Success Stories started in 1990 and our first client was the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. The assignment involved a communication audit involving faculty, students, alumni and the dental community. The presenting problem was a sense that there were multi-level disconnects going on and the communication tools were not working.
I am not a dentist. I was not a college student and I did not attend University of Buffalo at any time.
I am a marketing and management consultant. I’m fortunate to have many years in marketing and communication. I know what printing costs. I know what advertising works and what doesn’t. I understand what people want to read and I know what they will ignore. I was a therapist for several years and I know how to interview, listen, create trust and read body language.
As I rolled up my sleeves to dig in to the assignment, one of the greatest advantages I had was I offered a “fresh pair of eyes” on many things that were standard procedure, “always done this way”, tradition, might be required (most weren’t) or haven’t been done for years. I was able to immediately spot concerns I thought were obvious. I asked students about dozens of printed materials they never paid much attention to because they were bulky and the printing was small and too tight on the page.
Alumni databases were fragmented and there were no protocols on how contact information should be entered.
I asked a great deal of questions as if I were a dental professor who just moved to town, parents looking for the right school for their very bright daughter, a local dentist interested in taking a few courses and a consultant comparing dental schools in the Northeast.
Because I did not work at the Dental School, I had a fresh pair of eyes, no pre-existing opinion and a willingness to listen in an entirely different way.
My final report and recommendation were given directly to the Dean and they were well received. The Dental School saved lots of money on printing, opened up new lines of communication with logical stakeholders and increased their recruitment reach beyond the Northeast.
A fresh pair of eyes can see very clearly.
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