Case Studies

Academia

Strategic Change Demanded Consistent and Clear Communication:
After The Consulting Team facilitated 
a strategic planning workshop, the organization’s planning committee asked us to coach them to communicate 
proposed changes effectively. We helped them develop a plan that provided specifics of what, when, and how
to communicate to all staff and stakeholders. The organization rolled out their strategic plan with assurance, 
cooperation, and success.

 

Merger Nightmares:
Two similar departments merged to remain viable and better serve the public. Concerned
about the effects of different internal processes, the director of the newly combined department tasked
The Consulting Team to ease the transition. We facilitated aligning mission, vision, and values. We created
common expectations through training and communications coaching. The new entity proceeded with confidence
and clear strategic direction to fullfill their academiccomplete a successful merger.

 

Corporate

First Aid for a New Supervisor:
The head of a utilities district called The Consulting Team for help with a new supervisor. Although he showed high potential in technical matters, his dictatorial management style created problems for his team and the district. We coached him on the basics of supervision, developing trust and respect with his team, and practicing listening skills to resolve and defuse conflict. Our review later found the supervisor excelling in his job and back on track with his boss’s expectations.

 

Leader Inherits Rebellious Team:
A long-term client recently took over a major government agency impacted by eroded trust and unresolved personnel and work issues. He called on The Consulting Team to blast through smoldering resentments and help him forge a new start. We created a safe environment in which we facilitated an exercise that cut through the trust concerns and underlying contentions. The group dynamics shifted immediately to re-form a healthy, productive team.

 

Committing to and Collaborating with a New Leader: 
A new District Attorney, promoted from within his organization, needed his team’s commitment to collaborative management and improving key processes. He asked The Consulting Team to facilitate a three-day planning session. We guided the leadership team through a series of discussions, helping them to develop strategic questions, to explore new ways of thinking, and formulate concrete actions plans. The team reported they were energized by the results and squarely behind their new leader and the team.

 

Government

City Manager Struggles with New Council: The new city manager faced his first change of mayor and council members. He needed to get all on board quickly and gain buy-in to the city’s effort to tame a tough budget. The Consulting Team crafted a team building agenda that focused on the city’s annual accomplishments. Emphasis was on advances by all departments through teamwork with each other and the community. We laid the groundwork through exercises and issue-related dialogues, and a solid relationship was formed with the newly elected officials.

 

Succession Plans for Rapid Attrition: A new police chief and his command staff faced deep budget cuts and numerous command staff retirements. He needed to solidify his team to meet the challenges of the next few years. The Consulting Team facilitated their strategic planning session and gave them the tools to unite the team and make the right decisions. They called upon us to help revise their strategies three years later, and we found they had built a stronger department per the plan, ahead of their timeline.

 

Committing to and Collaborating with a New Leader:
A new District Attorney, promoted from within his organization, needed his team’s commitment to collaborative management and improving key processes. He asked The Consulting Team to facilitate a three-day planning session. We guided the leadership team through a series of discussions, helping them to develop strategic questions, to explore new ways of thinking, and formulate concrete actions plans. The team reported they were energized by the results and squarely behind their new leader and the team.

Politically Charged Differences Cause

 

Standoff: City council members were at odds with each other and mayor because of basic philosophical and political differences. Disagreements were impeding the council’s decision-making and teamwork. The city manager requested meeting facilitation from The Consulting Team. In a few meetings we established and maintained respectful ground rules, supported open discussion, and aided the council to review and vote on important issues.

 

Healthcare

Physician Overcomes a Team with Low Morale:
A physician from a large health care provider found his team’s productivity and attitudes dropping. His team consisted of other physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, and other support staff. He hired us to interview each team member to assess the severity of the issues. He also asked us to give a communication assessment to each member. In the first team meeting, we set new team behavioral agreement, clearly defined roles and some of the protocols, and addressed some of the unresolved conflicts. We provided executive coaching for the top physician and team coaching for the others. After a series of meetings and coaching sessions, everyone on the team reported improvements in morale, trust, and productivity.

 

Resuscitation for a Seasoned Supervisor:
Inappropriate remarks by a supervisor to a staff member prompted a department head to request The Consulting Team assess issues and coach the offending supervisor. The Consulting Team, using the EQi Emotional Intelligence 360˚ Evaluation, provided him with vital and useful feedback on how others perceived him. We gave individualized coaching to the man based on primary improvement opportunities the evaluation identified. The supervisor reported he received support and new skills from the coaching session that he applied on the job. His boss and the department head saw great improvement in the man’s attitude and job performance.

 

Non-Profit

Taking Command in a Demanding Environment:
A newly promoted department head and her staff had been demoralized by retirements, a stringent budget, and unresolved  issues. The Consulting Team facilitated several team building sessions to develop strategic plans, practice better communications skills, and learn how to manage change. The leaders and staff gained a firm foundation and created strategic initiatives to rebuild a stable, productive department.

 

Years of Drastic Change:
Personnel problems and organizational issues overwhelmed an agency after several years of drastic changes and funding cuts. The director requested The Consulting Team conduct a thorough assessment and develop remedial responses. We provided recommendations for personnel changes and spearheaded adoption of shared values throughout the organization. We also taught a Leadership Academy to all managers on change management, communications, team building, and performance development practices. The managers responded quickly to the material and applied their new skills. Personnel changes greatly improved the organization’s functioning. 

Testimonials

” Some people are coaches by profession and then there are professional coaches.  Marilyn is the latter, a true expert with the ability to find real insight into the professional world of the people she works with as a coach.  My career is truly different due to the impact Marilyn made. As facilitators, Marilyn and The Consulting Team bring out the best in a City Council. They are well prepared, insightful and listen to the Council as they wrestle with the tough decisions they need to make.  They are able to help the Council chart a clear course of action that impacts the community.”

Eric Figueroa, City Manager, Martinez, CA

“Our ongoing relationship with The Consulting Team has given us the confidence that, come what may, we will be able to work it out and move forward.  Her coaching new partners, knowing who we are, and what being a partner in our firm means has been invaluable.  Rules of engagement developed in mediation sessions have changed how we behave individually and as a group.  We lean heavily on The Consulting Team to keep us communicating effectively, understand how our actions reflect our culture, and integrate our values into our work lives.”

Gail Lang, Chief Operating Officer, Minami Tamaki, LLP

“The Consulting Team expertly led our executive team through competitive assessment, strategic planning, priorities, and goals setting. More impressive, they brought out our untapped creative side to go beyond where we believed the company could.”


Peter Nelson, Board Chair, California Water Services

“We have used The Consulting Team to facilitate teambuilding, assess and coach leaders, and mediate workplace conflicts. Marilyn’s warmth and ability to go into any situation and work with a variety of technical and non-technical people creates an immense resource for us. We love her enthusiasm and we love working with her.”

Maureen McGraw, HR Director, Meyer Sound

“Dr. Marilyn Manning of The Consulting Team taught me that I didn’t always have to be right. I learned to exercise more patience in listening to my staff. I received tools that helped me monitor my reactions, words, and body language. In other words, I increased my emotional intelligence.  Dr. Manning not only helped me with my staff but has also helped me with my interactions with my customers.”


Peter V. Ernster, Jr., Senior Vice President, Pacific Cheese Company

“I began working with Dr. Manning at a critical time. I was a new leader with a lot of ideas, a sense of urgency, and not much else. Dr. Manning’s ability to listen carefully, ask crucial questions, and combine the big picture with immediately applicable practices, made an immediate difference for me. Working with her helped me unlock more of my potential.”

Mitch Bostian, Head of School, The Berkeley School

“Marilyn and the Consulting Team are truly the best of the best.  They focused our City Council for a productive goal setting session which yielded positive results.  They provided practical tools to the Council and executive staff helping us stay on track, identify city goals and initiatives, and improve teamwork.”

Thomas C. Williams, City Manager, Millbrae, CA

“I’ve worked extensively with Marilyn and appreciate her keen insights, skills and sensitivities in all phases of organization development, team and individual coaching and staff training. I think highly of her, and she has my confidence.”


J. Logan, J.D., General Manager, Los Altos Hills County Fire District

“The Consulting Team is very effective in working with diverse styles and dealing with opposite personalities in resolving differences. They have worked with our City Council and management team to provide awareness, leadership, direction and insight on working collaboratively. We appreciate the efforts they took in conducting 360 emotional intelligence evaluations and providing feedback to our managers. Thank you, Dr. Manning and the team!”


Jill Lopez, HR Director, City of Campbell, CA

“Dr. Manning was very responsive and handled a very sensitive matter very effectively, bridging significant cultural differences with tremendous expertise. Her work was thorough, and she was able to conclude the matter on time.”


Linda Usoz, Attorney at Law, Stanford University

Thank you for your funny, warm, and useful workshop at our Annual Harvest of Knowledge Partner Conference. You successfully created a dynamic and meaningful day for the 250 attending.”


Susan Takalo, Director of Community Partnerships

“I have recommended Dr. Marilyn Manning, The Consulting Team, for the coaching of executives and employees in a wide variety of business settings. I have found her to be able to diffuse interpersonal problems and to successfully move employees toward collaborative engagement.”

Sandra R. McCandless, Attorney at Law

“Marilyn and The Consulting Team’s up-front preparation with San Ramon’s City Council, attention to detail, and calm focused approach during the session helped our council and staff maximize our time together and create clear goals for the City.”


Joe Gorton, City Manager, San Ramon, CA