Your Arrowhead Speakers
Our speakers are industry-leading experts and love what they do!
Kris Reynolds, PMP, MBA
Kris Reynolds is an international speaker and trainer, having presented on a myriad of topics to multiple companies and nonprofit organizations in numerous industries both domestically and abroad since 2011. He is the founder of Arrowhead Consulting, a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Six-Sigma Black Belt. His training sessions are designed to challenge audiences to move beyond conventional thinking for true innovation and creative problem-solving. Audiences enjoy how Kris weaves his subject matter expertise with his love of pop culture and trivia for the perfect blend of education and entertainment.
Amy Caudle Ratliff, SPHR, SHRM-SCP has over 26 years of progressive Human Resources experience specializing in organizational effectiveness, compliance, diversity solutions, emotional intelligence training, comprehensive recruitment, and onboarding programs, personality assessments, employee engagement, leadership development, and organizational change initiatives. Her infectious ability to win others over will have audiences hanging on her every word, and loving every minute of it!
Bruce Jordan, PMP
Bruce Jordan is a Project Management Institute (PMI)-certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Six Sigma Green Belt, and holds a variety of technical certifications from Microsoft, Novell, and Pervasive. Bruce currently works heavily in the Oil and Gas industry as a master scheduler, as well as an engineering and construction project manager and management trainer. He has vast experience creating customized training materials and courses for diverse audiences. He has a passion for taking projects that are at risk of failure, getting them back on track and completed successfully and loves sharing his wisdom in this area with audiences around the world.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Kuma Roberts, IOM has over 10 years of organizational development experience specializing in the business case for diversity, equity & inclusion, cultural competence, implicit bias, strategies for becoming an equity centered organization, inclusive workplace language as well as other elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management, she has spoken to hundreds of businesses, non-profit, and chambers of commerce on the best practices for developing a strategic plan related to DEI.
Kuma is passionate about racial and social justice with an emphasis on shifting policy and practice vs. hearts and minds and speaking to how more companies and organizations can harness the power of DEI to enhance their competitive advantage.
When Kuma isn’t speaking, she loves cooking for her husband, wrestling with her three-year-old son, and arguing with her 16-year-old daughter.
Strategic Thinking, Innovation, Project Management, and Emotional Intelligence to name a few. See all the topics we offer below.
Agile may not be new to the IT world, but it has become THE methodology across several industries. Popularity, however, does not always translate to success in business. This workshop will help you better understand the tenets of Agile and how to integrate this cross-functional team methodology into your current project management processes.
As the building block of many childhood imaginations, Lego is one of the most famous and profitable brands in the world. However, not too long ago, Lego was facing bankruptcy. As the fifth-largest toymaker in the world, what was going wrong? This presentation will outline the background of the popular company while providing insight into the turnaround it faced. By learning how to create new value out of what already existed, Lego utilized innovative techniques, strategic partnerships, and the technological revolution to not only retain but grow its already broad customer base. By understanding the lessons Lego faced during their turnaround phase, participants will be able to apply those same principles of success into their own organizations.
Successful projects rely on the upfront gathering of solid requirements. Unfortunately, 60% of projects fail in this process as organizations struggle to get a good foundational foothold on what success looks like. We will prepare you to understand and capture the needs of your business users with tools and techniques that can be implemented immediately back at the office.
This session discusses the various benefits of leveraging diversity, equity, and inclusion when you have a small team. Topics are focused on thinking beyond race, supplier diversity, and getting out of your comfort zone.
This topic focuses on establishing group norms and providing teams to feel empowered to have difficult conversations in the workplace and beyond.
In today’s competitive professional environment, emotional intelligence (EQ) is often the difference between reaching the top or falling flat. This presentation offers attendees the opportunity to assess their individual self-awareness while enhancing their people skills. Techniques for promoting self-regulation and preventing dreaded “filter fails” help equip participants to be better prepared to tackle the challenge of discerning the motivations of others and navigating professional (and personal) interactions towards more successful outcomes.
Using the magic of movie excerpts and challenging trivia, this presentation breaks down Project Management fundamentals by calling attention to key items that should be considered when undertaking every project but are often taken for granted. This fast-paced session is designed for both intentional and “accidental” project managers from all walks of life. Whether you’re a trivia buff yourself, or just looking for some “A-Ha!” moments to improve your project performance, you’re sure to not only be enlightened but entertained!
Studies show that music moves the brain to pay attention, resulting in better knowledge retention. This presentation uses that basis to teach/reinforce fundamental project management best practices. In this interactive session, popular songs are played to prepare and engage the brain to learn and retain important project management lessons. Feel free to sing along to the classic tunes and then sit back and see how they get applied to PM concepts that can easily be taken back and implemented within your organization. Learning has never been so much fun!
Negotiation is an exhaustive topic with legendary deals and mythic masters. It is viewed as a game that sets apart the intimidators from the intimidated, with the most talented supposedly possessing some superhuman abilities. But it turns out there may be more to negotiating than the hallowed halls of Harvard would have us mere mortals believe possible. In fact, you don’t need to know a BATNA from a ZOPA to become a more successful negotiator. This presentation condenses our popular full-day course into an easily digestible one hour segment that will help both the novice and the savvy achieve better outcomes in any negotiation.
Webster’s defines chaos as “a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.” If this sounds like many of your projects, this talk is for you. By contrast, Google tells us that “Project Controls are the data gathering, data management and analytical processes used to predict, understand, and constructively influence the time and cost outcomes of a project." So, while Project Controls means different things to different people, most can agree that, when done properly, it keeps project time, cost, and scope from running off the rails.
How did a 600-year-old man complete one of the world’s largest engineering/construction projects? Was it dumb luck, divine intervention, or something else? This presentation will show how Noah:
- Dealt with the most powerful of project sponsors
- Aligned the right roles and responsibilities with the right resources
- Dealt with the nay-sayers and project derailers from his work area
- Had to be creative in his approach to accomplish his project goals
- Was lucky enough to run one of the most “perfect” projects
While this is a presentation about Noah and the Ark, it is not a religious or spiritual discussion. References will be made to the Bible (The Messenger version) but only as a reference to or support of the tools and techniques of project management Noah used.
This session touches on the recent trends that reinforce the importance of strengthening risk management practices across your organization. While risk is typically a concept organizations seek to avoid or mitigate, organizations committed to identifying and measuring tangible threats have a unique opportunity to capitalize on disruption with the right amount of risk-taking.
This session focuses on the 5 Steps to Soar in the workplace using inclusive language. We myth bust some common workplace phrases that hinder belonging and prohibit staff and teams from experiencing a workplace that acknowledges and values all.
Time is a nonrenewable resource, yet we seem okay with spending up to 40% of our workweek wasting this precious commodity in unproductive meetings. With 11 million meetings a day, companies are also wasting money, to the tune of an estimated $75 million a year. Be the change agent your company needs by attending this session, which will discuss best practices and tips that will help your meetings stay focused, timely, and, most importantly productive.
Innovation: Everybody says you must have it to succeed, but where do you find the time?
Unfortunately, many leaders get so bogged down in day-to-day tactics that they over-focus on implementing conventional solutions to conventional problems. Innovative problem solving takes a backseat to daily firefighting. This session is designed to help participants change their focus from day-to-day issue management to a long-term, strategic perspective. Furthermore, the presentation enables you to understand your ruts or “Circle of Habits” and discuss how to break free and unleash the strategic thinker within.
This introductory session introduces concepts of DEI to attendees including, defining diversity, equity, and inclusion, what is the business case for DEI, equity vs. equality and includes a unique activity to demonstrate the value of DEI for your organization.
Do you often find yourself wishing for more hours in the day? Effective time management can help increase productivity and reduce stress. This presentation focuses on mental and physical productivity, providing tools and best practices to help you stay organized, keep a clear mind, and be more productive in both work and life.
Let Us Speak At Your Next Event
We often get caught up in following somebody's suggestion, even though it may not be the best suggestion, or follow what we're calling groupthink, and when that occurs, we start seeing the scenario, as General Patton stated -- if everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
And if we start going back into our corporate offices, we're starting to see that fox in the henhouse syndrome, where the decisions that are getting initiated and implemented and approved by the same people, they end up producing some pretty poor financial results.
Now, if we would only allow some of our other employees to get engaged in the decision making process or encourage a culture of strategic thinking, we start seeing financial success as well as the speed and execution of our projects increase. Unfortunately, even if we were to do this with some of our employees, we're finding that they don't rate themselves very highly in the skills necessary to do strategic thinking.
So before we talk about ways to improve in that area, let's first get a good understanding of what strategic thinking is and what it is not. A lot of times people will say that strategic thinking is problem solving. But if we look a little bit deeper, we realize that problem solving is more of a reactive occurrence. We start getting into firefighting mode.
How many of us have either heard or run around offices saying -- man, look at how many fires that I've had to put out -- it's very time consuming and actually just gives us a very small impact. It doesn't look out onto the horizon or look around the corner. It really just tries to fix or stop the bleeding.
Now, from a strategic thinking perspective, we see that it's more proactive in nature. It's the preventing of the fires. It's the old Smokey the Bear mantra. Everybody remember Smokey the Bear? "Only you can prevent forest fires." So the goal of strategic thinking is to keep those fires from even happening. It requires us to be forward thinkers. We've got to look at the big picture. It allows us to not only look around the corner, but we can actually move the corner.
Strategic planning and strategic thinking -- sometimes those are synonymous, sometimes they get confused. I think there are some subtle differences. I think they need to go hand in hand. From a strategic planning perspective, it's typically a once-a-year type of activity.
Who gets invited to that party? It's generally the executives. They go off on a retreat or go do a weeklong or weekend somewhere, and come back with a road map, and generally they tell the people what we're going to do or how to do it. The old "shut up in color" type of mentality.
We tend to focus maybe on the year at hand. Maybe we're developing two or three year roadmaps. Anything further than three years tends to make it obsolete, based upon the advancements in technology and the way the world is changing around us.
When we start doing the strategic planning, Yeah, sure, we may have some discussions about innovation or thinking strategically, but generally it's tied very closely to the budget, and generally when we start looking at budget cuts, our innovation or the new things that we wanted to put into effect are among the first things to go.
So I like to say one of the differences between strategic planning and strategic thinking, the strategic plan is the what -- what we want to accomplish. We've got to be able to use strategic thinking to provide the how -- how we're going to accomplish that.
Strategic thinking is something that we need to start fostering into our organizations as a day to day type of mindset. It will produce and allow us to have longer term results and it's going to be able to not only provide some innovation for our company, but is going to allow us to figure out better ways to be more productive within our organization.
The Center for Applied Research has come up with two definitions for strategic thinking. But I'd like to borrow tidbits from each to kind of come up with my own foundation of what strategic thinking is, and that is -- strategic thinking is the finding and developing of unique opportunities to create value by rigorously challenging conventional thinking.
So that will be our basis as the definition for strategic thinking going forward.
Now if I ask the question -- do we think strategic thinkers are born versus made? -- I think for the most part we would all say that while there may be some inherent traits that allow us to more easily become strategic thinkers, I think everybody can become better in this area. Otherwise, why am I up here to tell you this stuff?
Let me give you some kind of examples on how we can improve in our strategic thinking abilities.
How many people out there have tried to learn a new language? Larry, you mentioned your granddaughter is bilingual in German. Okay. How did she learn German?
Okay, so some people may have read a textbook or taken a class. They may do Rosetta Stone. But the best way to learn a new language is through immersion, and it's also the best way to solve complex business environments as well.
You see, from an emergent standpoint, our brains need to be faced with a challenge to get kicked into overdrive, to start accessing those parts of our brain to do the strategic thinking. We also need significant soak time in order to build those powerful mental models.
So making something from nothing, taking a current situation and doing something different with it, these two images are made, even though it appears there's a vase or two faces or an upside down triangle, it's really the absence of material in the other shapes that create this new image.
And if there are people out there who play at the game of golf like myself, you know that sometimes they do some advertising out on the golf course. The problem is, most of the advertising was done, what, at the tee box. Well, the problem is that we do different tee boxes. We start from different locations. If you're like me, you're trying to number 108 things that you have to do to get your body in alignment, to even hit the ball off the little tee. So they weren't getting much productivity or much return on the advertising there.
But a company called Envision Golf decided to put the advertising out on the flags. Because regardless of what tee box you're hitting from, your goal is still to put the ball in the hole, and you still got to lift the flag out of the hole. And nowadays we have these range finders, so if we're ever on the course, you're zooming in on the flag. So they found a considerable return and more eyeballs on the advertisements on the flag versus doing it at the tee box. Flags have been around a long time. Advertising on golf courses have been around for a long time. So they took something that was there and made something new.
Another company called Alchemy Goods in New York and New Jersey -- New York and New Jersey was having some issues with disposing of the tires, the rubber tires, and Alchemy Goods said, hey, we'll take them off your hands for you. You don't have to pay to dispose of them. We'll take them. So they took those used rubber tires and they turned them into messenger carrying bags, and you see the people on the bicycles going up and down. So, very sturdy, very weatherproof bags, taking something that somebody was ready to throw away and made some new value out of it.
So our goal here from making something from nothing is looking at ways to add value that aren't apparent to others. And if you remember, the working definition that we had about what strategic thinking was was finding that new value.