Guide to Greatness ®
Established in 2005, Dr. Cyndi Laurin created Guide to Greatness(R) to help companies experiencing "pain" from undertaking change initiatives. Often times, companies have high hopes when launching process improvement or employee engagement initiatives, only to feel like their efforts are derailed or fall by the wayside. Senior leadership spends their time and energy in the business, rather than on the business, leading to burnout, increased turnover, decreased productivity, and worrisome quality issues. As a result, management tends to further tighten controls and unwittingly kills the natural creativity and innovative spirit of their employees.
Cyndi works to assist in the re-discovery, development and maintenance of GREATNESS from a fresh and innovative perspective. She defines GREATNESS as 1) having an extraordinary product or service, 2) treating people impeccably well, and 3) expanding the vision far beyond the boundaries of the organization. It is her compass in assessing the root causes of problems reported. Because she goes to where the organization's pain(s) began and has a deep understanding of the human psyche and what motivates people in the work environment, she tailors solutions specific to each client's needs.
Cyndi believes most of today’s resources and business books rely too heavily on emulating another company's success. They tend to focus on what the other organization did to be successful rather than the thinking and underlying culture that drive behaviors. What tends to be lacking in many books is an infrastructure and mindset to maintain and drive a sustainable competitive advantage using your current talent. She developed the "Four Pillars of Organizational Greatness" to assess an organization's infrastructure to support an innovation as part of their DNA. This includes 1) leadership, 2) culture, 3) the organization's political structure, and 4) reward structure.
Working together, these four pillars either fuel or hinder the possibility of organizational GREATNESS. As many organizations are in need of a true cultural transformation, she includes two psychology of change models called "The Thinking Wheel" and "AVTAR" to facilitate transformative results. One of her own personal operating values is to "go within or go without." The models she has developed allow transformation to occur from the inside out. This process is far more sustainable than simply attempting to emulate the success of what some other organization did.
She provides new and progressive methods of generating innovative ideas and bottom-line, competitive advantages with resources you already have. Check out her books below by clicking on the titles.
Released in July 2018 as Cyndi's first parable-based business story, details the inner workings of engaging employees to provide an optimal customer outcome through improving the manager experience.
One of Amazon.com's #1 New Release in Business Leadership Training, "Be a Frontline H.E.R.O." has helped many managers propel their teams. Many managers who operate without a framework tend to parent their team, rather than manage, leaving them vulnerable to the pitfalls of ineffective management. Quick read packed with five easy-to-use and readily applicable tools.
Released in 2009, details the inner workings of GREATNESS at THE BOEING COMPANY'S renowned C-17 PROGRAM's cultural transformation (two time Baldige recipient).
The Rudolph Factor was one of BusinessWeek.com's "20 Great Summer Reads" and has been noted in MWorld, Quality Digest and has been featured in over 70 notable national and international publications. Cyndi was granted sole authorized access to chronicle how the people engaged in transforming the C-17 Program. The magic truly is in the people.
Released in 2005, details the inner workings of GREATNESS at the WORLD FAMOUS PIKE PLACE FISH MARKET.
Over 80,000 copies sold; translated into 17 languages; and winner of the IPPY Book of 2005 in the Business/Career Category. "Catch!" highlights the underlying driving forces causing the Pike Place Fish Market's crowd-pleasing antics and famously fun work environment.
WHAT'S A RUDOLPH, YOU ASK?
Historically, people who think “out-of-the-box” have been labeled Corporate Entrepreneurs, Change Agents, Intrapreneurs, Outliers, Mavericks, Square Pegs, or Radicals...among other names that coincide with "disruptive" employees. In 1939, Robert May published the beloved Christmas tale titled, "Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer" as an assignment from his employer, Montgomery Ward. What most do not know is that Rudolph's challenges, unique talents, and successes mimicked May's own life and parallel many of today's highly creative thinkers. May's intention appeared to be to create a character with unique talents who was somewhat of an outcast and who, in the end, solves the problem no one else could solve and saves the day.
Alas, we are calling highly creative and passionate contributors to an organization "Rudolphs." They sometimes do not fit well in the organization's culture by nature of their unique, involuntary thinking styles. While we believe everyone has creative, Rudolph thinking in some area of their lives, a small percentage utilize their talents in the business arena. Encompassing roughly 10 percent of every size and type of organization, their contribution is grossly untapped as a result of traditional hierarchical design and prevalent organizational political structures. Rudolphs connect the dots and processes others often do not see. They are highly engaged in their work and can be perceived as a threat or a problem by those around them because their inquisitive minds tend to ask "why?" which may rock the proverbial boat or upset a culture that is traditionally set in their ways. As a result, many Rudolphs have colorful career paths (looking for greener pastures) which significantly under-utilizes their heightened thinking about business processes.
Every organization houses this substantial resource but most lack a succinct system for identifying, nurturing, and leveraging this talent to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. The "Four Pillars of Organizational Greatness" has been designed to elevate awareness at all levels of an organization by creating a system to collect the greatest ideas and opportunities for business excellence and driving these opportunities through the execution phase. Based on decades of research and experience – as well as the development of several progressive, new business models – Rudolphs can create a system to move your organization far beyond what your competitors are doing.
One would think the passionate contributions of Rudolphs would be welcomed in any organization, but the reality is not so. When surveyed, most Rudolphs report that their good intentions and actions are sometimes perceived in a negative light by others. When this occurs, they begin weighing out their options to stay or leave. Often times, Rudolphs work for many employers over the course of their lifetime and are quite passionate about making a positive and sustainable impact. While sprinkled througout organizations, their thinking is truly natural to them and quite different than the majority of workers, managers, and executives. However, most will likely to continue to be under the radar until the leadership, culture, and the organization's political and reward structures allow them to safely surface and contribute their natural talents.
Cyndi (Crother) Laurin, PhD