Michael Shapiro

DMS

722 Sherman Avenue, #1
Evanston, IL 60202
847-691-9536
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Consulting Success Stories


Growing beyond the entrepreneurial stage…cont’d
An entrepreneur-led technology company recently hit a plateau in growth. It was thriving in its start-up days but has experienced limited success since it began expanding and hiring new employees. Greg, the entrepreneur, was frustrated and felt that his employees weren't trying hard enough. One problem for him was employees who started out in technical jobs, such as programming, received a series of promotions into the ranks of management, but didn't seem to have the right skills to excel.

Consulting could help Greg examine his leadership style—and look at the possibility that the skills that made him such an effective leader of a start-up might not prove to be the right skills to lead an established company. Greg needs to learn how to cultivate a different management style.

In addition, a management consultant can look at the existing employees and evaluate if they have the appropriate skills for their current positions. A consultant can help determine which employees have the capacity to be successful managers—and then work with them to develop their management skills. Consulting can also teach the entrepreneur strategies on hiring right-fit employees to avoid future staffing problems.

Divisions at war with each other…cont’d
A technology company did not know how to resolve a growing rift between two divisions inside the organization. The two divisions had similar functions and separate supervisors but were managed by the same person. At every turn, Division A would blame stalled projects or missed timelines on Division B. Craig was the manager, and, despite his best efforts, each division began making plans to phase out the other one.

Management consulting could help this organization get to the bottom of the conflict. Instead of becoming embroiled in their arguments, the consultant could work to eliminate the “silo effect” that hinders the company's performance.

In the end, the consultant may decide that the organizational structure itself is to blame for the problems within the divisions. With a change in structure, the consultant could suggest that the same supervisor manage both divisions and report to Craig. With both divisions under the same supervisor, the strife would lessen, and the consultant could work with the two groups to help them begin teaming together.

Recruiting right-fit employees to reduce turnover…cont’d
A financial services company finds that a particular position is frequently vacant. New hires that appear to be a good fit don't seem to last in the position. Susan, the hiring director, is perplexed, because the rest of the company has a much lower turnover rate. She is highly motivated to end the revolving door that characterizes this individual position.

A consultant can help the Susan assess the position's role in the organization, including reporting relationships and job responsibilities. Once she understands this, she can look for employees with the traits that would make them successful in that position. The consultant can also help the company hire the right employees by determining what criteria are necessary for a good cultural fit.

An executive falling short of company's objectives…cont’d
Jack, a sales director at a mid-sized organization, is not meeting his sales goals. His company has spent considerable time and training already and doesn't want to have to hire another employee—yet his superiors are frustrated that Jack isn't performing at a higher level. They are wondering when to decide if they made a bad hiring decision. 

The work of the consultant here is two-fold. First, the consultant needs to work with the company to determine if the sales goals are realistic and if anything at the company is impeding Jack's performance. In addition, the consultant can help the company develop strategies for hiring the right employees. Meanwhile, the consultant can work with Jack to determine his potential, along with his reasons for not meeting the goals. If it seems as if Jack can succeed, the consultant will work with him on ways to meet his goals.

Transitioning a company through an acquisition…cont’d
A manufacturing company will run out of money within the next two years. Dan, the owner, knows he needs to do something, but isn't sure whether to sell the business, sell its assets or simply shut the doors. Dan is faced with the challenge of paring down operations, maximizing available resources while still continuing with production. In the meantime, he needs to hold on to key employees to keep the business running and make it look attractive to new investors, if he decides to sell. 
Management consulting can help Dan work through his options and make the best decision. If Dan decides to sell the operation, the consultant can help him identify which employees are critical to the business and which employees to let go. Then, the consultant can help structure an incentive plan to keep the remaining employees in place through the sale.

Transitioning a company through rapid growth…cont’d
A technology consulting firm, TechCru, received a contract that required rapid growth in a very short period of time. By quickly hiring a number of employees, TechCru risks diluting its core values and culture. In addition, the firm is concerned about hiring quality employees who will help them excel with their new client.

Through management consulting, TechCru's management can learn how to hire employees who are a good cultural and personality fit which first requires understanding exactly what TechCru's culture represents. A consultant can show the firm how to integrate these new employees while maintaining the current culture. This includes finding ways to perpetuate TechCru's legends and stories, which helps to integrate new employees into the existing culture rather than create a new one.

Succession planning for the family-run business…cont’d
A family-run business had several generations working in management positions and was struggling with succession planning. The father, Sal Jr., and grandfather, Sal, Sr., didn't want to lose touch with the business they'd struggled so hard to create and didn't trust the younger generation to run the business properly. Meanwhile, the business-school educated daughter, Talia, was frustrated that her ideas for change weren't being implemented and was resentful that her seemingly less-skilled cousin, Michael, was being touted as the next president. 

Through management consulting, the family can learn how to separate family issues and dynamics from business. This will allow them to make decisions based on sound business rationale, rather than following ingrained habits stemming from family issues. Consulting will also help the family members identify their individual goals. This enables family members to make their objectives known, and enables them to create an action plan to meet those goals.

Finding the right job for a new graduate…cont’d
Ted knows that he'd like to start his own firm someday, but he needs a job right now to pay for his student loans. If possible, he'd like to learn how to run his own company while working for someone else.

Executive coaching can help Ted create an action plan for opening his own business. In addition, through coaching, Ted can learn what kind of a company he'd like to start in the future and help him decide which company to work for today. Getting a job at a smaller, perhaps family-owned company, can help Ted see how businesses are run day-to-day and over the long term.

Changing careers in mid-path…cont’d
The sameness of her day-to-day responsibilities coupled with the high turnover rate at Samantha’s company caused her a great deal of stress. Although she knows that she doesn't want to return to her old job, Samantha has no idea how to find a new career.

Executive coaching can help Samantha discover new career paths. Coaching can also help her target companies in her new field; enhance her interview skills; and create effective resumes and cover letters. Through coaching, she can learn a variety of leadership styles and communication skills to make her even more valuable at her new company.




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