Time to Hire that Contract Worker

With the volatility of the economic climate in many industrialized counties including Canada, the USA and much of Europe the circumstances provide the perfect storm for the use of contractual consultants.

  1. Contract workers take the edge off of overwhelm due to overwork and or contraction.
  2. Contracts allow a business to keep its overhead manageable.
  3. Contracts with consultants add a different perspective to the workplace that in and of itself leads to positive change.
  4. Contract workers take the edge off of peak vacation periods and ensure that projects and or production stay on track saving costly financial overruns.

Contractors are a beneficial investment of time and resources especially in relation to the challenges of ongoing change.  The true value of a business is the people who work in it.  Shorter term contractors provide invaluable assistance in addressing current and future volatility.

Business Consultant Change & Transition , Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com.

Make Decisions from an Overwhelming Number of Choices

We are all faced with a seemingly endless array of choices in our day-to-day work and personal lives. Choice is touted a s a good thing. And in essence it is a good thing. However, when it comes to having more options than you can research and review in a timely fashion it turns into something that is less than stellar. When faced with too many options many of us tend to freeze and not make a choice. We simply do nothing.

To relieve the inertia of overwhelm when it comes to choosing what may be the best product or service for your business or personal use start to approach it from another point of view. Look at your options not from which is the best and a must have – but from the place of determining what will meet your needs. That entails leaving exceptionally high expectations out of the equation. In doing so you will likely find that your feelings of overwhelm and disappointment lessen.

Let me know your strategies for choosing from the vast array of choices we have in front of us today. I am genuinely interested.

Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant – Change, info@effectiveplacement.com


Components of Integrity

In business having a reference document around integrity is valuable. For it to be fully utilized it must contain processes for managing conflict and diversity in a manner consistent with the values of the business.  For integrity to be present the employer and employees need to have a mutual basis of trusting and respecting one another while maintaining a healthy respect for diversity.

In the event the business you are in as an employer or an employee is not thriving it would be prudent to do a quick check as to what areas of the business are out of integrity or alignment with the stated values of the company.  It may be that a quick fix solution will put the process back on track.  It may mean designing a process to monitor and track day-to-day operations to identify areas where a lack of trust and respect have eroded and caused the current situation.  It may mean that the owners or executives need to set aside time to relearn or begin to value one another and allow for trust and respect to show-up in interacting with one another.

Integrity is a word that takes action, courage, and a willingness to change for it to be alive and well in a workplace.  As an employer, a leader, and an employee integrity requires trust and from trust comes commitment.  Ask yourself what you are doing in your workplace to promote trust and commitment.

Business Change and Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski – info@effectiveplacement.com


The heck with resolutions, intentions, and everything that goes with it. It is time for many of us to Try something differently and experiment with it to see if it works. It may not work. It is still a valuable opportunity to learn from and test the ideas that you have.

 Inspired to think differently, act differently, work differently, play differently – who knows what possibilities are out there from a place of embracing diverse thoughts and behaviours. It promises to be an interesting journey and I for one am ready to take it.

What about you? What is beckoning you?

Business Change Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com


Technique May Increase Creativity

Being fully present when you are interacting with someone is considered to be crucial. The question remains how to best do that.

A simple technique to stay and be present is also useful in instilling calmness. The technique – are you ready for it? It is breathing.  Yes breathing. Take a breath to focus yourself on the person in front of you.  Keep breathing and you are likely to feel a calmness settle in over you as well. The technique is known as mindfulness.

Once you are calm you may be surprised to note that creativity is also present. A solution to that problem or puzzle at work that has been on the back burner may suddenly come to you. Or that creative idea for a new project or program suddenly comes into pace.

Breathing regularly and staying present may allow you to conduct your day-to-day business with less stress. The fight or flight syndrome will certainly lessen. That in and of itself is a game changer. Try consciously breathing during interactions with co-workers, colleagues, and competitors.  After all what is there to lose expect stress!

Business Change & Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com.

Quiet Time Enhances Creativity & Productivity

The mantra of busyness is one that most of us are familiar with. A different approach is becoming popular. It is one where you schedule or plan for a period of quiet in your day. The quiet is needed for creativity – the stuff that we all have and are not accessing due to busyness.

Plan what you want or need to learn. With a period of quiet you can think about your learning goals and take steps toward its achievement. You may experience a breakthrough.

Practice skills that need to be developed. Stopping the automatic process of doing and getting the same results may take effort. Practicing something different until we begin to see different results pays off.

Contemplation in relation to achievements and failures. The advise to take a walk to clear your head is common place and sound advice. It is also helpful in the development of ideas.

 Solving problems as they occur. With quiet time built into your day the opportunity to solve the problem that has occurred is available.

 Try something differently and experiment with it to see if it works. It may not work. It is still a valuable opportunity to learn from and test the ideas that you have.

Business Change Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Hidden Factors at Work Determine Your Actions

A deeper dive into the aspects that shape behaviour, and therefore action, points to areas that operate below the surface. The “iceberg” analogy is useful here in that it describes processes operating beneath the surface that shape everyday action at work. What truly determines your actions in a work setting has little to do with the words on a wall or the quarterly goals set before you.

Behaviour at work is shaped by perception yours, and your coworkers, as to what is safe to do, and what is deemed dangerous, or not safe. The role of the unwritten rules plays a significant part in forming the actions taken.  Shared assumptions produce a realm for action as well. Tradition exemplified in the phrase “we have always done it this way” has a significant role where behaviour is concerned.

To shape or influence an organizational culture requires that the areas that are hidden, and which are in play in manipulating behaviour, do need to be brought up and fearlessly addressed.  The question that arises is the method for doing just that.

What have you found that works to bring about cultural change taking into account the above areas?

Business Change & Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Why Every Business Needs to Have a Code of Conduct

Large, small, or somewhere in between does your business have a code of conduct in place? From a small business point of view it may superfluous to even bother with having one in place. You and your employees are likely working flat out to be visible and sell your product or service. As a business of any size a code of conduct provides blueprint for the growth and longevity of the enterprise.  This applies to family owned businesses as well.  Here is why:

  • Having a code of conduct in place articulates the ethics that as a business owner you expect of people in your employment.
  • It provides a blue print for addressing conflict.
  • Involving employees in the creation of the code allows for buy in and cooperation within the business.
  • It sets out the parameters for clear decision making by the employees.

Working with businesses that have a code of conduct in place provides for a positive work environment and a general attitude of cooperative cooperation.  The investment of time on the front end to develop one saves countless hours and disputes over time.

Business Change & Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Signs of Influence at Work

Personal attitude and behavior are the platform for influence.  Being approachable and listening to employees at every level of the organization is vital to having influence.

Continuing to be approachable. Maintaining your listening skills and requesting suggestions from those working in the front lines is invaluable.  The crucial aspect of having influence is in engaging those around you and in implementing their best suggestions for change.

Requesting feedback from employees. When you request constructive feedback from employees you are opening yourself to a degree of criticism.  You are also opening yourself to receiving feedback that assists in confirming and enhancing the degree of influence you have.

Increased cooperation for change and new initiatives. When those employees who report to you and colleagues rally around you to cooperate, champion, and assist whole heartedly with the implementation of your programs or projects you can clearly see the evidence of being influential.

To maintain the momentum that has started ensure your behavior and attitude are consistent and that you are open to receive feedback from those around you.

Business Change & Transition, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com

Trends in Business – Are They New or Solid Stable Practices

Many articles claim there are new trends that businesses of every size must incorporate.  Many of those articles site focusing on clients, sharing of information, and having appreciation for those who have worked with you. These trends are hardly new.

Focus on the client. Tailoring service offerings to the client needs and staying focused on what is important to the client while juggling competing demands has a long history. Staying the course is a virtue especially when the client is looking for a quick fix to a long standing issue. Letting the client know a quick fix may not be the solution while maintaining open lines of communication and being transparent throughout a process is a top priority.

Sharing of information. Being clear in all communication is critical.  Sharing communication on various platforms is important for all levels of the organization to be up to date and informed.

Showing appreciation and giving thanks. Thanking those who are working with me on a project or initiative and appreciating that they are doing so on top of their day-to-day work is important. All of us require thanks and appreciation that is genuine and sincere.

Business Change & Transition Specialist, Marie-Helene Sakowski at info@effectiveplacement.com