Who are the clients I work with?
I work with business owners and CEOs of small to mid-cap companies and nonprofits, and division heads of Fortune 1,000 firms.
My clients have ambitious goals to profitably grow their businesses and/or improve profitability. They strive for an engaged workforce and to positively impact the well-being of their customers.
The businesses they lead range from early /fast growth to mature businesses across diverse industries, including professional services, fintech, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, high tech, and the non-profit/social capital sectors.
Why is this service needed?
Most business owners are focused on the day-to-day challenges of running the enterprise. They struggle to find the bandwidth to step back and consider all the interdependent factors that need to be addressed in a systemic way to achieve big change, fast. These factors can include strategy, organizational structure, IT systems, processes, culture, leadership, and staff skills, to name a few.
And strategies must be kept relevant. Not many companies have processes in place that include ongoing reviews and as-needed updates to the strategy.
Without a clear picture of where the organization is headed, it is left up to managers & employees to decide what’s important and what’s not. Without alignment, the organization is unable to enjoy the benefits that result from everyone being focused on achieving the same few factors that fuel success.
What are some typical issues you address?
- Focus keeps changing due to competing priorities, ranging from cyber-threats, DEIB goals, weak infrastructure, needed employee development and expanding the sales team.
- Stalled revenue growth and it’s not clear what is the root cause – ineffective salesforce, sales team too small, a tired product line, or a new competitor.
- Poor profitability, due to declining gross margins, high overhead, and management can’t agree on the root cause.
- The organization hasn’t evolved with the revenue growth, so leaders are now a bottleneck for decisions, and roles & responsibilities aren’t as clear anymore—or the expected synergies from a recent merger or acquisition have been elusive.
- An increase in employee and/or customer losses.
What can you expect to gain from working with me?
- You will benefit from immediate improvements in efficiencies in day-to-day operations, as an outcome of the initial rigorous assessment.
- You will have a growth strategy for achieving a focused set of exceptional results that is championed by your leadership team and supported by staff throughout the enterprise.
- You will have a highly practical and actionable implementation roadmap to guide investments in initiatives that will have the biggest payoffs. You will also have a framework within which to assess opportunities thereby eliminating “chasing shiny new objects” and wasted effort.
- You will have a passionately engaged leadership team, able to collaborate more effectively and truly own the strategy—and hold each other accountable for results.
- Ultimately, you’ll benefit from developing a new performance-based mindset for managing your business.
How do I work with my clients? (process)
Though no client situation is exactly the same, a business transforming Alignment for Action project typically is completed within three to four months. The work is organized around three leadership team workshops.
Workshop 1 requires in-depth preparation by me. Over a six to eight-week period I conduct an in-depth SWOT analysis, interviewing the top leaders and subject-matter experts in your company. In addition, I analyze historic operational and financial data, to identify revenue and cost-savings opportunities, as well as assess the capacity of the organization to exploit those opportunities. This is a comprehensive analysis, covering staff skills, culture, morale, core processes, customer satisfaction with the value proposition, and financial performance.
In Workshop 1, I guide the leadership team through a structured process to make decisions on strategic intent and the top areas of opportunity to pursue.
To prepare for Workshops 2 and 3, I coach the leadership team on how to create the strategy and implementation plans. This is very much a learning-by-doing approach for the leadership team.
At these workshops, the leadership team presents their plans for vetting and buy-in by the entire team. This generates great ownership of the plan, excitement to implement it, and accountability for the results. The output is a set of pragmatic and detailed plans, which include metrics for monitoring performance and well-planned initiatives designed to close the gaps between past results and desired targets. Workshop 2 also includes improving how the leadership team collaborates and works together. Leveraging state-of-the-art team coaching, I enable your executive team to function at a high-performance level. This has been called my “secret sauce” for successful transformation. By improving how the leadership team works together, they are able to collaboratively create and begin to execute the new strategy in ways they could not have imagined before.
After Workshop 3, I prepare a “firm-day launch” – when everyone is brought into the strategic process, to understand the strategy and see where they play a role in implementing the strategy. These have been described as some of the best days at work your employees will ever experience.
What does this program help you avoid?
Embarking on a new strategy can be overwhelming. There are literally a million things you could do. And it can be very confusing trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Where should you invest your resources and what should you avoid?
So, we help you avoid confusion and overwhelm. We leverage proven analytic frameworks and pragmatic approaches to focus on the few critical factors to drive your success. In addition, we help you develop the skills to implement your strategy. Throughout our process, we educate, coach, consult and support you in achieving your short-term and long-term business goals.
How is my approach different?
My approach was developed over 30 years, while at top-tier management consulting firms helping leadership teams at companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 firms. It is practical and hands-on. It leverages best practice frameworks and is highly action-oriented to achieve concrete results.
You’ll learn an approach or strategy and then immediately receive an assignment to put what you’ve learned into action.
This may be the most hands-on and collaborative work you and your leadership team have ever done together in your business. Your team will be energized, and your business will measurably move forward.
What these services are not?
I am a senior-level consultant. No junior team fills in after our initial meeting. You have a senior-level commitment from the first meeting to the last. Clients receive experienced-based pragmatic advice, not merely process facilitation.
It is not an academic-industry study with pretty PowerPoint slides in a thick binder that sits on a shelf and that you never implement.