In preparing to write this, we found it hard to describe ourselves without lapsing into the same chipper clichés everyone else does, such as “we tailor our solutions for you,” “we have a top-notch team,” “we are trusted advisors to senior leaders,” and so forth (all true, by the way).
What We’re Not
So, let’s begin with what we are not: we are not big. Although we partner with – and compete with – big consulting firms, we are categorized as a “boutique consultancy,” which in our case means small but wiry.
Big consulting firms have a business model that requires them to get as many consultants “off the bench” and onto a paying project for as long as possible. That model also requires enough uniformity in its solutions that many, lower level consultants can be trained on standardized procedures. This is a pyramid model – partners sell work, senior consultants manage work & grow scope, and junior consultants do the work, racking up billable hours.
If you are a client of such firms, you have probably found that this is a great approach for some kinds of problems. No small outfit like ours is going to install a global-wide ERP system for a Fortune 50 company.
But we certainly could help any organization discover whether they actually need an ERP system, or what that system ought to achieve at a strategic level. (You’d be surprised at how often that work isn’t done before money is spent.) And we don’t care what the answer is, as long as it’s right for the client.
What We Do and Why
A second point: We do what we do because we love it. We’re not gutting it out until retirement. We think we’re making the world a better place, and we find it exciting to solve organizational problems such as:
- Getting a senior team on the same page, so they can cooperate with each other and all move in the same direction. (This is one of our favorites.)
- Designing end-to-end processes that ensure high efficiency and maximum value delivery.
- Obtaining “ground truth” on challenges and opportunities in order to effectively inform strategic change while building buy-in for achieving desired results.
- Engineering collaborative problem solving and innovation among organizations experiencing tensions, which may be “natural tensions” or otherwise.
- Designing education and training curricula, so that new skill sets (a) respond to the organization’s needs, and (b) actually show up on the job. (We also deliver executive education on a variety of leadership topics.) This includes everything from project management to strategic thinking.
- Designing organizations. This includes installing matrix organization structures (yes, they do work, if set up properly), usually with the goal of ensuring that subject matter experts get the care and feeding they need from über-experts, while working for other leaders who are trying to get work done that requires different types of expertise.
Some Quick Facts
- We are based in Colorado, but keep a small office in Norfolk, VA and work in a lot of locations around the globe.
- We are a certified, woman-owned, small business.
- We work across industries, and our clients have included prominent players in insurance, technology, banking, telecommunication, the military, and others. This variety benefits our clients in that lessons learned in one industry can apply to another industry. This is called the “arbitrage of ideas,” and we are good at it.
- Anything we do resembling a “product” is actually a general approach, and always tailored to a specific situation. Maybe that’s because we get bored doing the same thing over and over, and maybe that’s because one size actually doesn’t fit all.
- We conduct much of our work in closed-door, one-on-one discussions with senior executives. There, we find that careful listening and respectful candor can lead to breakthrough solutions, and that beats bromides and buzz talk any day.
- We focus on organizational issues that, when resolved, have very high impact and propel organizations forward. Our approach is based on years of study and hands-on experience with organizational performance.