Mining for Gold

30 Jul 2019 6:41 PM | Rance Greene

I have an Ace of clubs card on my desk. On the back it reads "Culture Compound: Trusted Accountability." Below that it lists specific attributes that explain what trusted accountability is, like "Resolute in commitment" and "Shares knowledge". I got the card during ATD Dallas's June community meeting at Alkami, where Adrianne Court, Alkami's CHRO, and Kim Zoller, founder of ID 360, simulated their break-through onboarding session that every employee participates in during their first 3 months. Part of the session includes a moment where employees dig into the company's core values, like trusted accountability, and flesh out its meaning. The core values aren't empty words on a wall. They are substantial measures that govern everything they do. And everyone knows it. That's one reason why it's been ranked as one of the Top 10 Coolest Tech Companies to Work For in Dallas.


In my notebook, dated April 23, I have two pages of notes from our community meeting at Parkland, where Mary Andereck, the interim CLO at Parkland at the time, shared a framework for building trust with stakeholders based on four simple questions. She and her team used this framework to mine: for purpose, for business outcomes, for audience, for success criteria and for deliverables. Her team sits down with stakeholders to complete a simple form that captures everything needed to build the program. The results? A healthy talent developer/stakeholder relationship cycle: approachability > clarity > support (that delivers) > trust. Oh yeah, and five AXIS Awards. Taking time to mine with stakeholders can unearth a golden solution.


I still use my VARIDESK mug for tea when I'm working from home, on my VARIDESK Laptop 30 adjustable work station, sitting in my VARIDESK chair. My back thanks me every day! I will never forget what Jeff Lamb, President and Chief Operating Officer at VARIDESK, said to us during our March 19 community meeting. "The best business model is people-focused. It's leaders who know their direct reports." He talked about spending time getting to know people. He told us that he insisted that his office be located on the main hallway so he can stop people who are walking by to ask them questions about their family, their work, how they are feeling about those things. He spoke about love. Not love of power, but love for people. That kind of investment yields gold. And in this case, the gold is people. A remarkable lesson of investment that really counts.


On my computer, I have a hard copy of a book entitled, Beyond Learning Objectives, by Jack Phillips founder of the ROI Institute, who also happened to be the speaker for our January community meeting at Southwest Airlines. He donated the book to those in attendance. If anyone knows how to mine for measurable results, it's Jack! His decades of experience and war stories showcased how essential it is that our industry dig down to root causes and business outcomes.

All of these objects are mementos of people and companies who mined until they struck gold. They are an inspiration to keep doing the work. But I wouldn't have had any of these encounters if it hadn't been for a special person who serves on the board of ATD Dallas. She, and her Programs team, have searched diligently for the cutting edge innovators in Dallas. We are the recipients of their hard work. I'd like to introduce you to Ann Zoob, my colleague and friend, who knows how to mine for gold.

I interviewed Ann about her involvement with ATD Dallas. Here's our conversation:


Me: Ann, what was life like before you joined ATD Dallas?

Ann: I was an HR Training Consultant working for a small boutique HR consulting firm in California. Although I knew a lot of people, there wasn’t a sense of community. 

Me: What about after you joined ATD Dallas?

Ann: I relocated from California back to Dallas last summer. ATD Dallas was a great springboard to re-assimilate back into the community. I can honestly say that I have more friends here in Dallas than I did in California and my social and business contacts have expanded exponentially being a member of ATD Dallas due to the great events, programs, and conferences that this association has to offer.

Me: Why did you say "yes" to joining the ATD Dallas board?

Ann: I had no problem saying “yes” to serve on the board. I already had pre-existing relationships with Kim Valliere and Laurie Lumston [2019 Board Members] when I served on the SWLS planning committee for 4 years. I had also heard great things about you and your leadership style. [Honest, I didn't pay her to say that!] It’s an honor and a privilege to be on the board and I have truly enjoyed contributing to this amazing team of talented individuals.

Me: What are you most proud about in your tenure as a board member in 2019? 

Ann: The opportunity to serve and give back to the greater Dallas-Fort Worth community and meet some incredible people that have become life-long friends.

Me: Can you describe the most impactful moment you experienced as a member of ATD Dallas? 

Ann: I really enjoy helping and meeting new people. Working alongside my fellow board members has been inspiring and fulfilling because we all share the same goals to make a difference and enrich people’s lives for the greater good. 


"Enriching people's lives." That stands out to me. It's exactly what we do as an industry and as an organization. Though Ann will continue on the board through the end of 2019, I'm sad to announce that she will be doing this from afar. She and her husband are moving to Arizona this month. Ann, we appreciate everything you've done for ATD Dallas so far. Thanks for inspiring us and teaching us. I will miss you.

When you attend a conference, you're always looking for those gold nuggets that you can take back to work and apply or experiment with. The Southwest Learning Summit (SWLS) is the premier regional conference for talent development in the United States. And it's made possible by awesome volunteers, like Steff Allison, Lara Azcona and their talented, dedicated team. We owe much to their hard work. Come expecting to meet 350 other talent development professionals and learn with outstanding facilitators and thought leaders. But you don't have to wait to get in on the connections and the learning. Download Whova, one of the most interactive conference apps I've ever experienced. Already, I'm learning about the books people are reading, scheduling meetups, interacting with speakers and, oh yeah, you can schedule your concurrent sessions. And, for the record, I made it to gold on the leaderboard…for at least an hour. I can't wait to meet you at SWLS!

Our prestigious AXIS Awards are coming in December, but applications are due shortly after SWLS--September 15! Many of you have a model program, a stellar initiative that deserves celebration. ATD Dallas is very good at celebrating exemplary work! The AXIS Awards is for you, the people who are changing their organizations for good…and for our volunteers who make all of this possible. The application is free. This is one way to show how golden you are.


If you and your company would like to give ATD Dallas a sneak peek into your company's culture or how you're using innovative ways to engage employees or pioneering immersive technology--whatever you are doing to push the boundaries of our industry--contact us! I'd love to add another memento from our time with you to my collection. 

New members! The board and I would love to meet you! If you are fairly new to our chapter and would like to learn more about us, join us at a New Member Meet-up on August 15! 11:30-12:30 at I Love Pho (Forrest Ln and 75 in Dallas). Respond here and we'll save you a seat!




Rance Greene

ATD Dallas, President

August 1, 2019


  • 31 Aug 2019 10:25 AM | Rick Barber
    Sometimes it's not just "Mining For Gold" that counts! Sometimes it is discovering those little Gold nuggets along the way!

    Great Interview with Ann Zoob! I'm glad I got to meet her; sorry to see her go! I had the feeling, by sitting beside her at a recent SIG, I could tell we shared some same passions!

    And, now that I know what I missed @ SWLS this year due to a short unexpected mishap, I'll be sure not to miss next year, God willing!

    Thanks for sharing, Rance!


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