From the monthly archives:

May 2010


It still amazes me that until 1996, it was not routine to check newborn children for Sickle Cell disease. That was nine years after I was born. All it took was a seizure at two years old – during a trip to Maryland with my motherfather, and brother - for the doctors to take a deeper look and establish what could possibly be wrong.

As a child, I became informed about this hereditary blood disease from the excellent hematology department at Akron Children’s Hospital. I was lucky to only have the S-C Disease version of this blood disorder, which is second to worst. A full-blown Sickle Cell disease-inflicted child would likely need to undergo continuous blood transfusions, treatments and even bone marrow transfusions. Thankfully, that was a situation I was truly fortunate to avoid.

As I continued my routine check-ups at Akron Children’s Hospital and I learned to cope with my illness better, I started to realize things that I would have to deal with for the rest of my life. I would never be able to run for long extended periods; I would have to ensure that I was never dehydrated; I would have to put up with frequent trips to the restroom; I would not be able to participate in certain areas of military service; and I would never be able to keep my immune system as strong as a “normal” kid my age. It didn’t even hit me that I wouldn’t be able to donate blood, but, at the time, I was too young to donate anyway.

It wasn’t until I started my career here at Incept in 2007, as a blood donor recruiter and conversational marketing expert(CME), that I realized the true importance of blood donations. In certain conversations, I was able to express the importance of donations by particular donors because of their ability to help Sickle Cell patients, who require matched blood. I realized at that point how being a blood donor recruiter would be my way of helping to schedule the blood that I am unable to donate myself. I am, at the very least, able to hold my head high when people ask why I don’t donate blood myself. Though, I would much rather be able to do my full part and donate blood.

Not only have I obtained the knowledge regarding the process and importance of blood donations, but I have also been able to spread word of the critical need, new advancements, and upcoming drives for blood centers around the country, thanks to our social media department. This is another way that I feel I can do my part to help patients in hospitals and experience the true fulfillment that many of CMEs share.

It’s a weird feeling knowing that I was born permanently deferred from donating blood. However, that bit of self-awareness is also what drives me to inform, support and persuade those who can donate on the importance of doing their part. That’s how I save lives.

Let's talk... results


Here is the Vice President of Contact Center Results, Dave Walter, again talking to the conversational marketing experts (CMEs) about best practices – from knowledge to which we’re adapting in our industry to developing strategies, teamwork and techniques.

In this edition of Dave’s Vlog, he will be speaking directly to the Incept Saves team about some of the tips that can help create more effective work environments, management and blood donor recruitment. (Connect with Dave on Facebook and Twitter.)

If you have any questions after watching how Dave feels that Incept Saves and Incept Results can improve, please leave a comment on Dave’s Vlog, on our company page, or let Dave know the next time you see him around the Contact Center. This is the beginning of several in-depth looks into ways we can improve not only our productivity, but also our efficiency, integrity, and knowledge of what helps create the best results. Stay tuned for the next installment!

Let's talk... results

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View as we head to Blake Island

Well, I was not disappointed.  The revival I had so anticipated was all that I could have hoped for (and more).  The exhibitors came out in grand style, bringing gifts and widgets for all.  The attendees were thirsty for knowledge and ready for change.  Thankfully, I almost kept my nerves under control for my presentation.

The food?  Great.  The hospitality?  Even better.  But the best part of all was the unity of the group donor recruitment professionals, laughing and sharing stories for hours, surrounded by a beautiful scenic state park and the locals of Tillicum Village providing insight to their rich heritage that is so much a part of the Pacific Northwest.  A short cruise to Blake Island, wrapping up the trip, opened the door to Native culture unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Days of waking up at 5 a.m. followed by fun until we dropped, have left me energized, renewed and, yes…sleepy in Seattle.

Let's talk... results


More than 100 ADRP attendees just learned that their type matters at our presentation, titled TypeMatters! The audience was so engaged and everyone wanted to know how they could replicate our program at their blood center!

graphic_typemattersThe concept is quite simple: educate your blood donors on the procedure needed most from them, based on their blood type.  Most people don’t even realize there are various types of donations they can make and that they can help more patients by donating the type that’s right for them.

For example, if you are an O or B blood type, the best way for you to help area patients is by giving a whole blood or double red cell donation because it is the red cell portion of your blood that is in highest demand.  Furthermore, for those of you that are Os, you are the universal red cell donor.  This means you can help patients in an emergency situation when there is no time to find out a patient’s blood type.

A blood types are needed mostly for platelet donations.  The majority of patients can receive your platelets.  Platelets are used most often in the treatment of cancer, and donors are in great demand.

It’s important to check with your blood center to learn more about  how and where your help is needed.  You might be surprised to learn that your donation type can save more lives and make a larger impact.  Your TypeMatters!

Let's talk... results

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So, when you hear the word “revival,” what comes to mind?  For me, I think of church.  A week-long celebration full of guest speakers, fellowship, sharing, and passion.  Nearly unbelievable passion.

2010ProgramCoverFor an entire year, however, I have anticipated a different kind of revival – one that is a celebration filled with brilliant speakers, fellowship and sharing that knows no boundaries, no territories and no politics.  It is a revival of tremendous passion; a passion for saving lives.  The revival I have been waiting for is the annual ADRP conference where blood centers across the nation (and worldwide) come together to learn best practices with one mission: keeping the blood supply safe for the patients we all serve.

And this year, I have been chosen to speak.  So the anticipation I now have is combined with incredible nerves.  However, I will not be alone.  I will share the stage with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and NextLevel Thinking, while speaking about our piece of industry knowledge and best practices.  Together we will make a difference.  We will lead the revival.

For me, the time is now.  There’s no time to waste.  It’s all starting right now.  An entire year of anticipation.  I’m ready for the revival.  Tell me about yours.

What inspires you?  What can you do with passion like no other?

Let's talk... results


Mary & KatieCompassion can be defined as a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. As I’ve said before, our employees don’t  just use our company values as guidelines for how they should behave while they’re at work, they LIVE by them. Just the other day, I was touched by an example of this dedication to living compassionately. What follows is the story of how a veteran CME nearly brought me to tears by demonstrating selfless compassion and caring:

The week following the Hope For Children Gala was full of emotion for me. (If you have any doubt why that is, check out my previous post about the Gala and how it touched me.) Thursday was our May Employee Of The Month Meeting and I was given a chance to express my feelings. Long story made short, I stood in front of the entire company and asked each employee to help me in my mission to raise money to reopen a school in Haiti, sponsored entirely by Incept employees.

Enter Mary Cutlip, a veteran CME, who is known around the contact center for her positive attitude and her big heart. A few short weeks ago, Mary’s husband passed away unexpectedly. Mary and her daughter, Katie, have both worked for Incept for years and hold a special place in many of our hearts. So, as a company, we banded together to raise money to help them in their time of need. Fast-forward to that Thursday, as I walked walked back to my seat after speaking, Mary reached over and descretely handed me a donation. She didn’t say a word to me, and no one saw her do it. She just did it because it was what she felt was right. Just a few weeks after we had all come together to raise money to help her with her hardships, Mary decided to pay it forward.

If I had to sum up what she did, I would call it: a selfless act of compassion and true leadership, as an example of the person we all should aspire to be. I don’t think there has yet been a more worthy example of how we – at Incept – live our company values. Thank you Mary, for being an example for the rest of us to follow!

Let's talk... results


At Incept - before a new training class hits the floor – we ask them to take a minute, reflect on their training and write a paragraph of motivation for the job they are doing.  Saving lives every day is a great motivation for some to be a blood donor recruiter, but Patricia Stephenson has a better way of finding motivation for anyone to be a blood donor!   

Patricia Stephen - New Incept CME

Patricia Stephenson - New Incept CME

They say ignorance is bliss.  Well, there is nothing happy about only 5% of the population having to supply blood for 100% of the population.  Especially when every 2 seconds someone’s life may depend on that supply.  It hurts me most because I’m in the 60% of those that can donate but chose to be apart of the 95% that won’t.  Why?   Because I assumed, like most, that there are enough people donating that they don’t need me.  If I would have been more informed, then I would have stepped up to help save others, not because it may be a family member or a friend, but because it’s someone else’s family member or friend that needs my donation.  I would hate to think someone couldn’t live by just needing something I have plenty of.  I am scared of needles, but for every 1 person too scared of a needle, there maybe 3 people in a hospital scared of dying.  So now that I can’t blame ignorance, it excites me to know that I can make a difference by not only donating blood to save 3 lives, but by this job giving me the opportunity to help save hundreds (hopefully even thousands) of lives. 

How cool is that?! I got a chance to talk with Patricia after writing this letter and she is truly an awesome person! I am excited to see her hit the floors and save those thousands of lives!

So, what is holding you back from donating blood?

Let's talk... results


Because of everything we’ve been fortunate enough to have available to us, we set up an initiative called Incept Gives to give back hope. Jeff White, our Founder/Chief Listening Officer, has worked for years to be able to give hope to those who have none. In the process, he built a strong relationship with Cross International, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in some of the poorest places in the world.Hope For Children

On Friday, May 7th, Cross International hosted an event that changed my life: The 3rd Annual Hope Gala (Hope For Children). The event was a resounding success. I think Jeff put it best in a post he made on the Incept fan page on Facebook:

Jeff White: I wanted to let everyone know that the Haiti fundraising Gala held this past Friday night was a complete success. Along with matching funds from a large foundation, the event raised a total of $217,000! Incept Gives was one of the event’s primary sponsors. This means that hundreds if not thousands… of children, who live in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, will have hope for a better life because of you. Simply put, your hard work puts us in the position to provide the funds that change lives.

Words really can’t describe how proud I am of all of you.

The primary goal of the gala was to raise enough money to reopen ten schools that closed when the people/organizations that funded them walked away, leaving them without the flow of support and care vital to their survival. The result of that single night will feed and educate thousands of children in the year to come. More importantly, during one night in northeast Ohio a group of complete strangers came together for people they will never meet, resulting in those children having hope. Hope that they can have a better life. Hope that there is someone out there who cares about them. Hope that they can accomplish things beyond their wildest dreams. Hope that proves their lives have value!

As Incept Gives continues to grow and find new ways to touch the lives of others, both locally and across the world, I have found hope where I least expected it. I never realized how much of an impact I could have with such a small amount of generosity. The gala caused me to feel things I have never felt before. It moved me so much I even wrote about it on my personal blog, explaining how touched I was. But it changed my life in a more fundamental way: I’ve now got the bug… the “charity bug.” At every turn, I see new ways to help others, and I love the way that makes me feel! And I owe it all to Jeff for allowing us to get involved and transform Incept Gives into something amazing. Who knows where we will turn up next. You’ll just have to stay posted, wait and see.

Let's talk... results


What is it that drives me to get up each day and go do my job? What is it that fuels my desire to work hard and go beyond what’s expected of me? What is it that makes me want to do my best? What motivates me? Good questions, but for me the answer is a little something called Pride.

Pride motivates me to get up, make the half hour commute and get straight to work saving lives. As a CME at Incept, I am directly responsible for making sure the communities our blood bank clients support have enough blood on the shelves to save lives when the time comes. If I don’t give my all when that one person says, “I just don’t have the time to donate right now,” and I let them get away with not scheduling to give blood, I’ve just put three lives at risk. That might feel like a huge responsibility to some people, but to our CMEs it’s something we are very proud of.

A lot of people might say, “Well, I’m proud of my job!” That’s great and all, but you really need to ask yourself, “How proud is the guy sitting next to me? Is he committed to the same quality of work that I am? Does our company culture enable others to feel the same way I do?” My answer to all of these questions is simple: yes!

I’d like to introduce you to Nancy, another of our CMEs, who I’ve had the pleasure to sit next to and become good friends with over the last year or so. Nancy has been passionate about scheduling blood donations since the day I met her. She takes a tremendous amount of pride in the work we do and how many lives we can save every day! Nancy is as equally dedicated to doing great work and saving lives as every employee at Incept. The pride we all share has spread beyond being a quality of a “good blood donor recruiter” and has become a main point of our company culture. Each CME here is driven to save as many lives as possible and to do the highest quality work they can. Not just because it’s their job, but because they’re proud of the work they’re doing.

Nancy & Stephen

Dedication to doing good work built our pride; our pride built up company culture; and company culture strengthens our dedication to do even better work. It’s a circle, and it only gets better as time goes on. And speaking for both Nancy and myself, we have no intention of stopping the cycle any time soon. We’re driven to produce meaningful results!

Let's talk... results


Here is the Vice President of Contact Center Results, Dave Walter, talking to the conversational marketing experts (CMEs) about the best practices – from some of the knowledge to which we’re adapting in our industry - to develop strategies, teamwork and techniques.

In this edition of Dave’s Vlog, he will be speaking directly to the Incept Results team about some of the tips that can help create more effective work environments, management, and customer service. (Connect with Dave on Facebook and Twitter.)

Next time, Dave will go through some of the best practices to help our Incept Saves team explore new ways to improve blood donor recruitment, efficiency, knowledge and techniques. The conversations the Incept Saves team have are equally as important as the conversations within the Incept Results team. Dave will explain how focusing on particular aspects of each will greatly increase productivity and help our conversational marketing experts become even more effective at their jobs.

Stay tuned!

Let's talk... results