Situation: The IT department of this global non-profit was traditional in that the level of technical expertise was considerably greater than the level of people and communication expertise. While not “broken”, the department was hindered by a lack of clarity regarding expectations and personal communication preferences, resulting in unmet expectations and high levels of frustration.
Due to the economic crisis in the state budget and the upheaval in the financial markets, a prominent private university was forced to reduce the workforce for the first time in the university’s history. Navigating a sea of unprecedented financial and cultural change, managers at all levels were asked to do more with less while also living the university’s values.
Financial Services Institution Seeks to Eliminate Dissention and Misaligned Organizational Priorities
A seventy-five year old financial institution with half a billion dollars in assets was poised to capitalize on rapid industry consolidation and strong brand equity. At the most senior level, leadership was characterized by dissention and mixed messages regarding strategic planning issues.
“As Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer at Pepperdine University I wear many hats. My primary responsibility as CIO is for aligning campus technology services and initiatives with the teaching, research, and administrative functions of the University, and as Vice Provost, I’m responsible for Institutional Effectiveness and Research. In both roles, the University’s mission of “cultivating lives of purpose, service and leadership” has led me to look for practical ways to integrate our exemplary technical expertise with people expertise. And that’s where Hugh Blane comes in.
I’ve worked with Hugh for three and a half years and have come to rely on him for three things:
- His deep commitment to his clients.
- His pragmatic insight into making professional relationships more productive.
- His inspirational message of the importance of transforming our world of work from a job into an expression of our deepest hopes and aspirations.
If you want simple solutions to complex everyday business issues, I recommend you call Hugh. I know he can and will make a positive difference in your teams effectiveness.”
Dr. Timothy M. Chester
Vice Provost and Chief information Officer
“Over the last year, credit unions have been forced to navigate unprecedented change in the financial markets, and in turn, have been forced to think and act differently. Specifically, at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union, we needed to think entrepreneurially about how to best serve our members while also accelerating the level of growth and innovation in our organization as a whole. To be successful in doing so, we recognized that leveraging our internal strengths with an external resource that would help us think and act in new and different ways was central – we found that resource in Hugh Blane. Hugh brought the leadership, team development and organizational transformation expertise that allowed board and management to look at growth and innovation in fundamentally new ways. The result is that we have clarity and commitment around our strategic growth initiatives – clarity and commitment that Hugh helped to create. If you want to partner with a thought provoking and strategic consultant, you should talk to Hugh Blane. Hugh has become a valued and valuable resource to us at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union.”
Chief Executive Officer
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union
“Pepperdine University proudly hosted Hugh Blane of Claris Consulting to address a wide range of leaders in its campus community, and is pleased to continue to engage Hugh in creating unique and innovative opportunities to strengthen relationships at Pepperdine.
Hugh eloquently conveyed an inspiring and hopeful message that veritably resonated with those charged with leading themselves, their employees, and the University. He effectively established the conversation’s groundwork by examining the leaders’ own style and values with the understanding that people must first lead themselves before they can lead others. Hugh’s thoughtful exploration of the disconnect between espoused values and observable behavior led to further introspection and new ways to approach team dynamics.
ln answering life’s most important questions, one participant noted the importance and subsequent goal of “meeting with my staff and reminding us as a group of our blessings and of the opportunities we have to influence our workplace and our personal lives.”
Not only did Hugh’s dynamic presentation inspire and uplift those who heard it, but enlightened participants to their own sphere of influence and empowered them to transform personal lives through an intentional alignment of values and behavior. While everyone would benefit from the insight of this conversation, it was particularly appropriate for the realm of higher education in that universities are called to educate and lead the next generation. Committed to preparing both the minds and hearts of students, Pepperdine leaders closely identified with Hugh’s emphasis of community, integrity, personal growth, and service-oriented perspective.
ln reflecting upon Hugh’s thought-provoking and challenging message, Pepperdine’s leaders are undoubtedly better equipped to lead and shape the vision and integrity of the University, while living out its mission of realizing lives of purpose, service and leadership.”
Lauren W. Cosentino
Associate Vice President
Human Resources & Insurance and Risk
Sean Michael Phillips
Manager, Training and Development
“Hugh is highly knowledgeable and skilled in communication methodology, listening skills (superior), behavior styles and assessing team dynamics. He brings a vast wealth of experience, savvy and insight to create real world results. He is generous with his time and generous in sharing his wisdom. Hugh is a valued asset and business partner. We are lucky to have him!”
Human Resources Manager
“Bar none, this was the best management training I have ever been to in 15+ years of management. Great involvement of the participants and great interactions.”
International Not for Profit