Reflections on Our First Year in Business

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With every new year we see a world of opportunities. We wake up on January 1st with what seems like a limitless and expansive calendar to accomplish our many goals, aspirations, and dreams. I often wonder, why wait for January 1, or a birthday, or any significant date? Well, over here at Fringe, some exciting changes are afoot and we aren’t waiting for our birthday – which is April 10, in case you were wondering.

It has been nine months since this great adventure began and I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of this journey with me. In those nine months, Fringe has given me the opportunity to spend close to 200 hours sitting one-on-one with coaching clients. I have delivered workshops to hundreds of professionals across the US and Canada, been published three times as a HuffPo contributor, and even started a local event series for professional women. Phew!

When I founded Fringe PD, I set a simple goal – learn more. I wanted to spend my time researching, reading, learning, and then applying that knowledge to help people improve the state of their work. What I didn’t anticipate was how widespread and pervasive the work challenges that I had seen through my own experience truly were. Although there are always exceptions, on the whole, we aren’t communicating with each other at work and this lack of action is creating a dramatic business impact. For some companies, their ability to retain top talent is being challenged, for others, their management and leadership teams are not feeling supported. Overall though, people at all levels are reporting to me that they don’t feel seen, heard, or empowered at work.

At Fringe PD, our practice is centered around high performing professionals. And yet, what I have found time and time again is that when we step away from our business expertise, the lack of acumen around professional skills is exposed. The question is not, are you surviving, but are you thriving? The research is strong, the business case is there and there is a shift in US corporate culture that is pushing to develop and manage this skill set in a serious way. Fringe PD is thrilled to be a part of this movement!

To help aid in this effort, you may have noticed a few changes around here. We have been hard at work over the past few months on our new website. Our goal is that this site will become a resource for you as you advance towards your professional goals and it is set up as such. Our resources page will be updated as my research continues. Our workshops are now available in custom or semi-custom options and are easier than ever to see so you can identify the best fit for your organization. And, as always, our blog will continue to bring you the latest musings from yours truly about the state of work, and how we can improve.

On a more personal note, I will share that this past nine months have been exhilarating, terrifying, and has left me more optimistic about the future of our workforce than ever before. After eleven years in a steady and structured environment, stepping out to explore this new type of work was frightening – Where would I go every day? What would my place be in these companies? Who would fix my IT problems?! Ginni Rometty, was right when she was quoted as saying: “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.”  I certainly have found that to be true of my entrepreneurial life. It also rings true for so many of my clients.

Finding the courage to make changes in your behaviors or communications so you are heard, seen, and empowered at work is challenging – no one is trying to downplay that. This is why Fringe PD is here and will continue to be here to help people make those critical changes. I will end this missive as I end all of my workshops – choose one small thing that you can do differently today that will take you one step closer to your goals. Do it, then watch how people respond. You might be amazed at the reaction.

Photo by: Lauren Louise

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