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Great Organizations | Great Leaders

Sparking Change, Touching Lives

Our new book celebrates how DDI transforms lives in and out of the workplace.
Sparking Change, Touching Lives

Bob Rogers, DDI’s president, often tells of an encounter he had at a client golf outing more than three decades ago. A man approached him at the first tee and, upon learning that Bob was with DDI, gave him a hug and said, “DDI saved my life.”

That story, which Bob shares in its entirety, leads off his introduction to SPARK! a just-published collection of true stories gathered from our clients and associates. The stories all share one thing in common: They tell of individuals who transformed their work and personal lives in a meaningful way by using skills taught by DDI.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the transformational stories included in SPARK!

“Now looking back at my childhood and life, I always loved to see others develop and work out problems for themselves. Now I have a job that allows me to be me and help to inspire development in others. I found my calling and DDI was the one to show me it was possible.”

Declan Branigan, Training and Development Manager, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“DDI helped one of my first-line managers through the workshop Coaching for Improvement. The first-line manager had a direct report who was very resistant to advice or suggestions for improvement. After attending the training, the first-line manager implemented the Discussion Planner in his team. By using the planner in a couple of coaching sessions, the direct report’s mindset totally changed. He showed tremendous improvement in his attitude and sales, and he is helping his manager in supporting other coworkers. Thanks to DDI for changing the lives of both associates.”

A Client from a Pharmaceutical Company Karachi, Pakistan

“We spent long days and late nights learning about and presenting DDI programs. I was dead tired after a stressful and grueling week, sitting on the plane returning home when it struck me—I could use the Key Principles to improve my relationships and interactions at work and at home. It was literally a life-changing revelation. I continue to this day to do my best to model these Key Principles. I’m not guaranteeing that you will have the same life-changing experience. I can tell you that every time I get into trouble with my wife, I look back and say to myself, ‘If only I had been more empathetic, or I should have asked her for ideas, why didn’t I do a better job of maintaining her self-esteem, etc.’”

Rick Blackstone, SPHR, MS, Evenflo Company, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, USA

“I was asked to facilitate a course on building commitment for a group of directors and physicians at a health care system I worked for before I began my career at DDI.

"One of the physicians was not only someone I knew, but also someone I knew didn’t want to be in the session. He pushed back throughout the session by not using the skills, tools and, most especially, the Discussion Planner with his patients. Two weeks after the training I received an e-mail from the physician, saying:

‘I just wanted to write to let you know of something that occurred after the class I participated in. I have a 15-year-old son who has numerous behavior problems that we have not been able to deal with. We were getting ready to create an intervention for him to save him from his destructive tendencies. The night I came home from your class, my wife and I were discussing the steps in the intervention with heavy hearts.

‘As I opened my briefcase, the form [Discussion Planner] we practiced lay on top.  I pulled it out and completed each section as if I were talking to him.  I focused on listening first and asking him how he felt.  I recognized that I did not do that well in the past. I went to my son’s room and started the dialogue.  In the past two weeks, there have been more conversations than have occurred in our entire relationship.  I know I was a difficult student, but I wanted you to know that his behavior has turned around 100 percent.  I have a new son, and there will be no intervention. I do believe that this can work.’

"The physician told me that he would not use the Discussion Planner with his patients, but I have heard him on many occasions use Key Principles when communicating with patients and family members."

Diana Powell, DDI, Kentucky, USA

SPARK! also includes numerous stories from people who used skills and concepts learned in DDI programs to make a difference in their communities, in settings such as churches, non-profits, a youth camp, and a write-in campaign for school board, among others.


  • View the digital version of SPARK!.

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