1. Why should someone hire you?
I approach every client’s needs in a customized, focused way. No cookie-cutter approaches from me! I treat people as unique individuals so even as I deliver services on common topics like leadership development, team building, individual career and life transition advising, I do everything with your needs in mind. I pay attention to individual needs and the needs of individuals involved in the group. I make sure that I really understand your distinct needs ahead of time so I know what services and tools to use and what’s most important to serve you, my client.
Also, I have such a strong background in this work, helping many clients from multiple sectors. For example, I’m able to take some best practices from the business world and weave them into the nonprofit work that I do–without their sacrificing their mission. In addition, I’ve worked in many roles over the years—from the mailroom and reception desk to the executive level. That direct understanding and empathy allows me to work with a variety of people and understand the workings of an organization as a whole. Also, I am an avid connector. I often go beyond the immediate assignment to introduce my clients to the resources they most need.
2. Aren’t all consultants alike for the most part?
No, they’re really not, and I say that for two main reasons. First, no one person is like anyone else, so how could two consultants be just alike? Second, many consultants adhere to a specific approach, though they may provide some customization. This is often the case (although not always) with big management consulting firms, and in this instance, this approach makes sense: they need this kind of standardization because they have a certain type of client and they need to deliver the exact same product for consistency, brand, etc. On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, I treat each situation as unique. Sure, I often use tools like the Birkman assessment, the 60 Minute Strategic Plan®, for example, but I draw on all kinds of tools and techniques depending on your needs.
And third, with many consultants you have to buy a certain package from them. I prefer to keep things more flexible with both packages and on-demand offerings. I listen first and only offer what I feel you, my client, really needs, rather than upselling for the sake of it. And if I think someone else is a better resource for you, frankly, sometimes I refer you to that consultant. I may lose that opportunity for new business, but in the long run, I gain credibility and remain true to my integrity. That’s so important to me. Finally, due to my diverse work background, I have the depth and breadth to understand all sorts of situations that may arise.
3. How are you different?
I’m glad you asked! Here are just some of my differentiators:
- I’ve been in multiple sectors, which gives me so much hands-on experience to draw from.
- I’ve created part of an innovative series for Highline Community College’s “Center for Extended Learning”, specifically designed for non-profit leadership; I’ve also taught this program.
- I am generous with connections—I go beyond my services and provide targeted connections and valuable ideas to solve problems and build resources.
- I share innovative, often never-before-tried ways to raise money.
- I help you build partnerships with the business community, moving from hat-in-hand fundraising to equal partnerships.
- I do my homework and research what you need to excel.
- I get in the trenches with you, without getting mired.
- I can balance both your mission and your need to run a successful business. That’s just the way I think.
- I understand how important it is for non-profits to stay mission-driven and bring a strong backbone of business experience and knowledge to the mix. Unlike many non-profit consultants and facilitators, I see how these two can be woven together.
- I am a confidant and enjoy my work.
- I can successfully work with all factions –from volunteers and staff to executive’s teams and boards.
- I’ve created and led surveys for staff/management relations, generating valuable information to develop strategies, decisions, policies and more.
4. What is the 60 Minute Strategic Plan® (60msp)? How is it different from other strategic plans?
The 60msp is a simple, nimble and powerful planning tool. We all know that strategic planning is crucial to the success of any organization, but we also know the reality–most of us are so busy with our day-to-day business that we can’t spend hours writing a lengthy strategic plan. What we need is a strategic planning process that is easy to learn, simple to apply and produces results!
The 60msp guides individuals and teams to think, plan, and act creatively and decisively on issues large and small. Using a unique visual format, you or your team collect and connect information—building comprehension, creating insight and ending up with a completed game plan for any strategic issues.
Sometimes, people spend thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to create a plan. The problem is, by the time you’re finished with a traditional plan, external forces and events have already occurred that have impacted or changed part or even your entire plan. With the 60msp, you can quickly update your plan, keeping it current and on course. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
5. What is the Birkman assessment? How can it help me?
More and more organizations are turning to strength and behavioral assessments for:
- hiring top talent
- developing leaders and teams
- resolving conflict
Many tools reveal a person’s visible strengths or behaviors and assume that’s also what motivates them. However, we now know that people also have internal–mostly invisible–needs or motivators that do not tend to change over time. And those needs are frequently different from the visible strengths and behaviors.
When internal needs are left unmet over extended periods of time, productive strength behavior gives way to stress behavior. That means employees become less productive, less cooperative, and more anxious to go work somewhere else.
Stress can manifest in many ways such as:
- overwhelm and conflict
- reduced productivity
- feelings of isolation
We think we know how to deal with stress. We coach for it, talk it out and try to take corrective measures. But what we really need to do is work with it at its source–the unmet needs that are unique to each person.
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE BIRKMAN METHOD.
6. What can I expect from my time with you?
I will treat you like the individual you are–with respect and dignity. You’ll find I listen a lot and ask questions to find out what makes you tick. I draw on my years of training, experience in business, work with diverse groups of people and my intuition to ask clarifying questions most don’t think to ask. Because of that, the questions tend to be more accurate and relevant to the person, which saves time and gets to the heart of the matter faster.
You can also rest assured that I will not force-feed you into any of my products or services. I may strongly recommend an approach based on what I’m hearing from you, but I steer away from saying you need to take this and do that in order to work with me. For example, I don’t ask all my clients to take the Birkman assessment, even though I strongly prefer that because of the rich information it provides on how to best communicate.
You’ll also experience a lot of humor, empathy and enthusiasm when we work together. I will give you plenty of affirmations for your strengths and who you are as well as honesty delivered with integrity. You’ll also find I’ve either been through similar situations myself or heard about most of the issues people approach me on.
7. What do you mean by your philosophy of Business UNusual?
A lot of people say something is “business as usual” to describe situations in which nothing changes; things are staying stagnant or there’s no improvement. I coined the phrase “Business UNusual” when I was asked to be the emcee for the launch of a new networking group about two years ago. I coined it for them at the time because what I saw in their approach was a new way of networking that was NOT based on business as usual.
Business UNusual means different things to different people. Here’s what it means to me and my clients:
- Creating congruence—what we think is what we say and how we act—at every level.
- Recognizing diversity in every way—no exclusions—starting at the level of individual diversity.
- Knowing that strategic roadmaps must balance consistency with room for spontaneity.
- Empowering individuals to know themselves and their impact, because it matters—it really matters.
Have you, like other forward thinkers, been questioning the status quo—business as usual? When we work together and engage the Business UNusual process, you’ll be able to:
- Generate sustainable employee engagement and increased productivity
- Decrease money spent on employee turnover
- Create a consistent message in everything you think, say and do
- Respect and understanding, getting to the heart of the matter—what matters most to you
- More profits, by uncovering hype and cookie-cutter approaches to find what your business really needs.
- Clarity and increased self-worth, leading to better business decisions.
- The right employees, hiring the best candidates in the first place.
- A culture of engagement, including everyone from the mailroom to the C suite.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BUSINESS UNUSUAL