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Tagged ‘Philip Bouchard’


Philip Bouchard

TrustedPeer Next Experts Program with Cal Poly

The Next Experts Program enables students to have access to the expertise they need to become the next business leaders.

Click to view a short documentary about the Next Experts Program - https://youtu.be/XoZqi0dYfgQ

This great mini documentary of the Program was directed by Cal Poly students and Next Experts, Jenna Hoffman and Niki Moshiri.

And congratulations to Executive Producer, Brian Morris and 12-time Emmy Award Winner, Jon Dann, as Line Producer. Both Brian and Jon are TrustedPeer Experts

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Philip Bouchard

Tom Brady and the Patriots: Deflating their Brands?

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Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are more than star quarterback and Super Bowl championship team. They are brands – Brady as an individual and the Patriots as an organization and corporation.

So what happens to those brands, individually and within the context of a corporate brand, when they are the subject of intense negative publicity such as the "deflategate" controversy?

TrustedPeer Experts are top-of-field business consultants who have worked with companies across a broad range of challenges. We asked them for their thoughts about lessons learned from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  

Their answers reflect some of the same dividing lines that have appeared in fan and public reaction to the story, including geographic proximity, the willingness of constituencies to "forgive and forget," and the very nature of celebrity itself.


STEVE POTTER, managing partner, Odgers Berndtson, LLC:


Personal brand is just like a corporate brand: It takes a long time to build up and only a few minutes to destroy. 

On the corporate side, you can always fire the people who screwed up and recover over time.

On the personal side, it’s a bit hard to fire yourself. So the script there is to apologize, admit wrongdoing, and do a lot of charity work for years… and hope the public forgives or forgets. They have forgiven Bill Clinton but not Pete Rose. Go figure!

 


DAVID WARD, CEO, Telegraph Hill Program Initiatives:


Sport franchise brands like the Patriots and the brands of individual stars like Brady are all about winning. Fair play is secondary, and pushing the boundaries of the rules is expected – "just win baby." Inasmuch as Patriots fans want and expect Brady and the Pats to win, and they did, I don't think the current episode will be remembered much or tarnish their brands.

In my industry, technology, I compare this situation to the Microsoft antitrust case of the 90s and continuing into the 00s under Gates: Is the Bill Gates "brand" much diminished by they way he pushed his business practices beyond the edge of customary competition? He is still the richest man who ever lived (i.e., still winning, brand intact). Microsoft's brand was tarnished by the decade-long stock price slump after Ballmer took over (not winning, brand diminished). Only recently do we see that brand starting to revive under Satya Nadella, and we'll soon see if he's a winner.

In my opinion, this Pats/Brady episode (like similar ones in the MLB and NBA) is more about a regulatory agency (the NFL) proving its oversight bona fides so it can justify its own brand image – not to mention its exemptions from antitrust scrutiny


RUTHY BENNETT, regional energy manager, Towns of Arlington and Bedford, MA:


Tom Brady is a brand. He is what Ralph Lauren was looking for, what Tommy Hilfiger tried to advertise for. Brady is All-American – wholesome and strong. His beautiful wife and children did not hurt, but he himself created his brand –  hard-working, team member, involved in the community and yes, very good-looking. The Patriots were no fools when they stood behind him. He has become them. 

His parents have built the same brand. They live in California in the same house Tom grew up in. No gates, no gold-plated faucets, no mansions...

Brady told Bob Kraft a long time ago that drafting him was the best thing the Patriots could have done. He was confident and he also proved his worth. Patriot fans love, love, love Tom Brady.  Facebook is awash in love for him on the New England side of the country. The Patriots were brilliant in changing their FB cover photo to his jersey. I shudder to think of the roar in the stadium when he plays his first game in the 2015-16 season. I bet the price for those tickets could rival Super Bowl ticket prices.  

The Pats let Belichick be the ugly guy – literally and figuratively. He is smart but gruff, rude to the press and barely smiles. He wears worn-out clothing (have you see how Giselle dresses Tom?).  He is like a rodent – ferreting out every obscure rule to use in his offensive plays (for example, switching eligibility right before a play starts). Belichick is the one who people love to hate and he brings it on. Brady gets to be the superstar without trying to take the limelight. The Pats set it up well.  


What has hurt the NFL and has helped the Patriots is that whether Brady was/is guilty or not, he stayed true to his brand – hard-working, clean-cut, friendly and a team player.  He spoke to the media with a smile in "hard-working" clothes (sweaty shirt interview during deflategate as opposed to his very designer outfits on most other occasions).  He kept his head down. He did not lose his cool, he did not mouth off.  

In fact, part of the Patriots brand is the opposite of the Oakland Raiders. You'd be happy to have any of these guys meet your mother. Belichick and Kraft run a very tight ship.  There are no bottle caps at Gillette Stadium. If you buy a water bottle, they take it off for you – so there's nothing to throw. There is a "family" section, and you can text the stadium if someone is cursing, drunk or otherwise bothering you. Clean-cut, family-friendly, hard-working and in the end – major major winners.

I can't wait to read the college and master's papers written about this "gate." I bet there will be more on this topic than for Chris Christie's George Washington Bridge "gate."


DAN BEEBE, president, Dan Beebe Group:

In the sports world, there is a continual balance that has to be struck between the club or league brand and those coaches and players who become successful and revered. It presents a big risk if the individual(s) become bigger than the university, professional club or league. 

As a former NCAA investigator, I also saw situations where those in more vulnerable positions would not be forthcoming about the misconduct of the powerful because of the risk it posed to their livelihoods and future.  Look what happened at Penn State. 


JONATHAN DANN, president, Jon Dann Communications:

Personal branding (within the context of a corporate brand) has become much more fragile and ephemeral in the present era – resulting in less value and ROI.


The very notion of celebrity has changed dramatically. In the old days, someone achieved fame for an accomplishment or heroic deed. In the age of the Internet, celebrity has been turned on its head.

People all too often achieve their fame through bad behavior or pushing societal boundaries. This phenomenon has never happened before.


In the Internet era, the politics of personal destruction (coupled with a lack of personal privacy) are particularly vicious so that even those who have achieved fame through honest achievement find themselves under attack.

The result: a diminished personal brand.

The above does not suggest that personal branding lacks value, only that tying a corporate brand closely with a personal brand must be much more closely scrutinized before entering into a partnership with a celebrity.


JOHN PHILLIPS, president, Colony Marketing:

In the case of Tom Brady and the Patriots, think of the Patriots as an umbrella brand and Brady as a sub-brand.

Two criteria for good sub-branding:

Umbrella brands and sub-brands need to be aligned in terms of their promise, visual identity, etc. 
There should be a clearly defined sub-brand strategy and architecture.
As a New York sports fan, I find there is no branding issue in this case. Unsportsmanlike conduct is a tightly-aligned promise between umbrella brand and sub-brand.


KATE MONTGOMERY, TrustedPeer editor and former marketing executive at the Wall Street Journal:

Interesting topic. I'm actually exploring something related to your personal brand question for a book project I've recently started.

Regarding Brady, I'm not following "deflategate" too closely, but it seems he was suspended because he knew the ball was deflated, yet said nothing. It is likewise another example of a group of people we would like to admire who are caught cheating in order to "win" a big prize. No longer an unusual event, unfortunately.



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Philip Bouchard

Financial Accounting Foundation names TrustedPeer's Myra R. Drucker to Board of Trustees

Today, Myra Drucker, chair of the board of TrustedPeer, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation.

The FAF is the independent, private-sector organization responsible for the oversight and support of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

Ms. Drucker currently serves as an independent director and chairs the Risk and Audit Committee of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC, a privately-held global investment management firm and is a frequent speaker and advisor on governance issues.

She serves as a member of the investment committees of the Kresge Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and an advisory member of the Boeing Company Employee Benefits Investment Committee. She is past chair of the New York Stock Exchange Pension Managers Advisory Committee, past chair of the board of Commonfund, and past vice chair and current honorary trustee of Sarah Lawrence College.

Myra was formerly managing director of General Motors Asset Management (GMAM) and chief investment officer of Xerox Corporation. She served on the board of directors of Interactive Data Corporation (until the company’s sale to private equity investors), and New York Stock Exchange LLC (a subsidiary of NYSE Euronext).

She has served on the editorial board of the Financial Analysts Journal, the Rockefeller Foundation Finance Committee, the board of the ERISA Industry Committee, the World Bank Pension Advisory Committee, the U.S. Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Equity Products Advisory Committee.

About the Financial Accounting Foundation 

The FAF is responsible for the oversight, administration, and finances of both the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and its counterpart for state and local government, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

About TrustedPeer

TrustedPeer® brings efficiency, transparency and accountability to the consulting process by enabling corporations and executives to effectively confer with world-class experts on-demand and online. Quick and easy access to highly qualified and rigorously vetted experts ensures immediate attention to critical business challenges.

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Philip Bouchard

TrustedPeer & TrustedPeer Expert Dave Summa mentioned in January 2015 Fortune article.

The January 2015 edition of Fortune Magazine features an article by Erika Fry that discusses the new age of digital business and entrepreneurship. In the article, Fry interviews and highlights TrustedPeer Expert Dave Summa and his expertise in "Business Model Innovation". The article also discusses TrustedPeer's innovative and convenient online consulting platform. The article appears in print as well as online.

To view the article please click the link below.

http://fortune.com/2014/12/29/startup-you/  


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Philip Bouchard

Geoff McDonald on the Importance of Employee Wellbeing

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Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with a new TrustedPeer Expert, Geoff McDonald. Geoff has a unique and well-developed philosophy on how employee wellbeing affects corporate growth, and it was a pleasure to hear his perspective. Here is how our discussion went:

Can you give me a quick download about your career background?

I worked at Unilever for twenty-five years; my most recent role being the Global Vice President of Human Resources for Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Talent.  At Unilever, my main goal has been to embed our purpose of making sustainable living commonplace into the core of the business, with healthy purposeful employees working to achieve this purpose, and in so doing, grow and deliver profits in a more responsible way. 

How did you become so committed to this goal of purposeful business and the employee wellbeing?

In the last five years with the fall of Enron and other once respectable organizations/institutions and the financial crisis, companies are realizing they need to go back to their roots and think about why they exist beyond profitability. Organizations are looking for a purpose that will drive growth and profits in the future in a more responsible way. Despite the good intentions of capitalism, the system as we know it today has not served us well. Yes, there has been growth, which has been good for many, but it has left too much inequity and has not taken into account the physical and environmental limits of the planet. As a result, our capitalist society is suffering from a crisis of confidence and is fueled by debt. 

Wealth isn’t evenly distributed. As of a few years ago, the top 1 percent of Americans owns 40 percent of wealth in the US. All this points to the lack of a social form of capitalism. A more modern take on capitalism—one that I would like to see—is one that takes into account the physical and environmental limits that we have on this planet, that taxes on consumption rather than income, and that isn’t addicted to short termism and growth. This more modern take on capitalism would also serve a moral purpose, and success would be just as much about the wellbeing of the employees as it is about the organization. 

What is the best way to address this issue?

We need to create more purposeful organizations with wellbeing of employees at the core of these institutions. In so doing we will have to break the stigma around mental health issues by normalizing it. About one in five Americans will experience some mental health condition—the situation is much more common than we think. Therefore, we must ensure that there are ample resources to educate and improve the problem within organizations.

Do you have thoughts on the source of mental health issues?

Oftentimes, the source of anxiety and depression can be factors in the workplace. Simple acts of not giving feedback to employees regarding their performance on a regular basis can be a real source of stress, distress and at its worst, can lead to depression and anxiety. When you combine already-existing stress and demands with technology and the need to cut costs, the pressures are even higher. The New York Times article Why You Hate Work, documents that 87% of people today find their work disappointing, which leads to less productive work. Therefore, the competitive edge in the future might be to ensure that your employees are well in a holistic sense. In order to achieve this complete sense of well-being, we must focus on what The Energy Project calls the four levels of needs: physical (i.e. recharging your body through sleep, etc.), mental (i.e. your ability to focus), emotional (i.e. your level of happiness), and spiritual (i.e. your sense of purpose). 

I hear that you will be meeting with Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of the The Huffington Post, this week. What will this meeting be about?

In her book Thrive, Arianna talks about well being as the third metric of success—so there are some parallels there. For me, the meeting with Arianna is exploratory. I am about to leave Unilever to try and build an institute to make purposeful business more commonplace, so I am excited to hear Arianna’s perspective on where we may find synergies.


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Philip Bouchard

The Future of Training and Development

There is a widespread assumption that the world has somehow reached the peak of natural selection.  Everything has adapted perfectly and the world is in harmony.

Business is the great crucible where evolution is on steroids. One of the most interesting areas to explore is the employer/employee dynamic. After all, with minimal friction in a decent economy, employees can vote with their feet or their wallets, and employers are left carrying some heavy costs.

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I have always felt that training and development were the foundation of employee retention. In researching this, I found that dissatisfaction with career development is one of the top three reasons employees look for alternative career opportunities. And those who receive more training are less likely to quit than those who receive little or no training.  

Typically, training and development is delivered by sending employees to conferences. Unless the conference is an internal one, I view the travel as a nice-to-have. And, the ability to socialize with one’s peers leads to more lateral mobility than an employer would like. Worse yet, the employer is on the hook for the high costs of travel, hotel, conference fees, meals and "entertainment.”

If you really want to retain employees, I recommend employee development through TrustedPeer Expert Sessions. When I read the Session surveys and feedback, the level of enthusiasm for the amount learned is the standout. And, because TrustedPeer Experts are highly qualified in business strategy and tactics, both employees and the company gain from an immediate increase in skill level and value. 

If you agree with me that turnover is expensive, and that the costs of employee training and development - in its current form - are prohibitive, have your organization's HR group take a test-drive with TrustedPeer.

If you’re not 100% satisfied with your 1-hour session, TrustedPeer will refund your money. If you are, buy a 5-pack or a 10-pack and give the gift of professional development to your team.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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Philip Bouchard

A Sneak Peek Into the Future of Work with Talent Management Expert Edie L. Goldberg


I had the opportunity to sit down with TrustedPeer Expert Edie Goldberg regarding her speaking engagement at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM’s) Annual Conference in Orlando, FL on June 23.  Here’s what we discussed: 

Philip: Can you share an overview of what you talked about at the #SHRM14 conference?

Edie: My topic was "Transforming Work: Are Your Ready for the Future?" My goal was to help HR leaders understand some of the trends that are dramatically changing the nature of work. In my presentation, I explored this rich topic from many different perspectives. 
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For instance, from the employee’s perspective, there is a move toward a redefinition of what career success means. Today, people define career success differently. They want to be constantly challenged while doing work they’re passionate about, fully utilizing the skills they have developed, and while creating their own sense of work-life balance. 

This redefinition has created a new segment of successful professionals, a segment that Silicon Valley leader Maynard Webb says is characterized by a particular mindset that embraces the self-motivation to become CEOs of their own destiny. 

Philip: Interesting. Is this Webb’s book called Rebooting Work that you’re referencing? 

Edie: Exactly. The book has been a huge influence on my personal approach to work as well. 

Philip: Any other major themes you discussed in your talk?

Edie: Yes, I discussed how we are now operating in the Connected Age, where people are connected 24/7 and able to work from anywhere. I urged HR leaders to rethink the relationship of talent to the organization, because often the best talent they may need to achieve their strategic objectives may be found outside of the walls of the corporation. For instance, we’re beginning to see more contingent workers, even at a senior leadership level. 

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasted that by 2020 40% of the US workforce will be comprised of contingent workers. So what does that mean? It means companies will have to innovate in order to be successful at attracting and keeping this type of modern, successful employee. You’ll also see new business models centered around this phenomenon beginning to emerge. For example, marketplaces for online talent are becoming more prevalent—Elance, oDesk, Guru, and LiveOps are just a few of the more popular marketplaces.

If you need consulting on Talent Management, contact TrustedPeer Expert Edie L. Goldberg.

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Philip Bouchard

Turning Lean On Its Ear

The concept of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is giving way to the lean corporation. In the lean corporation, “The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.” That’s according to the Lean Institute.

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Saying zero waste is like saying you want a corporation with zero friction. Every employee is a high performer, they have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and they communicate perfectly. Sounds idyllic, no? Well, we stated this aspiration almost a year ago, and it’s still top of mind.

Over the last decade, especially with globalization kicking off a sea change and having internet-speed communication at little or no cost, we’ve noticed a decided move to hiring specialist firms to decrease waste and friction. To date, this level of outsourcing has focused on repetitive, paper-driven or time-intensive activities such as invoicing, accounts payable, or call centers.

We see a future in which senior management expertise is introduced just-in-time with strategic business skills. And, because of their experience, they bring a network of resources for you as well.

On the consulting side, highly specialized individuals do not have a cross-functional offering. They can’t support the multiple areas of specialization that clients demand. Enter TrustedPeer.

TrustedPeer has two compelling differentiators.

  • We are a full-service destination. With more than 100 experts and the number climbing all the time, an individual consultant who is a TrustedPeer Expert becomes part of a larger mission. If you don’t see a practice area covered, our Experts will source and qualify someone for you immediately.

  • We focus on experienced, vetted players - an entrepreneur could outsource the senior management to TrustedPeer, contradicting the idea that only narrowly defined, repetitive business processes can be outsourced.

It’s exciting times this week as we launched our new site, with streamlined design, 100 available experts and an improved workflow process. Come visit us and verify!

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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Philip Bouchard

Have We Entered the Era of Internet Caveat Emptor?

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A failed method of decision support is Internet searches.  The Internet is completely algorithm-based now.  And the balance of transparency vs. being targeted has shifted heavily in the favor of advertisers. Where on the Internet can decision-makers find trust and authenticity?  There must be providers of trusted, skillfully curated and delivered information.  TrustedPeer is one of those sites.

My thoughts were ignited by David Segal’s May 4th New York Times Sunday Business article “The Great Unwatched."  As Mr. Segal points out in the article, "57 percent of two billion ads surveyed over two months were deemed to be unviewable," yet companies still paid for the ads.

Unfortunately, I think of dubious parallels:
  • Remember Collateralized Debt Obligations and other structured asset-backed securities? 
  • Remember in Casablanca when Claude Rains declares that he’s shocked that gambling is going on as he palms a payoff on the side?
  • Are we aware, while we “research,” the Internet can be gamed in so many areas? Think of Wikipedia content or LinkedIn endorsements or, per Mr. Segal, video ad placement.  
The fact is that we should all be skeptical of the Internet as a decision support tool.  However, any problem presents an opportunity.  There is a parallel trend where authenticity, quality and objectivity are being are being held in higher esteem.

At TrustedPeer, we're building our brand on trust, authenticity and quality.  One TrustedPeer Expert at a time.

If you need consulting on Business Management, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.
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Philip Bouchard

How to Build a Special Forces Business Team

Businesses have been discovering good advice in military experience, as this recent LinkedIn article on using time wisely shows.  One of the most important things I learned from my own Navy SEAL training was how to deal with and overcome adversity.  It is a quality that I find crucial in the work I do now helping start-ups and other companies improve and grow.

Here are three lessons I've taken from my Navy SEAL training that can help businesses become more successful:

1.  Develop Resiliency and Nimbleness :  In a Navy SEAL team, all the members develop mental toughness so the team won’t collapse under harsh challenges.  You know your team, have the experience to know what to do, and most importantly, know how to convert the unexpected to your advantage.  In the recent Navy SEAL mission to capture Osama bin Laden, when one of the two helicopters became inoperational, the team adjusted its plan on the fly and executed it successfully.  Today’s successful businesses should be just as nimble, adjusting to new technologies or shifts in the economic terrain.

2.  Choose the Right Expert to Lead :  Each SEAL team member is a specialist. For example, I was trained as a sniper.  My class also had experts in explosives, rear security, weapons, parachuting, and other specialties.  If an operation needed your expertise in front, then you were the de-facto leader of the operation.  Any mission that focused on my expertise meant the team would look to me for leadership.  Similarly, companies should trust the person with the most expertise for the project and empower that person to lead the team.

3.  Augment the Team :  Not every company can have its own in-house SEAL team.  But a business can reach out to specialists to address challenging problems--and that can be a game changer.  If something has gone wrong in any area, be it sales, marketing, manufacturing or production, the right expert can come in and say, “I’ve got this; I’ve been through this many times before. I’m going to help you, and your business will come out better than before.”  Recruiting specialized knowledge on occasion can make a company more responsive to changing markets and ensure the growth of the business.

Navy SEAL teams excel at executing successful missions by undergoing rigorous training to deploy their expertise in real world situations.  I believe that companies of all kinds can benefit by applying these principles to their businesses as well.

Philip Bouchard
CEO – TrustedPeer.com
Former SEAL Team 2
BUD/S Class 99
 
If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard. 
 
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Philip Bouchard

The Cost of High Flying Cell Phones

The FCC recently voted 3-2 to allow cell phones on airplanes. However, popular resistance to this idea reminds us that air travel, especially for business people, is extremely important time.  TrustedPeer Expert Pete Agur offers many reasons for business to consider what aviation means to them.

  • Time is rigidly inelastic and completely perishable. It is the most constrained resource you have.  Wasted time is your enemy.  It kills deals. 
  • You save at least three hours, door-to-door, for every place you go, in comparison to traveling on the airlines.  And you can go to more places in a day and work en route, in a secure environment. 
  • The decision to consider business aviation has nothing to do with flying.  It is all about getting things done.  You can be conservative and continue to live with the consequences of losing time to commercial travel and getting less done each week, or you can do what 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies do and use business aviation.
  • The airlines continue to consolidate, which reduces your options and increases your costs.  They also continue to adjust their sales and operating models seeking to improve efficiencies and revenues.
  • Business aviation makes opportunity.  Opportunities lie in small, out-of-the-way places in Latin America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.  It could take you a week to get to and from some of these spots on the airlines.  Senior executives simply wouldn’t go there if they could not get in and out quickly and safely.

We think Pete makes the case for considering business aviation.  Others would call him elitist and the use of business aviation an abuse of corporate power and money.  What do you think?

 

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Philip Bouchard

Holidays In the Office

It's the time of the year when we think about others and what they mean to us, from our family and friends, to those we work with every day.  Whether you love shopping for gifts or would love to avoid the holiday shopping crush, it's often difficult to find a present that tells the person how much you appreciate having him or her in your life.

When I think of the people I work with at TrustedPeer, I think about all the conversations we've had, working on many projects toward our shared goal.  Every TrustedPeer Expert has special talents that we know will help people solve thorny problems they're facing at work now.  If you know someone who would benefit from having a one-on-one conversation with a management consultant, whether they need a second opinion or business ideas on a particular issue, you can gift them with a customized session with a TrustedPeer.

Our Sales Experts can help your coworkers solve a problem, sharpen their business savvy, and deliver a detailed business plan on topics ranging from Sales Management to Channel Partner Management.  Or contact us and we’ll find the best consultant for you.  

We'll also be posting lists of Experts in Marketing, AML, Innovation, and Finance, so come back and see us again.

Best Wishes and Season's Greetings!  May the holidays bring you all things warm and bright.

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Philip Bouchard

Being Squeezed: The State of Senior Executives Today

We just watched Moneyball again.  It’s one of our favorite movies because it illustrates a common problem we've seen in business time and again.  Brad Pitt is great as the Oakland A's general manager, Billy Beane, who finds himself in a tough spot, with his team sinking to the bottom of the MLB's American League:

  • Billy (the general manager) is faced with the team's difficult financial situation, needs to reduce payroll but doesn't want to appear he’s forcing several terrible trade-offs to cut costs.  
  • Art Howe (the coach) wants to win games and believes the only way is to spend big money for talent.
  • Peter Brand (the expert) offers a win-win solution by approaching the problem from a new angle.  

These dynamics are very typical in today’s working environment.  Increasing demands from management, a team below you that doesn’t necessarily have the experience and track record required to navigate today’s complex world, and your job depending on making it all work.  

Any of you see parallels with your jobs?  What happened in your situation?  What expert saved you? Or did you have to fail and learn from it?  Leave a comment and tell us your story.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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Philip Bouchard

Hobbies and Helpouts vs. Business and Solutions

We applaud the launch of Google Helpouts.

We‘re glad Google is validating the need for a cloud-based platform that provides experts to help people with problems. That’s what we do at TrustedPeer. But there’s a big difference: Helpouts are for fun; TrustedPeer is all business. 

There are other differences. Let’s compare Google’s vision against our own.

Google Helpouts

  • Platform: Video chat / Google Hangouts
  • Providers: Anyone passionate about anything
  • Users: Individuals at home

TrustedPeer®

  • Platform: A scheduled problem-solving call with pre-session discovery and a customized action plan
  • Providers:  Highly-qualified, vetted experts who have seen and solved your problem many times before
  • Users: Business professionals

If you need help learning to play the guitar, apply eye makeup or do yoga, Helpouts is for you. Because these are topics of personal passion, many of the Helpouts are free. And they have already been free for a long time on YouTube, eHow and many other sites. Helpouts adds a personal and social touch, which furthers the broad interests of Google like Google Wallet, Google Hangouts and Google’s search engine.

The problems you can’t solve on Helpouts are the ones that keep you up at night, have an impact on your company’s earnings, affect your prospects for promotion and enable business goals.  

TrustedPeer is here to further your professional success and give you peace of mind. You can’t get answers to important business problems – the ones that can make or break your career – on Helpouts.  Helpouts lacks vetted, experienced, subject matter experts for professional problem-solving. TrustedPeer includes a personal and professional combination that furthers the interest of no one but you.

If you need help with a hobby or personal interest, Google Helpouts is awesome. 

If you need professional help with a difficult business situation – and you need it fast, tailored to your needs and from a peer-reviewed expert – look no further than TrustedPeer.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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Philip Bouchard

Disrupting Management Consulting

(Part 3 of 3)

DISRUPTING MANAGEMENT CONSULTING: A truly disruptive model offers immediacy, breadth, consistency, predictability, recognition of interdependencies and focus on client success.

I’m hearing a lot of noise these days about new business models that are disruptive to management consulting. So far, these purported “new models” and what they have to offer have underwhelmed the business world.

This much I know: The Internet is changing the knowledge economy. It can make high-level experts available to companies all over the world. And it can match expertise to need in way that is timely, targeted and efficient. 

The experiences I’ve had as a CFO, COO and CEO – not as a consultant – have taught me that what businesses really need is consultancy-on-demand with the right experts

Here is my definition of an expert: Experts have years of experience in their industries and have seen and solved business problems at all stages of a company’s life cycle. They know the best practices and can help businesses identify and implement solutions quickly.

Successful organizations will embrace a technology that matches needs with experts to gain competitive advantage.

This disruptive model has the following characteristics.

  • It provides immediate access to a vetted expert perfectly matched to you, your industry, your company’s stage of development, your operating function and your specific expertise need.
  • It covers the full breadth of problems you face – whether you need a second opinion, have an operational process problem, need to understand a new technology or market, want to validate an existing approach or need to risk-assess a compliance requirement.
  • It delivers with consistency in an ongoing relationship, with persistent data that is confidentially maintained.
  • It offers a predictable cost and a line-of-sight timeframe to problem resolution.
  • It recognizes that your issues are not functionally siloed, but are interdependent across internal and external areas of your business.
  • It is a model focused on your success and not on the consultant’s success.

In short, the disruption of management consulting has begun.  It’s about the right expert, right now.  That’s why I started TrustedPeer.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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Philip Bouchard

Avoiding Management Mistakes

(Part 2 of 3)

AVOID BONEHEAD MANAGEMENT MISTAKES: We all make mistakes. But many of them could be avoided if business professionals had easy access to the right expert at the right time.

In my business career, I’ve made my share of regrettable, bonehead mistakes.  What made them regrettable was that they could easily have been avoided – because these were known common problems with known best practice solutions.  

It wasn't like I was creating a new technology or developing a breakthrough business model. I didn’t need to reinvent any wheels. These were operating problems.

Any of these sound familiar?

  • I built out an entire sales team before the company could support it.
  • I didn't follow my gut instinct and confront the board because I wasn't confident enough in my position.
  • I shipped a product before it was market-ready.
  • I brought on board a nightmare VP (more than once).
  • I entered a new market too late. And also one too early.
  • I purchased a new ERP system that didn't make sense for our stage of development.

In each case, I lacked an expert who knew my industry and had seen and solved my problem many times before.

Imagine conferring with the perfect expert who can quickly assess your situation, discuss the factors driving your business need and provide you with a clear, concise action plan to get you on track.

Now imagine that same expert following up with you and being available to make sure you don’t drift from the plan.

That’s the essence of TrustedPeer.  

We’ve all had a great consulting experience – and a terrible one.  Please leave your story in the comments.

Next Up:  What's This All About? (Part 3 of 3):  Disrupting Management Consulting.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard.

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Philip Bouchard

What’s This All About?

(Part 1 of 3)

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU NEED: Immediacy and laser-targeted relevance are now management consulting requirements. What we in business need and what we get don’t match. That’s why I founded TrustedPeer.

When I face a business problem and don’t have the expertise I need, I want precise subject matter expertise very quickly. I have three options for finding it.  Each option is risky and inefficient, and the time to resolution is unpredictable.

  1. Conduct an Internet search. Internet search is time-consuming and unreliable. How can I trust content that is dated, anonymously written or is link-bait?
  2. Turn to a personal network. Personal networks are great if I have the perfect network with no gaps. In addition, it is not always easy to reveal shortcomings to someone who may be conflicted about how truthful to be in response.  If I ask you for advice, you may decide there’s no upside to saying what you really think. What if you give me good advice and I don’t take it? Or bad advice and I do? Either way, you lose. Better to equivocate, right? Or put me off hoping I’ll find a solution elsewhere.
  3. Contract with a large firm for a full-on consulting engagement. A McKinsey partner would be delighted to sell me on a plan to bring in a bunch of new associates (really smart, but with no professional experience) to camp out in my conference room and eventually, after some undisclosed time, deliver a strategy that I can't afford to implement.

Since none of these are satisfactory, and what I really need is targeted and custom, I decide to seek an experienced professional. I ask logical questions. Who is responsive? Who is the best? How do I select the right expert? How much should it cost? How long should it take? What about project scope, discovery, contract negotiation, price negotiation and resources required?

It all boils down to one question: How can I get an opinion I can trust from an expert who knows my industry and has seen and solved my problem many times before?

Before I post with more details, tell me, how do you find that trusted expert?  We welcome your comments.

Next Up: What's This All About? (Part 2 of 3): Avoiding Bonehead Management Mistakes.

If you need consulting on Business Development, contact TrustedPeer Expert and CEO Philip Bouchard .

  More...
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