All of our consulting work can be broken down into three phases: 1) Assessment, 2) Design, and 3) Implementation. The philosophy being that before you design a solution, you must properly assess the situation. Once the design is completed, it is imperative that the actual implementation steps required to implement the design are carefully considered and structured. We have four main consulting areas of focus: 1) Strategic Planning; 2) Change Management; 3) Key Performance Indicators/Outcomes Management and 4) New Opportunity Assessment.
It is our contention that strategic planning is one of the most critical business competencies that organizations need to develop. To paraphrase a famous musician, “if you don’t know where you are going, it’s a lot easier to get there…” Most organizations don’t focus on being strategic because it is, in fact, hard work, especially for smaller organizations. It takes time, energy and patience to actually “think about your organization and how it should be positioned in the future. To do it right you have to look at many potentially changing variables and engage in numerous in-depth and honest conversations about your current business reality. We have a specific planning approach that we have used with many clients that can be bundled or unbundled depending upon the individual circumstance.
The pace of change is dramatic in business these days. Most managers would tell you that their organizations suffer from “change fatigue” and that the average employee has little energy or inclination to support the next change initiative being initiated from above. However, we believe this is the case because most change efforts are poorly planned and implemented. Moreover, Change Management is often viewed as a “soft” business topic and relegated to secondary status and supported accordingly. We tend to disagree with this mindset. There is nothing more important than managing change in a business context. It’s not who you are, but who you are becoming that matters. We have a carefully thought out process we use to help organizations who are either about to begin a major change effort or who are struggling with a current effort.
Key Performance Indicator/Outcomes Management
If you spend significant time in different businesses as we do each month, you really get a feel for how little consensus there is regarding success in most organizations. Even amongst senior teams, you will get different answers if you talk the members individually – imagine what happens on the employee level. Why is this? Why is such an important issue typically left open to situational interpretation and shrouded in confusion? It is because the right level of communication isn’t happening effectively at the top of the organization and/or the needed infrastructure isn’t in place to sport the required outcomes. We work closely with leaders and senior management teams to change this dynamic. Our goal is to get everyone on the same page in an iterative fashion so that front line employees know exactly how their activities relate to the CEOs/Business Owners definition of success.
New Opportunity Assessment
We are firmly in the camp that believes that in the long run that what defines an organization is not so much what they say yes to, but what they have the discipline to say NO to. Far too many businesses have said yes, when they should have said NO. Unfortunately, this mindset regularly proves to be counterintuitive to a majority of business owners/executives. The objective shouldn’t be to thwart entrepreneurial initiative. However, it is important that leadership teams should evaluate all prospective opportunities through a carefully honed filtering process that best reflects who the organization is from a strategic, operational, cultural, asset and financial perspective. Our goal is to assist our clients in creating an opportunity assessment process that greatly increases their success rate.