I’m here to make you more successful
Welcome! I’m Jan Richards, and my purpose here is to provide products and services that make you, your team, and your company more successful:
- Delivering more of what your customers want
- Doing so more easily
- Getting more of what you want, as well
Imagine a work life that works very, very well
And imagine all the good things that can bring you.
That’s what I want for you
I LOVE helping people, and the teams they lead, to be more successful.
That’s been my focus as a business improvement and change management consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area for twenty + years now.
I’ve guided, mentored and trained many clients and teams, in both large and small companies, and in a variety of industries.
As I launch this site, I’m offering a Strategic Visioning class that will go live soon, along with implementation coaching for change management and business improvement projects.
I’ll be adding a free content library early in the new year, along with more classes throughout 2016. And there will be other resources here for you, as I learn what you want and need most (I think I know what you want from all my in-person business consulting, but to make sure, I’m going to listen and learn a lot first).
My work often starts when someone has become overwhelmed, and cannot see their way forward
Often when consulting clients and I started our work together, they could not see how they could possibly reach their goal. They had big goals…often VERY big goals…but the path forward was often highly uncertain.
Sometimes the uncertainty was because their role or project was completely new to them. Other times, overwhelm and uncertainty was because the real problem was that yet ANOTHER project was piled on top of their already too-full workload (and even so, the work had to be done, overwhelm or not).
By the time our work was finished, my consulting clients had met their goals, and more likely, exceeded them
Often, they were surprised at what they could accomplish by the time our work was done. I was not. I knew they could meet or beat the goals they’d had to take on, even though they did not know they “had it in them.”
(It’s always (ALWAYS!) fun for me when they discover what they’re capable of…and they’d not known it before).
Many clients also developed new and valuable skills in the process, skills which helped them again in the future. (And, by the way, in multiple cases, those new skills brought them promotions).
I’m putting great experience to work for you here, now
And now, all that experience making clients more successful, in companies, both large and small, is going to work for you here, now.
I’m also drawing on my work at Apple Computer as a financial analyst, operational analyst, and finance and administration quality manager.
Also valuable experience on your behalf were the five years I spent as a National Baldrige Award Examiner. It was an intense, challenging, and superb experience and training ground.
Ever since then, the Baldrige background has helped me to assess business issues and team challenges rapidly, understanding how things work now, and how they can work far better, going forward.
All that great experience works now on your behalf.
The way I approach and solve business challenges strategically and yet practically is also influenced by my degrees.
I have an MBA from UC Berkeley, where much of my work focused on strategic planning and finance. I also have a B.S. from Iowa State, where I double-majored in journalism and business.
My love for making things work well began early in life
In fact, it’s almost part of my DNA.
My dear, sweet, intelligent, hard-working stay-at-home mother taught me a love for fine craftsmanship, whether it was recognizing and appreciating it in others’ work, or producing it oneself.
She used to say, by the way, “Fun’s not fun until the work is done!”
I listened (mostly). And I thought about she said (quite a lot).
At some point, I realized that the work NEVER seemed to end. And so fun never really got its fair share of time, as I saw it, from the perspective of a kid.
My strategy became, “If the work must be done, I’m going to try to find a way to make it fun.”
That usually worked…and worked MUCH better than I expected.
That’s because, of course, that in the process of trying to make work more fun, I often turned it into a game.
And if it was work I had to do again (much like trying a recipe and perfecting it, learning from each attempt), I tried to beat my prior best…in time, quality, speed of learning and implementation, or some other way.
Work that works well produces better results…and it’s more fun, too
Think back to the best work you’ve ever done.
Now think about the best team you ever led, or the best team of which you were a part.
Wasn’t enjoying that work part of its success?
Fun, by the way, often means you met your biggest challenge…instead of doing what’s temporarily easier…running away from it
Sometimes (often) it’s a matter of facing down your biggest fears, and conquering them in the process.
Rather than running away (like you may want to), you take a deep breath. You muster your gumption and gusto. And you learn to trust yourself as you learn and experiment your way through.
Often, you find a way to meet…or to exceed your goal.
And in the process you are changed, and made stronger.
No longer stumped, stymied, or blocked by an insurmountable challenge, you’re also far more prepared to take on the next one.
For a recent example of the power of fun for individuals and a team, consider the Golden State Warriors, NBA Champions in 2015.
The team is comprised of highly talented individual players, who perform well on their own (some are already legendary). More than that, though, they play superbly as a team.
As they drove down the final stretch of the 2015 NBA Championship series, Warriors coaches asked the players, “Are we having fun?” If not, they knew they needed to adjust, and to relax into being able to playing their best, each and all.
“People often don’t dream big enough,” is an idea with which I heartily agree
From my dear, change-making dad, who calmly took on and made big and positive changes in people, teams and organizations he led, I heard such things as the importance of a shared vision and a common purpose, and the value of simple consistency and discipline in playing a change out, through thick and thin.
(There will be both – thick and thin – almost inevitably in any process of change).
I also learned the great satisfaction that can come from being part of, or creating and leading a successful team.
A few years ago, I was creating a seven-session online training class, one focused on taking an idea and turning that raw idea into a vision, strategy, plan, action, performance measures and results.
As I considered the resources I had to create the class, suddenly I realized that a leadership and team expert was in my midst…and had always been there.
“I should interview Dad!” I thought. “The things I’m teaching are things he always did well!”
I interviewed him by phone for an hour a week, for seven weeks. I took notes on a mind map on my computer as we talked.
Discussing visioning early in the sequence of interviews, I asked, “Do you think having a vision is important for a team, Dad?”
I’m not sure what I expected he would say, but without missing a beat he said, “Oh, definitely! I think most people don’t dream big enough!”
I grinned as I wrote down his answer, delighted to know he saw the value in a powerful vision, as well.
It’s where much success begins, and without which, much success never takes shape.
Let’s get you the success you want and deserve
I’ll be adding new content and classes to this new site.
In the meantime, here are the first ways I can help you now:
- Strategic Visioning class (This starts in December and can help get you ready for a great 2016)
- Implementation Coaching (I’m preparing a sign up page for you, if you’re interested in that)
- Sign up for my email list to get updates as new classes and content are added (use the sign up form at the top of this page)
I’m also building a Free Membership Content Library. Some of the best of the free resources I provide on this site will be available only to people who are interested in a free membership in the Content Library.
If you sign up for my email list, you’ll be among the first to know when the free membership and Content Library are available.
As always, if you have questions, requests, or ideas for me, you can use the contact form to reach out. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, and often that will be within just a few hours.
I look forward to being in touch, and to helping you succeed in 2016 and beyond!