Posts tagged Susan Riddering

NorthStar360 Connects with Acclaimed Training Leader and Author

Founders of Dyer-based NorthStar360 Business Solutions Rick and Susan Riddering met with Dr. Roger Allen, co-founder of the Center for Organizational Design at the annual 360 Solutions learning conference earlier this month in Dallas, TX. The three served as presenters at the conference and met to discuss the latest trends and best practices in training and organizational development.

This meeting was extra special for Rick and Susan Riddering because NorthStar360’s training programs and workbooks were authored by Allen. Allen is a respected expert in the training industry, as well as an author, coach, teacher, and co-founder of the Center for Organizational Design, based in Denver, CO.

“We were thrilled to work with Dr. Allen when we launched NorthStar360. His materials have been used and proven successful with many Fortune 500 companies. We reviewed hard data showing rates of success. In addition, we share a similar philosophy of adult learning,” explains Susan Riddering, vice president and co-founder of NorthStar360.

Dr. Allen has been credited for the development of the Transformation Model, which NorthStar360 uses to help understand an organization and guide a strategy for success. The Model breaks down the complexity of an organization to eight key variables, including: environment, strategy, core process, structure, systems, culture, results, and leadership; that form a “big picture” of an organization. Realigning and adjusting these variables will result in major improvements in customer service, quality, efficiency, cycle time, profitability and satisfaction of employees.

“Utilizing the Transformational Model that Dr. Allen developed has allowed us to provide better training to organizations in Northwest Indiana. We are able to customize concepts and tools to fit each client and mirror the kind of results cited by Fortune 500 companies,” explains Rick Riddering, president of NorthStar360.

NorthStar360 Presents at Conference

Rick and Susan Riddering, founders of NorthStar360 will present at the International 360 Solutions Learning Conference taking place in Dallas, Texas later this month. Rick and Susan will share their training best practices with other trainers and speakers. The session features some of 360 Solutions’ most successful strategic partners, including NorthStar360.

“We are honored to be asked to present again at this year’s conference. We can share our strengths and best practices with other trainers and collaboratively learn from them as well,” explains Susan. “And all of this translates to higher quality training for our clients.”

This conference welcomes participants from over 20 countries and across the U.S. to learn about the latest research in training and development and how to make training more impactful for business owners and their employees. Hot topics this year include assessments, sales training, and emotional intelligence.

Rick and Susan Riddering join an outstanding lineup of speakers, including Roger Allen, author, consultant, executive coach, and co-founder of The Center for Organizational Design, Chip Wilson, founder and CEO of 360 Solutions, and Kevin Berchelmann, president and CEO at Triangle Performance.

Increasing Emotional Intelligence Just Makes ‘Cents’

Daniel Goleman first brought Emotional Intelligence from the academic ivory tower into the world of business with his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. In a more recent book, he draws on over two hundred studies, done in various countries, and finds that emotional competence accounts for two-thirds to four-fifths of the difference between top performers and average employees. Screening prospective employees for certain positions makes good common sense. Sales people need to be optimistic. They must be able to delay gratification, control their emotions and have empathy with others. For example, when L’Oreal used emotional intelligence as a selection criterion for hiring sales representatives, they found that emotionally intelligent people outsold their colleagues by $91,370  a year, on the average. Emotional Intelligence is important in building teams and networks within a firm. It is vital for leaders at all levels, including executives. Retail store managers who were best able to manage stress had higher net profits and more sales per square foot, per employee and per inventory dollar.

A large beverage company screened executives for Emotional Intelligence. Before it began screening, half its executives left within two years, usually because they did not perform well. Executives selected for Emotional Intelligence stayed longer, earned higher performance bonuses and outperformed targets set for them by 15% to 20%.

Clearly, a business can improve its bottom line by screening appropriately for Emotional Intelligence. But that is only a fraction of what businesses need. When Emotional Intelligence makes such a difference, can an organization afford to stop with screening alone? Can businesses increase profits by offering training to increase the emotional competence of existing staff? Emotional competencies can be learned. With a good training program in Emotional Intelligence, an organization can maximize the potential of the employees it already has, from the top to the bottom of the organizational chart.

Like any type of intelligence, Emotional Intelligence includes both an inherent and a learned component. Pupils learn at school the skills they need to score well on traditional IQ tests. Training programs, such as our session Emotional Intelligence: The Pathway of Personal Success, teach adults the skills needed to become more emotionally competent. With the right training in emotional intelligence, businesses gain more emotionally competent staff members who function more efficiently, cooperate more productively and remain with the company longer.

A good training program in Emotional Intelligence includes work on integrity, awareness, responsibility, self-mastery, clarity, definition, action and self-valuing. Integrity is the ability to act on principle rather than on emotion. It includes the ability to delay gratification and to harness emotion in service of the principles that infuse our lives. Our principles determine how we perceive events and people; how we judge success or failure; whether we are optimistic and cheerful or pessimistic and joyless. At work and in life, we face key moments that are challenging, distressing, even painful. Good training in Emotional Intelligence helps your staff understand that the reality of the key moment cannot change, but that the interior response to it is a personal choice. They can focus on the task at hand, and make the choices that are most productive without wasting time blaming, resenting or complaining. Training can help your staff members take responsibility for their choices. They will know their life goals and have a clear vision of the path they will follow, making them more productive and capable of advancing. As your employees become aware of their own emotions and learn to control them in service of their life goals, your workplace will become not only more pleasant, but more productive. You will be able to promote from within more often, cutting training costs.

“Your teams will function more efficiently and productively when leaders choose to listen with empathy and team players take responsibility for their choices,” explains Susan Riddering, vice president of NorthStar360. “Training in Emotional Intelligence increases managerial skills, team building and employee competence at all levels – and that inevitably improves the bottom line.”

Team Coaching Scores Big Results

A great team is made up of people with complementary skills and strengths. A great team has synergy, collaboration, and energy. A great team doesn’t happen by accident, it takes practice, instruction, change .. it takes coaching!

Coaching can help teams communicate, problem solve and create a shared purpose. “Team coaching provides a dedicated time and coach to help teams work through specific business challenges. All members on the team can contribute and share their experience and together develop a plan to overcome that challenge,” explains Susan Riddering, vice president of NorthStar360.

Often times teams may reveal other business challenges that can be impeding an organization’s growth and success. It may be lack of communication from management or lack workflow with other departments. The solutions can be simple and many times zero-cost to implement.

Team coaching is effective for a variety of industries and roles within an organization including managers, sales reps., customer service, systems, marketing, finances, work spaces, equipment, safety, compliance, training, personal development, opportunities, planning and communication. All these roles are interdependent in providing a product or service to customers. Team coaching not only improves the team environment; it also advances how a particular team or department works with other departments.

“It’s amazing to see the team transform even after one coaching session. Everyone is invested in their team and works together to enact positive changes,” states Riddering. “And the improvement is contagious. It brings a whole new energy and sense of excitement to an organization.”

Auto Recycler Drives Growth with Assessments and Employee Development

“When it comes to businesses our size, you hear consultant and you think $60,000. Six months later, you’re broke and the consultant wasn’t much help,” describes Steve Dykstra, owner of Metro Recycling and Metro Auto.

Griffith, Ind. based Metro Recycling and Metro Auto Recyclers are your typical growing small businesses. With humble beginnings, this family-owned recycling buy-back center and auto scrap service has achieved steady growth, carving out a very specialized niche in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. In Ind., the company also has locations in Valparaiso and Indianapolis in addition to its location in Blue Island, Ill.

But Dykstra wanted more. After much discussion and deliberation, the management team decided to bring in … that’s right, a consultant.

The consultant team worked with Dykstra to identify key business goals that were impeding growth. Susan Riddering, vice president for NorthStar360 Business Solutions, LLC, explains Employee Assessments are a smart first step for organizations. It helps them take a snapshot of where their company and employees are, and identify specific, measurable goals for the future.

The team agreed the employee assessments were the best first step. For Dykstra, the assessment process helped to accomplish two things: 1. Measure current employees’ strengths and areas for development and 2. Ensure new hires were a great fit for the position. Current employees have learned about their strengths and what they bring to Metro. For managers, skill gaps have been identified and they attend concept-based workshops designed to bridge those specific gaps. After each seminar, managers work with a business coach to talk about how they have implemented those new skills and concepts at Metro.

“The coaching requires follow-up and holds each person accountable. They have to think about what they learned and how to apply it day to day. It’s really a key component of the learning,” advocates Dykstra.

The pre-employment assessment is a useful tool for Metro as well and is now an integral part of the hiring process. When used in combination with the application and interview, the assessment helps identify candidates that are a good fit for a particular job.

“It is nice to have a tool that identifies candidates who are a good fit. It’s not just a gut-check anymore for us,” explains Dykstra. “The process also shows prospective candidates that our team is prepared and focused.”

Dykstra said the results for Metro have been business-changing, increasing employee productivity, retention and morale. Employees are happier and more fulfilled. “Our people see we’re trying to develop them so we can grow to new levels. We care about them, and we have created more credibility as a company,” he explained.

As for the bottom line, there are direct savings from decreased turn-over. “We all know turnover costs money; in searching for a candidate, training and day to day turmoil from having a vacant position,” said Dykstra. In addition, there are savings from indirect costs like productivity, retention and morale.

Metro owner Dykstra and CEO Neil Samahon are confident, the growth they have experienced would not have happened as seamlessly without hiring NorthStar360. “Two years ago I wouldn’t have wanted to grow to this extent. Now owners and upper management are ready. All the work we’ve done gives us the confidence to plan for growth,” cites Dykstra.

Dykstra admits; hiring a consultant can be scary because businesses associate it with a high cost. But for this family owned business, it was exactly what he needed to launch ahead, and Dykstra assures businesses there is a great return on investment. He recommends companies research area consultants. For Metro, NorthStar360 specializes in growing small to mid-size businesses with a niche for companies with 50-500 people, a perfect fit for Metro. “Rick and Susan at NorthStar360 are our experts,” said Dykstra.

Riddering Attends ASTD Workshop on Breakthrough Learning

NorthStar 360’s Susan Riddering recently completed another training certification, the Learning Transfer Conference: the Six Disciplines of Learning Transfer. The accreditation was hosted by The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in Chicago last month. Riddering explains the course bridges the gap between learning and doing by measuring the business impact. Leaders are now responsible for delivering improved results, not just learning events. A healthy learning program does just this – results reach to every department and function. Riddering explains her two most memorable “wow” moments during the training:

The first wow moment was a statistic; 56 percent of managers think employee production would be the same or better without training and development.  What?!? She was shocked to say the least! How is there such an education gap when training and development have a direct impact on issues like productivity, efficiency and retention? This was definitely a shocker and a learning experience. It is an opportunity for us in training to better connect with managers at the onset of training.

The second wow moment was a big pat on the back. Throughout this two-day training, she really put NorthStar360’s training practices to the test – and nailed it! At times Riddering admits she had impressed herself. The NorthStar360 approach and techniques are right on target, providing our clients with results-driven education. We all need a pat on the back every once in a while, this one was ours!

Northstar360 in the News

Susan Riddering, vice president of Northstar360 Business Solutions, LLC, recently presented at the 360Solutions Learning Conference in Austin, Texas. The Dyer native was invited to talk about her strategy and success in launching Northstar360 Business Solutions, a management and leadership training firm.

This two-day international conference attracted business owners and training professionals from as far as Indonesia to learn about best practices for training employees, building organizational leaders and innovative training methodologies.

“I was honored to be selected as a speaker at this prestigious conference and I was humbled they wanted to hear our story,” said Riddering.  “This honor also helped me understand even more clearly how NorthStar360 is really affecting the growth and development of employees at companies in our service area.  And, that’s really why we started our company in the first place.”

Riddering was recognized for launching Northstar360 in the Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland markets and for providing employee training and development programs for several local companies and organizations, including: Metro Recycling, Catholic Charities, Providence Bank, and Centro, the recipient of Crain’s Chicago Business 2011 Number One Best Place to Work.

A 14-year veteran to the staffing and recruiting industry, Riddering understands the unique needs of each business. Through customized assessments and personality profiles, Northstar360 determines the individual needs for each organization. Training may include leadership development, business strategy, employee education and/or sales training.

Read the article coverage here.