First Who Are We?
Bacal & Associates is a small training, writing and consulting company based in Casselman, Ontario, Canada, but offering services throughout the North America region. CEO, Robert Bacal started the company in 1992, with the intent of focusing on total quality management issues.
Quickly it became clear that there was a strong demand for help with customer service issues, so the company designed a seminar entitled Defusing Hostile Customers. Over the past years that seminar has been delivered to thousands of people.
Over the last few years, Robert has spent more time writing and publishing, and doing keynote speaking engagements.
Our Guiding Principles
There are thousands of companies that look like us, but aren't like us, because our philosophy is different enough to set us apart. If that weren't so, we would have long had to give up our business. This is what we believe:
- Our customers deserve custom-designed programs, whether they be training programs or speaking at conferences. Our customers pay us to help THEM, not some average organization. We believe custom-designed programs should cost NO MORE than canned generic programs.
- Small is beautiful. We have no intention of growing and have no desire to grow, add staff or become rich. We believe the best way we can serve you is through personal involvement of the boss - that's Robert.
- We do NOT believe in selling. We don't sell our services. We give you information and YOU decide if there is a fit. If you like us, like our philosophy and our work, then you hire us. If not, we wish you luck and will even help you find someone who is a better fit. No hype, no BS, no salesmanship, no glitz, no fancy promotional material.
- We believe in giving advice even when that advice isn't in our own interest (we are pretty sad at business <grin>). We actually turn away business if we feel unqualified in the requested area, or we feel we can't offer you real tangible help.
- We believe in specialization. Our customers want expert help, not help from someone who has read a book or two on the subject, and figures they might as well give it a shot. We only work in areas where we are sure we can help.
- We believe in reasonable costs. Much training is overpriced for what is accomplished. We keep our prices extremely competitive, and part of the reason we can do that is we live in a relatively low cost of living area.
If this sounds appealing continue to read about how we can help you.
We provide service delivery options as follows:
- Training seminars in areas such as customer service, interpersonal communication, corporate communication and performance management.
- Keynote speaking and conference speaking in specialized area and custom built for YOU.
- Writing & reprint services that provides content for newsletters, magazines and other publications requiring new, innovative article content on a number of issues.
- Consulting services related to improving communication within organizations.
We will custom design and deliver training seminars in a number of areas. Our main area of practice is communication, whether it be between employee and customer, employee to employee (team issues and conflict issues) and manager to employee (as in performance management processes). Please see our sub-page on training services by clicking here. There you will find details about:
- Defusing Hostile Customers Seminar
- Presenting To Difficult & Resistant Groups
- Conflict Prevention In The Workplace
- Performance Management - Designing The System
Keynote Speaking & Conference Speaking
We are planning on doing more speaking at conferences in the year 2000. That's for several reasons. We believe that often (particularly for managers and executives), the issue isn't a lack of skills, but being pointed in the wrong direction. We see our role in keynote and conference speaking as helping to aim people at a target. We also believe we can be more helpful in short segments with conference attendees and industry leaders because these days, nobody has much time to spend on long drawn-out training.
You can find more details on our speaking topics by clicking here. However, to whet your appetite, here are some of the topics we deal with:
- Performance Management - Where We've Gone Wrong and How To Fix IT
- The Importance of Conflict Prevention, NOT Conflict Management
- Training Scams Trainers Play (Why Training Fails)
- Why Most Training is A Bad Investment
- Cooperative Communication = The Core Team Skill
- Defusing Hostile Customers - The Importance of Recovery
- Teams & Personal Responsibility
- Dealing With Difficult Parents (for educators)
- How To Make Strategic Planning Work
Writing & Reprint Services
We've found that many organizations can be helped via the printed word, or are looking for good quality material to use in their newsletters and corporate communication vehicles. We have a large bank of material that you can use in your organization, with prices ranging from $20 - $200. It's often cheaper to use our material than write your own. All Robert Bacal authored material on this site is available for reprinting. To read our policies and fees go to the reprint page by clicking here.
We also do freelance work for magazines or can write material to order for similar fees. It's a cost effective way to get a fresh view on things.
In a sense everything we do is consulting, which means we help you identify where you need help, and if we can help, create an individualized solution. However, we do a limited amount of consulting. It's hard to describe what we would be willing to do but to get a feel for our expertise areas check out the Bacal's Collection of Articles section. Generally we consult in areas where we have demonstrated expertise through our writing.
Over the years we have developed some pretty nifty books and products, primarily for clients, and make them available to the public. We won't go into them here, but we suggest you take a look at our books and helpcards section by clicking here. You will find a range of topics addressed, including presentations, performance management, conflict in the workplace, strategic planning and management.