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June 2016

How Does Gamelin Associates Rebuild Career School?

SmallLogoIt all starts with a Business Development Assessment (BDA)  The objective of the BDA is to provide a comprehensive written report outlining our analysis of your school’s stage of development and competitive position with a plan summary to guide your school business in achieving sustainable growth.

With this plan, you will be able to make informed decisions about the overall direction in which your business is going and what resources you’ll need to implement the plan. We may also be able to help you during the implementation phase of the strategic plan.

Conducting the Business Development Assessment

Our process starts with a 2-day on-site appraisal of your key financial and non-financial performance indicators. We will review your long-term goals, assess your plan assumptions about your local economy, your industry sector, your market and outside influences particular to your business. We will evaluate exploitable company strengths and market opportunities. We will also assess business weaknesses that need resolution, and analyze potential risks.

We will interview your staff confidentially to gain their knowledge of your operating capabilities and opportunities for enhancing your operations.

After conducting the on-site assessment, we will submit a written report that outlines what company thrusts and business strategies we suggest. This assessment will enable you to make completely informed decisions about the direction you may choose to take your school business.

If you believe you are not getting the most out of your school’s operation, or it is in decline, Gamelin Associates can help you determine those improvements that will enable you to turn it around. The ultimate goal of working with us is to improve your capacity for sustainable growth, whether it is by operating more effectively, improving the student experience, or expanding your operation.

The Business Development Assessment is conducted on a fixed fee basis of $4,000 plus travel expenses.

Contact Lee Gamelin directly at (717) 500-1912 or

5 Simple keys to ending painful company meetings


I read this post by Mike Kotsis this morning, and having experienced dreadful meeting both as a leader and participant, I felt this would be a good read for everyone.  I’m sure all of you have experienced painful company meeting at one time or another, or, unfortunately, all the time.

“5 Points That Make a Huge Difference in Running Effective Meetings

1) Same Agenda. Use the same agenda each week. [...]  It saves time because you won’t need to create a new agenda each week.

2) Same day. Pick a day of the week, and stick to it. If someone is on vacation, the meeting must still go on—don’t change it!

3) Same time. Set your meeting as a recurring appointment in your calendar as well as the rest of your team’s. If your meeting is 9:00-10:30 a.m. every Monday, make sure it’s blocked out on everyone’s calendar every Monday, forever. Plan everything else around this meeting time and treat it with the highest level of importance. Plan [student] meetings around this time block.

4) Start on time. You’re paying your team to be there—eliminate frustrations, wasted time, and wasted money from people waiting around for the meeting to begin. [...] subscribe to Vince Lombardi’s rule: “Early is on time, on time is late.” Plan to arrive at least five minutes early every week for your meetings.

5) End on time. There is nothing more frustrating than a meeting that never ends. By not ending on time, you’re creating a domino effect for everyone else in the room, potentially throwing off their entire day. Protect your team’s time and give them confidence that they can plan activities right after your stated end time.”

Put these points into action, and you’ll be amazed at how productive will be your meetings.

Four Team Busters in Business Leadership

SmallLogoHere is an article I read recently by Chris Naylor, Business Growth Coach from Minneapolis, that applies to all industries including our educational services sector.


You’ve read it many times before, successful companies are built by great teams who create strong cultures of excellence. But if teamwork is so important, then why are there so many average and dysfunctional teams?

Great teams don’t just happen. They're built on strengthening relationships between team members – one day, one interaction at a time.

The bad news is there are hundreds of negative forces that sabotage team health – like egos, politics, power struggles, lack of vision, or poor leadership. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to overcome these forces.

What follows are four “Team Busters” that can sabotage building a great organization. Each is followed by a team-building remedy, or “Team Rx,” to build a united, winning team with a synergy that produces a combined effect far greater than any sum of individuals!

Four Team Busters in Dysfunctional Business Leadership

Low Trust Levels

The fact is, without trust we can’t have good relationships, and without good relationships, we can’t have a successful team. Great teams are marked by relationships built on a foundation of trust.

Trust is built when we care about our team’s interests as much as, or more than, our own agendas. Put another way, if a team member knows we’re out for ourselves, an internal alarm sounds off and trust is destroyed. Although it takes more than one person to make a team, it only takes one person to break a team!

Team Rx: In meetings, value diverse points of view, creating an environment where it’s safe to be open, honest, and vulnerable. Make sure that all ideas are welcome – without any sarcastic remarks or negative repercussions down the line.

Poor Communication

Where there is poor communication, negativity fills the void. Great teams require strong relationships, and strong relationships aren’t possible without great communication. Frequent, honest, and open communications, both individually and collectively, improve team cohesion.

Team Rx: Improve the quality AND quantity of communication. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings rather than only relying on team meetings or emails for all communications.

Remember, communication is a two-way street. Listen more, talk less, and ask more questions to improve the balance.

Low Commitment

Strong communication builds trust, which in turn fosters commitment, teamwork, and results. Great teams are not only committed to doing great work, they're also committed to each other. Individuals put the team first and are willing to serve and sacrifice for the benefit of the team. When we work hard to be a great team member, we make everyone around us better.

Team Rx: Start putting the team first. Become more selfless – and less selfish. Work as hard at being a great team member as advancing any particular personal agenda.

Lack of Caring

One of the greatest success strategies of all is simply caring. Those who care build great things that others care about. Great teams care a little more – about the work, [students], team members, and the mission of the team. When team members have support and encouragement, they're able to stretch themselves and reach farther than they ever thought possible.

Team Rx: Think about who you are and how you can show you care. Decide how you want to make a difference and go the extra mile. Always do the right thing. We trust those who live, walk, and work with integrity. Do what you say. Failing to do what we say sends a message that we don’t care, eroding trust and destroying teamwork.

How will you implement a Team Rx today?

Enrollment Management - The 1% Solution

Enrollment Management - The 1% Solution

Private, postsecondary career schools are supported primarily by tuition revenue.  The enrollment and training process works like a funnel from inquiries to employment.  A school’s future depends on effective management of the school’s operating system, in particular, the enrollment process.  Monitoring the conversion rates from inquiry to enrollment is essential.

There are no standard conversion rates.  It will vary from school to school.  However, a classic ideal is 70-70-40; 70% appointment to lead, 70% interview to appointment, and 40% enrollment to interview.  Translated into numbers from 100 leads would result in 70 appointments set, 49 interviews conducted and 19 enrollments.  (This is for net leads, meaning those who are qualified with a specific interest in the programs offered.)

Regardless of what are a specific school's conversion rates, improving the conversion rate can have a dramatic impact on enrollments.

A simple example:

  • Tuition at $15,000
  • 1000 leads annually at a conversion rate of 5% = 50 students
  • Increase the enrollment to lead rate by just 1% to 6% = 60 students
  • This increase of 10 students = $150,000 in additional revenue at NO ADDITIONAL COSTS.

Effective data management and enrollment practices oversight are essential to the success of any private postsecondary career school.

This means oversight of all conversion rates.

  • Appointments to Leads
  • Interviews to Appointments
  • Applications to Interviews
  • Enrollments to Applications
  • Sits to Enrollments
  • Graduation to Sits
  • Employment to Graduation

Why is this so essential?

According to Gino Wickman in his book, Traction:  Get a Grip on Your Business, “What gets measured gets done.  Complete mastery of your Data Component is achieved when you boil the organization's number down to the point where everyone has a single meaningful, manageable number to guide them in their work.  This number will enable leaders to create clarity and accountability throughout their team.”

“There are eight distinct advantages to everyone having a number.

  1. Numbers cut through murky subjective communication between manager and direct reports.
  2. Numbers create accountability.
  3. Accountable people appreciate numbers.
  4. Numbers create clarity and commitment.
  5. Numbers create competition.
  6. Numbers produce results.
  7. Numbers create teamwork.
  8. You solve problems faster.”

So, when are you starting to count your numbers and create that 1% solution?