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Frequently asked questions:

Consultant, speaker, author and Superior native Mark Sauter, in his seminar series and upcoming book, Bringing Meaning into Monday: A Sustainable Approach to Bottom Line Success, offers insights into how to simultaneously improve organizational p...

Consultant, speaker, author and Superior native Mark Sauter, in his seminar series and upcoming book, Bringing Meaning into Monday: A Sustainable Approach to Bottom Line Success, offers insights into how to simultaneously improve organizational performance and quality of life. He talks here with Rebecca Kotz.

Sauter: "Organizations need to deliver value; whereas, people need to feel valued."

Q: What's Bringing Meaning into Monday about?

A: Improving financial performance, employee morale and customer service by aligning people, processes and priorities toward a common goal of delivering value to others.

Q: Why now?

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A: Today's interconnected economy requires greater trust, collaboration and creativity. Self interests, unfortunately, are over-riding collective interests in many institutions.

Q: How is this imbalance resolved?

A: In a manner of speaking, by reawakening the essence of business - value creation and delivery. A sense of vitality and shared purpose ensues.

Q: Why did you choose to emphasize meaning?

A: Organizationally, meaning implies profit and growth, whereas personally it implies fulfillment and sense of purpose or contribution. Quality of work life simultaneously affects both sides.

Q: Are you implying this is an HR directive? Improving work-life balance?

A: Yes-and. Emphasizing value-creation will improve employee morale, relationship quality and teamwork, as well as productivity, creativity and profitability. The former attracts HR attention, the latter attracts boardroom interest.

Q: What inspired you?

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A: What occurs at work doesn't stay at work. In addition to affecting performance, a large part of societal dysfunction (e.g., divorce, addictions, neglect, abuse, apathy, depression, etc.) can be traced back to workplace quality.

Q: Are you suggesting today's leaders should be socially responsible?

A: Yes, but for bottom line reasons not altruistic ones. To compete, people need to continually enhance the value they deliver to others and develop the skills and comfort in dealing with disruption and variation. Traits, such as respect, empathy and self-control, developed at work, will directly and positively benefit our personal lives.

Q: Is it possible?

A: Certainly. My former company, Dow Corning, adopted a value-centered strategy in 2002 and in the last five years has nearly doubled their revenue and in 2007 was named to Fortune Magazine's 100 Great Places to Work. Their story is one of hope and possibilities. Fortunately, it's not unique and others companies are experiencing success bringing meaning into Monday.

On Thursday Nov. 8, two Bringing Meaning into Monday™ seminars are being sponsored by the Superior Chamber of Commerce, Development Associates, Business Improvement District and Small Business Development Center.

Times: 8:00-11:00 or 1:00-4:00.

Location: 1401 Tower Ave 3rd floor Courtroom, Superior, WI.

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Cost: $65.00 per person, with group discounts available.

Registration is available at www.superiorchamber.org [Chamber Events] or by calling (715) 394-7716.

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