I'm an accidental entrant into the People & HR profession. I'm an information scientist by education who happened to be in the right place at the right time many years ago to be picked up by a Big-4 professional services firm to provide technology security services to clients. Early in my career with the firm, I was offered an incredible opportunity within the Learning & Development function to "create more of you... and quickly". I was hooked. I loved every minute of it. The learning theories, challenges, boundless opportunities of working in Blue Sky thinking with incredible people from around the world.
I enrolled in graduate school part-time while working for the firm, earning my Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Organizational Behavior. The program came to life for me, as I was living it every single day, not just studying it.
I developed an amazing experiential Learning Lab program that slashed training time and got people working productively at clients in a matter of weeks as opposed to months of on-the-job training and shadowing previously. I relocated to London for a bit and was part of an amazing team that stood up a global testing methodology and platform to ensure auditors actually learned the content they were taught (a post-Enron lesson for sure).
I worked my way into the firm's Global Human Capital Function and came to lead Performance Management for the global network of firms for several years, rolling out many process and technological improvements to the way its people were coached, developed and reviewed. I was a subject matter expert and author for the firm's People & HR Technologies Strategy and worked to sell the vision around the globe.
But I was restless... The allure of the partnership simply faded for me. You see, even the best places to work in the world have their challenges. For me, it was acknowledging that fewer and fewer partners were being made from internal ranks. To be considered for the partnership, I would need to return to client service after a decade plus of working internally, build a revenue base and business case and apply for partnership in a model where maybe one out of every one hundred new hires becomes partner.
So I left! I made the bold decision to go out on my own and build that book of business for myself. With the help, coaching and friendship of a great former colleague and mentor, I starting delivering HR Transformation services to a large client. It was exhilarating and scary all at the same time. I had myself to congratulate if I was successful and myself to blame if I failed.
Fortunately, success it was and the rest is history! I've met incredible people and great clients along the way. I'm fortunate to be able to learn every single day I work - from clients, thought leaders and the hard-working employees of the organizations I work with.
Recognizing the ever-increasing needs of organizations for solving their broader People and Workforce challenges and opportunities, I expanded my business from just myself into the founding of a consortium of partners, an "anti-consultancy" if you will... Large and specialist professional services firms have amazing people and collateral - but it's just that, reusable and customizable collateral. My consortium of partners and I are different - we spend time understanding clients inside and out, designing the right solutions for any given maturity point and goal and then doing the pull-through implementation and change management work to ensure success, and in many cases, at a fraction of the cost of the big firms. In fact, we often end up working with clients to bring our years of experience of working for those same firms to help them extract maximum strategic value from those firms, while implementing and delivering solutions much more cost-effectively. This focus on pull-through implementation and delivery gives us the added benefit of "lessons learned" that we bring forward to future work with clients. One-size-fits-all thought leadership doesn't implement well unless it is rationalized against a deep knowledge of the design and workings of the individual client - that's where we excel!