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Taking the urgency out of an adrenaline-based business
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
PlanPlus™ for Microsoft® Outlook®
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
A high-profile, make-it-or-break-it project with an extremely tight deadline achieved success with the help of FranklinCovey training in FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities – Microsoft Outlook Edition., a fast-growing online retailer, utilized this training coupled with FranklinCovey PlanPlus, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that helps users focus on top priorities, boost productivity, and become more effective. As a result of the project’s success the company realized a dramatic increase in the conversion rate of visitors to their site.
High adventure gear purveyors, take planning to new heights
In the run-up to the holiday selling season, the money-making months at, founders Jim Holland and John Bresee decided their next big bet would be to produce a printed catalog. This project would be the company’s first venture into printed advertising – a departure from their stringent belief that all marketing for is online and must show a 10x return on investment.
The company, founded with the purpose of providing outdoor adventure gear to hard-core recreational athletes, has experienced greater than 100% growth year-over-year since its inception in 1996. During the boom eschewed the popular notion that taking on venture capital was the “only way to be a successful”
According to the company website, Holland and Bresee began the company without investment, intent on selling cool gear over the Web, and found that if the content is good the people will come. Nowadays it succeeds because of the hard work of real-life athletes who answer phone calls, e-mail, and keep the company up to date with the latest gear.
Since deciding in late fall to create a catalog, the team was pressed for time. To be effective, the catalog must arrive on doorsteps in less than two months.
Partners in Planning
The management team participated in FranklinCovey’s FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities – Microsoft Outlook Edition workshop during this catalog challenge. The staff was keyed up about the prospect of putting out a great book.
“We’re a company that is uber-focused. We apply rigid intensity to getting things done that’s unlike other places that I’ve worked,” said Christian Gennerman, Head Buyer. “We wanted to participate in learning time management, but didn’t think it would help us on this project.”
The new Focus – Microsoft Outlook Edition workshop from FranklinCovey was appealing to CEO Jim Holland who feels like he lives in Microsoft Outlook and doesn’t get to the important stuff due to the volume of email and voicemail that he receives.
“If a company can show me that staff time can be made more valuable then I’m sold,” said Holland. “This catalog project was just a great example of what FranklinCovey’s workshop and PlanPlus™ software was bringing to the table to enhance Outlooks features. It helped us immediately.”
PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook is FranklinCovey’s secret to making Microsoft Outlook more manageable. This Outlook plug-in layers the proven principles of time management and personal effectiveness on top of Microsoft’s ubiquitous software. PlanPlus features a Home screen for users that gives one view into email, tasks, daily notes, and their calendar. The task management functionality has been enhanced with a prioritized daily task list offering drag-and-drop usefulness in Outlook. Additionally the weekly planning walk through gives users a place to screen and schedule big rocks – items of great importance that must be accomplished. Where Outlook treats all information equally, PlanPlus personalizes and filters tasks, calendar entries and appointments against your most important priorities.
“I thought I was going to learn how to turn email pink, which I did, but what really got me was a greater forum for deciding what really matters to me and prioritizing time to spend on those items,” said Inventory Manager, Amy Luther. “I was able to have a conversation with my manager about the most important things, not just the urgent things. It’s a huge improvement for everybody.”
After bringing home the concepts from the Focus – Microsoft Outlook Edition Workshop with PlanPlus and the tips and tricks for making Outlook more manageable, discovered new ways to communicate about urgency versus importance. The catalog – an urgent and important project – was subdivided into goals. The team used PlanPlus to manage the urgency of the looming deadlines and their ongoing personal commitments to keep balance during this stressful time.
“If I took the post-assessment now, I could honestly say that the training and tools we got from FranklinCovey kept us focused on our top goals,” said John Bresee, co-founder. “The team was more committed than ever to get the catalog out the door, but it didn’t feel like a race. We’ve learned to manage the tasks, sub-tasks and communications differently.” The catalog hit doorsteps across the country on time and on budget generating a one percent increase in conversion rate of visitors to their site.

MATRIX Resources
Alignment and Focus: Keys to Success for Launch of MATRIX Business Units
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
The 4 Disciplines of Execution
The xQ™ Survey
This case study examines the partnership between FranklinCovey and MATRIX Resources, one of the largest and most successful IT staffing firms in the U.S. Faced with the post dot-com, post 9/11 business environment where companies were hiring less and outsourcing more, MATRIX leadership made the decision to launch two new business units to better meet the changing requirements of clients.
The success of these two service offerings, however, depended greatly on changing the company’s mindset of being a single service provider to taking a diversified solutions approach. Recognizing the immense challenge of transforming his entire organization’s way of thinking, MATRIX CEO Jim Huling turned to FranklinCovey to help MATRIX gain the level of focus and clarity necessary to launch the new units with absolute alignment and commitment to the objectives.
After evaluating MATRIX plans and measuring the company’s ability to execute with FranklinCovey’ s xQ (Execution Quotient) process, FranklinCovey senior consultant Jim Stuart worked with Huling to implement a solution for aligning the entire organization around MATRIX most important priorities. This process began with a series of full-day work sessions for the MATRIX executive team called The 4 Disciplines of Execution (formerly Aligning Goals for Results), during which they identified the two most “wildly important goals,” or WIGs for the company.
Department and business-unit goals that aligned with the company’s overall strategy were then set and communicated through a series of Town Hall meetings. MATRIX also incorporated the FranklinCovey Work Compass, a powerful alignment tool, into the WIG process. To further sustain focus, MATRIX distributed scorecards to every employee, who used the cards to track progress against goals.
MATRIX saw almost immediate results from the implementation of this solution. In just three months, MATRIX had already surpassed the year-end goals they had set around several key metrics. Huling concludes that “Through The 4 Disciplines of Execution we became focused on the strategy that is most important to the company and we engaged the minds and hearts of every employee on what we were trying to achieve.”
“FranklinCovey helped us define and focus on our goals at every level of the organization, but more importantly, they enabled us to engage each individual in a sense of personal contribution to the company’s success.” – Jim Huling, CEO,MATRIX Resources, Inc.
“They were maniacal about [the program]. They jumped in head first. The key to their success was their speed and commitment. Their leadership team took the plan to the entire MATRIX organization without hesitation because they saw the value in it.” – Jim Stuart, Senior ConsultantFranklinCovey
In the face of a radically changing business environment, MATRIX Resources, Inc., successfully launched two new business units in 2003 by organizationally adopting new principles and methods for alignment and focus.
The proof? The company signed the largest single contract in its history, surpassed revenue goals and gained newfound momentum for the future by successfully launching two new business lines, all in a market where industry averages continued to decline.
This success was achieved through the integration of two key factors: a strong expertise in execution made even stronger, and a new level of company-wide focus, both acquired through FranklinCovey’s solution, The 4 Disciplines of Execution. The synergy of these factors enabled each member of every team at MATRIX to focus their daily activities on the goals that were most important and that were aligned to the company’s overall success.
“The key for us was enabling our talented people to know exactly what they needed to do for MATRIX to be successful, and for them to buy into it,” said MATRIX CEO Jim Huling. “That’s where FranklinCovey was invaluable to us. FranklinCovey helped us define and focus on our goals at every level of the organization, but more importantly, they enabled us to engage each individual in a sense of personal contribution to the company’s success. Ultimately, this is the goal of every company, but few ever achieve it. Through The 4 Disciplines of Execution process, we not only secured this level of buy-in, but reaped the financial results that prove its value.”
FranklinCovey senior consultant Jim Stuart said, “Obviously, the people of MATRIX were very good at execution. And we helped them find a way to get even better at a critical time.”
The Realities of the Recession
Founded in 1983 to serve the marketplace with IT staffing services, MATRIX experienced uninterrupted success throughout its first two decades in business. Every year in the company’s history has been marked by profitability and a debt free balance sheet. MATRIX success was highlighted at the end of the millennium by nine consecutive years of double digit growth and three consecutive rankings (1997, 1998, 1999) in the Inc. magazine list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Consistently recognized for its business success and sharp focus on quality, MATRIX also achieved the ranking for the first time in 2003 as the 20th largest IT staffing firm in the U.S.
However, the post dot-com, post 9/11 business environment brought new realities to the staffing industry. The recession was followed by a so-called jobless recovery. Businesses were hiring less and outsourcing more.
Although MATRIX remained profitable and even gained a degree of market share during the economic downturn of 2001-2002, the MATRIX executive team realized that their company must diversify beyond a single service offering in order to better meet the changing needs of clients, and at the same time become less vulnerable to business cycles. With approval of the company’s Board of Directors, it was determined that MATRIX would add two new lines of business: outsourced IT Project Solutions and staffing program management through Managed Services.
“We felt that, given the expanding needs of our clients, as well as the new business climate that was emerging, it was important to our future to launch this new strategy,” said Huling. “But it’s not a small thing to do, it requires effort and time and, most importantly, passion. It’s one thing to develop a strategy, but it’s quite a different challenge to actually execute it, especially with the consistency and effectiveness that new service offerings require.”
Changing the Company Mindset
The goal was to successfully launch two new service offerings – Project Solutions and Managed Staffing Services – through the existing sales and support system, without disruption to the company’s core offering of staffing services. The challenge was immense:
Focus needed to expand from the mindset of being a single service provider, to one with a diversified solutions approach, with three distinct service offerings.
Employees needed to adapt from selling and fulfilling a single line of business to now cross-selling products and solutions and ensuring the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
They had to learn and adjust to work with a long sales cycle in addition to a short one.
They needed to understand the value of becoming a true solutions partner to customers rather than experts in a single area.
Blinding Flash of the Obvious
Long a proponent of the FranklinCovey school of thought, training methods and tools, Huling turned once again to the consulting firm to put his company in a better position to successfully launch its two new business units. As he entered Huling’s Atlanta office, Stuart introduced himself with the question, “What are the three most important things that have to happen this year for MATRIX to be successful?”
Huling mentally ran through various initiatives that MATRIX was working on, and then was hit with what he calls, “a BFO⿦ a “blinding flash of the obvious. At that moment I realized that I could easily name several things that were important, even very important, but I couldn’t instantly provide an answer for the three that were most important and that had to happen. This was a new level of clarity that we needed-one that would bring even greater focus to the organization.”
After evaluating MATRIX plans and ability to execute, Stuart took the company’s leadership team through The 4 Disciplines of Execution-a powerful series of work sessions that ensured line-of-sight agreement among department leaders on the top MATRIX priorities, as well as to define strategies for how to achieve those priorities.
During a series of full-day training sessions, MATRIX executives made several breakthroughs, not the least of which was to determine their most important goals, which they nicknamed “WIGs”, short for Wildly Important Goals, as coined by FranklinCovey. The first two MATRIX WIGs included:
Financial: Achieve 2003 revenue goals in the existing staffing service line of business.
Strategic: Successfully launch the Project Solutions and Managed Services business units by the end of 2003, to be measured by a goal of three major contracts.
Next, MATRIX executives set and aligned WIGs for each of the company’s 17 departments and business units. These departmental WIGs would support the company’s overall business strategy WIGs and would ensure focus at the team level. The program was rolled out to all MATRIX employees through a series of Town Hall group meetings. “At the end of each meeting I grew more confident that our employees understood exactly what we were trying to accomplish as a company, but more importantly, each of them knew what they must do personally to help us reach our goals,” Huling recalled. “Of course, each of us has other non-WIG goals and tasks to do each week, but now we all remained focused and make sure that we spend our greatest effort on our WIGs.”
In the following weeks, it quickly became clear throughout MATRIX that the employees understood the company’s strategy, were committed to their WIGs, and knew what to do about them. But most importantly, it became clear that they all cared about their WIGs. “It was this degree of personal connection to the company’s strategy that was the most rewarding to see,” says Huling. “So often, a company’s strategy is a broad and abstract idea that individuals see as separate from what they do all day. Through The 4 Disciplines of Execution process, the connection between strategy and execution is made clear and the result is a powerful level of personal involvement. I’m certain that, without this level of personal connection, our results would not have been possible.”
The MATRIX WIG process was supported through scorecards distributed to each employee every two weeks. “The scorecards are critically important for sustaining focus,” Huling explained. “To not have scorecards would be like playing the Super Bowl without a scoreboard. You could turn it on at the end to see who won, but you would have lost a valuable tool for winning during the game. Just like a scoreboard provides critical information such as the score, time remaining, down and yards to go, the scorecards let each team know where they are on their goals and projects. If a team is behind, they know exactly where to put their extra effort and focus. In addition, many of our sales teams follow the scorecards of other teams to keep their competitive juices flowing.”
MATRIX executives and employees also used a powerful FranklinCovey alignment tool called the Work Compass, which they used to keep focused on their most important goals and tasks. Utilized at the individual level, a Work Compass is typically updated on a weekly basis to help focus attention on the activities that need to happen that week in order to maintain progress on WIGs.
Wildly Successful WIGs
MATRIX achieved almost immediate results from its implementation of The 4 Disciplines of Execution. For example, sales set a goal of 30 meaningful, face-to-face client meetings during the last six months of 2003. But the department completed 32 meetings in just 90 days. The two new business units had committed to three major contracts by December 31, a figure that was also reached in the first three months. By year-end, goals were surpassed throughout the company.
“Although our people are accustomed to success at MATRIX,” said Huling, “we were not expecting such a positive impact, especially in such a short time frame. We purposely set the bar at a high level with ‘stretch’ goals at the company level as well as in every department, so it was surprising to see how much we overachieved.” FranklinCovey’s Stuart was just as impressed. “They were maniacal about it,” he recalled. “They jumped in head first. The key to their success was their speed and commitment. Their leadership team took the plan to the entire MATRIX organization without hesitation because they saw the value in it.”
Huling summed up the MATRIX approach a bit differently. “It’s the power of focus. Most companies are filled with talented people who work very hard every day. But often, they don’t really know what their greatest focus should be or how to set priorities that match the company’s strategy. Because of this, they don’t feel that sense of personal connection. Through The 4 Disciplines of Execution, we became focused on the strategy that is most important to the company and we engaged the minds and hearts of every employee on what we were trying to achieve. Then we exceeded our goals by as much as 500 percent in a down year for our industry. Was it magic? No, but it was miraculous.”

Plugging Productivity Power Into Microsoft® Outlook® With PlanPlus™
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
PlanPlus™ for Microsoft® Outlook®
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
Implementing PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook software at Ameren has enabled some employees to manage their time more productively, focus on what’s important to the company, and bring more control and peace of mind to their work environment and their personal lives.
“With PlanPlus, we feel we’ve finally found a product that will work in our environment to help our employees become more organized and effective.” – Christa Grosser, Training Specialist, Organization Effectiveness Department, Ameren
“Time management is an individual thing, and PlanPlus really meets my needs.” – Anne Offner, Org. Development Specialist, Organizational and Leadership Development, Ameren
Using Technology to Focus
When Training Specialist Christa Grosser of Ameren’s Organization Effectiveness Department first heard about FranklinCovey’s PlanPlus software, she was excited. She learned that PlanPlus is an exclusive add-on tool that seamlessly integrates FranklinCovey’s proven planning and time-management processes within Outlook’s standard scheduling and e-mail environment.
“Because Microsoft Outlook used so widely at Ameren, I wanted to offer a time-management extension to the software to help employees sharpen their focus on top priorities while creating balance in their professional and personal lives,” Grosser said.
Ameren is an energy-services company that serves 1.7 million electric customers and 500,000 natural-gas customers in a 49,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois. The company owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants in its Midwest market with a capacity of more than 14,500 megawatts.
PlanPlus encourages employees to create and practice the habit of proactive planning. It increases employee productivity and effectiveness by keeping employees on track with their organization’s “big picture” goals while also helping them successfully manage all of their daily tasks and commitments.
Training to Complement PlanPlus
In February 2003, Grosser met with Ameren’s IT team to determine if PlanPlus would be compatible with the company’s technology architecture. Initial testing proved that it was. In early 2003, PlanPlus was installed on 35 PCs (with installations continuing to grow), and Grosser kicked off the FranklinCovey training component.
Before training began, Grosser was concerned about the many employees in her company who use PDAs (Palm® handhelds or Pocket PCs) in conjunction with Outlook as their primary planning-and-scheduling tool. When she learned that key PlanPlus data syncs to most PDAs, Grosser knew she had a digital solution that would fit nicely.
“What we’re finding is that most of our employees are using some type of PDA, yet we couldn’t find an integrated planning platform that met their needs. With PlanPlus, we feel we’ve finally found a product that will work in our environment to help our employees become more organized and effective.”
Grosser scheduled employees for one-hour orientation sessions on PlanPlus followed by the new one-day workshop FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities.
Concerning the one-hour PlanPlus sessions, Grosser said, “They were definitely helpful. At first, some of our IT gurus were skeptical that PlanPlus added any value to Outlook. But when they learned about the time-management and personal-organization benefits, they were very impressed.”
Employees also experienced the one-day Focus workshop, which teaches participants how to:
Lead a balanced and fulfilling life through proven time-management and planning methods.
Reduce stress by recognizing and eliminating low-priority activities and distractions.
Gain control of the competing demands on their time-e-mail, voice mail, meetings, and interruptions.
Use PlanPlus software to plan and achieve professional and personal goals-all from within Microsoft Outlook.
Day-to-Day Benefits of PlanPlus
Sharon Allen is a 19-year veteran of Ameren and one of five team members in the company’s Alternate Retail Electric Suppliers (ARES) business center. She works with retail customers in Illinois and has been using PlanPlus for several months.
Regarding PlanPlus, she said, “I like how you can see everything in one view-your tasks, schedule for the day, and emails all at one time. I think that’s very, very helpful. Plus, it’s nice to be able to drag and drop tasks into your task list and track them.”
Allen added, “I also use PlanPlus to track when monthly reports are due. I produce a department report each month, and I also have to file monthly reports with the Illinois Commerce Commission. I track when those reports are due and set them up as recurring monthly activities with PlanPlus.”
Anne Offner, Organization Development Specialist at Ameren who holds a doctorate in organizational psychology, works in organizational and leadership development corporate-wide. She’s impressed with the versatility of PlanPlus and how she can customize it to support how she works day to day.
“Time management is an individual thing, and PlanPlus really meets my needs,” Offner said. “My task load and the urgency of those tasks can vary from day to day. It’s great to keep a running task list visible because something that may be low-priority this week might be higher next month and I can devote some proactive attention to it in advance.”
Up and Running in No Time
For any company installing new software, ease of installation and deployment to employees ranks pretty high on the technical-needs list. For Sharon Harness, Information Technology Specialist at Ameren, this was a high priority as well. Since Ameren has a standard system for deploying software to their personnel, Harness wanted to follow existing protocol. She was impressed at how easily and quickly PlanPlus installation and deployment fit within their current system. The first step was a simple process of creating the PlanPlus install “package.” Next, this PlanPlus package was added to their standard “software mall” and made available to their employees. Finally, each employee simply selected PlanPlus from the “software mall,” and it automatically installed on their local computer.
“Once we created the package, installing PlanPlus was a simple task,” Harness said. “The installation ran smoothly, including support for handhelds such as Palm and Pocket PC devices.”
“What I like about implementing PlanPlus is that you don’t really have to do anything but install it and start using immediately,” added Grosser. “For those people who are keeping their calendar and scheduling tasks and events electronically, PlanPlus is the best I’ve seen for the digital user.” Grosser concluded, “If you want to have tools and knowledge to be a more effective employee and individual, to create balance in your life, to have a way to manage that life at work and outside work, then the content and materials of the Focus workshop will help you do that, and PlanPlus is the application tool to help you manage it all effectively.”

Chamness Relocation Services
Transferring Focus to Top Priorities
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
PlanPlus™ for Microsoft® Outlook®
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
Implementing PlanPlusTM for Microsoft® Outlook® software and the new Focus Workshop at Chamness Relocation Services, Inc., has enabled employees to manage their time more productively, focus more clearly on what is most important to the company, and bring more order and control to their work environment and their personal lives.
“The Focus training is so simple and yet so powerful. The goal setting and straightforward models have really helped get employees thinking about how they spend their time.” – Erin Hollingsworth, Training and Development Director Chamness Relocation Services
“The Focus training I received to complement PlanPlus was exceptional. Not only did I learn to better organize my life, it reminded me to keep my goals within focus at all times!” – Jill Foster, Field Development Coordinator
Feeling the Need for Focus
What began in 1988 as a corporate housing supplier to a single Fortune 500 company, Chandler, Ariz.-based Chamness Relocation Services now provides national and international destination consulting and corporate housing solutions for the corporate transferee.
According to Marketing Manager Angie Enabnit, Chamness employees were immersed in a culture of running from meeting to meeting and agreeing to every task and project. This left little time for critical priorities, which meant burning the midnight oil to get the most important work done. Employees typically didn’t plan their workday or week, and they lacked the skills and tools to distinguish the truly important from the merely urgent.
“From my perspective, we were constantly in fire-drill mode, being driven by urgent tasks that had to be done right away and not stepping back to assess their importance,” Enabnit said.
Erin Hollingsworth, Training and Development Director at Chamness, said the company definitely needed training in time management and goal setting. “Employees had the desire to do better and be more productive, but it seemed difficult to make it happen,” she said. “I knew FranklinCovey as a notable company in productivity training and tools. From their website I learned about the workshop FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities and about PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook. I became certified to teach the curriculum to our employees because I already knew the content was to be good, and we had PlanPlus installed on 80 PCs at our corporate office.”
Focusing on the Highest Priorities
Hollingsworth arranged for Chamness employees to attend a one-hour orientation session on PlanPlus, followed by the Focus workshop the next day. The Focus workshop teaches productivity skills integrated with a powerful planning system that helps employees clarify, focus and execute the highest priorities.
Training participants discover how to:
Gain control of the competing demands on their time-e-mail, voice mail, meetings, and interruptions
Reduce stress by recognizing and eliminating low-priority activities and distractions
Achieve balance and renewal in their lives to avoid burnout and cycles of frustration
Stay focused every day with the FranklinCovey Planning System available in a variety of formats, including PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook and the paper-based Franklin Planner
Use PlanPlus software to plan and achieve professional and personal goals-all from within Microsoft Outlook
PlanPlus Extends Outlook
PlanPlus for Microsoft Outlook is an exclusive add-on tool that seamlessly integrates FranklinCovey’s proven planning method with the Outlook scheduling and e-mail environment that most corporate workers are already familiar with. PlanPlus encourages employees to create and practice a habit of proactive planning. It keeps employees on track with the organization’s “big picture” goals while helping them manage all of the day’s tasks, increasing productivity and effectiveness. It also helps employees answer the question, “What’s the most valuable thing I could do with my time?” before accepting meeting requests.
The PlanPlus Home view brings three most frequently used tools into one convenient view-calendar, e-mail, and task list. The Weekly Planning Tool walks users through a quick exercise to help them stay focused on their most important assignments, sort through all they need to get done, and make a realistic plan.
Marketing’s Angie Enabnit had glowing words for PlanPlus. “My day is always crazy. I absolutely love the PlanPlus add-on for Outlook because it places everything at my fingertips all within one view. It’s also great from a planning perspective to see the whole week and get the big picture versus just hour-by-hour. I feel a lot more focused and productive.”
Hollingsworth added that the quick-prioritize feature of PlanPlus is invaluable for daily planning. “I also enjoy the fact that you can drag and drop your e-mails into your Prioritized Daily Task list or Outlook calendar to create tasks and/or appointments,” she said.
Responsive Implementation Support
Chamness MIS professionals anticipated roughly three weeks for rolling out the PlanPlus implementation on 80 PCs in the corporate office. According to Information Technology Coordinator, Trey Kunzelman, the first week involved going through and checking each user’s system ensuring the PCs were fully up-to-date with Windows updates and security packs. The second week encompassed PST back-up and recovery options for e-mail stores, while the third week was devoted to the actual installation of PlanPlus on each PC, installing early in the morning and late in the evening so as not to not interrupt the work schedules of personnel.
“Our implementation of PlanPlus went well,” Kunzelman said. “The FranklinCovey support team I worked with was very responsive to any requests we had, and was more than willing to answer questions, participate in troubleshooting, and resolve installation issues.”
Concluded Erin Hollingsworth, “As a result of implementing PlanPlus and the Focus workshop, more of our employees are planning their days, focusing on what will mean the most to the company, and achieving more balance in their personal lives. I know there are a lot of other companies that offer software productivity solutions, but FranklinCovey makes it hard to use anyone else because the people are so wonderful. They’ve been available to us at any time, have always gotten back to us, and have provided the solutions and answers we needed.”

INVESTools, Inc.
Improved Results through Disciplined Change
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
xQ™ Survey and Leadership Debrief
The 4 Disciplines of Execution
As a result of implementing elements of the FranklinCovey Solution, including the xQTM Survey and the Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution) work session, the recently merged company INVESTools is succeeding in: blending business cultures, charting a new corporate strategy, managing change to create shareholder value, and ensuring that the responsibilities of frontline workers are aligned with the company’s wildly important goals to achieve strategic objectives.
When two companies combine, it’s not what merges, but what emerges that matters. Take INVESTools, Inc. for example. This leading investor education company based primarily in Provo, Utah is the outgrowth of a year-old merger. Like most organizations trying to blend two cultures, INVESTools has encountered its share of challenges and clashes as it strives to shape a viable vision and long-term strategic direction.
Today, INVESTools offers a full range of investor education products and services, including instructor-led workshops, DVD and video-based “at-home” study courses, personal training sessions, periodic investor conferences, investment research tools, and investment advisory newsletters. More than 80,000 people around the world have graduated from the company’s investor education programs.
The Challenge
Since the merger, INVESTools has witnessed a strategy tug-of-war and resistance to change among some of its leadership. According to CEO Lee Barba, certain executives and Board members favored sticking with the company’s traditional business model that focused primarily on workshop training.
However, Barba and other leaders were convinced that such an approach wouldn’t sustain the company long-term, particularly as the bull market of the 1990s turned into the bear market of 2001-2003.They advocated reinventing the company by creating a more holistic approach to investor education through a continuum of customer touch points. Rather than offer a one-time, live workshop with no follow-up, leaders envisioned training services and tools that moved customers toward lifelong learning and a seamless customer experience in all interactions with the company. “The environment at INVESTools was a textbook clash of dynamic entrepreneurial energy unable to adapt as the company grew beyond management’s ability to specialize and build the necessary enterprise processes and systems that foster customer satisfaction and lifetime customer value,” Barba said. “While some executives were highly innovative, they lacked clarity and organization around what the company’s highest priorities should be. The company had one product and one way of doing things that evolved successfully around the founders in a hierarchical structure. This structure did not promote open communication or internal controls to challenge the efficiency of existing processes, which resulted in ‘all-nighters’, missed deadlines, and pennywise, pound-foolish infrastructure investments.”
Barba added that the conflict between the entrepreneurial culture and the sustainable environment of a complex, multi-product public company on top of all of the normal merger issues of integration was inevitable. “Plus,” he said, “we needed to help our employees improve their organizational skills, follow up on tasks and responsibilities more effectively, meet deadlines consistently, and fulfill the company’s potential by working together as a team.”
The Opportunity
Barba telephoned FranklinCovey and spoke with business-development representative, Aaron Thompson. Barba discussed with Thompson how the entrepreneurial spirit at INVESTools was a rationale for not being better organized, and asked about FranklinCovey’s approach to working with organizations. Thompson provided an overview of the FranklinCovey Focus Solution, the elements of which are designed to help organizations succeed by unleashing the power of their workforce to focus and execute on their top organizational priorities.
The Solutions in Action
Barba’s phone call to FranklinCovey led to more discussions at INVESTools’ operational headquarters in Provo, and ultimately to a scheduled roll-out of the xQ Survey and the Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution) work session. Approximately 80 percent of all INVESTools employees completed the xQ Survey online. An xQ Leadership Debrief session followed for 16 members of INVESTools’ senior leadership team to review data from the xQ Survey. Drawing on data from the xQ Survey Report, leaders created an action plan for raising xQ scores and performance levels.
A Baseline for Improvement
The overall xQ score measures an organization’s ability to focus and execute on key organizational priorities. A score of 100 indicates that people are fully focused and executing precisely. INVESTools’ overall score was 53. As to how well the company had clarified its wildly important goals, INVESTools scored a 43.
“The scores didn’t necessarily surprise us, nevertheless they were humbling,” Barba said. “The overwhelming ‘a-ha’ for us was the fact that we didn’t have a clear corporate direction that everyone on the management team supported and communicated in a consistent manner to all employees. While leaders and employees sensed we didn’t know where we were going, we now had data that confirmed we had a problem.”
As a result of the xQ Debrief, senior leaders committed to having a list of clear organizational goals within 30 days. The team also agreed to “institutionalize accountability” and to put performance-measurement systems in place. What’s more, they committed to making the goals transparent throughout the organization and creating a clear line of sight from leadership to the frontline so that everyone was on the same page and empowered to accomplish the company’s wildly important goals (WIGs).
During the xQ Debrief, leaders also identified barriers to success, which included no system to move ideas up the ladder, a lack of open communication among senior leaders, and little focus on operational execution. “Until an organization starts executing and meeting commitments and deadlines, nothing really changes,” Barba said. “Everyone on the management team thought they were doing a fantastic job individually, yet the team was failing to meet its objectives on behalf of our customers and shareholders in the areas of customer satisfaction, revenue growth, and profitability.”
The Next Logical Step – Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution)
Within a few weeks of the xQ Debrief, the same members of the leadership team experienced a full-day Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution) work session facilitated by Don Tanner, FranklinCovey Senior Consultant. With Tanner serving the role as an independent third party, INVESTools’ management and Board of Directors spent an intensive day working to identify the organization’s WIGs, putting measures around them, translating them into action, and learning how to engage their own frontline teams in the goal-alignment process.
“Not only was it evident from the xQ Survey that employees didn’t know what our goals were, those of us in the same room for the Aligning Goals session differed on what the goals should be, how they should be implemented, and which members of the team needed to work across functional lines to accomplish the specific tasks,” Barba said. Using the tools and processes of the Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution) work session, the leaders ultimately landed on the following three WIGs for the organization:
Expand Distribution and Product Diversification
Increase Customer Satisfaction
Grow the Lifetime Value of the Customer
Don Tanner helped leaders take each of these WIGs through the Importance Screen, an Aligning Goals tool that helps clarify each WIG by considering:
its economic impact to the organization
its strategic connection
stakeholder satisfaction when the result is achieved whether the WIG matches the team’s passion, talent, and energy
the availability of time, money, and other resources
Cascading Top Priorities to the Frontline
Tanner said once leaders had completed the Aligning Goals process and put the performance measures in place, the natural next step was to begin cascading the WIGs to the rest of the organization.
The first group of frontline employees to experience an Aligning Goals work session was INVESTools’ workshop instructors who teach the one- and two-day investor education courses, as well as the workshop directors who manage and host those workshop events. The objective was to help these key employees-who interface directly with customers-to establish their workgroup goals and gain a clear line of sight as to how these goals tie to the organization’s big-picture goals.
As Don Tanner explained, CEO Lee Barba kicked off this Aligning Goals work session with a slide presentation about INVESTools’ WIGs. “Lee discussed the performance measures around the WIGs and really answered why these instructors and directors were going through the training in the first place,” Tanner said. “These employees in particular have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and growing the ifetime value of the customer, which are two of INVESTools’ three WIGs.”
Meaningful Results and Future Focus
So what’s been the immediate impact of the xQ Survey, xQ Leadership Debrief, and Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution) work sessions on INVESTools? Lee Barba put it this way: “The xQ data and Aligning Goals for Results (now The 4 Disciplines of Execution) courses have been the impetus for change at INVESTools. We’ve restructured our management team and have communicated the WIGs to all employees through personal meetings involving myself and everyone’s direct manager. I have authorized and encouraged each of the senior managers to work with FranklinCovey to develop WIGs for each operating unit that connect with the corporate WIGs and to help fulfill them. In addition, I’ve encouraged senior management team members to pursue individual training with FranklinCovey to improve management skills in the areas of communication, team building, and time management.”
As for the future, INVESTools plans to continue cascading the Aligning Goals process throughout its various operations teams, including sales, marketing, and finance, so that everyone’s in step with where the company is headed. The company also plans to implement FranklinCovey’s Focus workshop among all employees, and will administer another xQ Survey in six months to assess improvements in focus and execution.
According to Barba, the outcomes INVESTools wanted to realize by engaging FranklinCovey solutions included: 1) having a positive outlook toward change and managing change to create shareholder value, and 2) creating an understanding that ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘corporate’ are not two mutually exclusive words. “We can be entrepreneurial in meeting corporate objectives, yet be corporate in our execution of initiatives to grow the lifetime value for our customers and shareholders,” he said.
Barba added: “FranklinCovey fulfilled a critical role in bringing together our diverse cultures following the merger, as well as focusing the management team and Board of Directors on how to get back on a growth fast-track with improved profitability and customer satisfaction.”
He concluded, “I am delighted to report that INVESTools has achieved successive, record-breaking monthly results following our work with FranklinCovey. This work has led to the definition, communication, and implementation of our WIGs accompanied by a disciplined change process, measurable performance benchmarks across all of our operating lines, and a restructuring of our management team to achieve a focus on profitability for our shareholders.”

Throwback to Yesteryear Yields Present-Day Profitability Payback
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
The 4 Roles of Leadership®
Training in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® and The 4 Roles of Leadership® at ScriptSave has helped the company create a level of customer care and concern reminiscent of decades past-and unheard of in the industry today. Senior management attributes the company’s revenue growth, dominant market share, solid customer relationships, and job-satisfaction levels to the team spirit and corporate culture enhanced by The 7 Habits®.
ScriptSave has been listed in the Inc. 500 for the years 2000 and 2001, with five-year growth rates exceeding 1600 percent. Revenues for 2001 were $15.6 million, and are projected at $19.8 million for 2002. All calls to the company’s Customer Assistance Team are answered in person, with 95 percent of calls answered within 15 seconds. The “call abandonment” or customer hang-up rate is one of the lowest in the industry. What’s more, the rate of employee turnover is less than half the industry average.
Remember when the milkman delivered to your door, the doctor made house calls, and the nice kid pumped your gas, washed the windshield, and gave candy to the children? If you do, you might understand the world of Tucson, Ariz.-based ScriptSave, a leading provider of prescription-drug discounts and pharmacy savings programs for senior citizens.
Dial most customer-service phone numbers these days and you get an impersonal, automated message and a menu of buttons to push. ScriptSave, however, is a notable exception to the prevailing customer-care mentality. The company’s CEO, Charlie Horn, believes that looking back to a simpler time has been the key to ScriptSave’s phenomenal success and growth.
Founded in 1994 as the Medical Security Card Co., the firm changed its name to ScriptSave in 1998 to reflect the focus on providing maximum prescription savings for individuals who don’t have insurance coverage for prescription medicines. ScriptSave serves its plan sponsor clients-hundreds of leading insurance organizations, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, major employers, and healthcare organizations-by managing and explaining the details of the prescription discount cards to individual cardholders who number in the millions. Virtually all ScriptSave cardholders are over age 50, and 80 percent are over age 65.
ScriptSave has developed a national network of pharmacies that grants discounts to ScriptSave cardholders. Discounts average more than eight dollars per prescription at over 30,000 pharmacies nationwide (95 percent of all pharmacy chains). Plan savings for cardholders are projected to exceed $180 million in 2002.
Man Over Machine
ScriptSave has three main service teams, each charged with providing “positively outrageous service.” Roughly 35 call center professionals in the Customer Assistance Team (CAT) answer more than 1,400 toll-free calls per day-personally. The second team, Account Services, works with new plan sponsors to install and provide critical, ongoing support for the ScriptSave card program. Pharmacy Assistance, the third team, serves the needs of ScriptSave’s pharmacy partners, enrolling new stores in the network.
“A Smile in Her Voice”
A stroll through the call center creates the feeling that you’ve stepped back a few decades to a simpler time when you could linger with a customer, swap stories, or even make a friend.
When ScriptSave was founded, Horn grappled with the challenge of how to best handle customer service. He knew that most calls would come from cardholders aged 65 and older, and that they would need the type of friendly, compassionate, personal service and attention not possible with an automated system. Horn first outsourced the customer service function to a call center but never had a good handle on how well cardholders were being served. By 1997 he had moved customer service in-house.
Horn credits the near miraculous harmony and zeal of ScriptSave employees to three factors:
Belief that cardholders are deserving of a calm, human voice and a listening ear-each time, every time they call for help. In a world driven by automation, this is unheard of.
Trust in the judgment of carefully screened and trained call-center professionals, who are authorized to take whatever time is necessary to help customers who are trying to navigate the rules, regulations, and paperwork required to preserve health and dignity.
Corporate-wide embrace and individual belief in a set of core principles adapted from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training and literature.
These three factors intertwine to ensure that those served are provided “positively outrageous service,” which ScriptSave cultivates with rewards, personal and group recognition, and training that enhances skill and sensitivity to clients. Feedback from one client praising a ScriptSave associate for her wonderful service noted “she always has a smile in her voice and is consistent with her positive attitude.”
ScriptSave hires those who possess most of the skills required to serve its customers, and helps them acquire the skills they still need. New employees receive up to three weeks of formal training before they take their first call, plus another 60 hours of training per year. “Ninety-five percent of our calls are answered within 15 seconds by a warm, caring human voice,” Horn said. “Our call-abandonment, or hang-up rate is one of the lowest in the industry.”
Vital Role of The 7 Habits Training
Horn said the team spirit that pervades ScriptSave was sparked by the vision and desire of his executive team to create a company culture based on respect for individual needs, talents, and capabilities. The team figured that once everyone understood what the business was all about, and had been given a reason and the tools to deliver unparalleled service, that breakaway growth would follow. The team was right.
The catalyst for the ScriptSave culture was Gloria Centofanti, Vice President of Organizational Development. Buoyed by her experience implementing The 7 Habits with a former employer, Centofanti was thrilled with the prospect of introducing the training when the company was a fraction of its current size. She, along with her OD team members Cyndi Sparks, Manager of Learning and Development, and Melissa Roadman, Director of Human Resources, shaped the culture. FranklinCovey partners Debra Larson, Managing Client Partner, and Susan Dathe-Douglass, Leadership Consultant, have worked hand-in-hand with the ScriptSave team to provide the best resources to achieve the desired results.
According to Centofanti, training in The 7 Habits has helped ScriptSave “operationalize” its mission statement: We serve others as we would like to be served. We are advocates for each other and our customers.
“ScriptSave professionals at all levels are not judged solely by the speed and efficiency of their work, but by the responsiveness that empathetic listening allows them to leverage with each client to create a lasting impact,” Centofanti said. “Although certainly not as simple as it might sound, The 7 Habits provides practical insight on how to handle individual client requirements, no matter how far outside the norm. We’re also better at planning and organizing for the expected, and reacting to the unexpected.”
“Code Blue”
Centofanti cited the company’s creation of “Code Blue” as a response mechanism for the unexpected.
Due to a snafu in the enrollment of a new plan sponsor, ScriptSave was flooded with thousands of unanticipated calls from new cardholders. The company’s response to such a dramatic work overload was to mobilize every employee from every department for two solid weeks to serve the customer. “There’s no question as to priority or to individual or organizational responsibility,” Centofanti said. “Company values, embraced at the very beginning, dictate that the customer is in the preeminent position.”
Shedding New Light on “Focused Productivity”
ScriptSave has gone to creative lengths to help employees focus on its mission and devote as much time as possible to “Quadrant II” activities.
As described in the time management bestseller First Things First by Stephen R. Covey, Roger A. Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill, Quadrant I represents things that are both important and urgent. ScriptSave’s “Code Blue” response to the tidal wave of new cardholder calls is a prime example of important and urgent Quadrant I activity.
By contrast, Quadrant II is the “quadrant of quality.” It’s where employees ” anticipate and prevent problems, empower others, or invest in relationships through deep, honest listening.”
ScriptSave created and supplies each employee with a “Quadrant II light,” positioned outside offices and cubicles. When lit, it signifies that the employee is focused on an extremely important priority-usually tied to customer service-and fellow employees know to respect this highly productive time.
“The most critical habit of The 7 Habits is Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood®,” said Maria Lopez, Director of Service Operations, the heart of the customer response system at ScriptSave. “Our objectives within the call center are to make a difference in someone’s life, to know that we’ve acted with integrity, and to be constantly learning, adapting, and evolving.”
Such emphasis on quality vs. quantity translates into increased job-satisfaction levels as well. According to Lopez, ScriptSave is an employer of choice in the Tucson area. Recruiting is driven by word of mouth through employees, and the turnover rate is less than half the industry average.
Future Focus
Rod Dunmyre, ScriptSave Executive Vice President and a former ScriptSave customer, said The 7 Habits has allowed the company to create its own culture, rather than suffer culture by default. “Our success in the marketplace of largely senior citizens is attributable to the time deposits we make in the ‘Emotional Bank Accounts’ of those who call us. In order to have a clear sense of what we must do next in the marketplace we need to make an intense investment in seeking first to understand. While ScriptSave was first to the market, larger competitors have entered the industry. What we do next-and how we make ourselves different and valuable-will shape our future.”
Added CEO Charlie Horn, “We rely on The 7 Habits to align us as we grow. It provides a common language-a common mentality for our entire organization. Our corporate culture is a true team environment, and our employees understand how we interrelate, how we are linked. I lead our new-employee orientation, and afterwards the comments frequently are: ‘I see how I fit into the organization.’ That’s important!”
Horn concluded, “Our revenue growth, our dominant market share, our major industry relationships are, I believe, an indicator of the positive financial impact attributable to The 7 Habits.”
CAT Specialist Serves, Consoles Cat Owner
The following story illustrates the “positively outrageous service” provided to cardholders by ScriptSave’s Customer Assistance Team (CAT):
Mary Williams, a ScriptSave Customer Assistance Specialist, took a call from a Mrs. Smith on the east coast. Mrs. Smith had just received her ScriptSave discount card in the mail, and was calling to obtain names of pharmacies in her area that would honor the card. Mary gave her the information, and also provided an educational overview of the card’s additional features.
During the conversation, Mary sensed that her customer was somewhat distraught. After listening patiently, Mary learned that Mrs. Smith’s close, long-time companion was very ill-so ill that his survival was in doubt. Mary ultimately discovered that Mrs. Smith’s priceless companion was her cat.
For the next 20 minutes, Mary continued to listen to her customer’s concerns, validated her feelings, and tried to reassure her. Mrs. Smith was overwhelmed that anyone would take the time to listen to an “old woman” fuss over her cat. Not only did Mary take the time to listen and answer all of her customer’s questions about the program, she followed up after the call with a brief personal note to Mrs. Smith, expressing her best wishes for the cat’s full recovery.
Fast Growth Creates “License to Lead”
ScriptSave employees experienced The 7 Habits training to establish a code of conduct for how they would work together and treat their customers. An internal needs assessment revealed other gaps in leadership skills. ScriptSave’s fast growth had spawned numerous management positions filled internally by employees with no previous leadership experience.
According to OD team member Cyndi Sparks, who is certified to facilitate The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 4 Roles of Leadership® workshops, ScriptSave developed a 12-month “License to Lead” training initiative for all supervisors and executives. The 4 Roles course-which teaches the key roles of pathfinding, aligning, empowering, and modeling-launched the initiative. Monthly “development dialog” sessions followed over the next 11 months covering topics that tied back to The 4 Roles framework.
In turn, “License to Lead” inspired a new, six-month effort dubbed “Leadership Readiness”-also based on The 4 Roles-which trains employees wanting to become leaders.
“Our business path is a winding one,” Sparks said. “Markets and strategies shift and change, but The 4 Roles has given us the leadership framework to determine if we’re aligned properly and if we have the right processes and systems in place to adapt to change and reach key objectives successfully.”

Younger Brothers Construction
Raising Satisfaction Levels and Market Share in a Competition-Rich, Labor-Scarce Building Environment
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
Since implementing in-house facilitated training in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, Younger Brothers Construction has enjoyed clearer communication, better cooperation with its trade partners, less rework, improved cycle time, and reduced costs.
With results like this, it’s easy to see why the company has consistently increased customer- and employee-satisfaction scores, growing market share by two percent in 2001. In 2002, new orders are up 10 percent over the same time last year and 18 percent over this year’s projections in the extremely competitive and flat Phoenix housing market.
Ranked 63rd among Arizona’s top 100 private companies, Glendale, Ariz.-based Younger Brothers Construction (YBC) has experienced remarkable success and growth since its founding in 1975 by then 22-year-old, part-time student Jim Younger III.
Today, YBC is one of Arizona’s top housing trade contractors, employing nearly 1,000 workers in four companies: 1) framing, 2) roof trusses and wall panels, 3) door and trim installation, and 4) lumber supply. The fast-paced housing industry in the Phoenix metro area has been averaging 30,000 housing starts annually for several years. In fact, the Phoenix housing market has traditionally ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in total housing starts, just ahead or just behind Atlanta, GA.
Growing Pains and Labor Shortages
According to Younger, his company was framing roughly 300 homes a year back in the mid-1980s. Then the October 1987 stock market crash hit and housing starts plummeted. Many contractors moved out for greener pastures. By 1990, however, “this place took off once again, almost overnight,” said Younger. “There was a severe manpower shortage, and the No. 1 challenge for all contractors was finding skilled labor. Many of the qualified workers still in the area took management positions as the market improved, further depleting the labor force.”
Finding adequate labor for the Phoenix market remains a problem today. “And a scarce labor force creates other problems, such as quality and cycle time, and all of that drives up costs,” Younger said.
The Timely Influence of Shea Homes Arizona
Today, YBC frames homes for such successful builders as Shea Homes Arizona, Shea Active Adult Communities, Ryland Homes, Lennar Homes, T.W. Lewis, Beazer Homes, Monterey Homes, Edmunds Toll, Journey Homes, Sivage Thomas, Greystone Homes, and US Homes.
Shea Homes Arizona, a subunit of J.F. Shea Company, Inc. based in Walnut, CA, has been a fixture in the Arizona market since 1989, when it purchased the assets of Knoell Homes. By the mid-1990s, Shea Homes Arizona president Garth Weiger recognized an escalating problem tied to the labor shortage. Homes were not being built quickly enough, plus there was a quality problem. In the extremely competitive Phoenix market, where no home builder has a 10-percent market share, not keeping up with demand means losing out to other builders.
According to Jim Younger, Shea Homes’ Weiger called him on the phone with some good news and some bad news. The good news was that Shea Homes was starting a Total Quality Management (TQM) program and was inviting its “trade partners” such as YBC and others to participate. The bad news was that it would cost each trade partner $5,000 to get involved, and a consultant would be sent out to review their operations.
“I wasn’t open to the idea of training at the time,” Younger said. “I was doing a lot of Shea’s business and felt I was pretty good at what I do. Although I’d recognized the same problems Garth had, I felt we were doing the best we could do. I didn’t realize until after I got into the TQM training how wrong I was.”
Supporting TQM with The 7 Habits®
Buddy Satterfield succeeded Weiger as president of Shea Homes Arizona, and carried the torch to find new ways to build homes better, faster, and cheaper to reduce cycle times while improving quality and reducing costs.
Younger credits Satterfield and Shea Homes vice president Paul Kalkbrenner with turning Shea Homes Arizona into a learning organization that continuously seeks ways and means to make itself and its trade partners better.”All of the TQM pieces and parts Shea Homes gave us initially were wonderful, but until they brought in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training, the trades were still doing business the old way, which was to back-charge each other for mistakes, fix the work, and never talk about the issues,” Younger said. “Then all of a sudden we had this new approach called Think Win-Win®, and a new language.”
Younger explained the way to make TQM work is to get all the trades to a place where they truly understand each other, where they can cooperate.
“The language of Think Win-Win means I’m not only looking out for YBC but also for my other trade partners-concrete, plumbing, electrical, drywall-and providing an end product that makes it easier for them to do their jobs, to care about what they care about, and in the end, build relationships and improve things for everyone,” he said. “I can’t believe we worked all those years and never figured that one out. It took Shea Homes and The 7 Habits to help us discover the business benefits of improved human relationships.”
YBC now has six licensed facilitators that teach The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People workshop, held at the headquarters facility and at YBC’s Door and Trim site. “We’ve put the entire management team through the training and continue to conduct workshops throughout the year,” Younger said. Lorie Bonzo, director of Human Resources at YBC added, “We’ve witnessed extraordinary changes in people’s professional and personal lives.”
Skilled Labor Pool
The labor shortage in the Phoenix area has positioned Hispanics among the most available skilled laborers. While not all trade contractors in the area have adapted well to the current labor environment, YBC has embraced the challenge proactively. Indeed, out of the roughly 450 workers in the framing operation, nearly 70 percent are Hispanic.
“We’re very pleased with the work ethic and loyalty among our Hispanic associates,” Younger said. “Bridging cultures in a business environment is a two-way street. We’re committed to learning Spanish, we’re developing The 7 Habits training in the language, and we’ve complemented our Human Resources department with a Spanish-speaking staff, some of whom will be trained as facilitators for The 7 Habits. Plus, we publish our newsletter in Spanish. We’re also assisting our Hispanic employees in learning English and in how to adapt to our culture a little bit better.”
Measurable Results
YBC has conducted satisfaction surveys for the past six years. Are customers (builders like Shea Homes, Ryland, and Lennar) satisfied? Younger considers increased market share a strong indicator. He said YBC has boosted total market share in the Phoenix valley from seven percent to nine percent in a flat market. “What’s more,” he said, “we’re 18 percent over our housing-start projections for this time last year, again in a flat-market environment.”
He added, “Training in The 7 Habits has influenced our customer relationships to an exceptional degree. The magic in home building is in the hand-off from trade to trade, and in what we can do to make other trade contractors’ jobs easier in order to reduce cycle time.”
On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being best), external customer-satisfaction survey grand mean totals were 3.5 in 1996, 4.01 in 1998, and 4.09 in 2000. As for employee satisfaction results, the grand mean total was 4.0 in 1997 and 4.09 in 1999.
“As we’ve put The 7 Habits in place, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we’ve seen improvement in our grand mean total each year, so we’ve really built a incredible culture around The 7 Habits principles,” Younger said. “We’ve identified our core values, we know our purpose, we have our commitments to our customers, team members, and community, as well as to our finances and profitability. We’ve worked hard to bring definition to who we are, what we stand for, and what we want to be. The 7 Habits is not the training ‘flavor of the month.’ It’s sustaining us quite well.”
Future Focus
To say that Jim Younger is very excited about the future is an understatement. His five-year plan includes finding and applying better building technologies and continuing to improve ways builders and trades work together.
“Until we put The 7 Habits in place-and more recently Win-Win Agreements-synergy and teamwork were vague concepts to us,” Younger said. “Becoming a learning corporation is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to us. Where we once saw ourselves as just a trade contractor framing houses, we now see ourselves in the people business. The language we now speak has really defined specific behaviors amongst ourselves, how leaders need to operate, how people need to interact, and how we need to respond to each other.”
He concluded, “The 7 Habits enabled us to go places we never thought we could. I couldn’t be more proud of the people I work with. I’ve also developed good business relationships with other trades. I enjoy my work and the homebuilding industry more than ever.”
What Makes it Work for the Good of Business
When Jim Younger attended FranklinCovey Symposium in Salt Lake City a few years ago, he discovered the concept of balanced scorecards-a framework that links business strategies with day-to-day activities in order to make improvements and track progress.
According to The American Productivity & Quality Center, a non-profit consulting organization based in Houston, Texas, organizations tend to juggle a number of improvement initiatives simultaneously, but often lack the alignment to structure these initiatives in a cohesive way that addresses an overall strategy. Integrating the four related perspectives of finance, customers, internal processes, and innovation and learning, balanced scorecards are a means of understanding the overall performance of an organization. Plus they’re a way to focus people’s attention on desired behaviors and desired results.
“After Symposium, I knew that balanced scorecards were something we needed to do,” said Younger, “but we struggled for two years on how to implement them. I called Debra Larson, our FranklinCovey Client Partner, and she hooked us up with FranklinCovey consultant Jim Stuart, who has since taken a very complicated subject and made it something we can all understand, implement, and maintain.”
Younger added, “If we claim to be an innovative company, we need a gauge that shows we are; if we’re committed to safety and to customer satisfaction, we need gauges that prove it.”
Respond Instead of React
Younger said his company has had no lack of measurements. “We have measurements everywhere. Prior to balanced scorecards, when a problem arose, we’d start looking in one haystack, then another. You can be in the seventh or eighth haystack when a new problem crops up.”
He explained that balanced scorecards provide a focus on “lead and lag” indicators. In the area of safety, for example, a lead indicator would be a safety violation written. No one’s been injured at this point. A lag indicator would be an incident-the accident itself.
“If you’re doing a good job of tallying up the number of violations written and witnessing that the percentage is going up, then the lead indicator is that accidents will increase if we don’t get this under control. You’re not waiting until after an accident to fix the problem. You get a chance to be proactive and do something about it ahead of time. Balanced scorecards give you hyper-focus at a higher level, allowing us to respond instead of react,” Younger said.
The Support of Win-Win Performance Agreements
With balanced scorecards comes accountability, as various members of the leadership team are responsible for specifics being measured. The concept of Win-Win Agreements® is one in which the organization is accountable to its people for overall results, individuals are accountable to the organization for their performance, and all parts of the organization are accountable to each other for the integrity of the organization.
“Jim Stuart sat down with each member of the leadership team to work through a Win-Win Agreement,” Younger said. “It’s a piece that’s been missing for a long time.”
“For example,” he continued, “we’re always pursuing new and better ways of doing things to reduce the amount of re-work and improve cycle time. We’re looking at closed panel systems, which are wall panels that include the electrical and plumbing components right in the panel-something not typically done much in the west. The Win-Win Agreement really spells out accountability, defines outstanding behavior for executives in implementing strategy, and how a leader is going to treat another leader.”
Younger concluded, “The Win-Win Agreement is a means of initiating cooperative action so that people can do their jobs better and more accurately measure success. Without question, this is one initiative that makes us enthusiastic about the future.”

Memorial Medical Center
Improving Employee Satisfaction and Patient Care in the Face of Oncoming Competition
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
With the help of FranklinCovey training in What Matters Most® (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities) and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, Memorial Medical Center, Inc., in Las Cruces, New Mexico has created a culture of cooperation, communication, and achievement, resulting in high job satisfaction, low turnover, and removed barriers to improved patient care. The hospital has realized a 40-percent increase in employee productivity as a result of time saved or gained each week, as well as a return of $1.74 for every dollar invested in training.
What’s more, through continuously applying diagnostics of its Organizational Effectiveness CycleTM, FranklinCovey is helping Memorial prescribe the right training solution for each functional area of the hospital. Work processes continue to improve, helping the hospital get business done and enabling caregivers to do what they trained for.
There’s likely no more challenging business environment today than that of healthcare. Just ask Carter Campbell, director of Educational Services at Memorial Medical Center, Inc., in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
A registered nurse with years of critical-care experience, Campbell now leads training and education initiatives for what has been the only acute-care hospital in southern New Mexico. Memorial Medical Center, Inc., employs 1,500 ”team members” and serves the 300,000 residents of the state’s second largest city and surrounding communities and counties.
A fixture in the Las Cruces community since 1950, Memorial is also no stranger to the changing landscape of healthcare operations. Nationwide there’s a severe labor shortage of nursing, pharmacy, radiology, and lab professionals. Add lower job-satisfaction levels, high turnover, and shrinking federal reimbursements to the mix of national healthcare issues. Then pile on legislative funding cuts and direct competition from a new hospital opening in Las Cruces in August 2002. It’s soon apparent that new approaches to quality care, retaining qualified care givers, and finding ways to reduce costs are top priorities for Memorial.
“As a not-for-profit community hospital, our challenge is maintaining our community mission but acting like an investor-owned hospital in order to survive,” Campbell said. “The new hospital has an investor-owned mission, whereas we are chartered to provide for the needs of every member of our community. But we had to escape the mind-set that people should come here simply because we’ve been part of the community longer.”
“We’ve always had competition,” said Laura Pierce, Memorial’s assistant vice president of Human Resources. “El Paso, Texas is only a 40-minute drive from here. People live here and commute there, and vice versa. We’ve just never had competition within our own community before.”
She added, “The reason our team members work at Memorial is because they care about their community and their patients. But now it will be easier for them to go work for the new hospital, or work both places. We’ve found it’s really important to invest in the talent of our team members. Obviously we want to be their employer of choice.”
Answering the Training Call Button
Realizing the need to invest in training in order to help team members adapt to change, improve services, and make Memorial an attractive place to work, Campbell and Pierce first tapped traditional leadership-development and customer-service training, followed by a university-style program with professors doing the teaching. Later, business consultants came in with management training. While each program had its merits, none was specific enough for the healthcare issues facing Memorial Medical Center.
Collaborating with a colleague one day, Campbell discovered their common interest in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and concluded, “Wouldn’t it be great if we introduced these concepts to Memorial?” After an initial call to FranklinCovey headquarters, he was put in touch with Debra Larson, FranklinCovey Managing Client Partner, based in Phoenix, Arizona.
“When I called Debra with questions about how to certify to facilitate The 7 Habits training at Memorial, I was impressed that the first thing out of her mouth was not ‘this is how you do it,'” Campbell said. “Rather it was ‘Why do you want to do The 7 Habits?’ That comment intrigued me, because you don’t often get that from a company. Debra really exhibits the solution provider model.”
Memorial Medical Center signed a license agreement with FranklinCovey, then Campbell certified in both The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People leadership training and What Matters Most time management training. He has since certified in five additional FranklinCovey curricula. Two other Memorial team members are also certified FranklinCovey facilitators.
Getting the Executive Team On Board
With help from Debra Larson and Memorial’s guidance team, it was determined that the hospital’s executive team should experience The 7 Habits® training first, “so that they understood the principles and could see how we planned to facilitate the training around present-day challenges within the medical center,” Campbell said. “When it was over, our chief financial officer, Phil Rivera, said ‘everybody in the organization needs this.’ To hear something like that from a CFO is very reassuring,” Campbell said.
Leaders Lead the Way
The next management tier to be trained was the hospital’s 150 directors, managers, team leaders, and supervisors, who experienced a What Matters Most time management workshop designed to boost individual and team productivity. They were introduced to the Franklin Planner® as the tool to prioritize and carry out tasks critical to reaching team and organizational objectives. Participants also learned about Habits 2 and 3 of The 7 Habits: Begin with the End in Mind® and Put First Things First®. They then spent the next three weeks using the planner and honing newfound time management skills.
At 30 days, Campbell trained these leaders in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, introducing the methodology of principle-centered leadership, “with the understanding that we’d bring them back the following year for The 4 Roles of Leadership® workshop after they’d had a chance to practice and renew skills in The 7 Habits.”
Memorial teamed with FranklinCovey to develop Introduction to The 7 Habits for Healthcare, a new workshop now offered as the second day of new employee orientation. “It’s all about setting the stage for new hires in how we work together and want them to work,” Campbell said.
Standing Up to Scrutiny
Increasingly, corporations of all sizes are reticent to support training programs that can’t prove themselves. Memorial Medical Center tapped the Jack Phillips Center for Research, the measurement and evaluation arm of FranklinCovey that studies the return on investment (ROI) of training and performance-improvement programs.
Specifically concerning The 7 Habits training at Memorial Medical Center, the Jack Phillips research determined that the hospital realized an ROI of $1.74 for every dollar invested in training. What’s more, the training was responsible for 40 percent of the time saved or gained each week in increased productivity.
According to BusinessWeek Online, the most important key to increased earnings today is productivity.1 Getting workers and their managers focused on the truly important things may be the biggest untapped source of increased productivity and performance.
A Jack Phillips study of 46 organizations across 12 industries2 reveals that training in What Matters Most and The 7 Habits helps people become tightly focused on the key initiatives and goals of the organization:
They spend less time distracted by competing priorities and focus on what really matters.
They develop strategies for managing their time so that the truly important doesn’t fall victim to the merely urgent.
They become more committed and purposeful as they feel more engaged in work that matters to the organization.
According to Campbell, use of the Franklin Planner is widespread throughout Memorial, “and it’s expected in some quarters. If you show up without your Franklin Planner, others ask you where it is.”
“Internal Experts” Make the Difference
Laura Pierce is convinced that FranklinCovey training at Memorial wouldn’t have been as effective without having an internal expert like Carter Campbell to facilitate it.
“Carter knows us inside and out and what our challenges are. He’s been with us a number of years and has built a level of credibility with the executive and leadership teams and knows how to tie everything in with healthcare. Plus, he has the perspective of a critical-care nurse. He knows what it’s like working those shifts. He’s instilled confidence with team members that they really can make the training work within their areas of responsibility, improve processes, and improve patient care.”
Focus on the Future
Campbell credits FranklinCovey curricula and the Organizational Effectiveness Cycle with helping the hospital not just identify issues, but to create full-circle processes to ensure leaders and team members implement what they set out to do and measure the impact on every department throughout the hospital.
“We applied the What Matters Most model to re-craft our mission statement and core values as an organization,” Campbell said. “We asked our stakeholders, ‘If a healthcare organization were operating at its best, what would its core values be?’ We solicited responses from patients, team members, and members of the hospital’s foundation, and distilled the core values down to: community, compassion, respect, and unity. And that drove our mission statement, which is: To Care for Our Community with Compassion and Respect.”
Laura Pierce acknowledges that processes are interwoven throughout the hospital. Once they’re ironed out and running well, what are the benefits? “A work environment where team members feel supported, satisfaction is high, and turnover is low,” she said. “We remove the barriers so team members can do what they went to school for, taking care of the patient with compassion and respect.”
1 US Productivity: Galloping to the rescue once again. BusinessWeek Online. Feb. 18, 2002.
2 Jack Phillips Center ROI study of 46 organizations across 12 industries; Feb. 2002.

Lake Mead National Park
Lake Mead National Recreation Area Success Story – How Lake Mead National Recreation Area Used the Power of The 7 Habits® to Improve Communication and Unify Efforts
Featured Training Programs
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
The 4 Roles of Leadership®
A short drive from Las Vegas, one of the world’s most popular destinations, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, receives more visitors per year than even Yellowstone. Unfortunately, it receives more trash, traffic, and troubles as well. “There’s a huge trend in people wanting to reconnect with their families and with nature,” says Alan O’Neill, an employee of the Park Service. “It’s tremendous for the park. But with national restructuring and downsizing, our budgets had flat-lined, and our staff members were burning out in the face of GPRA’s [Government Performance and Results Act] greater expectations.”
The challenge for Lake Mead was obvious: how to create a clean, safe, enjoyable recreation spot for millions upon millions of people. The underlying challenge was less clear: how to do it amidst rapid changes in doing business, competitive management, and parameters demanded by the GPRA.
Getting Their Hands Dirty
Prompted by previous training with FranklinCovey, O’Neill knew he needed to help his people flow through the challenges that were ahead. He began by introducing FranklinCovey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® workshop. “We knew, however, this was just the beginning,” says Bobbie Antonich, Park Service employee. “Teaching people isn’t a matter of simple training. It is a process-and a challenging one, at that.” More than 200 employees joined the initial workshops-with a tremendous response. Lake Mead went on to organize training for several other FranklinCovey offerings, including The 4 Roles of Leadership®, First Things First® (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities), Building TrustTM, and Getting to SynergyTM. The resulting changes in attitude were remarkable. “Communication in the park had been at an all-time low,” remembers Antonich. “But by learning and implementing new principles, we refocused our efforts on interdependent problem solving.” And they have put those problem-solving skills to the test.
Talking Trash
Lake Mead was struggling to unify the efforts of six divisions within the park. Rather than taking a proactive approach of individual responsibility, Park Service employees relegated tasks down the ranks, and finger pointing was common. “We had always been activity-oriented, not outcome-oriented,” explains Antonich. “Changing 60 years of traditional, independent management isn’t easy.”
A change came, however, during one of the management training sessions. Upon entering The 4 Roles of Leadership® workshop, each park manager walked by an empty cigarette pack lying on the floor. Only after every person had taken a seat did the FranklinCovey facilitator pick up the litter and hold it in the air. The cigarette pack instantly became a metaphor for the team relationships Lake Mead so desperately needed. If management was not willing to fulfill basic tasks-such as picking up a piece of trash, there was little reason or incentive for the rest of the staff to do the same. The idea stuck. Before the conference’s end, managers were signing a written commitment to be part of a cooperative, whole-team approach to running the park. But the real commitment presented itself on the roads outside the conference center. Immediately after the workshop, every manager was on the side of the highway picking up trash-and showing how the leadership skills they had learned literally worked from the ground up.
Results that Really Come Clean
Today, Lake Mead has introduced dozens of cultural and operational improvements into their organization. A refined mission statement for the park is not only incorporated into each employee’s performance review, it is printed on pocket cards, memo pads, and decals for commonly used tools. A newly structured hiring process has enabled management to recruit and employ individuals whose philosophies match Lake Mead’s values-and who have proved to be invaluable in helping the park achieve new successes. Lake Mead has also set a course to build relationships both inside and outside the recreation area.
Enacting the concept of “Win-Win” learned through FranklinCovey, Lake Mead jumped in to assist Clark County, the neighboring metro area experiencing a growth explosion. Together, they reached an agreement over adjacent land use in which the county received 400,000 acres to be used as habitat for the desert tortoise, and Lake Mead received base funding for many of its projects.
“Unlike the private sector,” says O’Neil, “we have a moral responsibility to respond in a proactive way to what the public asks. We are public servants. We have been given actions for improvement [through GPRA], and we believe in measuring their outcomes and being responsible for them.”
The federal accounting office currently uses Lake Mead as a model government agency achieving results in line with GPRA. In fact, the processes implemented by FranklinCovey and Lake Mead Recreational Area are being duplicated by other National Parks such as Yellowstone and Harpers Ferry. Proving that transformation in the face of competition and downsizing truly can be a day in the park.

How FranklinCovey Solutions™ Helped Turn on the Lights at JEA
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
The 4 Roles of Leadership®
Mike Brost, one of JEA’s (formerly Jacksonville Electric Authority) five Corporate Strategy Team members, knew that change was needed at the company. How to implement that change was the challenging issue. “We are a 100-year-old regulated monopoly, and with that comes a 100-year old culture,” explains Brost. “We had to get people to turn 180 degrees and look at things in a completely new-and initially uncomfortable way.”
JEA found context for this new competitive perspective in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® and The 4 Roles of Leadership® workshops. With complete support from executive management, JEA instigated a new training program for all employees. More than 700 staff members completed The 7 Habits® workshop and the results were-and continue to be-readily apparent. “There’s certainly been a positive impact on our culture,” reports Brost. “People approach their jobs with more enthusiasm and creativity.” That enthusiasm and creativity were also reflected in additional training and consulting from FranklinCovey.
Full Power Application
The initial objective for bringing in FranklinCovey leadership was to improve company performance through the 7 Habits. But as the habits became part of the JEA culture, it became clear that a truly thorough change would involve a remolding of internal operations. So JEA management immersed themselves in two more FranklinCovey programs: The 4 Roles of Leadership® and the Organizational Effectiveness CycleTM.
As part of this framework, JEA formed a senior-level Corporate Strategy Team (CST) responsible for leading the company through a complete reorganization of its mission, values, and strategies. Then, to help implement the new vision, the Corporate Strategy Team was charged with identifying areas for improvement-and more importantly, identifying the solutions that would bring about a positive change. Examples of change include alignment of major systems, improvement of high-level processes, and significant changes in organizational structure. “Making ‘change’ a responsibility of our own people was essential to the success of our mission,” remarks Brost. “Many companies bring in consultants hoping for a solution from the outside. We were fortunate to recognize that a sustainable, long-term change would only happen from the inside out.” To accomplish their goals, the CST focused on a top-down model and various elements of leadership assessment and development.
The Lights Are On
Positive changes aren’t hard to find today at JEA. Through clear initiatives set forth by the Corporate Strategy Team, activities undertaken by the entire company have brought impressive results. And an impressive new contract with the U.S. Navy is just one example.
With three bases in the Jacksonville area, the navy was one of JEA’s largest customers. And with potential competition stemming from deregulation, JEA needed a plan to continue servicing that account. Applying the “Seek First to Understand” and “Win-Win” principles from the 7 Habits, JEA jumped outside its earlier monopolistic mindset to suggest a long-term contract with the navy. The outcome was a never-before negotiated, 10-year, multi-million dollar agreement in which both sides got just what they needed: a low, locked-in rate for the navy, and a continuing, satisfied customer for JEA.
Positive changes are breaking new ground within the company as well. With support and assistance from FranklinCovey’s organizational consulting and assessment group, JEA developed a methodology for major transformation and change titled “Work Smart.” More than a dozen Work Smart teams are working to address issues and provide creative solutions to improve a variety of areas. One team analyzing the company’s vehicle fleet identified process inefficiencies in the fueling and loading of the vehicles. Their suggestions saved the department $250,000 in 1997 alone-and will cut costs a whopping $2.7 million over the next three years.
Tracking successes like these has become a positive change itself in the company. JEA keeps a “corporate scoreboard,” which continually reflects the high level corporate impact of the various activities, initiatives, and actions. Not only does this keep employee activities on track, it helps determine compensation for management-an additional incentive for ensuring the company’s success.
Outshining Themselves
Today JEA is not only maintaining and increasing its customer base, it is increasing customer loyalty by offering even more services. Merging with water and sewer utilities has allowed JEA to give more customers more of what they want. And the company continues to look forward with plans for bundling more valuable services. With a new mission clearly in place and every employee dedicated to ongoing initiatives, JEA is poised for many positive changes-changes that are creating a very bright future, indeed.

Oakwood Healthcare
Oakwood Healthcare Success Story – How The 7 Habits® Training Helped Control Costs, Improve Care, and Build Trust between Physicians and Administrators
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
The 4 Roles of Leadership®
How healthcare organizations respond to industry reform is critical to their success. With third-party payers restricting the money healthcare providers can spend on patient care, doctors and administrators at Oakwood Healthcare System in Dearborn, Michigan, were placed in adversarial roles. This case study examines how Oakwood:
Responded to the lack of trust, cooperation, and communication between physicians and administrators to meet future healthcare needs
Implemented a four-phase leadership training approach-including FranklinCovey training-that helped physicians assess challenges, recommend solutions, and lead the process for implementing those recommendations
Increased teamwork, reduced medical supply inventories, controlled costs, and improved patient care through principle-centered behavior
Healthcare Reform Demands Trust and Teamwork
In 1996, Oakwood Healthcare System launched a two-year reengineering process to reconfigure its expansive healthcare delivery organization to meet the needs of the new millennium. Oakwood consists of six hospitals and 30 clinics and employs a staff of 8,000 along with 1,100 affiliated physicians.
But according to Dr. Ron Larson, a physician and Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs, the reengineering process offered no real solution for developing personal leadership skills. Then members of the reengineering steering committee experienced The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® public workshop. They recognized how bringing the training in house could foster trust and teamwork at all levels of the organization, particularly between physicians and administrators.
Turning the Expertise Inward
Oakwood’s reengineering effort encompassed four specific areas: leadership, managed care, integrated systems, and healthcare finance. Senior management mandated that the organization identify and prepare 70 physicians to assume key leadership roles within the Oakwood system. They knew that without the involvement and representation of physicians, Oakwood would not be able to maintain its competitive position and create future growth.
“Thriving within the turbulence of healthcare reform is all predicated on developing trust,” said Larson. “In the past, relationships between physicians and Oakwood administrators were nonexistent.” Internist and steering committee member Dr. Elaine Atallah added, “Restricted third-party payments placed physicians and administrators in adversarial roles. We were experiencing vulnerability, uncertainty, loss of control, and a lack of shared vision and strategy.”
Dr. Tim Love of Oakwood’s Critical Care Medicine Service echoed these concerns: “We worried about low trust levels. You have administration and you have the medical staff. While administration owns the resources, the medical staff is responsible for 80 percent of expenses. The need to form a partnership between administrators and physicians was paramount in order to control costs and improve quality at the same time.”
With the help of FranklinCovey, Oakwood structured a Physician Education and Leadership Program (PELP) to help prepare physicians for leadership roles. FranklinCovey coordinated the teaching of the managed care, integrated systems, and healthcare finance modules with university-level consultant specialists in these respective areas. The leadership component, based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® workshop and elements of First Things First® (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities) and Principle-Centered Leadership® (now The 4 Roles of Leadership®) workshops, served as the foundation for training in the other three areas.
A Four-Phase Approach to Partnership
The plan to build a partnership between administrators and physicians was implemented through a four-phase approach: 1. Kickoff Meeting; 2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® workshop; 3. The 7 Habits Renewal and First Things First® workshops; and 4. Principle-Centered Leadership workshop.
Phase 1: Kickoff Meeting
Seventy selected physicians, along with nursing leaders and Oakwood administrators and top executives, attended the kickoff-a celebration of Oakwood’s commitment to physicians and the physicians’ commitment to Oakwood. FranklinCovey facilitators explained the structure of PELP, how it would relate to the physicians personally and professionally, and committed them to make a serious effort to apply what they would learn so that change could occur.
Importantly, facilitators explained the 7 Habits Effectiveness Benchmark, a preworkshop peer profile the physicians would use to seek the insight and feedback of close associates in order to design a personal improvement plan. The profile served as a benchmarking tool to measure the effectiveness of the 7 Habits training. Physicians also received a copy of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book by Stephen R. Covey and The 7 HabitsTM audio learning system. This opportunity for participants to become familiar with the 7 Habits materials instilled a basic understanding of the 7 Habits concepts and prepared participants for a meaningful, hands-on workshop experience.
Phase 2: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Workshop
Three FranklinCovey facilitators presented simultaneous workshops of the 7 Habits, consisting of 20 to 25 participants each. The focus was on physicians’ personal and professional leadership. Participants engaged in the mission statement process received a physician-customized Franklin PlannerTM, and were given Oakwood-specific case studies on organizational issues, such as manpower planning and clinical pathways (treatment modalities or best practices).
In the past, administrators had sought physician input on issues affecting Oakwood, but many doctors were either too busy to respond or felt their ideas wouldn’t be valued. However, through the 7 Habits workshop experience, physicians were asked to work on solutions to challenges, communicate those recommendations, and lead the process for implementing their recommendations. The heightened trust and improved communication and synergy between physicians, nursing, and administration as a result of this process were remarkable. The work on treatment modalities alone helped Oakwood dramatically reduce medical supply inventories because of more uniform methods of treatment among physicians.
Each participant left the 7 Habits workshop with a copy of the First Things First book and the associated audiotape series as postwork for Phase 2 and prework for Phase 3.
Phase 3: 7 Habits Renewal and First Things First
One of the hallmarks of FranklinCovey workshops is the Empowered Learning ModelTM (ELM) process, which is designed to improve performance. In a nutshell, ELM is not a quick-fix, one-time training event, but rather a process of preparation, participation, and performance measurement. Phase 1, with its peer profile and preworkshop preparation, and the Phase 2 hands-on 7 Habits workshop, were devoted to the first two ELM steps. The third step, performance, is about putting learned principles into action, which impacts the return on training investment.
Phase 3 served as a renewal of the 7 Habits, with emphasis on mission statement and the time-management principle, Habit 3: Put First Things First® (What Matters Most® workshop). The bulk of this phase was performed outside the classroom setting. Participants focused on performance, working through First Things First principles and completing assignments-looking for all the ways they can apply these principles within the Oakwood system. The self-paced video and homework helped them prepare for Phase 4.
Phase 4: Principle-Centered Leadership
In this phase, participants focused on the Organizational Effectiveness CycleTM process. This process helped empower them to effect change in their personal lives, their teams, and, finally, within the larger Oakwood system. The objective was to have participants exit this phase with the knowledge and skills to solve their challenges more effectively by becoming organizational practitioners.
Dr. Larson explained that by incorporating the 7 Habits, First Things First, and Principle-Centered Leadership into the larger PELP program, Oakwood was able to bring physicians, management, and staff closer together in a quick, concentrated fashion.
He said, “Identifying case scenarios and commissioning physicians and other training participants to help us resolve these issues has resulted in improvements beyond what we imagined. The whole 7 Habits process began at a very personal level that reached beyond the workplace to family life. Living the 7 Habits on and off the job brought about such a positive change that we were collaborating and providing solutions together instead of being confrontational.”
Dr. Larson added, “As an outgrowth of principle-centered behavior and stronger relationships, we’re better positioned to control costs, improve patient care, and succeed in the turbulent managed-care environment.”
Real Results and the Road Ahead
As a result of the 7 Habits training, issues that Oakwood had been struggling with for years are being resolved. The organization has since trained 15 in-house facilitators to share these principles of effectiveness with hundreds more physicians, nurses, and administrators. According to Dr. Larson, Oakwood has seen the following benefits:
Increased physician involvement with management concerning quality care issues in the managed care environment
Heightened trust between physicians, administrators, hospital and clinic staff, and third-party payer organizations
Improved personal leadership, empathic listening skills, and other core competencies among physicians
A new Oakwood culture based on shared values that enhances the ability of physicians and staff to meet the challenges of the new business of medicine
Dr. Larson concluded, “With healthcare reform, we must have an attitude of teamwork in every situation. At Oakwood, we’ve taken ownership of our problems by making changes. The outcome is collaboration instead of confrontation, deeper understanding, shared values, stronger relationships, synergy, and higher trust. And, ultimately, vastly improved patient care through applying the 7 Habits.”

Kimball International
Kimball International Success Story – Improving Teamwork and Turn-Around Time at Kimball International with The 7 Habits ®
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
This case study examines the efforts and success of Kimball International’s Lodging Group division in:
Developing cross-functional teams of people with different skills to respond more effectively to dynamic customer needs
Laying the foundation for effective cross-functional teams through the in-house workshop-The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®
Improving internal communication and custom product through time, culminating in a better working environment and increased customer satisfaction
Fame in the Kimball Name
Chances are you’ve had firsthand contact with Kimball International products. The $1 billion company, headquartered in the small, southern Indiana town of Jasper, manufactures furniture for offices, homes, and hotels, as well as cabinets, pianos, electronic contract assemblies, and processed wood parts. Facilities are located throughout the U.S. and in Mexico, England, France, and Austria.
The company’s Kimball Lodging Group division-with revenues of $100 million-has the mission to provide furniture products of exceptional value to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, hotels and motels, and government projects, such as military base housing. The Lodging Group’s Custom Projects business unit has furnished a wide variety of notable theme hotels, including Fort Wilderness in Disneyworld and the pyramid-shaped Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Such market and customer diversity requires responsiveness, vision, teamwork, and improved communication. Kimball Lodging Group vice president Jim Birk attended The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People workshop and recognized the organizational potential of the 7 Habits. He brought the training in house to implement a visionary idea in teamwork to increase productivity and profitability.
Building a Stronger Organization
Roughly two years ago, Kimball Lodging Group embarked on a plan to dismantle traditional departments and create Circles of Excellence-cross-functional teams of people with different skills to respond more effectively to dynamic customer needs. Individuals would lead out when a problem required their expertise and contribute ideas when someone else was leading. It’s a system that demands high trust, understanding of the company mission, and a willingness to listen and collaborate to serve customers better.
“Our customer is our business,” says Birk. “We must provide products and services that create customer intimacy and exceed their expectations of quality and features. We also must recognize and respond quickly and creatively to ideas of others, both internally and externally. We could not have reorganized with the required level of teamwork without the 7 Habits coming first.”
Birk explains that 7 Habits training employs an Inside-Out Approach, which builds stronger organizations by first strengthening the individuals who comprise them. The 7 Habits lay a solid foundation of principle-centered behavior that supports organizational initiatives, such as the Lodging Group’s Circles of Excellence.
Birk says, “We saw both change and opportunity coming our way, and so the first step was to develop the personal trustworthiness and interpersonal communication of our employees.” Birk himself became a 7 Habits facilitator to lead this effort. John Light, the Lodging Group’s employee development manager, who also facilitates creative problem-solving training, was charged with the key responsibility to drive 7 Habits training throughout the organization.
The two executives spent the first year teaching the 7 Habits to all Kimball Lodging Group employees. Once employees had an opportunity to learn and live the principles on and off the job, Birk and Light focused on managerial effectiveness and empowering team members with Win-Win Agreements, greater decision-making authority, and accountability.
“Ultimately,” says Birk, “we worked on aligning team efforts with the Lodging Group’s mission to improve lead times, create customer intimacy, and exceed their expectations of value and quality. The Inside-Out Approach was culminating in a cycle of greater effectiveness within the organization as a whole.”
Communication Is Key
“Many results of 7 Habits training have been measurable,” says John Light. “Turn-around time or through time on custom products is a good example. We can now deliver customized product in 8 to 12 weeks. There’s no way we could achieve that without the improved communication and cooperation among our teams. Our vendors tell us our competitors can’t match our through times.”
Joyce Kibby, manager of Order Fulfillment, has firsthand experience with the value of 7 Habits training and its impact on the Circles of Excellence in improving through times.
“Prior to forming the Circles of Excellence, we’d have customers, sales reps, or both calling our different departments requesting that we develop or reengineer a product. Often what was requested of one department had already been addressed by another. The Circles of Excellence are the forum for weekly interchange of communications. One team member will mention a development request, and another member will say, ‘We’ve already done that; let me help you with that.’ “
Kibby says they are saving valuable engineering resources and not repetitively contacting the Quote Department for a cost factor. Much of the work is already done. “Sometimes we can save three to four days of work in a single meeting because of the suggestions and ideas offered. This works very well for us. We’ve discovered the bottom-line value of synergizing, of helping each other out and growing as a team. It’s a very positive thing for Kimball Lodging Group and our profitability.”
John Light says the focus on improved communication was largely a result of implementing the FranklinCovey Organizational Health AssessmentTM (OHA), which provides a 360-degree view of the marketplace and the organization’s place in it. The resulting OHA Baseline Report analyzes data collected from all of the organization’s stakeholders on key success factors, such as mission, strategy, structure, systems, and culture.
“It became clear to us that communication and valuing the diversity of experience among our employees were key issues. Through our organizational effectiveness efforts, team members are at the point of not just valuing differences, but celebrating them in order to find new solutions to meet customer needs.”
He adds, “With the 7 Habits and our Circles of Excellence, we’re no longer operating in silos. We’re beginning with the end in mind to meet customer expectations, the walls are broken down, and we’re saving time, resources, and money.”
Expanding the 7 Habits Influence
Once word started getting around about the 7 Habits training within Kimball Lodging Group, more and more people from other Kimball divisions and business units wanted to get involved. “So we opened up our classes to more people, and the circle of influence keeps getting bigger,” says Light.
Adds Jim Birk, “It’s really quite thrilling to see what has happened in a two-year period. Sometimes I think two years is a long time. It takes patience to implement genuine organizational development and change. But the more I think about it, two years have gone by fast, and we’ve achieved a lot of change for such a big company.”
Birk summarizes the benefits of the 7 Habits training at Kimball Lodging Group this way:
An ability to view differences as strengths, enhancing problem-solving and conflict resolution
Increase planning and preparation time, resulting in shorter, more focused meetings and more productive individual work time
Industry-leading, on-time product deliveries, achieved through improved clarity between teams and reduced redundancy
He concludes, “Executives should view the 7 Habits as a cost-effective means to achieve their business objectives because the training is aligned with natural principles leading to success. As vice president of Kimball Lodging Group, it’s thrilling to witness what we’re achieving-real business results and more focused and balanced employees because of this program. The 7 Habits help us realize our mission.”

Blockbuster Inc. Adopts FranklinCovey Solutions™ to Increase Productivity Amid Explosive Growth
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
The 4 Roles of Leadership®
FranklinCovey Project Management™
Presentation Advantage™
Writing Advantage®
This case study examines how Blockbuster successfully implemented in-house training solutions from FranklinCovey to:
Improve productivity of employees by providing the skills and tools to help them accomplish key goals while maintaining a balanced lifestyle
Provide a common language for improved cooperative efforts within and between departments
Attract and retain high-caliber employees
Beginning with a single store in 1985, Blockbuster has experienced the kind of growth that is fitting of its name. Today, Blockbuster believes that almost 60 percent of the U.S. population lives within three miles of one of its almost 4,800 stores. Additionally, Blockbuster now operates more than 2,300 stores in 26 other countries.
Working with FranklinCovey to develop and implement effective training solutions, Blockbuster has experienced significant results. Both skills-based and principle-based training programs have been key aids in managing the explosive growth and changes within the company.
Premier Showing
Blockbuster’s rapid growth presented many challenges, one of which was the need to provide exceptional and effective training for its employees who were devoting so much time for the continued success of the company. Blockbuster began a relationship with FranklinCovey. Blockbuster’s Corporate Learning and Development Department selected a representative to be certified as a FranklinCovey Time Quest® (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities) instructor. The time management training was presented in house to corporate personnel, distribution center management, regional staff, and zone management. The program was well received and, subsequently, a success.
“The training was a welcome relief,” recalled Julie Normington, manager, Corporate Learning and Development for Blockbuster. “I believe people can learn different and better ways to be more effective at work and in their personal lives.” The training, which introduces the Franklin PlannerTM, provided the skills and perspective to increase productivity.
Moving Picture
In the spring of 1997, the Blockbuster corporate headquarters were moved from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Dallas, Texas. One particularly challenging part of the move was that approximately 70 percent of the senior leadership didn’t follow the company to Dallas. Annie Nichols, who recently had been promoted to manager of Management and Skills Training, began developing a training department and curriculum to meet the changing needs of the company. As Nichols examined Blockbuster’s needs and FranklinCovey curriculum, several additional training programs were selected.
Nichols, Normington, and members of the Blockbuster training team traveled to FranklinCovey headquarters on multiple occasions to achieve certification as instructors in First Things First (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities), Rethinking StressTM, FranklinCovey Project ManagementTM, Presentation AdvantageTM, and Writing Advantage® workshops. The corporate training team created the Blockbuster Training Course Catalog built primarily around FranklinCovey Solutions.
These skills-based programs were presented primarily to corporate, distribution, and zone personnel. Each course focused on increasing the productivity of Blockbuster employees through improved communication, time management, or stress management. “When you have the right skills, you’re more relaxed, more productive, a better communicator, a better sales associate, a better ‘you fill in the blank,'” explained Nichols.”And in the long run it makes you more profitable.”
The Culture of Pop Culture
During 1998, as Blockbuster continued to grow both domestically and internationally, Nichols and Normington were exposed to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® curriculum. The timeless principles taught in the 7 Habits® training seemed to fit perfectly with the challenges of a fast-paced, growing company like Blockbuster.
Adding principle-based training provided immediate impact. The corporate Human Resources Department was the first audience for the 7 Habits training. “It became the building block to begin the tough process of examining how we were organized and how we treat and interact with each other,” said Nichols. “The bottom line is the 7 Habits are built on timeless principles that help build better relationships and a more balanced lifestyle. When you come out of the training, you decide to change something about yourself-if not several things.”
“This started as a tiny idea, a hope that the corporate world can be a more human place. It can be a place where work gets done, money is made, and win-win systems and processes are in place. And, while accomplishing our company’s mission, we can all work together in such a way that we earn mutual respect and the passion to meet our objectives,” explained Normington. “My belief is that every day, whether it is in a corporate workshop, in a team meeting, or in a one-to-one interaction between coworkers, the proven principles [taught by FranklinCovey], when applied, are helping all of us at Blockbuster to achieve our personal and professional goals.”
Following the implementation of 7 Habits training, Blockbuster subsequently added Building TrustTM, Power of UnderstandingTM, and Getting to SynergyTM programs to its training curriculum. These programs take a more in-depth look at key principles presented in the 7 Habits training.
A Script for Success
In-house training has proved to be an effective option for Blockbuster. Every month, all corporate employees receive a calendar of training opportunities. What Matters Most and the 7 Habits workshops are the most requested programs and are offered monthly. In What Matters Most, all participants are provided with a Franklin Planner. In the 7 Habits, participants receive a copy of Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book and audio cassettes, and The 7 HabitsTM workbook. According to Dan Satterthwaite, vice president of Corporate Human Resources for Blockbuster, the most effective workshops come as a result of an entire work group taking the training together.
The Human Resources Department encourages Blockbuster department heads to use the FranklinCovey workshops to establish a shared language. “The most significant benefit of the training is a common vocabulary that allows people to deal with issues and express feelings and concerns in a way that everyone can understand,” explained Satterthwaite.
Additionally, in a tight labor market, competition for quality employees can be intense. “Being able to offer FranklinCovey training helps us in retaining talent,” Satterthwaite said. The message of FranklinCovey training, that a balanced lifestyle is important, helps keep quality employees. “Very frequently we receive letters [from training participants] that say that the training was a life-changing experience. It’s very gratifying to be able to offer that kind of benefit,” explained Satterthwaite.
Fast Forward to Successful Sequels
The relationship between FranklinCovey and Blockbuster appears to be headed for more “smash hits” in the future. Building upon the tremendous success of the 7 Habits training, Blockbuster has recently decided to add The 4 Roles of Leadership® training to enhance leadership skills throughout the company. “I believe we have a true synergistic relationship,” Normington said. “But it goes beyond training materials and curriculum. They [FranklinCovey] believe in the power of change; they believe that people, work teams, and individuals can change and want to change to make their work experiences and personal experiences richer and more productive.”
By creating a partnership to collectively examine difficult questions and define strategy, FranklinCovey and Blockbuster have created unique, effective solutions. “Obviously ‘training’ isn’t the answer. It is only part of a multi-faceted solution. [My account manager at] FranklinCovey convinced me that you can start anywhere and go everywhere. Different departments at Blockbuster have chosen different paths, … but ultimately the answer lies in each one of us pulling together as a collective whole and facing these challenges together,” concluded Normington.

Embracing Change and Improving Customer Service with FranklinCovey Learning Solutions
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
This case study examines how Federal Express successfully implemented The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, What Matters Most® (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities), Rethinking StressTM, Building TrustTM, and Power of UnderstandingTM learning solutions, resulting in:
Improved service and response to customer needs through a proactive embrace of rapidly changing technology
Reduced bureaucracy and costs and improved business effectiveness through greater interdependence and cooperation among work teams
Improved time management and life balance skills among employees for a greater focus on priorities
Energized spirit within FedEx as the company continues to grow
It’s a business miracle that happens overnight-every night. And it all started on April 17, 1973, when Federal Express launched 14 small aircraft from Memphis International Airport. On that night, the company served a network of 25 cities-from Rochester, New York, to Miami, Florida-with a total of 186 packages shipped.
Today, the company of 148,000 employees serves 210 countries and 366 airports, and handles millions of packages and documents every business night. FedEx aircraft, which comprise the world’s largest all-cargo fleet, have a combined lift capacity of more than 20.6 million pounds daily. In a 24-hour period, FedEx planes travel nearly one-half million miles. FedEx couriers log 2.5 million miles a day, the equivalent of 100 trips around the earth.
A Proactive Approach to Change
The only constant in the high-velocity world of express shipping is change. FedEx and its competitors wage a persistent battle to offer customers more delivery options, at lower cost, with greater convenience and reliability. And the boom in e-business, home shopping networks, mail-order catalogs, and just-in-time distribution of parts, components, and other supplies for manufacturing has created exciting new opportunities for FedEx. No longer just an overnight package shipper, FedEx is a full-service logistics provider, orchestrating the flow of goods and information between customers, retailers, and suppliers.
Fueling the company’s growth and success has been the development of strategic information systems that enable FedEx to provide superior service to its customers. The FedEx Information Technology Division (ITD), employing approximately 5,500 people, supports all computer-based functions of the company, including all customer computer use, such as ordering FedEx services and tracking delivery status. Sharon Sirrell, a senior development support analyst, is also a certified facilitator of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training, used extensively within ITD. She says the 7 Habits® training, both for managers and computer programmers, systems analysts, and other professionals, has helped the division proactively embrace the ever-changing technology environment rather than merely react to it.
“Technology is constantly evolving, and we must be able to deliver the latest technology that will improve the efficiency of our delivery services. The 7 Habits training gives our people greater capacity to deal with rapid change and to be proactive in harnessing technological advances.” Sirrell, who started out as a volunteer facilitator within ITD in 1993 teaching the 7 Habits once a quarter, says benefits of the training extend to improved communication among individuals and interdependent teams, as well as strengthened human relationships.
“The nature of our business means we have a lot of interdependencies,” she says. “We support information system functions throughout the organization as well as for a growing number of manufacturers and retailers.” She explains that Federal Express is no longer just a delivery service but a linchpin of customer operations. Businesses are able to complete entire shipping transactions from their desktop computers, call for courier pick-ups via modem, and trace the status of their shipment at all possible locations along the delivery route through the use of on-premises FedEx PowerShip terminals or the FedEx home page on the World Wide Web.
“Our work is all very interrelated with other FedEx divisions and customers,” Sirrell says. “The 7 Habits principles help us listen, synergize, and arrive at creative solutions to answer the needs of customers and internal clients. The training really meshes well with what we’re about as a company and what we’re trying to achieve.”
Sirrell adds that both managers and information systems professionals continue to fill 7 Habits training classes. ITD has even opened up the training to FedEx employees in other divisions. Other FranklinCovey training programs offered through ITD include What Matters Most (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities) time and life management training, Rethinking Stress, and Power of Understanding. FranklinCovey productivity consultants Blaine Lee and Henry Marsh have addressed large gatherings of FedEx employees at the company’s World Technology Center auditorium in Collierville, a Memphis suburb.
Sirrell is convinced that investing in these FranklinCovey programs makes an impact on employees’ ability to meet customer needs and improve results. “What Matters Most training and use of the Franklin PlannerTM help our employees stay focused on key tasks and priorities, reduce stress levels, and improve productivity. Employees have a clearer view of themselves, and how they approach their careers, their performance, and their relationships on and off the job.”
The Leadership Institute-Where The Best Educate Others
Sirrell’s training sentiments are echoed in other areas of the company, such as the Leadership Institute, an in-house educational “university” for management. Its mission supports the FedEx philosophy of “People-Service-Profit.” In other words, as FedEx cares for and provides resources for its people, they in turn deliver the impeccable service that customers demand, which then produces profits that are reinvested in the people.
Anyone who enters a FedEx management position attends the Leadership Institute. The Institute challenges leaders to think critically and deeply about issues that don’t have easy answers, specifically as they relate to leading people. This type of education addresses the need for strong leadership that builds trust based on the dignity and respect of every person working at or with FedEx (employees, customers, vendors, stock holders, etc.).
The institute seeks out “management preceptors”-senior managers and managing directors who are recognized as outstanding leaders. Upon joining the Leadership Institute for a tenure of 24 to 30 months, Preceptors develop and facilitate courses offered to members of FedEx management. This approach not only allows managers to learn from those who have excelled, but provides the Preceptors the chance to immerse themselves in leadership and management principles.
At the end of their Leadership Institute assignment, Preceptors move back into the mainstream of management with fresh perspectives and a solid foundation for expanding their leadership responsibilities. The complement of men and women rotating through the institute as Preceptors is the most critical factor in the institute’s success.
According to Thonda Barnes, Leadership Institute Advisor, the 7 Habits is the only course the Leadership Institute offers that has been developed outside the company. “We offer an open-enrollment 7 Habits course every month (except December) and conduct several dedicated classes throughout the year for intact work teams.”
Complementary Philosophies
She continues, “The reason we chose to offer 7 Habits training is because the leadership philosophy of FedEx and the 7 Habits material are so aligned. The foundational principle we both share is that leadership is an inside-out approach; that you can only lead other people if you are first able to lead yourself. We have enhanced the 7 Habits material by making it FedEx specific where possible, but the core and integrity of the course remain the same.”
Barnes says the Leadership Institute has offered the course for over four years, and it continues to generate high approval from participants. “At FedEx, we consider the 7 Habits course an investment in the whole person because we care deeply about our people and believe that the more we can do to develop someone’s individual effectiveness, the more it will improve our effectiveness as an organization.”
She concludes, “One of the greatest benefits of 7 Habits training is that leaders see it as a tangible demonstration of the company’s concern for them as individuals and not just as employees. It reinforces the FedEx core belief in the value and dignity of every human being and the leadership responsibility of each FedEx manager to model those beliefs in everyday actions.”
David Gagnon, Senior Manager, Management Preceptor, is among those exemplary FedEx leaders who facilitates the 7 Habits training across the world. “We’ve taken this course to Brussels, to Hong Kong, to Dubai, to Latin America and discovered that the principles hold true. Participants, wherever they are located, find the material insightful and renewing.”
He continues, “One of the most useful applications I have seen at FedEx is the way the 7 Habits language establishes a shared meaning for dialogue when leaders are faced with operational problems. Phrases like ‘Think Win-Win’ and ‘deposits/withdrawals’ weave themselves into the FedEx culture as leaders and their teams work through operational issues.” Gagnon says he’s witnessed a greater win-win attitude among employees in working across divisional lines to improve service and increase profits.
Another Preceptor, Marco Chan, joined the Leadership Institute after an assignment in China as managing director. He cites another benefit resulting from applying Habit 5: “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. By understanding the power of empathic listening, managers are much better at listening to employee and customer concerns, and strengthening the relationships by building trust.”
But the most significant benefit for Chan has been on a personal level-in the area of life balance. Believing that leadership is an extension of one’s self, Chan has applied the concepts and processes of the 7 Habits in his own life, which has resulted in a better understanding of his own values and how they enable him to become a transition person. He describes it as an “intrinsic calm” that allows him to be a more effective employee, friend, family member, and leader.
“That’s what leadership is all about,” says Chan, “walking the talk, modeling the way. My purpose in life is to be a person like “Stone” [an individual featured in one of the 7 Habits videos], who is a transition figure for others to help them grow and develop.”
And a transition person he is. Chan has been instrumental in several initiatives in the company that focus on developing future leaders, such as the Asian Leadership Forum. “If we can help our employees conquer those private victories, it will build self-esteem and confidence. Then they will be able to remain calm and think clearly in the middle of the incredibly fast FedEx pace where we are dealing with changes by the second.”
Throughout its existence, Federal Express has led the industry in introducing new services to help customers improve their business performance. As technology changes, and as the manufacturing and retailing demand for comprehensive logistics services grows, FedEx will be there, embracing change and providing those services with excellence. And FranklinCovey training will be there, too, helping FedEx employees fulfill their mission.

Shea Homes Arizona
Creating a Virtual Organization for Home Building with Help from FranklinCovey Learning Solutions
Executive Summary
Featured Training Programs
FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® Signature Program
The 4 Roles of Leadership®
This case study examines how Shea Homes Arizona successfully implemented The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, The 4 Roles of Leadership®, What Matters Most® (now FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities), and other FranklinCovey learning solutions, significantly contributing to:
Improved implementation of Total Quality Management processes, tools, and measurements
Increased trust, collaboration, and communication among Shea Homes and its subcontractors in the traditionally adversarial home building industry
Decreased number of building days and an increased percentage of defect-free homes
Improved home-buyer satisfaction and increased sales from customer referrals
Energized spirit within Shea Homes Arizona as the company continues to grow
Imagine you’re a major home builder in the greater Phoenix area, which consistently ranks No. 1 or 2 in total housing starts, just ahead or just behind Atlanta. In 1999, housing starts in the valley reached 36,000, well above forecasts. Similar growth is predicted each year through 2005.
Next, consider the challenges all builders face: constructing quality homes, reducing cycle time and costs, improving customer satisfaction, and working effectively with subcontractors and suppliers. Keep in mind that the market is extremely competitive, where no homebuilder has a 10-percent market share. And remember that the industry is traditionally very adversarial, where distrust and conflict among builders, subcontractors, and suppliers contributes to defects, rework, delays, increased costs, and dissatisfaction.
Now picture a different kind of builder and community developer-Shea Homes Arizona-which has transformed its business by improving the way people communicate and cooperate with each other. These efforts, which encompass Total Quality Management (TQM) practices and FranklinCovey learning solutions, garnered Shea Homes Arizona the National Housing Quality Gold Award for 1999 and landed the company on the cover of Professional Builder magazine.
The magazine’s editor in chief, Heather McCune, points to the following business results of Shea Homes Arizona:
Overall customer satisfaction rating in 1998 was 87 percent, up one percentage point from the previous year
Sales from customer referrals in the same year were 18 percent, a three-percent increase over 1997
Seventy-six percent of the company’s homes were delivered defect-free at buyer orientation, an eight-percent improvement over the previous year
Building days-the weighted average number of days for all series homes from trench to city final inspection-dropped to 112, an 11-day improvement over 1997 averages
A Revolutionary Approach to Enhancing People’s Lives
Shea Homes Arizona is a subunit of J. F. Shea Company, Inc., one of the oldest and largest privately held heavy construction operations in the country, with headquarters in Walnut, California. Shea Homes has been a fixture in the Arizona marketplace since 1989, when it purchased the assets of Knoell Homes. There are now seven divisions of Shea Homes: three in California, one in Colorado, one in North Carolina, Shea Homes Arizona, and Active Adult. Each is an autonomous organization.
“Our mission statement is ‘Enhancing peoples’ lives through the construction of the finest homes and communities in America,'” says Buddy Satterfield, president of Shea Homes Arizona. “We will typically move in 2,000 families a year. At any given time we have over 700 homes under construction. And that means at any given time we have 3,000 to 4,000 people working on job sites.”
What’s revolutionary is the way subcontractors, or TradePartnersTM in Shea speak, work together within the virtual organization. At Shea, TradePartnersTM are an extension of the organization and are treated as such.
Initial Focus on TQM
According to Satterfield, the challenge back in 1992 was fulfilling the company’s mission in the exploding, highly competitive Phoenix market, and in an industry plagued with distrust and infighting.
“The construction industry is typically one of kick butt and take names,” Satterfield says. “Five or six years ago, not only were the various trades not friends, they were enemies. All they were doing was protecting their own turf, not sharing ideas, not working together to build homes better, faster, cheaper. They were just causing rework for the subcontractor who came after them.”
In 1991, Shea Homes Arizona senior management initiated a TQM effort to boost the number of zero-defect homes and increase customer satisfaction and resultant word-of-mouth referrals. Selected employees, including vice president of construction, Paul Kalkbrenner, who was then a construction superintendent, was asked to dig in and learn TQM processes, tools, and measurements as an extra set of duties.
“We began to embrace TQM in 1992,” says Kalkbrenner, who ran his own construction company for 20 years in Park City, Utah; Las Vegas; and in Phoenix. “However, there’s no way you can implement TQM and then ask the trades to come join you somewhere down the road. The best way to implement TQM is to do it together from the start.”
Shea approached the reputable subcontractors they were working with in the valley with the concept of pursuing the TQM path together. Kalkbrenner explains, “Our thinking was ‘Look, the valley is growing and the demand for qualified skilled craftsmen is outpacing supply. The trades have more work than they can handle. We’re going to be in a struggle for the same people to work at our job sites. We must create an environment where we work together effectively and enjoyably, where Shea Homes becomes the builder of choice.'”
In 1993 Shea Homes established a monthly TradePartner workshop, where Shea began sharing business measurements with the trades, including sales figures, cycle times, warranty work completed, zero-defect home deliveries, and so on. In turn, the trades shared a specific process improvement by explaining what they used to do, what they’ve been doing since learning TQM tools and processes, and the outcomes.
“Through this process,” says Kalkbrenner, “the trades realized they shared many of the same problems, and that by working together, they could improve their own portion of the building process and the overall end product.” This initial cooperative effort led to the building of the Shea Learning Center, complete with a kitchen and cupboards full of snacks and drinks, where TradePartners could train in TQM improvements.
Expanding Efforts with Effectiveness Principles
During this early TQM experience, a number of Shea employees, including Kalkbrenner, read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. They began promoting the book among Shea employees and TradePartners, suggesting how the principles could further improve business practices and efficiencies. Later, Kalkbrenner and others attended First Things First®, the FranklinCovey time and life management workshop now called FOCUS: Achieving Your Highest Priorities. Kalkbrenner became a certified facilitator of the program in 1995 and began teaching Shea Homes superintendents and TradePartnerTM personnel.
The next step was conducting a pilot 7 Habits® workshop with Shea Homes management and 14 to 15 owners of TradePartnerTM companies. The response was overwhelming. “It was a home run,” says Satterfield. The company scheduled the 7 Habits training programs all the rest of 1996 and through 1997.
And it continues today. Indeed, the 7 Habits training has become a key curriculum at Shea University, the company’s training organization, and a core requirement for every Shea employee. Other FranklinCovey training programs available at Shea University include Introduction to the 7 Habits in both English and Spanish, The 4 Roles of Leadership® (formerly Principle-Centered Leadership®), What Matters Most, and Building TrustTM. Shea University programs are available to all Shea Homes employees free of charge and on company time. Trade PartnersTM can also attend with fees subsidized by Shea Homes.
“We now have over 150 trained facilitators, half within Shea Homes and half within the TradePartners,” says Satterfield. “A number of TradePartners have built learning centers patterned after ours and are also facilitating TQM, the 7 Habits, the 4 Roles, and other programs.”
In Retrospect
“If we had it to do over again,” Satterfield says, “we would have started with the 7 Habits training, followed by TQM initiatives. I think we’d be even further along in our business improvement efforts, and all the other training we’ve offered would have greater impact with a foundation in the 7 Habits.”
Kalkbrenner agrees. “It’s clear that the 7 Habits, the 4 Roles, and other FranklinCovey training have created an environment for us to excel. Every meeting we have begins with a 7 Habits team building exercise. Whether it lasts five minutes or 20 minutes, it absolutely sets the stage for the productivity of that meeting, and it gives people permission to work together in a spirit of cooperation.”
He concludes, “There’s no doubt in my mind that our continuing improvement in homebuyer satisfaction scores, cycle time, and zero-defect deliveries is a result of TQM efforts conducted in an atmosphere of we can do this together-this is a win-win approach.” [call-out]
Habit 5 and the Tower of Babel-A TradePartner’s Perspective
Talk to Terry Hawks, training advisor at Chandler, Arizona-based Sharp Drywall, Inc., about the impact of FranklinCovey training, and he’ll cite a biblical analogy with a twist. Hawks, a certified facilitator of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 4 Roles of Leadership®, has witnessed dramatic improvements in human relationships among Shea Homes TradePartnersTM by applying universal principles of effectiveness.
“The people working on the Tower of Babel were doing what we do every business day, building a structure. Things were humming along because they all spoke the same language. When that changed, the whole concept fell apart. In reverse, the 7 Habits principles have provided the diverse TradePartnerTM organizations a single language of mutual respect and cooperation that helps us work toward the common goals of improved quality, less rework, and greater customer satisfaction.”
Hawks says it wasn’t uncommon in the late 1980s and early 1990s to have fist fights on the job site among builders and trades, usually over very petty issues. “When Shea Homes first teamed with the trades to implement TQM measurements and tools, we started seeing incremental improvements. But frequently those TQM measurements were used to support adversarial positions. It was as though spreadsheets had replaced fistfights. However, once we all clued in to the 7 Habits culture, improvements took shape at light speed.”
Hawks points to a specific example of cooperation between trades as a result of practicing Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be UnderstoodTM. He says Sharp Drywall and the primary electrical TradePartner were engaged in a war of words over how the newly hung drywall covered the receptacle plates where light switches and outlets were supposed to go. Electricians would have to punch two or three holes in the new drywall to find the plates. This slowed their work and caused repeated repair work for Sharp. TQM measurements confirmed that both TradePartnersTM were losing a lot of time and money, which also impacted Shea’s timely completion of new homes.
“By practicing Habit 5,” says Hawks, “both trades came to understand we were after the same thing-a mutually efficient process and home buyer satisfaction. That’s when we agreed to reach a third alternative, a better solution than either of us could come up with on our own.”
According to Hawks, the electrical TradePartnerTM invested in a computer-aided design system that preprints on the blueprint for each house every electrical outlet location. The system helped electricians reduce their own errors and rework. What’s more, the dry wall crews could now mark where a receptacle would be covered by spray painting an x on the floor before the drywall went up.
“This process has saved the electrical TradePartnerTM and us tens of thousands of dollars. It’s also saved a lot of time and money for Shea and has helped produce higher quality homes,” says Hawks. “It’s because we took the time to understand where each other was coming from.”
Hawks facilitates twelve to fourteen 7 Habits programs each year, as well as The 4 Roles of Leadership®. He typically teaches employees of the other TradePartnersTM, such as Mesa Verde Concrete in Phoenix or a large framing outfit, Younger Brothers Construction, located west of Phoenix in Glendale. In turn, these TradePartnersTM facilitate programs at Sharp Drywall. The arrangement fosters cross-communication of ideas and solutions, and enables the TradePartnersTM to resolve issues without burdening Shea Homes all the time.
“Interaction among the trades at this level is truly unique in the home building industry,” says Hawks, who has traveled to Shea Homes offices in Northern and Southern California and in Denver, kicking off FranklinCovey programs in those locations.
He concludes, “The principles we teach and live by are like overlaying TQM measurements and tools with an entire culture template for improved behavior and cooperation. The results are real; they’re nothing short of phenomenal.”

Written by Bhushan Kulkarni

March 2, 2007 at 9:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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