Rob Baboth – Executive Vice President, Foresters Canada
Let me start by saying, “Thank goodness for Mike Pickering!”
As Executive Vice President for Foresters Life Insurance Company, one of my responsibilities is to continue to grow our Individual Life Insurance Division in Canada.
We had enormous challenges facing us as we started 2012. We were coming off our best year ever but as a company we were faced with many hurdles; product changes such as drops in commission, pulling products that were not profitable, service issues as well as changes in senior management.
I have always had ‘over-arching’ training for my Directors but nothing individually. This is where Mike came in, He provided each of my Directors with individual strategies for success, and by success I mean growth. He went out and spent a few days with each, across the country, going on sales calls and then sending out a comprehensive summary of the ‘good,’ the ‘bad’ and sometimes…the ‘ugly’.
He laid out the groundwork for each to overcome weaknesses and improve strengths. The end results…amazing.
In the first quarter the average growth for Life Insurance companies in Canada was 7% (according to LIMRA, Life Insurance Marketing Research Association). Our company was 25% growth!
For May, we had a record month with each region being over plan. This was because of the time and efforts Mike spent with the Directors.
If you are currently a company wanting to get the very best out of your employees look no further than Mike Pickering. We are so impressed with the results we plan on using Mike throughout our company in all areas, not just sales.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me and I will tell you first hand the results we had with Mike.
Tavis Church – Director, Client Experience, Scotia Private Client Group
For the record Mike, your advice and counsel is worth its weight in gold.
Michelle Desrosiers, BSc, SFC, PFP – Scotiatrust Branch Manager
Mike is a master facilitator, turning participants’ words into learning opportunities.
He provides concise, practical feedback in a constantly positive manner. The actor simulations provided an opportunity to learn from each other, and Mike guided us in giving supportive feedback. And that led to the biggest win of all: the team-building that took place in our office.
Lisha VanLeeuwen – Former Director, BMO Capital Markets Learning
Mike is in an elite class of learning professionals. With his intimate understanding of business strategy and sales performance, Mike converses easily with executives about their business challenges and teases out the root cause of the performance problem or opportunity. In a genuine and charismatic way, Mike partners with his clients to create and deliver relevant, practical solutions that are sustainable.
Mike has worked with a wide range of professionals in the banking industry with the same outcomes: clear results, insights and impact. Having worked with many, many facilitators across several Fortune 500 companies in my career, Mike is the only facilitator who has ever received “perfect” ratings across the board on evaluations — impressive.
Rachel McAlpine – CGA Ontario
I first met Mike while he was facilitating a training session with my company. After this session, Mike and I remained in contact and he has offered me one-on-one coaching which has been valuable in working through my professional development opportunities. Mike’s honest assessment, caring persona and industry knowledge has allowed me to learn new perspectives and techniques to assist me as I progress through my career. His investment in assisting individuals professional development is evident and he demonstrates a genuine passion to drive individuals to grow and excel.
Tony Poole – President, Foresters Life US Division
Mike is a highly engaged facilitator who is able to translate objectives into actions that garner results. He very quickly sized up the issues and developed a game plan for our Vice President of Sales to use as a framework to increase the productivity of our sales team.
Mike provided individual mentoring and coaching backed by productivity metrics that focused our sales people. The results were conclusive and demonstrated by increased sales. I recommend Mike to any organization who is looking for a valuable advisor who can assist in generating concrete tangible results.
David Hartman – President and CEO, TIC Travel Insurance Co-ordinators Limited
Mike Pickering’s far reaching experience in strategy development was extremely beneficial to our organization. Mike’s friendly and educational style can rally a team to focus and collaborate on the truly substantive issues.
J.D. Clarke Sr. Vice President – Operations Certified General Accountants of Ontario
I had a chance to review the training evaluation and they are excellent! Congratulations! Thank you very much for your impact. Your training has really made a difference with the staff. I can see (and hear) them putting your training into action.
Pierre Lussier – Scotiabank
Mike Pickering’s extensive knowledge of the financial services industry combined with his expertise in Adult Education makes him a valued partner in creating high-impact training solutions. From program design to engaging facilitation, Mike has played a key role in the success of our training programs and is a Trusted Advisor.
Peter Gardiner-Harding – Executive Director & Corporate Actor
We at playsthatwork.com have partnered with Mike in experiential learning designs a few times now. Not only does Mike get that people will need to learn in many different ways, he gets that the medium matters to that learning. When he first heard about what we do he embraced the opportunity with enthusiasm and intrigue. The result were learners who were better served and learning outcomes obtained. We wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to work with Mike again.
Jason Julian – Sales Director, Foresters Life
I have had the privilege of participating in training facilitated by Mike Pickering. Although training from various providers over the years was made available to assist myself and the other Sales Directors in our Regions, I found Mike’s approach by far the most effective. The primary reason is that it is interactive and rather than merely presenting slides or flip charts – Mike went into the field and observed and critiqued my work relative to his training. That is what I call real training.
Mike has a unique quality that allows for trust and his teaching style invites you to listen with intent. Over the 21 years in this business attending many who are similar in job description as Mike Pickering, it was clear to me that he is one of the industry’s very best.
Kris Ryan – Plays That Work
Working with Mike on numerous workshops, I’ve come to notice and appreciate, that he has the talent to draw out of and open up the participant’s awareness and to provide them with the tools that they then can use to strengthen not only their working relationships, but themselves as everyday human beings. At the end of the day, participants thank Mike and express to him that the day was enlightening, engaging and by far the best workshop that they have ever experienced. Who knew that a workshop could be practical, fun, and actually worth my time? Truly a Best Practice.
Michelle Suzanne – Professional Simulator and Coach
I have had the opportunity to work with Mike Pickering on numerous occasions. Being present as he facilitates a group is always a learning experience for me, and I have witnessed the learning and growth from the participants he teaches. What I have found most valuable in Mike’s style is his unfailing ability to meet the group where they are at; there is no artifice nor any barrier that makes him inaccessible or unapproachable. Considering his high level of global expertise and intelligence, it is no small matter to be able to relate to people as naturally as he does. Mike also has an affinity for recognizing themes and patterns that emerge from the learners, and he deftly incorporates them into his workshops. Moreover, by sharing stories for illustrative purposes, and by clarifying and reiterating, Mike models the very behaviour he teaches his participants. I have found that his leadership is so strong that I am enabled more easily to support his teaching points, and a wonderful rhythm of give and take ensues. Although I’ve had the fortune of supporting many gifted facilitators over a decade, my experience with Mike has far outshone any other. I look forward to more such occasions in the future.