Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anne Loehr, Owner of Center for Human Capital Innovation (CHCI), located in Alexandria, VA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The Center for Human Capital Innovation (CHCI) is dedicated to improving organizational performance through enhanced talent management solutions. CHCI provides measurable, real-world strategies that enable organizations to attract and retain high-performing people, build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and maximize individual and team performance throughout the enterprise.

Specializing in Facilitation Offsites, Training and Education, Executive Coaching, Leadership and Management Development Programs, People Analytics, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Human Capital Management Consulting, CHCI gives leaders valuable tools to advance the science of people management, which leads to high-performing teams and organizations.

CHCI is a small business headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and currently supports the private sector, local and federal government, and non-profit clients across the country and overseas with a team of 40 human capital experts.

Tell us about yourself

I am a sought-after author, executive coach, facilitator, and consultant who helps leaders of large and small organizations successfully move from talking to action.

As a training and development expert with 25 years of hands-on experience on three continents, I have designed and delivered employee development, leadership, diversity, and executive coaching programs for Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and government organizations. My coachees include C-Suite leaders, Executive Directors, 4-star Admirals, and political appointees.

I regularly speak at national conferences and in media interviews. I am also a faculty member of the American Management Association and a former Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University. I am the author of two acclaimed books, A Manager’s Guide to Coaching: Simple and Effective Ways to Get the Best from Your Employees and Managing the Unmanageable: How to Motivate Even the Most Unruly Employee.

My work has been mentioned and/or featured in Newsweek International, The Washington Post (which named her the “Generational Guru”), The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Elle, and CNN Money. She is also a regular contributor to Fast Company. I am a Meta-Coach for Dan Goleman’s inaugural Emotional and Social Intelligence Coaching Certification program.

My motivation comes from seeing individuals, teams, and organizations move toward their goals.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Owning and selling two businesses. Growing current business.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

It happens all the time. Senior leaders seek leadership training to strengthen the leadership team. Yet they don’t know exactly what will make their individual leaders better in their roles.

Some will base their leadership coaching training programs on the flavor of the month, such as emotional intelligence. They have heard in leadership circles how powerful emotional intelligence is for leaders. As a result, they believe that training in that capacity will improve their individual leader's abilities.

And while that might be true, it might also be true that a particular leader is actually not lacking in emotional intelligence, and there are other skills that would maximize the results of their training. This is how leadership training fails.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Create the right organizational culture: Organizational culture is created by values, attitudes, and behaviors. What are the values the organization holds important? What are the attitudes that employees need to have around the values? And how do the employees, even at the top, behave around the values? If there is consistency and congruency, the organizational culture is aligned with its values.

Define your organizational values: Organizational culture can be seen as a “personality” created by the organization’s values, attitudes, and behaviors. This “personality” attracts and keeps great talent, creates a positive public image, and helps build long-lasting relationships with stakeholders, vendors, and customers.

Have Value-centered Goals: Value-centered goals are fulfilling and motivating, coming from your values and purpose. When you add something to your day that is value-centered, you get excited about it because it’s coming from your core values. You want to do it right away! For example: By October, I will coach ten people on how to change their destructive patterns in a shorter period of time than they thought possible.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Business is so much more than ROI and numbers. It is also about creativity and compassion. The truth is, you cannot run a successful business if you are not creative.

Bringing creativity into your leadership is more than just supplying the Playdough at a company retreat. It is about fostering innovation and allowing mistakes to happen.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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