Consulting

“My greatest strength as a consultant
is to be ignorant and ask questions.”

— Peter Drucker

What It Is

Management consulting increases business value by providing to management independent and objective advice and assistance on strategy, structure, management, culture and operations in pursuit of an organization’s long-term mission and objectives. (Source: adapted from IMC USA)

How It’s Structured

A consultant diagnoses the current organization, helps develop a workable and agile strategy, recommends and/or assembles the right people, processes and technologies for disciplined execution and help track performance.

This process can be applied to an individual project, market, or the entire company, either to improve performance or to prepare for merger or sale. He or she has access to specialized skills either in house or through affiliatesa and can provide access to information, capital and partner companies.

Engagement with a client can be for a short-term project or as a long-term relationship that takes a company through a series of growth stages.

Where It Helps

  • Skill building
  • Research and analysis
  • Business modeling
  • Culture strengthening
  • Technology implementation
  • Capital and partner access

Example Areas

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Stakeholders and markets
  • Information and analysis
  • Workforce
  • Processes

How We Work With You

The scope, sequence, content and schedule of each consulting engagement depends on the circumstances and needs of the client organization. A “typical” consulting engagement is shown graphically as a stepwise process of discovery, planning, research, analysis, recommendations, implementation and monitoring and adjustment. This is not how effective consulting actually works.

Given the VUCA environment in which every company now operates, the consulting engagement is both integrated, iterative and expansive. First, even small businesses and markets are too complex to advise with a stepwise process. Second, changing technology, markets, and competition means that strategy may may need to evolve even during the consultation. Finally, several disciplines or resources outside of the consultant’s expertise may be needed to assure competent diagnosis and recommendations. This last process is why consilient consulting has become so powerful.

Mark Haas discussing intangible assets at Georgetown University

Consulting Case Studies

(click title for details)

Corporate Revitalization

Client Need: Key functions at a human services nonprofit were inconsistent and undocumented, and it was unclear in what areas the greatest errors and waste existed. Management training by senior staff was ineffective due to high turnover and lack of understanding of process management, quality and evaluation principles.

ROM Contribution: Identified key functions and processes necessary to implement strategy map and trained staff in process and quality principles. Worked with responsible managers to lay out processes, both as-is and to-be, and developed performance targets and deployment process flows. Oversaw implementation of improved processes and recommended phased implementation consistent with staff ability to integrate and maintain new activities. Advised CEO on ways to build and sustain a culture of performance.

Business Model Canvas

Client Need: A national biodiversity nonprofit was looking to significantly grow in revenue and expand its reach into new areas, but didn’t know where made the most sense. They were looking together understand their current business model and how they might pivot to a different model to make that expansion happen. They asked ROM to help them through the business model development process.

ROM Contribution: We worked with leadership and senior staff to train them in business processes and the business model canvas. We worked with individual staff to develop each canvas element and then facilitated a two-day offsite session  to create “as-is” and “to-be” canvases. Finally, we helped them start the model validation process and implement their new strategy.

Performance Improvement

Client Need: Several Institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the Office of Extramural Research, which oversees $27 billion in research and the Office of the Budget, asked ROM for help in assessing organizational performance, developing new strategies to improve effectiveness and other aspects of operational efficiency. We were selected in part because of our familiarity with biomedical research, federal laboratories and the scientific culture. We started with the National Institute of Mental Health and were asked by successive Institutes for help with their own operations.

ROM Contribution: For each Institute, we worked with leadership to tease out what was really the challenge or opportunity, often not the assumed issues. We conducted interviews inside and outside NIH to understand where opportunities or risk were and understood what was possible under budget, regulatory and personnel constraints. We then developed strategies, implementation plans, communication strategies and associated investment plans for technology, training, policy modification and personnel or management changes. Eventually we advised several biomedical research missions and NIH offices that in clouded budget, grants management, administrative operations and overall management of NIH.

Strategic Planning

Client Need: For several nonprofit organizations in industries ranging from clinical research, healthcare and sports, ROM has been asked to design and implement a  process to develop a multiyear strategy. In many cases, these organizations were looking for an entirely new approach in response to significant changes in their markets, customers or members.

ROM Contribution: In each case, ROM worked with leaders, both enthusiastic and reluctant stakeholders and corporate partners to define organizational needs and risks. We conducted stakeholder interviews, researched competitive environment, assessed organizational capabilities, developed an understanding of why and how past strategies succeeded or failed, and worked with leadership to design a facilitated strategy process that would engage and enthuse the organization  to help implement and support the strategy. We used a range of processes and tools to formulate and execute the strategy, including business model canvas, one page business plan, open space processes, strategy work groups and strategy mapping teams.

Merger of Two Scientific Associations

Client Need: Two ocean science associations were considering a merger to strengthen their influence and impact on more effective use and protection of ocean resources. The organizations had very different orientations and cultures and political and scientific considerations could have delayed or diusturbed a possible merger.

ROM Contribution: Evaluated the issues surrounding each organization’s current mission and capabilities. Advised respective boards on member relations, governance, business model, stakeholder relations, consensus on vision, the integration/merger process, regulatory considerations,  and political (external and internal) considerations.

Quality Assessment

Client Need: Organizations applied for prestigious quality award by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. Judges are selected based on experience and skills in evaluating high performance organizations.

ROM Contribution: Served as a lead examiner, managed evaluations, and supervised feedback reports and/or site visits for:

  • Middle School
  • Hospital
  • Manufacturers
  • Auto assembly plant
  • Federal Reserve bank
  • Machinery assembly facility

Leadership Performance Assessment

Client Need: A director of a key division of a research institution was presumed to have difficulty managing work and with staff relations. Work was being held up and staff morale was suffering and all the difficulties of the division were being blamed on the director.

ROM Contribution: Reviewed history of director position and job responsibilities. Interviewed key staff and heads of other divisions, and reviewed process responsibilities and workflows of division in question. Worked with director to determine strengths and opportunities for improvement to division processes as well as director responsibilities. Findings were different than expected and recommendations provided an acceptable performance and morale through reorganization and process changes.

ROM sees a business as a system, made upon business, personal, market and community components. While not all these supportive services are needed for each client, we think about their value and are ready to connect our clients with quality advisors in each of these areas.

Puzzle4

Pro Bono Consulting

We support our communities by sharing our expertise in diagnosis, organizational development, business planning, strategy development and execution, and evluation for local and national nonprofits.  We help them answer the Four Questions and support their missions over the long term.

  • ANDI Leadership Institute for Young Women – Advise executives on strategy and operationas and lead seminars on business planning and project management to equip the next generation of young, female peace builders from the Middle East, Asia and the US with the necessary conflict resolution and leadership skills.
  • Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America – Led strategic planning effort for National Capital region of a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Montgomery County Public Schools – Designed and administered a survey of 1,200 students, faculty and parents on homework burden and worked with administrators and teachers to develop options to streamline requirements.

What Clients Say

  • We could not have done it without you. The two of you make a great team, and you helped us work through a tremendous amount of material in a short time. As I am sure you could see, we have been thinking about these facets of our business for a long time. But it was fantastic to have the chance to get all of those thoughts organized and laid out in a way that can help us advance our business more effectively.

    CEO of a Conservation Nonprofit
  • Mark Haas has a great sense of humor, his integrity is beyond reproach, he is industrious, altruistic and a decent golfer, yet these are not even his greatest qualities. Mark has an incredible wealth of knowledge of organizations, their dynamics and how to improve their operations, productivity and teamwork. In less than a year he has reenergized and revamped […] to a level that amazes us all. Our membership has increased dramatically, the programming is incredible and our vision and focus for the future is well crafted and visible. As the president, he has worked harder than any single member for our mutual success yet does not seek personal recognition or glory. He places the interest of the organization first.

    Board Member of a Professional Association
  • The strategies and partnerships outlined in your email represent the best forward thinking about a sustainable future that I’ve seen in all my years here.

    Board Member of a Professional Association
  • Mark personally led IMC’s DC chapter from aimless drift to vibrant excellence—the finest in the US, by several measures. He then applied the same passion, creativity, and skills to his service as Ethics Chair and Vice Chair of the Board at the national level. He has done more to elevate the standards and status of the management consulting profession than anyone I know.

    Lt. Col. US Air Force
  • Mark is a very seasoned consultant with a deep understanding of how people and organizations work to achieve results. He has assisted me with consulting assignments which involve the analysis of complex information and consideration of various solution paths for the ultimate client. I will continue to use Mark’s help when required on challenging engagements.

    President of Service Firm
  • Mark is a complete professional, balancing attention to detail with impeccable client service. He has a reputation for bringing projects in on time, under budget and tailored to the needs of the client.

    Professional Colleague
  • I have known Mark for over 5 years. During that time, my respect and admiration for him has continued to grow. Mark is not only one of the most ethical individuals I have ever met, he is also one of the most competent and diligent. Regardless of the task, he applies an extraordinary amount of energy and insight. I feel fortunate to consider him a friend and colleague.

    President of Education Advisory Firm
  • What a great job you have done leading that organization to new heights!

    BoardChair
  • I can only say again, that you are doing a great job and I fully support your vision, your energy, your efforts and your leadership.

    Board Chair
  • Mark, I thought you did an exceptional job with a group that had difficulty understanding its past, present, and future. I loved your frequent comment “Do we have 80% of what there is.” That certainly moved things along. I believe we have a great start. […] will move things along and as a result the Council Forum will become much more productive. Thanks for a great job.

    Executive Director of a Finance Company
  • Mark’s services are and continue to be integral to the development of the business plan for a 580 person not-for-profit service provider. He was able to identify problem areas, recommend remedial actions and assist the CEO with staff assignments in each problem area. His quick assessment of the operation and the creation of interim steps, helped to provide a much needed kick-start to progress in the right direction. Mark’s integrity and attention to detail are exceptional. His experience with a variety of businesses makes him the consultant of choice for any CEO wishing to improve performance in their organization.

    VP of a Social Service Nonprofit
  • Mark was invaluable to me in helping my management team develop and integrate new systems through his thoughtful design and measurable outcomes. Our business has turned around, in part, because of the systems we designed with Mark and executed over the past three years.

    Mark worked with my executive management team and me to build into the middle and lower management of my organization a business planning and project management system that will align with the overall strategic plan.

    I highly recommend Mark.  He is clear thinker and dives deep into his clients culture and businesses to understand all aspects of the assignment or project and then provides a very thorough assessment and plan for consideration and action.

    CEO of a Social Service Nonprofit

Greater insight into where you are and where you can go
lays the foundation for growth. The right advisors team can help you
sort out how to get there and how you will know..