Competition, Collaboration, Coopetition - The Secret to Long-Term Competitive Advantage
Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Speaker: Zach Zacharia, Ph.D.

Collaboration has long been touted as the secret sauce that companies need, to be successful in a constantly changing, high risk, disruptive technology filled marketplace. “Coopetition”, defined as when competitors cooperate, has been touted as the next big innovation as we move into a more interconnected omni-channel marketplace.  How do collaboration and coopetition really work?

Analyzing over 500 collaboration projects and 50 expert interviews has led to a clearer picture on what to do and not do in a collaboration project. Join Dr. Zacharia to learn about effective knowledge acquisition, collaboration capability, absorptive capacity and their associated managerial implications at our September Leadership
Breakfast Series program.


Kinesics - A Primer
Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Speaker: Richard J. Neulight
President and Director, National Management Strategies, Inc.

As the Great Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot just by watching!”  And as usual Yogi nailed it.  Kinesics is the Art (and some would say science) of understanding and interpreting what is commonly called body language.  Body language is the hidden communication we rarely notice (or more likely recognize as some sort of ‘vibe’), and yet the knowledge of it is an obvious advantage in almost every business discipline, from employment interviews through delicate negotiation, from loading dock to boardroom.

Business is a combination of people, process and product/service.  Know the people.  Here is an opportunity to enrich your understanding of what people are thinking, and how it may differ from what they’re saying.  Wouldn’t you want to know if the person you’re negotiating with is feeling vulnerable; if his confidence was real or feigned; or if one of your trusted associates were shading the truth?  This session will allow you to begin to understand the supremacy of Kinesics in interpersonal communication.  You will leave your next ‘meeting’ with more real information at your command.


Leading Emotionally Intelligent Teams
Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Speaker: Shawn Hayashi
Founder, The Professional Development Group

High performing teams and great leaders need to be emotionally intelligent to be successful in their work.  But what does it mean to be emotionally intelligent?  What are the core emotions and the competencies that enable a leader to become emotionally intelligent?   Are there obstacles and challenges currently hindering your team’s success and efficiency?  Join Shawn Kent Hayashi as she takes emotional intelligence out of the theory and puts it into practical application.  This session’s takeaways will enable you to use emotional intelligence to improve trust and rapport within your team to foster positive change for your organization.


From the Front Line to the Bottom Line: Strategic Tools of Engagement
Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Speaker: Sybil Stershic
President, Quality Service Marketing

The decline in employee engagement poses a significant threat to your brand. How do you get employees in customer-facing and behind-the-scenes roles to work with you in meeting company goals?  More than a ‘feel good’ approach to taking care of employees, this session shares the necessary framework and practical tools leaders can use to effectively strengthen employee engagement.  Join Sybil Stershic and learn: what engagement really means; insight on why employees engage or disengage; and what’s needed to create and maintain an engaged workplace.


Delight and Customer Loyalty by Design: A Core Competency for the 21st Century
Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Speaker: Dr. Ravi Chitturi
Associate Professor in Marketing, Lehigh University

It is not an accident that the most valuable firm on the planet is known for its core competency in DELIGHT. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Inc., instinctively understood the power of DELIGHT BY DESIGN in emotionally connecting with consumers and their wallets. Most would agree that his delight-driven vision continues to generate unprecedented levels of cash flow years after his departure—making it not just the most valued but also the most loved company of this generation.  Apple consumers are emotionally invested in their products, leading to superior profit margins and intense loyalty for Apple Inc. Can others develop a similar core competency in delighting their customers to dominate their market? Join Dr. Chitturi to learn that they can, provided they develop an understanding of the difference between the antecedents of satisfaction versus delight. Gain an understanding of the principles of functional and hedonic dominance that govern consumers’ relative preferences and purchase decisions. Understand the opportunity to leverage the connection between design, delight, and customer loyalty.


The Art and Science of Making Decisions in Business
Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Speaker: Quinn Spitzer
Partner, McHugh Consulting

It has been known for some time that a bad decision can ruin a career or a company just as an effective decision can drive sustainable success.  Over the last twenty-five years thousands of pages have been written offering advice on why decision making goes awry and how to improve it including the NY Times best seller Thinking Fast and Slow.  Quinn Spitzer offers a quick guide to the current thinking in decision science as well as some practical tools to improve decision making in any business context.  The presentation will be illustrated with numerous examples and stories revealing that as much as there is a science to decision making, it also remains an indispensable management art.


Disruptive Leaders are Good for Business
Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Speaker: Dick Brandt
Executive Director, Iacocca Institute

Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX) was named Businessman of the Year by Fortune Magazine in 2014.  He is often compared with Steve Jobs (Apple) as a Transformer and Disrupter of Industry and even people.  Jeff Bezos, from Amazon, also joins these two leaders as a Disrupter of Industry in his field. Along the way, all of these leaders have developed very special skills that few people have.  They are noted for their Determination – a trait that actually dwarfs all other skills. Join Dick Brandt as he looks at the good and bad of these kinds of leaders and discusses a few mental traits that are very rare in business.  Along this journey, people skills and collaboration may be left behind.





Projects are the bane and boon of every organization – they are exciting, frustrating, distracting, challenging and necessary for every going concern.  So why are some projects successful, some failures and some just drudges to get through?  How do you set yourself and your project team up to be motivated and successful?  Kathleen Donahue, PMP, explores some of the key success factors for executing successful projects and identifies some of the pitfalls and traps to avoid.




A reliance on teams to perform all kinds of work has never been greater.  While teams can yield the benefits envisioned by their creators, they can also waste the time and energy of members, enforce lower performance norms, create patterns of destructive conflict within and between groups, and make notoriously bad decisions.  Groups can also exploit, stress, and frustrate members—sometimes all at the same time.  Robert Trent, PhD, discusses improved team performance in organizations and how to develop high performing work teams.  He will explore the characteristics of an effective team, the common barriers to team success (and what do about them), planning for effective team performance and the warning signs of dysfunctional teams.