Consulting

David Hartl  with a microphone

Quick Summary of Consulting Services:

We have more than 37 years of experience in consulting for corporate, business, government, healthcare, educational, and non-profit organizations. Our consulting approach is to act as a partner and catalyst for our client systems, working with the organization to achieve its change objectives.

A Jazz Ensemble

We have developed a variety of specific consulting approaches to meet the needs of our clients, but the metaphor of a jazz ensemble is useful to remind us that these specific steps are only part of the process. In a jazz ensemble, there are arrangements on the "charts" (written music) that all the musicians follow to create the basic musical pieces, but there are also moments and opportunities when some of the players improvise to create and embellish new ideas that flow from the basic musical piece.

David Hartl
    with a microphone

Those who have played jazz, myself included, know two things: 1) when performing the arrangement, it's essential to stay together and be reading off the same page (chart), and 2) when one is improvising, everyone else had better be listening with extra special care, otherwise the sound might not be music—it might just be noise.

When consulting, it often falls to the consultant to make sure that the organization's leaders, employees, and stakeholders are working together as a jazz ensemble pursuing creative change, so that the results sound more like music than noise.

Specific Approaches

To read about some specific consulting approaches we have used to help deal with different categories of organization and leadership problems, please click on the categories shown here that you are interested in for a more complete description of consulting activities we provide to help you and your organization achieve your goals:

Strategic Planning Consulting

Strategic planning is a process to position or reposition an organization in its social situation to optimize its viability, vitality, and future effectiveness. There are specific steps that can be followed to provide a factual basis for developing long-range organizational plans. See the Downloadable Papers tab for materials in the Strategic Planning area. Our consultation support typically involves the activities shown below.

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Quality Initiative Consulting

There are many well-tested concepts and processes that will help shift an organization's emphasis from being busy with activities to focusing on applying quality thinking to all aspects of the organization's life—everything, from customer service to better supervision and leadership, including more readable financial reports and fiscal controls and improved standards for measuring how everything in the organization gets done. If something can be done faster, better, or cheaper, our job as consultants is to help the organization's leaders and employees figure out how and then make it work. To do this we most often:

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Teambuilding Consulting

Competition among employees, and even leaders, in the workplace accounts for behavior that has some of the most damaging impacts on organizational productivity. We have been engaged for more than thirty years in consultancies specifically focusing on teambuilding in a wide variety of organizational settings from manufacturing to law enforcement to professional partnerships. When we are engaged for these purposes, our services typically include, but are not limited to these activities:

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Communication Management Consulting

Communication is always going on in organizations, for good or ill. People can't work together without communicating. Sometimes they are very effective at it, sometimes not. When communication is good, people can willingly help achieve the organization's goals. The adverse effects of poor communication practices, especially among an organization's leaders, flow outward to negatively impact all other aspects of the system. Improving communication practices in organizations is some of the most important consulting work we do. When engaged for these purposes, our dealings often involve these actions and other activities not listed here:

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Change Management Consulting

Growing, shrinking, rightsizing, downsizing, layoffs, reorganizing, reshaping, re-engineering, re-inventing, are all about deliberately changing an organization in some important ways. For most people, change evokes anxiety and stress that can lead to declines in performance. For leaders, change provides challenges and opportunities for creativity that can profoundly benefit the organization. If mismanaged, then organizational change can paralyze an organization, cause the loss of some of its most talented people, unnecessarily increase expenses with increasing income, create confusion and ineffective performance, and delay achieving the very gains provoking the change in the first place. We have assisted dozens of organizations through planned change processes and have learned many techniques that work well if artistically applied and some pitfalls that can be avoided during the change process thereby eliminating unnecessary difficulties. When we are asked to consult in planned organization change processes, some of our activities are described below.


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