Congrats to our leader Helen Jowett for being such an Inspiring Woman!!

Jowett honoured as inspiring woman in Kitchener

Inspiring

Robert Wilson,Record staff

Helen Jowett has been named Inspiring Woman of 2013.

CAMBRIDGE — Helen Jowett is no stranger to the winner’s podium and yesterday, in front of an appreciative audience, she was presented with one of the most prestigious of her career, the Inspiring Woman Award at the seventh annual Inspiring Women event.

The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce event was held at Bingemans and featured five speakers, including fashion journalist Jeanne Beker; president of Sleep Country Canada, Christine Magee; chief executive officer of Linamar, Linda Hasenfratz; paralympian medallist, Summer Mortimer; and entrepreneur Jessica Jensen.

Modest to the core, Jowett said it was a young neighbour who nominated her after researching Jowett’s impressive background as a human resource professional and president and chief executive officer of her own consulting firm, McDonald Green in Cambridge.

“It’s a little bit embarrassing,” she said. “I really didn’t do anything that warrants that much attention. I was completely shocked.” She shouldn’t be too surprised given her leadership and extensive volunteerism in the community. Jowett’s name has been linked to many awards: Oktoberfest Woman of the Year, YWCA Woman of Distinction, Bell Business Award, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce Chair’s award, Waterloo Region Record Small Business Award at the annual Waterloo Region Business Achievement Awards and many more.

In each case, Jowett was recognized for supporting a long list of community organizations, for mentoring young people and for sitting on or leading numerous boards including the Cambridge Memorial Hospital during one of its more tumultuous times.

Still, she thinks of herself as just a boring, ordinary person who prefers Birkenstocks to stilettos, track pants to business suits and who married her high school sweetheart. At 53, she is comfortable with herself and her stage in life.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Jowett came to Cambridge with her parents at age four, during a time in the Scottish city’s history when there was a lot of religious tension and the economy was faltering.

After high school, she completed a human resources program at Conestoga College and worked in customer service as well as most departments in a large Cambridge manufacturing plant. There, she began to see how corporations falter when they don’t put the right people in the right jobs and decided to do something about it.

“I started an undergrad in psychology and was raising a family at the same time,” said Jowett, who went on to attain her human resources professional designation as well as an MBA in leadership.

“I grew up in Cambridge, I was 34 when I started the business,” she said. “My mom was my first employee. She came in real cheap.”

Over the years Jowett has become known for her expertise, called on to comment on everything from large industrial layoffs to government policy. To what does she attribute her success?

With a bit of thought, she finally speculates, “I’m not a wall flower. Maybe it’s because I’m a little feisty around the boardroom table. Put me in a position of influence and I have to be thoughtful.”

She takes her roles on boards seriously and is not one to sit back and let others make decisions, a far cry from her teenage years.

“In high school, I was the female version of Alex Keaton,” she said, comparing herself to the geeky Michael J. Fox television character. “I wore blazers when it wasn’t cool. I was fairly social, but withdrawn and didn’t let people get close.”

Perhaps being thrust into the spotlight over and over to accept awards, speaking invitations and requests to sit on boards has helped Jowett overcome any shyness and she credits her mom with inspiring the entrepreneur in her.

“She ran the Scottish shop at the Cambridge Farmers Markets,” she said.

And as for that new plaque the modest businessperson just received, “It’s in the office, not too front and centre.”

 

vhill@therecord.com

Succession Planning – The Triangle CTT eNewsletter – submitted by McDonald Green

http://www.techtriangle.ca/en/newsevents/TheTriangleNewsletter.asp

Although Succession planning is not a new phenomenon, it is of growing concern for Leaders and Management.  We have been hearing it for the last decade, the warning of the boomers aging and leaving the workforce…  then recessionary times called bluff.  Don’t get too comfortable now, the boomers are still aging and inevitably leaving the workforce.

 

So what to do about succession planning?… start planning!

Tally and qualify your resources, consider how effectively  and efficiently they have been training subsequent staff.  Consider who you currently have on staff that may fulfillMcDonald Green logosuch roles, or put a hiring plan in place, with overlap for cross training.  Formulate a process whereby the transfer of knowledge can begin, inspire the next generation to step up and fill the big, or not so big shoes that have been left for them…

 

Benefits of Succession Planning

  • Higher productivity, with more effort expended in alignment with organizational strategies and objectives.
  • Reduced risk of losing high performance/high potential employees or employees in key positions.
  • Increased adaptability through the abilities to identify, slot, and develop future leaders, identify and close performance and skill gaps, and proactively plan for future growth.
  • Improved agility through comprehensive insight into organizational dynamics and the ability to rapidly refine and realign the org structure.
  • Improved talent mobility.
  • Reduced business risk through effective tracking of critical roles and succession plans.

 

Sign up for Succession Planning Workshops 

 

Ashlee Mulholland, Director, Operations, McDonald Green

http://www.techtriangle.ca/en/newsevents/TheTriangleNewsletter.asp

 

Fighting Fire with Type

Fighting Fire With Type

By Sean Townsend

“Putting out fires” is a demanding part of every leader’s job. But for leaders of fire services, whose job involves putting out actual fires, breaking down barriers to communication can be a matter of life and death.

Bill Chesney, chief of the Cambridge Fire Department in Ontario, has seen some of these barriers come down over the 35 years since he was a new recruit. “The culture used to be that a firefighter is a firefighter, that there were no differences,” he says. “But that is changing.”

Chesney says the culture shift has been positive, but he notes that it has created some challenges with communication—particularly between leaders and rank-and-file officers. “Leaders value freedom of choice,” he says, “but officers thrive on structure.”

“The majority of people in the fire services we work with tend to fall into types like ESFJ, ISFJ and ESTJ,” says Helen Jowett, whose consulting firm delivers Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessments during leadership training programs for fire services in Cambridge and two neighbouring communities. “They prefer to work in a standardized world with standardized processes. So the more empowering leadership style was seen as not leading.”

Chesney has had to deal with this discrepancy in his leadership career: “When I was deputy chief of operations, I found that I got less kickback when I reissued directives as step-by-step processes. People wanted more direction.”

Jowett says one reason for this may be the changing nature of fire services. “There has been less of the straightforward firefighting, and a significant change toward proactive awareness, preventive education and philanthropy. They are still bringing value to their communities, but in different ways.” Chesney agrees, citing an example from his own experience: “When we did a home inspection program for smoke detectors, we were having difficulty getting inspections done because of a perceived lack of direction,” he says. Once he adopted a project-management approach, communicating clear quotas and timelines, the number of inspections increased.

For Chesney, these challenges are symptoms of a larger issue: “There are two management styles, one tactical and one strategic. In emergencies, it’s the military style of instant command. People are comfortable with it because it works when you need to make split-second decisions.”

But as Jowett points out, “Some leaders have trouble adapting that command-and-control approach to the firehouse, where leadership qualities like coaching, motivating and managing differences in generation, gender and culture become important. By using profiling tools like  the MBTI assessment for self-awareness, we help leaders gain flexibility to gravitate between command-and-control and more engaging, collaborative leadership.”

Chesney says that using the MBTI tool with officers and leaders has opened up the conversation about differences. “One surprise for me was how many officers wanted to talk about generational differences,” he says. “These are seasoned firefighters, the kind of people you want to be there if your house is on fire. But with three or even four generations on their shifts, they can have a hard time communicating clearly with everyone. The MBTI tool opened their eyes to the value of differences, and that made it easier to sell the whole program.”

Given the program’s results, it seems people are buying. “We’ve seen a marked reduction in personality clashes, conflicts that get raised at the management level, and formal grievances filed,” says Chesney. “And it didn’t just help the officers; it’s been a two-way street. Senior leaders were just as open with their personality type, so people better understand how they prefer to receive the information they’re being presented with.”

Jowett adds that the program has had benefits outside the firehouse. “One platoon chief told me it has helped him to understand his teenager, who has ADHD,” she says. “It’s had just as much value to people’s personal lives. I really think we’ve changed that fire department.”

Helen Jowett
is CEO of McDonald-Green, an HR consulting firm she founded in 1994. She is a Certified Human Resource Professional with over 17 years’ experience. Helen holds an MBA from Royal 
 Roads University and is a qualified MBTI representative. Her numerous awards for community service include the K-W Woman of the Year Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction
Award and the Bell Personal Business Achievement Award.

 

Bill Chesney, fire chief of the City of Cambridge, Ontario, is a graduate of the Advanced Fire Protection – Technology Program at the Ontario Fire College, and Ambulance and Emergency Care from Conestoga College. He holds certificates in public administration and governance from Ryerson University, and supervisory studies from the Ontario Management Development Program at Mohawk College.  He has also completed the Human Resource Specialist Program at McMaster University and Risk Management at Wilfrid  Laurier University. 

Fighting Fire With Type

By Sean Townsend

“Putting out fires” is a demanding part of every leader’s job. But for leaders of fire services, whose job often involves putting out actual fires, breaking down barriers to communication can be a matter of life and death.

Bill Chesney, chief of the Cambridge Fire Department in Ontario, has seen some of these barriers come down over the 35 years since he was a new recruit. “The culture used to be that a firefighter is a firefighter, that there were no differences,” he says. “But that is changing.”

Chesney says the culture shift has been positive, but he notes that it has created some challenges with communication—particularly between leaders and rank-and-file officers. “Leaders value freedom of choice,” he says, “but officers thrive on structure.”

“The majority of people in the fire service tend to fall into four types that prefer structured thinking,” says Helen Jowett, whose consulting firm delivers Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessments during leadership training programs for fire services in Cambridge and two neighbouring communities. “They prefer to work in a standardized world with standardized processes. So the more empowering leadership style was seen as not leading.”

Chesney has had to deal with this discrepancy in his leadership career: “When I was deputy chief of operations, I found that I got less kickback when I reissued directives as step-by-step processes. People wanted more direction.”

Jowett says one reason for this may be the changing nature of fire services. “There has been less of the straightforward firefighting, and a significant change toward proactive awareness, preventive education and philanthropy. They are still bringing value to their communities, but in different ways.” Chesney agrees, citing an example from his own experience: “When we did a home inspection program for smoke detectors, we were having difficulty getting inspections done because of a perceived lack of direction,” he says. Once he adopted a project-management approach, communicating clear quotas and timelines, the number of inspections increased.

For Chesney, these challenges are symptoms of a larger issue: “There are two management styles, one tactical and one strategic. In emergencies, it’s the military style of instant command. People are comfortable with it because it works when you need to make split-second decisions.”

But as Jowett points out, “Some leaders have trouble adapting that command-and-control approach to the firehouse, where leadership qualities like coaching, motivating and managing differences in generation, gender and culture become important. By using profiling tools like the MBTI for self-awareness, we help leaders gain flexibility to gravitate between command-and-control and more engaging, collaborative leadership.”

Chesney says that using the MBTI tool with recruits and leaders has opened up the conversation about differences. “One surprise for me was how many officers wanted to talk about generational differences,” he says. “These are seasoned firefighters, the kind of people you want to be there if your house is on fire. But with three or even four generations on their shifts, they can have a hard time communicating clearly with everyone. The MBTI opened their eyes to the value of differences, and that made it easier to sell the whole program.”

Given the program’s results, it seems people are buying. “We’ve seen a marked reduction in personality clashes, conflicts that get raised at the management level, and formal grievances filed,” says Chesney. “And it didn’t just help the officers; it’s been a two-way street. Senior leaders were just as open with their personality type, so people better understand how they prefer to receive the information they’re being presented with.”

Jowett adds that the program has had benefits outside the firehouse. “One platoon chief told me it has helped him to understand his teenager, who has ADHD,” she says. “It’s had just as much value to people’s personal lives. I really think we’ve changed that fire department.”

Helen Jowett is CEO of McDonald-Green, an HR consulting firm she founded in 1994. She is a Certified Human Resource Professional with over 17 years’ experience. Helen holds an MBA from Royal Roads University and is a qualified MBTI representative. Her numerous awards for community service include the K-W Woman of the Year Award, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and the Bell Personal Business Achievement Award.

Bill Chesney, fire chief of the City of Cambridge, Ontario, is a graduate of the Advanced Fire Protection – Technology Program at the Ontario Fire College, and Ambulance and Emergency Care from Conestoga College. He holds certificates in public administration and governance from Ryerson University, and supervisory studies from the Ontario Management Development Program at Mohawk College. He has also completed the Human Resource Specialist Program at McMaster University and Risk Management at Wilfrid Laurier University.

McDonald-Green Select — Assessemnts Services for the Right Choice

Some resumes contain falsehoods.  At times, interviews can be subjective.  Candidate selection is difficult!   Getting the right people for your positions is imperative to your organization’s sustainability.  How do you make sure they are the right person?  Test them. 

McDonald-Green is excited about our new division, MG Select, which offers a wide variety of assessment services.  Pre-employment assessments can measure candidates’ abilities to communicate, solve problems, manage change, interact with customers and deal with stress.  Knowing this prior to the actual hire can save an organization volumes; in dollars, time, and aggravation. 

Wouldn’t it be great to know if your shortlist of candidates has the skills to meet the competencies required on the job?  Testing can provide a consistent, objective and litigiously sound measure for comparison and selection; it can streamline the hiring process and match candidates with job requirements.

The screening of applicants benefits employers and employees alike.  For applicants, the advantages of working for a company that requires screening is that efforts have been made to ensure that co-workers have the qualifications and credentials they say they have. For employers, pre-employment testing saves time and money wasted in recruiting, hiring and training the wrong candidates and eliminates potential difficulties in the work place.  Having a third party organization conduct these assessments gives employers arms length protection and non-subjective standardization.

MG Select consists of proven psychometric profiling and behavioural assessments including Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Emotional Intelligence (EQi), Prevue and Work Personality Index (WPi).  All are reliability and validity tested.  In addition, we have over 1000 technical and software tests to measure hard skills. 

Contact toni@mcdonaldgreen.com  to find out more.

McDonald Green Select!

McDonald Green is launching a campaign around our assessment services, including personality assessments, technical assessments and soft skills testing.  Stay tuned for more information.

New Positions!!!

We are looking for an Demand Planner / Analyst for a growing manufacturing company in Guelph. Strong forecasting, Inventory Review and SKU data management is required. This is a permanent position with benefits.

AND

We are on the search for a permanent Intermediate Payroll Coordinator for a local construction company. You must have experience processing payroll in a unionized environment.

Check out our ask an HR Consultant section.

Ask your HR related questions and we will assist you!

Join our Linkedin Group http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=1124177

Looking Back

A picture from 7 years ago when we won the Mayors Training Award in 2003.

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