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August 26, 2013

Hot Off the Press: Susan Crandall, Consultant, Work-Force Solutions

Susan Crandall, Consultant, Work-force Solutions

Susan Crandall, Consultant, Work-force Solutions

 

1. How did you get started in consulting? What attracted you to this field?

I started a consulting practice when I was in the high-technology world, and resumed my business again after a career change to workforce development. I love workforce development because it allows me to apply the human capital and organizational development expertise I developed in the private sector to the entry-level workforce.  I’ve always been attracted to consulting – I like to form partnerships with my clients to solve challenges together.

2. Independent consulting seems to be an “it” job, with growing popularity. Where do you see it going in the future?

The need for consultants is tied with the growth of a particular market. There is often a need to work on special projects, such as needs and feasibility assessments, strategic planning and evaluation. In workforce development, I see a growing need to help businesses create solutions that address the skills gap, such as improving jobs or creating advancement opportunities for entry-level employees. I’m excited about this trend since it’s exactly what love to do!

 

3. What is the most valuable skill a person needs to be successful in consulting?

The ability to assess a problem, understand client needs, and to exceed client expectations. Okay, that’s 3 skills! It’s also helpful to be a skilled facilitator.

 

4. What is the process you use when solving a client’s problem?

I like to pose the question “What problem are we trying to solve?”  It’s an iterative process: We often need to come back to the question a number of times throughout the engagement. Sometimes the problem changes – and sometimes our understanding of the problem changes!

 

5. What has been your greatest career achievement thus far?

I’ve had the opportunity to design and implement a number of large scale organizational-change initiatives at Fortune 500 companies like Boeing and Microsoft. I enjoyed seeing how a new tool or process (like an employee survey, competency model, and and succession plan) can impact career opportunities and performance.