Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The First Day of School

For many in my state of Connecticut, tomorrow is the first day of a new school year.  I love this time of year and fondly remember my own back-to-school days (though back in my day, school started after the Labor Day holiday). 

I loved the smell of new pencils, the feel of fresh notebooks, the exciting potential of what we were going to learn and seeing my friends again after what felt like a long time - because summer seemed to stretch for so many days that I filled with reading, ice cream and play!

While out running errands today, I met three little girls: Liliana, Annabella and her older sister, who are getting ready to start 1st, 4th and 5th grades tomorrow.  They were so excited about the first day of school and their enthusiasm was contagious.  Even Liliana's little brother, Daniel, who is too young for kindergarten, shared their excitement.  Annabella was delighted to practice the Italian she was learning with me and she said she was too excited to even sleep tonight!

It is such a contrast from how most of us adults approach learning something new or even the start of a new workday.

Somewhere along the way, many of us lose our our optimism and excitement about learning and even our enthusiasm and joy about life in general.  

Watching children can remind us of that excitement and challenge us to recommit ourselves to lifelong learning and to living joyfully. 

To all the children starting school, I wish you success and happiness so you can have fun and learn all that you can. (And a big thank you to the teachers who make such a positive difference in so many lives!)

And to all of the adults, what are you looking forward to learning this year? How can you live with more joy and enthusiasm, despite whatever challenges life has thrown at you?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Performance Management With Deloitte's Erica Bank ATD 9/19 Meeting


The Future of Performance Management: A "Fireside Chat" With Deloitte's Erica Bank"

Southern CT chapter of The Association for Talent Development 
Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, 5:45-8 PM
Norwalk Inn & Conference Center, Norwalk, CT

You have all seen the headlines: Is the Annual Performance Review Dead? The Performance Appraisal is Driving Your Talent Away; Kill Your Performance Ratings. 

As iconic companies such as GE, Adobe, Google, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Cargill, Accenture and others announce major overhauls in their sometimes decades old Performance Management (PM) Systems, it is clear that we are on the brink of a major disruptive transformation.  According to a June 2015 PWC research report, two-thirds of large companies are considering revamping their appraisal process, with one in 20 looking to scrap formal evaluations entirely. But as the current institution of PM fades away, what's taking its place?

Deloitte has been at the center of the debate.  What do you do when you discover that over 2 million hours a year are spent on your current performance management system, but that the majority of that time is spent talking ABOUT your people rather than TO them?  Further, you discover that the current process for evaluating your people, developing them and rewarding them is increasingly out of alignment with your business strategies and realities.

Erica Bank, Performance Management Leader at Deloitte, has been instrumental in creating and driving the implementation of Deloitte's new approach to PM. We are fortunate to have Erica join us for a "Fireside Chat" with John Weidner, our newly-elected Chapter President.  Together, they will explore how the need for change emerged, the internal research conducted to "make the case" for change, and the resulting design decisions and roll out of Deloitte's evolving PM system.

Speaker Biography:

Erica L.  Bank, Performance Management Leader, Leader Development & Performance, has devoted her career to designing and implementing Talent Management strategies, processes and technologies.  She spent over a decade in Deloitte's Human Capital Consulting practice, benefiting Deloitte's clients, before moving her focus to Deloitte's people.  As Deloitte's Performance Management Leader, Erica provides strategic direction on the work to optimize the performance of Deloitte's people and teams, and has been a key leader of the firm's Performance Management Reinvention.

Prior to her time at Deloitte, Erica worked as an internal business process consultant in the Financial Services industry.  She holds a degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

To register or for more information, visit http://www.astdscc.org/event-2274436

Saturday, August 20, 2016

LinkedIn Superpower

Want to highlight your skills and experience so that your brand and value is incredibly attractive to employers? 

See below for a great offer from my colleague Stacy Smyk-Santiago to help you create a super-powered LinkedIn profile - download her free guide and check out her new LinkedIn Superpower program.  (I don't receive any compensation if you purchase the program - I am recommending it because I think you'll find it valuable). 

 LinkedIn Superpower
Feel like you’re keeping the story of your amazing talent in a box?

If you’re a high-achieving professional, this is the super smart, easy button way to create a WOW profile on LinkedIn that can generate career-changing results…

LinkedIn Superpower: Be an Opportunity Magnet is an online program that shows you how to easily demonstrate your rock star skills and feel confident you’re articulating clear value that gets you noticed as a high-caliber executive leader.

This is totally for you if:
  • You struggle to articulate your unique strengths, successful impact, and leadership ability.
  • You’re damn good at strategy, execution and solving complex problems, but you don’t know how to highlight these abilities as a highly desired brand.
  • You know you need to leverage LinkedIn to maximize your visibility, but you don’t have the time to figure it all out and pull off an amazing makeover on your own.
Get thrilled with these results:

·        Your LinkedIn profile is now a powerful “personal website” that authentically showcases what makes you a shining success.

·        You love how it describes the passion and skills you bring to the table.

·        Other people have noticed and are sending you messages of admiration.

·        Your visibility has surged and you’re receiving new invitations to connect daily.

·        You feel 10x more confident in your LinkedIn magnetism for attracting awesome career opportunities.


And you can check out the juicy program details at www.linkedinsuperpower.com

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Stacy Smyk-Santiago, Certified Career Coach, at stacy[at]truecareerchoice.com 



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

T&D Magazine: Customizing Training for International Audiences

I'm excited to share my article that appeared in T&D Magazine in April 2016"Customizing Training for International Audiences,"  which provides several factors to consider when adapting training materials for global learners.  You can't just "drag and drop" your content and expect it to be successful internationally.  You have to customize your program so it's relevant to another country's culture and can enable participants to achieve results. 

It's based on  my experiences designing and delivering training in countries around the world, including the U.S., Brazil, China, India, Thailand, Italy, the U.K. and Germany. 

Read the article here: 

Friday, August 12, 2016

How Will You Spend Your 28,000 Days? Gilda's Video

Professional speaker Gilda Bonanno delivers "How Will You Spend Your 28,000 Days?" for the National Speakers Association Convention.  The format was "pecha kucha" - speakers had only 6 minutes and 40 seconds to deliver a presentation using exactly 20 slides, which advanced automatically every 20 seconds.

This speech illustrates Gilda's experience of being in the path of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and how it gave her a vivid understanding of the importance of priorities in life and inspired a career change. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Women's Business Development Council Breakfast 9/23/16

Join the Women's Business Development Council's Business Breakfast & Symposium on Sept. 23, 2016 at the Greenwich Hyatt. 

I am excited to be serving as Emcee again this year.  

Tickets and more information available at