Tribal approach to leadership can increase productivity

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

Jeffrey Deckman began learning real-world lessons required to hold down a job and advance as a teenager. More

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Tribal approach to leadership can increase productivity

CAPABLE HANDS: Jeffrey Deckman, president and founder of Capability Accelerators, says that his time on the R.I. Economic Policy Council taught him to respect the power of government to be able to get things done and the importance of government “following the lead of business.”

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 8/12/13

Jeffrey Deckman began learning real-world lessons required to hold down a job and advance as a teenager.

“There was no coddling, you either kept up or got out,” he said of his experience beginning at 17 as a lineman in the cable-television industry. He parlayed that experience into a 30-year career in telecommunications. He founded Capability Accelerators in 2004 to work with companies on ways to increase productivity by raising employee-engagement levels.

“In a typical company with a $2 million payroll, an improvement of employee-engagement levels by 5 percent will drive $50,000 to their bottom line through increased productivity,” he said.

PBN: You call yourself a “capability expert” who can help companies bring out the best in employee networks by tapping into hidden potential. What makes your service unique?

DECKMAN: I look at the human capital in an organization in a unique way. I view the people in an organization as a knowledge network and what I look to do is focus specifically on finding untapped pools of capability within the workforce that the organizational chart or the existing policies and procedures suppress. … The industrial age is behind us and it’s rendered traditional command and control, top-down leadership styles ineffective. We’re now in a knowledge economy and we have to engage people’s minds now. This is not about singing Kumbaya or hugging people in the workplace. When you look at the financial impact of increasing employee engagement even by 5 percent in a company it’s stunning.

PBN: College was never a draw or destination for you; you wanted to work in the “real world.” How has that path contributed to your success?

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