By Bill Vignes
I’ve been a business development executive for consulting companies for most of my career. As such, my teams are brought in to discuss, scope and deliver projects that lend to an organization’s increased business value in one way, shape or form. Whether it’s risk mitigation, creating operational efficiencies or focusing directly on creating a measurable strategic advantage, we always know that there’s a bigger picture in mind.
What frustrates me is the number of times we engage in these types of high-level, strategic, business-value conversations with our customers only to find the value we’re trying to drive lost in the mire of on-time, on-budget metrics that seem to pervade the middle-management layers of an organization.
Currently, as a VP and Director of a global consulting firm, I see this from yet another level. The C-level executives get it today. All divisions within an organization need to demonstrate measurable business value. Measures are taken, frameworks are adopted and cultural transformation initiatives abound, but it still seems like something is getting lost in the translation when it gets down to individual project execution.
With this book, Marc has given every layer of a project initiative, from the chief stakeholder to a member of the implementation team, the framework, tools, baseline education and motivation to align all lifecycle phases towards helping an organization realize every last bit of business value they can wring from their investment dollars.
I am also a trained Business and Personal Development Coach, and I am passionate about it. Developing the “Who” in the equation is paramount to the What and the How, which seem to fall in place once the individual is aligned with their core beliefs and goals. This is where the greatest gains can be realized and they reverberate throughout an organization, a family or a person’s life. Within the context of the People, Process, and Tools analogy, Marc also adopts a very strong People approach helping the project professional identify areas to shift his viewpoints from a daily, task-laden existence, to a focus on the greater good of the organization.
Marc understands that people are not invested in tasks. What motivates an individual changes from person to person, but one thing is universal – People have an inherent need and strive to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and in this quest, they strive to add value.
While the focused, measured and daily tasks of any project are integral, I have been involved in only a precious few projects that were built to align a team towards a bigger, singular vision. Marc’s vision is to align entire project teams towards the greater good in driving true shareholder value for their organization.
There’s a story about 2 workers who are lugging heavy lumber, concrete and such under a blazing sun building a structure. It’s clear that one is miserable and the other seems energized. When the first one is asked, “How’s it going?”, the response is, “I just can’t wait to get done with work so I can get home. Dragging heavy stuff around in this heat is horrible.“ The second one answers the same question with a resounding, “GREAT!” When pushed further for why he is so great, he offers, “I’m building a school where children are going to learn and grow!” Are you implementing a tool, or helping a company grow to increase value, jobs and putting food on your colleagues’ tables? Marc is not only helping individuals get better at their jobs, but when adopted globally, he’ll be adding to the productivity of world economies!
In Marc’s “Professional Development Game Plan for Success” sections at the end of each chapter, you are forced to spend some time to think about yourself and your projects, and this is the one thing most people lack in their day to day existence. We move forward from one task to the next barely taking time to evaluate, assess and re-assess, and enjoy what we are doing. And when we do take the time to evaluate ourselves and our conditions, we’re only asking the questions we inherently know to ask – those things wired into our brains over the last decades. The collaboration Marc brings from his vantage point of expertise adds creativity and true personal growth to the equation. We are prompted to look at things we’ve taken for granted, examine currently held beliefs for their validity today and urged to consider new options that we may not have thought of before.
As is typically true of the universe (at least the one that I live in), I’m blessed to have had the honor to aid in the development of this remarkable book and to have re-connected with Marc at a time when our two distinct paths are so closely aligned.
The fact that you found this book at this time also has its reason. Read on!
Founder, FIRST AND GOAL Coaching
First and Goal Coaching, Inc. provides executive, organizational and individual coaching to help our clients achieve drastic gains and create impactful shifts in the areas of productivity, revenue and profit creation, true alignment and coordination, and improved performance by implementing trusted methodologies and developing the individuals and teams integral to success.