Category: Community

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15 Years in the Making

It’s hard to believe that it has been 15 years since Bo and Paul started the Small Giants Community! Like many of us, Paul was inspired by Bo’s book and that started a series of conversations, leading to them bringing purpose-driven leaders together as a Community.

Years later, the principles Bo wrote about in his book are stronger than ever, and we’ve seen the focus on culture and values become company differentiators. All of us continue to benefit from relationships and learnings with like-hearted leaders.

Join us as Paul and Bo take a walk down memory lane, share stories, challenges and what’s changed over the last 15 years. What happened to the original companies Bo wrote about? How has the Community evolved? Are there newer common characteristics of Small Giants companies? What are Bo and Paul up to now? Bring your questions for a genuine and touching fireside chat!

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Reimagining the Client Experience

When the leadership team at Venturity Financial Partners realized they were losing clients at an alarming rate, they knew a new approach was needed. With thoughtful and intentional planning, this CXO and accounting services firm created a dedicated Client Experience work group to revitalize how they worked with clients externally and managed them internally. Fast forward to today, Venturity has a net promoter score of 91 among their clients, when most accounting firms have a score of 40!

Tune in to learn from Deanna Walker, the CEO, and Rane Lallier, the VP of Client Experience, and dig into how they’ve prioritized and executed on the goal of improving their clients’ life cycle experience, and as a result, reinforcing the company’s core values.

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Speak-Up Culture

As the Andy Stanley quote goes, “Leaders who do not listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” And, that silence is dangerous.

Stephen Shedletzky – or “Shed” to his friends – has focused his career on helping leaders listen to and nurture the voices of others — to foster an environment where people feel it is both psychologically safe and worth it to speak up. In this session, we will uncover how creating such an environment is the responsibility and the advantage of leaders at every level who want to be great at leading and who want to create a better version of humanity while they do it. The bottom line, for everyone, is that organizations with speak-up cultures are safer, more innovative, more engaged, and better-performing than their peers.

A sought-after speaker, coach, and leadership advisor, Shed has led hundreds of keynote presentations, workshops, and leadership development programs around the world. As a thought leader on psychological safety in the workplace, he works with leaders in all industries where human beings work.

In this session we will:
– Unpack the two main questions of a speak-up culture: Is it safe? Is it worth it?
– Explore why speak-up cultures are good for people and good for business
– Learn tactical and proven methods to listen to your people and cultivate a feedback rich, speak-up culture
– Unpack leaders’ responsibility and advantage in building a speak-up culture

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Express Your Expertise: Marketing Tactics for Purpose-Driven Companies

As a Small Giants company, your strong sense of purpose and culture set you apart from the competition in attractive ways. But are you communicating that to your clients, prospective employees, and other stakeholders?

Mark O’Brien, CEO of Newfangled, will provide strategy and tools for marketing your expertise effectively through digital media. By leveraging tactics that involve social media, email, and online marketing, Mark will explain how to maximize your marketing efforts to gain a wider audience and greater name recognition.

Takeaways include:

  • The importance of saying no to prospective clients that don’t serve you
  • The power of ubiquity and presenting an expert, empathetic, educational perspective
  • Newfangled’s 5 Pillars of Marketing
  • How to position yourself and your unique expertise
  • The best approach to email marketing
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Break the Ice: A Toolkit of Team Building & Bonding Activities

The new year is the perfect time to think about fun and fresh team-building exercises to introduce to your organization. We’ll be talking to two Small Giants leaders who are passionate about making their people feel welcome, included, and understood.

Lisa Whealon, VP of People and Culture at Deli Star, will talk in detail about how her organization aims to make every new hire feel fully immersed in their team from the onset. This is done through fun, intentional experiences such as a “signing day”, a start day “happy hour”, and completing a recognition profile, just to name a few.

Once your new hires are immersed, it’s important to continue building those team bonds over time. Heidi Baumgart, COO at Skidmore Studio, will show us how to do just that by walking us through the user manual exercise. This exercise, which combines personal reflection with team development, allows individuals to flex their creativity, while also teaching each other how to best communicate and work together.

Takeaways include:

  • Tools and experiences to leave a lasting impression from onboarding and beyond
  • Help your team feel known and understood by you and their colleagues
  • Ways to adapt these tools for both in-person and virtual teams
  • How team building exercises can help build trust, communication, and ultimately long tenures


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Develop and Retain Your Best Leaders: A Small Giants Panel

Have you identified your bench of future leaders? Are they confident, emotionally-intelligent individuals who are prepared to lead? Is your organization struggling to have its values understood and practiced at every level of the organization?

In this panel discussion facilitated by Small Giants Community co-founder Paul Spiegelman, three Small Giants Leadership Academy graduates will share how the experience has impacted their leadership and organizations. These leaders will share what it’s really like to participate in the Leadership Academy and reflect on the most impactful takeaways from their year of learning.

The Small Giants Leadership Academy is a nine-month training program for emerging purpose-driven leaders to learn and grow together. With enrollment now open for the next class, this is your chance to hear from graduates and understand the program from the perspective of those who have experienced it.

Find out why one graduate called the Leadership Academy “the perfect program for an emerging leader” and learn about “the lifelong relationships with amazing people” that continue to serve graduates to this day. We’ll also answer your questions about the program, like who in your organization is the right fit and how this experience can fundamentally change the trajectory of your organization.

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Inside Out: How to Market Your Cultural Story Consistently

When it comes to marketing and branding, many companies create internal documents touting their culture to employees (ie the classic ‘mission, vision, values’ poster), and then separately produce external messaging of what they think the outside world wants to see and hear. In reality, these are two content streams that should have little to no divergence at all.

As Small Giants Community leaders, many of you may inherently understand this, but the execution side can be easier said than done. For our next virtual event, Jim Hume, founder of Phire Group, will guide us through his company’s proven process of practical ways to bring these two worlds together and create one cohesive brand that spotlights your culture authentically.

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January 2022 Virtual Event: The Biology of Cost and ROI

Sonia Funk is a registered Nutritional Therapist, as well as a Corporate Wellness Strategist and the owner of The Whole Avocado. She’s traveled the world as a teacher and student, and has learned a lot about wellness through her many adventures (she describes her life as “Eat Pray Love” meets “Forrest Gump”). Her work with The Whole Avocado is a culmination of over 15 years of work and research.

Taking care of your physical and mental health (and that of your employees) isn’t just good for yourself – it makes perfect business sense.

Invest in your business by investing in your employees. Attend our next virtual event with Wellness Strategist and Registered Nutritional Therapist, Sonia Funk, and learn from her the three aspects of health to incorporate into your strategy.

Sonia will present the reality of human experience, turn it into biology and timelines, and then right back into numbers, explaining the impact on your business’s bottom line. By applying an evolved perspective to problems in your company, you’ll be able to answer old questions from a new angle, and see the long-term ROI for you and your employees.

Watch this virtual event for these takeaways:

  1. Three new questions to use that will give you an advantageous shift in perspective on company issues such as mental health, culture, benefit costs and stress leave.
  2. Understanding how to take our biological health and use it for strategic metrics.
  3. A map of the timelines operating in your company, the costs associated with them, and a vision for what a compassionate (empathy in action) intervention could look like.
  4. Numbers-based permission to care.

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