For twelve years, I worked for a consulting firm called Sibson & Company, first as their HR  leader and then as a senior consultant. My time there was truly foundational to who I am as a coach and the work I do with you.

Steve Strelsin was the Managing Partner for whom I worked the longest. I developed deep respect for him as a leader, consultant and person.  Since his Sibson days, Steve has founded Axiom and is currently the Managing Partner of that firm. In this post, I am sharing one of Steve Strelsin’s writings called Simplify: The Most Important Leadership Skill. In his post, he shares three key areas for simplification. Here’s my quick snapshot:

  1. Strategy: Focus on the things that matter most, not every possibility.
  2. Organization: Clarify barriers, interdependencies and decision-making.
  3. Communication: Create understanding with different audiences and make information relevant to a person’s job success.

Read the two-page post here.

Something I Learned From Steve Strelsin

Steve is the person who taught me to think rigorously about the “so what” of my HR role. I can remember vividly the discussion I had with him about how we would measure our consultant training programs.

  • The evaluations were to be a mere thermometer for how well the program resonated with consultants and possibly what should be modified or was needed next.
  • The combination of programs were best assessed not even by improved capability, yet capability was tracked through performance reviews.
  • From new capability, we were looking for advancement in role and “ta da” billing rate increase. We increased billing rates based on the consultant’s value to our clients. And, of course, we wanted that increase sooner than later, so elapsed time to advancement was a key factor
  • If our consultants billed at higher rates, the firm made more money. My role contributed intentionally toward consultant advancement and client value. It wasn’t about orchestrating great training programs.

So, now when I talk with you about getting really clear about your intended outcome, you will know how I learned the skill.