Tag Archives: teamwork

Krayer Accepts ASQ Conference Invitation to Speak

ASQLogoFor the third consecutive year, and fifth in the last seven years, Karl J. Krayer, President of Creative Communication Network, has accepted the invitation to speak at the Cowtown Conference of the American Society for Quality, to be held in Fort Worth on April 21, 2017.  

The site for the conference is the Radisson Hotel Fort Worth, on Fossil Creek on Meacham.  For registration information, contact Chris Hayden at .

At the bottom of this post are two pictures from Krayer’s presentations last year at the conference.

The two presentations will both be in the Leadership track for programs at the conference.  The first one is a repeat of a presentation Krayer has given twice before at the conference.  He was asked to deliver an encore presentation due to the extraordinary high marks given by participants on their program evaluations last year.  Here is a description:

Organizing Change for Productivity and Results

Quality initiatives in most organizations typically involve changes in methods, processes, priorities, and other factors.  People don’t resist change.  They resist initiatives in which they are uninvolved and uninformed, which produce chaos and uncertainty, and which are imposed upon them.  This type of change results in lost productivity for an organization. In this dynamic, interactive, and fast-paced session, learn how to maintain productivity during change with a three-component system that is systematic, systemic, and inclusive.  Explore: (1) seven phases that provide change agents direction, (2) methods to gather and diffuse information to keep everyone involved and informed, (3) roles and responsibilities for each group in the organization that is impacted by the change throughout each phase of the process, and (4) mistakes that cause change initiatives to fail.  Learn how this system allows organizations to “get it right the first time.”  Become proactive by embracing change as positive, rather than focusing on how to survive, cope, avoid, manage, or adjust.  This session is based upon the book that Karl co-authored with Bill Lee, Organizing Change: An Inclusive, Systemic Approach to Maintain Productivity and Achieve Results from Jossey Bass/Pfeiffer/Wiley (2003).

The second is new to the conference this year.   Here is a description of the program:

Partnering for Quality:  It’s Better Together!

Attention to teamwork and quality began in earnest in American business in the mid-80’s.  Yet, today, many individuals and organizations do not practice teaming on the job.  In this highly interactive and fast-faced presentation, you will learn the documented advantages of working in teams, four major processes to build partnering (goals, roles, processes and procedures, relationships), and links to effectiveness and efficiency on tasks and projects.  Throughout the session, you will hear real-life examples of the presenter’s experience with teamwork and improved quality in the construction and utilities industries, among others.ASQPhoto2



Tidbits from Sinek’s Book for Friday FFBS Presentation

I am really excited about the presentation I will give this week at the First Friday Book Synopsis at the Park City Club in Dallas.  If you have not yet registered, just go to:  15minutebusinessbooks.com.

The book is Together is Better, authored by Simon Sinek (Portfolio, 2016).  It is the secondSimonSinekPicture book we have presented from Sinek, and this one was on every business best-selling list that we could find.

Here are some advance tidbits from the presentation that I will make.

Most of us live our lives by accident – we live as it happens.  Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.

 A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.  

Fight against something and we focus on the thing we hate. Fight for something and we focus on the thing we love.  

Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.  

A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him become stars.

If you have to miss it, you can always purchase the presentation and handout on Together is Better Cover15minutebusinessbooks.com.  But, you don’t get the networking, and you don’t get an omelette.

This is an inspirational book, and I wish I had read it before Christmas, as it would have been a great stocking-stuffer for some of my professional contacts.

Book Us Now for Your Holiday Program

Now is the time to book your speakers for your holiday programs.

Many organizations provide end-of-the-year lunches and dinners, to celebrate annual accomplishments, give awards, provide bonus checks, and commemorate the season of the year.

At Creative Communication Network, we are great fits for these programs.  We have numerous business and motivational topics that will inform and entertain your audience, for any period of time that you wish.  Our fees are highly competitive with other professional speakers.

Here are just a few examples of our presentations:

KarlRedCoatImageRevisedKarl J. Krayer“Build on Your Best” – get the most from human capital and relationships in organizationsRandyBookPicture

Randy Mayeux“Esprit deCorps in a World
 of Esprit deMe”
– use teamwork and collaborate approaches to achieve objectives at work  

CarmCarmenEasterSundyCloseUpV22016en Coreas“The War Off Drugs” – learn the dangers of pill-popping and energy drinks and discover healthy alternatives that will work


We have many other topics that you can choose from.

We are happy to talk with you about the logistics and objectives for your event, as well as check our availability to help you.  You can contact us at:  .

Let’s work together to make your holiday program a great success!

An Item Not to Forget About Concerning Teamwork

Many of you will enjoy the new insights and data about teamwork that I will present on Friday at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas from The Orange Revolution:  How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton (Free Press, 2010).   If you miss the synopsis or live outside of our area, you can find it soon on our companion site, 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.

As always, I am impressed by the research methodology employed in books like this.  The findings and recommendations from this book come from a 350,000 person survey conducted by the Best Companies Group (BCG), which has been instrumental in establishing “Best Places to Work” programs.

One item that is missing from this book, as is true of most that I have read on teamwork, is the fundamental question of how teams “work” when they “work as teams.”  I am asked all the time what a group needs to do in order to work as a team.  And my answer is they must do their work as a team!

What I mean is that the work that everyone does must be interdependent, not independent.  You cannot have teams if the work that participants do is not designed so that they work together.  Therefore,  teamwork depends upon the fact that at minimum, there is an extra set of eyes, or an extra set of input to everything the participants do and contribute.

Throwing independent contributions together into a package is not teamwork.  Assembling interdependent contributions together into a package is teamwork.  This is because the result comes from the blended aggregation of each person’s input.  And, when you have teamwork, you have great difficulty identifying “who did what,” because the product belongs to the team, not any individual.  That is why MVP (most valuable player) of a team has never made any sense to me – you  can have one for a league, but you should not have one for a team!

So, if you want teamwork, you must design the work where you accomplish it in teams.  The work must be interdependent, not independent.  If you fail to do this, you will only have a group, and not a team

How do you see this issue?  Let’s talk about it soon!

Communication Skills and Teamwork – Indispensable for Business Success

On Friday, December 3, I served on a panel with five others for an afternoon session for Leadership Irving.  The room was filled with a rich array of folks, from a wide range of industries.  Mike Overby, Principal & Owner of Express Employment Professionals of Irving, led the session.  (He is committed to leadership development, and does a great job at providing wonderful events for people in Irving).

Every panel member had much to offer.  It was a terrific discussion!  In the midst of the panel discussion, Thomas Trotter, IBM, Senior Executive Emeritus, said one short sentence that hit with great impact.  He said (I’m paraphrasing) that the two most important skills, the ones that are most critical, the ones that without these, you cannot do your job effectively (or even keep your job) are:

Communication Skills and Teamwork.

Communication skills and teamwork.  These really are that critical!

Learn to Influence: Sell, Don’t Tell

On Saturday, I presented a program entitled “Influencing Skills for Effective Leadership.”  As usual, it was packed.  There is no program that I do that gets more attendees.

We know that influence is a key and identifiable behavior for leaders to exhibit.  And, based upon the success of the second edition of Cohen and Bradford’s Influence Without Authority (Wiley, 2005), we know that more people use influence, even when they could pull rank on someone and use power or authority.

Why is that?  Why “sell” when you could “tell?’  I teach that with influence you get commitment, not compliance.  And, when a follower is committed, you see drive, enthusiasm, quality, and even defending a particular action when someone asks why he or she is doing something.  Covey said it years ago – “without involvement, there is no commitment.”  For my money, I want people committed, not complying.  I don’t want people “getting it done,” crossing it off the list, and working to finish something without caring, desiring, and enthusiastically doing a task a right.  With influence comes commitment.

In my workshop, I teach a five-step process for selling ideas and desired actions for someone to take.  We also include a four-step process for overcoming objections.   We focus on “managing up” – how to influence a boss, or a bosses’ boss.  We also talk about how to influence support departments and members of teams who you have to count on to get a job done.  And, we work on how to influence peers and co-workers whom you need cooperation from, but who do not report to you, and who do not HAVE to do anything you want them to, no matter how good of an idea you may have.

Remember these premises:  when you do not  have power and authority, all you have available is influencing.  But, even if you do have power and authority, the better choice to use is influencing.

Everyone sells – you do not have to be a salesperson to use influence.  We all sell others our ideas, desired actions to take, and direction.

You can change your work culture around you by replacing “telling” with “selling.”  And, if you are a manager, why not have your employees engaged in “selling” instead of “asking” you.   When someone asks you, “can I,” “may I,” or “what do you think if I…,” try responding with “sell me – come back and sell me.”  Two things will happen.  First, the people who come to see you will be more prepared and use your time better.  Second, you will see fewer people!

I am happy to talk with you about this workshop, and how you can book it for your organization.  I have taught thousands of people these skills for 24 years.  You can reach me by telephone at (972) 980-0383 or by e-mail at .

Let’s talk really soon about this!