• By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA | kbarlow@barlowmccarthy.com Right wrong or otherwise, we all make snap judgments when we meet new people. Last week I needed help from an airline gate agent and here’s what happened: I approached the counter ready to beg, cajole and flaunt my frequent flyer status as I wanted to get home on an earlier flight. As I approached the counter, the gate agent looked up immediately, smiled and asked how she could help in a warm and engaging way. She listened fully to my request and then said, “Let’s see what we can do to make that happen.” The interaction was all of three minutes and yet, it left me feeling positive, I know her name

    Feb 01,
  • By: Jeff Cowart, MAH | jcowart@barlowmccarthy.com The beginning of a new year, the launch of a new goal, a significant change in direction – all of these are opportunities for reflection on where we’ve been and where we’re going. Usually, this reflection is accompanied by resolutions, declarations of new direction, and a burst of new energy. Too often, however, this process quickly devolves into disruption at the hands of the mundane, the heavy tug of the status quo, and the loss of traction toward our new goals. Then the malaise and disappointment of failure starts to hover and nag. Why is this cycle so familiar? The truth is, the cycle has nothing to do with our good intentions nor our

    Jan 25,
  • From Allison McCarthy: My Dad is a big believer in proactively managing life – a “take action” type of person.  Whenever he faced a challenge he would always – and continues to - look for solutions.  One of his common phrases when I was growing up was “You got a problem, fix it”.  He was not very tolerant of “wallowing” or “whining” – figure it out and move on.  From him I learned that feeling “stuck” was my issue – because there was always something different to try.  The number of possibilities outweighed the number of obstacles.  When I was young, he might have stepped in and proactively created the “nudge”.  But as I got older – and still to

    Jun 23,
  • By: Kriss Barlow, RN MBA I think a lot about how to help people feel good about change.  Most often, organizations bring in a consultant, like me, to help them make a change internally, such as initiating a new program or growing the staff’s skills. Perhaps it goes without saying:  Some people want innovation, but many are really uncomfortable with it-- and with me! What makes people most uncomfortable?  Interestingly, it is not when I am doing a full redeployment; it is when I am brought in to “do training” as a magic solution, to get their model on the right track.  (Field staff are given a day or two of training and then expected to change their entire approach).

    Jun 16,
  • By: Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA This time of year signals the time to start planting, at least here in the north central states.  Gardening is a wonderful journey really, placing small seeds in the ground, anticipating a bounty of blooms in late summer.  Seeds only grow, however, when they are placed in the right soil, at the right time and provided the right sunlight and moisture. The process of relationship sales has a lot in common with the good practices of gardening. Unlike a “patient gardener,” leaders today make huge assumptions about what it takes to earn relationships and many want instant results. (As a sales person, I would like instant results too!)  The reality is that, much like planting

    Jun 02,