Today’s challenging, competitive environment means most of us working in talent development are working at a fever pitch. Long hours, tight deadlines and students that “don’t have time to train.” Constantly changing markets and mandates, and the need to pivot on a dime, all adds up to a high stress environment.
At Maher we have been working to help client organizations with change for 30 years, and our research in organizational resiliency tells us that an individual’s ability to cope is rooted in individual (and organizational) traits, rooted in personality, but also able to be developed. But individual development starts with self-awareness and self-management.
Taking the time to “manage you” and de-compress isn’t always easy, but we found this short article that might help you see how emotionally intelligent folks might cope – and… Read more →
Change is the one constant in the national workforce system. Whether a government agency is issuing new regulations or stripping down existing ones, our challenge is to help practitioners comply with new requirements and continue their commitment to customer-centered design and transformational change.
With any policy, buy-in at all levels is vital to full implementation, which is why the Maher team takes a holistic approach. We work closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of regulatory changes while maintaining the broader vision for the workforce system. For more than 20 years, Maher has played the role of change agent, helping to streamline the implementation of and reduce confusion around several federal regulations such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and updated Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations for apprenticeship for our clients at the US Department of Labor (USDOL). We have done the same kind… Read more →
Maher is a firm that has always valued process; it’s one of our key strengths. At the same time, our clients expect us to be flexible and responsive to changes in work flow and their business priorities. Our Private Sector team came together in April to work on bringing the best of our agile workflows into consistent practice while maintaining client-specific flexibility in our process.
We met at our corporate offices in New Jersey to reflect on the growth and expansion of our Practice and the firm as a whole. We’re proud of how we’ve launched innovative learning solutions for our clients and for our peers’ public-sector clients, cross-pollenating new methods of learning born out of private sector initiatives.
It was also a chance for us to review and evaluate the way we serve clients. We wanted to… Read more →
John P. Kotter was so right when he said “Tradition is a very powerful force.” We have a lot invested in our traditions and this is especially true for the workforce system. Changing the way things have always been done is hard. Yet, with the transformative nature of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), change at every level is well underway – for state agencies, workforce board, regional partnerships, one-stop centers, and others.
To help expand capacity for the changes called for under WIOA, the Employment and Training Administration looked to Maher & Maher for a series of ION Talks (Innovation and Opportunity Network) and accompanying discussion guides. The 3-part video series is designed to develop and equip leaders of change with a greater understanding of how they deal with change, and how to initiate and manage change.
These short and… Read more →
Last week, my colleague Lynn Bajorek and I were in Springfield, Illinois, to facilitate a strategic planning session with the leadership team of the Office of Employment and Training (OET) at the Illinois Department of Commerce.
Over the last several months we’ve been working with OET on an internal change management effort which looks both internally to better understand its assets, challenges and opportunities and externally to understand how OET can leverage and partner better within its entire workforce development system. The end result will be a "Blueprint" that fully aligns OET’s assets and resources with a clearly articulated vision, mission, and set of goals.
The OET strategic planning meeting was held in the historic Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield.
Last week,… Read more →
Today at SETA's Southeastern Employment and Training Conference, Rick Maher, Paulette Francois and Beth Brinly collaborated to bring a packed audience an interactive and hands-on workshop to drive improved integration of service delivery in One Stops. The session combined lecture with team-based activities that allowed participants to brainstorm and prototype possible solutions to service delivery challenges.
"We wanted people to experience how Customer Centered Design (CCD) could be used to engage core partner staff in customer-focused improvements in how we deliver services in American Job Centers," said Maher. "We gave them the basics of the CCD process, modeled what it looks like when done well, and then had folks dive in themselves. It turned out really well as groups expressed being energized by the experience. The goal was to give them a form of a roadmap to use when they leave here, and I think we… Read more →
This past week I was in Springfield, Illinois (the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln) to help our client, the Illinois Department of Commerce and its core partners at the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Human Services host a statewide conference focused on the formation of WIOA regional plans and the deployment of Sector Strategies.
Teams from each of the state’s 10 economic regions were paired with a dedicated Maher facilitator and came together to author (or advance) regional plans that will guide the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) across the state and across partner programs and agencies.
It is so exciting to participate in events such as this one. Our process for helping states work regionally is integrated with our “World-Class Sector Strategies” approach. We used it originally… Read more →
Last week in Washington, D.C., we joined about 150 senior leaders from workforce development at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2016 Winter Policy Forum.
As you might imagine, this year’s event was chock full of updates and insights about the System’s looming implementation of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and several panels provided robust dialogue about how folks are tackling the challenge (and opportunity) of the new law.
Personal favorites for me included panels on day one that assembled leaders from professional associations representing all our key partners – from Vocational Rehabilitation, Vets and Human Services, and another that featured Congressional staffers focused on the original drafts of WIOA and on progress toward its successful implementation.
But, the Conference’s most dynamic session was its last – a lively round-table discussion that… Read more →
Maher & Maher is continuously working to provide the best service possible to our clients and share learnings across all of our areas of practice, in order to shape a strategy for growth. Last week the firm brought together key, senior staff members from all three of Maher & Maher’s professional practice areas at the Jersey Shore for some awesome views that complimented some serious discussions. We worked to identify growth opportunities as well as to address areas we want to improve as a Firm in 2016 and beyond.
“Although we were tucked away in a conference room for 12 or 13 hours, we took the time to enjoy the amazing scenes outside our window and to reflect on the work we have ahead as we strive to make our Firm the best it can be for customers and for ourselves,” said Rick Maher, the Firm… Read more →
Are work simplification and continuous improvement on your organization’s radar? They should be.
According to the 2015 Human Capital Trends Report produced by Deloitte University Press, “Organizations are simplifying work in response to employees becoming overwhelmed by increasing organizational complexity, growing information overload, and a stressful 24/7 work environment.” Deloitte goes on to note that, “More than 7 out of 10 surveyed organizations rated the need to simplify work as an “important problem,” with more than 25 percent citing it as “very important.”
Organizations are striving to perform, innovate, and compete, all while providing work-life balance for employees. Add to that advances in technology, a globalized economy, and compliance needs, and we realize a vast complexity in our world of work. Left unaddressed, the challenges of a highly demanding environment result in a workforce that is disengaged,… Read more →