Attained $12M in B-round funding while leading the development of a third generation, fully integrated product, the Robotic Retail System; raised sales 155% at 75% lower operating expenses. Product’s success contributed in 12X increase in company’s value in 2006 (to $156M in 2006).
Established a new 3PO business category for the Presario Consumer Division; initiated the development for Presario configuration web presence, driving gross profit by “Configure-to-order” program 80%, back in 1998. Delivered $1M weekly to bottom line objectives through early program development phases.
Worked through team dysfunctions at Microsoft -- reorganized MSDN/TechNet SW delivery team an injected a new sense or identity and pride and ownership in this 15 yeas-old team of MSFT veterans.
Worked with Talking Rain Beverage company as a strategic Leadership Consultant and helped in TRBC's growth by 400% + (2014-2106)
Lead growth initiative at Laborworks (2015-16) that resulted in 100% revenue growth in 14 months.
Coached numerous Executives through career/self/team/process/focus improvements from 2013-17.
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Though I wanted to work for an automotive business after I finished my MBA (working for the Big Three was my dream), my first post-MBA job was as a program manager with the PC maker, Compaq (later acquired by HP).
Within a year, I was given a corporate-level project that involved redesigning processes across the whole company that covered the majority of verticals. The objective was to establish Compaq as a manufacturer of custom PCs (Configured–To-Order, or CTO), so we needed to redesign all the processes from order acquisition to shipping.
The (simplified) process involved defining valid PC configurations for each supported platform, taking a configurable web order, checking stock, processing individual payments, creating a BOM, generating a production pick list, building a working PC, and finally shipping it with accessories as a merged order.
I was given a team that consisted of marketing executives, sales people, web designers, SAP knowledge engineers, operations managers, manufacturing experts, software and hardware engineers and testers, as well as external distribution partners. We were given an 8 month timeline to deliver.
This project was not only about successfully building the PCs to order, but about building a team that could function together and deliver a complex problem in an established company. Very quickly, it became clear that team members varied in their levels of enthusiasm, willingness to participate, expertise, flexibility, and commitment to both the company and the required changes. Fortunately, the objective was clear, and had a CEO-mandated deadline.
The first steps were to reinforce the objectives, present a schedule of activities, and set a meetings cadence in place. This clarified my objectives as a cross-functional team leader, and laid out the path to success. It also gave the team a focal point.
Next, I focused on getting to know all of the teams, one person at a time. That gave me insight into the people I worked with, and gave them a chance to share their opinions with me--opinions that they chose not to share in a public setting. By getting to know the individuals, their beliefs, and their agendas, I had the needed information to start knitting the relationships between team members. This made it possible for them to accomplish their tasks between meetings as sub-teams. I made sure to keep track of their efforts, and publicly commended the team members who did well. I applied this consistently based on actual efforts and results.
The project finished on time. We shipped the first configured–to-order PC for Christmas that year, achieving the planned results. I later learned that this was the third attempt. Two previous efforts had failed as the teams could not work well together.
In 2000, I moved to ZoomSystems, a startup in San Francisco. I joined as the Director of Product Marketing, and quickly learned that the startup did not have the managerial commitment to do all that was required.
I slowly took over functions that were underperforming, and then acquired area expertise through relationships with subject-matter experts who owned certain functions. After becoming Product VP, I had an opportunity to build my own engineering, marketing, and IT teams, all reporting to me. I had my hands full at all times, and required hi-performance teams.
Striking a balance between people management and technical involvement was not always easy, so I focused on building teams that could deliver what I asked of them, despite startup uncertainty. In addition, limited funds meant that I had to form overseas teams (based in Australia, Japan, and India) in addition to the small San Francisco team. Managing a virtual team meant that I had to create new ways to communicate and work, despite being oceans and time zones apart. The team owned the millions of lines of code and the hardware technology we created.
A few years later, I joined frog design, a world-renowned design consultancy, as the General Manager for one of their studios. Managing teams at frog presented a new challenge, as the teams consisted of both designers and model-makers. This meant managing with a much higher level of empathy, clarity of communication, and flexibility. Design teams cannot be managed as engineering or operations teams. Design quality is measured in a highly subjective manner: what defines a more successful or better design? My design background certainly helped, and the team delivered amazing results in the first years. I cherish the ongoing friendships with many who reported to me to this day.
I joined Microsoft in 2007. The team I was given as a new manager consisted of a diverse group of Microsoft veterans who had been through many managers before me. Some of these employees were on “cruise control,” lacking motivation, and, to an extent, disappointed with their career paths to date. Few seemed excited to come to work.
The real challenge was to establish myself while identifying and eliminating the problems and invigorating the team. After meeting the team members, I determined that several of them could not be motivated through discussions, encouragement, or other types of consultations.
I then organized a SYMLOG team study to evaluate the entire team. The exercise definitely shook up the team. At the risk of oversimplifying, the results showed that some team members were perceived as underperforming, and a few were super-stars. After the feedback was delivered and discussed, I was happy to see that a few of the underperforming team members “woke up” and experienced a 180 degree turnaround in both their attitudes and performance. In the words of one of them, “I realized that I was hurting myself by holding onto my bad attitude.” At the same time, we lost one team member who realized that the team rejected him and it was better to move on to a different position on another team.
As a manager, I saw this as a great overall outcome. With a vastly reduced number of underperforming team members, I could focus on the few that remained, while reinforcing those that were doing well.
With every new experience, I learn new skills, gain new perspectives, and gain insights into how people work--what motivates them and how to help them become the best they can be. I get tremendous satisfaction from seeing personal and professional growth in my reports, teams, and clients.
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T2 Team Consulting CEO
Personal improvement is one of my passions. I have always mentored, coached, and enjoyed building teams and organizations. I have been using SYMLOG’s methodology since my MBA days, and became certified as a SYMLOG consultant in 2008. I have conducted team improvement studies on my teams at Compaq (1997), ZoomSystems (2004), frog design (2006) and most recently at Microsoft (2008). In each case, the results were better than had I hoped. Transferring these experiences into the consulting world of personal coaching and team building has been the most rewarding experience of my life. As a SYMLOG client (and now consultant), I remain convinced that this is the right solution for most businesses because it is very effective and targeted. Also, it offers direction without falling into the arena of subjective advice.
Besides SYMLOG, I specialize in RAC’s D.I.A.L.O.G. and coaching methodology. While SYMLOG offers targeted and specific solutions implementable in the short run, RAC’s leadership methodology offers a broad, long term, sustainable program for Executive /Entrepreneurial /Strategic Leadership, Team Leadership, Planning, Customer Loyalty, and Sales. Call for the full list of coaching programs.
Our latest addition to the portfolio of services is the Predictive Index. PI adds a self-help aspect to our suite of services, which allows us to enable a larger number of companies to learn, own and self-administer a host of people-centric assessments and development methodologies. The science-based methodology of The Predictive Index allows you to understand what drives workplace behaviors so that you can ensure alignment, drive your team's success, and achieve your business objectives. All of these can be achieved with a combination of The PI Job Assessment™ to define a job before you hire, The PI Behavioral Assessment™ used for realizing behavioral drives in the workplace, and The PI Learning Indicator™, a cognitive assessment that gages the learning ability of a candidate. Through a SaaS platform and a series of professional training workshops that can help your employees better understand each other, PI will help you understand who you're hiring and take your business to the next level through the power of your people