Take a moment to think of the last time you heard a good motivational speaker. We love to get away from work and life, step back and be entertained, educated, inspired, and even provoked. But now ask honestly: “Did you implement the ideas and strategies the speaker addressed in their speech?” You may take away a nugget or two from every good presentation. Maybe you’ll remember a good story or an inspiring thought. But there’s a world of difference between remembering something different and actually doing something differently.
For the past twenty years, I’ve made a living at being one of those inspirational speakers. Like a good carpenter, I have a good hammer. I’ve hit people over the head (albeit kindly) with a good message and pretty good delivery. I’ve made a lot of good connections, and undoubtedly made an impact on people’s lives. But in the past two years, I’ve thought carefully about taking the impact I make to a new level – both personally and organizationally. I have taken time to reflect deeply on some important questions:
- What difference do I really make as a speaker?
- What’s the actual ROI for organizations when I am a “sage on the stage” for an hour or three?
- What lasting value do I bring and how do I know that the seeds I sow actually take root somewhere out there in the soil of the audience?
- After I get buy-in, how do I ensure that vital organizational and leadership principles are implemented through the performance cycle of Action – Contribution – Inspiration – and back to another performance enhanced action?
- How can I structure my business to ensure long-term success for the organizations that hire me?
Reflection on these questions led to a careful search for partners to help expand my speaking business to include a consulting firm that would ensure implementation of the principles and ideas that I teach.
What I came to realize is that just because I’d designed a hammer, that doesn’t mean I can hit the nail on the head. Building a house, like building a great life or a great organization, requires more than an inspired idea. It requires a clear vision that inspires you. It requires a blueprint. It requires leadership. And it necessitates a team that is held accountable to execute the plan. And it requires disciplined, focused work. A speech, no matter how powerful, in itself does not provide a solid process, structure, and accountability system to ensure consistent results across an organization. The start may be inspiration, but it’s implementation that is the greatest challenge – and the greatest opportunity. If you don’t get results you want from a great speech, it is critical to follow-up on the nuggets of inspiration with a plan of action. Developing that plan of action often needs the considered and objective support of experts.
Irvine & Associates Inc. has now partnered with Vantage Path to create a boutique leadership consulting firm dedicated to help transform the culture of organizations. Our performance-based training and development programs achieve measurable improvements in the bottom line. In partnership with Vantage Path, we have carefully collaborated to create a thorough organizational change process that we call the Performance Critical Management System™ – a complete method for ensuring consistent leadership and operational behaviour at every level of an organization. Our approach is built on a proven framework that drives organizational success. We customize each of our programs to align with your organization’s competencies, performance needs, and desired culture. We have built an entire system that ensures clarity, engagement, proficiency, and results at every level – through the power of authentic leadership.
Action and inspiration alone won’t sustain you. Integrating both is what galvanizes people and ensures that actions move the organization in the right direction. Everyone feels better when you know that your action makes a difference. When what you do serves both yourself and others and is connected to an organizational mission and purpose, you feel your job is important. The inspiration from a speech might get you started, but only having a clear process, structure, and accountability will you ensure that the speech has long-term, sustainable impact.
This tool for sustainability is called the Performance Critical Management System™. This system extends a choice of flexible delivery that incorporates a learning management system (LMS) and can be delivered online, classroom or a blend of both.