End of the Day Parade

07/15/2013 09.20 EDT

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There are many things I love about the Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia’s children museum.  One of my favorite activities is its End of the Day Parade, a daily tradition where staff members and colorful characters wander through the museum with instruments, encouraging children and their families to follow them.  They march around the museum and eventually out the main door.  This parade is an orderly process that allows the children and their families to end a day of play and learning in a fun way without tantrums, tears and resistance.  It is brilliant!   I have always wondered if the End of the Day Parade would be effective in the workplace.  Change and transitions are disconcerting for everyone – children and adults alike.  HR executives are constantly focused on leading change management initiatives, attempting to determine approaches that may help the organization and its employees navigate through shifts in strategy, organizational redesigns, restructurings and adapting to new leaders.  During times of change, many questions emerge, including:   What messages do we need to reinforce and how often do they need to be repeated?   Are leaders clear on the direction they are going? Which employees or key talent need to be communicated with and how do you ensure their “buy-in” to the changes? How do we retain top talent under times of uncertainty? How do we coach managers and leaders to ensure consistent messages and themes are being stated? What obstacles will we face and how will...

Why I Serve

05/17/2011 09.01 EDT

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On Sunday evenings when I look at my calendar for the week ahead, I’ll usually find a minimum of four to five appointments devoted to my non-profit responsibilities: board or committee meetings, talks with staff, fundraising opportunities, etc. Combined with the responsibilities of serving my clients as an executive search professional and running a small business, it can make for a long week – but one that is fulfilling both personally and professionally. I have found that serving as a board member over the years has broadened my perspective as a professional and a leader. By training and experience, I am an executive search and human resources professional. As the Chair of the Board of the Please Touch Museum, I also have to be part CFO, Vice President of Marketing, Head of Development and Strategic Planner. When we moved the Museum to its current and, might I say, beautiful home in Fairmount Park, I also found myself playing the role of real estate developer and architect. My experience as a volunteer leader has exposed me to a broad spectrum of business issues, which I have, in turn, been able to apply to the benefit of my clients and colleagues. Beyond honing my hard skills, I believe my volunteer experience has made me a much stronger leader. My fellow board members at Please Touch and previously at the Forum of Executive Women and the National Adoption Center, have often been more senior to me or hold broader leadership...