A Fierce Farewell from Chris Douglas, EVP of International Expansion and Learning

A Fierce Farewell from Chris Douglas, EVP of International Expansion and Learning
Dear readers, My time here at Fierce is officially coming to an end. Not in heart, but in presence. Although I'm technically retiring, I'm not a big fan of the word "retirement." I prefer the Spanish word jubilación —it suggests jubilation and joy rather than a "stop" or "end." Although one chapter is closing, I'm about to embark on a new and excit...
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Susan's 2017 Year-End Message

Susan
This morning I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you that would be the most helpful in this New Year. I probably wrote several thousand words until they condensed into: Please stay awake! You may recall a central idea of Fierce conversations… Our careers, our companies, our relationships, and indeed our very lives succeed or fail, grad...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 2 Highlights

Fierce Summit 2017: Day 2 Highlights
Day two of the fabulous Fierce Summit has come to an end, and today’s sessions came with powerful takeaways. Starting from earliest to latest… Regent Cornell: How to Build a Culture Ultimate Software’s tagline “People First” wasn’t drummed up by the marketing team to win awards or sell more widgets. It’s the way things are done at this fast-growing cloud computing company that landed it a top spot on Fortune’s 2016 List of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” With a personal story that was both humorous and insightful, Regent Cornell revealed the five distinguishing characteristics of ‘Best Companies’ and demonstrated the bottom-line impact of putting People First: 1. Gratitude, 2. Respect, 3. Engagement, 4. Authenticity, and 5. Trust. Learn more about how Ultimate Software made the list here . Susan Scott: Become a Great Conversationalist In this intimate session, Fierce founder and CEO Susan Scott made the connection...
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Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights

Fierce Summit 2017: Day 1 Highlights
The Fierce Summit has finally arrived! This one-of-a-kind leadership and learning event has been anticipated throughout the year by both the Fierce community and those who are new to Fierce. The event is taking place in the wake of much time, commitment, and TLC on behalf of the Fierce team, our clients, attendees, and speakers. After our special facilitator day on Tuesday the 12th, this was our first day of the official two-day event hosted at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle. Our speakers were carefully chosen for their messages--messages that are both inspiring and on the cutting edge of leadership. These powerful messages resonated with their audience today in a way that I believe will leave a lasting impact. Here are some notable speaker highlights from day one: Juliet Funt: Activity is Not Productivity: Raising Execution Through Reclaiming WhiteSpace After Susan Scott’s warm and insightful introduction, Juliet Funt, founder...
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Susan Scott’s Take on Results-Driven Conversation: An Interview by The Human Capital Institute

Susan Scott’s Take on Results-Driven Conversation: An Interview by The Human Capital Institute
As part of the Nine to Thrive Podcast, HCI’s Holly Pennebaker spoke with our very own Susan Scott, Fierce Founder and CEO. In this podcast, Susan addresses the following questions: • What has inspired you to revise Fierce Conversations? • How would you describe barriers to communication? How would you recommend we overcome them? • What is often missing in our conversations, and how does the book address that? • What led you to make relationships such a central focus of the book? Using colorful examples, Susan dives into the specific exchanges that reveal the state of problems and shares the way to overcome barriers to meaningful conversations. She touches on how our approach should help us overcome problems by saying what is real —in a way that will be heard and useful to organizations and their teams. “Without relationship, we’ve got nothing.” – Susan Scott Listen to the podcast...
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An Event for All Fierce Fans: 3 Reasons to Attend

An Event for All Fierce Fans: 3 Reasons to Attend
The Fierce community has spoken, and the resounding advice to us was: bring us together! Tell us what you are thinking. Take a stand on how our organizations and world can become more fierce together. Given that, we are very excited to announce the launch of the Fierce Summit, a learning event for the fierce community and fans. It will be in Seattle, WA on September 13th and 14th. Here is the official site with more details. If you are a Fierce facilitator, please join us September 12th for a special day to take your facilitation to the next level. It is an investment of time and money, and it will be worth it. Here are three reasons to attend: 1. Network with a worldwide Fierce Community. The Fierce Summit is a rare opportunity to network with new and long-time Fierce community members from around the globe. You will make...
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Revised and Updated Fierce Conversations Launches Today

Revised and Updated Fierce Conversations Launches Today
At the core of Fierce, and really at the core of relationship, are Fierce conversations. This idea originated years ago with our founder and CEO, Susan Scott, whose now famous statement launched an entire organization: While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation absolutely can. In addition to launching Fierce, a company helping thousands of business leaders directly, Susan also published Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time which has sold a half a million copies to date. Today, we are excited to announce an extensively revised and updated version is now available . The updated version offers guidance for navigating changes that are happening in the workplace, including the shifting expectations of employees. Some key additions to the book include: • Insight into how and when to...
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5 Biggest Takeaways from LAMP

5 Biggest Takeaways from LAMP
The relationship between Fierce and GAMA International has been built on a common vision: to support and develop field leaders in the insurance and financial services industry. In this industry, recruiting, maintaining, and sustaining relationships between employees is one of the biggest challenges—keeping the lines of communication open between the field offices and the corporate office can be difficult. This challenge is where Fierce conversations can play a transformative role. The financial industry is also shifting, and organizations are coming together as a community to tackle the tough challenges that accompany change. Fierce attended GAMA’s 2017 LAMP , themed “Ignite Change.” During the four-day event that included general session speakers and conversations with field leaders, we learned a great deal about how the financial industry is changing. Here are our five biggest takeaways that financial and insurance organizations should keep in mind, with highlights from event speakers. 1. Culture is...
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New Fierce Survey Reveals Millennials Embrace the Benefits of Diversity

New Fierce Survey Reveals Millennials Embrace the Benefits of Diversity
The current political and global climate has led to an increase in conversations about diversity and inclusion in the workplace. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends , the number of executives who cited inclusion as a top priority has risen 32% in the last three years, and over two-thirds of executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue. We surveyed over a thousand individuals nationwide to gain a better understanding of how people perceive the benefits of workplace diversity. We also explored issues relating to discrimination and safety in the workplace. We thought it was interesting that over 40% of survey respondents believe their organization would benefit from greater diversity. This number increased to 55% amongst those 18-29, however, decreased to just 30% of those 60+. A clear disconnect exists here between generations, as younger individuals seemingly place a greater value on diversity than those older. This...
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What it Takes to be a Top Training Company

What it Takes to be a Top Training Company
At Fierce, we know the various issues that can arise when building training programs. It can be difficult for organizations to build a program that is both meaningful and impactful. On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Fierce was at the Training Conference & Expo in San Diego, where the Top 125 Training Companies received awards for their exceptional training program designs and results. We are honored to work with Van Meter, Inc., who won a position on the prestigious list. I interviewed Jenn Bleil, Learning & Development Manager at Van Meter, Inc. She shared insights about what makes their training effective and how Fierce helps Van Meter achieve its goals. What do you attribute as the reason for Van Meter's success in training? As a 100% employee-owned company, we believe our greatest asset is our people. Our success in training is due to our commitment to helping our people...
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Susan's Note for the End of Year

Susan
Fierce. At first, the name evokes the straightening of spines and deep breaths taken as we walk towards danger. Perhaps it sounds like the yowl of a bobcat, smells like fear, inspires anxiety. And then a piece within our internal kaleidoscope shifts, and we see that a fierce conversation is one in which we come out from behind ourselves, into our conversations, and make them real. So when someone asks if I’m suggesting that all of our conversations should be fierce, the answer is YES! Why be real on Mondays and false on Tuesdays? Why share thoughts or concerns with family and withhold them at work? But it isn’t easy, being real. I love this passage from Martin Marten , by Brian Doyle. It turns out that having a conversation with someone you like and respect is harder as you go deeper, isn’t that so? Conversations are easy on the...
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A Call for Fierce Conversations

A Call for Fierce Conversations
Monday night was the first night of the Presidential debates. After it ended, people called and texted me asking: Who do you think won? I always find that to be a very difficult question to answer. Maybe because I’m jaded. While I believe in our democracy and processes, I struggle with how we engage in the conversations in them. No one wins when it is about bantering back and forth about who is right and who is wrong – leaving meaningful discourse out of the picture. We see this ineffective tactic wreak havoc in organizations, in teams, and in families all around the world. And leaders around the world are paying the highest prices, because of it. So I guess when it comes down to it, I want so share that debates are NOT fierce conversations. This may be surprising for some people. When many people think of fierce, they...
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A Podcast with Susan Scott: Fierce Leadership, Radical Transparency, & Deeper Human Connectivity

A Podcast with Susan Scott: Fierce Leadership, Radical Transparency, & Deeper Human Connectivity
Halelly Azulay is an author and leadership development strategist, and she recently hosted Susan on her TalentGrow podcast. In this session, Susan Scott explains what fierce conversations are, why it’s important that we have them, and a common obstacle we all face and how to overcome it when having these types of conversations – both at work and in your personal lives. In their conversation, Susan also talks about how to be open and more transparent and invite this kind of openness from others. They also explore why she thinks careful conversations are almost always failed conversations. A few key takeaways include: How being more transparent can actually help you raise the bar in all your contexts.   What’s a mistake we make about radical transparency?   How is trust built and lost? What does it require? And in the end, Susan shares one actionable suggestion that will help you...
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Have a Fierce Conversation

Have a Fierce Conversation
We all want to have meaningful and real conversations in our lives – both inside and outside of work. In the workplace, Gallup has found that consistent communication -- whether it occurs in person, over the phone or electronically -- is connected to higher engagement. Gallup shares, “For example, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them.” And let’s be honest - scheduling meetings is the bare minimum requirement here. What is important is the type of conversations you have. And without surprise, I will recommend you make them fierce. The simplest definition of a fierce conversation is one in which you come out from behind yourself, into the conversation, and make it real. You know you’re having a Fierce Conversation when: You are speaking in your real voice.  ...
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Leadership Tips: Have a Liberating Fourth of July Conversation

Leadership Tips: Have a Liberating Fourth of July Conversation
A core Fierce philosophy is: “While no single conversations is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship or a life   -   any single conversation can”.  And I would add “the trajectory of a country.” On this fourth of July holiday in the United States, we celebrate the inception of our nation. As collective citizens, we are where we are today as a direct result of all of the conversations we have had and not had – in our courtrooms, in our schools, in our communities, and in our homes. While it may seem like an impossible question to answer: How can our current dialogue of blame, fear, and name-calling ever shift in US politics? Well, it shifts one conversation at a   time. And it starts with the individuals. Many people in our country seem resistant to get curious, put their egos aside, and...
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New Survey Reveals Lack of Trust in Politics & Companies

New Survey Reveals Lack of Trust in Politics & Companies
Today we released survey findings that reveal people’s sentiments towards leaders in both business and politics. Given that we are in the middle of a contentious, unpredictable election cycle, our goal was to have a better understanding of what people are looking for in political leaders. We also wondered if there would be any difference with desired attributes for politicians compared to leaders in the corporate world. Our nationwide survey of several hundred professionals identifies how their views on leadership compare in the business and political worlds. In what I deem a “lack of trust”, we found that more than 71% of professionals believe neither U.S. Corporations nor the U.S. Government acts in the best interest of voters and employees. This is not particularly surprising given the climate and dialogue surrounding politicians and corporate America. However, when presented with a variety of characteristics, 51% of respondents ranked “communicator” as the...
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Celebrate Fierce’s 15th Anniversary with Us Today

Celebrate Fierce’s 15th Anniversary with Us Today
Fifteen years ago today, Fierce, Inc. was born. It has been an amazing journey. As Susan Scott, Fierce founder & CEO wrote, “Life is curly, don’t try to straighten it out.” Trust me, we enjoy each twist, twirl, and turn. I have been with Fierce for almost seven years. I have witnessed how the work changes lives. And I am so grateful that it has changed mine. It has opened my mind and heart to navigate through life more thoughtfully. More courageously. Fierce has given me the skill to lean in and have the conversations that are central to happiness, success, and much more. So on this beautiful celebration, I want to take the time to thank the people who have been central to Fierce’s success. We would not be here without you. Thank you to our amazing Fiercelings. Our current employees who are dedicated to making our work possible....
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5 Fierce Predictions for 2016

5 Fierce Predictions for 2016
There are few things that jazz me more than the ever-evolving workplace (yes, I did just say that). As we embark on 2016, at Fierce, we see a heightened desire for employees to be engaged and connected on the deepest of levels. Below are the five Fierce predictions for 2016. Recruiting Talent - Job Candidates Motivated by Purpose, Not Money In 2016, job candidates will want to ensure a potential company’s purpose and mission align with values they hold near and dear to their hearts. Values and purpose, over tangible items such as salary, will become an increasingly important factor in the decision-making process in the competitive job market. In fact, a high salary is the least important aspect of a job to both men and women, whereas holding a job they enjoy is the most important aspect, according to Pew Research Center. With the rise of social media and...
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2015 Year End: Life is curly

2015 Year End: Life is curly
It’s snowing at Goat Leap, my tree house on Orcas Island. That’s where I am now, as I write to you. My dogs Dobby, Tallulah, and Hamish – two labradoodles and a Cairn terrier - and I are cozy. The fire is toasty, I’ve enjoyed my coffee with whipped cream and there’s a roast in the oven. It smells heavenly. I read somewhere, “I’m not anti-social.  I’m pro-solitude.” Amen to that! I’m in my favorite place for solitude. Each December, I think about what to share with you. I wrote in Fierce Conversations: “Life is curly. Don’t try to straighten it out.” 2015 has been a decidedly curly year and is in no danger of straightening out in 2016. So let’s talk about curls and how to navigate them. Those we welcome and those we don’t. Curls can be wonderful. An unexpected romance, a financial windfall, a promotion. For me,...
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Leadership Tips: Don’t Hesitate - Become Fiercely Dedicated Now

Leadership Tips: Don’t Hesitate - Become Fiercely Dedicated Now
When people first hear the word fierce , there are varying reactions. Some think that fierce means scary. Others think brutal or harsh. For some, they think of Beyoncé…as in “Sasha Fierce”. To help explain what we mean in our workshop, we ask: What do you think about the word fierce when someone is fiercely dedicated to you? When I first facilitated that question with a group, I loved the “ah ha’s” in the room. Let’s be honest. We all crave having and being associated with fierce dedication. It infers depth and devotion. Those two things can be hard to come by in this ever-changing, moving world. So I ask: What are you fiercely dedicated to? Your partner? Your parents? A cause? Can you say that you are fiercely dedicated to your work? I hope so. You deserve to love what you do. Whenever I think about dedication, I think...
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Advice to Young Women

Advice to Young Women
We’re a women-owned business. And proud of it. As part of our work, we focus on developing, training, and investing in young women and girls around the world through corporations, non-profits, and education systems. When we look at issues for young women today, bullying comes to the top of the list. We are not neutral about how to solve for this. We believe that children and young adults need to learn the skills to navigate their lives – with advocates and adversaries to their success. So what does our staff want to share with young women today? Fellow Fierceling, Ashley Wolf, has interviewed some of our staff about advice they have for young women, and two major themes arose. Speak Your Truth. At Fierce, speaking your truth is about being authentic. With media and many other influences pushing against them, it is especially important for young women today to learn...
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Fierceling of the Month: Katy Dozier

Fierceling of the Month: Katy Dozier
Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Katy Dozier. Why did you come to work here? It seemed like a fun atmosphere to join and grow in. What are some responsibilities for your role? Everything from contracts, billing, workshop logistics, printing and inventory management and vendor accounts payable. What’s the coolest thing you are currently working on? Getting a new hire up to speed in my department. What is your favorite thing about working at Fierce? The...
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Advice to Young Girls

Advice to Young Girls
While thinking about this blog, I turned to the best source for advice to young girls – other young girls who are happy and thriving - so I asked my granddaughters and the daughters of one of our leaders here at Fierce what advice they would give a freshman girl in high school. Clara, 15 : “Do not judge someone until you know them well enough, talk to as many people as possible, wear things that make you love your body and make you feel beautiful, attend as many sports games as you can, join clubs or sports, go to homecoming because there are only 4 in your life! Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers questions if you are confused, be nice to everyone.” Maizy, 17: “Be nice. To everyone. People aren’t as scary as you imagine and making someone’s day is so worth it. I would agree with...
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Fierceling of the Month: Matt Dunn

Fierceling of the Month: Matt Dunn
Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Matt Dunn. Why did you come to work here? I came to Fierce for the opportunity to be a part of a mission that makes a difference in the world and to develop professionally/personally. What are some responsibilities of your role? Some responsibilities in my role include: Being a Brand Ambassador   Making sure clients’ feedback is being relayed to our marketing and Senior Leadership team   Helping clients make...
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Fierceling of the Month: Beth Wagner

Fierceling of the Month: Beth Wagner
Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Beth Wagner. Why did you come to work here? Fierce has been a huge part of my life since I was first introduced to the curriculum and the company over 8 years ago. Back then, I was working for a global retail organization and I had the chance to get certified as a Fierce facilitator. That experience changed my life. Not only did it test my competence and courage as...
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Let’s Talk Fierce Leadership

Let’s Talk Fierce Leadership
There is a bold, compelling line between leadership and fierce leadership.  You will begin to cross the line once you understand and act on the central premise at the heart of all things fierce: If you want to become a great leader, gain the capacity to connect with your colleagues and customers at a deep level ... or lower your aim. We are excited to be partnering with Women in Real Life Leadership Summit (WiRL). WiRL is transforming the way professional development happens through an online, webinar-based conference that features sessions led by world-renowned speakers, authors, and experts. This September, Susan Scott will be talking about Fierce Leadership. She will share how to spot the worst "best" practices in your organizations using a technique she calls “squid" eye. Here are the six practices she will dive into: From 360-Degree Anonymous Feedback to “365” Face-to-Face Feedback   From Hiring for Smarts...
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Register Now: Become a Fierce Coach with Susan Scott

Register Now: Become a Fierce Coach with Susan Scott
“All coaching conversations are not equal. What gets talked about with a coaching client and how it gets talked about determines what will happen. And what won’t happen.” – Susan Scott, Fierce CEO Are you a coach? With your own practice? Or inside of an organization? We are thrilled to announce an exclusive opportunity for professional coaches. At Fierce, we have deep roots within the coaching community. And we are jumping up and down to spend time with some of you on October 5 th and 6 th . Join an interactive, intimate two day workshop with Susan Scott. You will gain insight and skills that will significantly differentiate your coaching relationships and results from the vast majority of coaches out there in the world. This investment will take your coaching to a new level. Your clients will thank you. Click here to register and learn more.

Fierceling of the Month: Margaret Weeks

Fierceling of the Month: Margaret Weeks
Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to catering a company-wide lunch. Each month, I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Margaret Weeks. Why did you come to work here? At the time, I was ready for the next step in my career. Fierce is an amazing company with opportunities to learn and grow professionally. I was excited to do what I do best (detail-oriented tasks and staying organized) for the life-changing work we do here. What are some responsibilities for your role? I make our Client Solutions team look good...
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We’re a Best Place to Work!

We’re a Best Place to Work!
We are absolutely ecstatic to be a Seattle Business Magazine Best Place to Work! We want to thank each person at Fierce for bringing their heads and hearts to the work we do, each and every day. Fierce is a fast-growing, fast-paced learning organization that walks its talk. We teach our clients how to have real conversations that invite differing perspectives, that tackle tough issues, that “rock the boat”, that get to the heart of the matter, that develop the leader within everyone - all while enriching relationships. Our mission is to better the world, one conversation at a time, and we understand that it starts with ourselves. So we are real with one another and involved with our community. On top of that, we have these perks: Happy Hours: Employees are invited to monthly happy hours to help foster the company's value of having fun together. These events have...
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Fierceling of the Month: Lisa Colvin

Fierceling of the Month: Lisa Colvin
Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month. The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the fierce values and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to cater a company-wide lunch. Each month I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Lisa Colvin. Why did you come to work here? I believe in the concepts that Fierce teaches. As a previous Director of Learning & Development, I saw the impact it made on leaders and how they approached their role and relationships differently after attending the fierce workshop. What are some responsibilities for your role? Develop relationships with Global leaders within HR, OD and Talent Management to recommend and assist in...
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Listen to an Intimate Chat with Fierce Founder, Susan Scott

Listen to an Intimate Chat with Fierce Founder, Susan Scott
Susan Scott, CEO & Founder of Fierce, Inc. talks with Andrew Bateman from Human Capital Institute. In this interview, Susan and Andrew discuss: The origin of Fierce   Business trends   Personal inspiration Some direct quotes: “Everybody basically wants real. They want real. They want real in their relationships. They want real in their work. They want real in their organizations. They want real with their leaders. There is not as much of that going around as we would all like to think.” “Nobody teaches us when we are young (to be real). Nobody teaches us that it is important for us to be authentic and what that means. Although a lot of people love the word authenticity, sad to say, wouldn’t know it if it ran over them.”        

Fierceling of the Month: Katelyn Sorensen

Fierceling of the Month: Katelyn Sorensen
Here at Fierce, we honor a person once a month with the coveted title of Fierceling of the Month . The qualification for a Fierceling is someone who has been nominated by peers for exceptionally exhibiting the  fierce values  and the 7 principles of our work. There are some great internal perks including choosing your favorite restaurant to cater a company-wide lunch. Each month I look forward to interviewing these amazing people. This month, I had the honor to connect with Katelyn Sorensen. When and why did you join Fierce? I officially joined Fierce two years ago this month. Unofficially though, it was a little bit earlier than that. My dad has been involved with Fierce for a long time and when I was looking for something to do over one summer in college he asked Stacey if she would be interested in an intern. He got my foot in...
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Any Conversation Can: My Fierce Journey

Any Conversation Can: My Fierce Journey
I enjoy all things “Hobbit” and Middle Earth, even Smaug’s hoarding of the Arkenstone and Gollum’s devastation at losing the ring. The story is about friendship, adventure, courage, and treasure. Finding, stealing, retrieving treasure, at all costs. We all love the notion of finding treasure. Who hasn’t fantasized about what they’d do if they won the lottery. But treasures can be tricky. Joseph Campbell wrote that the hero’s journey is not complete once he finds the treasure – whether it is a chest of jewels or a powerful epiphany. It is not heroic to hoard the prize, my precious. The hero’s journey is completed when he has returned to civilization and found a way to share the treasure he fought so hard to gain. Or she. I am not a hero but in the fall of 2002, I offered what for me was and remains a treasure of inestimable value,...
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2015 Workplace Predictions: Out With the Old, In with the New

2015 Workplace Predictions: Out With the Old, In with the New
Organizations will replace outdated best practices in the coming year; results will include increased flexibility, a higher importance put on training, and an increased willingness to lead. SEATTLE (January 7, 2015) – The workplace underwent significant changes in 2014, with a shift towards eliminating “old school” management practices, embracing more open work environments and increasing in flexibility on the job.  As predicted at the start of the year by Fierce, Inc. , leadership development and training experts, these changes have included less hierarchical titles across organizations, more flexibility beyond the standard 8-5 work hours, and a drop in the traditional performance review process. As trainers and consultants to organizations ranging from Fortune-level business to startups and non-profits around the globe, Fierce, Inc. has seen their clients, CEOs and company leaders, take an inherent focus on people much more than in previous years. While significant changes occurred in 2014, Fierce predicts 2015 will prove...
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2014 Year End: Kaleidoscopes. Magical. Fireworks In a Tube.

2014 Year End: Kaleidoscopes. Magical. Fireworks In a Tube.
Do you remember the first time you looked into a kaleidoscope as a child? What a pretty picture. And then you turned it and the magic happened, one piece shifted, an explosion of color. Complete transformation. And it’s impossible to return to the picture you saw before. The epiphany that launched Fierce occurred when I was reading Hemingway’s  The Sun Also Rises , in which a man is asked, “How did you go bankrupt?” He replies, “Gradually, then suddenly.” My epiphany, having had over ten thousand hours of conversations with leaders, was that our careers, our companies, our relationships, and indeed, our very lives succeed or fail, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time. Business is fundamentally an extended conversation -- with employees, customers and the unknown future emerging around us. What gets talked about in a company, how it gets talked about, and who gets invited to the...
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Making Fierce Conversations Count - In Business and in Life

Making Fierce Conversations Count - In Business and in Life
Fierce CEO, Halley Bock, was interviewed in this Huffington Post  article by Colin Hunter. It was originally posted  here . Continuing the theme of last month's  interview with Tim Brown , I have once again re-visited my shelf of inspirational leadership books. This month, Halley Bock, President and CEO of  Fierce, Inc. , the company behind the best-selling book  Fierce Conversations, Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time , has agreed to share some of the insights included in the book. After reviewing  Fierce Conversations  in a  recent blog post , it became very apparent that this book is relevant not only to those at CEO level, but to anyone who has ever felt that there is no room for emotion in the dog-eat-dog business world. As our company is built on the notion of being refreshingly direct, I was keen to talk to the...
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Biggest Takeaway: Have the Conversations

Biggest Takeaway: Have the Conversations
Today marks the last day of the biggest training conference of the year, the Association for Talent Development  (ATD) Conference and Exposition, in Washington, D.C. Thousands of conference speakers, attendees, and vendors pack up their belongings and return home with learnings that will either be implemented or forgotten. So what is the big takeaway? Have the conversations - with yourself, with your team, with your entire organization. We had many conversations throughout the last three days, especially during our three Fierce sessions. Below is some food for thought from each. Fierce, Inc . CEO & President, Halley Bock spoke on a panel yesterday titled  Future Leadership Perspectives From the Next Generations of Thought Leaders , and several questions were asked about the future of learning and development. A general theme was that many conversations are needed to solve issues around engagement, retention, and succession planning for people. Most importantly: Do...
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Collaboration is Key

Collaboration is Key
The key is to collaborate. This is what we heard yesterday from Kelly Paine, Costco Manager, Organizational Change Management, at our Fierce session at  2014 Training Magazine Conference and Expo  in San Diego. In the session, Kelly Paine shared how Costco set the expectations for implementing company-wide communication training programs.  Specifically, Kelly shared the success of the Cosmos project (read more  here ) and how the Costco culture of teaching has been critical for its success. At Costco, leaders are expected to spend the majority of their time teaching and collaborating with their teams. In the Cosmos project, collaboration with new teams was created by taking different people out of the business and creating co-location, so people could really solicit the perspectives that they needed to have. To bring more collaboration to your organization, here are three tips to immediately apply. Tip #1: Extend the Invitation  Ask a leader if he or...
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Leadership Tips: Listen Fiercely

Leadership Tips: Listen Fiercely
To kick off the New Year, please join us in being intentional with the skill of listening. The Ask: Think of a time when someone’s listening impacted your life. In 2014, how will you pay it forward and listen like never before for someone else? We want to hear from you! Share your stories on on Social; we can be found on Facebook , Twitter , and LinkedIn . Comment here on the blog. Five people will win a copy of Fierce Conversations signed by author, Susan Scott. Use the hash tag: #listenfiercely

Just One Thing

Just One Thing
“I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”  - Anais Nin I concur with Nin, haven’t made a list of New Year’s resolutions for at least ten years but I do choose one thing I want to accomplish in the new year.  Just one.  I like to end a year with a feeling of satisfaction.  In 2014 my one thing is to finish writing the third and final “fierce” book, Fierce Love .  The trouble is, that was my one thing in 2013 and I didn’t get it done.  It was impressive how many distractions I managed to create so that I wouldn’t have to sit down and write this book that I know is important. Hence, this year-end message for you and me is about focus, the clarity...
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Fierce in the Schools: Conversations that Heal

Fierce in the Schools: Conversations that Heal
This past Saturday, December 14 th , 2013, marked the one year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newton, Connecticut. As the airwaves and newspapers filled with stories about those who were lost and their surviving loved ones, I had this strong urge to pull back. I wanted to retreat from having conversations about or, reading, or listening to anything that dealt with this tragic and senseless incident. And yet, to do so gives away so much of the power I have over the situation. By making the conversation about Sandy Hook smaller, we make all the possibilities for healing smaller. And when I leaned in, what I learned is that many of the families of the victims are doing it– they’re having the conversation, every day, one conversation at a time, and they’re healing. In our Fierce in the Schools (FITS) division, the commitment is to...
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Rodney D. Joslin School Students Share Their Stories

Rodney D. Joslin School Students Share Their Stories
In March, Fierce hosted our first Fierce Summit. While at the Summit, Fierce Founder, Susan Scott, took to the stage to share her vision and mission for our Fierce in the Schools (FITS) division: to provide the education community with tools to differentiate the graduates of their schools, both K-12 and at the university level. Fierce also had the pleasure to share a video, produced by Lizz Ortiz, a student at Rodney D. Joslin School, that shows how Fierce Conversations training is impacting the day-to-day lives of students at the school, where Principal Dr. Angela Brooks-Rallins is utilizing the Fierce Field Guide to change the lives of her students and faculty. We want to take this opportunity to share this video with you! Here it is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6rgFFFaOcM Educators, have you seen Fierce impact the lives of your students?

A Conversation with Fierce Facilitators

A Conversation with Fierce Facilitators
This week Fierce hosted our first ever Fierce Summit, where clients, partners, and fans came from all over the world to share ideas and exchange thoughts about leadership development and using fierce. The theme was Collaborate, Innovate, Elevate. There were robust, energetic conversations with the facilitators and guests who attended. This week we chose to highlight two Fierce interviews. First published on the Fierce Blog, they are interviews conducted with two of our celebrated facilitators who attended the Fierce Summit: Dr. Suzi Kalsow of Buena Vista University and Jill Kohler, Founder and President of Penrose Academy. Both women are dedicated to creating a different type of learning experience for the students whose lives they impact. To read Dr. Suzi Kalsow's interview click  here , and to read Jill Kohler's interview click here .

Take New Fierce Survey: Facebook in the Workplace

Take New Fierce Survey: Facebook in the Workplace
At Fierce, we are interested in exploring how you feel about using Facebook at work, and your impressions of policies governing Facebook use in the office. Does your company encourage or discourage using Facebook on company time? Does Facebook help develop stronger bonds with co-workers? Does your organization have a clear policy regarding acceptable Facebook use? Click here to take the survey. We look forward to hearing from you!

Mokita Busters - Fierce Conversations in Chicago

Mokita Busters - Fierce Conversations in Chicago
This week's Fierce Resource was first published last week on the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago website . Mokita Busters - Fierce Conversations in Chicago explores how Fierce and our Authorized Provider, Cam Tripp, have partnered with the Diocese of Chicago to transform the conversations the bishop and his staff are having with each other and the larger community. “One of the most significant ways is that when we on bishop’s staff go out into congregations, we have these sort of conversations. We are honest and we encourage others to be honest,” he (Reverand James Steen) says. Fierce precepts are also being discussed in diocesan programs such as Thrive, the new congregational development initiative; Fresh Start, and the Making Excellent Disciples program for new clergy. “It is hard to have a conversation in this building,” Steen said referring to the diocesan offices, “without someone asking ‘what would we be focusing on...
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Presbyterian Senior Living & Fierce Case Study

Presbyterian Senior Living & Fierce Case Study
Fierce is excited to announce a new case study that highlights our partnership with Presbyterian Senior Living . Presbyterian Senior Living (PSL) is an over 80-year-old not-for-profit, charitable organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. Committed to developing their employees, PSL CEO Steve Proctor saw an opportunity to strengthen employees' communication skills and ultimately, the business. Fierce partnered with PSL to roll out Fierce Conversations. By starting with senior management, PSL built top-down commitment that began to permeate throughout all levels of the organization. “We want to empower all our respective staffs at each location. We want them to have a process framework for problem solving and give our folks the necessary skills to resolve issues and make plans at the local level, with their local constituents,” said Jim Bernardo, Chief Operating Officer at PSL. To learn more about how Fierce supports Presbyterian Senior Living in achieving their goals, download your...
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A Wish for You

A Wish for You
As I consider 2012, and also the many conversations with the Fierce team, our clients, friends and family, and importantly with myself, here are a few suggestions for 2013: six don’ts and six do’s. First the "don'ts"... Don’t let  anyone shut you up, erase your personality, shut you down.   Don’t make up stories about people and behave as if they are true.   Don’t mistake rearranging your prejudices for thinking.   Don’t teach your children to hate.   Don’t make a list of characteristics for your ideal man or woman.   Don't dwell on what's wrong, on what you don't want in your life. Now the “do’s”… There is only one you. You have a voice. Enrich the conversation. With courage, compassion, and skill.   Before you get upset, ask people if your interpretation of an email they sent, or something they said or did is correct. Be willing...
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Costco & Fierce Case Study Part One

Costco & Fierce Case Study Part One
Fierce is excited to announce a new case study that highlights our partnership with Costco . As Costco sets out to double their size by 2025, the organization knows that staying nimble is key. This year Costco created the Cosmos project. This project's goal is to integrate Finance and HR/Payroll systems with elements of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. In other words, the Costco team is modernizing their financial system. Costco chose Fierce to be an integral part of the Cosmos project to align the diverse team as well as give a shared language and framework. “Sometimes it seems like the different groups all speak their own language,” said Kelly Paine, a Costco Accounting Manager and the Change Management Lead for Cosmos. “Finance speaks Accounting. IT speaks Tech, and the Consultant speaks Consultantese. We need to understand each other’s perspectives. And in order to do that, we need a...
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Come Out From Behind Yourself, Into the Conversation and Make It Real

Come Out From Behind Yourself, Into the Conversation and Make It Real
Fierce is not a neutral word. It can evoke a strong emotion, especially when you ask people to make their conversations fierce. We define a Fierce Conversation as one in which you come out from behind yourself, into the conversation and make it real. We live in a culture where we filter most of our conversations, and because of that they remain surface level. A Fierce Conversation encourages you to switch from this surface mentality and instead get more engaged. What we mean by this is to bring more of yourself to the conversation by peeling off the masks you may wear around certain topics - this doesn't mean it's always about having long conversations or inappropriate disclosure. Rather focus the time you have on making your conversations count. Remember that one of the Four Objectives of a Fierce conversation is to enrich the relationship. This week observe the interactions...
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Fierce Was Inspired at the 2012 ASTD Conference and Expo

Fierce Was Inspired at the 2012 ASTD Conference and Expo
Fierce, Inc. had the pleasure of both presenting and exhibiting at this year’s 2012 American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) International Conference and Expo. Thank you to all those who attended the conference and stopped by our booth. We had a great time meeting everyone and engaging in great conversations. We were revitalized by the ideas and learning taking place around us - particularly, the Jim Collins keynote that kicked off the conference . His message was inspiring and thought-provoking, and provided a great insight about what it means to truly be “great”. The Fierce Tip of the Week we set out to honor at the conference was to let silence do the heavy lifting . Our team really strove to listen and have some silence exist in our  conversations. Rather than rushing to fill the void, when so many people were processing the information, we worked to give...
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