Face-time with Chris Taylor (Round 2)

You might remember that a few weeks ago, I interviewed Chris Taylor, founder and CEO of Goose Educational Media (or Goose EMI as it’s commonly referred to). In addition to getting his name right this time, I managed to catch up with him as he readied to unveil his new InFlight Leadership program.

Chris, thanks for getting back to us. I remember you mentioned last time that there was a promising new release in the pipeline over at Goose EMI – could you elaborate on that?

For sure. And Prashanth, let me start by thanking you for having me back.

As for the new release – InFlight Leadership is a productivity tool for people managing teams of 4 to 10 high achieving, performance-based individuals. Through feedback from our articles and our consulting experiences, we’ve discovered that there are fundamentally five major stages of employee development. We’ve taking 40 of our best articles and developed them into 45 minute workshops that a team leader can run through with their staff. Each workshop focuses on one of the core stages of development, providing actionable, real world exercises and tools that the staff members can use to become more effective in their work.

You say there are “five major stages of employee development”.  What are those?

Right. We’ve defined the five as 1) Self Management, which includes things like time management and prioritization, 2) Professional Maturity, including accountability and embracing change, 3) Communication, like listening and speaking skills as well as social media and networking, 4) Entrepreneurial Thinking, such as innovation, passion, vision, etc, and finally 5) Leadership, where we tackle the differences between management and leadership, values and integrity.

We’ve found that, for the most part, there is a fairly steady progression for most employees through the five stages when given the proper training and tools.

And you’ve created workshops for all of those topics?

Absolutely. No matter what stage a managers’ team is at, we have workshops that can help them advance to the next.  It’s actually been really interesting to note how quickly most managers can identify which stage their team is at. Once they know what their team needs, the role of InFlight Leadership is to make it easy for managers to select and run a high impact workshop on that topic. We provide them with everything they need.

But how will InFlight add value above and beyond the consultancy services and training packages that you already offer? If my company was considering hiring your services to improve business processes, why would we consider InFlight Leadership?

Good question. There’s actually a couple advantages to using the InFlight program over using our more traditional consulting services.  Probably the most important one to me, personally, is that with the InFlight workshops, you – the manager – get to be the one teaching your team. We provide all the tools, but the manager gets to be the hero. I think that’s so important.

People are really looking to their managers to lead them; they want to know that the manager has their best interest at heart and is really making a concentrated effort to provide them (the staff) with all the tools and resources to do their jobs effectively.  

It’s also extremely low cost as well. We intentionally priced InFlight Leadership at less than $100 a month because we want managers to treat it as a real time, “hip pocket” resource. Consultants are expensive, as are off site workshops. As an active subscriber of InFlight, managers have 24 hour access to workshops they can run in less than an hour. 

That sounds fascinating. When is InFlight slated for release?

We’re in beta testing mode right now, which means that early adopters can actually sign up now with their first month being only $1. It’s not fully functional yet, but we expect it will be by the end of April. Anyone interested can learn more at bit.ly/IFLinfo

On a side note, what can we expect coming out of Goose in the next few weeks?

Thanks for asking! The Goose (the free content) is growing nicely in it’s own sense. We just launched the third installment of “From the Horse’s Mouth”; our video interview series with Toronto’s own Roger Martin, and we’re looking forward to posting interviews with Simon Sinek, Gina Mollicone-Long and Robin Sharma over the next few months. We’re also well and truly into the guest writer series of the Goose articles, which is adding a nice dynamic to the book choices and writing styles as well.  

Sounds great, Chris – we look forward to more updates down the road.

Thanks Prashanth, I really appreciate your time.