2015 has arrived! Like most of us, you probably have a list of aspirations for improving yourself and your business over the next year…
While a couple of these are fun, if we are honest with ourselves most of these resolutions don’t make it through January. How can you make them stick? Here is a key to success in making sure your New Year’s resolutions don’t fall apart:
Pay attention to project culture and changing behavior.
Whether you’re diving into social media to generate demand, making your processes more efficient to save money, or improving your project governance to drive performance, the real hard work begins with changing people’s behaviors. Winning the hearts and minds of the people you work with must be addressed in tandem with business culture issues (politics and resource management, for example) in order for your business resolutions to really take hold.
While change management isn’t the only success driver, it’s one of the most important and often gets the least amount of consideration. A good start is vowing to change that in 2015.
Seeding young minds with dreams is a difficult task in itself. It can be equally hard to plan and make those dream happen. Both efforts require perseverance, wisdom, and the courage to try something few have pioneered. Over the recent few years, Grand Rapids Community Foundation has established a program to make college a realistic goal for youth in the west side of Grand Rapids. The Challenge Scholars program establishes a college-bound culture where college was formerly a rare option. By forging contracts to maintain achievement standards, and then providing post-secondary financial assistance to those students, the Challenge Scholars program has assumed a grand responsibility. DPT has partnered with GRCF to devise and implement a strategy to grow the program’s capabilities to meet that awesome responsibility.
It is a daunting effort to build a strong foundation to such a program. Talent, leadership, and vision are skills that foster those dreams; but, as importantly, those skills have to be aligned to a solid strategy. The plan that GRCF created following DPT’s approach will produce new methods to track relationships, reinforce academic achievement, deepen parental involvement, and support academic coaches and college placement advisors. There is little doubt that funding those efforts—and toiling relentlessly towards benefits that will be fully realized nearly a decade later—is a unique and equally formidable challenge.
When facing a new challenge, the DPT team can provide varied and deep experiences across many industries to get you started in the right direction. Your organization and opportunities are unique – and so is our approach to helping you improve your business. Starting with our Design and Readiness approach, we identify which efforts are most urgent, which require bolstering of support, and how efforts would be best sequenced so goals are met in the short, medium, and long term.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our annual CRM Executive Panel Event! Business executives from leading West Michigan companies including Bethany Christian Services, Crystal Flash, and Voice Data Systems fielded questions about their experiences partnering with DPT and building a roadmap to lasting CRM success.
Some highlights from the event:
DPT takes a unique business performance approach to CRM strategy. We can help your team chart a course towards sustainable, efficient, growth enabling, and rewarding solutions to the challenges you face. Hear more from our clients, and contact us to learn more about how a business and process first approach can lead your organization to CRM success.
"Working at DPT has been one of the happiest milestones of my career. I’ve wanted to join a boutique consulting firm for years, where expectations are as demanding and results are as gratifying as one can imagine. While globetrotting with the Big 4 consultancies had its rewards, relationships and successes with a client are much more meaningful when achieved as part of a small, talented team.
"For many years, I strived to gain experience across the broadest spectrum possible. I completed a liberal arts education in public policy at renowned University of Chicago, which incorporates group psychology, research in policy efficacy, ethics, and micro and macroeconomics. After that, Big 6 Consulting (now Big 4?) was a way to gain experience in each back office and front office discipline, while not being locked into any one or dozen industries. I chose to keep my options open until I found something to be passionate about—as you can’t be successful without passion. I’ve discovered that leadership advisory is where it’s at for me. Practice leadership requires applying both creative and analytical hemispheres of the brain, which is something that suits my wiring.
"I’m new to Grand Rapids, having spent much of my career and life seemingly everywhere else imaginable. I look forward to moving to beautiful West Michigan, where I’ll be found biking, dodgeballing (see comically bad photo), watching my daughter Irish dance and my son attending first grade, sneaking out to lunch with my wife who is a physician, and cruising on my relative’s pontoon boat on the Thornapple River….with my newfound friends and colleagues at DPT, of course!"
Luke Maddox was recently interviewed for MiBiz and gave practical advice for getting more out of your Customer Relationship Management system - including points such as, "Set aside the software and first think about how you engage with your customers." Read more about best practices and advice from DPT and others on the MiBiz website.
One of the critical questions to answer when redesigning or simply enhancing your business processes is – which focus area will provide the highest value to go after first? Because you can’t “eat the elephant all at once,” there are a number of factors that should go into deciding how you prioritize your business process work.
First, think about your business strategy and success drivers. For instance, if you are in a low margin or competitive industry, your primary business objective is expanding margins. Improving operating efficiency would be the primary criteria for choosing business processes to redesign. On the other hand, if increased “walletshare” (expanding sales with current customers) is a higher priority driver, then the potential for enhanced relationships and uncovering hidden sales opportunities would be a better prism through which to prioritize improvement areas.
Another key factor to realistically consider is your organization’s culture and appetite for process change. Any great improvement idea can be rendered ineffective if it is not adopted well, and fully incorporated into a new way of doing business. Gaining buy in from the people involved in the process, including incorporating ideas that improve their (and not just management’s) experience can dramatically improve success rates.
There are a number of other factors to consider when launching a Business Process Management project. DPT’s Design and Readiness approach evaluates all of the pertinent factors to tailor the right answer for your organization and situation.
Brian may be the new guy at DPT, but he’s not new to business performance improvement. Having worked in the software industry for 12 years, Brian brings not only a wealth of experience, but also a touch of the unexpected to the DPT team.
“Ultimately, I want to help our clients be more successful in their endeavors,” says Brian. “My experience has taught me that technology is really the enablement of people and processes – you can’t buy a whole new system and not have the people that will use it in mind. That’s a common mistake that I’ve seen, but something that DPT consistently gets right.” For DPT’s clients, Brian digs in to learn as much as he can about their business goals and processes so he can align the software solution with the business needs.
“Life is all about balance,” says Brian, and when it comes to work-life balance, he has it figured out. When not engaged in helping clients address business performance needs, Brian is passionate about spending time on his hobby farm, where he, his wife, and their three kids work together to raise a myriad of goats, chickens, pigs, and a variety of fruit trees. “West Michigan has its own beauty,” says Brian, “And I’m happy to be here, to have family in the area, and to be able to serve local companies.”
With over 27 years as a successful business strategist and leader, Jack Kelly has learned more than his share of business lessons by jumping in and attacking problems. Jack comes to DPT with an exceptional knowledge of how we operate and a unique appreciation of our local partnership approach – This perspective comes from his previous professional life where he was engaged with DPT as one of our longest lasting customers.
Problem solving and the art of aligning business strategy and process are just a couple areas where Jack enjoys spending his professional time. With a broad background spanning finance, technology, sales, and operations, there are few challenges that Jack doesn’t have the experience to understand and tackle. His approach is simple: No problem is as complicated as we make it out to be. Break it down and find a positive solution.
Outside of work, Jack loves spending time with his wife, Julie, and two sons, Vince and Ross. They enjoy playing board games, being outdoors, playing music, being on the water, and last but not least – cheering for the Spartans! Lastly, here are two messages about Jack’s outlook on life - It is a good thing we don’t have to live this life alone! - and - Fun is critically important… have some today!
Making a great food dish starts with quality ingredients. There’s a lot of value in having fine flour, fresh veggies, and the perfect aged cheese when it comes to taking a recipe from “so-so” to mouthwatering. You wouldn’t build a gourmet pizza from less than perfect ingredients, and the same is true for improving your business performance.
Do you have a business problem or improvement area that you need to tackle? Or maybe you have an aggressive growth plan and need a partner to help you get there? Our experienced business strategists allow us to interact with our clients at a strategic level – quickly understanding your priorities and vision, and effectively bringing the right mix of DPT’s practice areas to bear to solve your problems and move you forward.
The question isn’t which service to start with, but what’s the right mix of business service “ingredients” to get at the heart of your problem and make business change happen. At DPT, our services are closely integrated, and we work with you to engage those services where it makes the most sense to bring you exactly what you need to improve your business.
As an example, a key success factor in implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions is defining and standardizing the underlying business processes (Business Process Management). Meanwhile, Project Leadership plays a role not only in managing scope, schedules, and budget, but also in driving success through change management, mitigating risk, and measuring business performance. Of course, we also leverage our extensive CRM strategy and design experience on such projects.