Tag Archives: Consulting

Watching A Train Wreck

"It's like watching a train wreck". I've heard this expression several times and repeated it myself often, especially since starting consulting several years ago. And it seems like a few client engagements in 2011 have been train wrecks of sorts. I usually look forward to these types of engagements. Usually these opportunities present quite a bit of "low hanging fruit" to help the company in question make a few tweaks and modifications to drastically improve outcomes. Many times, this type of scenario works out well, allowing us to establish a strong bond and rapport of trust very quickly. However, there are those occasions where this type of scenario never pans out. We are nearing the end of one of these engagements now. We've been working for the client for several months. From day one,...

Big Ideas Winner Starts Her Own Company

As Big Ideas rolls around again this year, we thought we would update you on some of the winners from last year.  Jennifer Blankenship, our second place winner, was inspired to start her own company.  Here is an excerpt from her marketing flyer: “In the competitive market of rural nonprofit social services and nonprofits engaging in effective development, grant writing, and program delivering can be exhausting.  MAE is here to help!  We can deliver the FAMILY EFFECTIVENESS TRAINING program, GED tutoring, and Self-sufficiency skills building (including employability skills building) that your clients need.  For help with time consuming development projects we are able to offer proven and experienced contracting to get the job done and bring in the dollars to keep your great programs on track.” When asked...

You Have To Read People

As much as I'd like to believe I'm in the medical device industry, I'm really in the people business. More specifically, my job, more than anything else, is to manage and foster relationships. Until this happens, my medical device expertise means very little. I've taken the Myers-Briggs assessment and am an INTJ. But I have my own business. Which means I need to be less "I" (introvert) and more "E" (extrovert). Sometimes, the "I" gets in the way. Once I understand the assignment, I have a tendency to put my head down and get the job done. Even though my clients want me to get the job done, they really want interaction--they want to feel important and valued. I have to "read" clients to understand what they need and when they...

“Mandatory” Is No Longer PC

We are currently working with a medical device company, helping them improve quality systems, documentation, processes, etc. to better align with FDA regulations. Part of the engagement includes training of company personnel. We are working with an internal resource to help us with the inner workings and "landscape" of the company. She offered to help set up training sessions with site personnel. She sent out an email to all employees with the training schedule, indicating participation in these sessions was mandatory. She was quickly reprimanded by HR because of the use of the word "mandatory". It was suggested she use softer language, such as "required" or "sure would be a good idea". When did the word "mandatory" become a taboo word in the workplace?...