As someone who’s never been comfortable with the status quo and the known, I’ve always had the curiosity and adventurousness to seek completely new, yet elegant solutions to existing challenges. This has invariably led me though an eclectic career, and provided me with the opportunity to learn many valuable life lessons.
One of the most important lessons I learned about myself also came to define my role at work: I often complete my tasks significantly faster than most people think possible, and I often find myself taking on multiple projects across completely different disciplines.
This multi-disciplinary approach came naturally to me through my innate inquisitiveness and aptitude. It has allowed me to gain experience and expertise across a wide variety of disciplines related to organizational development. These include leadership performance, structure, process improvement, lean principles and key performance index development for monitoring effectiveness, as well as web and application UX/UI design and project management. Eventually, I decided to focus primarily on online marketing, including structure, performance and A/B testing, as this provided a more dynamic learning experience and more rapidly visible results. The complexity of the projects I undertook also required me to become familiar with several other important business disciplines, including public relations, social media, search engine optimization and R&D.
The broad range of expertise I acquired during this time has enabled me now to discover extraordinarily deep and complex connections and correlations within organizations and how they affect the way these organizations work. I can address my clients’ challenges from an organization-wide perspective and with an “entrepreneurial attitude,” mixing and matching elements plucked from across all these disciplines to develop uniquely tailored solutions that result in the greatest return on investment.
This is a completely new approach that has also created a new challenge for me: How do I clearly and succinctly express what I do – the complex methods I have developed to deliver these results? Standardizing something whose real value is its being highly personalized seemed to be an oxymoron.
Several people had told me they were inspired by my unconventional approach, and that my ability to brainstorm and spark ideas allowed them to take off running. So, I decided to share my ideas with more people and started a blog to inspire them.
In it I describe how my approach makes it possible to drill down deeply across the entire organization to uncover cause and effect relationships. This makes it possible to provide a uniquely tailored, cross-disciplinary solution that enables organizations to operate more smoothly and efficiently and more quickly attain or accelerate sustainable growth. In writing the title of one of the blog posts, I used the term “Iterative Growth Strategy,” and realized this was the description I had been searching for.
Perhaps surprisingly, clients often achieved these results without incurring any significant additional financial burden with my new approach. They may require only modest reorganization of their existing resources in a logical, yet non-obvious way, or simply more fine tuning of one or more of their key organizational elements, such as marketing, web development, structure, strategy etc.
During this journey, I developed strong alliances with top independent professionals that often evolved into close personal friendships. We found we shared a common joy in our work, regardless of the financial aspects, and soon I found myself taking the leadership position. My experience at several NGOs gave me the ability to inspire people to work toward common goals with integrity, discipline and care. Despite this, I still consider myself more of a facilitator between partners and top talents than a “boss.”
Over time, I was fortunate to assemble a stable core team, which I then supplemented as necessary through the alliances and partnerships I had already formed to bring in solid experience in a variety of disciplines, including web development, online advertising, SEO, sales, coaching, science and NGOs. We always strive to “do the right thing,” professionally and ethically, using a holistic approach to provide strategic solutions tailored to deliver the best outcomes for our clients.
With small companies, we usually develop a workable strategy with the client and then connect the organization to the appropriate professionals to implement that strategy. At larger organizations, I assume a full-time contracted role within the organization, using a cross-functional approach that ensures existing resources are taken full advantage of.