Our strategic advisory practice draws the leader’s attention away from the generation of committees, pie charts and flow charts and towards a sharper awareness of the personalities, team dynamics and cultural distinctions that may otherwise influence, distort or obscure key decisions. Our interventions enable individuals to flourish while maximizing institutional profit, sharpening the social and professional impacts of both.
Senior executives, directors, entrepreneurs and professionals discretely benefit from an independent and objective consulting relationship designed to enhance clients’ capacity to deploy personal power “on purpose,” while providing a safe and confidential environment for coping with the emotional challenges inherent in driving change. We support effective leadership by mitigating the potential for anxiety, self-doubt and isolation that pose a continual threat to personal and organizational stability and sustainability. We advise executive and non-executive directors undergoing often stressful transitional periods, when there has been a breach of trust or in cases when essential issues have not been resolved due to conflicting interpersonal relationships and/or agendas. Our work encompasses the resolution of complex issues ranging from leadership transition and CEO succession to the in-depth psychological assessment of prospective CEO and director candidates.
We work with individuals who have achieved a high level of professional success and are exploring new ways to enhance their significance. In our experience, many people consider leaving their leadership roles in organizations in order to ‘make a difference’ at precisely the point when they have amassed the career confidence and respect to more freely express their beliefs and can risk shifting the status quo. We assist leaders in identifying ways their current position may provide a platform to achieve durable and even global impact, reinvigorating themselves and their teams in the process.
We provoke clients to the invaluable realization that they possess more power to effect genuine change, and greater capacity to achieve positive impact than might be obvious to themselves or their colleagues. Energized by their reawakened connection to a more expansive universe of possibilities, they rethink their engagement with the community and the world by integrating leadership development, client relations, and regulatory and corporate affairs with more traditional profit and growth levers. We work with client organizations to promote new understandings among stakeholders and formulate novel alliances; convene and contribute to workshops to catalyze industry self-regulation, and consult with public affairs departments on the coordination of effective and authentic responses to mandates and directives from government agencies.
Our track record of successfully advising the owner-managers of privately held family enterprises provides us with an informed perspective on the unique challenges and opportunities faced by family-run businesses. Our psychological training provides the depth and safety to address the often difficult to discuss issues of multi-generational and/or sibling control, staffing and succession.
We consult on governance models, provide guidance when creating family boards and where necessary assist in crafting family constitutions. For companies that were founded on hand-shake deals and staffed by friends and family, we provide objective performance metrics and processes to transition from strictly family-dominated management models to senior teams that incorporate non-family leaders. We help families articulate philanthropic goals and resolve conflict about how to direct their giving.
At all times we preserve the legacies of founding families and work to insure that growth and change does not compromise their core values.
The founders and managers of entrepreneurial enterprises frequently enlist our advice on the alignment of individual and organizational goals, the preservation of team energy and the sustainment of a start-up culture while promoting the pursuit of new market opportunities. Our work balances the motivational strength of the founding vision with the relentless imperatives for profit and growth. And when the time comes to institute next-stage processes and procedures, our consultants help their clients navigate the tensions intrinsic to these transitions.
Although company evaluations are typically expressed in terms of quantitative metrics, our work with due diligence teams focuses on the often ineffable human qualities of interpersonal equity and emotional intelligence. We combine customized interviews, bespoke metrics and standardized measures to produce a nuanced psychological portrait of the potential acquisition or in some cases the opposing party in a negotiation.
Melanie Katzman has coached individuals through promotions and terminations, and guided companies as they expanded, decentralized, downsized, innovated (and expanded again). She has helped entrepreneurs launch employment law practices, fintech solutions, sustainable coffee companies, catering businesses, photography studios, hair salons, and public relations firms. Five rabbis have sought her counsel to increase professional impact.
We advance our clients’ goals of regaining control and confidence when they are (voluntarily or involuntarily):
- Exploring new options, interests and opportunities
- Exploring entrepreneurial options
- Shifting between private and public sector positions
- Being asked to ‘move on’
- Preparing for retirement
- Considering a lateral move
- Looking for a 30/60/90 day plan to maximize success and impact in a new role
- Returning to work after family leave
- Transitioning to a more flexible portfolio career to define and cement their personal and professional legacy