When my husband Jeff and I first came across Caring Transitions, we knew it was the perfect opportunity for us to leave the corporate world and start our own business. We were drawn to the company’s focus on helping the senior community, and saw the need for its services in the Dallas area.
We worked feverishly on building an amazing team to support the growing demand for senior services and our dreams of owning and operating our own company were coming to fruition. In the midst of our dreams, Jeff was diagnosed with cancer and lost his brave battle last year. It was almost serendipitous that my daughter Nicole stepped up to join me as co-owner of Caring Transitions of North Dallas Suburbs.
You probably remember the old saw about the wisdom of bringing a knife to a gunfight. Obviously you’ll be out matched and have a bad day. Yet, so much of the thinking that goes into shaping and changing companies revolves around the tools and tactics that a consultant brings to the table (the knife), rather that the reasons for them to be used (the gunfight).
This isn’t helped by the fact that many change consultants and coaches are clueless about how to run a company day to day and how to manage people with varying interests and agendas. What usually happens is the consultant will bring in whatever tool set they have developed (or are required to use) and apply tactics to the situation without developing an overall strategy.
For example, a closely held company was run by the four people who founded it. Over the ten years it’s been in operation, a lot of the control became concentrated with one autocratic founder. This person rubbed everyone, including customers, the wrong way. Yet, because of loyalty, and perhaps fear, the other three founders ignored his behavior. As would be expected, this individual’s performance began to affect the company negatively. A consultant we know was hired to help them sort out the situation.