This morning starts with a conference call from my hotel room. It’s an 8 a.m. conference call on the east coast but in Chicago that’s 7 a.m. and I’d prefer not to go into the office that early. The call is with another firm I’ve been partnering with. They do mostly change management for the strategies we develop. We talk about an ongoing project as well as about a new company that has reached out to them in the past week. It looks like we’ll be putting together another proposal. We conclude by talking about the next time I’ll visit them and when we can potentially go see this new company together.
I’ve managed to forget what time I was supposed to talk to India today. I thought it was another late call, but today was supposed to be early. I stay in the hotel and jump on the call. We review progress since Monday and talk about how to wrap things up. I’m hoping we can complete a report by the end of the week, but we’re in limbo. On our last review with the client, there were conflicting views on their end, some challenging what we recommended and some supporting it, and we haven’t been able to confirm anything since then. This is one of the challenges of working in the business world. When people want things, it’s always a rush, but schedules routinely get derailed, and when you have multiple projects running in parallel, they inevitably get tangled no matter how much planning you do in advance.
When I eventually get into the office, I review a data report and write up some conclusions. I’m mostly looking for patterns and anything exception that might be a clue as to what is unique about the organization we studied. I work on some visual graphics that help explain what I’m seeing to the lay business audience.
The rest of my day consists of the two meetings with clients. The first is with a long-time client of our firm. I’ve worked with them on a few projects over the years, but this meeting is not project specific. I’m meeting with the head of innovation for the company, who has developed an interesting work environment for his team and for engaging other parts of their organization to spark innovation. This is a sharing opportunity. We discuss the different methods we use and how we engage teams to promote change. It’s very interesting, and I come away with a lot of good ideas.
My next meeting, later in the afternoon, is with another client, who we’ve been helping on a strategy project. We’re engaging the leaders of group that will be moving into a pilot workplace. We invite them over to our office and do what we call a visioning session. We basically talk about their goals and challenges, and what they think needs to change in terms of their culture and how people work. We also give them a tour of our office, which happens to be a living laboratory for us. The session is a success. The leadership is excited and motivated to move to the next step.
It’s late in the afternoon and time to head to the airport for my flight back to the east coast. I’m in a rush, as usual, but halfway there I get a notice that my flight is delayed. I move myself to an earlier delayed flight thinking I dodged that bullet, only to find that the delay has metastasized by the time I get to the airport. Newark airport has shut down due to storms, and I’m advised I have a 3-hour wait. I do a little work, eat dinner, and then bury myself in a book. I finally get home around 1 a.m.