June 2020
Enabling Growth and Balance
Growth is our focus and engagement is our strength.
Auxin Group is a self-directed, professionally guided Career (Re)Engagement Development Program
On Laura's Mind
Let’s Get Out from Under Cloud of COVID-19

Summer is upon us, and I think we all feel that the outlook is pretty clear: it’s going to be a long one with continued restrictions, fears, and uncertainty. We have two choices. We can continue to live under the cloud of COVID-19, or we can enjoy the sunshine.  

Let me be clear. I’m not suggesting we ignore the elephant in the world, but at least, let’s make an effort to not let it intrude on our every conversation. When we start each and every encounter with a lengthy discussion about the current statistics, search for a vaccine, and bleak unemployment numbers, we create a never-ending cycle of inaction. 
Rather, I suggest we allow a bit more time than usual to check in on one another, and then extend some graciousness to ourselves and others and get out from these low-hanging clouds. Take a moment to think about how you sound and what you are saying and help others do the same. Check your actions. If the news is taking its toll on you, turn it off or stop reading it. If someone else’s choice of how to interact with others is different from yours, let go of the judgement and appreciate the diversity that creates a community.  

My daughter and I recently watched the 1960 Disney movie, Pollyanna, about an orphan whose belief that life’s obstacles can be overcome with a positive attitude is challenged. She comes up with the “glad game” teaching an important lesson about looking for hope and goodness. I truly think it can make a difference.
Hear More from Laura 

National Association of Women Business Owners
Lunch & Learn 
Featured Speaker: Laura Morgan
June 9, 2020 at 12:00pm

What HR Will Look Like After COVID-19

As your businesses have shifted over the past months, your HR requirements have also changed. Join a discussion with Laura Morgan of MorganHR to learn more about new HR policies and practices in light of COVID-19. 
Laura Morgan  is the Founder/President of Auxin Group. Her 30-year career in Human Resource Management has taught her to embrace growth and balance. Her recipe is simple: work, volunteer and play. She launched Auxin Group to teach others to do the same.
Learning & Development
Neil Morgan
Project Management

Most people take an easy read to the pool, but that’s not the case for Neil Morgan, Managing Director of MorganHR . “Picture this: we take a family vacation to go out to the in-laws’ place in Arizona. Kids are in the pool, Laura’s talking to her mom, I’m over on a chair outside the pool area reading a Scrum book: Agile Development Methodologies,” Neil said, revealing his passion for Project Management, as he led a detailed presentation on the topic during a recent Auxin workshop. 
Methodology
Project managers use a variety of methods to run a project based on the industry and scope of the work. Neil shared a close look at the Scrum method, an agile approach that organizes tasks in short sprints and builds in opportunities to adjust based on feedback from stakeholders. Short daily meetings help keep team members on task and in touch. He emphasized the flexibility of this approach highlighting the ease of making adjustments based on the culture and climate of the work environment.

Critical Path
Once managers lay out the tasks of a project, they determine the timeline by looking for the longest stretch of dependent activities and measuring the time required to get the work done. 

Milestones & Dates
Defining steps and goals for a project ensures that it stays on track and creates opportunities to change course if necessary.  
 
Project Variables
Time, resources, deliverables, and quality impact the final product. Neil refers to these as “levers.” If you adjust one, you must change another to reach the goal. For example, if you are off schedule, but adding time to the project is not an option, then perhaps you’ll have to modify the deliverable.
 
Pitfall Warning
Neil cautioned against a common hazard of Project Management. “Plans that include every detail do not lend themselves to efficiency of time and resources,” he said, adding, “Always ask yourself: Am I too detailed? Am I tracking this thing too closely?” 
 
Managing & Mitigating Risks
Outline the risks of any project from the start and watch for them early on so you can respond and adjust.

Communication
Daily check-ins keep projects moving forward and encourage accountability. Neil suggests asking yourself and your teammates:
  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What are you doing today?
  • What’s getting in your way?

Stakeholder Management 
Understanding where each stakeholder stands in terms of power and interest is critical in determining how much interaction is required with each individual. For example, a stakeholder with high power and high interest needs to be managed closely while a stakeholder with low power and high interest may be the person to reach out to for consultation.

At the end of the presentation, Auxin Associates participated in a role playing exercise where they collaborated on managing an unexpected relocation. They discussed the best method to take, built plans, anticipated risks, and identified communications plans.

“I have a new respect for Scrum today,” said Associate Maria Padgett, “Choosing the right modality is important."
Every program we offer is based on the Auxin W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. Model which encourages a balanced lifestyle. Associates set goals in eight different areas including Work & Deliver, Emotional Growth & Balance, and Learn & Lead. Click here to learn more.
Coming up in June
Negotiation Skills
Do you want to pump up your skills to persuade your client, boss, colleague, or family member to follow your advice? Then this workshop is for you.
(W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.: Work & Deliver)
Thursday, June 4th, 12:30pm-2pm, Virtual Register
Company Financials
Featuring: Bob Dietz , Executive with Expertise in Operations along with Project and Supply Chain Management
Do you ever wonder about a company's financial statement? Want to see the money? During this session, you'll learn how to figure out where a company's money comes from, where it went, and where it is now. 
(W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.: Earning & Spending)
Tuesday, June 16th, 9:30am-11am, Virtual Register
What's in Your Backpack?
Take time to examine your emotional backpack. Learn how to manage it yourself and recognize what's weighing down those around you.
(W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.: Emotional Growth & Balance)
Thursday, June 18, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Virtual Register
Visit our events calendar to sign up for our programs.
Our clients are welcome to attend our programs and workshops.
We hope you will join us!
Project Work
Auxin Model Designed for New Reality

As the world figures out how to return to work amidst new safety concerns, Auxin is proud to say our model is already set up to accommodate this reality. We have a formula that allows each member of our team to do their best work by prioritizing strengths, flexibility, and collaborative technology.

Identifying Strengths
When a project comes into Auxin, we build a team of Associates who are each uniquely qualified to take on the work based on their own skills and strengths. This information is gleaned from our Learning and Development program which puts a spotlight on the ideal place for our team members to flex their muscles and to make an impact.

Flexible Schedules
Once our teams are in place, we offer our Associates the flexibility to work on their own time when they are at their best. It’s no secret that some people are more productive in the morning as the sun rises while others are night owls cranking out their work in the wee hours. Why keep everyone on a nine-to-five schedule if it doesn’t provide the preferred output? 

Technology Connects
Auxin Associates are widespread, but we stay connected and productive, and technology is key. Zoom played a major role in our world long before it became a household word. We are always looking for new technology that helps us work together. We take time to make sure our team members are up to speed on what’s available and how to make the most of the tools that are at a fingertips.

The Auxin Model worked with great success during a recent recruiting project for Paragon Biosciences.  
“It was a pleasure working with the Auxin team. They assisted us with an important hire and functioned as a seamless extension of our HR department,” said Darien Parhad, Paragon Biosciences Chief Financial Officer, adding, “The Auxin team not only offered tactical support, they provided strategic insights into our hiring profile and stayed involved throughout the project.”
 Auxin Group is an “on-hand” team of multi-skilled and motivated specialists
who have flexible schedules, experience, knowledge
and collaborative tools to get the job done quickly.
Our Team
Maria Padgett
Meet Maria Padgett: Enthusiastic About New Path
 
Auxin Associate Maria Padgett is wasting no time getting started on her career re-engagement. In her first few weeks with the team this spring, she attended every program available and is already working on a couple of projects. “I’m finding Auxin to be a positive and inspiring community that converts mistakes into lessons, pressure/stress into productivity, and skills into strengths that I didn’t know I obtained. I’m loving it. It’s ideal for me at this juncture,” she said. 
 
Maria began her professional career at Belmont University, School of Business in Nashville, TN where she worked as an office manager and later took on the role of Benefits Coordinator in Human Resources at Middle Tennessee State University. Eventually, she made her first career change and became a licensed massage therapist. “It was wonderful for me to be a part of helping a person feel better,” she explained. She recalled one patient who hadn’t walked on her left leg in seven years, and after two massage sessions, the woman was able to get around without a cane. Maria especially found fulfillment working with young children and babies. “I was able to bring the peace and calmness that a concerned and stressed parent didn’t have at that moment,” she said.
 
Unfortunately, a thumb injury brought on by her massage work ended that part of Maria’s professional life, and it was time for another career change. She started exploring new opportunities and was already enrolled in a Project Management course online when she discovered Auxin. She was thrilled to see how the two experiences fit hand-in-hand. In addition to exploring project management, Maria is learning to define her strengths which is a key piece of Auxin’s development program. “I’m an empathizer, peacekeeper, and deliverer,” she said, “I like to keep the conversation going and get things done.”
 
A big personal project Maria took on recently is coming in handy these days as she, like the rest of us, is spending more time than usual at home. Maria and her husband had received an unsolicited offer to sell their house, so they bought land in a wooded area in Nolensville, TN, about 30 minutes outside Nashville, and lived in a camper on the property while their new rustic-style home was under construction until they moved in last fall.

Maria has two grown children and three grandchildren who live in the area and are a “big deal” for her. She enjoys motorcycling with her husband, previously earned her scuba diving certification, and loves to read. At last check, she had six different books going at one time and particularly likes historical fiction and the chance to experience what life was like in other eras. At the same time, she’s enjoying this time in her life and the chance to test her skills with Auxin, she said, adding, “I’m emboldened with each ‘next step.’ It feels good!”
Auxin Group is always looking for great people.
Click here to let us know you are interested
or to refer candidates to our Talent Management Team.
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Auxin Group, a division of MorganHR, is a unique benefit program that provides relevant training and collaborative project-based experiences to encourage ongoing growth and development.