Sample Projects and Success Stories
The majority of the business consulting performed by Dr. Deb Carlin’s Partners in Excellence LLC is done within a confidentiality agreement. Since most clients don’t want their organizational pitfalls revealed, we firmly believe that confidential consulting is the best way to successfully progress organizational development. However, there are times when there was public knowledge of our project or we've obtained permission to share an overview and the results. What follows is a list of sample projects that Partners In Excellence LLC has worked on.
*Please note that because of our use of confidentiality agreements this is a small sampling of our work.
A Nationwide Insurance Corporation
Problem: There is an observable void in training for employees to learn what it takes to be a successful manager; typically individuals learn on the job through their direct experiences. Unfortunately, this approach leads many employee managers feeling secretly uncomfortable in their position of authority. It leads also to conflict and work performance challenges that go unresolved for long periods of time.
Solution: Partners In Excellence, LLC, conducted a survey of managers and supervisors to determine how best to respond to this observed problem. The result is a program wherein managers learn specific communication and intervention skills so they can not only manage but also begin to mentor their people.
Results: Each group that goes through the program reports feeling more confident and competent in their role as is then evidenced through work performance being met and employee morale being high.
A Resort Community
Problem: Homeowners within the self governed community were in a state of upheaval after they purchased the management rites from the builder of the community. The Board was faced with having to learn every aspect of self governance, community planning, restaurant, spa and golf course management. Property values were at risk, relationships and friendships were also at risk. The Board itself was in a state of chaos with tremendous friction and public fighting.
Solution: Partners In Excellence, LLC, conducted a thorough organizational assessment, recommended strategic changes, implemented them, created a new model of an organizational chart, developed a PR campaign for the Board and the members of the community, coordinated a strategic plan, coordinated and facilitated community meetings as well as Board meetings and arranged a series of ballot initiatives for the residents to vote upon issues once they were appropriately educated about each one alongside implications of their votes. This was a 6 month intensively designed plan.
Results: Each and every aspect of what the community was in need of was met, the Board was able to resume normal planning functions instead of reactive ones, a management team was put into place to run the daily operations, the original developer resumed responsibility for a number of the community planning and maintenance activities and best of all, morale and ambiance improved as a result of what was a very shared accomplishment.
A Midwestern State University
Problem: Lack of consistent leadership within a professional school led to a chaotic environment; loss of full accreditation was the end result. Without full accreditation, the school risked loss of student applicants, potential faculty loss and ultimately, closure from the Board of Curators.
Solution: Partners In Excellence, LLC, conducted a thorough organizational assessment, recommended strategic changes, implemented them, created a new model of an organizational chart, developed a PR campaign, coordinated a strategic plan, coordinated accrediting body reports and arranged the ultimate site visit. This was a 22-month critically designed plan.
Results: Each and every requirement of the accrediting body was met, and the university regained a full seven-year accreditation. Administration, faculty, staff and student morale are, of course, improved as a result of this shared accomplishment.
A Healthcare Corporation
Problem: Stress was high for both administrators and care providers given the combination of the heavy caseloads and the terminal nature of the majority of the patients. Under these conditions, mistakes were being made with patient protocols and injuries were increasing. Tempers flared and risk management was growing impatient as they became increasingly anxious about potential litigation.
Solution: Partners In Excellence, LLC, conducted an organizational assessment, recommended strategic changes, implemented them, created a design to accommodate additional employees with screening that included assessments, altered the organizational structure to create more efficient supervision, and redesigned protocols to ensure greater accountability for all employees earlier in each patient care case.
Results: Litigation was avoided and implementations succeeded and were sustained. Employee morale increased, and employee disciplinary actions decreased. When Medicare and JCOH conducted inspections, there were no sanctions but rather compliments were given.
A Federal Government/Military Facility
Problem: A decision was made to downsize from 5,000 to 1,500 staff within a 12-month period. Since the vast majority of employees were lifetime government employees, they had high anxiety and little perspective on options of where to seek careers. Stress was so high there were incidents of myocardial infarctions that occurred at the facility during high-stress planning meetings; there was also one suicide immediately following a meeting. Obviously, there was also concern about morale and negative press for the agency.
Solution: Partners In Excellence, LLC, immediately coordinated a fact-finding investigation to examine what had been communicated about the downsizing and what services were in place for lifestyle changes. We immediately implemented counseling, stress management, career/life choice planning seminars and employee support groups facilitated by Dr. Carlin.
Results: Over a period of ~10 months, the implementations succeeded and were sustained; employee morale increased as was measured by surveys capturing information about planning and enthusiasm for life changes. Most critically, catastrophic employee medical events at the facility ceased. When queried, more than 85% of those who participated in the program reported high levels of satisfaction with the services and also felt the changes were healthy rather than devastating.
A Construction/Homebuilding Corporation
Problem: Each project was a custom-built product and the investment for the customer typically exceeded 1 million dollars. The business had been very successful until growth occurred at an exponential rate. Coordination between construction crews, architects, office staff, the CEO, the bankers and the clients began to suffer, and monetary losses were becoming a problem along with a decrease in customer satisfaction and employee morale. Bankers then became wary of making future investments.
Solution: Partners In Excellence, LLC, conducted an organizational assessment, recommended strategic changes and implemented them. We created an organizational structure to facilitate more effective and efficient communication with the use of high-tech devices such as cell phones, tele-radios, Palm Pilots, automobiles equipped with laptop computers and online mobile videoconferencing. These technologies were available not just to the employees but to vendors and clients as well. We also designed a new method for disbursements to all employees, vendors and independent contractors that monitored every aspect of spending.
Results: The company began to function very well with a healthy growth rate of 20% over it's previous year's earnings. Quality controls were put in place and protocols and policies followed with effective methods for accountability of employees. Happily, the CEO has enjoyed numerous write-ups in newspapers and trade magazines about his successful business practices and gorgeous high-end homes.
A Not-For-Profit Organization
Problem: There was no cohesive plan for education in cardiac rehabilitation units about how to assess and conduct effective rehab in a strategic manner. The business of cardiac rehab needed to be standardized according to scientific literature, insurance and Medicare guidelines. Coordination between the aforementioned parties had led to confusion about not only the program components but also to who was eligible and for what time frames.
Solution: A committee was formed within the organization and an organized assessment of programs was done. Recommended strategic changes were made and then implemented. We created a new set of literature for the referring physicians, healthcare workers within the unit and cardiac rehab nurses. We also created new literature for patients so they could be better informed about the program and why it would be of help to them.
Results: The cardiac rehab community began to feel the positive effects of being more organized and functioning more effectively for all of their heart patients.
A Local School District
Problem: Being involved with elementary and secondary education is stressful for educators and administrators. Teachers typically have little time during the course of the day to manage all the demands placed upon them from the various interests they serve -- calls from parents, requests from administration, assignments from building and district committees, unexpected events with students, curriculum expectations, and the everyday needs of the students. Through surveys and interviews, we found that the professionals in education, those people who spend the majority of their day with our children, to be in serious need of a program that would help them facilitate communication, management of their time and stress.
Solution: A program was designed and implemented as an ongoing effort to bring educators together to help them learn techniques to feel replenished in the midst of the hours across the day that drain them. The focus is on reflective practices for individuals and groups.
Results: The benefits of this program are consistently observed as quickly as the work begins. As attendees learn the core values and begin to put into practice what they discuss, they feel better psychologically and also report feeling physically better over time. In addition, when the program is ongoing, administrators and educators both report significantly observable decreases in disciplinary challenges with students.