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2014 Year End Message

As the end of another (our 28th) year comes into focus, we seem to have a great deal to be thankful for here at Maher & Maher. Our business has expanded, we have new customers that have entrusted us with incredibly important and challenging assignments, we have some outstanding new associates and employees, and we have tremendous opportunities ahead of us in the New Year.

Our mission as talent development investment advisors to clients in the public and private sectors has never been more relevant, as the world begins to accept what we have always known – that talent is the new, global currency, and that organizations and communities with the most skilled workforces will win in the globally competitive economy of the 21st century.

So, as we all begin to make final preparations to enjoy time with family and friends, we pause in gratitude… Read more →

A Time for Thanks Giving

At this writing many folks – maybe most – are already packed and hitting the trains, planes, and highways to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Indeed there are just a few of us here at the Maher & Maher New Jersey office left – wrapping up final tasks before heading out ourselves.

As the Holiday approaches and the end of 2014 begins to come into focus, I feel as though we all have much to be thankful for.

For those of us here at Maher, 2014 will be a good year. We are fortunate to have seen clients in both our public and private sectors reward our efforts with important, large-scale engagements. These new projects will test our capabilities and challenge us to deliver against critical priorities. Our professional staff will be supporting major IT system integration and training efforts, Lean Management implementations, curricula design supporting… Read more →

Labor Day Inspiration … Atlanta style.

I had the privilege to attend a really great event with our client – Invest Atlanta – a week ago last Friday. It reminded me anew, why I do what I do. From time to time, I think we all need such a reminder – amidst the distractions and challenges we all face in life and at work day to day.

The event brought Labor Secretary Tom Perez to Atlanta as part of his “Labor Day” cross-country tour, but also served as the platform for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to publicly announce his endorsement of a set of recommendations our team (working with a broad group of Atlanta’s community and business leaders) developed to re-invent the city’s workforce development system. That System has been criticized in an internal audit as ineffective, ridiculed in the press and is the subject of an… Read more →

Finding the Future: South Suburban Community College Community-Centered Strategic Planning

We recently completed another strategic planning engagement for a college in Illinois, and I was moved by the engagement, interest and passion this group brought to the task of finding a better future for their institution and the community it serves.

South Suburban Community College brought about 100 leaders together from this region just south of Chicago for an intensive, 2-day event designed to drive innovation and planning to guide the institution’s next five years. Using our Community-Centered Strategic Planning Process, stakeholders from the community representing K-12, the university system, economic and workforce development and employers joined those internal to the college (including students) in the effort.

This process is intense, it is time-consuming and it isn’t for everybody. It just works.

We use the essence of the “Re-Claiming the American Dream” report from the American Association of… Read more →

Reemployment Connections: New “Virtual Institute” Model Drives Innovation in Technical Assistance

We recently completed an online “virtual institute” for the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) that brought teams from six states together with leaders from Washington to consider innovative approaches to reemployment services for the Nation’s unemployed.

The “Reemployment Connections Virtual Institute” saw states form cross-functional teams that followed a scripted process over an intensive, six-week timeline. State teams were brought together in an online institute – using virtual meetings, training sessions, in-person state-level meetings and scheduled topical chats with subject matter experts to drive the process. State team facilitators worked in concert with a national facilitator to keep teams on track, and a dedicated web community was used for sharing best practices by and between states.

The outcomes from the Institute were state plans to re-connect UI claimants to re-employment services using… Read more →

Learning Just Got Smarter, and that Changes Everything.

Well, I am now officially a Courserian. I began my trek toward learning on Coursera (a leading MOOC) yesterday.

My course is titled, “Leadership through Emotional Intelligence.” The 6-week journey will be lead by Richard Boyatzis, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve University. His introductory lecture (video) demonstrates his passion for the material and gives me the impression that this could be fun and engaging. 

So, like a good student, I set out on my adventure … watching the requisite video lecture, reading my journal article as assigned and even the next lecture (off YouTube), and then entered the discussion thread to begin my assigned post.

There I found dozens of “earlier birds” that had beaten me to the threads – chattering away on their leadership experiences – good and bad, and… Read more →

Re-inventing Education – One Community College at a Time

I recently was able to work with the leadership of another community college in a retreat to craft the focus of the College’s next strategic plan.

For the second time this month, we used our Community-Centered Strategic Planning Process℠ – a process carefully designed to involve a broad array of internal and community leaders to align community needs with educational priorities – to drive our work. Rooted in AACC’s “Re-Claiming the American Dream” report, the process positions the college as an economic engine of regional growth and stability, not just an education or training provider.

During the session, leaders exchanged thoughts about the skills gaps in key sectors within the region, the need for a more agile and nimble curriculum (that shifts with the dynamic needs of the market), and more rudimentary things – like the need to dramatically… Read more →

Community Colleges as Engines of Regional Prosperity?

Recently I had the privilege of working with a group of leaders from Kankakee Community College (KCC) and the surrounding region, in a planning retreat designed to drive the College’s next four-year strategic plan.  It was rewarding to see a group so engaged and focused – so aligned on the need to make an impact – not just for students, but also for the regional economy.

Kankakee is about an hour southwest of Chicago. In the next few years, the community is projected to see a significant shift in the region’s demographics that has major implications for the education and workforce systems.  Further complicating matters, the community has also witnessed the decline of its historical manufacturing industry – leading to high unemployment (third highest rate in Illinois) and a workforce with low post-secondary attainment rates. Kankakee's place in a new,… Read more →

Don’t just stand there. Find your future!

As part of a recent leadership development initiative, I had the pleasure of assisting with facilitation of what appeared to become a “cultural shift” for one of New York’s premier healthcare service providers.  About 100 senior leaders representing a full range of geriatric, rehabilitative and home health care service divisions participated in the Future Game ®. Together they planned the future of a hypothetical region in the Australian Outback.  How could this possibly shift a culture?  Let’s take a closer look…

In teams of five, these senior executives rolled up their sleeves, kicked off their shoes, and assumed the role of Aussie regional leaders – a mayor, a public works official, leading employers, and the like.  Together they tackled a series of critical decisions to find a future for rural areas suffering a wide range of economic,… Read more →

A New Look for a “New Normal”

Welcome to our new website and new brand! We think this fresh new look helps us focus attention on the distinct challenges of today’s “new normal,” and the critical talent development needs of our world, our nation, our organizations, and even our communities.

Since 1987, we have been focused on one thing – talent. And today, like never before, the development of world-class talent is the key differentiator in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. In many ways, we believe that talent is the new “global currency.”

So, we make it our passion to help our clients with their most important talent investment decisions, whether we are:

Helping leaders in Kentucky define their regional economies, their most promising growth sectors, and the skills gaps they’ll need to address to compete and win globally; or, Helping the Department of… Read more →

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