By Joni Albrecht, Little Star Communications
Like all good CEOs in the new year, Speakers You Need, Inc.’s Rocky White likes to start January with a carefully crafted game plan based on performance during the previous twelve months, a crisp set of end goals driving his play book.
This month, White is taking a moment to reflect on the past sixty as SyN marks its five-year anniversary, and White celebrates five consecutive years of growth, expansion and most importantly “learning partnerships,” the heart and soul of his mission. Launched by White in January 2013, SyN offers customized training seminars and professional development workshops to organizations of all shapes and sizes on topics such as leadership, customer service, technical skill improvement, communication and business acumen.
“Imagine how proud we are that when we measure growth, we are actually looking at an increase in the development of people. Our 30 percent upward trend in sales translates to improved skills, traits and understanding in the people of the companies, government agencies and non-profits we serve. That is why I entered the training world and why I believe in what we do,” says White noting it hasn’t been easy but worthwhile. “We know that when organizations invest in their people – their most valuable asset – they improve their bottom lines and the fulfillment of their missions.”
Headquartered in Kansas City, KS, with more than 100 subject matter experts positioned throughout the world, White has now opened regional offices in Wasilla, AK, Chicago, Pensacola, FL, and Seattle. SyN has enjoyed a consistent upward trend in growth, with some years yielding 50 percent improvement. White credits his success to his executive training team, who combined with him, have more than 150 years of experience in the industry.
He points to leaders on his team such as Executive Training Consultant Gina Maddox, Regional Director in Pensacola, FL. Maddox created the Air Force Leadership Training program, embraced by multiple branches of the military, now available through an exclusive partnership with Pensacola State College, and certified for continuing education credits. White also touts his popular SyN Office Professional Development Certification Program, an expanded presence in manufacturing and government sectors, and new professional development seminars offered globally, via both live, stand-up experts as well as through online platforms.
White says it is his team’s unique ability to develop the right training experiences for their clients at the right price that sets them apart from their competitors. “Our clients want us to listen, suggest, create ideas, and offer options, choices in trainers, topics, and delivery style,” says White.
White says when he listens, what he hears most often is the idea of “flexibility.”
To that end, White developed SyN’s virtual classroom, http://speakersyouneed.com/live-virtual-training-schedule/, which went live in 2016.
“We envisioned a user-friendly, interactive site where our customers could customize training to their exact needs,” says White. “We’re more than excited to partner with our clients in a new and innovative way. This one site delivers all training media, activities, and resources in a format that best meets our clients’ needs.”
White adds: “We started with 36 topics that we continue to hear are a priority for our clients, all HRCI/SHRM certified,” says White. “But we will continue to grow SyN’s learning library on a daily basis.”
No matter the delivery method, White emphasizes his custom approach to training. “Organizations need their training partner to be flexible. When and where the training is to take place must be designed around the client. Organizations don’t want lectures, rather they want interactive, activity-based experiences in the classroom. The clients often have “hot buttons” or topics to be included or avoided. Pre-training conferences with the SyN Training Consultant and the SyN Subject Matter Expert assure clients a day of training that builds skill sets not controversy. Our clients love the access they have to our 100-plus subject matter experts to discuss current training trends with a skill set emphasis.”
White’s number one rule of the game, however, remains taking a partnering approach in learning, rather than moving in and taking over the function. “Our number one job as a learning partner is not to talk or teach, but to listen. We’re intent on discovering the problems, the needs and the priorities of our clients and then designing a learning solution that meets those needs.”