Weekly Feature



2015-12-09 / Education

Authors pen ‘The Collaboration Breakthrough’

by ANNA WALTERS Reporter


Authors Diane Roesch, of Williamsville, left; Stephanie Phibbs, of Fort Erie, Ontario; and Amy Pearl, of Clarence, look through their recently published book, “The Collaboration Breakthrough.” 
Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos atwww.BeeNews.com Authors Diane Roesch, of Williamsville, left; Stephanie Phibbs, of Fort Erie, Ontario; and Amy Pearl, of Clarence, look through their recently published book, “The Collaboration Breakthrough.” Photo by Jim SmerecakPurchase color photos atwww.BeeNews.com If you’re interested in tools that can help create a happy workplace, you should pick up a copy of “The Collaboration Breakthrough,” by authors Amy Pearl, Stephanie Phibbs and Diane Roesch.

“Investing in people is truly the way to create a competitive advantage for your company,” Pearl said.

The authors — who all work together — combined their talents to write the book and encourage a workplace where people think differently and achieve their goals.

Through their company, RV Rhodes, at 8304 Main St. in Clarence, the team has gained many years of experience delivering organizational and leadership development assessments and programs.

RV Rhodes has worked with a range of companies, such as Wegmans and Ingram Micro, to smaller companies and not-for-profits. The team aspires to create better workplaces across Western New York and the continent.

Roesch said the collaboration framework was a well-received workshop so they wanted to put out a book to reach a larger audience. The book is dedicated to Judi Spear, creator of the collaborative workplace model.

The team has found that for years a company will wait for a CEO to wake up and say, “I want to create a better workplace.” Pearl noted that this doesn’t always happen.

“So, the way we wrote the book was to help people understand that if you want to create the kind of workplace you love, you have to change your thinking and change your approach and take control of the situation.”

“The Collaboration Breakthrough” was released on Nov. 4. According to the authors, it was a bestseller on Amazon in the U.S. and Canada in its first week. It is available in paperback and as an eBook.

The first half of the book is a fable that introduces readers to Mike Learner, who experiences four different workplaces. The second half includes templates, worksheets and ideas that readers can use to create a workplace they love.

Roesch noted that readers enjoy the experience of the character, Mike Learner.

“It’s not like a textbook and is a quick, easy and fun read,” she said.

“Even the busiest person can read it,” Phibbs added.

According to Pearl, there are five elements, or 5 C’s, of a collaborative workplace, which are outlined in the book: confidence and trust in co-workers; clarity of purpose; commitment; conversations; and courage.

She noted that a popular response in reference to a company’s number one problem is communication.

“It’s not really about general communication; it’s how we talk to each other.”

Pearl then gave examples of what individuals should be aware of, such as “Do I get the right information from the person I’m sitting next to?” or “Does this department communicate well with our department?”

One of the tools featured in the book is agreement-building questions.

“Agreement-building questions are designed to make sure there’s clarity around direction before you walk away from a conversation,” Pearl said.

Whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or meeting of a project team, Pearl provided four questions that should be asked at the end of a discussion: What did we decide today?; Who is going to do what? By When?; Who needs to know about this?; and What is the message and the tone of that message?

The team said the book would make a great gift for anybody wishing to build collaborative relationships from those who serve on committees, individuals starting their career, seasoned veterans or even a family member.

According to Pearl, the essence of a collaborative workplace is using tools or different frameworks “to build discipline around the way you do things so that you can accomplish what you want to accomplish.”

Pearl offered some advice for those who are unhappy or struggling in their workplace: “Stop waiting for someone else to fix it for you and have the courage to try something new.”

“What have you got to lose?” Roesch added.

The book is available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or by visiting www.collab orationbreakthrough.com.

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