Apply to MSS

First Name

Last Name

Phone

Email

State

Education

Check all that apply

Experience with a major consulting firm

Check all that apply

Certifications

Check all that apply

Experience

Check all that apply

Functional Experience

Check all that apply

Attach Cover Letter

Attach Resume

Join Our Talent Community

First Name

Last Name

Phone

Email

State

Education

Check all that apply

Experience with a major consulting firm

Check all that apply

Certifications

Check all that apply

Experience

Check all that apply

Functional Experience

Check all that apply

Attach Resume

facebook gplus linkedin sharethis
  • Blog

    blog banner
  • Category Archives: Organizational Transformation

    Planning Your Transformation Journey

    Two summers ago, my family and I went on a backpacking trip in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.  The trip started as a potential idea, then we did a large amount of research to determine the most interesting trails to hike, and we mapped out a path.  We created a packing list and determined what backpacking and camping gear we already owned and what we needed to buy or rent.  We planned our route and the distance we would travel each day, so we could plan where we would stay.  As the trip grew closer, we had to change direction and find another location to hike, due to weather and a problem with bears becoming too comfortable around humans.  We had two objectives for our trip: have a great time as a family and hike two days along the Hoh River trail and then head back out for the remaining two days.  This ensured we were able to stop and camp at specific locations along the way.  Because we planned ahead it paid off and we had an awesome family vacation.

    Planning, including planning for a business transformation, does not guarantee success. An example of failed transformation is the American automobile manufacturer.  They were unable to distinguish their brand during a highly competitive environment against foreign car companies who forced cost and fuel efficiency battles.  Their transformation methodology focused on cutting costs but resulted in brand confusion.

    Click to read more

    10 Red Flags That Your Change Management Program is Poor

    One of the greatest challenges of helping organizations with Change Management is that they often believe they are already doing it. After all, if you have a good leadership team that communicates with employees, they must be capable of leading change.

    But when you dig down and ask the leaders what they are doing to ensure their organization is prepared for and executing change strategies, we often find clear indications either they do not truly grasp change management, they do not understand the risks, or that their program is not robust enough for to handle the change.

    Learn what are the 10 red flags

    The Nuclear Way: Submarine Leadership Challenges

    How would you adjust to transferring from a self contained organization with a command and control leadership style to one with a distributed leadership style? How would you adapt? How would you prepare? And how would you be received?

    This is exactly what happened to me when I reported to be the Chief Engineer onboard the USS Santa Fe, a fast-attack, nuclear submarine based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

    Read the full article here

    3 Ways Teams Will Die Organizational Deaths and a Solution

    Sadly, I’ve watched many centralized change teams (e.g., Lean Offices, Agile Groups, Morale Committees) die organizational deaths. Much of the suffering prior to their demises has been at their own hands, though I doubt they would ever see it that way. Hence, I offer my perspective as another version of the story that may prompt self-reflection and learning. I’ll focus on three main ways that a change team dies, which include coercion, lag time and a focus on self. Afterwards, I will offer a potential solution of implementing employee empowerment, while minimizing business risk.

    Click here for more

    The Energizing Myth: The Greatest Tool of Transformational Leaders

    Have you ever had a thought turning in your head but were unable to describe it? And then someone turns a single phrase and you jump, “That’s it!” This happened to me on a recent trip to Europe.

    For a while now, I have been looking for something to describe an intangible capability that great, transformational leaders have that the rest of us seem to lack. Until now, it has been hiding behind concepts like vision, charisma, and purpose laying just out of reach. Then, while listening to an online course on the Italian Renaissance the lecturer referred to the concept of the “energizing myth,” and I was inspired.

    Continue to the full article

    Planning is Imperative Within a #ResponsiveOrg

    However, as the pace of change accelerates, the challenges we face are becoming less and less predictable.”¹ To many organizations, the norm has become not knowing what is happening in their markets. According to ResponsiveOrg’s Manifesto, the following are tensions which most organizations must evaluate today, which you can see for yourself at http://www.responsive.org/manifesto:

    I have pondered these ideas and thought about their implications, and even started some dialogue about the topics on their group-wide Slack that has almost 2,000 members.

    My main preoccupation was with the idea, “Why would planning generally be considered the opposing force of experimentation in the manifesto?”

    Continue to full article

    From Around the Web: Office Politics and Generational Gaps

    Like it or not, most people have inherent biases, certain opinions or judgments which have developed over time, which affect relationships within the workplace. Like complacency, strong opinions and biases can plague friendly business relationships and great customer service. Office politics can become a true stumbling block for project communications and organizational effectiveness. A lack of organizational transparency discourages innovation and achievement. From this behavior, collaboration and team dynamics can be strained creating a negative corporate culture, ultimately affecting your clients. Getting buy-in from leadership to be transparent within the organization, setting a standard, and uprooting negative habits when they occur can change the corporate culture for the better. Charles Zulanas, Senior Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, shares many articles from around the web that offer advice on how to overcome biases in the workplace that could be beneficial for overcoming office politics as well as generational gaps.

    Click here to read more.

    From Around the Web: Managing Office Politics and Generational Gaps

    generation-gap-at-work

    There once was a martial arts master that had a young student who possessed many poor habits. Each day, the young student performed his drills with poor techniques. The master decided he needed to show the student how his poor technique would affect him over time. The master asked the young student to accompany him to a tree farm.

    At the tree farm the master walked with the student to a section of young trees. The master asked the student to remove a 1-year old tree from the soil. The young student pulled the tree out with ease.

    “Very good,” replied the master. They then walked down the row to the 5-year old trees. The master asked the student to remove a 5-year old tree from the soil. Straining and pulling hard, the young student used all of his energy and after a struggle, managed to pull the tree from the soil. The young student, sweating, raised the 5-year old tree with its thick roots above his head.

    “Very good,” replied the master. The master and his student left the tree farm and outside stopped at a 50-year old tree. The master asked the student to remove a 50-year old tree from the soil. The student could not reach his hands around the trunk. He tried pulling, but the tree would not move. The young student told the master, “Master, I cannot remove the tree. It is too large and its roots have grown too thick.”

    The master stated, “Habits take root quickly. Old habits will not uproot with ease. Choose your habits wisely.”

    Like a bad habit, many of us have allowed biases to take root. Like it or not, most people have inherent biases, certain opinions or judgments which have developed over time. These often unconscious perceptions can also affect relationships within the workplace. Like complacency, strong opinions and biases can plague friendly business relationships and great customer service. Office politics can become a true stumbling block for project communications and organizational effectiveness. An “us versus them” bias could result in groups:

    1. Withholding ideas due to fear of criticism
    2. Being unwilling to put in discretionary effort to get a job done
    3. Gossiping about others behind closed doors
    4. Making decisions based on ease rather than effectiveness
    5. Overstating successes and withholding failures due to fear of job security

    These actions, which could be summarized as a lack of organizational transparency, discourage innovation and achievement. From this behavior, collaboration and team dynamics can be strained creating a negative corporate culture, ultimately affecting your clients. Getting buy-in from leadership to be transparent within the organization, setting a standard, and uprooting negative habits when they occur can change the corporate culture for the better.

    Google sets an example for leadership mitigating this type of behavior by employees, “The way we solve the ‘backstabbing’ problem, for example, is that if you write a nasty email about someone, you shouldn’t be surprised if they are added to the email thread,” Google HR boss Laszlo Bock writes in his new book, “Work Rules!” Bock continued, “I remember the first time I complained about somebody in an email and my manager promptly copied that person, which forced us to quickly resolve the issue. It was a stark lesson in the importance of having direct conversations with colleagues!”¹

    Generational Biases

    millennials-in-the-workforce

    Perception of Millennials in the workforce

    In many organizations, biases could also extend to certain generational groups, and may taint the perception of their effectiveness in fulfilling their role. With the increasing age gap between the oldest and youngest in the workplace, most organizations, having interacted with Generation X and Baby Boomers for quite a while, may not have a good perception of Millennials in the workplace. According to an article titled, “Meet the Not-So-Average Supply Chain Millennials” popular opinions of Gen X and Baby Boomers of Millennials (aged 22 to 37) are the following:

    • Entitled
    • Impatient
    • Impetuous
    • Narcissistic
    • Self-absorbed
    • Unwilling to pay their dues

    Many of these above views mimic studies of perceptions of Generation X when they entered the workforce, and for the Baby Boomers when they entered the workforce. However, according to the study, “over 50% of the Millennials in supply chain hold workplace attitudes that mimic those of boomers and Gen Xers.” Biases, from generational gaps or not, may stifle operations.

    How do you overcome this?

    Many articles from around the web offer advice on how to overcome biases in the workplace that could be beneficial for overcoming office politics as well as generational gaps:

    1. 14 Foolproof Tips for Managing Generational Age Gap in the Workplace
    2. How to Approach the Generation Gap in the Workplace
    3. How To Manage Generational Differences In The Workplace

    Thinking about the best ways to combat generational differences could save your organization time and money. Being honest and upfront with employees could eliminate some of the plagues of office politics as well. Envisioning the type of company that you are and where you want to be can help you define how you operate and who you want to be.


    ¹ Bock, L. (2015). Work rules!: Insights from inside Google that will transform how you live and lead. Hachette UK.


    Other articles From Around the Web

    From Around the Web: Cybersecurity and the IoT
    From Around the Web: You’re Being Disrupted!
    From Around the Web: Supply Chain Management
    From Around The Web: Automating Legal Services
    From Around the Web: Automation and the Technological Advances of Yesterday
    From Around the Web: Have You Thought About Safety?
    From Around the Web: Is Your Company Innovative?
    Could Decision Fatigue Be Bogging Your Customers Down?

    Complacency – The Spike Strip of the Business World

    We’ve all watched the docudramas and YouTube videos – The suspect is speeding away believing he can out-run or out-smart the police, the officers in chase call for the deployment of the spike strips, and soon the tires are flat and forward motion has stopped or greatly degraded. How is the spike strip relevant to the business world? Keep reading…

    As spike strips are to tires, complacency it to an organization: it deflates innovation, stifles creativity and impedes or stops the organization’s forward movement, what we call Transformation. This can occur at all levels in the organization or, in its most damaging form, it can afflict the organization as a whole. We’ve seen the impact of organization-wide complacency: Motorola’s comfort level with analog and refusal to embrace digital; Nokia snubbing the touch screen on mobile devices; Circuit City, Sears, K-Mart, the list goes on and on. These corporations were once leaders in their industries!

    See the full article

    Could Decision Fatigue Be Bogging Your Customers Down?

    Could decision fatigue be a reason why your business is thriving, stagnating or failing?

    In part 1 of his 3-part series on decision fatigue, Charles Zulanas, Sr. Consultant for MSS Business Transformation Advisory, describes ‘decision-making fatigue’ and how customers who have too many decisions to make can feed drained of physical energy. As a result, they are likely to make bad decisions or no decision at all due to decision paralysis. Charles describes how companies can ease the minds of their consumers by making the decision to purchase your product/service a no-brainer There are many ways of doing this, but among them include examples of monopolies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Netflix. Charles interweaves case studies to help any company to make it easier to penetrate any market. Part 1 of a 3-part series on decision-making, this article can help your company to find success in any industry.

    Click here to read the full article