Ralph Dise

Ralph Dise is founder and president of Dise & Company. Ralph has a life-long interest in developing leaders and helping enterprises succeed. He learned his earliest leadership lessons as a teenager attending a summer military program.
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Working from home - will we ever go back to the office?

Work from home? Me? Never!

That’s always been my thinking.  I love my office and the people who work there.  I sure hope we’ll be back there real soon.  Nevertheless, I’ve kind of enjoyed sitting at my dining room table working away on my Surface and taking calls while stretched out on my comfy couch. 

While I’ve read much about how remote work has accelerated in the U.S. over the last decade, my personal experience working from home has enlightened me through my own “real-life” experience.  I’ve read many articles and heard from friends and colleagues about what it’s like to manage and work with their teams remotely.  The pros and cons of remote work seem endless.  So, what have I learned and what do I think about the future of remote work?

Well, one thing is for certain.  When several people in the family are working from home lots, be sure to give yourself some personal space to work!  How do I know?   Let’s just say I’m kind of loud when talking on the telephone - my wife and her employees can attest to that.  You see,  she’s working from home now too.  When I get wound up you can hear me throughout the house.  Kathy was having a Zoom team meeting.  One of her people asked, “is your husband having a party?”

But over the last five weeks as I’ve worked with my own team remotely every day, talked to many clients, and read about the situation in general, I’ve formulated some other thoughts on what this forced WFH may mean in the future.

  • People may become so proficient working from home that they’ll wonder why they ever had to go to an office in the first place.  They’re discovering right now, under forced conditions, that working from home doesn’t change day-to-day work, it just means working from a different environment. Some people, even on my own staff, think that you can actually be more productive when working from home
  • Companies that embrace remote working during this crisis may find it sticks around as normality returns. It is harder to say no to employee requests for working from home.  Especially if it means cost savings in monthly rent and reduced office space.  We’ve talked endlessly about the importance of work-life balance.  Perhaps companies will finally build a culture that allows long-overdue true work flexibility.  Those perceived barriers about managing people remotely may be challenged, and rightfully so, going forward
  • Remote work is indeed different work. Managers will have to get better at judging productivity.  Instead of relying on mere presence in the office, it will be more important than ever to set and monitor specific goals.  Employees, as well, may have to set new work habits for time management and documentation
  • We may evolve to a more sophisticated and flexible use of technology.  For the most part, technology capabilities exist to make it easier than ever for remote workers to work from anywhere. In fact, my own company is taking advantage of that right now.  For true work from home capability for all, there are situations that may require more data security capability than we have today

What is the most important thing I’ve learned about working from home as I’ve lived it every day over the past few weeks?  One size does not, and probably will not ever, fit all.   For many, the work from home exercise we are going through now may be their preferred way to work for the future as companies and workers recognize the inherent benefits.  For me, the social bonds and creative energy that develops when working side by side in an office with colleagues overrides that comfy couch!

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

15 days into lockdown. . . what have we learned?

15 days into lockdown. What have we learned as a business at Dise & Company?  

On a personal level, COVID-19 has influenced and reinforced my thinking about how to make more time for the people and things that are most important to me and should never wait for my attention ever again. I have always tried to live my life that way but realize that I may have fallen short at times in staying connected enough to those that have been important in my life. Today’s challenges have reminded me to always keep that as my primary way to live.

In this lockdown period, as I think about my business and how important relationships have been in sustaining our success at Dise & Company, I have also learned that reaching out and staying connected is critical now, today, and going forward as we are really all in the same boat.

I have been overwhelmed with positive responses from our clients as my colleagues at Dise & Company have reached out to past and current search and outplacement clients and candidates, letting them know that we are thinking about them and hoping that their critical businesses continue forward successfully. As we reach out, we have realized how many candidates have been placed over the years through our efforts and continue to be successful at so many companies and nonprofit organizations throughout Northeast Ohio.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity over so many years to contribute to the success of so many organizations in the greater Cleveland community and beyond. More than that, we are grateful to hear about the positive and creative ways our clients are dealing with the challenges that are facing our business community.

Remember to stay in touch during these critical times. You may learn some things about yourself and will learn about the good work going on all around us.  Stay safe everyone.

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

Is Covid 19 killing the war for talent?

Is COVID 19 Killing the war for talent?  

Don’t bet on it.  The American economy is a vast organism that has bounced back quickly from devastating events in the past.  Baby boomers are exiting the workforce in ever greater numbers.  These vacancies will still need to be filled.   

This period of economic slowdown is unknown.  We all hope it will be brief but we all realize and accept that the timeframe is unpredictable.  We do know that demand for talented employees will increase at some point as the economy begins to rebound from the effects of the COVID bomb. 

Our national unemployment rate hovered around 3.5% prior to COVID.  That number is real.  Ask anyone who was trying to fill any job whatsoever.  We acknowledge the unemployment rate is rising during this time, but we also believe that once the first group of employees gets called back to work the multiplier effect will kick in as everyone starts meeting their pent-up demand for goods and services.   

So, what do we really know during this uncertain time and what are we doing about it?  We know that many candidates we talk to every day are still interested in exploring what the future holds for their next career move.  We also know that our clients still and will have important roles to fill in the future.   

Watch for our next comments on what to do about it. 

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

I was fired . . . Now what?

The shock is tremendous when you first learn that your job has been taken away from you. Stunned, frightened, angry-these are the first feelings you’ll experience.

Losing your job is one of the worst feelings there is. Yet, you are about to enter a potentially interesting, challenging and liberating life experience. How you respond and the actions you take can determine your financial health, career direction and happiness of your family for the rest of your life.

Commit yourself to these 12 things and you’ll experience a much quicker and more satisfying resolution to your job transition.

Tagged With: Expert Knowledge

Securing the Battle Lines to Win the War on Talent

Winning the talent war takes looking beyond the obvious age groups to find the best candidate. You might be surprised at what your next successful search uncovers.

14 Myths that Can Derail a Millennial’s Job Search

As they say, “It’s a jungle out there.” A job search, particularly for the very first job after graduating college, is a tough adventure. If you are in search of your first “real” job and have said or thought any of these common excuses, listen up and learn. If you’re the frustrated parent or mentor of a new job seeker, pay attention, too. Get ready to debunk the obstacles to finding a meaningful first employment opportunity.

Tagged With: Insider, Expert Knowledge

What to Do Before Your Nonprofit CEO Says, “I’m Out of Here”

Nonprofit CEOs are usually the chief money raisers for their organizations. This means that when a nonprofit CEO tells his board that he’s retiring, alarm bells should go off.

Tagged With: Executive Search, Expert Knowledge

Timeless Tips for the Newly Hired

Experience teaches many things including how to make the most of a first “real” job. As parents, relatives, and mentors, we want to impart wisdom — without sounding like Methuselah — and help our millennials succeed.  

Here are a few tips to help get the conversations started. Use the list creatively. You may want to text one tip a day to your millennial, create a laminated card-size version of the first words of each tip, or post the entire list somewhere visible.

Tagged With: Insider, Expert Knowledge

How Much Does One Wrong Hire Cost Your Organization?

Hiring mistakes are costly! Probably costlier than you can imagine. Bad hires reflect negatively on those involved in the hiring decision and adversely impact corporate culture and finances. One bad hire can cause productivity to drop throughout an entire company. 

There are considerable costs tied to each bad hire. These include:

Top 5 Reasons the Best Human Resources Executives Engage Executive Search Firms

The role of a human resources executive in any organization is multifaceted, fast-paced and strategically focused. Finding, interviewing, hiring, and retaining talent is one of the most important aspects of the job and often, one of the most difficult. But it is only one of the many roles played by HR executives.

Engaging an executive search firm can increase efficiency, save money and most importantly, help an organization win the best talent. Why? Because it’s their expertise, it’s what they do every day.

Tagged With: Executive Coaching, Executive Search

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