Embracing Change

Many years ago I participated in a change management seminar. One of the first exercises that we were asked to do was to take off our wristwatch and place it on the opposite wrist. At the time I thought this was a pretty childish exercise. But, I complied and quickly realized how a small change could make me feel very uncomfortable. We were challenged by the trainer to leave the watch on the “new” wrist for 7 days and see what happened. I don’t really remember the week but I assume that the change didn’t bother me as much on day seven as on day one.

Although I like to stay in my comfort zone, I’ve experience a lot of change in my life; a lot of this change was of my own doing:

  • Moving to Europe at age 18 to study for one year
  • Moving back to the USA 20 years later without a job (it took a bit longer to get home then I had planned for)
  • Getting married and having 3 kids (one set of twins)
  • Leaving corporate America to join a Christian non-profit (with a 70% pay reduction)
  • Leaving Chicago and moving to Charlotte
  • Starting a consulting business in Charlotte, a city where I knew no one.Leaving corporate America to join a

My newest “change venture” is rebranding my consulting business, throwing out my old website and creating a new one. I feel like I’m on a high-speed roller coaster, the kind that turns you upside down multiple times and claims to have the most rapid descent of all.

I have moved from the name “Lohoff-Gaida Consulting” to the company name
” iLuminate “. Here’s what it looks like:

BLG-Iluminate-LogoTAG-FINAL SM

My new website address is: www.iLuminate.work

Based on my education, work experience and international background I tended to dabble in a lot of different areas of work and totally enjoyed doing so. But I believe I need to focus more on my strengths and the areas in which I can really help my clients. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Individuals and organizations often know that they have an issue that is causing them some type of pain but they procrastinate from taking action or they are in denial. Sometimes they just keep the problem in the dark and hope it goes away. My role is to bring light to the issue, figure out the source of the issue and develop strategies and tactics to address and solve the problem. Here’s a story from the hit TV show “I Love Lucy” that describes the problem but puts a humorous twist on it:

Ricky comes home from work one day and finds his wife, Lucy, in the living room on her hands and knees searching for something on the rug. Needless to say, he wants to know what’s going on:

Ricky: “Lucy, what are you doing?”
Lucy: “I’m looking for my earrings.”
Ricky: “You lost your earrings in the living room?”
Lucy: “No, I lost them in the bedroom. But the light out her is much better.”

My passion is to help companies identify the human issues that are impacting their bottom line and then support them in making the changes necessary to increase productivity and employee engagement.
Here are some of the areas where companies are falling short and losing money:

  • 50% of all new hires are a poor fit for the job or company culture.
  • Rarely does a company have a good process for on-boarding new employees. Valuable time/energy is wasted during the first 3-6 months leading to frustration with both the employee and manager.
  • Managers don’t know how to coach and mentor employees to reach their full potential.
  • Succession planning either doesn’t exist or is a very subjective, poorly thought through exercise.
  • The leadership pipeline is thin, resulting in top players being pulled from their current job too early to fill gaps. This constant churn creates instability and low morale.
  • Teams are not working well together due to politics, poor communications or having the wrong people on the bus.
  • Certain employees just don’t get along and negatively impacts employee morale.
  • Less than 1/3 of all employees are fully engaged in their jobs.

So my objective is to help companies bring these issues to light, figure out ways to solve their problems, and implement plans that will generate growth and reduce cost.

Change is difficult but can be very rewarding… and profitable. There is no need to plot the course on your own. Find a good coach or business advisor to support you and hold you accountable to the goals that you have set. Sounds like a winning proposition!

* I’ve gotten some great support from my friends at Ballyhoo360.com If you need some help with your branding, marketing or website, you might want to check them out.