Client Have Strategy Problems? Here's How to Help Them.


When your clients start complaining the right and left hands don't know that they are doing and they can't prioritize or focus - they are likely to have a strategy problem.

But the question is what kind?

Strategy is more than a game plan for winning. It ultimately is lived out in the tough daily decisions and tradeoffs that everyone in the organization is making. Strategic intentions are realized or not realized NOT in a strategy retreat BUT in the trenches on a daily basis when decisions are made on head count, resourcing, product offerings, service standards, etc.

Effective strategy has three major components: It is well-grounded, articulated and used as a decision-making filter for leaders and employees throughout the organization.

  • A well-grounded strategy that is also articulated but not used as a decision-making filter is inconsequential. These are strategies or, better yet, strategic intentions that make good wall hangings in the employee break rooms. Inspirational...
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The Influence of Organizational Structure on Your Client's Success


Like an architect’s blueprint, an organization design determines the nature and flow of work, as well as the ways in which employees interact with one another. When an organization design is working well, it creates alignment throughout the broader organization, facilitates effective workflow, enhances partnership and synergy, and enables better individual performance.

Structure plays an important role in an organization’s ability to deliver results, because it determines:

  • The way work is divided
  • With whom employees will interact and build relationships
  • The nature and extent of required supervision
  • Simply put, a well-designed organizational structure enhances the coordination of activities, accelerates the speed of producing goods/delivering service and reduces operating costs

Organization redesign is a highly valuable performance improvement initiative that enables your clients to optimize its people, processes and profits. It is also the single most strategic...

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Indicators That Your Clients Need Organization Redesign


An effective organization design is a lot more than what you might find on an org chart. It is the way in which an organization coordinates activities towards product and service quality and delivery effectiveness and efficiency. 


  • Aligns with broader organization: The organization strategy brings together the business and people strategies so that what the organization wants to deliver on…it can deliver on. Sub-units also connect with the rest of the broader organization.
  • Facilitates effective workflow: Processes for creating and delivering products/services to customers/clients are maximized.
  • Enhances partnership and synergy: Work is linked horizontally across departmental and geographic boundaries (which is especially important in today’s global world).
  • Enables individual performance: Employees at every level are empowered and motivated to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Another way to think about an...

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What Steps Are Involved In An Organization (Re) Design

One of the most strategic and transformative consulting projects you can offer your clients is organization redesign. Organizational design enables you to help clients optimize their business performance, reshape their culture, and positions you to land a six-figure consulting contract.

Today, I'm offering you an organizational development and consulting proposal template for delivering an organization redesign

There are four phases of a redesign: determining design direction, developing the design, planning the implementation, and implementing and evaluating.

As you guide your clients through each phase, they need to address both hardware-related issues (e.g., processes, reporting relationships, spans of control, etc.) and software-related issues(e.g., leader and employee behavior and performance patterns). You, as a consultant, add value by helping them address both simultaneously. 

The following are suggestions of what you can offer your clients within each phase and...

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What Are Silos (And Why Bust Them)


When I first joined Walt Disney World as an internal Organizational Development Consultant, I was assigned to Disney's Animal Kingdom. The park had just opened and while there were many things that were going well, one of their biggest challenges was to unravel some of the missteps that took place at opening. You see, the creative team at Walt Disney Imagineer had an amazing vision for the theme park and what it could become. However, the Imagineers did not report to the same leader as the operators who would eventually manage the park and the lack of coordination cost the company millions. Little things like including ample stroller parking at the park's signature attraction Kilimanjaro Safaris would have been caught if there was better communication between the creative and operating teams. It was for this reason that the team kicked of an initiative dedicated to enhancing the strategic partnering not just for the Animal Kingdom for the company overall. 

Since then,...

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Systems Thinking for Consultants

I have two children. When they were small, they used to go to daycare. What this meant in practicality to me was: two kids + daycare = many fevers and visits to the doctor’s office. As the parent, I was able detect and even treat the fever. However, in order to get rid of the fever, I had to rely on my doctor to discern whether the fever was caused by a bacteria or a virus and, if so, what part of the body the bacteria or virus was infecting. Then the doctor, using her knowledge of how the body functions, was able to prescribe the solution to dealing with the root cause of the fever.

You may be thinking right now, “What does this have to do with consulting?” Well, the difference between a parent and a doctor is the doctor is better able to understand the human body as a system, as well as better able to discern root causes of illnesses and to prescribe long-term cures for those illnesses. Similarly, the difference between a good consultant and a great consultant is...

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NOT Everyone is a Leader

and Other Truths about Leadership that No One Will Admit

I have heard the refrain "everyone is a leader" ever since I got into the performance improvement/organizational development business 20 years ago. 

The heartfelt sentiment behind this lie is good: everyone is equally important to an organization's success, and everyone has the potential and capacity to be an influencer. But having the ability to be an influencer or possessing good self-management skills is not the same as having the gift of leadership, particularly executive leadership.

Over the years, I have seen the "everyone is a leader" myth blindly accepted as truth. This falsehood waters down the significance and uniqueness of the gift of leadership and keeps people who don't have that gift from finding out what they are great at doing. Challenging this rhetoric was crucial in the organizational development process that I offered through my consulting business. It's like telling an athletic team that all of its...

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Four Reasons to Love Corporate Politics

The last role I held at Walt Disney World before I left to start my own consulting firm was as the senior manager for Operations Integration. My job was to ensure that the senior executives from the theme parks, resorts, lines of business and support organizations worked together effectively and were on the same page, and that large-scale initiatives were implemented effectively across organizational boundaries. When my team and I were brainstorming a logo for our department, we jokingly decided we would design the “O” in Operations Integration to resemble a large bull’s eye, because of the amount of corporate politics we had to manage and mitigate. It felt like a miracle when we got anything accomplished while balancing competing organizational priorities and the ego needs of high-level executives.

I, like most leaders and consultants, began to develop a deep frustration for corporate politics that slowed me down, because it was time-consuming and emotionally...

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Organization Development 101


Tim, a seasoned leader in his hospitality/entertainment company, finally made the leap from general manager to vice president of the flagship theme park of his company. As he assumed his duties, he realized there were several major challenges in front of him:

    • How can he keep his “product” fresh and new while maintaining the company’s heritage and traditions?
    • How can he re-engage his employees and make them feel special?
    • How can he break down the silos among the various departments so they can work together more effectively and creatively?

Like the great operator and manager that he is, Tim began a series of initiatives to help rectify the problems. He began a program called “Employee First Community,” which was conceived to make employees feel special by having a logo designed and placed on many internal communication tools and recognition gifts such as briefcases. In addition, he set up a series of meetings for the leaders of...

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Tips for Managing Resistance

It was time for my young daughters to learn how to ride a bike. My older daughter, Hannah, was clearly uncomfortable and afraid. She challenged me STRAIGHT ON. When I asked for her to get on the bike, she clearly and directly said no. She pitched a fit, engaged in a full one temper tantrum and ran back into the house. My younger daughter Ainsley, while equally afraid, chose a different tactic. She faked sick. She asked me to explain over and over again what she was to do before she would even get on the bike. Both children dealt with fears of loss of control and vulnerability. One was resistant, the other was not. And the resistant one wasn’t Hannah. It was Ainsley.

As consultants, we encounter resistance all the time. We propose a change, give difficult feedback and suggest alternatives to transform business processes to clients who will do one of three things:

    • Option 1 - Accept our recommendations and partner with us to transform suggestions into reality.
    • Option...
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