VOLUME ONE, ISSUE 1

3 Human Elements  Welcome to e-Musing Challenges, the inaugural e-letter from Challenge It Now. As believers in continuous learning, we'll be sharing what we know with you and hope that you, in turn, will share what you know with us. And in doing so, we can both challenge our habitual ways of thinking and the woodpecker.
Mother Nature puts on a pretty good show, especially in the spring when a variety of birds court one another, hoping to find their one true love (at least for the season). This last spring, I noticed one particularly anxious suitor who spent most of his time drumming on the metal gutters of my house. Not my idea of "love" music, but then I'm no woodpecker. Woodpeckers drum during the spring, both to claim their territory and to attract a mate. You may have heard that "rat-a-tat-tat-tat" sound on a walk in the woods or maybe in a Woody Woodpecker cartoon (although technically Woody went "ha-ha-ha-HA-ha") unless you're too young to remember the original Woody or too old to have watched the new Woody on FOX KIDS.
Anyway, my point is that somewhere along the line, a woodpecker decided to abandon the dry limb or hollow snag he'd been in the habit of drumming and try something new - a metal gutter. And guess what he discovered? The superior acoustic properties of metal gutters...which means he can be heard over a wider area, thereby increasing his chances of finding a mate and also increasing the number of rivals he can warn to stay off his turf. If woodpeckers can challenge habitual ways of doing something and, in the process, discover a better way to do it, so can we. We just have to be up to the challenge.
So think about it. What changes do you want to make?
Jennie Ayers
President, Challenge It Now 

How Much is Your Company Losing?
Stop Wasting Training Dollars  by Rebecca Ripley 
green background people 

Challenge It Now is a behavioral based consulting company that specializes in creating and sustaining healthy work climates. Every day, 160 million people go to work, with the desire to do the very best work they can. And everyday, more than 50 million of those people underperform, costing companies more than $300 billion a year. Why?


It's not the worker - it's the workplace and the work climate it fosters. Yet companies continue to spend more than $60 billion dollars to motivate, train and educate their employees, even though these interventions often fail. And they fail because businesses and organizations ignore work climate and continue to "throw seeds on hard soil".


Do you know how to shape a workplace that motivates people to perform at their highest potential? Do you know how to create a workplace in which people thrive?


We do.


Intentional Work Climate™

Any time a group of people come together to do something in a collective way, there is climate. Climate is the place in an organization where people get work done, where they take the organization's values, beliefs and norms and live them on a day-to-day basis.  Metaphorically, climate is the potentially dangerous "whitewater" employees swim through as they come out the other end with work done.  As you might imagine, the pollution level in the water impacts employees' ability to swim. 


Climate in any work environment affects both morale and productivity, so in the throes of this down economy, it's more important than ever that organizations pay attention to its impact. If we ignore work climate, it quickly becomes polluted -- and even high potential employees can fail in an unhealthy climate.  A healthy work climate can make the difference between a company's thriving, barely surviving, or even going out of business, and one of the major determinants in creating a healthy organizational climate is leadership.


Because leadership plays such a critical role, climate work begins with an assessment of the perception of leadership-related dynamics. Our Intentional WorkClimate™ provides a perfect forum for leaders and employees to become partners in creating and sustaining a healthy work climate.

More Bang for Your Buck 

Based on the research of psychologist David McClelland's motive drives, our Intentional WorkClimate™ is a process that identifies concerns and develops a strategy to address those concerns. While McClelland identified the six primary factors which are directly and measurably linked to work motivation and can therefore drive an "achievement aroused climate", we focus on those three factors that return the greatest "bang for the buck" - clarity, standards and accountability.

What People Need
People have to know what their job encompasses, what they are accountable for and what stretch performance looks like.  When there is clarity in these three areas, the other factors begin to fall into place. History has shown that even with a viable product or a much needed service, organizations falter. When employees don't feel valued or their roles are unclear, needed work is left undone. Work processes confuse employees, hand-offs are clumsy and frustration is high.
The key principle of our proprietary Intentional WorkClimate 
is to create and sustain a healthy and vital work climate where the experience of work is optimized, engagement is enriched and performance potential is maximized. Intentional WorkClimate™ is an intangible asset of high value and high leverage. Leaders learn how to identify and facilitate this critical aspect of business and work life for maximum effectiveness.


Look for an in-depth exploration of those three key factors - clarity, standards and accountability - in our upcoming e-Musing Challanges.

Check It Out on the Web 
You can also go to our website,, click on Consulting and then on Intentional WorkClimate. 




In This Issue
Stop Wasting Training Dollars
Do You Speak the Language of Leadership?
Yes! You Can Afford a Coach
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
 "Do not go where the
path may lead; go
instead where there is
no path and leave a trail."
        Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Innovation distinguishes between a leader
and a follower."
Steve Jobs
What Others Say About Work Climate 
"There's a direct correlation
between work climate and
growth, efficiency and
accounts for nearly
one-third of a company's
Daniel Goleman
"Leaders can sustain
performance improvements 
by creating a climate
that motivates, develops
and retains
talented people."
Chris Watkins
"Extensive research supports
a strong link between
a healthy climate and
bottom-line business
goals such as innovation,
services, productivity
and profitability."
from In Good Company 
"As a leader, you can
make a difference in the
climate of your work
The Manager
Climate Hands

 Absenteeism, unmet performance objectives, lack of initiative and reduced interest in work are signs of a less than optimal work climate. 
What Others Say About PCM
"PCM is a must for any of us who hope to lead or manage or motivate people."
- Former Senator Max Clelland
"PCM is, without reservation, the most effective thing I have learned about understanding the behavior of myself and others."
 - Larry M. Short, General Mgr., North. Operations, TRW
"PCM is the key that unlocked our communication blind spots. It has unleashed greater effectiveness in our teamwork and execution."
 - F.T. Renshaw, President & CEO, Research Inc. 
"The Process Communication Model provides a framework for evaluating the information one wishes to communicate and the best means for doing so..."
 - Former Senator and Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
"As president of two different high-tech manufacturing companies in the last 10 years, I have found the Process Communication Model to be exceptionally valuable as a team building and individual development tool for my senior management."
 - S. M. Quist, President, Cyber Optics 
"PCM has been the best continuing education for our organization yet. It has encouraged a deeper understanding of firm associates and been a powerful tool when interacting with clients."
 - R. Burkhart, Burkhart and Co. 
"I have found myself regularly applying the knowledge and skills learned in Process Communication. It has made a real difference in my approach to dealing with difficult interactions both in my work and home environments."
 - S. Suffren, Martin Marietta 

Do You Speak the Language of Leadership?

Using the Process Communication Model® (PCM) by Janice Criddle 
"The art of communication is the language of leadership."
James Humes
Years ago, I was the Employee Relations Representative/Affirmative Action Officer for the Southwest Region of a Fortune 100 company. For its time, the company was progressive in its approach to Diversity in the workplace. I remember one manager who was quite a challenge.


Bernard was a well-respected District Manager with an impeccable track record, including time in the military prior to his 20 years at this company. He believed in a strong work ethic, duty and loyalty. He was as close to an ideal employee as you can get.                                                                                                              ear - listening 


The challenge came when we were trying to improve representation of minorities and women in his district. Hiring people was not an issue; keeping them was.  In working with Bernard, we presented him with all of the information available to convince him of his responsibility to make this work. As the leader, he would be held accountable for bringing the turnover rate among minorities and women down from an unacceptable 30% to match the desirable 8% experienced in the rest of the organization.


We presented him with employment statistics that showed the rapid changes in the recruitment pool. We provided him with Company policies and procedures. We shared information regarding the cost associated with recruitment and discrimination lawsuits. All to no avail. His numbers were not improving, nor was his effort to change.


Finally, he and I attended a Valuing Diversity workshop together. During that 3-day program, there were lots of activities and discussion. At one point, he and I were paired up in a small group activity. During the conversation, I said, "But Bernard, it's the right thing to do!" I could see the light bulb go on in his head. He not only went out and met the goals established for his District, he became a champion for Diversity in the organization.

"...predictable behavior
and a preference for
how they like to
hear things." 


If only I had known then what I know now. If I had understood the Process Communication Model®, we could have saved months of time and effort. All of our initial efforts to communicate with Bernard had fallen on deaf ears. He couldn't hear us until we began to communicate with him in a language he understood. The Process Communication Model® does just that. It teaches us to recognize specific personality types. These types each have predictable behavior and a preference as to how they like to hear things. 


(For those of you who have attended one of our workshops, what Personality Type were we appealing to in our initial efforts? Why did the approach in the Valuing Diversity Workshop work? What Personality Type fits Bernard?* See answer at end of article.)


PCM® - What Is It?


Simply put, the Process Communication Model® is the tool which will enable you to understand, motivate and communicate more effectively with others. Based on an award-winning clinical discovery, PCM® gives us the "how to" for interrupting negative behavior and returning to positive, effective interaction.


Ask yourself these questions: Do you want to better influence others? Communicate more effectively? Build successful teams? Maximize performance? Optimize your experience of work?


If you do, PCM® can help. It will make it easier to:


  • Observe and understand your own behavior
  • Understand the communication preferences of others in the moment
  • Recognize and manage distress in self and others
  • Analyze conflicts & miscommunication in order to return to effective communication


Anyone who leads, manages, mentors or coaches others can gain greater success from utilizing the Process Communication Model®. We invite you to contact us to learn more about its many applications. We offer both public and on site one day workshops.

NEXT PUBLIC WORKSHOP:  Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Contact us for more information at (818) 585-9553 or (818) 429-0077. See coupon at end of newsletter for special savings. 


*Answer: We switched from Workaholic to Persister language to appeal to Bernard's personality type.




Can You Afford to Hire a Coach? YES!
  If you're feeling "stuck", maybe it's time you engaged a coach. A seasoned coach can help you identify what needs to change in your life, support your efforts in making those changes and aid you in overcoming old habits that may be getting in the way of your success. Put simply, a coach will partner with you in creating a fuller, more successful, more meaningful professional and personal life. Our coaches can help you focus consistent attention on what you really want. With a coach, your desire to change is converted into forward momentum.
And if you thought hiring a certifed coach was beyond your reach, think again. Group coaching is the affordable way to reap the rewards of working with an experienced coach. We have new groups forming now. Our next session begins September 23rd - we meet for 3 ninety minute sessions per month, via phone, for 3 months. Cost is only $150.00 per month.
If you'd like to work with an accomplished, trusted coach, contact us today. Call Jennie at (818) 585-9553 or Janice at (818) 429-0077 and we'll answer any questions you might have.
3 Human Elements
Challenge It Now focuses its energies on a common goal - through consultation, coaching and facilitation, we help professionals in business organizations create and sustain a workplace climate where the positive experience of work is optimized, engagement is enriched and performance potential is maximized.
Please take a moment and visit our website at to find out more about us and what we have to offer.
Save $50.00
Save $50.00 off the regular price of $399 when you sign up and send in a check by September 30th for our next public PCM workshop to be held Wednesday, October 14th at the Skirball Cultural Center. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer.
Offer Expires: September 30, 2009