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Have you ever wondered why some people get up in the morning with a song in their voice and a skip in their step?  You know the people I am talking about, always looking for the good in others and believe that there is a silver lining in EVERY cloud.  How can these people be so darn positive all of the time?  “Look the sky is falling!”… “Oh no, it’s a shooting star!”

Ed Foreman, a gentleman who owns EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS, a company out of Waco, Texas believes that you can have good and successful daily living by living one day at a time.  It’s how you feel about yourself that will direct your attitude on a daily basis.  If you can have one good day and multiply it by seven, what do you have?  That’s right…a good week.  Let’s multiply that good week by 52, now what do you have?  That’s right…a good year.  Ed has identified an EIGHT STEP DAILY MENU FOR LIFE, consisting of:

  1. WAKE UP AN HOUR EARLY EVERY DAY:  Do you realize you will have gained nine – 40 hour work weeks per year by waking up one hour early every day for a year.  Do that for six years and you have just gained an extra year of 40 hour work weeks.
  2. UPON AWAKENING READ OR LISTEN TO SOMETHING POSITIVE:  It’s a known fact that your alpha state of receptivity is at its peak as soon as you awaken, so what you hear or read will influence your thought process for the day.
  3. GO FOR A WALK AND BE THANKFUL:  Walking will increase the blood flow to the brain and being thankful for what you have on a daily basis will help you put the true challenges of your day in perspective.
  4. DAILY STRETCHING:  Stretching limbers up the body and increases the blood flow to all of your limbs.
  5. EAT BREAKFAST:  It is a proven fact that people who eat breakfast are less likely to gain weight.   You should eat breakfast like a “King,” lunch like a “Prince” and dinner like a “Pauper.”
  6. LEISURELY DRIVE TO WORK:  Don’t participate in a Mario Andretti type race to work.  Take an easy leisurely drive and do not allow other drivers to influence your day by setting you off in the wrong direction.
  7. MIND CONTROL RELAXATION:  For 15 minutes a day practice a mind control relaxation technique where you sit and meditate while controlling your breathing.  It has been said that this can equate to taking a two hour nap in the middle of the day.
  8. I AM TERRIFIC:  Any time someone asks you how you are, respond with a vibrant… “I AM TERRIFIC!”  If you do this regularly, especially during stressful situations, you will soon begin to notice a reduction in stress levels resulting from external influences.  Accepting that you have little or no control over outside influences in your life, allows you to control situations as opposed to letting the situations control you.

These are Ed Foreman’s EIGHT STEPS TO HAVING A BETTER DAY, WEEK, YEAR AND ULTIMATELY LIFE.  Another element to always remember is that worrying is nothing more than negative goal setting or the misuse of your imagination.  Keeping all of this in mind, have a wonderful and terrific day everyday!!!

Carl Messina, Director of New  Business Development



Many organizations have regretted the hiring decisions that they have made in the past.  There are significant downfalls to an organization for hiring the wrong people for the job that they were hired for, often times a drain on the organization’s bottom line.  They include:

  • Employee disengagement
  • Lack of creativity and innovation
  • Inability to develop an effective succession plan
  • High turnover

We all know how costly these situations can be.

Since the recession, America has seen a flooded candidate pool, yet companies continue struggling with poor hiring decisions.  Why are we unable to make the best hiring decisions?  The answer is BIAS.  Attracting candidates has become much easier, but screening out those that didn’t meet the needs and culture of a particular organization is a much more difficult task.  This challenge required is that we must look at each key position objectively and eliminate any bias that keeps us from hiring the very best candidates for that position.

As Steven Covey, the Management Guru, stated, “We see the world from our eyes, not as it really is.”  All of us are influenced by how we value experience, knowledge, economics, aesthetics, altruism, power and transition.  When we interview a person who sees the world differently than us, bias can play an unknowingly important role in our decision making process.  Neither right or wrong, nor good or bad, biases are simply a reflection of our own personal viewpoint.  Oftentimes this personal viewpoint is unknowingly injected into the hiring process even when it is totally irrelevant to a specific position or even the organization itself, creating a barrier that may prevent us from selecting those truly superior performers. 

Although laws keep us from acting on our own biases as they relate to gender, age, nationality and sexual orientation, there are still personal biases that enter into the decision making process.  Other biases that hinder our decision making process are experience, education and intelligence.  However, people bring other talents to the job including their passions, beliefs, personal skills and behaviors that can mean the right talent in the right jobs can make or break an organization, even when the product offers some of the brightest stars available.

We have found that one of the most important skills is personal accountability.  Most organizations do not have an awareness of its importance, nor a way to quantitatively measure it.

Effectively measuring a prospective candidate’s behaviors, motivators, personal skills and acumen necessary for a particular position can help your organization attain its full potential.

Strategic Beacon-February 2012 Edition-Career/Talent Optimization


 Strategic New Beacon Feb 2012 - Talent Optimization


Greetings Friends and Clients,

 Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, The Strategic Beacon.  We are excited about this month's informative edition, as it discusses U.S. Employment Projections and How to Create a Successful Multi-Generational Workforce, two very important topics in today's rapidly changing business climate.  This edition also provides additional tips on creating a more effective and successful organization. describe the image

The past two months have been very busy for The Birch Group, particularly in regards to social media.  Paul Mathews has spearheaded our efforts of making better use of social media and technology so that we can better reach and serve you, our clients and friends.  A great amount of time was spent on our website which has been updated and revised significantly, and we are continually improving on and adding content.  Our Blog postings have attracted many new visitors who find them pertinent and have contacted us for more information.  We would hope that you will visit our website at www.thebirchgroup.com, peruse some of the new and improved tips/tools and provide feedback as to changes and enhancements, or maybe ideas as to things that might be able to assist everyone in this tumultuous business environment.

 We would like to thank you for your continued support, business and friendship.

 As always, your referrals are greatly appreciated.describe the image


The Cost of Employee Disengagement


Are your key employees fully engaged? 

If your answer is no or you are unsure, consider the cost of disengagement to your organization, and to your bottom line.  Per a recent study by Gallup International:

  • In 2008, the typical employee was disengaged from their work approximately two hours per day

  • By 2011, the typical employee was disengaged approximately four hours per day

  • One disengaged employee can bring down the entire team's productivity by 30%Coach John Birch, CEOand Founder

These are frightening statistics in the global economy where our client's expectations require that "we need to get extraordinary results from ordinary people."   There are many reasons for the spiraling levels of disengagement amongst the workforce, including fear over the current economic environment, too much time spent on the social media, mismanagement, and a lack of feeling appreciated.  Another recent study indicated that because of the economy, many people that are unsatisfied in their current positions have stayed in their jobs even though they are no longer satisfied there.  Actually, four out of five employees are either actively seeking new jobs or are thinking about leaving when the economy picks up. Either scenario is ripe for stress related issues, further disengagement and cost. 

Again, can you afford to let this issue affect you, your employees and the direct cost to your bottom line?  If not you may have to take action.  There are several ways to correct disengagement.  The first is to improve employees' motivation.  This can only be accomplished by thoroughly identifying the underlying issues that are affecting your disengaged employees, a difficult process as you have to look at your organization from the outside looking in.  You may find that either you or your management team is creating a less than satisfactory work environment for your employees to grow, or your organizational culture may be stifling creativity.   If either of these situations is present, you may need either coaching or formal training. 

What we often find is that an organization's hiring practices are outdated and that the "wrong people are hired for the wrong jobs."  The fall-out from these practices result in high turnover, lower engagement, less than satisfactory productivity, poor customer service and overall organizational malaise, especially if your disengaged employees have key positions.  If you find yourself struggling with these issues, you may need to take steps to enhance your job matching process in order to replace those disengaged employees with the "right people in the right jobs."

The keys to effective Job Matching are:

  • Understanding the Key Accountabilities of the Job
  • Letting the Job Talk
  • Eliminating Bias from the Hiring Process
  • Creating the Ideal Candidate Form

Previously, the hiring process mainly consisted of collecting resumes, interviewing, and background checks.  Often, people were hired primarily for their technical skills, allowing bias to creep into the interview and hiring process.  Today, companies need people who not are proficient technically, but also fit into the organization's culture.  Effective Job Matching should be based on a candidate's education, certification, salary expectations, behaviors, motivators, professional skills, acumen and experience.

When hiring, keep in mind that your candidates are three dimensional, and that the hiring manager should examine all sides of the candidate to ensure a good fit for the specific job.

MOTIVATORS “Lack of advancement negates professional development”-NOW I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING



University of Iowa study finds employee training might actually increase turnover-

--“Lack of advancement opportunities negates benefits of professional development programs.”

Please follow the hyperlink to an article referring to a study from June 2011 at the University of Iowa.  Just when you thought you heard everything…  Although it is true that if an employee does not see any career advancement opportunities in the organization, and the market place for new employees changes dramatically from the buyer’s market it is today, then employees will start picking their heads up and testing the marketplace.  However in this marketplace, not many are looking to be the new person on the bottom rung in an organization. 

When the economy shifts, any training, development and learning that employees received will be remembered and appreciated and should create new opportunities in the existing organization which ideally lines up with the newly acquired skills and better developed employees.  

First of all, let us not forget that it was not employees who started the unbelievable lack of loyalty to their employers, it was the other was around.  Call it right sizing, off-shoring, outsourcing, laying off…whatever you want.  To me it is a lack of company loyalty and employees paying for bad business decisions made by employers.  One of the fantastic changes that is coming out of this development, the genx ers and a lousy economy is that diversity, learning and development are really becoming important components of our compensations plans.  This is fantastic. 

To say that people would leave because they have no career opportunities is not a stretch at all, as a matter of fact, it is so obvious I am not sure why we call it a “finding in a study”.  Aren’t the professional development programs designed to, among other things, provide new opportunities for growth within companies and organizations.

Furthermore, please let’s not forget that I can find studies that I would actually call “studies” that prove GenY ers are more motivated by learning and professional development that from Salary.  They still will need opportunity for growth of course.  That takes care of itself.  The motivated GenX ers, while they are seeking work and life balance, will develop and market their growing value propositions to the existing companies.  Employees who did not grow and develop and take advantage of company offerings will lose opportunity and attrition out.  Wallah-growth opportunities for fully developed genx ers who are familiar with and comfortable with their changing and growing value proposition.  Who benefits?  The company, the employees, the customers, the vendors and the shareholders.  Who loses? The companies that do not pay for learning and development and the employees too lazy to take advantage of these offerings.

It has been proven that professional development costs usually return something like 500% ROI.  I guess that is only if you do NOT work at University of Iowa.

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