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UNIQUE APPROACH HELPS COMPANIES; FIRM COACHES TOP EXECUTIVES IN THE ART OF CHANGE

 WILTON, Conn., May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Rick Allen, president of Next Actions, has announced a unique coaching program for companies, designed to help top executives in managing change. Allen, whose company specializes in personal organization and management systems, has been providing management-level coaching since 1988. He developed the new programs in response to client needs arising from such situations as corporate restructuring or down-sizing; market or product redefinition; leadership transition; and other areas of change.
 "We in corporate America are not very good at change -- mainly because we haven't had to change much until recent years," says Allen. "Therefore, when confronted with a need to change, we may find we don't know how -- and so we resist."
 He first developed the coaching techniques in earlier work which focused on helping executives get better organized -- in both their office and business habits. Says Allen, "The coaching got great results -- lasting change, rather than a temporary shot in the arm."
 Shirley Demuth, associate general manager of the Westchester General Office of New York Life confirms this.
 "I brought Rick Allen in to work with me and then with product management staff for our Individual Insurance Department," says Demuth. "Rick worked with these officer level people on being more effective in managing projects. By giving us specific tools to divide projects into manageable next steps, and working with us to use the tools properly, Rick helped us to eliminate wheel spinning. Productivity went up -- and has stayed up!"
 Allen notes that recently he began to hear about new phenomena in the executive arena that he believed would also benefit from coaching one-on-one or in small groups. He expanded the scope of Next Actions' services accordingly.
 The phenomena include something he hears referred to as "survivor mode," which describes a condition of non-productive paralysis resulting from increased workloads, and continuing uncertainty for people who remain with companies after down-sizing.
 Allen also found companies looking for "executive intervention" -- help for key people with proven value to the company who for some reason are "stuck" or on a plateau.
 "Companies want to keep these people, if they can get them moving ahead again," Allen explains. "Often the situation is too sensitive or political to refer to the human resources department. Outside help is indicated."
 As any good consultant, Rick Allen brings his clients an objective eye. He "pokes and probes" to help identify specific needs and the scope of work required to correct problems. This is the point where his unique coaching approach differentiates Next Actions from traditional consulting firms.
 "Many consultants present a report and impose a solution on a company. Intellectually that's all well and good, but too often -- nothing changes," says Allen. "With our coaching approach, it is actually the client who identifies the problem, as well as a solution he or she can live with. It is the `Aha!' factor that helps the client own change."
 After a company and Allen agree to a plan, he implements it in once- a-week meetings with the executives. Allen describes the meetings as working sessions where the client learns to use management tools designed specifically to help move through the problem area in step-by- step next actions. Depending on the scope of work, the meetings can continue over several months.
 Next Actions offers coaching in the areas of running a growing business; getting a business or division back on track; conflict resolution/mediation; decision-making; managing work and information overload; getting work hours in balance; as well as executive intervention.
 "Our approach is interactive and flexible," Allen adds. "Our basic methods are proven, but we continually tailor them to what works for the individual client. After all, how can we ask people to learn to change, if we haven't learned ourselves?"
 -0- 5/3/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Full press kit/photo available by calling contact below./
 /CONTACT: Rick Allen of Next Actions, 203-761-1255; or Ellie Becker of E.R. Becker Company, 203-852-8077, for Next Actions/


CO: Next Actions ST: Connecticut IN: SU:

LR-SH -- NY073 -- 3886 05/03/93 14:48 EDT
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Date:May 3, 1993
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