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Tagged ‘Business Management’

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.


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.


CE Shue

How to (Really) Drive Business Innovation

The NYT’s Adam Bryant recently devoted a Corner Office column to the Six Key Drivers that create a culture of innovation in business.  

TrustedPeer CEO Philip Bouchard points out that Bryant overlooks the most important innovation driver of all:  acknowledging and embracing change.  Bouchard shared his views on the 7th Key Driver, which are rooted in his business experience as a CEO as well as his previous training and experience as a Navy SEAL.

 Embracing Change: The 7th Driver of Innovation

  1. Balance change with stability:  Corporations focus on achieving stability.  In an ideal market with no competition, they can tweak the same product every year, work on more efficient manufacturing processes or optimizing solution sales tactics with no pressure and routinized processes.  Embracing change is a necessary counter-balance to moving toward stability.
  2. Don’t be blind:  Any product can be more than just another product, it’s a potential competitor – regardless of the market. The NYT article cited the case of Garmin, the GPS device maker who lost 85% of their sales to Google Maps.  Garmin didn’t see what was going on outside of their industry and got blindsided by Google, which wasn’t even targeting the GPS market.  
  3. Look outside—and listen:  Every company needs to look outside of their comfort zone to understand what consumers are looking for, now and for what’s next.  This process of looking and listening is the basis of creating a culture of innovation.
  4. Be adaptable:  Change happens.  It will happen whether or not we like it (let’s face it, even plants don’t like change).  Change has to be a part of your business strategy. 
  5. Talent matters:  Acquiring the right expertise to make intelligent, targeted change is crucial.  Sometimes companies need to bring in a new perspective to implement innovative changes. It’s not a coincidence that many successful Silicon Valley start-ups have maintained a trend of Acq-Hiring companies.

Change is an opportunity, a positive catalyst.  Smart businesses learn how to use change to their advantage.

What makes the SEAL Teams successful?  They expect change.  They know that no operation is going to result exactly as planned.

Look at the Bin Laden operation.  One of two helicopters critical to the mission became inoperational.  Hey, just another day.  Adjust and continue to execute because you have a culture of embracing change.

Philip Bouchard
Former SEAL Team 2
BUD/S Class 99

If you need consulting on business management, contact TrustedPeer Expert, Philip Bouchard.


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.


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.


Rick Smith

Elements of Sales Compensation

Companies vary significantly on the structure of their sales organizations depending on their business model.  Understanding the business model is critical to developing sales compensation plans that will drive the goals of the company and excite the entire sales organization to meet or exceed corporate financial targets. 

But keep in mind that sales compensation is probably the most important compensation plan in the company. It needs to be clear in its components and transparent in its implementation. Every company should have a sales compensation governance process for developing and managing the sales compensation plan. (See Best Practice #5.)

In constructing a sales compensation plan, begin by determining its key elements. Always include these four components:

  1. Base salary
  2. Commission
  3. Bonus
  4. Sales incentives

Then, make sure it accomplishes the following:

  • It motivates everyone.
  • It sells the products or services you've developed, marketed and can deliver.
  • It is clear and easy to calculate, track and pay out.
  • It ties directly to corporate financial targets.

You also have to consider the types of sales distribution available to your company. There are different sales organizational structures you can use to maximize market penetration.

These first two groups will need a compensation plan and they should vary in some aspects: 

  • Direct sales group and field and national sales management, with a major focus on new customers.
  • Inside sales groups and management, with a focus on existing customers, targeting renewals, upgrade sales and customer satisfaction.

These next two groups reach markets where it would be too expensive to have a direct sales force, but a manager is needed to give support and direction:

  • VARs, or value added resellers, and regional dealers, which can target markets that may be too costly for you to cover with a direct sales group. A manager will be needed to drive and monitor their efforts.
  • Corporate partners, which sell your product or service to supplement their product or service. The manager for VARs and regional dealers can also oversee corporate partner relationships.

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.