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Development Project

By Brett Lantz EME 6458: Distance Teaching and Learning

College of Education: University of Florida

Facilitator: Dr. Cathy Cavanaugh March 1, 2009

Free-Lantz Consulting, LLC (FLC), based out of Gilbert, AZ, offers influential leadership training and management seminars that focus on developing skill sets that help participants become stronger, more confident leaders and managers. Business consulting entails providing written material to educate staff regarding new practices and procedures, in addition to directly training a new or existing staff. This may be done in person, or via distance learning. With globalization moving at such a rapid rate, being able to educate and train via distance learning has become increasingly important. Regardless of the industry that any one entity operates within, the attitude of that companys workforce is directly impacted by the attitude of leadership. Effective leadership enhances corporate performance, but it directly levers employee motivation, increases job satisfaction, encourages a higher level of performance, and reestablishes organizational commitment. In addition, reduced absenteeism and turnover will be addressed directly and eventually decreased. There are many theories regarding leadership styles and techniques. The target market is the small business sector. The primary service includes strategic planning and development with a focus on sales, marketing, and management techniques. FLCs executive panel will provide one-on-one customer service with all clients, and FLCs flexible staff will be trained in the most up-to-date sales, marketing, and strategic planning techniques. In addition to the traditional one-on-one services that are provided by most

consulting firms, FLC will expand its services to potential customers on a national, and even a global scale through online and distance learning techniques. Our intentions are that FLC will become a leading business consulting provider in the Phoenix metropolitan area in addition to being a resource that companies from a national audience will turn to in order to fulfill their needs. There are several avenues that would adequately suffice for this type of learning. Most importantly, the selected avenue would need to offer a sophistication that would attract potential customers/learners. Since FLC is a for-profit company that would essentially be offering services of intellectual property and expertise, the presentation must be of great quality. Of the many options, the most feasible are considered below:

Live Production with Streaming Video Feed for audience online. Pre-Recorded Video Presentations CD-ROM and/or DVD-ROM presentations that may include worksheets

and sample printouts. (i.e. PowerPoint slides, case studies, etc.)

In order for FLC to be presented as a competent entity and viable option for consulting services, the methods for instructional presentations need to be feasible, practical and accessible. It is the first impression that may compel one to think they have made a wise choice in investing their time and money or not.

Live Video Feed with Audience Interaction: this option is the most

feasible and potentially viable for attracting a audience from a national pool. This option would allow for the lecture/seminar to take place from any setting. Ideally, this would be in a theater with a live, in-person audience that could provide for background effect. Those unable to attend in person would be given access to view via live web-feed. Interaction of those attending via cyberspace would be done through text messaging that would display on a monitor for the instructor to see and respond to vocally, or via audio feed for the live audience to hear. This type of presentation may be recorded for editing and offered to those attending for later viewing, reviewing.

Pre-recorded Video: This option would allow the flexibility of audiences

at a distance to view/ learn at their leisure. This is less formal, but would allow for a much better produced product that may include such items as graphic simulation, and editing for visual appeal.

The instructor/consultant will have a vital role in facilitating learning and training with FLC and its business model. The facilitator will be required to provided detailed and in depth knowledge of the seminars topic while portraying the confidence of an expert in the area. While seminars will be used to generate revenue, they are also designed to introduce FLC as an entity in which the attendees may want to hire FLC consultants for personal consulting

work. Seminars are introduced through a 12-month program that meets the first Tuesday of each month. Seminars are presented in person to a live audience or via live web feed to those that may not be able to attend in person. Members will also have the option to access an archived video set to view again, or at their convenience. Instructional handouts and follow up activities will be issued as well. This program uses an approach that incorporates the application of both managerial and transformational leadership. The areas that will be covered will include: January The Importance of Sales: Promising & Delivering February Elimination of Confusion and Hassle Through Listening March Know the Type of Person you are Dealing With, Not Just the

Person April Employee Motivation May Conflict Resolution: Interoffice June Conflict Resolution: With Customers July Conflict Resolution: With Vendors

August Synergy Among Leadership September Managing Resistance to Change October Providing Quality Feedback November Receiving Quality Feedback December Open Forum: to be determined by student/customers prior As you progress through this series, your employees will be instructed in

areas that will and increase skill sets in areas that are valuable to all industries. As you increase the value of your employees, you increase your entitys value and ability to connect to customers on a more direct level. This program is designed to provide value to both experienced and new managers. It is relevant for anyone who supervises others or serves as a project or team leader. Globalization has made it possible to purchase and sell goods or services to a much larger market. Many leadership-training seminars that market to working professionals target consumers that they can instruct in person. By providing this valuable resource in a distance format that can be utilized at the convenience of the learners, more people will be able to be included. Some of the key benefits of this program may include:

Learn the importance of

leadership in organizations.

Examine some classic examples of what leadership is and is not.

in organizations. Learn how to improve your leadership communication. Offered via online Web Chat DVD of each seminar mailed to you & Podcasts archived online Learn what actions leaders engage in that really make a difference. Learn how to diagnose a situation and apply appropriate actions.

Learn the difference between leadership and power.

Explore the relationship between leadership and management.

Understand that leadership is a process, not a trait.

Explore the many different roles that managers and leaders play

The course is designed to be highly interactive and to engage the active learner. The following three-step process is used to enhance learning: first introduction of the new topic, application of the new topic and critical critique. The mission is simply to help increase awareness among business owners that the most valuable asset they can potential have is their employee. Employees need to be properly addressed with routine attention and reevaluation, as would any other asset. Entrepreneurs and business managers are often preoccupied with immediate issues that they lose sight of their business objectives. That is why a strategic plan is an essential part of the strategy formulation. Without a

strategic plan, a business is more likely to fail. The strategy must be consistent with conditions in the competitive environment. It must take advantage of opportunities and minimize threats. Managers need to focus on external and internal forces as a whole and create an overview of the companys strategic situation. The current forces and trends has shown A spike in litigation, bankruptcies and investigations fueled by worsening credit and housing markets is expected to boost demand for advice on how to restructure loss-making businesses and counter regulatory and investor lawsuits(Sweta Singh, 2008). The relevance of this trend is important to the bottom line potential of FLC. When companies are not in a crisis they tend not to be so inclined to seek outside help. Our company is looking to help firms make educated and strategic choices for long-term financial success. Companies today are looking towards consulting firms to help them make important choices and guide them in the right direction. The relevance of this trend is important to our business and our bottom line. A key trend that cannot be ignore is that the growth of the consultant industry has grown substantially since 2000 and an abundance of highly educated experienced professionals, were either laid off or retired are now looking for business opportunities (Plunkett Research, Ltd.). Due to the economy many qualified professionals and executives are saturating the consulting market.

Ultimately, making the decision to apply or not apply what is learned will distinguish whether or not this program is a success. There are many small business owners that are extremely competent in their respective fields that have little to no knowledge regarding business. The local karate instructor may have all the talent and ability of a champion, but if they do not have the wherewithal to calculate payroll taxes, successfully market his or her dojo to potential customers then the business will not thrive and eventually close its doors for good. A business with no customers needs to be able to realize why they are in this position. Being able to evaluate the reasons for a failing entity may be what distinguishes it from complete foreclosure and revitalization. Knowing how to differentiate when in unfamiliar conditions, where the language, culture, social mores, and business practices are different from what we are used prior to being in that situation will pay dividends when that time comes. There are so many things that can go wrong that it is pointless to obsess too much about any one of them. Instead, a good contingency plan allows you to respond to whatever happens. And while good contingency planning is vital to withstanding a crisis, its real value is that it can often prevent a disturbance from growing into a crisis. When using the same terminology is not being used, it can be first sign of a potential crisis.

Using the proper terminology, dialog and jargon is the first item that should be established with a new class or learning environment is established. This may be very important if dealing with individuals from different countries, and/or backgrounds. Because the course structure will be based on the preface of all attendees having desire to increase their business practices, creating a premise that everyone can feel comfortable will be increased. The secret to staying competitive in technology is being able to predict the forces in technology. This quasi-science of attempting to foresee advancements and estimate their impact on an organizations operations is known as technological forecasting (Aaker, Kumar & George, 2004, p.84). Our company will strive to keep up with forces and trends. This will allow us to provide accurate information to our clients. Part of our workforce will be directly in charge of technological advances. Computer software can help a company become more efficient in day-to-day tasks. Hotels for instance were checking guests in manually. A point of sale system allowed hotels to become more effective and efficient. Demographic variables most commonly are used to differentiate groups of present or potential customers. Demographic information is comparatively easy to collect, quantify, and use in strategic forecasting and such information is the minimum basis for a customer profile (Aaker, Kumar & George, 2004, p.104). We will be focusing on smaller companies that are looking for help in any industry. We are going to provide information to companies that need to grow

and increase sales. We will also be focusing on internal factors that companies might have issues. We will focus on smaller companies needing data for its current market. The customer will determine the demographic location. Businesses are looking towards consulting firms to help make important choices. Consulting companies are benefiting from the economic turmoil, and we expect an increase in litigation to come out of the crisis in the financial services industry over the next nine months to a year," Stifel Nicolaus analyst James Janesky said, (Reuters.com, 2008). The relevance of this trend is important to our business and bottom line. When companies are not in a crisis a company will not be so inclined to seek outside help. Our company is looking to help firms make educated and strategic choices for long-term financial success. Establishing Strategic Control is key for our firm to stay on plan. Our controls are our roadmaps to success and they provide the needed actions our company will apply to stay on task. These controls must keep our company moving in the right direction. Premise Control is in place to check our strategy periodically to confirm that the plan is still valid or to allow our company to make appropriate changes. These factors can be environmental like the current economy, industry where the field for consultants is as good as its ever been so we will take full advantage of the work opportunities. Strategic surveillance allows us to monitor the internal and external events that can affect our strategy, they will help us to stay focused and make sure the strategic plan aligns with the companys objectives. Special alert control has to be considered for a sudden

unexpected event, which can have an adverse effect on our companys overall strategy. Implementation controls are put in place to assure certain actions take place as our strategic plan unfolds. They are premeditated changes that we have laid out in steps to confirm that our short- term objectives are being implemented and evaluated on time and within budget. Implementation controls will allow us to set standards of performance and expectations. We can measure actual performance, and if we encounter any deviations from our expectations we will initiate corrective actions so the actions taken are of optimal performance. (Pearce & Robinson, 2004).

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