Positive workplace culture and effectiveness are largely determined by leadership’s approach to management and operations.

Much like the only things certain in life are death and taxes, the only things certain for small businesses are change and uncertainly. There will be periods of smooth sailing, but they will inevitably be interrupted by new obstacles such as staff turnover, environmental shifts, or unexpected client demands.

The difference between organization success or failure often hinges on leadership’s ability to weather these challenges while also staying focused on the ultimate mission. It’s a delicate juggling act that requires managers to be creative, flexible, nimble, and prepared.

AIS Collaborations offers  workshops to help all managers - from aspiring to seasoned - fine tune and practice these skills. All our workshops provide practical insights and tools to confront and overcome the day-to-day twists and turns that can threaten then overall success of a project, team, or business.

These workshops can be delivered as a customized stand-along training for a specific team or project, presented as part of a larger retreat or professional development event, or provided as a private coaching session with one or two people.

Punch Up Your Processes: A New Way to Think about Operations

Without a deliberate approach to operations, a business can’t fully function: no one would know where they fit in, what they’re supposed to do, or how to do it. Without an operations blueprint, businesses are unprepared to handle growth, change, or setbacks of any kind; they’re vulnerable to slipping into chaos.

This energetic workshop is for managers who haven’t had formal business or management training. Using a fun, superhero-themed visual analogy, the workshop will help you envision the necessary supports to help your specific business work better. You will receive step-by-step guidance as you create the practical, effective, and sustainable systems your business needs to boost your mission and amplify what makes you unique.

High Tech, Low Tech or No Tech?

There are hundreds – maybe thousands – of software products and applications that promise to solve all of the day-to-day challenges in your personal and professional life. These products can sound impressive, but the technology itself is only a part of what determines its effectiveness. You – the users – are far more important. In order for any technology to work well and actually add value, you need to make sure you are using it for the right reasons.

This workshop will help you identify and articulate your workplace or team challenges, and guide you through how to determine whether a subscription to a new app is what you need, or whether some low-tech operations management tools would do the trick.


Add Some Method to Your Madness: How to Get and Stay Organized

“Getting organized” means different things to different people, and there are many philosophies, strategies, and tools out there to help you get organized in both your professional and personal life.

In order to identify the “right” approach, you need to figure out what problem you are trying to solve and define the short and long-term goals for whatever organization system you put in place. This workshop will guide you through these questions to help you articulate your organizational needs and select a feasible solution that will be cost effective and sustainable.


Time Management and the Art of Building a Better Schedule

There is never, and there will never be, enough time to get everything done. Thousands of books and articles have been written on this subject, and aa whole industry of productivity apps has sprung up to wring the most out of every possible second. But even reading these books or testing out different apps can be overwhelming and time consuming in its own right.

Whether you own a business, direct a project, or manage a team, the list of your responsibilities will always dwarf the amount of time you have to actually accomplish them. There will always be moving parts and variables that are out of your control, but that is all the more reason to be proactive and strategic about the parts that you CAN influence.

This workshop will give you ideas for new ways to approach planning and spending your time, and suggest some tools to help you get started.

Conquering Stress Inside and Out

Stress is an inevitable and regular feature in our personal and professional lives, often brought on by events in our immediate environments. Some stress is acts as a healthy motivator, too much stress can have short-term and chronic negative effect on our bodies and minds. While we don’t have much control over the world around us, we can control the way we act and react that increase our resilience and improve performance.

This workshop will help you build techniques to empower yourself to improve mindfulness and boost resilience so you can better handle stress in the moment and minimize the impact of potential future stressors.

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Intro to Systems Thinking, Infrastructure, and Operations for Managers

Most managers didn’t start their career with a goal of becoming a manager: people end up in those positions because they were great in their previous position, and a promotion was the next logical step.  However, they often come into their new position feeling unprepared for their new responsibilities and the challenges that go along with them.

Whether managing a single project or a team of many people, successful management requires being able to shift between scope-specific and broader organizational perspectives, and to solve problems on a larger scale.  This interactive workshop will help people transition from focusing predominantly on their individual or team workload to understanding the context of that workload within the broader organization, and provide strategies and approaches for their new position.

Improving Self-Awareness and Developing your Leadership Style

Being a good leader and manager requires a high-level of self-awareness.  Developing an authentic leadership style that works for you – meaning it’s consistent with your personality and core values – will increase your effectiveness when working with and influencing others and make you a more effective and respected leader.

This module will include several introspective exercises to help you understand your own leadership style and communication approaches, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. It will also include tips on how to apply this understanding to ensure more productive interactions and relationships with others.

Tricks for Successfully Managing a Team

This module will help managers develop strategies to set themselves and their teams up for success.

This session will discuss strategies for both formal and informal performance review and effective processes for giving feedback.  It will also include tips for advocating on behalf of your team, approaches to creating position descriptions, and the importance of clearly communicating expectations.  In additional, we’ll talk about why it’s important for managers to adjust their approach to fit each individual’s personality, work style, and professional development goals.

Strategic Communications and Difficult Conversations

Managers often find themselves facing communication challenges. The role of a manager is sometimes like that of a skilled diplomat, having to respond to multiple and often conflicting stakeholder interests while answering sensitive questions, delivering difficult news, and seeking buy-in from diverse audiences.

This module will help participants practice both planned strategic communications and on-the-fly responses to uncomfortable situations through role-playing exercises and simulations.

Getting Stuff Done: The Project Management Basics

The field of project management is dedicated to making sure that all work is completed correctly, thoroughly, on time, and within budget. But with many simultaneous moving parts, team members, and stakeholders, even relatively straightforward projects can become unwieldy.

This workshop will introduce you to proven project management strategies that you can implement immediately, including strategies for managing time effectively, developing realistic and effective schedules, defining scope of work and expectations, ensuring productive team meetings, and setting and enforcing quality expectations.

Getting Proactive: Intro to Risk Management

As a manager, you are responsible for upholding and enforcing the policies and norms of your organization. This means taking proactive measures to ensure smooth sailing, such as preventing common mistakes and having a consistent strategy for problem solving.

This module introduces the concept of risk management – anticipating potential problems and being prepared to deal with them in a strategic way – help you incorporate best practices into your workplace. We’ll discuss ways managers can be proactive by putting in place basic systems and contingency plans, monitoring progress, and detecting potential problems early to allow course corrections before problems get too big.

It’s not about avoiding risk; it’s about mitigating risk and minimizing the potential damage from it. Stuff will happen; the key is to not be caught unprepared.

Interested on learning more about my workshops?

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