A look at the people behind the numbers in area business.
Erin Werde helps companies identify and build on employee strengths as president of Affiance Coaching.
She also is taking steps to transform the year-old Affiance Coaching, a division of St. Louis Park-based financial services firm Affiance Financial, into a mature organization.
Affiance Coaching assesses the way a person takes action and interacts with others by using a behavioral assessment index based on Kolbe Wisdom, developed by Phoenix-based Kolbe Corp.
The approach combines elements of management and human resources consulting, Werde said. Kolbe Wisdom holds that creative instincts are the source of mental energy that drives people to take specific actions.
Affiance Coaching has used the Kolbe index to help companies and their employees address such issues as increasing group productivity, enhancing communications and expediting decisionmaking, Werde said.
Named president in August after joining the company in April, Werde is responsible for fiscal operations, marketing and strategic planning. While Affiance Coaching has worked with smaller companies, Werde said the firm is seeking to bring in larger organizations and develop long-term client relationships.
Werde completed the 36-question Kolbe Wisdom assessment after learning about it from Steve Lear, Affiance Coaching and Affiance Financial founder and an acquaintance of hers.
Werde has master's degrees in public policy and social work from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked in the nonprofit sector.
Q How does your role as president align with your Kolbe results?
A My Kolbe [assessment] shows, and it's true to form, that a lot of my talents lie with creating systems. By starting in a new position, I got the opportunity to build those systems -- what does our marketing look like, how are we following up with clients, what's a proper billing procedure? Those are the things that when I'm working give me the energy to keep going.
Q How do you describe Kolbe Wisdom to someone new to that concept?
A Kolbe uses an assessment that measures conation -- the "doing" part of your mind. It can help with the management of a team by showing people's natural talents and it touches on human resources by putting people in positions that meet their natural instincts [and then] better results occur.
Q Why are long-term client relationships important to Affiance Coaching?
A It takes a long time to come to your ''Kolbe aha moment.'' I've been working with the tools for 18 months, and it probably took me about eight months to get to the point where I could speak and view interactions within Kolbe. To have the most impact, we're really looking for our clients to get to that point. This isn't just about a business venture. It's not just about the additional revenue. It's really about the maximum benefit.