Management consulting

CompassIn my approximately 20 years of working experience, I have worked for, and consulted to, organizations across all major industries and on three continents.

One common experience is that most organizations struggle to translate strategy into execution, particularly in such a way as to maximize efficiency and minimize pain. Change is hard, and it is becoming more difficult to deliver results as there are fewer and fewer middle managers to interpret the directives of a senior management team for frontline staff.

As an intuitive and experienced systems thinker, I am able to guide your organization through the process of closing the execution gap. I employ a variety of methods — some derived from modern facilitation and coaching techniques, some anchored in what I learned in 15 years in information technology, such as information architecture and user experience design. The resulting journey focuses on collaborative decision making and practical, sometimes hands-on participation in creating solutions that work for everyone — and can be embraced by everyone.

I also ask difficult but important questions whose answers can have a transformative effect; a good example is to re-frame the discussion to look at your organization from a customer’s (or outsider’s) point of view rather than focusing only on its internal organizational structure.

It is often difficult for humans to understand our own situation accurately as we aren’t transparent to ourselves. However, others can frequently see clearly what is wrong and make helpful suggestions for change. The same is true for organizations: our challenges and difficulties may seem normal to us because we encounter them every day, and it is hard to imagine how things could be different or better. A skilled and compassionate outsider may be able to focus in on the issues — either at the ‘root cause’ level, or through creating momentum towards incremental improvements, area by area, day by day.

In activities like yoga or meditation, we improve our skills — and derive greater personal benefits — from participating again and again (building a personal practice). Making business process improvements is not that dissimilar: starting from a simple, authentic and clear interpretation of our goals and objectives, we develop new processes and begin to use them, making incremental adjustments and becoming better every day.

These techniques can be applied to a variety of contexts and requirements, including

  • Adjusting existing business processes and developing new ones when strategy has changed and execution needs to follow;
  • Preparing and adjusting existing business processes in preparation for IT projects such as enterprise content management or customer relationship management;
  • Solving specific performance or motivation problems in a team context where the organization itself does not have the resources to effectively address them.

Typical activities in a management consulting journey include facilitated meetings using modern collaborative techniques including gamestorming, mind mapping/issue mapping, collaborative design, role playing, etc.

The deliverables from a typical project include a written report, a number of interim checkpoints and presentations providing many opportunities for feedback and iteration, and weekly project management updates.