On Saturday, February 17, 2018, we hosted a Butler Business Consulting Group Intern Alumni event, which included our staff along with past and current interns participating in a networking event and hearing Jerry Toomer and Craig Caldwell speak on their new book, The Catalyst Effect. Toomer and Caldwell spoke about how our alumni can use The Catalyst Effect as a resource to help boost their impact and elevate team performance within their respective organizations. We deliver results to our clients every day, so we asked our alumni to pass on advice/lessons learned to our current interns who are looking to make an immediate impact in their respective organizations following graduation in May. Below captures the key takeaways from the event that will help us all make a better impact:
1. You do not need to be at the top of the organizational structure to be a catalyst.
Dialogue began when we had to identify people who we thought of as leaders; parents, supervisors and thought leaders came up most frequently. Contrary to those that were identified as being leaders, some did not necessarily translate into being catalyst leaders. Being a catalyst does not imply that you are titled a “manager” or “supervisor”, rather, it means that whatever team you are a part of, whether that be in sports, volunteer groups, or business, you can make an impact by knowing when to lead and when to collaborate with other teammates. You may ask, “how do you know when to lead and when to collaborate with other teammates?” You know by demonstrating certain behaviors, which are categorized into four catalytic cornerstones, leading into our second key takeaway from the event.
2. To generate impact, you must demonstrate behaviors in each of the four catalytic cornerstones: Building Credibility, Creating Cohesion, Generating Momentum, and Amplifying Impact.
During the event, Toomer and Caldwell took us through an assessment so that we could get a better sense of how we measure up to being a catalyst. For each cornerstone, there are core competencies that relate. The following table outlines the competencies that were explained to us through examples:
|Building Credibility||Creating Cohesion||Generating Momentum||Amplifying Impact|
|Acts with integrity and inspires trust||Connects emotionally||Energizes others to execute with the mission in mind||Pursues excellence|
|Communicates clearly||Develops camaraderie||Upgrades and rejuvenates skills and knowledge||Mentors and coaches others to excel|
|Invigorates with optimism||Puts the team’s goals and the organization’s mission before personal interest||Leads and follows||Proposes imaginative solutions|
3. To be a catalyst you must think from multiple perspectives.
It is not enough to demonstrate certain behaviors; you also have to be in the right mindset to be a true catalyst. A catalyst does not simply make decisions based on their own perspective; instead, they consider the perspective of each stakeholder involved and then they compare that to macro and micro level viewpoints to gain a more holistic perspective.
As previous fall 2010 intern, Kelsey (Adams) Briggs recalls the event, “It was great to be back on campus connecting with professors and old friends! I loved the chance to mark the 10th anniversary of the consulting group with a celebration of the work we’ve accomplished together and an opportunity to explore The Catalyst Effect and think critically about how I can continue to lead from where I am.” We challenge our staff and interns alike to intentionally develop skills in each of the four cornerstones so that we, too, can be catalysts. If you are interested in learning more about Butler Business Consulting Group events like this one or The Catalyst Effect, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jerry Toomer serves as an Executive Partner and Adjunct Professor in the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. With over three decades of applied experience as a Human Resource executive, he brings unique insights into leadership and organization effectiveness. He also serves as a subject matter expert for several BBCG client projects.
Dr. Craig Caldwell is the Associate Dean of Graduate & Professional Programs in the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. He has been published in Business and Society, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, The Monitor, Business and Society Review, Management Accounting Quarterly, and Journal of Corporate Citizenship.