Every company and organization we work with has a unique story. Our
greatest successes have come from partnering with clients to find
creative, innovative, out-of-the-box solutions that impact both
the human and business sides of their story.
WORKPLACE LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE
For many years one of the primary programs offered
by the Chicagoland Chapter of the American Society for Training
and Development (CCASTD), was the Human Resources Development Institute
(HRDI). This program consisted of a series of seven one-day workshops
and was designed to enhance the skills of individuals new to
the field of learning and development. Over time, HRDI feedback
from participants and instructors was that the content and some
of the methodologies were outdated and not current with developments
in the industry. Additionally, the national ASTD organization had
just released a new model of workplace learning and performance
competencies and had begun a national certification program. It
became clear that HRDI needed a major redesign of the curriculum.
Lee Johnsen of Partners in Development, serving
as a co-director of HRDI, and another volunteer co-director, took
on the task of leading a major redesign and development of the
curriculum. Working with a series of volunteer committees and task
forces over nine months, they engaged over 60 volunteer professionals
and college interns in a total redesign and development of a new
series of one-day courses built around the new national competency
model. The total number of hours invested in this project was estimated
to be 2500-3000. Their deliverables included participant guides,
facilitator guides, and facilitator’s audio visual media that
both enhance participants’ learning and the delivery capabilities
of the facilitators.
The new Workplace Learning and Performance Institute
(WLPI) was launched in 2006. Feedback from participants and facilitators
has been stellar. The Chicagoland ASTD Chapter received national
recognition for this initiative. Marketability of the program in
the Chicagoland area increased and enrollments in the Institute
have remained strong. We are very proud of this program for our
association chapter, and Lee Johnsen’s contributions made
Micki Lewis, Past President
of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)
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PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT HELPS REVITALIZE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
As with many churches today, we found ours to be a dwindling
congregation of faithful, but older members. We realized the need to actively reach outside of our church walls
to share our gifts with the community. In addition, we wanted to extend an extravagant welcome to the
community and invite them into our church community. Many of our
members shared the feelings of author Paul Nixon in his book, I
Refuse to Lead a Dying Church.
A “Futuring” task force was formed
to assess the current state of our church. We could then focus
on ways our church could expand into the community. Lee Johnsen
from Partners in Development was key in this process. Lee first
helped us by assessing local and church demographics. With that
background information, we decided to form several focus groups
comprised of church members and visitors to explore ways to reach
our community and to grow our church. Centered around the themes
in Paul Nixon’s book, a series of three sessions were offered
to the congregation. (Each session was held on four separate days
of the week.) Lee Johnsen, from Partners in Development, creatively
designed these sessions in an interactive, engaging way so that
all members could participate in them. Lee also trained the 8-10
facilitators, some of whom had never previously led a group prior
to this experience. After the sessions, Partners in Development
helped collect the data so that it could be used for implementation
Over 50% of our members participated in these focus
groups. By design, these sessions created lively discussions and
created avenues for people to freely share ideas for revitalizing
our church. Many members commented these were some of the most
productive church conversations they’d had in years. Because
of the excitement generated in these sessions, people took action
immediately: to date, a new small group ministry has been developed,
there have been numerous outreach and community events sponsored
by our church, and church membership is growing. Visitors never
fail to comment about the warm welcome they receive the moment
they enter our church. Partners in Development helped us to focus
on our future and then worked with us to create a viable plan to
begin the process. Our church members are engaged and enthusiastic
as we actively pursue the path ahead.
Patricia Harris, Director of Spiritual Formation
Congregational United Church of Arlington Heights, IL
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IMPROVING SALES AND SERVICE FOR THE ARTS
We initially contacted Partners in Development to assist us
in improving our customer service. As a community performing
arts center, we knew the importance of developing and maintaining
excellent relationships with new and returning customers. Rather
than simply offering a “canned program,” Partners
in Development first got to know us and how we work with our
customers. They interviewed staff and gathered information through
a survey to identify the key areas for improvement and how we
could best leverage our resources. This needs analysis proved
invaluable to not only improving service, but also to increasing
sales. We also learned of opportunities to become more efficient
and effective across departments.
With information from the needs assessment, Partners in Development created customized training programs for our employees that focused on the specific ways in which they could improve service. By bringing together staff from various departments, we identified new ways we could gain efficiencies and we developed more of a sense of teamwork. Partners in Development worked with us to identify and improve our sales work processes and to create procedures of best practices, including an updated ticket office manual.
Following the service and sales training sessions, our employees
started implementing many of the ideas that emerged. They worked
together to find ways of solving long-standing problems and
inconveniences for our customers. We saw a reduction in the number
of customer complaints and a boost in sales and efficiency. Partners
in Development helped us to expand our potential to our customers
and the community.
Judy Winkelpleck, Chief Operating Officer/Vice President
Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
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BLENDED E-LEARNING REDUCES EXPENSES AND IMPROVES PERFORMANCE
Our company is a leading provider of commercial insurance services and expertise to a wide range of businesses throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. With employees in multiple locations across the U.S., we needed to find an effective way to develop our managers and supervisors without incurring high travel expenses. Partners in Development helped us to do that.
Partners in Development listened to our needs and delivered customized, blended e-learning courses that enabled our leaders to participate in high quality, effective training without the time and expense of travel. In these courses, our employees obtained self- and multi-rater assessment feedback, participated in webconferences, threaded discussions and solved case studies as members of virtual teams. All courses provided one-on-one online coaching and one course offered every participant a personalized telephone coaching session. Not only was the course a great experience for our employees, the course content was a top-notch mix of sound leadership and management theory with real-life examples and current issues. And after every course was delivered, Partners in Development used participant and client feedback to continuously enhance the products and service they could provide.
After participating in the courses offered by Partners in Development our evaluation results showed that over 90% of our employees felt confident that they could apply the skills they learned to situations with team members. In addition, over 90% said they would recommend these courses to their peers. We are confident that our managers and supervisors are better leaders today because of their participation in our leadership and management development curriculum. Partners in Development played a key role in making this happen, and at a price we could afford.
LuRae Crawford, Manager, Workplace Performance
Continental Western Group, LLC
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PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT HELPS BOOST MARKETING DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE
We contacted Partners in Development to assist the marketing department of our company—a leading insurance broker and risk advisor. The department was experiencing significant growth and consolidation of services. The consolidation meant that employees in one location would not be transferring and we could lose valuable information about work processes and best practices. We also had several new employees coming aboard and we needed to get them fully productive ASAP.
While we initially thought we needed to invest our resources in training, Partners in Development helped us recognize the value of documenting our key work processes and best practices. Once that was done, we could proceed with employee training to maximize their learning. Over a period of weeks, the Partners in Development consultants assisted us by interviewing our subject matter experts and clearly documenting their best practices. Let me also say that this was no small task. Our procedures are highly complex, detailed and involve a number of resources, including outside vendors and suppliers.
The final deliverables included online documentation that served as a “go to” point for our employees to quickly access the most up-to-date information. Partners in Development also designed the training modules and trained our internal subject matter experts to deliver them directly to our employees. This has led to increased productivity of new and experienced staff, improved customer service and reduced expenses due to re-works. In addition, we can update the materials ourselves.
What we appreciate about Partners in Development is
that they were easy to work with, very thorough, and focused on the
results that provided the greatest impact. We were very pleased with
the results we achieved.
Tonya Graham, Sr. Vice President
Marsh U.S. Consumer—National Growth Leader
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RECOMMENDATION FROM PRINCIPAL FINANCIAL GROUP
I would highly recommend Lee Johnsen and his
firm Partners in Development. I have worked with Lee numerous
times over the past 15+ years and seen him deliver exceptional
services to public, nonpublic and not-for-profit organizations.
He works to tailor his deliverables to the specific needs of
the organization. He is able to facilitate developmental conversations
as well as navigate difficult circumstances with the tact and
confidentiality needed to manage leaders toward solutions and
better leadership/communication skills. Lee has exhibited exceptional
strength in designing programs that fit the needs of the organizations
that I’ve worked
for, consulting to deliver a strong product and facilitating in
a way that employees believe that time was well spent in his courses.
I would highly recommend him for the full gamut of development
and consulting services that he provides.
Beth Raymond, 2nd V.P. of Human Resources
Principal Financial Group
Partners in Development, 889 S. Dwyer Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60005. 847-255-1031 LeeJohnsen@partnersindevelopment.net