Michael's personal response to Frequently Asked Questions
Are you an independent consultant or a team of consultants?
Yes…and yes. My experience has shown that leaders often prefer to work directly with the principal of a consulting firm, whom they have begun to know and trust. Yet, much of the work might be done through the principal’s associates within their firm. As an independent, leaders know exactly who they will be working with throughout our engagement. As for the second half of the question. If we’ve uncovered challenges within your organization that I do not have expertise to help with, I have partnerships with other consultants and consulting firms, that have a variety of experiences that I do not. If we agree there is a need, I may invite someone to assist in that specific aspect of our work together.
What makes you the right person for our situation?
Well at this point, I’m not sure that I am! Only after we’ve spent time together in a period of discovery would we be able to mutually agree if there is a good fit between your needs and my experience. But what I hear most frequently from clients is how they appreciate that I have “lived in their shoes”. After years of both management and consulting experience, I later became CEO and new owner of a technology company struggling from its recent growth; I served for almost a decade on the board of a large church requiring a complete transformation of its board governance process; and consulted and coached numerous organizational leaders throughout my 35 year professional career. I also have a Christian worldview (see below). We will decide together if I am the right person for your unique situation.
You have a lot of business experience, but we are a church/non-profit. How can you help us?
The simple answer is – I have experience in both. But the real answer is that there is one underlying constant in all types of organizations. People. Whether church, nonprofit, or business, all leaders seek to productively organize people around a common mission, achieving their unique goals. The missions and goals differ significantly – but the people and organizational issues are similar. And they get exceedingly more difficult as the organization grows. Leaders had these challenges in Biblical times, just as we do today. My focus is on leadership and organizational structure and practices that must evolve and develop, as the organization develops. No matter what type of organization.
Why do you state that you have a "Christian Worldview?"
At this stage in my career, much of my work has shifted toward assisting the boards of growing Churches and leaders of Christian-based organizations. I share their unique worldview, so I am personally motivated to see them succeed in their mission. I occasionally reference the Bible, I understand who is ultimately in control, and I believe in the power of prayer. And for the privately-held businesses that I work with, I feel it is still important that their leaders understand my values and perspective on servant-leadership.
How do you charge, and what would be the "next step?"
My rates are competitive to other consultants in the market. Of course the scope and approach we take for an engagement can cause the total cost to fluctuate considerably. (ie: onsite or remote) I will present a price for the entire “engagement” we agree to, or a specific monthly rate that allows us the flexibility to use our time in the most effective manner each month. I do not charge by the hour. During our engagement I want you to feel free to contact me without a concern for “being on the clock”. Regular communication is encouraged. Depending on the situation and often limited resources of nonprofit organizations, I may be flexible in pricing when warranted. The next step? To simply meet so we can first get to know each other.
What if things aren't going like I had hoped with the engagement/relationship?
We stop. At that point we either step back and rectify where we have gone off track from your expectation, or we agree that this isn’t going to work like we had hoped. I require no long-term “contract”. If for whatever reason you want to end an engagement, we do. No hard feelings.