sindey dranoff

The Melior Group Team Profile: Sindey Dranoff

A few years ago our President, Linda McAleer, was selected to be featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal as part of their ongoing CEO File series – and we created a throwback blog post to share some highlights about her leadership and personality.

Inspired, we decided to create a Melior Team Profile for everyone on our staff. By asking and answering these questions, we hope you’ll get to know us a bit more, both personally and professionally.  Earlier we featured Vice President Liz Cohen.

This month, we’re taking the time to get to know Senior Project Director Sindey Dranoff, who recently became the leader of our Jewish Studies Initiative:

  • Essential business philosophy: Don’t jump to conclusions, listen carefully and ask questions to clarify.
  • Best decision: Going to Northeastern University in Boston. Northeastern’s Cooperative Education program exposed me to real life and the business world.  Not only did I gain work experience, but I also had the opportunity to take these experiences back to the classroom and apply them in an academic setting.
  • Word that best describes you: Fearless – I am willing to try new things and learn new things in business.
  • The most important lesson you’ve learned: Honesty is the best policy – in life and in business. Be yourself and be true to yourself.  This informs my work in ethics and compliance at Melior, as well as my other work and volunteer projects.

To learn more about Sindey, check out her full bio here.

customer experience

Approach Community Studies With an Eye to Customer Experience

By looking at community members as “customers,” The Melior Group’s approach to community studies offers clients a unique perspective and innovative recommendations.  Our research methodology applies a marketing framework to the issues of interest to specific communities, and examines purchase decision-making, buyer behavior and the customer experience.

When this innovative approach is utilized, our clients are better able to understand how community members view the experiences, services and products being offered by the client.  Community leaders can then foster a more positive experience, driving a higher volume of “purchases” and/or more meaningful, engaging and successful interactions.

Recently, we’ve been sharing with our industry peers the efforts and successes of Melior’s Vice President Susan Levine and Senior Project Director Sindey Dranoff in the Jewish community studies sector:

  • Their article, “Jewish Community Studies as Seen Through a Business Lens” was published in a special edition of Contemporary Jewry: click here to read the article
  • Susan and Sindey presented at the Eastern Sociological Society’s 2017 Annual Meeting as part of the “The Transformation of Jewish (and Other) Community Studies” session: click here to learn more

To read more about our work with Jewish community studies, click here.  If you have questions about your own community study, please reach out to us and we will be happy to start the conversation.

For more information, contact Susan Levine at [email protected] or 215-545-0054 x107 or Sindey Dranoff at 215-545-0054 x108 / [email protected].

ethics and integrity

Ethics and Integrity – Are The Standards Different in the Profit and Non-Profit Worlds?

Shortly after beginning my career with The Melior Group I became involved in our Ethics and Integrity work, specifically creating stand-alone surveys to measure ethics and compliance culture amongst employees at multi-national corporations.  Last year I wrote about three steps organizations can take to improve their ethics and compliance culture.

In addition to Ethics and Integrity, over the last several years I have become involved in The Melior Group’s work in the non-profit arena.  We work with non-profits to help them learn more about their customers –their users, their donors, and their funders.  We use a “business lens” and look at “buyer behavior” to provide guidance to these organizations on a variety of issues.

While our work in Ethics and Integrity has been concentrated in the for-profit area, there is a connection between these two areas:  Ethics and Integrity are important throughout all of the business world, including in the non-profit sector, and specifically involving philanthropy.

A recent reading of Funders & Power – Principles for Honorable Conduct in Philanthropy piqued my interest.  This document was created to help funders delineate the boundary between strong philanthropic leadership and abuse of power.  It outlines broad standards of conduct, including seven principles that funders should follow and recipient organizations should expect, including being ethically consistent and treating all with respect and partnership.  Although this document specifically references Jewish philanthropy, it can be argued that these principles and goals are far reaching and should be considered by all – specifically those making the donations, and those accepting them.

Do your funders make unrealistic requests tied to their philanthropic donations or project funding?  An article written in response to the Funders & Power document suggests that organization staff need to “be bold enough to call out funders for behaving poorly, and wise enough to phrase challenges constructively so that people feel they have an opportunity to improve rather than a need to defend themselves.”

Does your staff know how to react to these requests?  First and foremost is the need to create a culture of ethics and integrity in your organization.  It starts from the inside: there’s no replacement for knowing what employees think and feel, and are likely to do when confronted by an ethics issue.

An employee survey dedicated to ethics and integrity establishes a baseline measure that allows for a better understanding of the level of integrity that resides in your organization, and what employees need to learn and understand in order to feel a part of the process. This survey tool, often used in the for-profit world, can and should also be used in the non-profit world for measuring ethics and integrity amongst employees.

Interested in learning more about how our clients have used stand-alone employee Ethics and Compliance surveys to create and sustain a culture of ethics and integrity, or how our non-profit clients have used our buyer behavior research? Please reach out to Sindey Dranoff at 215-545-0054 ext. 108 / [email protected].


Ethics and Integrity: 3 Ways to Make 2016 Better Than 2015

We began 2015 with the infamous “under” inflated footballs and ended it with a political staffer allegedly abusing a technological flaw to obtain competitive information for the benefit of his candidate. In the middle of the year we had the Volkswagen scandal, a pharmaceutical executive choosing to raise prices to astronomical levels because he could – and then being arrested for misleading investors, and of course those in power at FIFA were finally banned from professional soccer. We could all probably think of many other examples of unethical and/or illegal behavior, some of which likely happened much closer to home.

These incidents (and others) all have one thing in common – each of them occurred in a culture which provided people the opportunity to ‘break the rules’ for their own betterment. The Democratic National Committee now “expects each campaign to operate with integrity” going forward. Why do they need to say this? What does integrity mean today?

Individuals who commit ethics and integrity violations can create serious consequences for their employers, not the least of which is fines and public scrutiny. It is the responsibility of leadership to ensure that there is a culture of ethics and integrity in their organizations, and that ALL employees are on board with this culture. Creating the culture is a start, but sustaining it is crucial to long term success.

Here are three things you can do in 2016 to help ensure that everyone in your organization is acting with integrity:

  1. Leadership needs to walk the talk and lead by example. The tone at the top should demonstrate a commitment to integrity and set proper expectations for employees.
  2. Include employees in the process – employees are more likely to act in an ethical way if they feel they are included in the design of the culture. Organizations that incorporate employee input and evaluations within their Ethics and Compliance programs are more likely to sustain a culture of Ethics and Compliance.
  3. A few ethics questions on a Corporate Culture survey is a good place to start – but a stand-alone employee survey dedicated to Ethics and Compliance establishes a baseline measure that allows for a better understanding of whether integrity resides in the organization and what employees need in order to feel a part of the process and allows the organization to track improvements over time.

If you want to address situations before they become real problems, there’s no replacement for knowing what employees think and feel, and are likely to do when confronted by an ethics issue. While utilizing the results of a stand-alone employee Ethics and Compliance survey can’t eliminate all potential ethics and integrity issues, it is a way to help your organization start 2016 in the right direction.

Interested in learning more about how our clients have used stand-alone employee Ethics and Compliance surveys to create and sustain a culture of ethics and integrity? Please reach out to Sindey Dranoff of The Melior Group at 215-545-0054 ext. 108 / [email protected].

MeliorGroup Ethics and Compliance Surveys

Deflate-Gate… Integrity, Ethics And Compliance At Its Best… And Worst

Football fans in New England are rejoicing — the judge ruled that Tom Brady can play football when the season opens this week. But – the judge was careful not to say that Mr. Brady behaved in an ethical manner or that he did no wrong – but just that the NFL handled the situation so poorly that he could not punish Mr. Brady.

The word “integrity” is being tossed around like a football — the NFL Commissioner, Mr. Goodell saying that Mr. Brady put the integrity of the game of football at jeopardy, and the Patriots owner, Mr. Kraft suggesting that Tom Brady has a high level of personal integrity and he would never knowingly do anything unethical.

Whom you believe is a personal preference, but ethics and integrity are at the center of the Deflate-gate case. Employee understanding of what is right and what is wrong, and what they should do when they think something is wrong is not only at the heart of this case – it is at the heart of business in general. This goes much further than the level of air pressure in a football.

Is There A Culture Of Compliance In Your Organization? 

Employees in all organizations have an obligation to report ethical violations; whether or not they are sure what they saw was a violation. Employees are taught and trained to understand the rules and to do the right thing in business situations – but do they really understand? Will an employee report their co-worker, if not why not? Do they fear retaliation? Is there a culture of compliance in your organization?

One proven way to understand an organization’s compliance culture is to conduct a stand-alone employee Ethics and Compliance survey. These surveys are not just a few questions on the annual Employee Engagement survey – but separate, distinct and directed. Just by using a stand-alone survey employers send the message to employees that Ethics and Integrity are important to the organization.

Pinpoint Where There May Be Issues

We have used surveys to help organizations learn where there may be issues, and how to correct them. We helped one organization to pinpoint a need for more live training in a specific region. The training was shown to not only increase knowledge, but also to decrease Code of Conduct violations. In another case more directed communications were developed because of our survey.

The New England Patriots will be playing football with a full squad this fall. But the questions about the integrity of the game, the players and staff, and the equipment will still be there.

The Melior Group has developed, conducted and analyzed standalone employee Ethics and Compliance surveys for the past eight years. For more information about how we can help your company maintain a culture of compliance please contact Sindey Dranoff at [email protected] / 215-545-0054.