Our Approach to Consulting

“If you start with training and end with training, all you will get is the training.”

Any training and development intervention will ultimately prove less than optimal result-wise if we have not assisted our client in identifying their organizational needs.  At IPS we craft a solid plan to deliver change interventions that actually solve organizational problems.  Utilizing our consulting services has only proven to enhance our success with our clients’ development goals.  Steps that IPS takes to ensure client outcomes include:

1. Selecting the ‘right’ consultant

IPS maintains a large base of extraordinary specialists and has a wide choice in an effort to ‘match’ the client with the very best consultant.  Since a large part of the consulting endeavor requires dependence on the relationship developed between the IPS consultant and the client, careful research is completed before a final consultant is recommended.

2. “Getting to know ‘you’”

The consulting relationship remains VERY personal even in today’s environment and IPS emphasizes the requirement of initially building a solid relationship between the consultant and the client.  Failure to take adequate time in this stage can result in long-term failure.  IPS has found that nothing replaces trust and respect between these two important entities.  For some consultants, this step is ignored or minimized whereas all of our consultants value this initial opportunity to build a strong structure. Minimally in this stage the consultant helps move the client towards an organizational development process that assists the client in looking holistically at the entire organization.

3. Selecting the ‘right’ process to utilize in order to identify the real problem

There are a large number of tools, steps, research, and best practices that can be used in this step.  The most important issue is that the consultant selected has the expertise and takes the time to choose the most applicable root cause analysis process during their initial assessment process.

4. Assessment

The possibilities for the actual assessment are most likely unlimited, but this process requires careful application of the tools identified previously and then analyzing the assessment results.  Looking at the organizations history/background, mission, strategic plans, etc. is particularly important in this stage.  IPS typically uses some combination of quantitative and qualitative research.  It is a real ‘art and science’ to both choose the correct process and analyze the results.  Regardless of the variables, the identification of the exact change needed requires considerable consultant expertise.

5. Selecting and applying the ideal intervention(s)

The root cause analysis process guarantees that IPS will recommend an intervention that specifically addresses the real issue.  This step is of such importance, but it is often overlooked.  Training is only one of many interventions available from IPS.  If training is not, Invista Performance Solutions will clearly and transparently communicate that.  Many organizations are surprised at the number and types of interventions actually available.  In addition, the IPS consultant will recommend an intervention regardless of whether that intervention is one that Invista can provide.  IPS has a wide array of intervention application success, but we don’t hesitate to recommend an intervention from another vendor when it is necessary.  We are committed to ultimate successful outcomes for our clients.

6. Evaluation

Measuring intervention success usually includes both formative and summative processes. IPS takes the time to develop the evaluation early in the consulting process, and then applies the selected evaluation(s) in this stage of the project. In this stage IPS provides results back to the client, which we jointly analyze, discuss, and conclude with future recommendations.

7. Project ‘Termination’

IPS may ‘terminate’ a project but we do not terminate our relationships with our clients.  Once we have worked with a client and have delivered a successful consulting endeavor, we seek to understand the future scope of the client and ways we can provide ongoing support for any change initiative.  As a local community-based provider, we pride ourselves on long-term relationships with our clients.  Our reputation within our community depends on our excellent services.

Consulting is a cyclical endeavor and although the process is replicable, the successful interventions vary widely.

Examples of IPS Consulting Projects

Below you will find a few examples of consulting work that IPS has done with 2 organizations that include the intervention and outcome with each company. This will give you a clear picture about the work that goes into each consulting project and how each consultant executes their goals after assessing the needs at each organization.

1. City of Tacoma – Environmental Services:

One of our consultants Janaki Severy who has been working over the course of the past year with the City of Tacoma – Environmental Services Division was asked about her approach to consulting and the work she has done with the City in regards to her interventions and outcomes with this organization that have been successful and valuable.  She stated:

What I love about working with Invista is that we are invested in learning as much as we can before we design work.  We invest time in discovery to make sure we understand what is going on and how best to create success with the best long-term outcome. This can include stakeholder interviews, observation, reviewing past approaches and custom designing training and coaching. This also helps us determine that best ways to measure success along the way and after the final delivery. We believe in long-term partnerships and those come from consulting and co-creating excellent results through listening and responding to our clients’ needs with precision.

Based on the feedback we have gotten from this organization’s employees and management, our consultant has been advantageous in helping to restructure their culture and supporting and developing the department’s team through the challenges she initially observed.  Janaki is just one of many expert consultants that work for Invista and is a testament that “Our Approach to Consulting” works!

2. Ionic – Lean Assessment:

An IPS’ consultant went into this organization to do an assessment in order to gauge the level of consultative and training work that would be needed to help them achieve their goals. The following overview, interventions and approach to the assessment are outlined below:

The assessment was designed to compare systems at the Ionic Tacoma operation to Lean Best Practices and assist the team in identifying continuous improvement opportunities, and to potentially apply their success as a template for other facilities and divisions within the Ionic system.

The Lean assessment was conducted in multiple ways: a self-assessment Lean Best Practices Questionnaire was completed by staff; the same assessment questionnaire was completed by the consultant using direct observation (plant tour); staff interviews; and video documentation.

The conclusion of the assessment indicated that the consultant would need to facilitate executive and management-level Lean Leadership sessions. The focus primarily is on providing executives with tools to drive results in the organization through establishing, improving and leveraging effective performance systems:

  • Establishing thinking and behaviors that support a lean culture, and establishing a deeper understanding of lean systems
  • Improving management team effectiveness
  • Enabling improvement that is more sustainable
  • Improving alignment across the organization
  • Strengthening the management bench

 

Please feel free to contact IPS for an initial discussion of how consulting may benefit your organization.  This endeavor is one that most often results in building long-term successful relationships with our clients.  That means success for the organization we work with!

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