How to Leverage Innovation and Add Value for Clients
During a time when many consulting firms are struggling to stay afloat—offering deep service discounts and laying off employees left and right—North Highland’s Nashville office, led by TAB Member Nancy Schultz, is thriving.
Keeping the 50 full-time consultants in her office busy is made easier thanks to the diverse client portfolio, including healthcare, automotive and retail.
But much of the credit also goes to Nancy herself, with her understanding of how to leverage
innovation and opportunity to add value for her clients.
“Whatever your business is, you always have to bring new ideas, new products and new marketing strategies to the table,” she believes. “You have to up your game because it’s so competitive out there. If you’re not innovating, someone else is.”
Keeping Her Executive Skills Sharp
To stay ahead, particularly in the ever-changing healthcare industry, Nancy encourages her consultants to keep building their toolkits by attending training seminars and industry conference and sharing what they learn at office lunch and learning sessions.
To keep her own executive skills sharp, Nancy looks to monthly meetings with her TAB Board peers, even though, as Vice President and Nashville Local Office
Lead—part of a $400+ million company with 27 offices around the globe—her situation is a bit different than entrepreneurs on her Board.
Still, she says, the old adage about loneliness at the top is valid. “You can’t share everything with your company peers when they’re in another city, and you
can’t share big challenges with your employees,” she explains. “The TAB meetings are a productive outlet to bring issues to every month.”
Among the issues Nancy has brought to the table are the different roles she’s been tasked with, including heading up strategic growth projects for North Highland corporate as well as running the Nashville office.
“Some of the members in my group have been in similar positions, and they’ve been dead-on with their advice.”
Learning Different Ways to Think Strategically
Nancy also values the time and thought that her TAB Facilitator has put into mentoring her over the last several years. “He’s always sharing different templates he’s created and different ways to think through strategic planning,” she says.
It’s no surprise that Nancy appreciates the valuable relationships she’s developed with her TAB Facilitator and peers. North Highland itself is a rare firm that hires local consultants to server local clients. As she puts it,
“Relationships are key to our success. Some consultancies sell a type of work. Our goal is to build strong relationships within the cities and communities where we’re located.”