Blink Relationships are the “foundation for success in filling current openings”, Red Shirt Relationships are the answer to creating a sustainable talent pipeline.

Red Shirt Relationships require more time to develop, because they build trust and familiarity more slowly. Recruiters often find dozens and sometimes even hundreds of prospects to fill a single opening. Frequently, those candidates who are not chosen for the position would be terrific applicants for later openings. “For others, the timing or opportunity wasn’t right, but at some point, it could conceivably be.” Instead of abandoning these candidates and writing off the tremendous investment made to connect with them, “a growing number of employers are now leveraging them into enduring relationships”.

Weddle defines a talent pipeline as “a network of prequalified candidates who feel an affinity for a specific employer”. Though these pipelines are typically difficult to maintain, cultivating these Red Shirt Relationships can be a valuable key. These relationships encourage candidates to think of themselves as members of “an employer’s select team”. Though they are not yet employees, they may be acknowledged and treated as valued prospects.

These relationships continually strengthen the connections between talented candidates and the employer by highlighting how working for this employer may advance their careers and reinforcing the candidates’ beliefs that future opportunities are real. The precious return-on-investment for the employer is “a strong bench of talent, that cuts both the cost and time to fill its openings”.

Wise employers will embrace Weddle’s ideas, resulting in tremendous benefits for their long-term profitability and success. Expect to see growing emphasis on the importance of Red Shirt Relationships and sustainable talent pipelines. These will be critical factors in smart employers’ responses to intensifying talent shortages.

For more information, visit

Copyright 1998-2014 by The Herman Group, Inc. — reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3547 or The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.”

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Leading Change Can Be As Easy As Changing Your Socks

My first employer insisted we wear dark suits and ties to work. One of my Masters students encountered a similar situation inIMAG0865 the financial institution where he was recently recruited to work.

He felt this was burdensome and old-fashioned (I agree).

So, he took action in a light and fun way to encourage, initiate and lead change. He wore mismatched and colorfully patterned socks to work under his suit pants.

Others noticed and commented and laughed and got the point. They began to follow the sock revolution and even had competitions for the loudest, most colorful, fun characters, etc.

Of course, management eventually noticed and discussed this ‘poking fun’ at the dress code as reflecting its’ antiquated and outdated expectations. Particularly for those who didn’t have to interact with clients, customers and other critical interfaces where professional attire was appropriate, a more relaxed dress code could be introduced.

The decision was made to permit business casual attire in the workplace.

Have you ever watched the First Follower YouTube? If not, watch it and reflect on what it takes to lead change. It can be fun!!!

Leadership or transformational change question?  Call 330-329-3137

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