Tag Archives: team building

We’re So Much More Than Books – Let Us Help You!

Because of the 20-year success of the First Friday Book Synopsis, I believe that many people think that is all we do.  We do much more than just synopses of books.  Here are many options that we have available to serve your company or association.  Please contact us at info@creativecommnet.com, for more information.


Ensure your audience leaves buzzing, “what a speech that was!”  We provide energetic, dynamic and focused presentations that are customized to send the appropriate message to your audience.  These keynote addresses are the perfect way to begin or end your conference or meeting, or for a general session for all participants along the way.


Are you looking for someone to give a speech of tribute for one of your honored employees?  What about the perfect address to mark a significant milestone for your organization?  We can research and deliver a presentation that will meet your needs and provide you and your audience with a memorable experience.


Our presentations provide just the right amount of humor to complement our message and provide the correct atmosphere for your organization’s meal event.  We have a wide variety of topics to customize according to your time and situation events.


Take your employees to C.A.M.P. with our exclusive system designed to identify specific competencies and opportunities for each position and role in your organization.  The resulting job profiles will assist your organization in establishing quality processes for selection, appraising and training your employees, as well as to implement a proper succession planning program.


We provide training in basic and advanced skills designed to develop strong management and leadership for members of your organization.  Whether you are looking for line managers to learn and practice the fundamentals of supervisory skills or principles, or for senior executives to enhance their ability to construct and execute a mission and vision for your organization, our customized approach will provide you the results you desire.


In this program, we work with managers who are not professional trainers to assist them in developing their direct reports.  Our focus is on equipping these managers with the skills, techniques and tools that allow them to train their employees on-the-job without relying upon internal or external trainers, consultants or costly conferences or workshops.  Each participant leaves the program with an executable training contact, custom designed for one of his or her own direct reports.


Do your salespeople sell or just take orders?  Your organization will experience gains in volume, profits, market share and efficiency after your salespeople implement these effective sales techniques.  In this workshop, your salespeople learn and practice five steps that are essential for effective selling and four steps to turn objections from reasons not to buy into reasons to buy.  Participants practice skill-based activities throughout the program, using materials that we customize based upon your organization and industry.


The units of your organization can function as a team after your participants learn and practice the behaviors associated with effective teamwork.  Our exclusive intervention techniques begin with an assessment of team readiness.  Based upon these results, we then place proper emphasis upon four dimensions of teamwork:  goals, roles, processes and procedures, and relationships.  Our sessions are energizing and highly interactive and are based upon research principles that many organizations have successfully modeled.


Let us help you prepare and fine-tune that important presentation by coaching you in the skills that transform a good presentation into a “great” one.  Whether your concern is in the content of your speech, in your delivery or your non-verbal techniques, we can move your presentation to the next level of confidence and audience acceptance.  Through our analysis of your presentation on video tape, we can pinpoint areas for improvement and development with great precision.  We can also attend your presentation and provide you with continued coaching and development in a follow-up.


Our customized training provides you with the listening and questioning skills necessary to obtain the information that you need in an efficient and effective manner.  We know that on many occasions, proper fact-finding questions can provide you with a proper diagnosis of a situation prior to suggesting any prescriptive action.  You can improve your ability to ask and use probing questions in a variety of contexts, including sales, legal, medical, technical, mechanical, and survey research.


It’s not the appraisal form that makes the difference – it’s the way that a manager communicates the content of the appraisal form in the annual meeting with his or her employees.  In this workshop, participants learn a variety of techniques and tools to establish a proper atmosphere, direct meetings, discuss ratings, introduce delicate problem areas, involve employees in a discussion, and link the content into a context for training and development.  We use the form approved by your organization as the context to discuss and practice these techniques.


Learn and practice techniques used by professional speakers that will take your presentation to the next level.  Whether you speak to audiences of 5 or 5000, we can help you polish the intricate facets of your presentation that will make you “top of the list” for repeat engagements.  We specialize in how to incorporate audio-visual accompaniments into your presentation smoothly and effortlessly.  We begin by watching you speak in person or on video tape and then meet with you to tailor a program to meet your needs.  Our public seminar, “Speak Up, Speak Out, Say It Well!” covers these principles on a general basis.


Our training focuses on constructing, delivering and answering questions from a behavioral interviewing perspective.  Behavioral interviewing techniques rely on past performance and events as the best predictors for future behavior.  Using your own resume, job description or other materials, we review your practice interview on video-tape to fine-tune your skills.  We pay special attention to the art of .asking and answering probing questions, which can make or break a successful interview.


This customized training program heightens your skill and confidence in using audio-visual accompaniments such as slides, overheads, flip charts, video tapes and brochures during your presentation.  We specialize in PowerPoint and Prezi presentations delivered from projection devices.  Our goal is to maintain a focus on you as the speaker, rather than on the presentation aids, in an effort to build a strong and credible presence with the audience.


Save yourself and others internal and external to your organization time and money by writing your materials once and where others read them only once.  Improve clarity, efficiency and effectiveness and get the results that you want from your writing.  Our individualized coaching program begins with our analysis of three brief and one extended writing samples that we assess against our exclusive writing principles.  We then meet with you to discuss our recommendations and follow-up, as necessary.  We also teach a classroom-style workshop, “Write Your Way to Success,” which emphasizes the P.A.C.E. structural format along with other principles, which lead to effective writing.

Partnering – Let Us Facilitate Your Team Building

For the 20 years that we have been in existence, Creative Communication Network has proudly facilitated team building programs for many companies and non-profit organizations.

The mantra, “Partnering – It’s Better Together,” has allowed organizations to find new and dynamic ways to work in order to:

• increase revenue

• build profits

• improve quality

• bolster safety

• increase efficiency

The idea that an extra set of eyes on what you work on and produce provides strong benefits.

Bringing us in gives the strong advantages of an external experience, as well as years of proven success at meeting the objectives of the client organization.

The flier below contains all the important information.  You can click on it, and it will enlarge to a full size document.  Please contact us for pricing, details, and other options so that we can work with you to build successful teams for your operations.


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CCN Partnering Program Builds Teams for You

We are really excited about building teams in your organization, for any unit, division, department, or task force.

Remember that it is better when you work together!

You can click on the flier below to download it.

Contact us at (972) 601-1537 for complete information about how this will work for you!



Click on image for full view



CCNPartneringFlier copyCCNPartneringFlier copy

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!

Getting the Basics Right (Like Communication, and Team Building) – It is Still, and Always, Hard To Do

Getting the steps right is proving brutally hard, even if you know them.
Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto


This week, I am presenting synopses of Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath and Tribal Leadership:  Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, both to law enforcement professionals.  (And my colleague Karl Krayer is presenting another book on communication at the same gathering).


Because, these professionals, like so many others in practically every arena, deal with these two problems:

#1 – how to build, and maintain, effective teams.

#2 – how to communicate, clearly and effectively, to everyone on the team (and to those outside the team).

The more I speak, the more I listen, the more I “consult,” the more I realize this challenge.  It is not a new challenge, it is not a modern challenge.  It is an old challenge.

We don’t get the basics right.

Team building, communication – these are basics.  And after countless books and training seminars on both, we still have unclear communication and ineffective, dysfunctional teams.

My counsel to you – keep working on both of these.  Pay attention to your team members.  Pay careful attention to your spoken and written communications.  Do you listen, and encourage, and include, and support each one of your team members?  Are your e-mails clear – do you put your sentences together effectively?  Do you speak clearly?

Build Teams.  Communicate clearly and effectively.  These are two of the basics we just have to get right.

When the Person at the Top is a Jerk – a lesson from Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night (Casey Learns the Names)

Honored and not diminished.  That’s how we all want to feel.
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Pozner, Encouraging the Heart: A Leaders Guide to Rewarding and Encouraging Others


I have probably presented my synopsis of Encouraging the Heart by Kouzes and Posner more than any other book synopsis.  (I presented this again at a conference this week).  It is the “perfect book,” the best book I have read for building people, for knowing what to do to help people get better at their work.  The subtitle says it well Encouraging the Heart:  A Leaders Guide to Rewarding and Encouraging Others.

There is so much great value in the book, but here is one point that is crystal clear, and critically important — a leader has to notice, to pay attention, to give credit, in order to successfully and effectively encourage others.

Recently, I thought of a scene from one of my all-time favorite tv shows, Sports Night, that reinforces a critical lesson from this book.  It was the first television show created by academy award winner Aaron Sorkin (he later created The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. He won his academy award for The Social Network).  Many still believe that Sports Night was his greatest work.

One of the characters is Casey McCall (Peter Krause), something of a self-absorbed jerk…  In this particular clip, you can see his flaws – flaws close to deadly for a man in such a top position on a team:

1)    He is totally self-centered.

2)    He is oblivious – oblivious to practically all other folks around him  He does not see their value; he does not acknowledge their gifts or skills; he does not share the credit.(in fact, he does not give the credit where the credit belongs).  In fact, he simply does not see them.

3)    And he is “deaf” – he will not listen, and seemingly can not hear.

So how do you solve a problem like Casey?  You create a “stasis moment” – you bring him to a standstill, a moment when he is slapped in the face with the reality of his own self-centeredness.

Enter the brave, brilliant, Monica (Janel Moloney).  She confronts Casey in an assertive, yet humble, moment as she acts as a champion of others — teaching him a valuable lesson, in just the right way.

If you lead a team, or serve as a leader of manager, this is a great video excerpt to watch.  A clip is worth a few thousand words.  Take a look.  (it is just over 6 and a half minutes.  It is worth the look).

• here’s the key moment, from the script (it’s from a truly wonderful episode, The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee):

My name’s Monica. I’m the assistant
wardrobe supervisor for Sports Night
as well as two other shows here at
CSC. I think you hurt the feelings of
the woman I work for. Her name is
Maureen and she’s been working here
since the day you started.

I know Maureen.

Can I ask you another question?

I’m sorry I didn’t know your name.

what color this is?

It’s grey.

It’s called gun metal. Grey has more
ivory in it, gun metal has more blue.
Can you tell me which of these shirts
you should wear it with?

I don’t know.

No you don’t. There’s no reason why
you should. You’re not supposed to
know what shirt goes with what suit or
how a color in a necktie can pick up
your eyes. You’re not expected to know
what’s going to clash with what Dan’s
wearing or what pattern’s gonna bleed
when Dave changes the lighting. Mr.
McCall, you get so much attention and
so much praise for what you actually
do, and all of it’s deserved. When you
go on a talk-show and get complimented
on something you didn’t, how hard
would it be to say “That’s not me.
That’s a woman named Maureen who’s
been working for us since the first
day. It’s Maureen who dresses me every
night, and without Maureen, I wouldn’t
know gun metal from a hole in the
ground.” Do you have an idea what it
wouldn’ve meant to her? Do you have any
idea how many times she would’ve
played that tape for her husband and
her kids?
(BEAT) I know this is when it starts
to get busy for you, and I hope I
didn’t take up too much of your time.
Please don’t tell Maureen I spoke to
you, she’d be pretty mad at me.


You can purchase my synopsis of Encouraging the Heart, with audio + handout, at our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.