Fall is here, and I'm trying to figure out how to juggle schedules on the home front to make sure the six-year-old enjoys the State Fair, apple picking and a visit to the pumpkin patch in a way that keeps the four-week-old from completely melting down. Or vice-versa.


Planning and balancing needs in any team is tough. It's even harder when the team members are pre-verbal.


One of the things I like about fall at Floricane is that it feels like a time of renewal. It's interesting that during the season we traditionally associate with endings I feel rejuvenated.


As we move into October, our team is turning its attention toward the year ahead. We're planning, and we're exploring very specific ways to strengthen aspects of our business -- our coaching and management development work, for instance.


We've already been energized by the launch of two new programs this fall.

  • Our new $10 Toolkit seems to be hitting the right notes for busy professionals looking to build skills that can be immediately applied on the job. The monthly workshop series is designed so that each session is stand-alone, the price and time commitment ($10 and one hour) is affordable, and the content (Situational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence and more) is relevant and useful. We're excited to watch this program take root and grow.
  • On a completely different front, our first group of leaders in The Leadership Circle hit the ground running last week! The small group format with senior leaders from a broad range of organizations seems to resonate. And having two coaches with very different styles partnering to facilitate the discussions may have been an accidental stroke of genius. (Read about it, below!) Even as our first two cohorts in The Leadership Circle start to norm, we're exploring when to start the next nine-month groups.
Next week, our team starts business planning for 2015, and all six of us are thinking hard change and innovation. From a new five-month management series to discussions with six organizations about customized Leadership Development programs for new and emerging leaders, our idea generators are running at full capacity.

All of that said, there are still three months left on this year's calendar, and we're equally invested in maintaining our commitment to what has made us successful for six years now -- an investment in relationships, an emphasis on quality engagements and a personal approach to every project.

John Sarvay

American Civil War Museum
Draper Aden Associates
VCU Office of Development and Alumni Relations
American Civil War Museum
Diamond Healthcare
Draper Aden Associates
VCU School of Medicine
Creative Change Center
Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce
Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Medical Legal Partnership Richmond
Richmond Public Library
Richmond Symphony
Virginia Audubon Council
Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association
Virginia Dental Association
Dodson Property Management
Greater Richmond Age Wave Initiative
Greater Richmond Fit4Kids
Virginia Society of Association Executives
Virginia Society of CPAs
VSAE Expo, October 2
Richmond SHRM Strategic Leadership Conference, October 9
Henrico County Catalyst Event, October 16
Henrico County Ingenuity Event, October 17
International Coaching Federation, November 14

Fun & Games & Self-Awareness
By Theran Fisher

If you followed any of the action surrounding the Amazing Raise last month, then you probably heard about Greater Richmond Fit4Kids (just check out the 5K results -- they walked away with five prizes). They are a fantastic organization "dedicated to improving children's health and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity in the Richmond region." They're also one of our newest clients.

Now, we have done a lot of InsightsŪ workshops over the years, but it is folks like the Fit4Kids staff that keep it fun and interesting for us. Passionate about their work, quick to joke around, and willing to dive in -- it's hard to imagine a better group to work with.


Kicking Off Our First Leadership Circle Session
By Debra Saneda


Leadership is hard.


This is the central theme that emerged from our first Leadership Circle session last Friday morning. The phrase coined by one of the members resonated with the group. It is hard. That's why there are thousands of leadership books written every year! There is not any one magic way to be a good leader, as evidenced by the broad range of topics our first group generated. Their interests ranged from "use of self as a means of inspiration" to "the balance of confidence and humility" to modeling work-life balance. This is only a snippet of what we discussed -- we are headed for great dialogue this year!

During the group check-out, we found out this group does not want to wait. They were looking for ways to "get started now". Guess that's not surprising from a group of stellar leaders!
Luckily, we get to start with our second group this Friday when another group of leaders from diverse backgrounds and workplaces will begin their journey with each other. I have no doubt that the dialogue will be just as rich.  

The Leadership Circle is a unique offering from Floricane. It is a facilitated monthly dialogue that will occur on the same day and time each month with a small group of leaders -- no more than 8 per group -- who have committed to come together for nine months. It is designed to attract a diverse blend of leaders from corporate, non-profit and governmental entities. It is a confidential space in which to explore the issues, opportunities and ideas that are central to effectively leading an organization or department/division. 


We're expecting to start a few new waves of the Leadership Circle next year. Drop me a line if you want to learn more about it!


VSAE Executive Retreat
By John Sarvay


We've discovered the perfect recipe for a CEO retreat. It involves four inches of rain, tri-cornered hats and 40 association executives ready to wrestle with big questions.

I just spent two days with a small group of CEOs and leaders from some of Virginia's best associations -- as well as some private industry leaders -- at the Virginia Society of Association Executive's annual CEO Retreat at the Williamsburg Inn in Colonial Williamsburg. A steady, and sometimes torrential, rainfall kept everyone focused on the discussions at hand. And the colonial setting made conversations about revolution feel entirely appropriate.

The idea of blowing up small things -- governance structures, approaches to leadership, programs, membership dues -- came up throughout our time together.

Which made me wonder why so many organizations are reluctant to carve out time to analyze, deconstruct and rebuild key parts of what they do. Everyone in the room intuitively understood the organizational evolution from start-up to growth to maturity to decline -- and the critical importance of reevaluating and reviving before you hit the peak of the S-curve. (Or blowing things up and starting anew.) It's lighting the proverbial fuse that makes people nervous. 


Our Sales Effectiveness Workshop Series Starts Next Tuesday!
By Theran Fisher


Perhaps you're wondering if you should attend our upcoming Sales Effectiveness workshop series. Or maybe you want to attend, but don't know how to convince your boss to pay for it. Well, let us help by laying out the top 7 reasons you should register today.


1. You get an InsightsŪ Discovery personality profile.


InsightsŪ Discovery is an incredibly useful tool for increasing self-awareness and awareness of others -- both of which are key to effective selling. Profiles are about 30 pages in length and include 3 chapters: Foundation, Management, and Effective Selling.


2. You'll learn to quickly assess your clients' needs.


We'll show you how to rapidly determine what drives your clients and what barriers may be standing in their way. Moreover, you'll learn what you can do to meet your client where they are, not where you want them to be.


[continued on the Floricane blog]


Looking Forward 

John and fellow consultant Suzanne Hogg just wrapped up a series of strategic conversations with the board of the Creative Change Center (C3). C3 has been at the heart of Richmond's creativity and work conversation for almost a decade, and continues to have an impact with its Talk 20, Breakfast Club and C3Ed events. This past spring, C3 launched a new Richmond-wide Creativity Awards program.

During the board discussions, it was clear that the C3 brand remained strong and that its programs were moving through a period of transition. Refocusing on its four core programs was an important first step toward moving the organization into a new period of growth and sustainability. And speaking of programs - check out C3's next Talk20 event this month!

Lighthouse Labs
First Two Weeks with New Neighbors

Lighthouse Labs RVA, the local small business accelerator, has been sharing our collaborative work space at the Times-Dispatch building for two weeks now! It's completely infused the space with a lot more energy. 

Here's the scoop on the accelerator process: People who think they have a great idea for a company go through a rigorous application process. Once chosen, Lighthouse gives its participating companies 15 weeks of mentor sessions and guided workshops, plus $20,000 to get their company going.

Here are the start-ups that we're proud to call neighbors: Blue Ocean Brain Games, Foundation, Kickup, Kyndi, Nudge, and Tenant Turner.

MENTOR Richmond
Class XII & XIII Learn About InsightsŪ

For the past several years, Floricane has been partnering with the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce to provide InsightsŪ Discovery to participants in their MENTOR Richmond program. We recently helped to kick-off this year's program and we were blown away by the young professionals who are taking part. Aside from their awesome work around town, these 38 young professionals are eager and excited to learn and gain everything they can from this program.

Watch out, Richmond; your next generation of leaders is incredible.

$10 Toolkit
Join us October 15

We're committed to offering the RVA business community some low cost, high impact opportunities to skill-up, which is why we've launched our new $10 Toolkit series. The very first Toolkit was two weeks ago, and it went great! Our group learned all about Situational Leadership.


Join us on October 15, 4-5 PM for our next installment, which will focus on Steps of Change: A Process for Transition. This model will highlight the different phases one moves through whenever a new change is implemented. Learn how to diagnose others, ask for what you need, or simply be aware of the underlying reasons for your team's discomfort with a particular change.


Click here for more info!

Next Steps: Personal Reflection
Generate Your Ideal Future

Our fourth offering of our popular Next Steps program will run over three evenings in November. Next Steps is designed for people looking to spend time deepening their understanding of their core values, belief and personal vision - and mapping out a game plan to build their life more fully around their best self. 

Through a mix of individual work, homework and small group discussions, participants will develop a more focused and personal roadmap for their lives. Over the course of the three sessions, participants will identify or clarify core values, personal and professional aspirations, and how they invest time and energy in their lives. 

Insights E-Series
Bonus Learning for All

It's like an Insights workshop in your inbox! Well, not quite, but it's pretty close. If you've taken our InsightsŪ Discovery assessment and have a personal profile, you might be pretty interested in our brand new, totally free Insights E-Series. 


Once you put your name on the list, you'll get seven emails over the course of 3 months. Each will be full of activities, videos, and tips about how to maximize your InsightsŪ Discovery profile.


Sound interesting? Signing up is easy -- we just recommend that you already have an InsightsŪ profile before you start. You can unsubscribe whenever you get bored of us.


Click here to sign-up for free. 



Henrico Business
New Catalyst and Ingenuity events

If you're a small business owner or a new business owner in Henrico County, check out October's Catalyst and Ingenuity events on October 16 and 17.

We're excited to have played a small role working with the team at the West Cary Group to put shape around these two, full-day events for the Henrico County Economic Development Authority. John will be spending both days pitching in around the edges and facilitating a few panel discussions and interactive conversations with several hundred participants -- and more than three dozen presenters. Check out the details at Henrico Strong website.

Our favorite!

Association Expo
Donuts, strategy & leadership

Association staff and members from across Virginia will convene in Richmond on October 2 (tomorrow!) for the Virginia Society of Association Executives' annual Expo

If you're planning to attend, be sure to stop by our booth for a free Dixie Donuts and fresh perspectives on strategic planning, member engagement and leadership development. There are some great presenters lined up to talk about strategic planning, generational change and more. We look forward to seeing you there. (Read above for details on John's recent facilitation at the VSAE CEO Retreat!)


Leadership Conference
John's talking 'bout an HR revolution

On October 9, make plans to join Floricane at the annual Richmond Society of HR Managers Strategic Leadership Conference. John will be presenting on "Sizing Up Strategy: Making the Most of HR's Place at the Strategic Planning Table" with a focus on the intersection of strategy and employee engagement. The conference happens next Thursday, October 9 and you can still register at the Richmond SHRM website.

Leave it my kids - yes, kids plural - to spend the entire month of September trying to hammer a simple lesson into my thick head.

Before the lesson, some context.

After a frenetic, busy summer, we got a jump on Labor Day by welcoming John Thomas "Jack" Sarvay into our family 
on September 3.

In short order, our world changed dramatically. (This should come as no surprise to anyone who has had children.) The simple addition of a new personality into our home has been a major change. (We were smart to time Jack's birth with the start of first grade, a busy window at work and a need to add a bedroom to our house.) It's impacted all of us differently, and I've been reminded in significant ways how introverted and crabby I get under the stress of significant change. 


A few weeks after we brought Jack home, Thea threw a small fit about something that pushed my buttons. She stormed into her room and slammed the door (Hello, teenage years!), and I promptly stormed after her and opened her door.

For a long moment, I found myself channeling my own dad. "Do not ever slam your door!" I exclaimed. "Get off your bed right now, and get over here!" 


Thea grabbed something off her bed table. It was a paperboard Floricane coaster with a quote on it. She thrust it toward me from where she sat on the bed, and scowled.

It stopped me in my tracks. I suppressed simultaneous reactions - laughter, shock and amazement.

"What is that supposed to mean?" I asked, trying to regain my footing.

"You know exactly what it means," she responded.

She was right. I did.

"Meet people where they are, not where you want them to be" read the coaster.

Hoisted. Petard.

"It means that you need to come here and talk to me, not make me come to you to talk every time," she continued.

And I did. I went and sat down beside her. She curled into my lap.

After a moment, I said, "The way I was acting didn't feel very good to me."

"Me either," she said.

"What can we do next time to keep from getting so angry at each other?" I asked her.

"I don't know," she said. "Can we think about it later?"

"Sure," I responded.

Nothing beats having your lack of awareness thrust into your face by your six-year-old. No, seriously. It was an amusing and painful moment of truth for me - delivered at a time when I truly needed it.

Since then, I've turned the interaction over in my mind again and again - when I am huddled in a far corner of the house at four a.m. rocking a screaming three-week-old; when I am feeling completely swamped and behind at work; when Nikole drags herself out of bed at absurd hours to nurse Jack; and when Thea and I slip back into tug-of-war.


  • Where am I right now? What am I feeling?
  • Where is the other person right now?
  • Where do they need me to be at this moment?
  • Am I able to meet them there?
Meeting people where they are is hard, hard stuff. It's even harder when the other person is six-years-old, or an infant.

I've found that bringing awareness to what I'm feeling is an important first step. And resisting the urge to either validate my feelings or criticize myself for them is helpful. (Thanks, Philip.)

Bringing my attention to the other person and their needs is the hardest walk. And it continues to be the most important gift I can give to those in my life I love the most.