We understand that problem-solving doesn’t happen on a 9 to 5 schedule. We make ourselves completely accessible to every client–weekends, evenings, holidays. If an issue is critical now, it’s critical that it be solved now. For the most part, an O’Brien Associates engagement lasts three months. Maybe six. We do not believe in multi-year planning followed by multi-year implementation phases. Success will not wait for you. Get it done now.
O’Brien Associates, led by Roger O’Brien, knows exactly where you are. We’ve been there. With more than 40 years in roles as varied as business owner, senior manager, executive consultant and technology developer, Roger has experienced the breadth of challenges that every CEO faces.
Roger has helped facilitate strategic planning for us, and also led an effort to assess our business processes and our organizational structure for scalability and growth. He is a seasoned business executive with great on-the-ground perspective, not a consultant who shows up with charts and theories. He was flexible in adjusting his work to fit with our company’s processes. He understands strategy; he understands operations; he understands how they both fit together. And he’s a great communicator, there’s no head-scratching around the table when he’s explaining something. His experience and his responsiveness make for a great combination.
Roger came in as interim CEO. He came up to speed very quickly, got his arms around where we were and the decisions we needed to make. He didn’t shy away from any of the facts. He facilitated critical face-to-face meetings with vendors; he steered the board and current investors through the decision to look for a new investor and the subsequent negotiations, and finally helped to transition to the new CEO. He was tenacious and professional at all times; able to analyze the issues quickly but always gathering the facts first. His experience coaching entrepreneurs was invaluable. Roger was very diligent in pursuing what he knew to be the best solution for the company.
Everyone else came in with a sales pitch. They already had all the answers already. I didn’t want cookie-cutter. Of course, there are formats and logics and formulas involved, but I wanted someone who would sit down and work through it with me, so that it worked for me and not the last 14 clients that consultant had. Roger did that.
We asked Roger to completely change the culture from one of top-down, autocratic leadership to one where people were working together as a team. If it weren’t done, the company wouldn’t have survived. And he succeeded–people are now stepping out of their comfortable roles and offices and taking on new challenges.
We engaged Roger to help the management team at Rosina update and energize our strategic plan. A major focus of this effort had to do with evaluating several opportunities that were available to us in our various product lines and markets served. We felt it was necessary to bring someone in from outside the organization who we sensed could objectively facilitate our discussions and focus them on the critical priorities that we were facing. Roger has and continues to do a great job for us. He took time to get to know each member of our team. He provided a very workable framework for the project. In addition, he facilitated some very productive conversations among our team. Roger has extensive practical experience in a number of senior management roles. Based on this he could objectively assess our situation, ask key questions and apply examples from his past to our specific challenges. All of this made his guidance more effective. He provided the framework and facilitation to allow our team to develop a realistic and workable plan. He knows where we needed to be and kept us focused. Throughout the whole process he was very approachable and easy to get to work with. We had nothing but a positive experience. I’d recommend Roger to my best friend or my best business associate.
The Board of Directors engaged Roger as the interim CEO of a technology company for which I am a Director and investor. The company was in transition and going through major organizational and financial challenges; it was questionable whether we’d survive to see another day. We needed someone who could stabilize the team and the company and help us through to bring in new management and new financial resources. Roger was very level-headed, very pragmatic and organized in his evaluations and actions, and very thoughtful. And he was a steadying, calming influence with vendors, clients, employees—which was especially important in such a challenging situation.
I wanted a comprehensive roadmap and strategic business plan based on the growth we’re seeing in our business. Our series of objectives was all-encompassing—sales and marketing, operations, engineering, and a strategic vision. We’ve been in business for 26 years and have a very strong leadership team, but I wanted to make sure that this time we went through the formal planning process as a staff. I also wanted to use this as a coaching and mentoring process, so I’m still meeting with Roger on a monthly basis to work on various aspects of our business. Roger challenged us and was able to squeeze the stone and still get juice out of it. At the same time, he created cohesiveness and bonding between the group. He has vast industry experience and the ability to get people thinking out of the box. I witnessed what I had heard about from his other clients—it was fantastic.
We engaged Roger as interim CEO. Major business issues, which the Board of Directors had wrestled with for many months, were immediately apparent to Roger, and he was able to effectively operate the business. His performance was exemplary. When Roger believed the time was right, he led the effort to hire his replacement - locating a pool of CEO candidates, interviewing them, and reducing the pool to four for interviews by the Board of Directors and the corporation's accountants. Roger furnished the Board with his insights into the type of candidate required, and what the Board should look for in a new CEO.
Roger O'Brien helped us redefine our business in ways we had not thought of before. His vision, experience, and interpersonal skills made a key difference at a critical time in the life of our company and, thanks to Roger we are back on track. I highly recommend Roger for anyone wanting to enhance, grow or redefine their business.
We engaged O’Brien Associates to help us improve our skills around market penetration and sales within one of our businesses. We were very pleased with both the methodologies and the results we attained. If you were looking for someone to come in and add a skill set or technology to your organization, you would be remiss if you did not talk to Roger.
We engaged Roger for strategic planning and business operations support across our financial, operational, human resources. He brings very deep upper-level management expertise; he’s able to easily move from CEO to CFO to planning a software implementation. We are a rapidly growing organization; even halfway through my Executive MBA and with a lot of years of management under my belt, I don’t have the expertise that Roger can bring. Plus, he’s got a positive attitude, a clarity of energy, clear, concise, crisp communication, good follow-through, and he‘s rapidly becoming very well connected in our state. He’s been very effective for us, and I would strongly recommend him.
Roger and I worked together for a business owner client who came to me for help with designing a succession program for his business. His business was good and on track for dramatic growth. But his flat-management structure was making him work like crazy. He wanted to do some classic strategic planning in order to get greater control and also to protect the culture he’d built. The engagement was extremely successful. Roger’s work included assessments of key management. My client said Roger’s strategic planning process got his people to think and talk among themselves about the issues, and look at some of their systems outside of the scheduled strategic planning sessions. They’ve since made some big changes, such as designating one person as their estimating guru, instead of everyone estimating a different way. The thing I like about Roger is that he pushes everything to an action plan. If someone wants to be coached and mentored as a CEO, and wants classic strategic planning, I can’t think of anyone better than Roger.
Roger has a solid ability to listen and resonate with people. Many consultants come in and tell you how to do things, and don’t really listen. Roger works at understanding the culture of the company and helps build on the strengths that already exist.