Discovering Your Values

Consultant, Medical Device Industry
Specialization:  marketing analytics, new product development, and acquisition support

Difficult Landscape
This client worked for a medical device design and manufacturing firm that wanted to move from an entrepreneurial organization to a larger corporate entity. The evolution of the company was creating a situation where the client was caught between the new culture, with no clear path of communication, and the former culture, with an entrenched form of communication that had developed from strong feelings of national identity. Historically, there was an enormous sense of urgency driving most decision-making processes.  It had become increasingly difficult for the client to move forward on key projects, and her professional path at the company was unclear. She sought assistance from a member of the human resources department who understood the issues, and encouraged her to find a coach. The client found Andrea through her business school alumni program.

Building a Path
Together, Andrea and the client agreed that the first step involved clarifying the client’s personal and professional values. This was followed by an examination of the values demonstrated by her company. Many of the values that the company openly supported were in conflict with their actions. For example, although the company purported to value customer service, the front-line engineers continued to design and produce devices that were not adapted to customers’ end-user suggestions. In short, there was a disconnect between the client’s values and the company’s actual values.

Additionally, the client had been wading through a complex political web at her workplace. Much of her energy went towards navigating inconsistent directives and patchy communications, resulting in stalled projects and frustrating interactions with leadership.

As the client began to understand the multi-layered, often discordant dynamics of her workplace, she could discern the points where her values were not matching with the company’s unspoken goals. Ultimately, Andrea helped the client analyze the situation objectively and provided a framework for the client to interpret the facts of her workplace situation.

Business Values
Having identified her own business values, and recognizing that they were incompatible with her employer’s vision, this client opted to leave her corporate job and launch her own consulting firm. Through her work with Andrea, the client honed her ability to “read” a situation, and set appropriate boundaries and expectations with clients. The client has enjoyed consistent success as a consultant largely due to her business expertise and keen ability to map out the value her firm brings to each client relationship.

Client quote, “Andrea’s perceptive insights were key in sorting out my own personal values, and how they differed from my employer’s values. Andrea is very knowledgeable about how companies work politically and logistically.”