Hugh Blane

The Talent Alchemist

Hugh converts human potential into accelerated business results.

Hugh is retained by clients to challenge assumptions, jettison complacency, and catapult growth. Hugh has worked extensively with businesses and universities in seven countries and thirty-five states. He is the executive coach for the prestigious Helen M. Young Fellowship at Pepperdine University and is an adjunct faculty member at the School of Law and Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine where he teaches business courses for homeless men and women through the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.

As President of Claris Consulting, he guides organizations to improve performance by inspiring, developing and transforming your greatest investment – your people.

Specializing in leadership development, executive coaching, team development and individual effectiveness, Hugh helps organizations achieve business goals by developing authentic leaders, productive teams and committed employees.

Claris' unique portfolio of consulting, coaching, training and assessment services targets critical pain points that block business potential. With custom processes and tools, he and his team identify leadership styles and team performance, and pinpoint opportunities and challenges. He works with you to break down cultural barriers  as well as hone trust so teams collaborate and employees produce extraordinary results.

Their unique "Jumping the Curve" methodology helps managers and front-line workers achieve bigger goals faster–via internal communication, branding and behavior change.

Clients include companies and nonprofits in the financial services and educational realms, as well as Starbucks, Microsoft, Spacelabs Medical, KPMG and Costco.

Prior to starting Claris, Hugh was a partner with the Effectiveness Institute in Redmond, WA, and a consultant, coach and speaker with the Tom Peters Company, where Hugh equipped leaders to transform their lives and the lives of their organizations. Hugh also spent 12 years as the CEO of a financial planning firm where he reinvented what means to serve clients.

As a speaker, Hugh engages his audiences and creates a fun learning environment by calling on his considerable skills as a stage actor and his natural gift for empathy and clear communication.

His programs include:

Jumping the Growth Curve

Uncommonly effective approaches to accelerate revenue growth and innovation—even in times of uncertainty

In a world with fewer resources and substantial uncertainty, many organizations take comfort in remaining grounded in the known and predictable.  They wait to make investments in the future, assuming that significant growth is improbable — at least until the economy turns around, consumer confidence increases, banks start lending money, and their senior executives become more courageous.

What is the Growth Curve?   

The growth curve helps organizations understand their ability to adapt, change, and grow. It illustrates the natural birth, growth and decay cycle that every product, culture, team, organization, and service experiences.

Jumping the Growth Curve means to profitably lengthen your product lifecycle while simultaneously developing and deploying new growth strategies that provide exponential growth.

Organizations that grow in the short and long term are those that learn how to Jump the Growth Curve without having the certainty and guarantees that today holds. and Apple are Curve Jumpers. Chevrolet and Kodak are not. Which side of the Curve are YOU on?
 Management and business strategist Hugh Blane introduces you to the Growth Curve, and provides you with actionable strategies for jumping it. Jumping the Growth Curve starts by shifting leaders’ thinking about long-term growth and innovation by aligning employees and teams around eight fundamental principles.

To Jump the Curve you need to:

1.  Design a compelling future

2.  Upscale through exponential growth

3.  Operate your business (for reasons you may not expect)

4.  Squeeze efficiencies out of the existing curve

5.  Creatively deconstruct old systems

6.  Transform to next phase of exponential growth

7.  Anticipate and plan for next curve

8.  Save and nurture core values

Those who Jump the Curve are then able to:

  1. Harness the power of risk rather than be paralyzed by it
  2. Leverage the innate talents of every employee and maximizes their capacity for “The Jump.”
  3. Replace uncertainty and stagnant sales with exceptional growth and transformation
  4. Avoid obsolescence
  5. Continually give birth to new ideas to gain more market share
  6. Jettison old ways of thinking and processes that need to end
  7. Jump beyond surviving—to thriving

Extraordinary Leadership – Extraordinary Results

How do leaders secure commitment to their strategic initiatives? How do they drive greater business results while also building high levels of employee engagement?
In the past a command-and-control leadership style may have worked – in today’s workplace, positive influence and greater leadership credibility are the requisite tools for obtaining extraordinary performance. Leaders who strive for the extraordinary create willing followers and generate heightened commitment from both individuals and teams.

By attending this session you’ll be able to:

1.      Secure commitment versus compliance
2.      Lead and positively influence those who can help and or hurt your projects, career, and goals,
3.      Develop your “distinctive personal brand,” and leverage your brand with others

Client Feedback:

"When Hugh Blane spoke at our annual meeting, he was one of our highest rated presenters. We appreciated his efforts prior to the conference to better understand our members. He had a delivery and message that was very meaningful to them! Participants’ comments included ‘Very engaging and relevant speaker.’ ‘Wow! What a great presentation!’ ‘Best speaker I have heard in years.’" – Connie Nordquist, Executive Director, Minnesota State ASBO

"Hugh brought the leadership, team development and organizational transformation expertise that allowed board and management to look at growth and innovation in fundamentally new ways." Bob Harvey CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union

"If you want simple solutions to complex everyday business issues, I recommend you call Claris Consulting. I know they can and will make a positive difference in your Team's effectiveness." Dr. Timothy M. Chester Vice Provost and CIO, Pepperdine

"Claris Consulting is highly knowledgeable and skilled in communication methodology, behavior styles and assessing team dynamics. They bring a vast wealth of experience, savvy and insight to create real-world results." Pam Whall, HR, LifeCenter NW

Hugh's additional speaking topics:

Training on Communication, Leadership, Teamwork, Influence (the essence of superb leadership), Risk Taking, and Conflict Management are all within the "bulls-eye" of Hugh's areas of expertise.

"Finding Your True North"

Many leaders and followers in organizations nationwide are feeling burned out by high levels of change and stress, as profound levels of change in the workplace have become the new norm.  Participants will learn to anticipate and recognize how resistance to change is natural, but how it can hinder progress, reduce efficiencies and impact profits.  Participants will:

    Identify the stages of transition
    Learn that the antidote for exhaustion is not rest-it's wholeheartedness.
    See why one's personal leadership "brand" is important and how it's tied to behavior…and how to more clearly see the value and impact of our work

    Whether someone is a formal or informal leader, explore how finding one's true north creates a greater sense of control and greater effectiveness to manage change

The New Leader

The role of leadership is changing and effective leaders can no longer rely on power established by an organizational chart.  Dependence on the leader to be the answer person or the problem solver is a sure pathway to mediocrity, frustration and the avoidance of responsibility.   In this session, participants will discover:

            ♦  New definition of leadership.

            ♦  How to have influence when you don't have authority    

Coaching for Results

To be successful, leaders must know how to develop the skills and talents of the people they manage.  Explore the best practices in people management and identify the skills of effective coaching to improve performance.   Understand the difference between coaching for development, and coaching for business results.  This highly interactive and energetic workshop will include:

♦  What Coaching Is, and Isn't

♦  The Manager/Supervisor as Coach

♦  Steps for Effective Coaching:  Tell, Show, Discover, Support

Teams That Work

Teamwork is the fabric of successful, strong organizations.  Teams are the result of purposeful behaviors.  Understand the characteristics of

collaborative teams, teams that work.  Learn how teams achieve and sustain success:

♦  Why teams break down

♦  Characteristics that make teams work

Conflict and Collaboration

Often people are challenged by the inability to resolve conflict for a positive result.  Avoidance of conflict can be as harmful as misused confrontation, with outcomes ranging from the loss of valuable input from others to pushing through  costly strategies to creating an environment of intimidation. In this session, participants will learn how to:

            ♦  Identify dynamics of conflict

            ♦  Discern the key issues, set emotions aside, and reframe conflict

            ♦  Create the opportunity to discover new solutions that surpass any

                 single idea.

Travels from: Seattle, WA