Spotlight on local Business: La Jolla’s Simply Effective has ways to make you better at your job

By Marti Gacioch

David Workman said he founded Simply Effective to help people learn how to be more efficient at work and to help organizations develop their employees’ talents.

“It all starts by learning what you’re good at and not good at, and then making small shifts in your behavior,” Workman said. “We try to teach people to understand their talents and we show them remedies for areas needing improvement.” For example, if a client knows he or she is not good at listening, Simply Effective can help them learn how to become a more effective listener.

Workman said that for several decades, he held a series of executive positions in human resources for the airline and hotel industries. He became intrigued with the idea of training workers to be more effective after meeting the founders of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C., who developed a competency model determining what was effective and ineffective work behavior.

Workman said most people start out as individual contributors in an organization, and then someone gives them people to manage, so they learn to organize and direct, as well as to work with others as a supervisor. Then they become a department manager and learn how to deliver results and manage multiple groups. Finally, they may become an executive.

“But most organizations don’t really do much to develop people,” Workman said. “We’ve tried to take the material from our 40 years of experience and research, and develop a couple of programs for people so they can understand their talents and become more effective.”

Workman said employees don’t always understand why they haven’t already achieved what they’ve wanted at an organization. But they need to realize that jobs are learning opportunities and they need to be intentional about what they want to achieve and about what they need to learn. Then they must make the necessary shifts in their behavior to succeed.

Simply Effective has a four- hour program for group sessions of 10-15 people and a second program for supervisors. This program trains managers on how to pass along the tools needed to help people on their teams succeed.

“After the four-hour session, we encourage people to take some time to reflect on what they’ve learned before creating an individual development plan. Then we try to tie their development plan to their priority work and give them suggestions on the steps they might take to achieve what they want,” Workman said.

— Reach David Workman of Simply Effective at (858) 246-6210 or

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