Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Employee Retention - Is HR Prepared for the "Turnover Crisis?"

Employers haven't worried much about employee turnover during the last few years' recession, but a recent article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) outlines why 2012 is seeing employees become more daring and why HR professionals are about to face an employee-turnover crisis.

Acccording to new studies, people are apparently feeling over-worked and under-paid. Hmmm. I hope they didn't spend too much money on these ground-breaking studies. Regardless, one study reveals "a whopping 84 percent of employees" in the US and Canada are planning to look for a new job in 2012. Another shows 30% of employers...yes thirty...lost top performers in 2011, with 43% concerned their top talent would jump ship this year. The price tag to replace an employee? Replacement, including training and loss of productivity, ranges from 90% to 200% of an employee's annual salary, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ouch.

So what's HR to do? Track. Analyze. Predict. According to the SHRM article, companies collect a lot of data, but knowing how to use it to actually retain employees is something most companies do really badly. William Wolf, managing director and global head of talent development at Credit Suisse in New York, recommends investing in "people analytics" to uncover the real, underlying reasons your employees are leaving.

I'm sure there are others, but my personal favorite "people analytics" expert is Gregg Lederman. He's helped hundreds of companies with their employee retention issues, and over 60% of his clients are listed on a Best Places to Work list. Gregg also developed the Employee ENGAGED Index, which is the only tool available for measuring employee engagement that can be broken down by location, department and job function.

So how do you measure how ENGAGED your workforce is? 

For more information on Gregg contact me at amy@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9773 or visit his web page at 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sam Richter - Sales & Internet Guru - Hits a Homerun in the Sports Industry!

Sam Richter recently spoke to Steiner Sports and hit a home run! Here is what the CEO & their Online Properties Director had to say about Sam Richter's keynote!

"Sam Richter is the real deal, end of story. His roadmap to success, and true understanding of todays technology and how to use it is fantastic. It is a four-year degree in Google, and a Master's in life, that he delivers in one morning. His follow-up correspondence and sincerity are a breath of fresh air as well. I have read his book twice thus far and have made it required reading for my Social team. Sam get's my highest personal and professional recommendation." 
- Director, Online Properties, Web Networking & E-Commerce, Steiner Sports

"It's not often that an individual coming into our office has as big of an impact on our staff as you did. Everyone from our retail group to our finance department cold not stop talking about your presentation and how they could implement your techniques into their work. THANK YOU!!!" 
- CEO, Steiner Sports

For more information on Sam Richter - contact Standard Ovation | info@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9772 or contact us through: http://www.thestandardovation.com/sam_richter.html

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kit Grant Newsletter | K.I.T., July 17, 2012 | You ARE in Charge!

“Contrary to popular opinion, life does not get better by chance; life gets better by change. This change always takes place inside — it is the change of thought that creates the better life.”
- Kerry Randall

Kit Grant's latest newsletter:
Do you know people who are “waiting” until things get better? Most of them end up waiting their whole life.  I discovered some time ago that the biggest detriment to my success was always me! Taking personal responsibility for your results and outcomes first requires a change of thought and once you have done that, your consequences become much better. Taking action to produce better results is easy — it’s making the decision to do so that most people find difficult. Have a serious discussion with the person you see in the mirror and start to control your environment instead of allowing it to control you!

Next week I head off to Destin, Florida to work with a client. I’ve never been there before but I’m sure it will be hot and lots of fun at the resort property they have chosen.

Yep, next week is my birthday — seem to happen every year around this time so to celebrate in style I am offering any product purchase you make before the end of July at a 50% reduction. Order on-line at http://www.kitgrant.com/products and we’ll make the adjustment to the price before sending it out to you — HEY! I’ll even include the S&H charges so you get an even better deal but it’s only for orders received by July 31, 2012.

For more information on Kit Grant - contact Standard Ovation | info@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9772 or contact us through: http://www.thestandardovation.com/contact_kit_grant.html

Friday, July 20, 2012

Q&A with Change Expert Speaker, Dr. Gary Bradt

Quick Q&A with Business & Leadership Speaker and Change Expert, Dr. Gary Bradt:

What do people gain from your keynotes? 
The inspiration and practical tools they need to successfully lead themselves and others through change.

What are your top three tips for organizations seeking to get through change successfully? 
1. Let people know why change is necessary.
2. Let them know how they will benefit.
3. Repeat. You need to repeat the messages in 1 & 2 continuously and in as many forums and mediums as possible to make change stick.  

What is your favorite experience you have had as a keynote speaker? 
When people have shared with me that my message and tools have helped them successfully navigate a significant change in their life, either professionally or personally. 

How do your life experiences influence your keynotes? 
Completely. I am a psychologist, but most of what I have learned and have come to share with my audiences has come from living my life and paying attention, making mistakes, and learning as I go. 

How do you manage to empower and motivate people? 
By being genuine and authentic. When I open up and honestly share with people from both my head and my heart, they tend to feel empowered to do the same in their life situations and challenges, whatever they may be.

For more information on Dr. Gary Bradt - contact Standard Ovation | info@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9772 or contact us through: http://www.thestandardovation.com/gary_bradt.html

Q&A with Business & Sales Speaker Sam Richter!

Quick Q&A with Business & Sales Speaker and the World’s Online Intelligence ExpertSam Richter:

What do people gain from your keynotes? 
Attendees of my Know More! programs learn how to increase close rates by 70%+, and increase revenue from existing clients by 80%+ by ensuring relevancy in every sales call and every meeting, every time. Attendees will learn how to find information online in ways they never thought possible, and then how to use that information to identify new leads, make incredible first impressions, close more deals, and provide extreme client value.

What are your top three tips for organizations seeking to be more customer focused?
Number one: Be relevant.  
Number two: Be relevant.  
Number three: Be relevant.  
Organizations spend—in money and resources—millions of dollars perfecting what they want to say. From marketing material to sales coaches to telephone script writers, most organizations are experts in how to talk about their companies, products, and services. Yet almost no organization spends time figuring out what their prospects and clients actually want to hear, down to the personal level. However, the sale only occurs when one marries what they want to say, with what the prospect/client actually wants to hear as it relates to the prospect’s business and personal objectives. Know More! teaches how to find the information to ensure relevancy in every sales call, and in every business meeting, every time.

What is your favorite experience you have had as a keynote speaker?
I teach how to dramatically improve sales results and although my program is highly entertaining, motivational, emotional, and even a bit scary with a huge degree of WOW!, I never expected the impact it would have on people’s lives. My favorite moments as a speaker is when I literally see how excited the audience is after they’ve experienced a Know More! program. I have had standing ovations multiple times DURING my keynote and that is so exciting to FEEL the impact I’m having on an audience. The only feeling like that is playing in a championship sporting match; the “rush” I get from feedback like that is indescribable.

How do your life experiences influence your keynotes?
One would not think that selling and Internet searching offer life-altering experiences, but for me, they have. I can trace almost all of my business success to my ability to find information about the other person and use it to provide them value. When you connect with others in a relevant, meaningful way, your dreams can come true because others genuinely want to help you. I’ve also used the techniques I teach in very personal ways that have had profound impacts on my life, and I share those stories in my Know More! program.

How do you manage to empower and motivate people?

 I make the complex simple and fun. I provide my audience the skills, resources, and tools to make finding the right information enjoyable and, even for the technology novice, easy. I get people excited about information and knowledge, and motivated to turn knowledge into action because I prove how doing so can have an immediate and dramatically positive impact on the bottom line. I share real-world case studies and personal stories that bring what I teach home in an exciting, “I can do it too” way that inspires, makes you laugh, makes you sometimes cry, makes you sometimes scared, and makes you always have an incredibly memorable program.

Q&A with Business Speaker, Gregg Lederman!

Quick Q&A with Business Speaker & Employee Engagement Expert & Guru,  Gregg Lederman:

What do people gain from your keynotes?
  • Clear direction on how to make culture change happen and how to design a more profitable customer experience
  • Tools and techniques for quantifying both the culture and customer experience and linking it to critical financial results.
  • They laugh. They challenge closely held assumptions. They validate existing opinions. Then they laugh some more. They leave ready to put the ideas and tools into action.
What are your top tips for organizations seeking to improve customer experiences and employee engagement?
  • Don’t just announce your culture. Get your entire workforce aligned on a set of common beliefs and behaviors that bring it to life.
  •  What gets measured gets done!
What is your favorite experience you have had as a keynote speaker?
  • Speaking to an audience of 200 banking CEO’s in February 2009 right after a nationally recognized economist concluded with this advice – “Protect your jobs”. Then I went on stage to talk about engaging their employees to outbehave the competition. I thought I was dead in the water. However, the concepts and takeaway tools were so well received they soon did what was right – forgot about protecting their jobs and went home motivated to take action on strengthening their culture to improve the customer experience.
How do your life experiences influence your keynotes?
  • Weekly I encounter at least one employee experience via one of my clients or a customer experience as a consumer that I can use as a “Dilbert style” story.
  • My three daughters and amazing wife provide plenty of fodder for examples that make people laugh
How do you manage to empower and motivate people?
  • I hire great people who are motivated to make success happen. Then I get out of their way! At my company we have 0% unwanted turnover over the past 10 + years
For more information on Gregg Lederman - contact Standard Ovation | info@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9772 or contact us through: http://www.thestandardovation.com/gregg_lederman.html

Q&A Motivational Speaker, Kit Grant, CSP!

Quick Q&A with Business & Motivational Speaker, Kit Grant, CSP:

1. What do people gain from your keynotes?
• recognition of personal responsibility and how it influences all their consequences when they make a choice
• understanding that there are almost endless opportunities available outside their comfort zones
• they have a chance to "lighten up" a bit at the end of a meeting/conference and leave with an incentive to implement what they learned

2. What are your top three tips for organizations seeking to be more customer focused?
• customer service is not the "flavor of the month" — it is something you are, not something you do
• desired behavioral outcomes must be modeled consistently by leadership
• staff must be rewarded with something other than just monetary reinforcement when they exhibit top-level service delivery
• #4 ... do what your competition is unwilling (not unable) to do

3. What is your favorite experience you have had as a keynote speaker?
• I'm not sure if "favorite" is the right word ... after 3000+ presentations, it's hard to pick a favorite but I do have a few memorable ones:
   1) I was presenting at a large conference and after I finished I was advised that the speaker for the following day would not be there because of travel and
       weather related problems. I offered to stay another day and presented a completely different program — meeting planner thought it was the most
       amazing thing she had ever seen and "accused" me of saving her entire conference!
   2) I had the opportunity to present a 45 minute keynote to many of the top officials from the USMC at a meeting in Orlando — over 100 people in the room
       with no one under the rank of Major (couple of Generals and many Colonels and Lt. Colonels). They were impressed enough to sign up for a series of
       2-day seminar/training programs at 7 different Marine bases in the US and Japan.
   3) I delivered a seminar in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor),  the most westerly part of Alaska (4.5 hr. flight from Anchorage in the Aleutian Islands)

4. How do your life experiences influence your keynotes?
• I have discovered that most successful people were willing to "do". Sure planning is important as is knowledge but many times someone will take action and make something happen while others are still "considering" the idea. This is the message I impart when I speak.
• People having FUN are usually more effective at any task than those who are grumpy.
• Always do a bit more than expected — it doesn't take much to really stand out from most others.
• I have traveled to 15 countries on 4 continents — it's often beneficial to have exposure to different perspectives although I am always surprised at how much alike we all are.

5. How do you manage to empower and motivate people?
• I am not convinced I have ever motivated anyone to do anything. I make people aware of possibilities, encourage them to act and they either make the decision to follow-through or not. I am full aware I never reach everyone in an audience but if I can make them pay attention and think about how they could make their life better, I think I have accomplished my task. In doing so, I guess I have indirectly empowered them to take more responsibility for their outcomes.

For more information on Kit Grant - contact Standard Ovation | info@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9772 or contact us through: http://www.thestandardovation.com/contact_kit_grant.html

Congrats to all the Speakers who earned their CSP!!

Congrats to all the Speakers who earned their CSP!! We are SO proud of each of you! This is a huge accomplishment!

Press release from NSA: [www.NSASpeaker.org]

The National Speakers Association Certifies 25 Speaking Professionals
by Andrea DiMickele | Jun 15, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea DiMickele, Manager of Marketing
(480) 968-2552

The National Speakers Association Certifies 25 Speaking Professionals
(TEMPE, Ariz. -- June 15, 2012) The National Speakers Association (NSA), the leading organization for professional speakers, is proud announce that 25 professional speakers have earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation in 2012.

Established in 1980, the CSP is the speaking profession's international measure of speaking experience and skill. Fewer than 10 percent of the speakers who belong to the Global Speakers Federation (GSF) hold this professional designation.

The CSP designation is conferred by the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the Global Speakers Federation (GSF) only on accomplished professional speakers who have earned it by meeting strict criteria. CSPs must document a proven track record of continuing speaking experience and expertise as well as a commitment to ongoing education, outstanding client service and ethical behavior. The 2012 class of CSPs will be honored during a ceremony on July 15 at the Annual NSA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

"The Certified Speaking Professional certification is recognized by the meetings industry as a measure of platform competence," says 2011-12 NSA President Laura Stack, CSP, MBA. "If you hold the CSP designation, meeting planners know you are a top-notch speaker and have a track record of professionalism and success."

The 2012 Class of Certified Speaking Professionals:

  • Eric Adler, CSP, Grub im Wienerwald, Austria
  • Randy L. Anderson, CSP, Lubbock, Texas
  • Emily M. Ballance, CSP, MEd, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Christopher G. Bauer, CSP, Ph.D., Nashville, Tenn.
  • Gerard Braud, CSP, Mandeville, La.
  • Graeme Codrington, CSP, DBA, London, United Kingdom
  • Justin Cohen, CSP, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Zach Davis, CSP, Gerestried, Germany
  • Ubong Essien, CSP, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Susan G. Fitzell, CSP, Manchester, N.H.
  • Laurie Flasko, CSP, Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada
  • Shari L. Harley, CSP, M.A., Denver, Colo.
  • Patrick W. Henry, CSP, Burlington, N.C.
  • Chris Johnson, CSP, Haslett, Mich.
  • Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, CSP, Ph.D., Atlanta, Ga.
  • Ghislaine Labelle, CSP, M.Ps., CHRP, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Judson P. Laipply, CSP, Lakewood, Ohio
  • Lisa Leitch, CSP, CSP (Certified Sales Professional), Norwich, Ontario, Canada
  • Chris McIntyre, CSP, San Diego, Calif.
  • Christine Morlet, CSP, Paris, France
  • Jessica Pettitt, CSP, Eureka, Calif.
  • Jon Petz, CSP, Powell, Ohio
  • Kathleen M. Randall, CSP, Cameron, Mo.
  • Wolfgang Riebe, CSP, Ph.D., Cape Town, South Africa
  • Liz Weber, CSP, CMC, MBA, Greencastle, Pa.

For more information on the CSP designation, please call NSA headquarters at (4480) 968-2552, or visit our website at www.NSASpeaker.org.

The National Speakers Association (NSA) is the leading organization for professional speakers. NSA's thousands of members include experts in a variety of industries and disciplines, who reach audiences as trainers, educators, humorists, motivators, consultants, authors and more. Since 1973, NSA has provided resources and education designed to advance the skills, integrity and value of its members and the speaking profession.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Kit Grant Newsletter | K.I.T., June 29/12 — Time to Re-Focus

“Attempting everything, like attempting nothing, will suck the life out of you.” … John C. Maxwell.

Kit Grant's latest newsletter:
When I work with clients it’s always a challenge to get them to focus on accomplishing important things rather than being too scattered in their approach. If I could provide any guidance to politicians of any political stripe, I would point out that the quickest road to failure is trying to please everybody. This may get them elected but we all discover there is no way anyone can deliver on such a wide range of promises and still maintain the popularity that got them elected.

Business is not much different (although in many cases a lot more honest) in that you need to more clearly identify your target market and then deliver your message in more effective ways to just those people. If they later provide referrals or bring along friends that’s great but your sustainability and success will be determined by how well you can work on the things you do best, market those products or services to the best targets and then provide them with a memorable experience. Even in retail, this tactic would bring about significantly better results but most people take far too broad a brush to paint their marketing masterpiece of potential buyers. There are just too many options now to succeed long term as a “generalist”.

GOOD NEWS! I just got selected as one of 6 speakers for a major convention in Orlando in December to present a 45-minute keynote to close to 2000 people. While that’s fun in itself, being in Orlando in December is also good news.

HALF GONE That would describe 2012. How’s it going for you so far now that the year is already half over? Maybe it’s time to review your goals and action plans to make the remainder of this year as outstanding as you visualized it being? I’ll be spending July on some new projects and preparing a mailing to a target market that will produce results over the next 12 months. Exciting times ahead. Join me in making the next 6 months outstanding.

For more information on Kit Grant - contact Standard Ovation | info@thestandardovation.com | 913.498.9772 or contact us through: http://www.thestandardovation.com/contact_kit_grant.html

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Food and Wine (and speakers) from the 2012 Aspen Classic!

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the greatest food and wine speakers this past weekend at the Aspen Food and Wine Festival.

This amazing event takes please every year in the beautiful, quaint ski town of Aspen which sits approximately 8,000 feet above sea level against the green backdrop of Ajax Mountain. The main event, The Grand Tasting, is always at the giant white tent where 5,000 festival-goers sample as many wines as possible over the weekend.
Among the many great speakers including Mario Batali, Jacques Pepin, & Emeril Lagasse, one of my favorites was Mark Oldman. Mark is one of the country's leading wine personalities who is passionate about helping wine enthusiasts jostle the jaded and slay the snooty. His signature style is summed up as "the ideal mix of wine connoisseur and everyday dude." Check out Mark speaking in the 'Loverboy / Mike Reno' get-up! According to Oldman, 1982 (hence Loverboy) was the most important year in wine history. This is when famed wine writer Robert Parker made his name because his reviews of the great '82 Bordeaux vintage came out. It started a momentum of modern wine love and wine became more and more accessible. Cheers to Chateau La Croix Pomerol 1982!

Another favorite of mine was Leslie Sbrocco, know for her entertaining and enthusiastic approach to wine and food. She is the founder of the multi-media company ThirstyGirl.com  Her motto is "Life....Drink It Up!" She is a regular guest on "The Today Show" and is the host and judge of the PBS series' "Check Please!" and "The Winemakers." She spoke about the NEW New Zealand wines as well as Women In Wine: Napa's Next Generation.