Blog

By Bea Boccalandro, President VeraWorks

It’s probable that right this moment…  beaboccalandro.png

·     A valet parking attendant is inspecting tires and, if any are bald, will alert the car’s owner.

·     A fitness-loving construction inspector is writing an internal blog to help her colleagues adopt healthy behaviors.

·     A safety officer at a chemical manufacturing plant is telling workers that the company will donate $10 to the food pantry every day the team has no safety violations. 

These charitable acts aren’t listed in their job descriptions. These workers are rebels.

They are, however, happy and industrious rebels. Research conducted by Yale's Amy Wrzesniewski and University of Michigan's Jane Dutton finds that workers who shape their jobs to be more purposeful are more engaged than their docile colleagues. “It’s a way to 'dig' my job. People are so grateful…and it might save them from a nasty crash" explains the valet attendant. The safety officer, who works at a global firm, also says it improves his work experience. “My job is now more enjoyable because I know several struggling families will have food through the dark cold winter… and, as a bonus, our plant’s safety record is now among the best in the company.”

Most us don’t realize that working for a purpose beyond our own wellbeing makes us happier and more productive, but academia has known this for years. Indeed, the Job Satisfaction Index by The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen finds that purpose not only drives job satisfaction, but is the most important driver.

By helping to combat traffic accidents, unhealthy behaviors, hunger or any other societal ills through their work, these rebels are applying a management practice called “job purposing.” Whether we inspect construction sites or manage an R&D division, job purposing enamors us to our work.

Ready to rebel?

If you are like many who attend my presentations, you're interested purposing your own job but don't see how. Don’t worry. This just means you’re a normal early 21st-century human thinking in the customary early 21st-century way.

After the fact, the job purposing of the three rebels seems simple and logical. Dreaming up concrete ways to ignite purpose in these jobs, however, was neither. Indeed, the valet attendant told me “I worked here for over a year before I had this idea. Not sure why I took so long.” I know why he, and all of us, take "so long" to job purpose. Conventional thinking.

Here are the steps to generate your unconventional, and practical, job purposing idea: 

Step 1: Select one job taskThe essence of job purposing is doing a work task in a manner that increases its positive impact on social causes or others. It might sound simplistic, but don't underestimate the transformative power of a little purpose. Wharton professor Adam Grant found that increasing such “task significance” dramatically improves work productivity — in some cases by more than 400%.

Start with the most core job task to your job. This is the task that takes up the largest swath of your work year. If you deliver packages, your most core task will be likely be driving. If you’re an accountant, your most core task might be responding to email. 

Step 2: Play loud upbeat music. OK, this step is not vital, but it might stimulate creative thinking. Why does this matter? Job purposing requires that we entertain concepts that were formerly absurd. It’s essential, therefore, that you unhinge your thinking.

Establish an environment that helps you break from ordinary workplace logic. If playing Phish at full volume doesn't free your thinking, consider a beautiful view or glass of wine.

Step 3: Explore options for conducting the task in a way that has a greater social impact. Set a timer for seven minutes. Now write down every idea, no matter how delusional or deranged, that comes to mind in response to these questions:

a. How might you contribute more to customers, team members or others you interact with as part of this task? (If you don’t interact with anybody as part of the task, skip this question.)

Examples:

·     The valet worker, above, helps customers avoid traffic accidents.

·     The construction inspector, above, helps work colleagues be fit and healthy.

·     As part of their sales call, many HP sales representatives help their business clients set up recycling, reduce solid waste and otherwise become more environmentally sustainable.

b. How might you redesign the task so that it’s more charitable?

Examples:

·     The Aetna HR department scrapped the information booths they set up on college campuses during recruitment visits in favor of blood drives. By doing this, Aetna shows its values, as opposed to merely talking about them; students get the opportunity to contribute to the health of others; and individuals needing blood to restore their health are more likely to get it.

·     An instructor at KPMG eliminated the dry case study in his new-hire accounting class and, instead, invites nonprofit partner representatives to present their accounting challenges to students, providing these nonprofits free financial services.

·     Many FedEx drivers in Florida have attended The Nature Conservancy’s training on identifying invasive species of snakes and are, therefore, not only drivers in their day job but also "Python Patrollers" who help to rid the Everglades of an environmental menace.

c. How might you otherwise sprinkle some charity into the task?

Examples:

·     An art school owner writing her newsletter promoted civic involvement by offering a free class to anyone who voted in the presidential election.

·     Every time an independent consultant closed a sale, she donated $100 to one of three nonprofits, per the selection of the new client.

·     A leadership trainer at a Fortune 500 company offers open slots to staff of local nonprofit organizations.

Rotate through the three questions as quickly and as many times as you like, but don’t stop jotting down your unedited stream of consciousness until the seven minutes are up. If you hit upon a brilliant job purposing idea, circle it and go back to the jotting down ideas until the timer rings.

Step 4: If needed, choose a slightly less core task and repeat step 3

If you’ve generated a promising job purposing idea, you’re done! Start fleshing out and piloting your idea. If not, select another job task and repeat step 3 (do this with five tasks or until you get dizzy, whichever comes first). Consider first common tasks, then move to more episodic tasks.

Step 5: If needed, brainstorm ways to bake a little charity into non-job related workplace experiences.

If you have a viable option from steps 1-4, you're done! Otherwise, explore ways to ignite social purpose in workplace experiences that you can influence but that fall outside your specific job — such as trainings, staff meetings, or annual retreats. Examples:

·     Antis Roofing enriches staff meetings with charity. At each staff meeting, the company honors one employee for exceptional work performance with a charitable giving card that the honoree donates to the nonprofit of their choice. At the following meeting the former winner shares to what cause they donated to and why. "This simple step has transformed our culture" according to Founder and CEO Charles Antis. "It's difficult to stay dry-eyed at many meetings as team members share why they care deeply about their cause of choice. We are getting to know each other at a beautiful new level. Who knew it could feel this effortless for us to feel so connected?"

·     Instead of standing around slurping punch at the annual holiday party, why not turn the entire event into a service project that serves a meal to the homeless or builds a home for a single mother?

·     Many companies include a service event, where participants repaint a school or clean up a trail, in their retreats or meetings.

Step 6: If needed, ingest chocolate or single malt scotch and contact me.

If you’ve completed steps 1-5 and still don’t have a promising way to purpose your job, don’t panic. Eat, drink, work, hike or otherwise do something different. Let your brainstorming efforts lay for a few days. You might have a “Eureka!” moment and realize, as you’re taking a bath for example, that the answer is right in front of you. If not, contact me.

BE A PROUD REBEL.

If you’ve read this far, you’re a pioneer. Your interest in promoting social good through everyday work makes you a bright spirit in what can be a darkly skeptical corporate landscape.

Don't think, however, you are alone in this pursuit of workplace purpose. Rebels like you are an emerging force. In fact, the world has invented a term for you and is beginning to value you. Specifically, you are a “social intrapreneur” (“intra” to denote doing social good work from within the company) and Forbes Magazine has named you "most valuable worker."

Congratulations!

 

Bea Boccalandro is founder and president of VeraWorks, a global consulting firm that helps companies — including Aetna, Bank of America, Disney, FedEx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Levi’s and PwC — contribute to societal causes. Bea focuses on “job purposing,” the practice of heightening employee engagement, performance and wellbeing by adjusting job tasks to make a societal impact. To learn more about job purposing, download Bea’s free Job Purposing Essentials paper, or follow Bea on Twitter.

MEMBER FEATURE: A conversation with Thomas CarterFreedom Energy Logistics, Auburn

Please help us welcome Freedom Energy Logistics (FEL) of Auburn, who recently joined as a member of NHBSR. We recently sat down with Thomas thomascarter_fel_photo.jpgCarter, Director of Business Development & Public Relations, to learn about their work and what it means to be an energy procurement company.

Like we have choices of ice cream flavors, commercial businesses and residents have choices in where they get their power, although perhaps without the typical rainbow of ice cream flavors. FEL was started in 2004 by Gus Fromuth, shortly after the electricity market was deregulated. They began bringing many of New England’s largest commercial and industrial businesses to become members of the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL).  Over the years they began developing additional cost-cutting strategies for smaller-sized businesses that weren’t suited for NE-POOL membership, but still needed cost-cutting solutions to the rising costs of energy. 

FEL has remained a family-run business since its inception, with Gus and his son, Bart, at the helm. Combined with the experience of their colleagues, the Freedom team brings over 100 years of collective energy industry expertise to their clients. Gus was recently recognized by the NH Business Review and was awarded their 2016 Business Excellence Award in Consumer Services.

FEL is the largest New Hampshire-based energy management firm, working with thousands of clients located primarily in New Hampshire and throughout New England.  The energy market is constantly fluctuating and most businesses don’t have the bandwidth to follow this perpetual evolution. Armed with an unmatched understanding of the state utilities, the FEL team takes pride in educating their clients about energy markets and strategizing how to best manage them for each specific business. 

While they largely focus on consulting for their clients on the most timely purchasing of competitive electricity and natural gas rates, Freedom Energy Logistics is excited about some new initiatives in Net Metering.  Buying local is a priority for many consumers, whether it’s fruits and veggies or power, giving consumers the power of choice and the satisfaction of supporting local businesses. Utilizing HB 1116, FEL pioneered the first-of-its-kind relationship between UNH and three local hydro generators, who produce clean energy which is directly purchased by the University of New Hampshire. UNH can purchase this clean local energy without the costly REC (Renewable Energy Credit) process. Purchasing green, locally produced energy at less than utility supply rates- now that’s a win/win!

With a dozen or so options in power purchasing, the ice-cream menu of procurement has been steadily expanding under this boutique energy management firm. Apparently they’re quite adept at ‘custom flavors’ as well. Keep your eyes peeled for more such projects in the year ahead.

While Freedom Energy Logistics is helping their clients be more efficient with their energy use they have their own sustainability efforts underway in their office. The staff of 20 is dedicated to recycling as much as possible and minimizing their energy use through the use of LED lights. Thomas shares that he attended the Sustainability Slam and was inspired by the stories of small, but meaningful efforts that have impact. Cirtronics’ story of replacing plastic flatware with reusable metal flatware was one such story that he is considering proposing at the office.

In addition to Freedom Energy Logistics joining NHBSR, Thomas speaks to his personal belief in NHBSR’s mission and his desire to support the organization, which of course makes us happy. Thomas has joined the NHBSR membership committee, so for anyone interested in learning about membership, he is one of several you can speak with.

And of course, if you have questions about the energy industry, where you get your power and how Freedom Energy Logistics might help, feel free to contact Thomas Carter by email at Thomas.Carter@felpower.com or by phone 603.625.2244.

by Leila Murphy, Michelle Veasey of NHBSR, with contributions from Robin Eichert, PeopleSense Consulting

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Effective leadership is key to supporting a culture where we feel empowered and inspired to meet our goals.  As a team of two, we recognize we have a unique opportunity to learn from each other as we continue to build a strong working relationship.

This summer, we were drawn to a workshop led by NHBSR member, Robin Eichert of PeopleSense Consulting.  Being inspired by the work we’ve done with Robin before, we knew that the workshop, Dogged Leadership: Unleash Your Vision, would give us great insights into our individual leadership styles in an unusual way.  It provided a unique combination of individualized leadership assessment and time for self-assessment reinforced by meaningful activities. 

 

Which dog represents your personality style? Let us know.

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From Leila’s perspective:

I think that we all probably have a sense of our own leadership style, based on our work or volunteer experiences. I found the results intriguing. The assessment Robin uses identifies a person’s work style based on the popular DiSC four-quadrant personality theory

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I was unequivocally identified as I (or Influence), followed closely by S (or Steadiness).  These two together have a relationship focus, which certainly resonates with where I see my strengths.  While no big surprises, the assessment provided me with a different lens to see myself through and gave me new insights, while reaffirming known qualities.

doggoggles_photo.pngAs a fun way to think about the DiSC styles, Robin incorporates dogs into the workshop format. This dog spoke to me right away when asked which reflected my personality style—with its eyes wide open for adventure and taking in the fresh air—both things that are important to me in my life.

I was reminded of how quickly our brains make assessments of people and dogs alike based on how they present themselves through the obvious things like what a person (or dog) looks like and facial expressions, but also by things that are more subjective like how they carry themselves and what energy they give off.

In a millisecond we get a snapshot of information, which helps to inform us how we might respond or choose to interact.

 

 

From Michelle’s perspective:

Like Leila, the assessment results fell in line with what I know about my leadership style.  I found myself nodding my head in agreement with the style tendencies and needs, but often what we know we should do to improve our interactions doesn’t translate to what we do. 

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In this workshop, activities reinforced how our styles translate in our relationships.  We were instructed to lead Sawyer, a sweet therapy dog trained to work with people with disabilities, through a simple “course.”  Sawyer perceived not only our physical interaction, but also our tone and words.  It quickly demonstrated how we must consider how our body language impacts how others respond. 

Clearly one’s work is never done when it comes to forging meaningful relationships and by looking at other interactions, such as with our dogs, it can help us meet that challenge.

Tug, my four-legged friend, is a golden and I thought that impacted my selection when asked which dog best reflects my own style.  But then I started to think about whether we choose pets that connect with our style? Think of a golden you know – do they want to create a favorable impression, do they view people optimistically, do they try to motivate you to take action?  Now I bet you can guess my leadership style!

From Robin’s perspective:

As Michelle acknowledged, just because we know something doesn’t mean we’ll act on it. That’s why having dogs as a mirror to our behaviors is so powerful. If we make a request -- such as come, sit, or stay -- of any dog, whether an exuberant puppy or a seasoned therapy dog, they will react based on the whole picture. Are we clear in our message? Do our words and body language send the same signals? Perhaps our mild-mannered, wishy-washy words and ambiguous body language signal to the dog that what we’re asking them to do isn’t really important.

One of the greatest lessons my own dog, Grace, taught me is that the way I interact with her provides accurate insights into how I relate to others. My natural style is easy-going, but this relaxed, laissez-faire demeanor of mine wasn’t effective in working with her fearful nature. She needed firm direction. If she was going to behave better, it required me to behave differently for her.

And so it is in the workplace: employees have contrasting personalities that impact how they relate to each other. Next time you want to be top dog and it’s not working, think about what kind of canine characteristics you are exhibiting and what needs adjusting for a better outcome. You’ll be dog-gone happy you did. 

Robin offers custom “Dogged Leadership” workshops for small groups and company team-building programs. For more information, contact Robin at robin@PeopleSenseConsulting.com.

 

Member Feature: The Green Alliance

A conversation with Mike Bellamente, Managing Director and Co-Owner

Serendipity (n): finding something good without looking for it.   mikebellamente_photo.jpg

We love hearing stories that involve serendipity, and it certainly sounds like there was some at play when Mike went to meet up with his friend Sarah Brown, owner and director of The Green Alliance, for a drink at the Thirsty Moose last October and left with a deal as the future owner of The Green Alliance.

As is often the case, it’s all about timing. Mike was getting ready to start his own environmental consultancy, having worked for Climate Counts, a collaborative effort to bring consumers and companies together to address solutions around global climate change. Using a scorecard that rates the world's largest companies on their commitment to addressing climate change, consumers can make informed decisions about their purchases. Sarah Brown, had taken this scorecard and modified it to apply to a local area, providing members of The Green Alliance with a pocket shopping guide to help them make informed purchasing choices. At the time the two met last October, both Mike and Sarah were both at an interesting crossroads.   

Mike says it’s one of the most enjoyable endeavors he’s pursued in his life, where unexpectedly his interests both past and present came together with an opportunity to help move a respected and appreciated business into its next chapter. The transition happened within a few short months and last January Mike found himself stepping into his new role. As most people know, The Green Alliance hibernated over the winter, which allowed Mike and his team to regroup, talk with member businesses about priorities, and create a plan for moving forward that best serves members, consumers and the organization. Two things became clear— people really enjoy the storytelling. Sharing stories about people, who happen to own and run businesses, gives consumer a face to connect with beyond the name of a business.  These personal connections help foster and expand the community we live and work in. Second is that the Green Alliance green card, which gives members a discount at member businesses, is something that people appreciate. Loyalty speaks volumes. It became clear that it’s really difficult to rate companies using a one size fits all system- especially if you consider comparing a solar provider, a pest control company and a yoga studio. They are just different so you will see the scorecard go away.

Enter Naked Bullfrog.  What, you ask, is Naked Bullfrog? It is a new interactive platform that focuses on consumer engagement around sustainability. Consumers will use Naked Bullfrog to find and refer businesses that are committed to sustainability so that one can feel good about your purchases and reducing your impact. Think of it as a Green Yelp or Angie’s List. The name itself is symbolic—with naked referencing a commitment to transparency and the bullfrog speaking to both being both loud and green. Naked Bullfrog will have kickstarter effort underway from November 16 to December 16th. Check it out if you haven’t already. The Green Alliance is not going away—there’s just a new member of the family, so to speak.

We asked Mike what he’s most excited about as he looks ahead to 2017. His answer—the people. In his previous roles his work had him working with a national or international audience. Mike’s work at The Green Alliance gives him the opportunity to talk and connect with people in his own backyard. We all know how much it means to make connections between friends, colleagues, and business partners…and if you are able to do so knowing that sustainability is a shared priority that just feels good.  Mike is happy that NHBSR and The Green Alliance are partners and members of each other’s organizations and shares that he really values NHBSR and being able to network with like-minded businesses through programming and events. NHBSR is certainly happy for the partnership as well.

Mike welcomes the chance to talk with anyone who is interested in learning more about The Green Alliance or Naked Bullfrog. He can be reached by email at mike@greenalliance.biz or by phone at 603.828.2626.

MEMBER FEATURE:  A conversation with Denise Sayer and Erin Holt, CCA For Social Good

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We are excited to welcome CCA for Social Good as a new member of NHBSR. We had the pleasure of speaking with Denise Sayer, Vice President and Co-Innovator and Erin Holt, Manager, recently to learn more about their work and that of CCA For Social Good, whose systems provide scalable resources for nonprofits and early childcare organizations.

We are sure that many of you know Howard Brodsky, Chairman and Co-CEO of CCA Global Partners, a long-time NHBSR member and who was recognized as Business Leader of the Year by Business NH Magazine in 2012. Denise has been working with Howard for the past 12 years and was part of the team who helped conceive the idea for CCA for Social Good. It all began with a meeting with the Aspen Institute in 2007. The Aspen Institute was studying business models that could create scale and sustainability for nonprofits when they were introduced to CCA Global Partners. Soon it was clear that CCA’s business model had the potential to support nonprofits and child care in a way that no one else was doing.

After spending about a year researching the nonprofit and child care sectors, CCA Global realized that these sectors were adept at delivering services relative to their missions, but often experienced challenges with some of the administrative and operational needs of running an organization. Changes were needed but it was difficult to imagine doing so within the organization’s limits of time, budget and staffing. Howard believed then- and to this day- that businesses need to give more of themselves to help support nonprofits and childcare organizations, which are integral to the fabric of their communities. Nonprofits are like small businesses—they can’t be experts at their mission along with everything else that it takes to run a business, that’s where what they do makes the most difference.

It was with this in mind that CCA for Social Good was launched. CCA Global took their core competencies --marketing, training, business methods, human resources and other areas—and assembled best practices to create web-based platforms full of useful tools. These tools form a virtual infrastructure that organizations can access and modify to address their specific needs. Beginning with a focus on child care, ECESharedResources.com was launched in 2008 followed by the launch of NonProfitSharedResources.com in 2009 to support nonprofits. One of the many exciting things about these web-based platforms is that because they are online, CCA for Social Good is able to deliver these resources to thousands of child care practitioners and nonprofits across the United States. These platforms are chock full of editable handbooks, documents, forms, checklists, and other resources that are updated seamlessly so people have immediate access to the most current information. CCA for Social Good is helping to streamline administrative tasks and strengthen these critically important organizations in countless tangible and intangible ways by helping to create and provide sustainable solutions that result in long-term change.

CCA for Social Good now has programs in 24 states and Washington DC. The programs for the childcare organizations do have a fee, but the nonprofit platform is available free of charge. This is another way that CCA for Social Good shows its commitment to their community.

We hope that you will have a chance to meet Denise and Erin at an upcoming NHBSR event or in the community. They welcome the chance to talk with you about the work they are doing.

They can be reached at:
Denise Sayer, 603-626-2121, 
DSayer@ccaglobal.com
Erin Holt, 603-626-2109, Eholt@ccaglobal.com

You can also learn more on their website: http://www.ccaglobalpartners.com/divisions/cca-for- social-good.

Photo (left to right):

Jackie Wolk, Client Support Specialist
Denise Sayer, Vice President
Erin Holt, Business Manager
Monique Wanamaker, Administrative Assistant 

Member Feature: a conversation with Michael Bruss, Bruss Project Management

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Please welcome one of our newest members, Michael Bruss, of Bruss Project Management, based in Concord. Actually, it’s a renewed welcome toMichael, who was a member previously when he ran Bruss Construction. We are delighted to have him join us again and to learn about his current efforts and what brought him to this point.

It’s always interesting to know what brings people to the area if they are not born here—work, people, community- sometimes all three. Michael was born in Wisconsin and studied forestry at the University of Wisconsin. In 1978 Michael moved to NH with his brother and a friend.  Michael remembers taking a trip to Canterbury Shaker Village and thinking what a treasure it was to have this historic site so close by. As a furniture and cabinetmaker himself, Michael appreciated the craftsmanship of this community. As we’ve written about in previous conversations—we all seem to have these moments when the stars align and for Michael it was 15 years later when he was asked to work on the Visitor Education Center project.

In 1983 Bruss Construction was created, his brother, James came on board 20 years later. They were a small to medium sized company that focused mainly on institutional, high end residential and medical construction. As a company with as many as 45 employees they were focused on providing a high quality product for their customers, but balanced with that was creating a workplace that was socially responsible. Michael shared that his real passion became projects for non-profits and organizations that were committed to their mission. Some of these projects included: The French wing of the Conservation center, for SPNHF, The Harris Center for Conservation Education, as well as Canterbury Shaker Village. For him the great reward is to have been involved with organizations that affect change.

As he grew professionally, Michael realized that what he enjoyed most was working with owner’s, understanding their perspective and helping to fulfill their vision. This led him to shift gears and start Bruss Project Management in 2014. Every project has its own set of challenges, its own unique cast of characters and its own opportunities for success or failure. A key role of the Construction Project Management Consultant is to provide a positive influence on the dynamic tension that is inherent in undertakings involving multiple stakeholders. The Consultant must work with the Design Team, Owner and the various project stakeholders to identify the challenges, facilitate solutions, and maintain focus on the project objectives.

While not doing the actual building himself, Michael works with owners, designs and vendors to bring a project to life. He works as a sole proprietor now, which is a conscious design, which allows him to pursue work of interest to him. Recent projects include working with non-profits, a Buddhist retreat center, a Waldorf school, a historic town hall.  Michael’s passion and drive focuses on sustainability and resilience in the built environment. He has worked extensively on preservation and adaptive reuse projects respecting our architectural heritage and recognizing that the best way to preserve a building is to make it relevant in the 21st century.

Through his work, Michael is committed to reducing the impact on the environment and climate change through responsible solutions in the build environment.  He enjoys working with organizations to understand what this means to them and finds that it is often more complex than meets the eye which keeps things interesting and challenging.

Michael welcomes the chance to get to know his fellow NHBSR members. He can be reached via email at mdbruss17@gmail.com or via phone at 603- 856-8218 (office), 603-344-1552 (cell).

 

 

 

 

 

By Jodi Clark of Global Round Table Leadership, Keene, NH

“Would you lead us in an improv game right now?” That was the question I received at the conclusion of a panel discussion on how to build a network at jodiheadshot2016.jpgthe recent Sustainatopia conference in Boston. I responded with, “Yes, I would be glad to!” I had not known that would be asked of me. I had simply shown up to the session wanting to participate, to be informed, enlightened, and make new connections. I was delighted to be invited to co-create the end of the session! I was grateful that I had something I could readily contribute and that it was so openly and enthusiastically received. All of the participants took part in the activity. It was a magical, emergent moment of group co-creation.

This is the essence of the improvisational theater concept of “Yes, and. . .” One person makes an offer of an idea. Another person in the scene accepts that offer without question, and then builds off of it with their own. The scene continues in this way, birthing into being one offer after another until the actors collectively decide it has come to an end. There is never a moment of “No, and. . .” or even “Yes, but. . .” as the ethos of those statements is to negate, shut down, and exclude. Improv theater is about accepting what is brought, building off of it and unequivocally supporting everyone in the scene, no matter what, in order to co-create the best possible story together.

“Yes, and. . .”  and weaving the principles of the ensemble or what we call Shared Leadership is something we are committed to supporting in our work with organizations and teams at Global Round Table Leadership. In our definition of Shared Leadership, everyone is equally responsible for the vibrancy and high function of the whole, no matter their role, status or expertise within their team or organization. When everyone in your organization shows up leading with your full selves in support of and in relationship to everyone else’s success in the organization, there is greater purpose and meaning for the team and the whole company. Your team experiences greater creative sparks in the work itself and greater capacity to create positive impact in the world with your work.

W. S. Badger is one of these workplaces where you do not need to leave parts of yourself out. The company has said “Yes, and. . .” to all who work for them by the nature of their everyday practices with each other. Recently named as one of NH Business Magazine’s Best Places to Work For and also named Best for the World and Best for the Environment by B-Lab,  Badger’s culture reflects their commitment to the wholeness of their employees, accepting the offer of everything that’s brought. In addition to the initiatives my colleagues, Lori Hanau and Claire Wheeler featured in their recent spotlight article in Conscious Company Magazine: 3 Lessons From a Case Study from a True Sharing Model, there are a number of practices and initiatives which honor the wholeness of each employee in their everyday lives with the company. When an employee asked if there could be a labyrinth on site for meditation, Badger said “Yes, and...” by supporting the employee to construct it. They have said “Yes, and. . .” to families being an essential part the work environment by implementing a Babies at Work program and building a daycare center down the street on their old company site. Badger has said “Yes!” to committing to sustainably grown ingredients for all of the products “and. . .” to ensure that the food they eat together is partially sourced from the onsite organic gardens the employees cultivate.  Badger’s “Yes, and . .” ethic has provided the opportunity for community, nourishment, and stewardship of the land to be woven into their everyday experience together.

Badger’s participatory, ensemble-like culture recognizes the inextricable link between the wholeness of each person to the wholeness of their work together and their impact on the world around them. We at Global Round Table Leadership are continually inspired by companies like Badger who offer the “Yes, and...” power of shared leadership by creating the space for their employees to be their whole selves in order to offer their full gifts.

To be in touch with Jodi and the rest of the team at Global Round Table Leadership, you can find them at www.globalroundtableleadership.com or email Jodi at jclark@grtleadership.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEMBER FEATURE: a conversation with Michael Redding and Bryan Dexter, Loureiro 

Let’s start by getting the pronunciation of Loureiro right—picture yourself sitting on the beach with a wide brimmed hat that we call a sombrero on to keep the sun out of your eyes. That sombrero rhymes with Loureiro (lo-rare-o)—and they may just be the people you call when you get back to the office to discuss some of your business’s building or waste management needs.

loureiro_overview_img.pngWe sat down recently with Michael Redding and Bryan Dexter, who’ve been with the company 5 and 8 years respectively, to learn more about Loureiro and the services they provide to industry, government, developers, education and healthcare, architects and attorneys. It’s not easy to describe what they do given the diversity of their work. Loureiro is an engineering firm that builds relationships with clients by developing simple, accurate solutions that their clients can rely on.  This includes everything from site planning and property development, energy efficiency and waste management, employee health & safety to regulatory compliance. From speaking with Michael and Bryan it is clear that no matter what service you may be seeking, you will find a true partner with their team. Some of their projects are big and complicated and deal with terms that you don’t hear every day- if ever- so having someone who can help guide you through the process and keep it simple is key. As a team they are there to help educate you so that you can make good business decisions. Our recent conversation focused mostly on the waste management and recycling part of the business, given it would have taken hours to cover all their services. But first a little background.

Loureiro started in 1974 in Connecticut.  The Clean Water Act had been passed by Congress in 1972 with the purpose of restoring and maintaining the nation’s water through pollution prevention and assisting wastewater treatment plants. Many towns and sites found themselves in need of help to clean up their water and waste sites. Loureiro was started in part in response to this need and continued to diversify from there. Loureiro recently helped the City of Laconia develop a solution to a dilapidated section of the downtown that was spilling trash directly in the Winnipesaukee River and flooding store fronts; the solution also sparked an attraction for visitors.  When Congress passed the Superfund Act in 1980 the EPA was authorized to identify parties responsible for contamination and hold them responsible for cleaning up the sites. Loureiro became aware of a growing number of properties that due to historically poor practices found themselves with considerable contamination that needed cleaning up. Two environmental cleanup sites that Loureiro assisted with in NH are the Woods Woolen Mill in Hillsborough and Allied Tannery in Concord.

Jumping forward a decade to the 1990’s the manufacturing industry was changing its operational perspective to begin to look at ways to manage their waste better and to find ways for greater efficiency. In response to the increasing client environmental health and safety and waste management needs, along with the desire to expand its geographic footprint, Loureiro opened the NH office in 2004.  WorkWaste, which is a subsidiary of Loureiro, was created at this time to meet their clients’ demands and to fill gaps they found in the industry.  Since then Loureiro has expanded its footprint into Massachusetts, Rhode Island, DC and North Carolina. 

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WorkWaste specializes in regulated and non-regulated waste, recycling and resource management in New England. Over the last ten years recycling and finding ways to mitigate waste has taken a more prominent position in companies, particularly large businesses. Waste disposal is expensive so companies are taking a closer look at ways they can minimize their waste, which supports sustainability and their bottom line.  WorkWaste is able to track trends and options for their clients, which due to the sheer scale can amount to significant savings. As someone who is most familiar with a personal compost and weekly recycling it was fascinating to learn more about the broader waste management and recycling arena and the ways that a company like WorkWaste can help businesses be intentional in their efforts to bring about meaningful change.

loureiro_1.jpgMany of us pride ourselves on what we are able to do on our own in an effort to make a difference. When one is talking about large scale operations it is helpful to have someone with expertise to assess one’s individual situation to be able to determine the best steps to take. When working with a service company like Loureiro/WorkWaste who handles hundreds of situations you know that you have the benefit of their collective experience to help with your situation.  

This quote from Gandhi strikes us as one apt for our understanding of the service that Loureiro and WorkWaste bring to their work and their clients.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

Loureiro has a deep commitment to their clients, but also their employees. They became an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) in 1996 which gives employees a sense of ownership and the ability to contribute to and affect the long term efforts of the company. October is national ESOP month and you will find the employees of Loureiro serving in the community during an employee volunteer day. The last couple of years they have supported Easter Seals, helping with grounds work and lending their expertise on a construction project at one of their special needs facilities as well as helping at a fundraiser for their Veterans Count program. They also volunteer at The Educational Farm at Joppa Hill which is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers, helping plant garlic and build community gardens.

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The NH staff is young and likes to find opportunities for fun in what can be a busy week- which can be seen at their Friday fun days where they may play Frisbee golf or wear PJs to work and start the day with a bagel breakfast.

When asked what inspired them to become members of NHBSR Michael and Bryan responded that they were impressed with the diversity of the NHBSR membership and the camaraderie that they experienced at the spring conference. While other professional organizations have a strong base of support they found themselves seeing the same people each time, so were happy for the chance to connect with and share ideas with NHBSR members from different industries. They really enjoy the opportunity to engage in pragmatic conversations around social responsibility.

We hope that you will have a chance to talk with Michael and Bryan in the year ahead—they will both be at the Sustainability Slam on October 20. They are passionate about their work and their desire to advocate and help affect change for their clients.

They both welcome the chance to speak with you if you have any questions. They can be reached at: Michael Redding, mjredding@loureiro.com,  (603) 621-5713. Bryan Dexter, brdexter@workwaste.com, 603-621-5709.

 

 

By Robin Eichert

It’s the small things in life that matter the most.robin_grace2.jpg

That’s an axiom I believe in, yet doing the small things when it comes to being a socially responsible company has always left me feeling inadequate. I’ve been haunted for years with the desire to do more than just the simple, basic, and ordinary things, like recycling and reusing. There must be more that a sole proprietor can do but whatever “that thing” is has eluded me.

Since starting my consulting practice in 2001 and then my association with NHBSR in 2009, my sustainability efforts have been consistent and respectable, though seemingly inconsequential. At my home-based business, I do lots of things that I believe in every day.

Doing simple things but feeling like it was not enough

I drink tap water whenever I can, minimizing the need for extra packaging in purchased water bottles. I only print pages when I need to and I reuse the back sides of printed sheets. I’ve transitioned to more frequent telecommuting meetings to avoid driving a long distance when it’s a nicety but not a necessity. I take longs walks in the woods with my dog, Grace, and revel in the natural world, so I do what I can to protect it. I volunteer in countless ways and give philanthropically when I can.

But my efforts pale in comparison to the amazing stories I hear from fellow NHBSR members who are making a big difference. Hypertherm, Timberland, Wire Belt Company of America, and Grappone, are just a few of the legends. They, with many others, are leading the way with initiatives like energy conservation, solar installations, LEED certified buildings, and a ton of other impactful projects yielding impressive results for our planet and people, all the while remaining profitable.

As a sole proprietor, I glean what I can from NHBSR events and crave for ways that I could have some significance, leaving each NHBSR gathering feeling inspired and motivated, but also scratching my head, a bit perplexed about how I can do more.

peoplesense_gracebday2.jpgA simple idea of one dog’s birthday

Then I got an idea from a most unlikely source: twelve-year-olds who were modeling a very socially responsible activity. For the last several years, I’ve been a regular volunteer at the Monadnock Humane Society. Along the way, I’ve see young children come into the Shelter with boxes of dog food, cat toys, and all sorts of cool things that are needed. For their own birthday parties, these thoughtful and generous youngsters had asked party-goers to bring needed items for the animals instead of gifts for themselves. I thought, “If 12-year-old kids are doing such a selfless deed that is helping others, why can’t my sweet 12-year-old dog do the same thing?”

That seed of an idea has morphed into the #GracefulGiving party, a twist on a birthday bash that allows party-goers to give to others, specifically non-profits organizations who do so much good in our communities, and are always struggling for needed funding. Anyone who gives any amount to any 501c3 organization during the month of October is eligible to win prizes. This virtual gathering allows us all to come together and create a sense of community by celebrating and helping the lives of others.

Leveraging your interests and collective efforts

After seeing the initial activity on the very first annual #GracefulGiving party, it’s so exciting! I finally feel like I’ve landed on an effort that is scaled to my business, but has potential to have an impact—for many people (and animals, too!), along with non-profits. And the best part, it’s great fun! Spearheading this effort that celebrates my sweet and courageous pup, in a way that positively impacts untold number of people, is incredibly rewarding to me. Of course, I will keep recycling and volunteering, but now I’ve found a way to leverage my passions and connect people for mutual benefit, in a new and different way.

I’ve learned a major lesson and the irony is huge. Each piece of this party consists of lots of small things. One fearful dog who is reaching her full potential. One person who decides to make one small donation. One non-profit working hard to provide needed services, perhaps even to a small constituency! I have been undervaluing the small things, but it’s not the size of the endeavor that always matters. It’s when you pull the right things together, it has to potential to be gigantic.  

Join the #GracefulGiving Party on the PeopleSense Facebook page  or sniff out some of details at her website: PeopleSenseConsulting.com.

Note: Don't miss this great writeup on Robin and Grace in The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.  At the time of this post four non-profit organizations have donations coming in-- Monadnock Humane Society, The River Center, Monadnock Restorative Community, and Monadnock at Home. 

Member Feature: A conversation with Lori Hanau and Jodi Clarke of Global Round Table Leadership

In this season of NHBSR storytelling, it was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with Lori Hanau and her colleague, Jodi Clark, of Global Round Table Leadership (GRTL). GRTL is a coaching and training company located in Keene. They support powerful shifts in consciousness, communications, and community for leaders, groups, organizations and networks from all sectors. Their customized trainings, retreats, facilitation and coaching focuses on stewarding positive personal and group transformation, “wholistic” leadership development and collaborative, vibrant group culture.  Lori and Jodi help individuals and groups tap into their greatness.

GRTL’s definition of Shared Leadership is worth sharing as it says it best—
Shared Leadership is the practice of bringing out the greatest capacity in everyone by empowering us all to be responsible for and engaged in the vibrancy and high function of the whole. This is a fundamental shift in how we understand and apply power and leadership.

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They use strengths-based approaches and tools in their trainings, starting with what is healthy, strong and vibrant. Appreciative inquiry is interwoven with play, performance as well as meditative and wellness practices that cultivate our wholeness and strategic, systems leadership. Lori and Jodi both speak to how heartened they are by what they see transpire over the course of even a 3 hour training that elevates a group into a whole different way of relating. They know that the genius of the group is already there. Their Shared Leadership Framework informs all of their work, which includes the four pillars of Humanity, Equality, Wholeness, and Collective Wisdom. Their newest work has been creating a process for committing to, tracking, and integrating Shared Leadership practices into everyday work life. GRTL’s Compassionate accountability process imbeds continuous learning into the group culture along with co-creating soulful accountability measures—what do they want and who do they want to be—and what needs to happen to get them there. GRTL’s aim is always to just stay just long enough to teach a team new skills, and give them the tools they need to powerfully tap into their own leadership.

It was enlivening to learn about the dynamic work they are doing, along with what brought them both to this work. As we know, everyone has a story! Lori and Jodi have wonderfully rich backgrounds. While very different - think corrugated boxes and improvisational theater- not that we are putting them in a box, they share a deep commitment to inspiring individuals, teams and organizations to become the best version of themselves. Lori’s father consistently told her that life and business is always first and foremost about the quality of relationship and genuine connection in how we lead individually and together and share power and purpose. It is clear from our conversation with them that this value of what they name as shared leadership is integral to their work. But first a little background…

Lori speaks of three essential elements that ultimately inspired her to create Global Round Table Leadership in 2002, how she was influenced by her grtl_loriheadshot2016_0.jpgfather’s leadership, her relationship to the natural world and organizational (systems) wellness or illness. She was raised in an entrepreneurial family. Her father owned three corrugated cardboard manufacturing companies in New England. Lori’s father told Lori and her siblings frequently over the years that he believed the 2nd generation could run a business into the ground quicker than anyone on the planet.  It was then a bit of a surprise when he broke his own rule and invited Lori (the 3rd of 4 children) into his business, where she worked for 10 years. She wouldn’t know how rare a leader he was until she had direct experience working inside the company. She shares that her father modeled a consciousness of leadership, what Lori now calls “shared leadership”, long before we had such names for leadership styles. She saw her father as a leader with a commitment to see every individual as an equal, acknowledging their individual gifts and ideas. She says he led from humanity before roles, status and expertise, so no matter what his employees’ roles were there was a quality of feeling seen and heard for their whole selves and innate gifts, first and foremost. They were met with a level of dignity, encouragement to be responsible for the overall well being and high function of the whole ecosystem and trust that together built incredible collaboration throughout the company.  This village consciousness and “raising the barn together” mentality is something that had a huge impact on Lori and has stayed with her throughout her career.

Lori’s job at her father’s company was selling corrugated boxes. She was the first woman in outside sales within the organization and also the first woman selling corrugated boxes in NH, VT and Maine. She shares that she called on manufacturing companies large and small, publicly held and privately owned and she was struck by how many people didn’t seem to have a sense of meaning, connection to the whole, or purpose at work. This overwhelming sense that people felt disengaged and disempowered in the workplace would become another notable influence as she moved towards creating GRTL.  Another significant influence is her relationship to the natural world. Growing up Lori and her family traveled overseas once a year. She had exposure to indigenous cultures where she learned about the wisdom of wholeness and the innate, unbroken connection to all of life.  She shares her belief in the essential knowledge of seeing oneself as a part of a whole system and the natural world as an integral part of life, wherever and how ever we are showing up.

Following the sale of her father’s business, Lori worked as president and COO for a ceramics manufacturing company for two years, within a distinctly different culture and working environment. Following this she consciously took time and space to begin to think deeply about what she wanted to do next in terms of her life work. She spent a great deal of time alone in nature. She traveled  to conferences and gatherings, meeting with people across the sectors, and was introduced purpose and mission based companies, social entrepreneurs and systems thinking. She was very inspired by these endeavours to think and act more wholistically and realized that these were the people, companies and networks she could advise and co-create with. The culmination of these experiences are what led her to create Global Round Table Leadership. She started by coaching founders and CEOs but has since grown to work with teams and whole companies as well.

Other projects Lori has stewarded from what she has learned include founding the Monadnock Mindfulness Practice Center in Keene, NH as well as writing about her learning and work for Conscious Company Magazine. Lori’s further work has lead her to be co-chair of the Management Programs at Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies in Brattleboro,  leading the Collaborative Leadership Concentration and co-leading the Conscious Business Concentration. Lori and Jodi are both faculty at Marlboro, which is where their story together begins.

grtl_jodiheadshot2016_0.jpgJodi entered GRTL by way of Marlboro, where she did her undergraduate studies in anthropology and theater, and one of her masters degrees, (Mission Driven Organizational Management), as well as having worked there in student affairs.  Jodi shares that she has a great love for the depth of community that is practiced at the college. She first learned the power of deep community in theater and being part of an ensemble where they would co-create their shows and through improvisational theater.  She shares that in improv, everyone is there to make each other look amazing, while fully committed to creating something that wouldn’t be possible without everyone there. You are building the bridge as you are walking it, in a manner of speaking. It can be incredibly scary, but also amazingly rewarding when you step into the unknown and allow yourself to be present in the moment. Theater, ensemble and Marlboro are integral on how Jodi got to GRTL. In her degree program—mission driven organizational management—it was not long before she met Lori who, as faculty was holding community circle for the graduate school community during the monthly residency weekends. Jodi experienced the dynamic, creative vibrancy of the community that Lori stewarded as the community builder.  In order to model what was being taught in the coursework, it was Lori’s philosophy to lead with our humanity first, and to meet as equals –before roles, status and expertise—so everyone is equally responsible for stewarding the high function and the collective intelligence of the whole.

Jodi’s background is primarily in theater education, beginning with her founding and leading the Vermont Renaissance Festival, which ran for six years in Brattleboro. She was involved with a program in the Monadnock region called “Acting Out,” an improvisational interactive theater for adolescents. In her work here she brought her love of improv and deep community. It was through that work she had the opportunity  to explore collaborations across various sectors by participating in regional coalitions and committees. She was inspired by what was possible through the ensemble of these groups.  She also experienced moments where the groups would not perform as their best selves, hitting really challenging  moments that blocked the groups from moving through into a breakthrough. She felt called to be of service to those organizations and spaces—to build what she knows is possible in collaborative, ensemble, co-created spaces. Jodi knew if it was possible in improv space, it is possible in every space where people come together to create.  Having met Lori in the community circle and elsewhere at Marlboro, Jodi knew she had met a kindred spirit with Lori. When Lori invited her to join her work, there was no hesitation in jumping on board.

Lori speaks about how artistry and creativity are essential not only to entrepreneurship but to how we lead our lives every day. We are leading in every moment, regardless of our position or roles. Leading is a creative and courageous act. Lori shares that it is surprising how people are so conditioned to not see themselves as artists in business. And yet it takes so much creativity, at so many developmental levels to create a business with an empowering culture that supports excellence.  GRTL offers trainings and coaching that are capacity and skill building, with a commitment to weave these strands back into business. Lori and Jodi believe so strongly in the artistry that we all have—sometimes we just need a little help connecting and believing.

When asked what inspired her to be part of NHBSR—Lori says it best: “to be part of the courageous folks, and while we don’t have all the answers, we care to try to figure it out, we care to try to walk our talk, we care to try to expand our consciousness, we care to try to develop in our humanity and develop our leadership and organizational development. Learning to care and figure it out—while also having a positive impact with our businesses. I’m proud to be part of the NHBSR community.”

Jodi spoke to her own reasons for being part of NHBSR---“NHBSR cultivates a learning community where there is a commitment to learning from each other. The focus on sustainability stories from the inside out of organizations is inspiring. It is a wonderful way of walking the talk of how we are social responsibility for the planet and each other. NHBSR is holding the space for each of us to come together and offer our collective wisdom on what’s working, what’s challenging and how we can help each other through that.

Lori and Jodi both welcome the chance to speak with you—they can be reached via phone at (603) 357-1969 or by email:
Lori: LHanau@grtleadership.com
Jodi: JClark@grtleadership.com

Their website is www.globalroundtableleadership.com

Lori also writes about Shared Leadership as a columnist for Conscious Company Magazine.
You can also catch up with them at the Sustainability Slam!

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NHBSR 2018 Conference