I'm a creative problem solver hell-bent on helping clients get what they want and say what they mean.
Although my education is in political science and public policy, I’ve always been interested in planning and the forces of change within organizations. Specially, I’ve been fascinated with the people parts of planning—how people form organizations, how they set goals, how they work together, how they build buy-in, and so on.
As a management consultant for my entire career....
I’ve been fortunate to work with clients through hundreds of strategic planning efforts. I’d watch and listen as they discussed their big challenges. I’d toss ideas in as we thrashed around to develop the right approach. Time after time, I saw clients come away from these planning projects feeling less energized than more. An effort that was so important and exciting—planning for the future—was dreaded because it was lengthy, circular, and often filled with politics and interpersonal conflict. The pain and hassle of the process left people more skeptical—what it worth it? Would anything actually change?
Starting in 2013, the stakes were raised. Sequestration left my federal clients with less money. They felt boxed in with fewer options and yet the pressures to produce and make progress on their mission hadn’t gone away. I saw people who’d previously been enthusiastic grow weary with the bad news that was all around us and less and less optimistic about the future—or any ability they had to actually make things better. I saw client after client, friend after friend give up on their biggest, most audacious goals and start to settle. Recent years have been a discouraging, disappointing time for many—certainly a difficult position from which to create optimistic momentum and positive excitement for the future. Yet, that seems precisely what’s needed to pull out of this funk.
After two years of long meetings and facilitating difficult conversations, I knew there must be a better way to make change. Even though we’d followed the traditional best practices for planning, I knew there must be a better, lighter, more inspiring way to create the room for clients to grow towards their goals and to come out of that process feeling optimistic about the future and more bonded to their colleagues. So, I was determined to boil the planning process down to its most essential elements and shed the cumbersome, unneeded extras.
We may have met through my published pieces on Inc.com, GovExec.com, Bloomberg Government, or my retired blog Goviepop. My book, Flock: Getting Leaders to Follow is a best seller in Organizational Behavior on Amazon.com and I'm pretty excited about it. Most recently, I launched Own It: Drive Your Career to a Place of Happiness and Success. You can download it for free here.
I've presented and participated at federal and industry events including the Toigo Ground Breakers, Women in Leadership conference for professional women, National Facilities Management and Technology (NFMT) conference, Women in Facilities panel, Department of the Interior professional education events, and the Chesapeake Bay Organizational Development Network (CBODN.)
I am a board member with the Institute for Conservation Leadership (ICL) providing training, coaching, organizational development support to range of environmental non-profits. I am a strategic advisor to A is for Africa-- a small, family-run 501 (c) 3 giving students in Tanzania a leg up by sponsoring a daily hot lunch, access to computers and books, and improving teacher education.
I hold a BA in Political Science from James Madison University. I adore my family, running, cooking, and anything furry and four-legged. I have never felt tied down to one hair color, can barely close my dresser drawers, and love looking at before and after pictures of any kind.