May… Your Milestone Month

May 17th, 2015


The month of May has been a milestone month for two young women that I know – my daughters.  

In the beginning of the month we celebrated Kayla’s 20thbirthday, and last weekend Perri graduated from college (magna cum laude – I had to brag.)  It is a great month for all of us moms to have the opportunity to celebrate these significant milestones in our children’s lives — as well as celebrate motherhood!

Perri and Kayla

Perri and Kayla

It has been a remarkable journey so far, watching these two girls grow from infants to toddlers to tweens to teens to adults.  What is more amazing is the fact that they are my daughters… and I am here to help, support and watch their journeys to becoming future leaders in their chosen fields.  So much happens in your 20s – you go to college, you have your first “real” job – you become independent – you create your future life. The values Perri and Kayla have; the skills and knowledge they have learned (and will continue to develop); the friends and connections they have made (and will continue to make); mentors they have found; and organizations they have been involved in are all essential foundations to their future success. Their journeys are underway…

As I look back over my career, and especially my 20s, I was not as lucky as Perri and Kayla in having a network of mentors, contacts, and idea generators to help me focus on my professional journey.  I was a late starter, but eventually I did find the right path.  I love my work now, even the transition that I look a few years back, but it has taken a long time and along the way I have learned many valuable lessons.

Lessons to Share

These lessons are now shaping the work I do, and the opportunities I have to help other woman navigate their professional development and leadership paths, including:  mentoring and coaching young women through CWEL at Babson College and other Babson programs; creating a Boston women’s networking group to ignite relationships and build connections; and developing a woman’s affinity group for a global client.

Most people don’t know where their paths will take them, but for the two young women in my family I see great things ahead.  There will never be a day that I will not cheer them on, coach and mentor them as needed, and most of all love them and be proud of all that they accomplish.

And to all the other women out there… take charge of your journeys and make a difference in ways big and small. Get out and take action! Why not work on your paths in May? It’s a great month for change. Congratulations to everyone on their spectacular journeys! 

Winter Weather and WOW! Update

February 20th, 2015

Outside the headquarters of WOW! it looks like ‘snowmaggedeon’.




We are under more than 90” of snow and shoveling has become a nearly endless task.  The white stuff is no longer pretty and traveling by foot in South Boston is as dangerous as driving: the two-way streets that are so narrow that only one car can pass at a time.  Huge icicles hang from the roofs, ice dams are taking over the gutters, and mountains of snow are obstructing views for walkers and drivers on every corner.  Take a glimpse at what I am talking about…


However, there is also some good that comes from this as well… spending time with family and friends (that live near by), catching up on old and new TV shows, and shoveling is great exercise.  It is also a wonderful way to meet the neighbors, make new friends, and connect with folks in the neighborhood!  Yes, there are some pluses from all of the white stuff!

WOW! loves to connect and engage! Over the past few months, Nettie has been connecting and engaging great women in Boston through an informal networking group that meets about every 6-8 weeks.  It is so informal there is no standard agenda except to bring a smile, your business cards and your cup of coffee. (When we meet in the evening, everyone buys their own cocktails).  The purpose of the event is to mingle and meet women of all ages, backgrounds, locales and industries, while making new friends in an informal environment. The event is fun and some great personal, professional and work connections are happening!

Growing our relationships!  We also are very excited that through Nettie’s work as a mentor/coach for Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) and the WINLAB program, we are partnering with WINLAB for our next event on March 12th at Babson’s Boston Campus.  This is super exciting and offers the WINLAB coaches a great opportunity to join in the fun and connect with each other and meet more great women.  If you live in the Boston area feel free to contact Nettie to get on the mailing list, and grow your connections {women only}.

Stay tuned…

for more WOW! updates in the weeks to come on how we are connecting, engaging and growing…


WOW is…

December 1st, 2014




All of the great people I have meet over the past three and a half years in …

Colleagues and peers who have helped me to
Discover my true passion in my work:  Connect-Engage-Grow Talent.

Economic rebound and
Family and friends who are my foundation.

Graphic Designer Jenn Baldwin who makes WOW! look great.

Human Resource departments in organization that hire WOW! for our
Instructional design and talent development consulting capabilities.

JCE Group (Dave Turano), one of my clients who
Kept his cool throughout the design and development process.

Lots of cool clients and work colleagues who have
Made the transformation into friends, such as … Susan, Julia, Jill, Andrew, and
Nuno …

Opportunities to work with awesome people like Kathy, Colleen, Kate and Vanessa at

Queen of edits and my writing and communications partner, Cindy Miller, who I
Respect, admire and who helps me sound articulate.

Solvay who allowed me to grow with them over eight
Terrific years and became a once-in-a-lifetime client opportunity.

UMass friends and alum I have reunited with both personally and professionally.

Various networking and membership organizations (TBCXPX) who have provided me
Tons of opportunities to meet new and exciting people, and talk about WOW!

Web designer Bethany Brown of 1018 Media, a master at her job who
(e)Xcels at every website she builds, and is fun to work with, too!

Your support and loyalty as I have transformed my business from A to
Z over these past 20 years.

A big thank-you for believing in WOW! – Nettie

Dear Nettie

November 17th, 2014


I continue to reinforce that relationships are the key to success …and that definition of success extends to WOW! transformations clients, colleagues, peers and friends. Strong relationships happen in many ways, and one important element is when you become a trusted advisor to a client, colleague or peer. That means going the extra mile, doing more than what you are expected to do, and extending the relationship beyond the walls of the company or organization into other areas of your life.

I don’t compartmentalize my relationships. For me it’s about the broader opportunities to get to know someone, connecting various people because you know something great will come of it, and seeking relationships in unlikely places. I am proud to say that many a colleague has become a friend, a networking companion and traveled with me into others areas of my life.

The email below serves as a reminder to the impact one can make in an organization and beyond. I worked with Andrew for eight years at Solvay and call him a client, a trusted advisor, and a friend.

Dear Nettie

MDS is what it is today largely through your amazing efforts over these past 8 years. From the first meeting we had to conceptualize the concepts through the expansion to Europe all the way up to present day.  I am in Shanghai today and so is MDS. When I traveled to Brazil MDS was there as well and now it is even available in French as well as Portuguese and Mandarin.

More than just fond memories I hope you also take with you the knowledge that hundreds of Solvay managers are using skills today that are a direct result of MDS and your efforts.

For me it is not good-bye as I know we will work together again. Thanks for all that you have done and all that I don’t even realize you have done!

Fondly,  Andrew


November 10th, 2014


Relationships are the key to success.  As the leader of WOW! transformations, I work hard to establish, build and grow relationships in all parts of my life — business, personal, professional.  I mingle clients, colleagues, peers and friends in one big group.  Not always an easy task, but for me it is second nature – mix everyone together and watch the exciting connections happen.

About two months ago, I came up with an idea:  Introduce all the great women I’ve met over the last three years to each other.  For most of us networking happens through an organization we belong to, an event we attend, or our alma mater. There isn’t a place where all types of great women can gather informally and get to know each other, so I created one.

I sent out an informal invitation — no need to RSVP, just show up at the place and time to meet other great women.  Our first event was a success.  About 20 women joined me to mix, mingle and connect. I was thrilled with the outcome and so were the great women who attended. Here’s what some had to say:

“I am in awe of what you did this morning. By gathering that amazing group of women, not only did you create opportunities for all of us to network but you also firmly reconnected us with our “sisterhood.”  There is such power, warmth and gratification to be found in these small intimate gatherings of women.  I found this particular group to all be authentic leaders, each accomplished in their own right, and willing to give back. Love that. Very grounding for me.”  – Nancy

“What a terrific idea and I am grateful to have been included. I had a wonderful morning and felt privileged to meet so many dynamic and inspiring women. The vibe in the air was genuine and organic and it was one of the most productive networking events I have attended in a while.”  – Kim

“Love the spontaneity and ‘just do it’ approach.”  – Ursula

What do the Boston Swan Boats and Market Basket Have in Common…

August 17th, 2014

A deeply embedded company culture!


In a recent Boston Globe article, For Swan Boat pedalers, a storybook ride… the author talks about the Paget Family who has owned and operated the city’s famed swan boats since 1877. What I found so amazing about this Boston icon was the story behind the Swan Boat operators. Most of these folks have worked for the Paget family for generations and are considered a part of the family. These jobs are passed down within families for years and years, however, the younger siblings don’t just get the jobs from older relatives. According to the story: “They have to go through a long training period before they are allowed to take a swan out on their own, a process the Pagets call “earning your wings.” Aside from driving the boats they also consider themselves representatives of Boston.

Now, this is what I call a wildly successful organization based on establishing an awesome company culture, and embedding a strong onboarding practice for new hires. images-1

Then you have the Market Basket grocery store chain, a family-owned business based in New Hampshire that is in crisis. However, let’s look at it from a positive culture perspective. Arthur T. Demoulis, the ousted CEO did a phenomenal job of creating a company culture that was so successful that employees, as well as customers have rallied around him – refusing to go back to work or shop at the stores until he is reinstated in order to show their undying support. For example, last week employees were ordered to go back to work by the new CEO’s or face terminations. Employees chose the latter. And customers are still boycotting the stores while Market Basket employees are rallying their support for Arthur T.

This is what I call a wildly successful organization based on establishing an awesome company culture, and with dedicated employees and customers who will support a leader who showed managerial excellence in leading the organization!   Unknown

So how can you create an organization that can survive through the decades or through a crisis…

It is all about CREATING and CULTIVATING a company culture around a consistent set of practices…

  1. Commit to managerial excellence
  2. Develop consistent and transparent communication
  3. Dedication to hiring and developing the right employees

The Swan Boats and Market Basket hit the nail on the head around practices #1 and #3. Being a great company is not good enough today given the competition, changing economic landscape and emerging technology. Today’s organizations need to be wildly successful, yet many struggle with how to achieve this. The answer lies in a company’s culture, which both the Swan Boats and Market Basket exemplify! This is the key to driving commitments that achieve results.

Download the whitepaper Being Wildly Successful And Three Ways to Make It Happen, and see how you can get started on the road to success. Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.11.01 PM

Being Wildly Successful

July 15th, 2014


By Guest Writer:  Stu Danforth, Positive Leadership Dynamics

It’s a simple idea that drives companies to wild success.  Wildly successful companies - those with sky-high productivity, giant profits, and singular product and service quality – show a relentless focus on one element of their organizational strategy.

These booming organizations know that their competitors don’t get it – and they capitalize on that fact.  They know that most companies they compete against (and most organizations in the US) can only count on about 30% of their own work force to get the critical work done.

In order to become wildly successful, your people need guidance.  But you can’t be with every person every day of the week (and that tactic doesn’t work anyway).  You need to guide your employees in a way that provides them discretion to make good decisions and the freedom to get great work done.

You need a relentless focus on your organization’s culture.


In our new publication we show you the three ways to create this relentless focus, and achieve this wild success.  It has to do with three key elements: managing, communicating, and cultivating great people.

Download our expert tips on creating a wildly successful organization…

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 12.11.01 PM

Expert tips on creating a wildly successful organization

Trends in Learning That Will Make a Difference

June 24th, 2014


Brandon Hall, Ph.D., CEO of Brandon Hall Research, captures what’s next in learning and development in an article Learning Trends Here Today and Tomorrow. Here are some highlights that will WOW you:


Big Data: Big data will impact learning in several areas: program instruction, personalization and the ability for engines like or Netflix to track preferences in learning.

Mobile: As we all know, mobile will be everywhere. Today and in the future this will drive our ability to access knowledge all the time.

Social: “Social learning occurs in ways we never imagined,” said Hall. This creates new ways to exchange and share knowledge, and opens doors to rethink and reimage our approaches to learning, delivery and access.

Design: Design-centered thinking changes the approach to problem solving and what the end user is demanding or needing.

Learning, Talent and HR: We are already seeing change in these functions. According to Hall, “The learning function will change, with fewer standard learning programs, more experiences and mentoring, more performance consulting and more culture change initiatives.”

“The Internet of Everything”: This is a fairly new concept but one that we will continue to hear about. Kelly Lake, learning and performance strategist at custom learning company Aptara, speaks about digital expansion for learning — the connection of all digital devices at work to support learning and performance.

At WOW, we’re watching these trends — and you should, too.


WOW! transformations is Rockin’ Boston… #1

May 27th, 2014

WOW! transformations is picking up traction in the Boston market. 

In the fall, we worked with Mobiquity Inc., a mobile technology company based in Wellesley MA, on a culture transformation initiative. Working with the company’s leadership team, we helped clarify corporate values, create personas for hiring, and develop internal communications messages.  It was work with immediate impact.  Mobiquity now hires for culture fit, the entire organization is in sync with key messages and turnover has dropped by more than 50 percent.

Helping You Rock!
We would love to add your organization to our growing list of clients in the Boston area.  If your organization is struggling to match the right talent to your organization, get new hires ramped up quickly, or develop and retain your best employees, we can help.  WOW! transformations is your one-stop solution to getting past your people pain and rockin’ your business.


South Boston HQ for WOW! transformations

Leadership Field Are your promotions failing? Here’s why, and what to do about it.

May 11th, 2014

By Guest Blogger, Stu Danforth Positive Leadership Dynamics

In most companies in this country, employees who show a high proficiency in their job get promoted. Good accountants become managers of other accountants. Good engineers become managers of other engineers.  Sound familiar?  Here is the secret: These managers often have never been assessed for managerial skill and often have zero talent for it.

After the promotion of an unsuited manager, their team often does well for about three to six months.  Then performance starts to decline, morale drops, and productivity craters.  Why?  Because that’s when it becomes clear management requires a different and distinct skill set.

Get beyond this problem.  First, admit this error – which might be difficult because most senior leaders are a product of this system.

Second, create new promotion paths – one for the technically proficient folks, and another for the people who show true skill and talent at managing other people. Promoting a highly valued employee shouldn’t mean they have to manage others if that is not what they are good at.

Third, assess for management skill, and give them support.  To get the right people managing others, assess that skill and promote for it.

Managing others is hard work; great managers influence, guide, mentor, motivate, discipline, activate, engage, support, and drive their team members.  Those are social, not technical skills.  They are the skills of human engagement.

You have good people in your organization. Don’t create problems by promoting them into roles they are not suited for.  You will get to thriving much faster with the right promotion plan in your organization.


To learn more about Positive Leadership Dynamics…click here