Exercising your Ask Muscle: Ask for the Job

By:  Joy Taylor
Topics:  Recruiting, Job Seeking, Women in Business
Date:  September 22, 2015
Publication: Ideal Candidate’s Blog

Qualifications, expertise, and education are all critical, but a candidate’s natural confidence can put a prospective hire over the top for me. There’s a certain athleticism that goes hand in hand with confidence.  These candidates possess the competitive spirit of an athlete—present or former. This is what speaks to me. They know what it feels like to be in the game, and they love it. What’s more, if they have the spirit to ask for the job, that’s my hire! Gender is unimportant to me.

Read the article as it appeared on Ideal Candidate’s Blog.

Emerging Technology: Catching the Next Wave

By:  John Collins & Tanuj Pandey
Topics:  Technology
Date:  September 18, 2015
Publication: Business2Community

Surfers catch waves by paddling towards the shore.  Their timing matched to the speed of the wave, they make their move from prone to upright and ride the crest of the wave with their board just ahead of the breaking water.  Jumping on a wave too early leads nowhere and jumping on too late can cause a wipe out.

Similarly, when timed perfectly, catching the momentum associated with emerging technologies can generate amazing opportunities for both new and existing companies.  But allowing an important new technology to peak without adopting a strategy to embrace and capitalize on it can result in being outpaced by competition, losing revenue opportunities, or even business failure.  The challenge is in differentiating between unrealistic hype and important technology trends.

Read the article as it appeared in Business2Community.

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Can You Tweet Change? Social Media and Change Management

By:  John Nolan
Topics:  Change Management, Communications, Social Media, Twitter, LinkedIn
Date:  September 15, 2015
Publication:  Business2Community

With the explosion of social media, most businesses have adopted it in some way within their organization.   A recent survey noted that nearly 90% of businesses now use social media for business purposes, but at the same time 36% of employers are actively blocking access to social media sites for employees. Many workplaces have found balance by incorporating workplace focused social media. Sites such as Yammer and SharePoint, have allowed organizations to incorporate the Facebook experience of social media within their organizational boundaries.

With these new communication channels developing, what was previously water cooler gossip can now reach an entire organization with the click of a mouse. It is important for change management experts to both address and utilize this new medium in their communications around change activities. To do this, we must answer two key questions about the developing communication channels.

Read the full article as it originally appeared on Business2Community.


5 Ways to Keep IT Transformation on Track

By:  Peter Bartolik, Featuring Joy Taylor
Topics:  Entrepreneurship, IT Transformation
Date:  September 8, 2015
Publication:  The Enterprisers Project

Business and IT transformation can pay off big time, but it often requires big investments. Keeping transformation projects on time and on budget may be just as challenging as figuring out what to transform.

A case in point: the Australian supermarket conglomerate Woolworths Ltd., in August reported one-year business transformation costs of AU$199.1 million, part of a AU$425.9 million strategic transformation effort. The company also announced the same day that its chairman would retire, two months after its CEO announced he’d be out as soon as a successor could be found.

Read the article as it originally appeared in The Enterprisers Project.

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3 Ways Tampa Bay Can Capitalize on the Johnson & Johnson Deal

By: Margie Manning, interviewing John Cassimatis
Topics: Shared Services, Human Resources
Date: September 1, 2015
Publication: Tampa Bay Business Journal

A strong workforce and great weather give Tampa Bay a competitive advantage over other areas in attracting shared service operations, or consolidation of business operations used by many parts of an organization, such as accounting, information technology, human resources and other support activities. That should be encouraging for economic development officials’ efforts to attract more deals. About 61 percent of major enterprises are increasing their reliance on global shared services, according to a KPMG and HfS Research study last year.

Read the full article as it appeared in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

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PODCAST: Using a Collaborative Talent Model to Drive Growth

By:  Jim Szakacs, CFO, TayganPoint Consulting
Topics:  Entrepreneurship, Growth Strategy, Business Consulting, Talent Retention
Date:  August 26, 2015
Publication:  CFO Thought Leader

What role does finance play when correctly incentivizing and retaining human assets is the primary measure of success? Join us when Jim Szakacs, CFO, TayganPoint Consulting, shares his CFO mind-set and explains how talent remains the primary driver of growth inside the business consulting and advisory space.

Listen to the podcast.

How an Entrepreneur Quit Her Job And Built a $20M Company

By:  Harry Red, Featuring Joy Taylor
Topics:  Entrepreneurship, Strategy Consulting, Networking, Ethics
Date:  August 14, 2015
Publication:  Huffington Post

Like magic.

Sometimes, you see entrepreneurs who make it look easy. They don’t have to fight through years of absolute failure.

They start something…and it just works.

For outsiders, it seems hard to believe. Must be magic.

As cofounder and CEO of TayganPoint Consulting Group, a firm with $20 million in annual revenue, Joy Taylor is an excellent example. Case in point? She hit upon her first success at 29.

But how did she do it?

Read the full article as it originally appeared in Huffington Post.

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Optimizing the Customer Experience Leads to Improved Bottom Line and Clearer Compliance

By:  John Cassimatis and Monica Morgan
Topics:  Customer Experience, Compliance
Date:  August 6, 2015
Publication:  Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

Customer centricity is what we have come to expect from all of our commercial relationships. Whether the bar has been set by Zappos or Amazon, the notion of a flawless customer experience has penetrated the corporate psyche. Customers are no longer willing to choose between product quality, speed of delivery, and price. Simply put, they want it all.
The biopharma ecosystem of relationships is shifting. The influence and roles of the payor, the patient, the healthcare provider, and even key suppliers, are being redefined as the industry adjusts to tectonic shifts, including The Affordable Care Act, rapid advances in genetics and precision medicine, new forms of competition, an ever-changing regulatory landscape, and a patient community that readily turns to the Internet for their healthcare learning. With so many moving parts to consider, how do medical device and biopharma companies respond to this new environment?

Read the full article as it appeared in Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor.

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Ready, Set, Launch! 7 Questions to Ask for Successful Project Management

By:  John Collins
Topics:  Program Management, Project Management
Date:  July 30, 2015
Publication:  Business2Community

It’s the final days before the start of a major initiative. Plans have been made and a team is gearing up for a long and challenging project. The starting gun is about to fire and there are dollars, reputations and maybe even the company’s future at stake.

Several studies show that the majority of projects with budgets over one million dollars or timelines longer than twelve months are likely to miss their objectives or be cancelled all together.

When looking back on failures, most Project Managers would likely point to root causes that existed from the very start of the project. With the stakes so high and the statistics against you, what can be done to ensure your project comes out of the starting blocks, ready for all challenges and capable of making it to the finish?

Read the entire article as it appeared on Business2Community.

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The business case for having women on your board of directors

By:  Joy Taylor
Topics:  Board of Directors, Women Entrepreneurs
Date:  July 23, 2015
Publication:  Philadelphia Business Journal

It’s a fact — salamanders, the tiny lizards you dug up in the garden as a child, possess the curious ability to turn their heads a full 180 degrees in either direction. For obvious reasons, a 360 degree view is an enviable feature in the animal kingdom. Imagine being able to better identify predators and pitfalls, spot potential future challenges, and recognize opportunities all around you. This is the business case for having a woman on your board. While they represent a unique voice, a population, and a significant demographic, their value far exceeds the simple fulfillment of diversity and equality measures.

Read the full article as it appeared in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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The Need for Speed: Shortening the IT Timeline

By:  Jackie Misiak
Topics:  Technology, IT Implementation
Date:  Summer 2015
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

If you have been responsible for a transformation or process improvement where your project required an IT solution, you have probably struggled with both the timing and the associated cost. Whether you are modifying an existing application, implementing a new one, or leveraging third-party software as a service to meet new requirements, the struggle is the same. IT appears to move too slowly and be too costly.

What if there was a way you could mitigate the challenges and shorten the IT timeline? There are a few key factors you can control and drive that will speed your project toward success.

Read the Summer 2015 Newsletter.

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Paradigm Shift: Issues Facing Today’s CIO

By:  Joan Walker
Topics: Technology, IT
Date:  Summer 2015
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

Today, the role of the CIO role continues to undergo a profound transformation that is pushing business-technology leaders inevitably closer to customer demands, experiences and customer engagements.  A critical shift to achieve success for today’s CIO is the need for comprehensive understanding of the business they are supporting, from not only an IT perspective but also through a true business lens.
Phil Wienzimer’s latest book, The Strategic CIOChanging the Dynamics of the Business Enterprise, reinforces these ideas.  Both CIOs and key IT personnel need to recognize how the business operates, the value provided to customers, the competitive market and industry trends.

Read the Summer 2015 Newsletter.

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How to Avoid Pitfalls in Change Management Projects

By:  John Nolan
Topics:  Change Management
Date:  July 15, 2015
Publication:  Business2Community

In today’s business environment there is an ever-increasing need for experts who can help an organization successfully navigate change. The focus of this movement to date has been on how these teams can partner with an organization to define education, training and communication platforms that help to support the change initiatives and concerns of company employees.

Read this article as it appeared on Business2Community.

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Video: What Are The Key Drivers Of Growth?

Featuring:  Joy Taylor
Topics:  Key Drivers of Growth, EY Strategic Growth Forum
Date:  July 10, 2015
Media Source:  Forbes

People are a key driver of growth. You want to hire people who are smarter than you, continue to motivate them and develop a strong culture.  But that’s not to say people are the only driver of growth. At EY, we’ve identified seven drivers of growth:

1. Customer
2. People, behaviors and culture
3. Digital, technology and analytics
4. Operations
5. Funding and finance
6. Transactions and alliances
7. Risk

At the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, Jim Nixon of Varel International Energy Services, Joy Taylor of TayganPoint Consulting and Herb Engert of EY were interviewed by Dr. Michael “Woody” Woodward on the key drivers of growth.

View the video.

Playing Well Together in the Sales and Marketing Sandbox

By: Tom Rosella
Topics:  BioPharma, Transformation, Sales and Marketing, Customer Centricity
Date: June 2015
Publication: Healthcare Sales + Marketing (HS+M)

The integration of sales and marketing has long been the challenge facing the industry. There are numerous examples of connected, collaborative and cohesive sales/marketing successes. Given the changes in the U.S. healthcare environment, we wanted to explore what’s happening in the current landscape to see how these two functions are facing the challenges. I’m happy to welcome a diversity of voices to the table.  Our panel includes people who bring varied experiences and viewpoints to this topic.

Read this article as it appeared in HS+M.

R&D Portfolio Management: A Disciplined Approach to Unlocking Value

By: John Cassimatis and Dan Patrick
Topics:  R&D, BioPharma, Transformation
Date: May 22, 2015
Publication: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

As the Biopharma industry continues to go through significant transformation there are many core capabilities that Biopharma companies must have. But perhaps none is more important than the ability to effectively discover and launch new products. There are many key milestones that a successful biopharmaceutical company achieves during its journey from a start-up to a vertically integrated company.  Some are externally visible, such as discovering a breakthrough new molecular entity (NME), shepherding the NME through late-stage development, receiving approval from the Regulatory Authorities, and launching a new drug.  Other milestones are more subtle internal indicators of a biopharma’s capabilities and progress down its maturity curve as an organization.

Read this article as it appeared in Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor.

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How An Annual Plan Can Help Your Small Business Grow

By: Rhonda Abrams, Featuring Joy Taylor
Topics: Small Business, Strategic Planning, Growth Strategy
Date: May 5, 2015
Publication: USA TODAY

“You can’t reach a goal you haven’t set.” During Small Business Week, I’m helping you “Make This Your Year to Grow.” If you want to grow, one of the most important steps is to develop a plan for growth — and then make planning an ongoing process of your company.  Now, don’t get worried that I’m going to make you sit down and write a long, detailed business plan. It’s the PLANNING, not the PLAN, that’s important. The planning process itself brings you the biggest benefits — examining your business, figuring out what’s profitable, identifying threats and opportunities, making decisions.

Read this article as it appeared in USA TODAY.

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Innovation Saturation: Is It Easier or Harder to Innovate?

By: John Collins
Topics: Innovation
Date: May 5, 2015
Publication: Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, #fnews, Business2Community

Innovation Saturation – Is It Easier or Harder to Innovate?  Whether it’s in medicine, computing or communications, we’ve become accustomed to the increasing pace of innovation.  So, at a time when new and often disruptive technologies seem to be appearing every day, is it getting easier or harder to innovate?  In business, innovation is the practice of taking new ideas and turning them into a product or service that has a perceived benefit that both new and existing customers will buy. Innovation is more than a ‘nice to have’. It’s a necessity to maintain a competitive advantage. But the cost of exploring new ideas and productizing them can be high, and as a result, organizations are constantly forced to balance the expense of innovation with the potential rewards.

Read this article as it appeared in Yahoo! Small Business Advisor.

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An Executive Perspective on Change: Bridging the Gap Between Corporate & the Field

By: Sondra Leibner
Topics: Change Management, Executive Leadership
Date: April 23, 2015
Publication: Business2Community

Executives who have found themselves in charge of leading change in their organizations have learned that these assignments have the ability to define a career.  Leaders who successfully implement these sorts of change initiatives do so by using three not-so-obvious components of engagement and implementation.  When a leader is asked to lead a change, they need to ask themselves if they truly believe the change is right for the company at this time. Engaging in thoughtful, provocative and difficult conversations before committing to lead a change is critical. If a leader lacks authenticity in their words and actions, it will be obvious and people will react accordingly.

Read this article as it appeared in Business2Community.

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Sparking Innovation in a BioPharma Environment

By:  Mike Kinnear
Topics:  Innovation, BioPharma
Date:  Spring 2015
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

Fostering innovation and creativity in BioPharma organizations can be disheartening. The barriers to innovation success are many.  But they are not unsurmountable.  It’s all about approach – blending the inherent rigidity of the BioPharma industry with the need for new, brilliant ideas and breakthroughs – structured ideation.

Here are some critical steps in preparing for and conducting ideation sessions to drive innovation:

Read the Spring 2015 Newsletter.

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Innovation Saturation

By:  John Collins
Topics:  Innovation
Date:  Spring 2015
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

Whether it’s in medicine, computing or communications, we’ve become accustomed to the increasing pace of innovation. So, at a time when new and often disruptive technologies seem to be appearing every day, is it getting easier or harder to innovate?

In business, innovation is the practice of taking new ideas and turning them into a product or service that has a perceived benefit that both new and existing customers will buy.  Innovation is more than a ‘nice to have’.  It’s a necessity to maintain a competitive advantage.  But the cost of exploring new ideas and productizing them can be high, and as a result, organizations are constantly forced to balance the expense of innovation with the potential rewards.

Read the Spring 2015 Newsletter.

Download a PDF version.

A Culture of Innovation

By:  Josh Holden
Topics:  Innovation, Workforce Transformation
Date:  Spring 2015
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

Companies construct vision and mission statements and define company goals around the concept and executives instruct their teams to drive productivity and efficiency through innovation. Unfortunately, it is assumed that innovation is not only understood by everyone in an organization, but also has the same meaning. Personal experiences, skills, and job functions all play a big role in defining what innovation really means to each person in the organization and can lead to disparate definitions.

The majority of the workforce is responsible for sustaining internal processes, often in the form of routine and predictable tasks, and don’t identify innovation as a part of their job description.  Building cross-functional innovation in these segments is challenging, but not unobtainable.

Read the Spring 2015 Newsletter.

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Leading and Listening – On Your Way to Expertise

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Leadership
Date: April 6, 2015
Publication: Enterprising Woman Magazine

Recently, I spent some time with a few friends who happen to be female CEOs.  The topic of leadership came up and we began discussing when each of us knew when we were indeed leaders. Is there a unified definition for when you can declare yourself a leader? Can you proclaim yourself a leader when you have at least one willing follower, or is there a rite of passage that we all need to experience in order to confidently use that title for ourselves?

Read this article as it appeared in Enterprising Woman Magazine.

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Business Transformation, the New Norm for Biopharma

By: John Cassimatis & Tom Rosella
Topics: BioPharma, Regulatory, Compliance, Business Transformation
Date: March 30, 2015
Publication: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

There is no question the Biopharma Industry is undergoing significant change. From an industry and regulatory perspective there are many driving factors such as health care reform, data transparency and security, precision medicine, and new forms of competition to name a few. The impact of these industry trends are forcing executives to re-evaluate their strategies in search of new, innovative ways to generate revenue, improve productivity and ensure compliance with ever changing regulatory guidelines. These evolving strategies are leading executives to consider fundamentally transforming their entire business model. In the past, companies addressed these challenges with narrow improvement efforts managed within functions. Today, an increasing number of companies are holistically transforming their business and unlocking significant profits that historically were hidden in functional silos and old operating models.

To read this article as it appeared in Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, please click here.

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Keeping Your Business Fresh in Rapidly Changing World

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Business Transformation
Date: March 16, 2015
Publication: Fox Business Online

With significant shifts in technology and energy along with the challenges of regulatory compliance, organizations must be nimble in their response to customers by anticipating and providing fresh solutions.  To understand how the notion of business transformation is so critical to surviving the competitive global landscape [Dr. Michael Woody] reached out to Joy Taylor, Co-founder and CEO of TayganPoint Consulting to get her thoughts on the major issues facing companies today around business transformation and how to find that edge.

To continue reading this article as it appeared on Fox Business online, please click here.

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Are Companies getting it done fast…or right?

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Management Culture, Project Evaluation
Date: February 2, 2015
Publication: Smart Business Philadelphia

There’s a paradox between the time it takes to complete a project and the quality of the final product.  When time wins over quality and due diligence, there can be huge consequences — like the mortgage securities scandal of 2008 or the BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.  What effect does this trend have in day-to-day management culture? We’ve all gotten used to the frenetic pace of everyday life, especially in business.  If a team rushes, something’s bound to be missed or a concept lost in translation.  By comparison, if a project takes too long, you risk team fatigue, overly critiqued concepts and your people losing interest. If your company or management team is perpetually stuck in this cultural fiasco, it may be time to re-evaluate.

To read this article as it appeared on Smart Business Philadelphia online, please click here.

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Why Mergers Fail: The CFO Role can Make or Break an M&A Deal

By: Jim Szakacs
Topics: M&A, Job Transition
Date: January 20, 2015
Publication: Fuse Financial Partners

At a recent executive networking event, I recognized several high-flying CFOs I envied years ago.  These were the dealmakers, the financiers that were sought after by the private equity firms and investment bankers. But here they were trying to expand their networks as they explained that they were “in transition”.  After a big “deal” many of them found themselves being offered a “package” by a disillusioned board and/or impatient investment sponsor.  What went wrong and why was the CFO shown the door?

To continue reading this article as it appeared on Fuse Financial Partners, please click here.

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The Multi-Sourcing Strategy: Leveraging Multiple Suppliers for Optimal Performance

By:  John Collins
Topics:  Multi-sourcing, Outsourcing
Date:  Winter 2014
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

Multi-tool, multi-channel, multi-use, multi-service, multi-task.  In our lightning-fast , high-demand society, nothing is content to serve a singular purpose anymore. That brings us to yet another “multi” to mull over – Multi-Sourcing.  This has become the latest trend in the procurement space – maximizing the strategic benefits of outsourcing by assigning business functions to the best possible provider, while also driving lower costs through competition.   Multi-Sourcing is also a way of reducing the inherent risks and lack of flexibility that is often associated with being locked in to a single vendor.

To read the Winter 2014 Newsletter, please click here.

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Leveraging Shared Service for Competitive Advantage

By:  John Cassimatis
Topics:  Shared Services, Selective Outsourcing, Continuous Improvement
Date:  Fall 2014
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

Companies across many industries are faced with increasing pressures to improve productivity, reduce costs, and comply with ever increasing complex regulatory requirements while at the same time increase revenues and market share. Shared services and selective outsourcing of “non-core” activities can be a key enabler to helping companies address these issues. Traditionally shared services and outsourcing have been used as levers to drive down costs but there is an increasing trend to go beyond cost savings to drive overall competitive advantage.

To view the Fall 2014 Newsletter, please click here

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Top 5 Landmines During M&A Integration

By:  Jim Szakacs
Topics:  Mergers & Acquisitions, Post-deal Integration
Date:  Fall 2014
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

How can organizations ensure both a successful M&A initiative and increased shareholder value? The key is to avoid “landmines” that can derail a potentially successful deal. Here are the top 5 issues that must be addressed, preferably before even the negotiation stage.

To read the Fall 2014 Newsletter, please click here.

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Supply Chain Reform: The Impact of Big Data and 3D Printing

By:  Richard Powell
Topics:  Supply Chain, Big Data, 3D Printing
Date:  Fall 2014
Publication: TayganPoint Consulting Group Newsletter

The rise of ‘big data’ to the mainstream and emergence of 3D printing will be two of the big issues affecting supply chains leaders. As organisations begin looking ahead to 2015, the issues being faced by supply chain leaders are continuing to increase in complexity and become more challenging.

To read the Fall 2014 Newsletter, please click here.

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Making Strategy Happen

By: John Cassimatis
Topics: Pharmaceutical Industry, Strategy, Business Transformation
Date: August 8, 2014
Publication: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

The Pharmaceutical Industry continues to go through significant changes that present both challenges and opportunities.  As a result, many companies are responding by developing bold and transformational strategies as they try to set the stage for future success.  Setting the right strategy is not easy.  It often means “placing bets” on which markets will enable growth, which therapeutic areas to focus on, what business segments to divest and invest, and how to transform business models . But the real challenge is not developing and setting the strategy.  The real challenge is aligning the organization to effectively implement the strategy and “making strategy happen”.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

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Why Change Management Should be a Top Priority

By: Joy Taylor & Monica Morgan
Topics: Change Management, Communication
Publication: MWorld Summer 2014

“It is not the strongest that survives, nor the most intelligent; but rather the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin.

Clearly he was a visionary-the scientist who defined evolution and its importance in understanding how human beings work.  On many occasions, we sit and wonder, does anyone else truly understand that change will happen and that change management is a priority?

The only place where the profession of change management consistently operates at the highest level appears to be in the world of politics…So if companies want transformational change to take place with the precision of these political engagements, then we strongly suggest elevating change management.

To continue reading this article as it appeared on MWorld, please click here.

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SOS – How Pharma Can Avoid Drowning in Metrics Overload

By: John Cassimatis & Marybeth Lynch
Topics: Metrics Overload, Pharmaceutical Industry, Big Data, Process Improvement
Date: July 20, 2014
Publication: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

There’s growing pressure for pharmaceutical companies to increase efficiencies while at the same time ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.  Whether it be measuring compliance with regulatory requirements, increasing the productivity of drug discovery or improving key operational processes such as supply chain, clinical trials, or sales and marketing effectiveness, there is no lack of important business activities to measure and improve.  There are very few, if any, Pharmaceutical companies that don’t track and monitor key performance indicators and metrics.  The challenge is that they track too many and spend more time gathering and reporting metrics in functional silos rather than focusing on the vital metrics that drive company-wide process efficiencies and compliance alignment with the overall company strategy.

To continue reading this article as it appeared on Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, please click here.

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Why Active Risk Management Is Essential For Boards of Directors

By: Joy Taylor & Amy Flynn
Topics: Risk Management, Board of Directors
Date: July 17, 2014
Publication: Corporate Compliance Insights

Historically, corporate Boards of Directors have held the responsibility of risk management oversight, ensuring that risk management processes are clearly defined and appropriately enacted.  Their role in managing risk has been to provide guidance and leadership on matters that impact the strategic direction of a company or its public image.  In this traditional view, C-level management is left with the responsibility of actual risk assessment and mitigation, including issue resolution.  But in today’s fast-paced and social-media driven world, the speed at which a risk can turn into a widely publicized issue means Board members must now provide both tactical and strategic supervision over risk management as part of their membership.

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Stepping Down as CFO: How to Handle the Transition

By: Jim Szakacs
Topics: Job Transition, Finance, Role of the CFO
Date: June 2, 2014
Publication: Proformative.com

Maybe you’ve had enough of the corporate life and it’s time to retire, maybe you’ve found a new opportunity, or maybe a new opportunity has found you — whatever your reason for leaving your current job, how you say goodbye is an important part of your legacy.  It will affect how your colleagues (i.e., future references) remember you, and it could even affect how outsiders view the company, at least in the short term. As the CFO, the number-two in command, you owe it to yourself and your employer to make a gracious exit.

This isn’t a time to let mixed emotions get in the way, an inevitable part of leaving any job, whether it’s voluntary or not.  The way to do that is to be calculated in your departure; view your leave as you would a business venture and have a plan every step of the way, including who you will tell what, when, and how.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

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How Three Women Cracked the Entrepreneurial Barrier

Quote: Joy Taylor
Topics: Women in Business, Women Entrepreneurs
Date: May 28, 2014
Publication: Entrepreneur.com via Mighty Wise Academy

Bold women step out every day into the world of entrepreneurship, the likes of fashion and lifestyle company CEO Kathy Ireland, Spanx founder Sara Blakely and The Huffington Post Media Group’s chair Arianna Huffington. Canadian serial entrepreneur Kelsey Ramsden of London, Ontario; Joy Taylor, CEO of TayganPoint Consulting Group in Lambertville, N.J.; and Lisa Williams, CEO of World of EPI in Chula Vista, Calif.; are three such women.

As 2013 award winners of EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women, they collectively run companies bringing in morethan $70 million in annual revenue.

To continue reading this article as it appeared in Mighty Wise Academy, please click here.

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Make Philanthropy Part of your Company’s DNA

By: John Cassimatis
Topics: Corporate Philanthropy, Corporate Culture
Date: May 7, 2014
Publication: NJBIZ Industry Insights

Any company can choose to create a philanthropic culture.  But to have a meaningful impact, philanthropy must be part your company’s DNA.Not only does this mean making philanthropy part of your company’s mission, you must also put those words into action by dedicating time and money to support organizations that are aligned with the values of your employees.

At TayganPoint you will find employees serving as board members, event planners and volunteers for a variety of organizations,including the Giving Hope Network and the Millhill Child and Family Development Center.  We’ve learned that people who give back are those we want to work with.  They are open-minded, good listeners and know how to leverage their skills to deliver value.  But to attract talent like this you must incorporate questions about volunteerism and charitable work into the interview process.

To view this article as it appeared in NJBIZ Industry Insights, please click here.

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Pharma X C2 = Continuous Improvement of Capability and Culture

By: John Cassimatis & Andrew Hunter
Topics: Pharmaceutical Industry, Process Improvement
Date: April 23,2014
Publication: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

The economic challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry are well documented.  There are significant pressures to launch new products as patents expire and reduce costs – from overhead to promotion to manufacturing.  At the same time,there is the pressure to improve compliance in an increasingly complex regulatory environment.  In last month’s article we discussed enterprise process management as an important approach to build cross functional accountability for global processes and as a mechanism to drive continuous improvement.

The Japanese word “Kaizen” is frequently used to describe the philosophy or practices that focus on continuous improvement. Regardless of the title used,the importance of establishing a continuous improvement framework and culture cannot be understated.

To continue reading this article as it appeared inPharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, please click here.

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Destroying the Big Data Myth

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Big Data, Data Analytics
Date: April 23,2014
Publication: Tidemark

What matters most with Big Data? Turning it into something companies can really use.

Big Data has always been a kind of siren song to executives, as if it held the answers to all their problems. “If only we could get our hands on more data,” they insisted, “we’ll make better decisions sooner.”  Trouble is, we’ve had access to more data in the past 15 years than all previous years combined, but we’re not making decisions that much faster.

One reason maybe that pulling bits of useful information from Big Data has lately become like finding a needle in a haystack – and as the haystack grows, that task gets harder and harder.  Nassim Taleb, author of TheBlack Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, looks at this in his latest book, Antifragile.  Taleb’s theory is that as more information is available, people will unwittingly find fake statistical relationships; they are, in a sense, fooled by randomness.  To make matters worse, those false correlations could have huge implications for companies basing their decisions on cherry-picked or erroneously valued information.

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How to Use Regulatory Operations as a Competitive Advantage in Emerging Markets

By: Amy Flynn & Vicki LaRosa
Topics: Regulatory Operations, Competitive Advantage, Growth Strategy, Medical Device
Date: April 23, 2014
Publication: MDDI Regulatory and Compliance

Efficient regulatory execution is the key to a successful growth strategy in hard-to-navigate emerging markets.

The regulatory team has always been considered a strategic business partner within medical device companies, due to its responsibility for building and maintaining strong working relationships with regulators.  Working with regulators early in the process helps companies realize their favored outcomes more often.  Equally important and appreciated is an organization’s commitment to developing a detailed regulatory strategy—from ensuring a device’s classification is appropriate to managing premarket submissions to maintaining product clearance.

What organization shave historically underestimated is the value of an efficient regulatory execution group.  Failure to see the potential of a highly functioning regulatory operation as a competitive advantage could detract from business growth.

To continue reading this article as it appeared in MDDI Regulatory andCompliance please click here.

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Creating Positive Communications with the FDA

By: Denise Myshko, featuring John Cassimatis
Topics: Pharmaceutical Industry, Regulatory
Date: April, 2014
Publication: PharmaVoice

A critical success factor in the regulatory review process is clear and frequent communications to ensure a smooth and efficient review of an application.  Navigating the regulatory review process can be challenging.  Industry experts say creating an efficient development process depends on engaging regulatory officials and proactively communicating.  Companies need to treat FDA communications as a formal end-to-end process, says John Cassimatis,co-founder and president, of TayganPoint Consulting Group.  “This means creating a process owner, creating key metrics, and making sure everyone’s roles are clear.”

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Strengthening Compliance Through Effective Process Management

By: John Cassimatis and Tom Rosella
Topics: Pharmaceutical Industry, Regulatory Compliance, Process Management, Cost Reduction
Date: April 9, 2014
Publication: Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor

The pharmaceutical industry is facing a number of key challenges, including complying with rigorous regulatory requirements, improving productivity, reducing costs, and finding new sources of revenue.  Pharmaceutical companies need to be more comprehensive and integrated in how they address these challenges.  In the past, companies would often address these challenges with narrow improvement efforts managed within functions.  This is no longer sufficient. It is now necessary to take a moreholistic enterprise-wide view when transforming your business. In particular,it is essential to manage compliance not only through centralized functions but also by building accountability into your end-to-end global process design so it becomes the way you run and manage your business.

To view this article as it appeared in Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, please click here.

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Can your Network Handle Big Data

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Technology, Big Data
Date: April 9, 2014
Publication: Dell’s Tech One Page

Companies both large and small are investing in big data.  The smart ones prepare well and upgrade their information technology infrastructure to ensure their networks can handle the increased traffic.  Others find themselves scrambling to improve their networks, as critical processes slowdown or halt.

To view this article as it appeared on Dell’s Tech One Page, please click here.

Pharma Companies Must Rethink Marketing Strategies Under the Sunshine Act

By: Joy Taylor and John Cassimatis
Topics: Marketing Strategies, Sunshine Act
Date: October 21, 2013
Publication: Corporate Compliance Insights

The Physician Payment Sunshine Act went into effect on August 1, 2013.  Its foundational intent is to create more transparency between pharmaceutical manufacturers, physicians and hospitals and thus prevent what may be perceived as a conflict of interest among these parties.  The act contains more stringent rules on what must be reported by manufacturers regarding “payments or other transfers of value” to health care professionals.  These payments include speaking fees, consulting arrangements, meals, etc.  While the intent of the Sunshine Act is not in question, it has certainly caused a significant wrinkle in the way pharmaceutical companies are marketing their products.

To continue reading this article as it appeared on Corporate Compliance Insights, please click here.

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Honing the Competitive Edge: Pharma Continues its Leaning Efforts to Cut Waste and Improve Operations

By: Steve Kuehn, featuring Joy Taylor
Topics: Lean Sigma, Six Sigma, Black Belt, Process Improvement
Date: October 17, 2013
Publication: Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Stop me if you’ve heard this one, a Lean TPS guy, a Six Sigma Black Belt , and an OpEx Consultant, go into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “What is this, some kind of Jidoka?”  Those familiar with the lexicon of Lean and Six Sigma, might recognize the term from their Lean 101 primer – in its most Japanese of origins, the word means “automation with a human touch.”

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Building Valuable Process Maps Takes Skill and Time

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Process Mapping, Sigma
Date: July, 2012
Publication: iSixSigma

Practitioners who think process mapping can be completed in a two-hour session with a group of subject matter experts, a white board and some sticky notes are likely to end up with a nice piece of paper with a bunch of squares and diamonds. This is because process mapping is not for wimps. Creating a process map that tells a full, data-based story requires a decent amount of time and effort by those individuals involved in the process.

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Carefully Planned Kaizens Can Lead to Immediate Change

By: Joy Taylor
Topics: Process Improvement, Kaizen Events, Project Management
Date: July 2012
Publication: iSixSigma

Kaizen events – concentrated meetings that are designed to bring about rapid change – are often misunderstood by those who have not completed one. From the outside, the events may simply seem like advanced all-day meetings with fanfare. What many organizations do not fully appreciate is the investment required to pull off such an orchestrated affair. M&A

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TayganPoint Expands Client Services Capabilities with Four New Hires

Topics: Talent Acquisition, Company Growth

Date: September 3, 2015

TayganPoint Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, expands its client services capabilities with four new hires.  The new team members will support consulting projects for the company’s growing client base in the life sciences and healthcare industries.

“These individuals bring a deep bench of experience across a number of different industries that will strengthen our position in the marketplace as a leader in implementing successful business strategies for companies in the Life Sciences and Healthcare industry as they undergo massive change in today’s expanding global market,” said John Cassimatis, Co-founder and President of TayganPoint Consulting Group.

  • Jon Hunt has joined the company as a senior consultant with a focus on IT effectiveness and transformation. Prior to joining TayganPoint, he held leadership positions with Thompson, AT&T, PwC, IBM, HP and AT Kearney. More recently, Hunt founded his own successful consulting practice focusing on shared services/BPO, enterprise change management, knowledge transfer, IT enabled business transformations and IT and business performance improvement. He is ITIL v3 Certified.
  •  Mark Lane, PhD, has joined TayganPoint as a consultant, with a focus on M&A, R&D, and program management. He brings deep experience in project and portfolio management, global product development (pre-IND and Phase 4), clinical development and execution, stage gate frameworks and project governance and facilitation. Most recently, Lane held leadership positions with Sanofi and, prior to that, LifeCell. He has also held positions at Wyeth, GE Healthcare, Medimmune, Merck and the National Institutes of Health. Lane has a BS, MS and PhD from Pennsylvania State University.
  • Patrick Barnard has joined TayganPoint as an analyst. He is a marketing professional with extensive experience in consumer research and syndicated data and is experienced with the creation of analytical reviews and making resulting recommendations. Prior to joining the company, Barnard was with IRI Worldwide where he served as a client service analyst at Bimbo Bakeries, the largest baking company in the US. In this role, he provided analytics, subject matter expertise, and business solutions to enable better consumer purchasing behavior. Prior to that, Barnard worked at The Neilson Company as a Database Specialist and an Analytic Framework Consultant. He has a BS in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from La Salle University.
  • Dan Kriger has also joined the company as an analyst. He has recently completed his MBA program and has more than five years experience, including positions with Target and Five Below in their distribution and supply chain areas. He is skilled in American Sign Language and has helped rebuild homes in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Kriger has an MBA from Duquesne University.

“We are thrilled to welcome so many unique and talented individuals to our team. Each new member will serve as a valuable resource to our clients, supporting TayganPoint’s dedication to providing clients with world-class strategic consulting, custom tailored business solutions, and top-notch customer engagement,” said Joy Taylor, Co-founder and CEO of TayganPoint Consulting Group.

About TayganPoint Consulting Group
TayganPoint Consulting Group, is a strategic management consulting firm that implements strategy and organizational change in life sciences, health care, financial services, and energy organizations to improve their efficiency and overall business performance. Established in 2009, TayganPoint’s team of seasoned process experts has a reputation for hands- on service and deep sector expertise in areas like strategy alignment and execution, process improvement, change management and communication, and program and project management. The company leverages this deep knowledge of its clients’ business needs to grow its portfolio, expand into new markets and help clients make strategy happen. For more information on TayganPoint Consulting Group, please visit: http://www.tayganpoint.com.

TayganPoint Named to the 2015 INC. 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Companies

Topics: Awards, Fastest Growing

Date: Aug 17, 2015

TayganPoint Consulting Group, a leading strategic management-consulting firm, announced today that Inc. Magazine has named the company one of the Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America.

Based on solid revenue growth since its formation in 2009, TayganPoint has found itself on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies List for the third consecutive year. TayganPoint’s repeat success in this ranking, especially in the tough economic environment of the past few years, is a demonstration of its strong business relationships.

“We are honored to be considered, let alone recognized, as one of the fastest growing private companies by Inc. Magazine,” said TayganPoint CEO, Joy Taylor.  “We have achieved year over year growth by continually striving to be our clients’ preferred and most highly trusted partner.  Our clients recognize our commitment through the dedication and interactive experience our consults provide.”

“We remain committed in our mission to help clients achieve their business transformation goals as they continue to gain measurable and sustainable value from their most critical strategic initiatives,” adds John Cassimatis, President and Co-Founder of TayganPoint Consulting Group, “This is the hallmark of our organization and what we feel enables our continued growth in the marketplace.”

About TayganPoint
TayganPoint Consulting Group, an Inc. 5000 company, is a strategic management consulting firm that implements strategy and organizational change in life sciences, health care, financial services, and energy organizations to improve their efficiency and overall business performance. Established in 2009, TayganPoint’s team of seasoned process experts has a reputation for hands‐on service and deep sector expertise in areas like strategy alignment and execution, process improvement, change management and communication, and program and project management. The company leverages this deep knowledge of its clients’ business needs to grow its portfolio, expand into new markets and help clients make strategy happen. For more information on TayganPoint Consulting Group, please visit: www.tayganpoint.com.

About Inc. 5000
The Inc. 5000 is an annual list of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in the United States, introduced in 1982. The Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth over a four-year period. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by the first week of the starting calendar year, and therefore able to show four full calendar years of sales. Additionally, they had to be U.S.-based, privately held, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31 of the last year measured. Revenue in the initial year must have been at least $200,000, and revenue in the most recent year must have been at least $2 million.


TayganPoint CEO Recognized as A 2015 Enterprising Woman of the Year

Topic(s): Awards, Women Entrepreneurs, Women Business Owners
Date: March 27, 2015

TayganPoint Consulting Group announced today that CEO and co-founder Joy Taylor was named among the winners of the 2015 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to the world’s top women entrepreneurs. The annual award is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. To win, nominees must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. Many of the honorees also serve as leaders of the key organizations that support the growth of women’s entrepreneurship.

To read the full announcement, please click here.

TayganPoint CFO Recognized by SmartCEO Magazine

Topic(s): Leadership, Awards
Date: March 18, 2015

Jim Szakacs, CFO of TayganPoint Consulting Group, was named among the winners of the 2015 Executive Management Awards, recognizing the leadership and accomplishments of Philadelphia’s management talents. The 2015 EMA winners collectively generate more than $42 billion in annual revenue and employ over 60,000 individuals in Greater Philadelphia. This year’s winners will be recognized in the March/April issue of SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at an awards ceremony

To read the full announcement, please click here.

SmartCEO Future 50 Awards Program Recognizes TayganPoint Consulting Group

Topic(s): Company Growth, Awards
Date: January 5, 2015

TayganPoint Consulting Group is pleased to be named among Philadelphia SmartCEO’s 2015 Future 50 award winners. The program recognizes the region’s 50 fastest growing midsized companies and 10 small Emerging Growth companies who have experienced out sized growth based on a combined three year average of revenue and employee growth. The 2015 Future 50 winners collectively generate $1.65 billion in annual revenue and employ 5,964 individuals in Greater Philadelphia. This impressive group will be recognized in the 2015 January/February issue of Philadelphia SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at an awards ceremony on January 15, 2015.

To read the full announcement, please click here

TayganPoint Braves the Cold with Fisherman’s Mark Food Pantry

December 22, 2014 – TayganPoint team members brought their brightest holiday smiles and warmest winter coats on December 22nd as they braved the cold to help sort and pack food for Lambertville’s Fisherman’s Mark Food Pantry.  As part of TayganPoint’s continued efforts to support those in the local community, we’ve partnered again with Fisherman’s Mark to help provide food to low-income families in need this holiday season.

To learn more, please visit:www.fishermansmark.org

NJBIZ Honors TayganPoint as one of New Jersey’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies

Topic(s): Company Growth, Awards
Date: September 25, 2014

TayganPoint has been named one of New Jersey’s 2014 50 Fastest Growing Companies for the second time.

The award celebrates New Jersey’s most dynamic companies who progressively contribute to the success of the state’s economic growth and stability.  To qualify, companies had to meet selection criteria that included a revenue size of at least $500,000 within the past two out of three years and growth in revenue over a three year period, dating from fiscal year 2011 to 2013.

To read the full announcement, please click here

TayganPoint President Named Emerging Executive of the Year by Philadelphia Business Journal

Topic(s): Awards, Healthcare, Life Science
Date: September 18, 2014

TayganPoint Consulting Group announced today that President and co-founder John Cassimatis was named amongst Philadelphia Business Journal’s Innovation Award Winners for 2014 and Emerging Executive of the Year.  The award recognizes the region’s top healthcare and life science leaders and celebrates companies in healthcare and life sciences that continue to shape the medical industry in Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey.  In addition to the Emerging Executive of the Year category, other categories included Healthcare CEO of the Year, Educator/Researcher of the Year, New Media Award, Patient Safety Award and Technology Transfer of the Year and Early Stage Company.

To read the full announcement, please click here.

TayganPoint Named to Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies List

Topic(s): Awards, Company Growth
Date: August 28, 2014

TayganPoint Consulting Group announced today that for the second time, Inc. Magazine has named the company one of the Top 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America.  Based on solid revenue growth of over 166% over the past three years, TayganPoint ranks No.2341 overall on the list.  TayganPoint’s repeat success in this ranking, especially in the tough economic environment of the past few years, is a demonstration of its strong business relationships.

To read the full announcement, please click here

SmartCEO Brava! Award Program Selects TayganPoint CEO

Topic(s): Awards, Women Business Leaders, Entrepreneurship
Date: July 10, 2014

TayganPoint CEO and co-founder Joy Taylor was named as one of SmartCEO’s Brava! Award Winners for 2014.  The award celebrates the distinguished achievements of 25 of Greater Philadelphia’s top women business leaders.  “I am honored to be recognized among such an accomplished group of women who have truly broken the mold for what it means to be a female leader,” said Joy Taylor, CEO of TayganPoint Consulting Group. “It’s so important to remember that giving back to the community should be one of the foundational values shared amongst all entrepreneurs and I’m so proud to be part of an organization that recognizes this as a critical contribution.”

To read the full press release, please click here

TayganPoint Sponsors Fearless Femme Racing

Topic(s): Fearless Femme Racing, Women’s Cycling, Corporate Sponsorship
Date: April 18, 2014

TayganPoint is proud to announce their sponsorship of Fearless Femme Racing, a locally-based women’s cycling team and a part of Pure Energy Cycling.  While the team is new and consists of fewer than six members, the assembly of racers may be the most experienced and decorated within the women’s field, including two current Criterium National Champions.  This year Fearless Femme is poised to uphold the success of their inaugural 2013 season, where the squad achieved over 45 podium spots and 16 victories.

To read the full press release, please click here

TayganPoint Named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in New Jersey by NJBIZ Magazine

Topic(s): Awards, Company Growth
Date: December 2, 2013

TayganPoint has been recognized as one of the “50 Fastest Growing Companies” in New Jersey by NJBIZ Magazine.  TayganPoint has been awarded with this distinction for the second consecutive year as part of annual list celebrating New Jersey’s most dynamic companies.  “This award validates what we tell our clients – that if you plan strategically and have the right team in place, you can scale your business in a responsible, sustainable manner,” said Joy Taylor, CEO of TayganPoint. “Our growth is due in part to our clients viewing us as their partner, not a vendor. We work hand-in-hand with businesses to achieve their goals, and in the process we’re achieving our own.”

To read the full announcement, please click here

The 2013 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ Program Selects CEO of TayganPoint

Topic(s): Executive Leadership, Women Entrepreneurs, Awards, Female Business Leaders
Date: November 14, 2013

Ernst & Young competition recognizes Joy Taylor as one of the 12 most exceptional women entrepreneurs in the country.

CEO and co-founder, Joy Taylor, was named as one of The 2013 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™, a national competition and executive leadership program that identifies a select group of impressive women entrepreneurs.

To read the full announcement, please click here

TayganPoint Founder Joy Taylor featured in SmartCEO

By: Dr. Joanne White, featuring Joy Taylor
Topics: SmartCEO, Charisma, Leadership
Date: November 7, 2013
Publication: Philadelphia SmartCEO

“A charismatic person is someone with strong energy” is the start of business coach Dr. JoAnne White’s comments on charisma in the November issue of Smart CEO.   And it is that charisma that Dr. JoAnne White claims is an intangible characteristic of leaders.  Can it be learned or is it inherent?  Joy’s thoughts on the subject are featured along with a handful of other regional CEOs.

To continue reading this article as it appeared in SmartCEO, please click here

TayganPoint Consulting Group Earns Spot on 2013 Inc. 5000 List

Topic(s): Company Growth, NJ Top 100, Awards
Date: November 5, 2013

TayganPoint Consulting Group announced today that it was included as part of the 2013 Inc. 5000 list as well as the publication’s Top 100 New Jersey Companies list.  Both lists recognize fast-growing privately held companies and ranks them according to percentage revenue growth.  “Being included on both of these lists is a great honor. Our entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to providing clients with exceptional value has propelled us to new heights,” said Joy Taylor, CEO and co-founder of TayganPoint.

To read the full announcement, please click here

TayganPoint Named one of the Top 15 Fastest Growing Women-Led Businesses in 2013

Topic(s): Women-Led Companies, Woman Presidents’ Organization (WPO), Awards, Women Business Leaders
Date: June 3, 2013

TayganPoint Consulting Group was recognized as one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Led Companies of 2013 by the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO).  To be considered, companies must be privately held, women-owned or led, operating in North America, and have reached revenue benchmarks.  Ranking is determined by a sales growth formula, combining percentage and absolute growth. TayganPoint was ranked 15th on the 2013 list.

To continue reading this article as it appeared in Consulting Magazine, please click here

TayganPoint Expands National Footprint with Boston Office

Topic(s): Office Expansion, Boston, MA
Date: May 6, 2013

TayganPoint  Consulting  Group announced  today  that  it  has  opened  an  office  in  the   Greater  Boston area.  The  Cambridge  office,  located  in  Kendall  Square,  is  part  of  the  company’s  ongoing  investment  in  its   healthcare,  pharmaceutical  and  financial  services practices.   The new  office  is  located  on  the  18th floor  of  245  First  Street,  overlooking  the  Charles  River  and  Longfellow  Bridge.  “Having  a  presence  in  the  Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts  will  allow  us  to  better  serve our clients  in  the  region,”  said   John  Cassimatis,  Executive  Vice  President  and  co-founder at  TayganPoint  Consulting  Group.  “In  addition  to  being  a  key   part  of  the  company’s  investment  in  three  specific  service  lines,  this  expansion  aligns with  our  dedication  to  smart,   strategic  growth.”

To read the full announcement, please click here

TayganPoint Selected by Consulting Magazine with Seven Small Jewels Recognition

Topic(s): Corporate Culture, Company Growth, Awards
Date: March 2013

TayganPoint is pleased to be selected by Consulting Magazine as one of the Seven Small Jewels in the consulting profession for 2013.  In consulting, mergers can be dicey. In a game of hit and miss, there are plenty of misses. But with TayganPoint, merging two smaller firms was definitely a hit.  The firm was formed three years ago when Taygan Consulting and VantagePoint Consulting Group joined forces.  “It’s a great story of where ‘one plus one equals three’ ” says John Cassimatis, Executive Vice President and co-founder of TayganPoint. Meanwhile, Joy Taylor, CEO and co-founder, says it works because the two firms had plenty in common.  “If you had met us separately, we would’ve looked very much alike,” she says. “We were both about $2.5 million, about 12 to 15 people and served the same type of clients.”

To continue reading this article as it appeared in Consulting Magazine, please click here

NJBIZ names TayganPoint one of New Jersey’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies

Topic(s): Company Growth, Award
Date: September 20, 2012

The NJBIZ 50 Fastest Growing Companies awards program celebrates New Jersey’s most dynamic companies who progressively contribute to the success of the state’s economic growth and stability. TayganPoint Consulting Group has been named one of New Jersey’s 2012 50 Fastest Growing Companies.

To read the full press release, please click here

TayganPoint and Gens and Associates Team Up to Deliver New Service-Offering

Topic(s): Strategic Partnership
Date: June 25, 2012

TayganPoint Consulting Group and Gens and Associates announce the launch of a joint service-offering aimed at accelerating regulatory improvement and reducing cost of compliance for biopharmaceuticals. The firms have combined the strengths of their highly respected firms to create an innovative and powerful practice, utilizing industry benchmarks and data driven process improvement. The practice enables biopharmaceutical companies to increase the effectiveness of their regulatory functions by establishing a performance baseline and guiding which key initiatives will deliver the most substantial value for the organization.

To read the full press release, please click here

TayganPoint CEO Named one of NJ’S Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ

Topic(s): Women Leaders, Awards, Entrepreneurship
Date: February 3, 2012

Joy Taylor, CEO of TayganPoint, has been named one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business.  The award, sponsored by NJBIZ, honors New Jersey’s most dynamic women in business that have been making headlines in their field.  To qualify, a nominee had to meet selection criteria that included living or working in New Jersey and holding significant authority for decision making in a for-profit company.

To read the full press release, please, click here

TayganPoint Rolls Out the Red Carpet to Learn the Art of Storytelling

Topic(s): Jana Memel, Storytelling, Hollywood Way
Date: November 29, 2011

Academy Award-winning producer or Jana Memel joined TayganPoint to instruct consultants and clients on the art of storytelling.

Attendees enjoyed learning from Jana at the day-long workshop, learning the secrets of crafting a telling a unique story.  After 11 nominations and three wins, Memel, decided to bring her wit and storytelling expertise to business professionals through the Hollywood Way workshop, which encourages participants to ditch traditional presentation techniques and encapsulate the audience through storytelling.

To read the full press release, please, click here

TayganPoint Battles Hills for Autism

Topic(s): Autism Cares Foundation, Corporate Philanthropy
Date: November 29, 2011

TayganPoint team members, dressed to impress in their running shoes and team shirts, banded together with throngs of racers at the Autism Cares Foundation’s annual Race for Resources on November 12.  TayganPoint co-founder, Joy Taylor’s daughter, Egan, was diagnosed with autism in 2007.  Joy and her family are very active in the Autism Cares Foundation.  “I feel very blessed to have so many friends and colleagues who joined “Team Egan” and came out to support such an important cause,” Taylor said.

To read the full press release, please, click here

TayganPoint CEO Featured at Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon

Topic(s): Women Business Leaders
Date:  May 19, 2011

Representatives from TayganPoint Consulting Group attended the second annual Go Red for Women Luncheon held in Somerset, NJ. TayganPoint proudly supports the Go Red for Women movement, attending the organization’s annual luncheon event for the second year in a row.  At the event, Joy Taylor, CEO of TayganPoint, was one of four women selected to appear on a leadership panel where she shared her experiences as a women business owner.  She discussed her role in leadership positions, as well as the challenges she faced along the way and the courage she had to overcome them.

To read the full press release, please, click here

TayganPoint CEO Honored for her Commitment to the Autism Cares Foundation

Topic(s): Corporate Philanthropy, Autism Cares Foundation
Date: May 19, 2011

Joy Taylor, CEO & Co-founder of TayganPoint, was honored for her dedication and exceptional commitment to the Autism Cares Foundation at the second annual gala and silent auction on April 29, 2011.  Ms. Taylor’s daughter, Egan, was diagnosed with Autism in July 2007.  She and her family are active members of the Autism Cares Foundation. They participate in monthly foundation-sponsored activities including BounceU events and sensory friendly movie nights.

To read the full press release, please click here

TayganPoint Partners with Giving Hope Network to Help Orphans and Families Affected by Autism

Topic(s): Corporate Philanthropy, Autism Awareness
Date: March 16, 2011

Demonstrating the evening’s theme of “Collectively Making a Difference,” TayganPoint Consulting Group, served as the main sponsor of Giving Hope Network’s Inaugural Winter Dinner Dance.  Held on Saturday, February 19, 2011, at the Holly Hedge Estate in New Hope, PA, the event featured a cocktail reception, dinner and live auction that raised over $25,000 to directly support orphans and families affected by autism.

To read the full press release, please click here

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Constructing Your M&A Integration “Dream Team”

Contributed by Bob Macfarlane.

In 1988, the U.S. Mens Olympic Basketball team failed to win the gold medal for only the second time in history — the other was the controversial loss to the Soviet Union in 1972.  As a result of this dramatic loss, the team took a different strategy for the next Olympic Games, assembling a team of NBA all-stars who came to be known as the “Dream Team”.  The team, which included Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, executed this strategy perfectly, beating opponents by an average of 44 points on their way to a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.

Having a team that can execute your strategy is critical to the success of a deal.  In 2014, over 40,000 M&A deals were announced and 2015 is on track to exceed last year’s activity.  The bad news is that almost a third of these deals will fail.  They will fail not because the deal strategy itself was bad, but instead because the team integrating the companies failed to successfully execute the deal strategy.

Integrations are not like playing basketball games.  If they were the rules would change as the game was being played.  Still, there are lessons to be learned from the “Dream Team” that may change how you assemble your next integration team and improve the team’s ability to execute the deal strategy.

Shape the integration team based on entities in the deal.  Players were selected for the 1992 Dream Team based on the specific skills they brought to the table, and how those skills matched up against other nation’s teams.  Build your integration team based on the type of deal — merger, divestiture, etc., and the entities involved in the deal.  Identify the cultural differences that are the biggest obstacles to the deal’s success and use this information to establish the integration team’s leadership style, approach to organizational design, and governance process.

Select team members with complementary skills and the ability to do many things well.  The Dream Team was a well-balanced team with players who could pass, shoot, and rebound extremely well and play both offense and defense.  Your integration team needs to be equally well-balanced with the right mix of functional expertise from both Operations (Sales, Supply Chain, etc.) as well as Support Organizations (HR, IT, etc.).  The team also needs people with cross-functional expertise who can integrate processes throughout the merging enterprise.

Staff your team with top performers.  Rule changes enabled the U.S. to put the best players in the country on the Dream Team – suddenly engaging top, professional NBA all-stars.  Similarly, your integration team should include top performers from all organizations involved in the deal.  Consider these positions as stepping stones to more senior leadership positions.  The deal’s pace, visibility, and importance to the company will require the integration team to bring new products to market, reduce operating costs, integrate supply chains, and implement new technology.  Select staff that can meet these challenges and apply their experience at the next level.

Train your integration team.  The 1992 Dream Team consisted of players from both professional and college teams who had never played together before.  They trained together for months before the start of the Olympics, and often practiced against teams designed to look and play like their opponents.  Most integration teams are formed in a similar manner by pulling together internal resources from various business units.  Train your integration team by developing a solid on-boarding program that provides guidance and training on unique integration activities.  Build functional playbooks that contain key questions, contacts, and activities for each phase of the integration and include lessons learned from previous deals so mistakes are not repeated and wheels are not reinvented.

Develop a team that sets an example.  At the Olympics, members of the Dream Team were treated like royalty and became global ambassadors for the sport of basketball.  Their experience helped fuel tremendous growth of the sport overseas and encouraged more international players to sign to professional teams in the U.S.  While an integration team is rarely granted rock-star status, they do have the ability to become cultural role models within the newly formed post-merger organization.  How they interact, make decisions, and treat employees can influence the behavior of an entire organization.

Integration teams are critical to the success of a deal as they drive the company to achieve the deal’s value creation opportunities.   Carefully crafting an Integration “Dream Team” best suited to your specific organizational needs will ensure you have the right people, the right training, and the right tools in place to identify and develop opportunities and lead the organization through enterprise-wide change.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Hire Consultants: Squeezing the Most Value From Your Consulting Engagements Part II: The Honeymoon Period

Contributed by:  John Nolan, Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

All the pre-work has been done, the contracts signed and consultants are on their way.   These next two weeks are crucial to getting these new assets up and running.  Responsibility lies with both parties, but the honeymoon period is short and no one wants to come out of it wanting a separation from their new partner.

The good news is that consultants are experts.  They are used to learning and adapting to different communications structures, leadership hierarchies, company cultures and working environments.   A good consultant can thrive in almost any environment.  Unlike the normal new hire, they are not looking to establish themselves, and they won’t be bringing baggage from being let go from a previous position.  What they are looking for, however, is your support as they get up to speed and begin creating positive outcomes for your organization as quickly as possible.

Where the average employee can take up to 90 days to be on-boarded correctly, a consultant should be able to be productive in less than 5 days.  They key is to focus on the four C’s:

  1. Content
  2. Connections
  3. Culture
  4. Communication

Content – What can we read on the plane?

While the best case scenario is having consultants that arrive as experts in your industry, with deep functional experience, and full understanding of the intricacies of your projects, that’s probably not going to be the case.  So often, deals are struck by someone with knowledge of your organization – you’ve spent time outlining and discussing your business challenges, but when the time comes to actually staff your engagement, this is not the person delivering your solutions.  This may sound like a case of bait and switch, but it isn’t.  A change in staffing is based on a variety of factors – many of which are aimed at providing you the best possible resource to tackle your specific challenges.  Reasons range from who is available from the firm, specific expertise relevant to the engagement, and finally, what you are willing to pay.  But regardless of who walks in the door, you should be prepared to bring them up to speed with pre-reading content.

You can assume that any consultant will have read about your company, basic news, leadership shifts, the industry, and marketplace changes.   This high level information is great for background, but anything you can share related to the project itself, key deliverables, project plans, and presentations will be crucial to success.   Remember, consultants want to be prepared – they will review what you share and will come in ready to work.  Don’t let them spend their first week on site reading content they could have read on the plane coming in.

Connections – Who do we need to know?

Once consultants are on site, it’s key they begin meeting with team leaders, subject matter experts and the larger team to learn more about the project, assess the current status and begin defining a plan of action.   A small amount of work ahead of time to get these meetings scheduled will make an exponential difference in ensuring consultants will meet with the key project players in a timely and efficient manner.

If they have to come in and schedule these meetings themselves, it may take a week or more to coordinate calendars, especially since these key contacts are receiving emails and communications from someone they don’t know yet.   Set meetings help consultants develop base information as well as begin the process of establishing relationships they will need across the organization to influence and make progress towards their intended goals.

Culture – Yours or ours?

In most cases consultants will be coming from an organizational culture that is very different than yours.  It is important to outline what is expected as these two cultures begin to interact.   While a good consultant will adapt to your culture, they can also use their influence to begin to shape their environment.   As part of the engagement would you like consultants to share best practices with your teams or meld and adapt to current practices?

A simple example is defining expectations surrounding meetings.  The inclusion of an agenda, sticking to it, and defining next steps and responsibilities can have a drastic effect on the success of a meeting, but will people tolerate this?   What should consultants know about the organization and the team before they start?   What subtle areas would you like them to influence beyond their defined statement of work? Consultants are paid to push you and your culture forward.  Help them to enable this, so you can grow as an organization.

Communication – We should talk

Once a single consultant or team are on site and working it is important that you schedule regular check-ins with them over the first few weeks.   These sessions will allow you to communicate new things that you are learning, give them feedback about their early performance and learn how you might be able to support them in their meetings or early plans.

You need to know what issues they are encountering and what their plan of action is.  If you don’t check in you can’t be upset a few months later when progress is not on track or has diverted from what you feel is most important.   A two-way communication between you and your consultants will be key for their success as well as yours.

Following just a few of these suggestions can make all the difference.  It will lead to a happier marriage with the consultants you are bringing onboard.  By supporting them through the first two critical weeks, you will enable them to engage immediately with the organization and project team, capitalizing on your investment in their services.

PROGRAM + PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Quarterbacks Win Games and Coaches Deliver Championships

By:  Mark Lane, Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

“Did your last project end on time, but fail to deliver business value? Was it under budget, but didn’t achieve the ROI you were hoping for? If you answered yes, then what you need is program management!” 

It sounds like the beginning of an infomercial, but the truth is, projects frequently do end on time and on budget, but fail to deliver the business value you and your organization were anticipating.  The project manager (quarterback) worked closely with the team to deliver touchdowns, but in the end the game was lost. What was needed was better program management (coaching).

We all recognize the difference between quarterback and coach, but often fail to see the difference between project and program management.  Quarterbacks drive success on the field executing the game plan, delivering touchdowns and winning games.  Coaches are responsible for building the right team and ensuring individual game plans come together to deliver a championship season. Project managers (quarterbacks) concentrate on delivering touchdowns (specific business outputs ), program managers (coaches) focus on delivering championships (sustainable outcomes) Essentially, short-term project deliverables vs long term business value.

The table below provides some insight into the key differences.



Long-term focus on future growth or business value (outcomes)

Short-term focus on deliverables or tasks (outputs)

Embrace change to maximize outcomes

Minimize change to improve efficiency

Focus on strategic uncertainty

Focus on operational risk

Flexible project plan to optimize for value

Static project plan to meet budget and deadlines

Business transformation requires expertise in both areas to ensure goals are achieved and that business value is recognized as the two work synergistically to drive success.  Program management adds a unique dimension, bridging the gap between business strategy and delivery of business value.  Program managers integrate and synchronize activities horizontally across key functional areas, typically, R&D, Sales & Marketing, IT, and Operations to ensure activities come together to create a holistic and value-added solution that supports all groups. Similar to how a football coach leverages the various specialized skills of his team throughout the season, program managers integrate across all of the various skill domains to deliver value.

There are four key aspect of program management to consider as you develop new program and governance structures within your organization:

Integration and synchronization

Looking horizontally across functional projects as you coordinate deliverables helps ensure they form an integrated solution. For example, in a drug development setting, the manufacturing of clinical supplies must be tightly coordinated with regulatory and clinical operations activities to ensure the drug is available at study sites when the trial is ready to begin. Finally, and perhaps most important, the program manager must regularly review data, progress, costs, etc. to ensure that the business case remains viable. Failure to manage the overall solution in this way not only impacts the quality and value of the overall business transformation, but also contributes to cost overruns, delays and uncontrolled risks.

Risk management

Traditional project management uses an analyze, monitor, and report approach to risk management.  Should specific tasks or activities be delayed or exceed the agreed upon budget, this approach reactively manages the related challenges after they occur.  Program management utilizes predictive scenario analysis to identify potential risks and develop alternative options to mitigate their impact.

To use another drug development example, a program manager may work with their team to design alternative clinical studies in support of desired labeling language in the event the initial studies do not achieve the planned endpoints.  Another key element of risk management is balancing risks across all projects.  The program manager may make adjustments in one project to address an emerging risk in another.

Prioritization and resources

Program-level prioritization and decision-making optimizes resources across projects.  Similar to risk management, resources may be redeployed to other projects within the program to address emerging priorities such as the unexpected or accelerated entry of a new competitor, a delay in shipment of raw materials or unanticipated feedback from a regulatory agency. Effective program management might also include delaying or cancelling specific project activities or perhaps even whole projects to address changing priorities.  In addition to optimizing resources, a programmatic approach also improves systems capacity as well as vendor and third party management.

Stakeholder management and communication

Given the cross-functional nature of programs and their focus on overall business value, program management typically includes deeper involvement with senior leadership as key stakeholders.  Often coming from different functional areas, these leaders may have differing perspectives and competing needs, creating the potential for conflict and confusion.  Effective program management requires significant expertise in leadership, influence, conflict resolution, trust building and communication.  Further, program managers must ensure the consistency for gathering, analyzing and reporting project information and status to avoid discrepancies between projects regarding budget, resources, timing and most importantly issue escalation.

Program management is not steroid-enhanced project management. Stronger and more rigorous project management may help to ensure on time and within budget delivery of specific business outputs, but not necessarily guarantee that sustainable outcomes will be achieved. While these two approaches to management are certainly co-dependent, they differ in several key ways including the methods, tools and skill sets required.  Much like both a quarterback and a coach are necessary for a championship season, ensuring business transformations achieve strategic objectives and deliver anticipated business value requires expertise in both project and program management.

Ignorance Really Isn’t Bliss:  How to Know What You Don’t Know

By:  Molly Romano, Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

“We know what we know, we know that there are things we do not know, and we know that there are things we don’t know we don’t know” 
—  Donald Rumsfeld

We’ve all had it happen – you’re blindsided by a piece of new information that throws your project into a tailspin.   Everyone is wondering – how did that happen, where did it come from?   Or, if you’re lucky, you have a project “Aha” moment – an unexpected benefit or windfall for your project and, by happenstance, you become a rock star!

We all have great intentions at the outset of projects – we create a risk mitigation plan, we identify potential project risks, and ways to mitigate them if they are realized.   We pledge to revisit this plan regularly, but when everyone gets into the weeds of delivering, often this step is glossed over.

How to uncover the unknown is a constant challenge.  However, there are some key steps to increasing awareness and knowledge of what potential risks and benefits exist.   Immersing yourself in an environment of learning is a good start.

The inaugural class of TayganPoint University just graduated recently – a full week of intensive classes led by content experts, consultants and analysts with a variety of experience in both industry and consulting – some a few years out of school, and many who have been in the professional world for quite some time.  With these extreme dissimilarities and diverse backgrounds, how do you teach someone how to “know what they don’t know”?

Experience certainly helps, as we learn from past projects, identifying and understanding what has caught us off guard or how we discovered the project benefit amidst a sea of turmoil.   But this is not always the case – being aware of your surroundings needs constant reminder, especially in the depths of project execution.

The following ideas and best practices may seem obvious, but if not top of mind throughout a project, you will miss some of those project risks and benefits:

Listen, listen, listen.    Consciously, or unconsciously, consultants are often brought on board for their listening skills and the uncanny ability to bring a new ear and a new perspective to a project.   They are a vehicle to cross silos, meet people in other departments and develop holistic solutions that are a best fit for the organization (not just the department working on the project).   From a cultural angle, consultants listen to what people have to say about the company, their work, and the environment.  This is what shapes successful solutions – listening, analyzing and ultimately application.  For the internal members of a project team, being too close or too immersed in the subject matter, the department and the culture can be a severe detriment to closing in on a successful outcome.  Often it takes an outside perspective to cut through the clutter, put an ear to the ground, and gather what is needed to make an unbiased recommendation to a struggling organization.

Ask questions  Everyone says that no question is a dumb question.  This may work in school, but might not have real world application.  While it is one thing to be inquisitive, you need to confidently understand the details of your project before starting – do the due diligence and research in advance.  It will help make the questions you DO ask, intelligent ones.  Active questioning can help resolve issues early as well as help to define priorities.  Consultants are there to support client initiatives – the more they ask, they more they can help. 

Read, research, refresh.   Company alerts, industry alerts, breaking business news – all of these are designed to keep you informed and up to date.  Whether they are arriving by way of social media, your email or the newspaper, consistently ensuring you are in the know means not getting blindsided by marketplace elements that can negatively impact your project success.  Understanding what your boundaries and limitations are allows you to more clearly think inside, outside and around the box.  Refresh your knowledge regularly as you continue to apply what you learn.

The more you know, the more likely you are to uncover what you don’t know – possibly the most valuable asset in both managing risk and developing a path to success.  Listening, asking informed questions, and staying on top of changes that can affect your outcomes will help you begin to shift the learning paradigm in your favor.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Hire Consultants: Squeezing the Most Value from a Consulting Engagement

Contributed by:  John Nolan, Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

PART I:  Before Your Consultant Even Walks Through the Door

Consultants and the support they bring are often the key to the success of many organizations.  A good firm can help drive strategy, improve effectiveness and provide a flexible workforce that is qualified, motivated and ready at a moment’s notice.   The drawback of having this highly qualified army at your beckoned call is the price.  Considering the tremendous investment involved with engaging outside consultants, it’s a wonder how poorly most are on-boarded and prepared for the work ahead.  This post will be the first in a series of what companies can do to get the most out of their consulting engagements and maximize their value.

Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting recently said there are upwards of 400,000 people working as consultants in the United States. The average consultant bills between $1,000-$3,000 per day, often in addition to the expenses they incur in travel and lodging.   With so much invested in their success what can you as a leader do to make sure they are hit the ground running the moment they arrive at your company site?  There are four key things to consider before a consultant passes through your front door:

  1. Statement of Work
  2. Technology
  3. Working Space
  4. Culture Fit

Statement of Work – Write It Down

Before the engagement begins, contracts are signed, costs and legalities are outlined, but there are a few key elements often left out of the SOW that should be included.

A good statement of work should be clear about what the consulting firm is on site to accomplish and what the expected outcomes of their work will be, both in the form of specific deliverables as well as the time provided for consultants to do their due diligence – ask questions, become familiar with key issues and make sure they fully understand what is to be delivered.   A recent report by the Standish Group stated that only 29% of projects surveyed can be considered successful by terms of meeting deliverables, deadlines, and budgets­.   A detailed contract protects an organization in case the engagement does not go as planned and acts as a reference point for specific milestones and deliverables that were or were not met.

Finally, while no one enjoys this phenomenon, consultants often change.   The people originally assigned to a project may be moved, leave the company or simply not be the right fit for your engagement.  By clearly defining the outcomes and deliverables up front, any new consultant coming onto the project will have a full understanding of what needs to be done and when.

Technology – What’s Your WiFi Password?

Spending time upfront addressing new consultant’s technology needs can save both time and money in the long run.   Too often, consultants arrive on site and spend days trying to get technology set up, frequently with limited access to the company’s IT department or help desk.   While many organizations have great tech services for employees, these are often hard to access for consultants and those tech resources may not be able to address issues outside their normal employee set up.   Having someone from technology onsite and available when consultants arrive may seem overkill, but it may save hours of work later as they won’t be struggling to get connected at your site.

Key questions to consider and discuss with your consulting firm include:

  • Hardware: Will consultants be bringing their own laptops?  Will they be provided by the consulting firm?  Or will the company need to provide them?
  • Communication and Accessibility: Do they require a company email address?  Will a VPN be required?
  • Security: Access to Printers, Internet, Intranet, company sites such as SharePoint, Yammer, Instant Messenger?
  • Set-up: Do you have clear instructions for setting each of these elements up?

Imagine arriving to a new office environment, focused on meeting organizational leaders, implementing strategy, and working to make improvements — all while trying to figure out how to network your laptop to printers a floor above you and gain access to SharePoint or the company network.  It’s easy to see how much precious time can be lost in the early stages of a new engagement.

Work Space – Are There Any More Chairs?

As silly as it may sound there are some physical work space questions that need to be addressed before consultants arrive on site.   Most of them revolve around the question: “Where are we going to put them”?  Again, in order to make your investment as productive as possible, make sure that there are desks, cubicles or a shared room where consultants can work.   If they will be in regular communication with senior leaders, it may be helpful to have them nearby or at least on the same floor as their most common contacts.   Once work spaces are defined, you should look to ensure that the assigned areas have working connections — electricity, phones, Ethernet, etc.  If you are anticipating four people to inhabit an area, are there at least four chairs in the room.   Consultants are a flexible workforce, they don’t expect window offices or fruit baskets, but paying them to sit on the phone with building services, trying to arrange a chair to sit in, may not be an effective use of their time and probably not what you have hired them to accomplish.

Culture Fit – “Those People”

While you may not be able to personally meet every consultant who will engage on your project, the consulting firm should provide basic profiles so you are at least reasonably familiar with who will be coming to your office.

Cultural implications may sound trivial, but they will have a significant impact on the success of your project.  New consultants, as they enter your organization, will have an impact at all levels.  They will assess, take action and leave behind a structure for continued success.  This format is perfectly acceptable to you as the project sponsor, but may not reflect the feelings of your larger organization who are wary of outsiders, or who fear that they will be replaced or rendered obsolete.  Both communication and sensitivity to cultural fit is key when selecting your team.

Anything you can do to help consultants understand your organizational culture — how to best interact with leaders, communicate most effectively, and implement changes within your unique norms and values, will save countless headaches in the long run and hopefully expedite the process of successfully achieving their hired goals.  If your organization struggles with straightforward communication or decision-making practices, alerting the consulting team to these challenges may help them quickly drive to address these issues in their own discussions.   A recent Entrepreneur Magazine article stated, “the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with rich company culture is a mere 13.9%, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4%.”  While consultants are paid to stay, the fit between company cultures is important and will affect both how your employees interact with the new team and how they deliver on desired outcomes.

The hours spent addressing these elements may not seem particularly impactful on paper, but can have significant influence on the quality of your engagement – happy, productive, prepared consultants will walk in your front door ready to maximize their value to your organization.


Changing the Trajectory of Your Project When the Only Thing You Can Change is You

Contributed by:  Jackie Misiak, Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

Remember the movie Apollo 13?  There was a scene where the astronauts were stuck in space.  They had very little power.  They were running out of oxygen.  The team on the ground was tasked with figuring out how to get them back to earth.  The mission leader, stationed safely on the ground, pulled his team together in a conference room.  He outlined the challenge they were faced with:  how to change the trajectory of the space capsule and leverage Earth’s orbit and gravity to bring the astronauts home.   He then proceeded to dump a box of miscellaneous items on the conference room table, explaining that these are the only parts that are available to the astronauts.  This problem solving team was faced with 3 people, coworkers, friends, valuable government employees who would die if they did not find a viable solution.

While most business transformation projects rarely involve space travel or life-or-death situations, there are distinct commonalities in how a challenge or problem is identified and how you can tackle crafting a solution.  Is your project team struggling to deliver?  Does it feel like your project is sinking?  Is your team really engaged?

What follows will not be new, life changing concepts — more like golden rules that can change the outcomes of your project and with any luck, also change how people feel about you.

If the only thing you can change is YOU, here are a few things to consider:

Do not underestimate the power of YOU
Be “all-in” with your team.  Take time to personally present the higher level objectives and strategies of the project at hand.  Many people review the solutions or new process with those responsible for delivering, forget about communicating the bigger picture.  The more your team fully understands the intent of the transformation project, the better they can contribute to developing solutions.  Creating deep engagement with your team conveys to them your dedication, and in turn will strengthen their commitment to a successful outcome.

Be clear about boundaries
Project boundaries and resource limits do not always present themselves clearly at the start of an engagement.  Often it takes time to assess the many facets of a challenge before these boundaries come into focus.  Engaging members of your project team in this process is a great way to unearth new considerations that can lead to additional or better options than originally considered.  This engagement approach can also strengthening the bonds of your group.

In some situations, where the problem is particularly deep or technical, you may need to consider small focused subset of the project team to work the problem together.   If the problem is complex and cuts across many technical areas, you may want to engage a third party who can provide an expert opinion and additional insight where your core team does not have deep expertise.

Faith or failure
Empower your team.  If you believe they have the right skills to solve the problem, tell them.  Let them know you are confident they are the right people with the right skills to design a viable solution.  Query them for their opinions – do they see any gaps to success?  If they do, it’s your responsibility to help fill those gaps.  Likewise, if you are not confident the team has the right skills, you’ll need to address this as well.

Benefits – to you and to the project
Strong, committed, engagement with your project team can generate immediate benefits for your current project, including more innovative or complete solution options, increased team engagement and general excitement and enthusiasm, and longer term value.  When people feel engaged and valued as part of a project, they will jump through hoops to work with that team or leader again.  Being a leader that people want to work for, versus one they have to work for, can do amazing things for your reputation.

You may not be solving problems that mean life or death to 3 astronauts stuck in space, but YOU, your presence, your perspective, can dramatically impact the trajectory of your projects and your future success.


Avoiding the Blank Stares: Developing a Strong Change Management Vision

Contributed by:  Sondra Leibner, Senior Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

“A vision always goes beyond the numbers…A vision says something that helps clarify the direction in which an organization needs to move,” says John Kotter, Change Management Guru.  

A common thread links executives, from all walks of life, to one another.  At some point during their careers, each will be faced with leading some form of organizational change – large or small, self-created or mandated from elsewhere in the organization, each will struggle with the same fundamental challenge — articulating their vision. If you can’t clearly share what the future state of your organization looks and feels like, why would anyone be inclined to follow you?

Change leaders need to be able to clearly communicate the need for a project by sharing its value and outcomes in language that will be understood not only by those involved, but by anyone, at any level, across the organization.  To add a level of complexity, it’s more than the message alone; it’s the tone and authenticity behind how that message is delivered.  If you truly believe in the change you are enacting, your passion and belief needs to come through in how that information is shared.

Once defined, this vision will be the driving force behind all future aspects of the change.  This is a great statement to revisit with leaders throughout the change process.  Asking “how does this support the vision?” can help drive the right actions when leaders feel pressure to modify or abandon certain elements of the change initiative.  Articulated vision is what helps you stay the course.

Taking time and care with each change management project, meeting with senior leaders, defining vision and a strategy for the proposed change is not a luxury item – it’s a business imperative, and directly linked to the direction your organization is moving.


“What Gives!?” — Are You a Giving Organization?

Contributed by:  John Nolan, Consultant, TayganPoint Consulting Group

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

As we become a more global society with many organizations operating across city, state and country borders it is important to address how corporate philanthropy has become part of the equation. Many organizations give monetary donations to charities for the tax write off and the short blurb for their annual report, but true involvement by the organization and its employees can have deep positive effects that go well beyond the act itself.

Attracting New Talent
Any organization that is looking to grow and bring in new talent should consider if its culture and values support giving, volunteering and community involvement.   The next generation of the workforce “Millennials” take this principle to heart and are using it to guide both their spending and employment decisions.   According to the recent Millennial Impact Report, 75 percent of young people donated to causes last year and 63 percent said they gave their time to volunteer. This translates to employment as well where this generation is looking at “corporate embrace and prioritization of philanthropy as a central tenet of the employee experience.2“ “This is the reason why, one-third of Millennials surveyed said that their companies’ volunteer policies affected their decision to apply for a job, 39% said that it influenced their decision to interview, and 55% said that such policies played into their decision to accept an offer.”  For companies to attract top talent they need to be involved in giving at all levels within the organization.

Team Building
Volunteer work and projects provide a unique opportunity for team building that cannot be found inside the office.  Allowing employees the chance to come together and work on a project can provide a great avenue for building a team.  Corporate volunteer projects naturally create a positive team-building experience for participants.  Research shows that strong teamwork has a significant positive effect on employee performance.  Corporate giving offers employees the opportunity to support their community while still engaging employees in developmental and team building activities.

Employee Engagement
As employee engagement increases and employees are engaged in what they do, they are more likely to participate and stay with an organization. Research has shown that employees with high engagement deliver better results for their organizations and have increased tenure. The interesting aspect is what can drive this engagement.  “A key driver of Employee Engagement has been reported to be an employee’s perception of the organization’s values. Without a positive feeling about the values of the organization, employee engagement will likely remain low.”  Once again corporate giving can allow an organization to define its values, engage its employees and better both its community and the organization itself at the same time.

Are you a giving organization?  Do you work for a giving organization?   If not, what gives?


Change Management Forum Invite - For Web

Work gets done in organizations through communication and conversation. Are the hallways of your organization filled with sounds of collaboration or sounds of dissent? It’s what people say, or sometimes the things they don’t say, that define an organization’s beliefs, ideologies, principles and values.

Click here to learn more about TayganPoint’s upcoming forum or to register.