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Helping otherwise successful professionals "get unstuck"
Consultants, coaches, business executives, entrepreneurs, writers and other professionals who have most of the skills they need to do something important...but struggle to bring themselves to do it. And who want to get unstuck, or at least explore it in a serious way.
Mark Hurwich helps people blocked or stalled now in important work/life pursuits who've been generally successful in the past. Perhaps they're holding off, with a sense of ambiguity and even fear, about exploring a new career or business venture. Maybe it's dealing with a difficult partner or client. Many have what you might call "entrepreneur's block:" there's something in them they feel they need to do, or add to their business--but they rarely get to it, and it's hard when they do, yet they can't let it go. Maybe they struggle to bring themselves to reach out to new customers, or ask for more money to cover new services. And Mark's also worked successfully with similar challenges to innovating or moving forward: students who lost discipline for studies, and writers with writer's block, and even some phobias, for example.
Clients dissolve these blocks by reconnecting to passions and resolving internal conflicts. They open up new and productive paths so what they "ought" to do becomes more like what they "can't wait" to do. Most of the work is in a concentrated 3 hour session with prep and a few follow-ups--he's not a "hold your hand for months" coach because his client base generally knows what they need to do once a new path's been opened...they just need some help seeing that path and the resources they already have to explore it.
Mark aligns fees to client situation, so he can serve a spectrum of people ($750/engagement is the midpoint of a broad range). That fee is based on achieving the outcome clients want--not per hour. Reflecting that commitment to outcomes, Mark only charges if and when clients are truly happy with their work.
Mark leverages over three decades of experience in leadership, organizational design, business strategy, sales and marketing to help his clients. The work relies heavily on introspective tools like Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) combined with tools to help people identify and reconnect to their passions.
Mark has held executive level positions in companies like Cognizant, Monitor group, CSC, IBM, and Towers-Perrin. He has taught at New York University in the past and is a frequent public speaker. Mark has degrees in engineering from MIT and MBA from the Wharton School.
Duration and cost of an engagement depends on the scope of work, identified during the initial consultation.
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At various points in my career, I could have aligned with any of the answers above--all good insights.
What I'd maybe add: it depends significantly on how they're used, and the intention.
For example, years ago, I would have gone into a rant about the Enneagram. No where near the validation of other tests, low predictive accuracy for the instrument, more problem than strength oriented...Read more
When people aren't doing something they logically ought to, there's often a part of them that has objections--quite possibly valid ones--that aren't getting honored. I'd want to find a way to make those discussable and get really curious about them. If you're successful in that--and not coming from an agenda that holds them inherently invalid--you will reach a place where you can say, "aha,...Read more
Wow, lots of great info here.
Check out the HBA (Healthcare Businesswomens Association), for a great mentor program model. They set up pods: two leaders, and 4-5 mentees--actually, a lot of co-mentoring going on. A wealth of insight, good return to input ratio, and everyone learned from everyone (including leaders; I did that twice). A side benefit: helping mentees become mentors.
Hmm. I wonder how other execs feel. It was amazing how often, when I'd done a diagnostic in a breakthrough-oriented project, that virtually all of the execs in a top management team (approached one-on-one) would lament an aspect of the culture they didn't like, but felt powerless to change it. In effect (in your case) "I don't like crazy hours, but I have to put them in because everyone...Read more
If you're as creative and smart as I'm guessing you are, you pretty much know why you're in the situation you're in. It has to do with supply and demand, what's easiest to measure, and organizational culture/values. That might not seem fair, or just, but sometimes reality isn't fair or just...it just is.
Seems like the more productive question might be an internal one: what will it take...Read more
It is normal. Sadly, we're not as objective noticing things as we'd like to think we are, so once we have a hypothesis formed, we tend to filter in data that supports it and filter out data that doesn't. Especially around stuff that's emotionally problematic in some way. "Leaving the toilet seat down" is a good real-life example of that for most people. (If you're the female partner of...Read more
Hmmm. I wonder if you're asking the wrong question.
Maybe rather than focusing on how to push the message out more effectively, I'd want to understand what's getting in the way of (most) employees wanting to get it. And also, what differentiates the ones who do from the ones who don't.
Also, what you're doing sounds kind of exhausting to me. Are you maybe communicating too much too...Read more
What has John done to shift himself, and what evidence is there that the shift is sustainable?
If there's compelling evidence...and it needs to be compelling...is it worth the value to your company for team members to overcome past experiences and support John? There's a statement you'd be making, also, and how does that relate to company core values. What you don't want: "we felt...Read more
From the way this inquiry is written, it sounds like a very hands-off process: as if management assumes there's a simple answer, and it's your job to get it figured out mostly alone. Iva's right: don't do this in a vacuum. And, to extend Michael's good advice, don't just get numbers, find out some of the issues others have had with these kinds of challenges, and tee those up to the...Read more
Make and treat them like business owners and they'll think like business owners...that's the short answer.
The best way to do that depends on specifics. Read more
I'm sure there's lots of material out there on leadership development...this is a pretty normal transition, for example, for people who used to have a more "expert" role and are now more responsible for producing results from others.
But how about asking your team what that would (and wouldn't) look like to them. Maybe start 1:1, and perhaps a group meeting as well?
At the heart of the...Read more
Sounds like this "vendor" wants to be your "partner." Do you know you don't want to explore working with them more intimately? (In which case maybe the question's more about who to work with, rather than how to work with them.) Otherwise, how could that not be a good discussion to have, if done in a way focused on intentions and with an open mind about the best strategy to do it? If nothing...Read more
Your question reminds me of a project I was on 35 years ago as a junior consultant. We were hired to explore the role a COO should have for a multidivisional company. The division presidents experienced him as too controlling--good for when he was brought in and the company needed a turnaround; overkill for the current situation. With my fresh MBA, I found the bulk of the evidence in favor...Read more
My gut reaction to any business-related question like "how can I persuade...without ROI" is don't. But that wouldn't be fair, especially since you included the word "clear." The point is that some projects have ROI; they're just hard to measure.
So in that case, you need to see what the CEO/organization values in their terms, as they express it. Also understand what they want to avoid. ...Read more
A quick answer: listen well, especially for shared purpose across groups. When you have the opportunity to guide the conversation towards those overarching goals, and away from divisive gossip, do so--not by making people wrong, just by what you demonstrate in your focus. Build trust by being impeccable in your word, and showing openness and vulnerability and willingness to take good risks...Read more
Hmm. Personal favorites on systematic ways to see the forest would be Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy...and from a career perspective, Stephen Cope's The Great Work of Your Life. There's also a book, Seeing the Big Picture, on Amazon that purports to solve exactly this problem...I've not read it, but it's got good reviews:...Read more
That depends. [Can you tell I was a consultant for 35 years? :) ]
If what you mean by "driven by current capabilities" is "limited to what we currently know how to do," the answer is none. It's useful to have that as a reference projection. But what needs to drive a game-changing strategy is what you'd be really excited about doing...which should identify some gaps between what you...Read more
When people are phobic, they've generally got parts of themselves that have fears a lot stronger than parts of themselves that want to do the thing they're afraid of.
It can really help to listen to the positive intentions that those phobic parts have. They're rarely as "logical" as you'd think, and once you really hear what's going on, there's often other ways to provide the safety...Read more
Make bold promises and meet them.
Be responsible and authentic--especially around the hard stuff.
Hire Charlie Green as a coach. Failing that, read his stuff about trust, especially in leadership contexts. He's a genius around trust, especially because he boils down what it takes to earn it in a very real-world, accessible way.
And practice compassion and curiosity--including for...Read more
Cultures never change from process. Cultures change because leaders develop compelling shared vision that the organization can't help but go for, and as that unfolds, culture change follows.
Traditional performance appraisal is a hygiene factor in this: it can screw things up royally, and often does, especially because it drives a focus on activities, not outcomes. Put in rest in place,...Read more
As others have remarked, you're describing a pretty typical polarization in organizations. Finding common ground will be key.
In addition to Rick's great comments and reading list, I see a wave of people realizing that trust-based selling is critical to having the kinds of strategic partnerships most high-tech companies yearn for, especially as they mature. So you have to be able to...Read more
I get a sense that there's a certain amount of "right/wrong" thinking going on in the background--well, of course, you're human. How could there not be? The problem is going into charged dialog with an iota of wrong-making hardly ever works. You might win this battle...but set yourself up to be at war with your boss.
There's already lots of stuff out there about finding ways to be "at...Read more
Looks like you found a growth opportunity! "Tormentors" can also be "tor-mentors"...that is, they mentor us by identifying areas of discomfort that are also trailheads for personal growth.
A few more things that might help:
1. In addition to clarity about the boundaries you want to explore, don't forget to focus on results. What is it about 24/7 that's important to your manager? What...Read more
If this is representative of the how the organization works, and you're committed to being successful in it, there are traditionally two ways people address this kind of culture fit.
One is by trying to learn skills that enable them to fit in better--they do a lot of small things, step-by-step, that gradually build comfort. Coaches and books can help you on this, but I'd also want to...Read more
I'll confess a bias here, since I don't even invoice clients who aren't delighted with the result they get (100% up to them), and make sure we've got a clear definition of ROI before either of us go ahead.
That said: coaching should always have an ROI, or it just ain't useful coaching. And I think many of us inadvertently put burdens on our clients, albeit with the intention of helping...Read more