Hot Off the Press: 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.
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!
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.
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!
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.