Aug 01 2009

Lighten Up Management Trainers!

It’s the Lightening Up


of Corporate America!


     You’re a management trainer and corporate economic climates have taken the wind out of your sails. You’re looking around for community college adult education courses to run. You’re doing drips and drabs of HR consulting with some old friends. Times are tighter than your shoelaces. 

     Stop beating yourself up; stop doing all the things you’ve always advised and taught others to not do. Take some of those deep breaths you advocate. The message is this: L-I-G-H-T-E-N    U-P ! Lighten up the programs you’re proposing. Companies do not want any in-depth, heavy-duty, psycho-analytic training programs for their managers right now!

     They want L-I-G-H-T agendas combined with good relaxing fun and team-building. Corporate America may be stupid about growing business and productivity ratios and revenue streams and job creation, but they know when it’s time to lighten up the stress that their loyal managers have been shouldering. 

     And it’s time now.

     I had my own management training company for many years. I ran over 2,000 workshops and training programs, and had over 20,000 participants in 50 different cities and half a dozen different countries.

     It was everything from Maslow’s Hierarchy to Quality Circles, One-Minute Manager, TA, Theory X, TheoryY, Theory Z, Empowerment, Assertiveness Training, Anger Management, and my own inventions: Corporate Entrepreneurship, Doctorpreneurs and Teacherpreneurs.  

     Then is not now. Then corporate executives charged trainers with the responsibility to teach them how to be better, more effective, more efficient, more productive executives and how to be better humans. This took some doing, and tons of analytical diagnostics and psychotherapy.

     Today, the word is L I G H T. As in S I M P L E and having F U N while gaining firsthand leadership and teamwork experiences with fellow employees. A best buddy of mine, Kevin Bousquet, who runs Interlaken Inn Executive Resort & Conference Center in Northwest Connecticut, agrees.

     You may have seen my plugs here for Interlaken. It truly is THE premier business escape (2 hours/NYC and 3 hours/BOS) with the finest location, facility, amenities, meals, service AND budget-conscious prices that any management trainer or meeting planner will find. (If you call, tell Kristy I sent you and get a special gift!)

     Kevin tells me that the programs that are having the most success are those with the least stress and the most fun. Not all fun and games, but fun and learning. Interlaken’s Executive Ropes Course, lakefront boating and golf options and gourmet challenge programs are the busiest and most talked-about. Dump the heavy stuff!

Think of it as the Lightening Up of Corporate America!  

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Input always welcome: Hal@BusinessWorks.US

(”Businessworks” in subject line) or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals and God bless you! 


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Jul 26 2009


Budget-Conscious Boss,


Best Friend, Do Business


in the Foothills


     Another day. Another dollar. And here I sit through yet another meeting.

     Only this meeting is different because it involves a whole different breed of people, and this meeting is taking place outdoors! Actually, all the leaders of my company are here, and we’re next to a big beautiful shimmering lake nestled into the foothills of the Berkshires.

      After listening to a little spiel that one of the HR directors just gave, my boss and I are getting ready to climb into a canoe together. We’ll be with a bunch of other partnered-up bosses and underlings in other canoes. I’m not much good at steering these things so I hope he lets me sit in front. “I can canoe a canoe, canoe canoe a canoe?” kinds of chatter starts flying around.

     As if I’m not unnerved enough, my boss starts in with how the best way to see if a marriage is made to last is to take a canoe trip when you’re newlyweds. General agreement seems to be that if you don’t kill each other while canoeing, you’re destined for a relationship of longevity.

     Anyway, this whole paddle around the lake deal is part of what’s called a Management Training Conference. Just yesterday, on the hillside over in the woods, we went on an Executive Ropes Course. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. In truth, it ended up being lots of fun. My boss and I both made lots of new friends with those we didn’t know before, who came from our other offices.

     Tomorrow, some of us are going to the nearby Lime Rock race-track and race-car driving school to learn about safety, risk-taking and something called mental focus. The mental thing sounds like it might be a bit above me, so I might just pass on that session and go instead to an Executive Golf Class that’s being held over by the other lake. Something about objectives, strategies, and tactics is supposed to be demonstrated by hitting little bumpy white balls into holes with flags.

     As for right now, I need to concentrate on not embarrassing my boss by falling out of the canoe as I tip-toe in from the dock. I mean just imagine how red his face would get if he had to hear “Dog Overboard!”

     Oh, did I mention that I’m a Golden Retriever, and that my boss’s Meeting Planner found this grrrrrreat location for a meeting that allows well-behaved dogs like me to go to the company meeting and participate in everything (well, not the dining room, bar, sauna, or heated swimming pool activities)? We can even hang in the library and game room if we don’t chew books or chase dropped ping-pong or billiard balls around.

     The bottom line is that my boss and I are having a wonderful time and we are learning a lot about ourselves and the others we work with. He says we may even stay through the weekend so we could do some hiking and antique shopping.

     Pssssssst! These guys set the standard for complete meeting packages, and you get more for less than anyplace I could find.

     Their rates include a luxurious world-class room, 24/7 business center and wireless Internet, endless coffee, all indoor and outdoor facilities and meeting rooms — plus all service charges, 3 award-winning restaurant meals for him, and a turn-down biscuit for me at bedtime!

     And they’ve been hosting businesspeople there since 1892!

     If you didn’t know better, I bet you’d think I was the one who’s the boss, huh? Hmmmm. Well, try it:  (Oh, and take your dog, will you? It’s just 2 hours from Manhattan, 3 from Boston, 3 from Hartford)  Mention this blog for a special treat!         

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Input aways welcome: (”Businessworks” in    subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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