Translate Our Training into Action | Tulip Time Festival

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In an interview with Gwen Auwerda, Executive Director of the Tulip Time Festival, she shared the benefits of working with PSG to help turn the festival’s bottom line around.

Her Answer: Adding the Right People to the Team

Client: Tulip Time Festival
PSG Core Value Addressed: Translate Our Training Into Action

Gwen Auwerda

“Our biggest challenge when I took over as the Executive Director in 2010 was to hire the right people to fit the new direction, image and brand the Board of Directors was seeking for the festival. Because of my relationship with PSG over the years–understanding my own Kolbe A™ results—through our work together at JCI, I knew I needed your help to be more objective in hiring the right people and creating a fantastic team.”

The solution started with Gwen assessing each role by first completing a Kolbe C™ index and then developing a Kolbe Range of Success ™ for each role. “Through the formality of this exercise, it required me to think through the complete role, which was powerful,” states Auwerda. “I was determined that those first 3-4 roles would all be an A fit to the job, no compromise.” Through this process, Gwen realized that every job did not require her style as a Quick Start. The learning for Gwen was to acclimate quickly how she would need to lead, manage and get results from each of these key contributors. With the right people in place, the organization began to gel. Their confidence began to build. There came a day when we realized, “now we can do this,” she said. The team became a great sounding board together.

According to Gwen, the team is gelling and getting results. “People are in the right roles now throughout the organization of thirteen people.

We refer to our profiles and utilize the language with each other every day. Assignments are analyzed and given to the right people. We aren’t frustrated by each other, but will actually seek out people with differing strengths to help solve the problem. We are more confident, efficient and getting the right work done together.”

Gwen added, “Mari, there are so many bi-products of our work together in creating this team. First, this investment in our people has clearly paid off in financial success. We have turned the financial outcome around and are in the black. But the outcomes we can’t measure in dollars are that you have helped us create a very trusting organization. We no longer work enormous amounts of overtime. We have gotten our work week down to 40-42 hours per week with greater work/life balance. And we haven’t missed a beat. The results have been phenomenal.”

Helping Tulip Time Bloom

This team has big shoes to fill and many of you have seen those shoes! The Tulip Time Festival has a $12.9 million impact to the Holland, MI community. Over a nine-day period, 500,000 visitors attend the many venues that are offered including shows, events, fireworks, arts/crafts fairs, Dutch dancers and their signature parades.

PSG has helped the Tulip Time Festival with a consistent way for hiring and matching the right strengths for the work that needs to be done, and providing all team members with a language to talk with each other about solving problems that continuously surface.

What are your team’s needs and how can we help you?

One of our Core Values is: Translating our Training into Action.