The Smart Change Group, Inc.                                         
The right change at the right time


SCG provides an array of services to both individuals and groups. Dr. Hooks and her associates are highly trained and experienced professionals who demonstrate integrity and commitment to excellence.

"Eleanor is an excellent coach. She absolutely meets you where you are, figures out where you need to be and then guides you there. She has made all the differenfe in my ability to lead a strong and aggressive yet diverse leadership team. She has also helped me to really trust my instincts and years of experience. The coaching has paid significant dividends for me and for my agency."

Janice McKenzie-Crayton
President & CEO
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta

Leadership Development 

SCG consultants collaborate with clients to lead effective change efforts. We believe that organizations are complex, intelligent systems that can develop appropriate ways to manage changes in processes and relations. Leaders play a principal role in the success of the organizations' change efforts.

In fact, leaders have unique power in organizations. Their power is sustained with the refinements of appropriate strategy, interpersonal effectiveness and an ability to successfully identify and use the knowledge of high performing associates in the organization. SCG consultants respect that potential and work to help leaders realize it. Some leadership development services include
organizational assessments targeted to specific challenges; online interpersonal style assessments; team building; leadership coaching; and customized training interventions.

Executive Coaching / Mentoring 

Today's leaders benefit from the opportunities to work with experienced performance consultants and leadership coaches. Many owe their success in managing others and their career achievements to the support and challenges of an executive coach. Most would agree that coaches provide perspectives that stretch the interpersonal and professional experience
of leaders.

Here are some comments from coaching clients from a recent survey of Dr. Hook's coaching effectiveness:

"Ellie is a very experienced and gifted coach/counselor. Her ideas and advice are very helpful and useful. Her wide varied experience and background gives her the knowledge to push one forward into the right direction and give clarity to whatever the situation. I highly recommend coaching sessions to anyone who is serious about improving oneself in the workplace."

"[Impact on business results] …More performance, more task completion, more introductions and sale of ideas to improve processes are added results of meetings [coaching sessions] and applying tools learned. "

"Working with Eleanor has been a pleasure. She provides many valuable and useful suggestions to the difficult issues addressed during the coaching sessions. Ellie appears to take a personal interest in ensuring the success of each individual she coaches."

"[As a result of coaching] I am more focused on my own behavior rather than the behavior of others which makes my interactions with others much more effective for me….Without this training I don't know where I would be today. Thanks Ellie!"

Inclusive Workplace Strategies 

SCG consultants work with leaders and managers to create organizational environments that support every employee in contributing to the success of the company. That means that everyone is included, regardless of race, age, gender, ethnicity, education, physical ability, sexual orientation, job classification, geographic origin, primary language, and still other aspects of diversity. Most importantly, the inclusive workplace interventions are strategic, with a vision, goals, and criteria for success as well as pre-set measurements of results. The strategies are often initiated after a comprehensive data gathering process has been completed.

A fully functioning workplace is really an inclusive organizational community (IOC), a place where people have a shared vision of the organization and are strongly committed to the goals of the organization. All who enter the IOC as either workers or visitors are the immediate beneficiaries of the sense of respect and purpose within the workplace. The integrity of the organization is accomplished by acknowledging the core value of people to the organization. Associates lead and follow with equal ease, and continuously learn to seek answers to vital organizational questions. If this kind of organization sounds like a dream, please know that it can be a reality for you.

 Organizational Assessments

Organizational assessments examine the organizationl environment and systems, and provide valuable feedback to leaders. The assessment can be a kind of state of the union" report that describes the current reality of the organization. Often hidden issues surface and changes in old patterns of behavior become evident. Key staff development needs become clear and the appropriate direction for change
becomes apparent. SCG consultants use an organization development approach that includes interviews, observations and other data gathering techniques. After a feedback session, consultants and managers collaborate to determine the strategic direction and priorities.

The particular approach to assessment is appreciative inquiry (AI). What is AI? The approach operates on the basis of a set of assumptions:

  • In any organization, something works well.
  • The focus of the organization is where it puts most of its energy
  • There are always multiple ways of seeing the same thing
  • Powerful questions must be posed in order to have effective change efforts
  • Language is powerful and can be self-fulfilling

Personal Growth Seminars and Retreats  

Managers in learning organizations realize that personal growth and development have an impact on the quality of their leadership. Continual personal development influences the skillfulness with which they develop their employees. Reinvention is one of many personal growth seminars offered by SCG. Others include: Working with Integrity, Sharing Personal Stories, Winning with Focus and Facing Resistance.

Team Building / Team Facilitation 

SCG consultants work with leaders and managers to build high performing teams; they assist teams in optimizing results through successful team member relationships and effective operations. Effective teams explore possibilities and celebrate what's working well. They set expectations for joint projects that can be both enjoyable and productive. SCG consultants work to build teams that are interdependent in relationships, willing to take appropriate risks, highly participatory, and equitable in terms of shared influence.

According to Elledge and Phillips (1994) "A key to any good team building intervention is a strong and accurate diagnosis of the issues. SCG consultants diagnose teams in terms of goals, roles, processes and procedures, relationships, leadership, and general productivity and climate. Through an interview process or survey of team members, data are collected and analyzed. After a feedback session, an intervention is designed that addresses identified areas for focus and improvement. Each intervention is customized to the needs of the team.