You’ve seen it; that guy on the side of the road with a map. The paper map that’s served him so well. It always got him where he wanted to go. But the map isn’t up to date any more. The world has changed. He’s no longer sure if it will get him where he wants to go.
You want your business to be a leader in the industry. You know that technology can help you get there, but you need that long term vision developed in a way that makes sense. You care about your teams and want them to work more effectively, especially when this transformation starts.
With so many options and so many changes in technology, it is challenging to know where to even begin. That's where I come in. My forward thinking insights and original ideas help you transform your business with technology and guide your teams through process improvement with the long term goal in mind.
Working together, we’ll use my unique and inventive collaborative methods to map the road ahead for creating useful and usable business technology solutions to grow your business.
- We learn where you are and develop the roadmap to get you where you want to go.
- Once the plan is developed, I’ll advise your implementation teams and be a ready resource.
- All work is customized to the needs of your company. How we get to the end goal is always a different path.
Here are a few examples of the various ways clients have engaged my strategic consulting services.
Consulting engagements are custom and quoted according to scope and duration of engagement.
Strategic Technology advisor To CEO
Lending - various verticals both commercial and consumer
A long term strategic technology advisor consulting engagement for a large regional bank. As advisor to the CEO of a midwestern financial enterprise, studied the entire landscape of technology applications and business/technology interactions to help with long-term strategy, organization design, and application strategy across multiple lending businesses. Initially a collection of business lines operating as independent silos, my work led to significant changes in the structure of the technology organization and improved the communication, collaboration, and idea sharing between business and technology, across a variety of functions, and across lines of business.
Second look at technology strategy before CEO signs off on the project
a few visits over the course of 3-months
Commercial asset finance company needing modern digital origination capability.
The requirements were done and the technology was already selected. The project was mapped out and in 18 months the company would have their own custom built digital credit origination capability. They were just about ready to begin. The problem is, it just wasn't sitting well with the CEO. As he saw it, they were facing a lengthy project that would only result in incremental improvements and he wanted something more. Ability to evolve business model to respond to rapid change in the market.
One day, he reached out to me and asked me to fly down to his HQ and work with his cross-functional team to understand customer experience needs and technology possibilities to radically improve customer experience and internal efficiency. After that, they would decide whether to pursue the original project or explore new options.
After identifying customer pain points and internal process challenges, we visually mapped their end to end process and customer journey for their line of credit product from the customer's point of view. We then identified what the experience could be. By looking first at the customer and then imagining where we want to go, we realized that the currently selected platform and project were not going to take us there. This company needed agility and time to market was crucial. 18 months was way too long. Getting digital end to end was a priority. They needed a strong and flexible digital foundation that would grow and evolve with the company. They needed to tie things together end to end, not just origination capability.
The original project was cancelled and sketched out a new roadmap. Instead of 18 months and origination capability only, within just over 1/2 the time, they implemented the digital foundation tying together sales, origination, and servicing end to end with a roadmap for continued expansion leveraging the salesforce.com platform.
Aggressive? Heck yeah! Impossible? No way!
Advise enterprise architecture team on fintech trends in lending
This was a quick two week project. Sometimes you just need a catalyst to stir up new thinking and bring new perspectives.
You have a deadline and need to get something done and you need to get it done fast. What will help you get to the finish line is an outside perspective someone to bounce ideas off of and to help your team see things in a new way. You don't have 20 years to gain business and technology experience that you need right now. You have two weeks. You are not focused on external trends in this domain, you are focused internally, on your company, doing what you do to the best of your ability.
That was the challenge faced by an enterprise architecture leader who needed to quickly get his highly capable technical team up to speed on the latest exponential technology and fintech trends to help his team prepare for a board level presentation. They only had two weeks and they reached out to me to help them by reviewing their work thus far and making suggestions and providing ideas to improve the content, with up to date information on trends and examples.
My intervention helped the team to understand the potential fintech threats and opportunities for each of their lending verticals and shared case studies, resources, and more to support their presentation meant to help them confidently open dialogue with executives about future technology investment.
Two Targeted 30 day engagements
over the course of 2 years
National Property Management Firm set some very clear goals for the company to achieve by 2020. They knew they needed help with process, but didn't know where to begin. They thought they might need a change in technology to improve process efficiency. They asked if I would help them figure this out. Inspired by the work that I was doing to help map multiple process scenarios for lending and equipment finance companies, they saw how that process could help them understand how to improve complex cross-functional processes.
After I worked with their board to understand which problems were priorities and how they impacted the 2020 goals, I suggested that rather than taking months to figure this out, we could do this in chunks with focus. Instead of trying to take on everything, we zeroed in on the highest priority process, they assigned an executive sponsor and decision maker to own it. We needed to figure out how to have accurate and timely regulatory reporting across all states in which they do business (it was a lot). I helped them with problem definition, ideation, and strategy. They owned execution.
With this firm leadership foundation and prioritization of scope in place, I designed a cross-functional process workshop experience to help the client very quickly understand and accurately frame the problem to be solved, build shared understanding from a variety of perspectives, and visually map the process from the regulatory agency point of view first. This was key. Once we understood the regulatory agency's experience for multiple scenarios, we then started to visually map out the internal process to support it.
Outside facilitation was crucial. There were a lot of different views in the room. They didn't completely speak the same language about the problem and we had to have tough conversations. Bring a beginner mindset to the group allowed me to ask question they would not think to ask. In the end we found that their processes were actually sound, the framework they were following was good and they actually were using a great system. The challenge was adoption, standards, lack of assigned roles and responsibilities. The vision pinpointed exactly where the problem was happening.
With the right people in the room with decision making authority present, we were able to work together to generate ideas to solve the problems. Through an activity I call, "Ideas to action" we identified and prioritized short and long term actions with accountability, follow up dates, and measures of forward progress. The outcome was a new role added to the organization structure, new communication standards, new system adoption standards, new approach to communication with regulators. In less than a year, they successfully executed the program we defined in a two-day workshop.
The second year, we tackled a problem with a different group of stakeholders, a nationally distributed team across multiple functions. They needed to take a process from one year duration down to 90 days in order to scale business growth and hit their 2020 goal. Using a similar framework, I designed an experience to fit this challenge which included lengthy examination of the problem to be solved. This was a wicked tricky problem. Through the visual exercises, context building, cross-functional discussion and hard conversations meant to get us all on the same page and speaking the same language about he problem, we were finally able to come to shared definition of the problem and measures of success. This was the tipping point within the next 4 hours they generated ideas to solve the problem, vetted and planned out four projects using one of my frameworks. By the time the two day session was finished, they had a roadmap for the program necessary to solve this process challenge and a pilot was scheduled. Again, they did not need a new system. They did need to radically alter the order of certain key processes. Some of the process changes we discovered were made possible because of technology advances that they could leverage; advances that didn't even exist or were cost prohibitive when processes were originally established. In addition, the workshop revealed that, although they were using a good system, they had an adoption issue, needed to establish some usage standards, and define the source of truth for key information, which we found being stored across three different systems.
I wrote up the results of the workshop and by the time I went back to present findings to the board (about a month later due to travel schedule conflicts), they reported that half of the projects were already halfway complete and the pilot was underway and they were confident that they would hit their business goal to reduce the timing for this process. A collaborative clarity goes a long way.