Sharing Workplace Best Practices. Inspiring Workplace Innovation.


President's Message
From the Membership Director
Upcoming Events
Practitioner's Corner
Case Study

The months have gone by in a flash. We've had great speakers and networking, and an excellent Workplace Excellence Conference. Our June 14th meeting is a wine and cheese netwoking reception. Come join us, relax, and get to know some of our members a little better. You can also help us recognize one of our colleagues who will be receiving the Steven P Earley Award. And, if you have any suggestions for future speakers or programs, let us know. We are also looking for volunteers. Tell us how you want to help and we'll find a good spot for you.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter or about ODNLI, e-mail me at

David C Pinkowitz, Editor (DCP Marketing Services)

Published 6/8/11

    President's Message

With our last meeting of the season fast approaching, it is the perfect time to look back on a very exciting 10 months from September of 2010 to June of 2011. The organization had determined to change its focus to meet the needs of small to middle market companies here on the Island. And, that is exactly what we did! Under Dr. Rich Atkins, our programming matured to reflect our new goals. We had some incredibly talented speakers, covering topics from sales management techniques, to Action Learning to social media and more. Our membership has grown under the direction of Randi Busse and we anticipate adding more new members after the summer, when we reopen for business. Our Workplace Excellence 2011 Annual Event exceeded everyone’s expectations, thanks to the efforts of the team headed by Lex Konnerth. People are still telling me how great the speakers at the Annual were and how they can’t wait till next year to see how we can best ourselves. Yes, it has been a year of challenges and one of growth and quite frankly I remain proud to serve as the organization’s President and a member of the Board. I thank everyone for their continued efforts.

I hope that you will join us on the evening of June 14th for the end of year Networking event. We have been fortunate in arranging for Paumanok Vineyards to supply us with a selection of some of Long Island’s finest wines. Their 2010 Chenin Blanc is recognized as one of the finest . . “Extremely ripe and tropical on the nose, effusive with scents of papaya, mango and pineapple accented by hints of blanched almonds, orange blossom and musk melon.” Oh my! This will be a great evening of networking. We will have several literature tables and all are welcome to bring whatever handouts they would like to share. Please register as soon as possible so that we can secure the right amount of wine and food. Best regards to all and thank you for your support of ODNLI.

Best regards, David O. Schwartz (Executive Confidential)
President of ODNLI

    Upcoming Events
By Richard J. Atkins, Ed.D. (Improving Communications)
  • 6 PM Tues Jun 14, 2011:
    Wine and Cheese Networking Reception

    Please join us for some wine and cheese and excellent networking with your peers.

    Click here to REGISTER for the June 14th program.

  • 6 PM Tues Sept 13, 2011: TBD

    Practitioner's Corner
By Lex Konnerth (R. Alexander Associates)

As I am sharing this entry for our last Newsletter before the summer break for ODNLI, I am literally travelling along the river of corn and soybean from Nebraska to southern Illinois. Farmers and seed companies have treated and planted corn and soybeans in hundreds of thousands of acres. It is amazing to see, as the landscape begins to change and take on a green haze from the plants beginning to pop through the soil.

“What does this have to do with OD?,” you might ask It is an illustration of recurring change, project management and leadership. As demands for ever greater efficiencies in seed performance, industry and regulatory reporting, staff and equipment coordination drive production. Last month, I asked for OD resource recommendations and so offer our article in the Practioner’s Corner from a change management resource I highly recommend, Dean and Linda Ackerman Anderson of Being First. They have several other articles and change management resource tools available at their site,

Keep sending me your OD resource recommendations and we’ll look to share these down the road.

I hope you have a wonderful summer and continue to grow in your OD skills and knowledge.

Cheers, Lex

How to Simultaneously Build Your Organization’s Change Capability WHILE You Succeed in Your Current Change Effort

There is an old saying: “You can give a person a fish and feed him or her for a day, or you can teach the person to fish and feed him or her for a lifetime.”

This saying reveals a lot about the virtues of building your organization’s change capability and skill. In the past, executives had little interest in learning to fish. They just wanted the fish, the result they needed from their current change effort. Learning how to fish, or how to lead ongoing change, was of little importance. This made sense because executives saw little benefit coming from the huge undertaking of building their organization’s change skill. In many cases, executives secretly hoped that once the current change was over, that would be it. They could go back to business as usual, and not have to deal with the challenges of leading change again. Oh, have the times ever changed!

Now, most leaders realize that change is not going away, that it is in fact speeding up and becoming more and more complex. Many executives see very clearly that their organization’s future is in jeopardy unless they and their people “learn to fish.” Developing change leadership skill and building organizational capability for change has become one of the top endeavors of most visionary companies.

Click here to read more > >

    From the Membership Director

As our program year comes to a close, we'd like to thank all of the members of ODNLI who have participated in our programs and brought guests with them. Our organization exists because of YOU, our members. We bring you programs that we believe will help you be more effective in your organization, no matter what hat you wear. Who do you know that would benefit from our programs? Do them a favor and invite them to our final program of the year. They will be exposed to like-minded people, hear about the organization and be wined and dined.

Look forward to seeing you on June 14th.   Randi

    Case Study
Operating a Family Business (Part 2)
By Jerry S. Siegel (JASB Management)

As I detailed last month, every family operated business faces a distinct major challenge in addition to all the issues and competitive pressures confronting every business . . . Family! Almost all organizations work best when emotions are minimized in decision making. This means eliminating the family attitudes and relationships from decisions so logic can prevail. Unfortunately, it is all but impossible to put aside feelings that have existed, whether they are how the parent sees their children or vice versa or how one side of a family looks at the other. Naturally, individuals of different gender and/or generations have been conditioned by the changes that are constantly taking place in society and the world we live in. Since attitudes direct our actions, younger people tend to want to do things that their elders may not have known or tried. Obviously business is far different in 2011 than even a decade ago.

So, since writing the business plan (see May's newsletter) would be the responsibility of their sons, the fathers with my support for this decision went along. It was a five year plan and I helped to convince the founders that planning ahead for the longer term is preferable. A common error businesses make is focusing only on today or this month or this year. The plan included arranging for a six figure open line of credit from the bank, which required terminating the relationship with the banker who was friendly with both brothers. With my encouragement they went along and a larger bank became the lender. The new product that one of the daughters proposed was to be developed and the young woman who conceived same and had written a paper while in college was to be hired as the company's marketing director. Surely, change was taking place although both brothers were very skeptical. As their fathers reluctantly allowed them to take on more responsibility, the organization which had survived with minimal revenue growth began growing at a double digit pace.

As people were added to provide service to customers, profitability began to decrease. The founders were concerned however one son with an accounting degree showed them that the return on investment would begin by the end of year two. Since the sons were willing to sacrifice significant salary increases until then, their fathers went along. Then it became necessary, in my opinion, to replace the accountant who had been with the business from inception. He was a sole practitioner and with growth and financing required the organization needed greater resources than he could provide. In one of my most difficult meetings, I helped the founding generation understand and another change was made. I also suggested the need for a human resources professional, but neither founder could understand why another employee was needed so with the sons help, we explained to them about outsourcing and that was the route taken. More and more organizations recognize that doing what they know and do best and allowing another organization to do the same and thus provide resources and/or services is more effective than trying to do it all alone. Next, an exit strategy was needed and this meant determining which son would take over the Presidency. To say this didn't create major issues would be an understatement. Next month, I will explain how the decision was made without tearing the business apart.