Management Summit

A Management Summit can be a useful tool for a checkup, a year or two after a Total Business Review, or it can be customized to address anything not covered by another package. This program is designed to cover a few specific issues that are more appropriately worked through in person, on-site. It is the least expensive option that involves consulting with you in that manner, and covers more than either of the Single Issue packages (in Nashville or remote) and less than the Total Business Review.

It unfolds in four phases.

First, you contact us by phone (615-831-2277) or complete the contact form. We arrange a time to speak briefly about your situation and whether or not this is a good fit for you. In a few infrequent cases we would steer you to another program or a competitor. Our goal is the correct fit, just because not making a difference is tiring and demotivating. We have no interest in your money unless it would be well-spent on this program. But if it is a fit, it's a very exciting moment for us and the internal engagement begins immediately. So assuming you want to move forward...

Second, we find the next available date and send you acceptance materials based on that. By email, you'll receive an agreement (to sign and return), a list of materials to gather, a proposed schedule for the on-site portion (with suggestions on who should attend each meeting), an invoice, a credit card authorization form (if you prefer that rather than a check or bank transfer), and a non-disclosure agreement that we have already signed to ensure confidentiality regarding your firm. Once you have formally accepted the engagement, we'll send a second email asking for a census of all employees, including principals, so that we can issue qualitative surveys and quantitative personality profiles, where appropriate. We'll explain that to you and provide sample language that you can modify to notify your staff. This period before we work together on-site also allows you to gather the materials we've requested and send them ahead of time (roughly ten days) so that we can build a thorough benchmarking of your firm. That will be the first thing we cover, and it consists of a spreadsheet with five different pages. After we go over it, we'll make any adjustments necessary and then give you the file to update regularly and measure your progress.

Third, we'll conduct the on-site portion. This typically covers the majority of a day, starting early and ending late afternoon: you'll receive the agenda beforehand. There is no standard agenda since each of these engagements is tailored entirely to you (except beginning with the benchmarking).

In each case, we'll provide you with an outline to facilitate notekeeping. Rather than regurgitating everything in a written report, the deliverable, so to speak, is the spoken advice we give and the notes you capture. It's a better use of time and a more effective knowledge transfer if you take good notes, and we'll help you do that.

Fourth, we'll stand by during implementation. We'll assist you via phone or email over a period of up to three months or three significant phone calls, whichever is first. (These are defined more clearly in the FAQ.) They are agenda-driven, which means that you might keep a log of questions and then set up a call when you are ready. (These calls are not like a coach might have with you, in that they are not regularly scheduled and they are not designed to keep you accountable.) We don't count the quick phone calls or short email exchanges against this.

So those are the four stages. How does it differ from a Total Business Review?

  • Less territory is covered in the compressed schedule.
  • Individual interviews aren't feasible in the compressed schedule. 
  • Most of the interaction is only with leaders and managers.
  • Most importantly, we accept your analysis of the situation without forming our own opinion based on direct observation and interaction. The recommendations can be less objective because of this.

In spite of these differences, you will begin to see positive change very early in the process. In fact, gathering the materials is a learning exercise. Some of the changes can happen quickly, and others may take up to eighteen months. The recommendations are a balance between the eventual positive impact vs. the short term disruption, which we attempt to minimize as much as possible.

For this service, especially, it would be good to review the FAQ.

Location. Your office and then remotely.

Duration. Most of a day, beginning early morning and ending late afternoon.

Scheduling. A Management Summit can usually be scheduled and locked in on the calendar within 3-12 weeks, depending on the time of year.

Deliverable. Hours of industry leading advice that follows a written agenda, very carefully and concisely stated recommendations for your note taking, and later expansions as necessary.

Implementation Guidance. Up to three months involving up to three significant interactions. They are agenda-driven, which means that you'll keep a log of the questions you have and we'll address them in a batch. We don't count the quick phone calls or any of the email exchanges during those three months. (Our work is not like a coach.)

Participation Requirements. A principal or someone from finance gathers materials for roughly two hours. If acquiring information about employees is important, each answers a survey and completes a personality profile, spending about thirty minutes on each instrument. Principals and key managers typically participate for the entire on-site portion.

Cost. $8,000 fee plus expenses ($800-1,600), estimated in advance.

Payment Terms. Prepaid and non-refundable. The fee and expenses are added together. Approximately one-third is due within one week of confirming the engagement, and the remainder is due approximately ten days before the on-site portion, sent with the materials that we’ll request. We'll spell all the dates out for you before we ask you to sign anything, and you'll have as much time as you like to be comfortable with the arrangements.

References. Sometimes. There's a fuller explanation of our policy around references in the FAQ.

Many clients begin with a Total Business Review and then follow that with a Management Summit every one or two years.