desk close up.jpg


Our Process

Each institution and assignment is different, and we believe that flexibility and agility in approach are essential to delivering effective results.  That said, there are several key steps that typically characterize our work:

WE WORK AS A TEAM. We find that we achieve the best results when we combine our perspectives, experience, and strengths on a particular project. Although there may be times when we undertake projects individually, we prefer to work as a team.

ESTABLISH CONSENSUS about the scope and objective of the assignment, to whom our advice will be directed, and with whom it will be shared.  In many cases this will be the CEO or Board Chair.  In some instances it may be another member of the Senior Leadership Team or the Chair of a specific board committee (e.g. Advancement, Governance).

DETERMINE WHO the key stakeholders and relevant players are in the issue at hand, the roles they play, and the perspectives they can be expected to share.

ANALYZE relevant documents and data provided by the institution.  Our experience as managers and practitioners means that we can quickly assess information and read between the lines, when necessary, to develop useful lines of inquiry.  

LISTEN.  We ask probing questions that, based on our deep experience at a broad range of institutions, seem most relevant in the context of your institution and its current challenges.  Then we listen intently and sympathetically.  We will conduct conversations with as many members of the institutional community as seem necessary to understand the issues we have been asked to address.  Typically these conversations will be in person on-site.  When necessary they may be by telephone or Skype.

ASSESS AND CHECK BACK. We will share preliminary impressions and observations with the principal client to insure that we have not misunderstood or misinterpreted what we have heard.

DELIVER straightforward, unbiased, strategic feedback.  As independent consultants with no stake in institutional politics, we can see both the forest and the trees.  We will be objective, and we will be candid. Sometimes this may be in the form of one or more confidential conversations with the principal client.  Typically our findings and advice will also be communicated in a clear, concise, and specific summary report that may be shared more broadly at the discretion of the principal client.