Effective change strategies.
A sample of achievements.
Employee engagement and change management: Created an Organization Development Center of Excellence (CoE) for a global education technology organization. The CoE successfully supported dimensions of organization development (employee engagement and development, training, organizational effectiveness) and change management (assessment, readiness, planning, support) for a North American Services Division of 9 teams, 113 roles, and 500+ team members. (Read my article about The Case for Change Management)
Organizational design and development: Supported employee engagement, change management, and organizational design framework for a new Executive Account Management division. Provided hands-on management and support of the following: job descriptions, MBOs, KPIs, role competencies, skills gap analysis, training and development strategies, and leadership pipeline. (Read my article on why organizational culture remains critical to success, Culture Happens: A Leader's Choice is Whether or Not to Engage)
Operational excellence: Successfully managed business operations of a new product division during a 3-year hyper growth. Revenue recognition increased from $15M to $102M and Jacob managed staff leveling from 6 members to 45 members + contractors.
Project management: Helped implement a new Project Management Office with an award-winning advertising agency. The agency recognized >$500K in operational savings within the first 8 months of the PMO implementation.
New capabilities: Implemented a new IT support team (subsequently instituted nationally) that included software and hardware implementations, user training, and tech support for 300 people across four office locations.
Training and development: Designed a comprehensive learning strategy that aligned divisional objectives, measurable learning outcomes, and team member results. Sample metric: Served as trainer for a Crucial Conversations workshop. The audience was a team of 75 VPs, directors, and managers over the course of 3 separate full-day sessions. The workshop received an average participant satisfaction rating of 4.6 of 5.
...and much more.
"Jacob founded our operational processes that provided structure where none existed. As an excellent organizer and communicator Jacob is able to work effectively with multiple operational teams, drawing everyone onto the same page with shared goals. Our team’s success would not have been possible without Jacob’s vision, business acumen and ability to establish our operational structure."
- Ed Dillon / Vice President of Sales at Nebraska Book Company, Inc. (colleague)
"I was fortunate to work with Jacob for almost three years at Pearson. The Org Enablement work he did for and with my team was stellar. We were a new team tasked with changing our go-to-business tactics and encouraging our client to evolve, all in a very challenging business environment. Jacob’s leadership and expertise in coaching us, facilitating Crucial Conversations (Patterson Grenny et.al.) and leading us in Speed of Trust (Covey), had an immediate impact on how we thought about our mission, and how we worked with our client and each other. Personally, I made sure I learned from Jacob every chance I got. Always the utmost professional, he is an all-in strategic business partner who has the ability to measurably improve the method in which a team achieves their goals."
- Meg Rockman / Marketing Strategist and Operations Leader (internal customer)
"I had the pleasure of Jacob reporting to me for two and a half years. During this time, he grew a successful Organizational Enablement team whose mission was focused on leadership and professional development, needs assessment, organizational culture & effectiveness, communications, and strategic planning. He and his team led various large-scale initiatives for the North America Services organization (500+) such as Speed of Trust and Crucial Conversations. As an individual, Jacob is one of the most thoughtful people I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. He is deliberate in his intentions and strives to be a kind and compassionate leader. He is passionate about organizational development and how it can be optimized for companies to achieve the most success. Jacob is a rare gem with expertise in a variety of areas that organizations need to be paying attention to."
- Julie Smetana / Vice President, Operations for Pearson Online Learning Services (line manager)
"In this role Jacob was a critical part of our Strategic Customer Engagement leadership team. This was a newly formed division which brought together multiple existing and new teams under one umbrella, and Jacob was the glue that helped pull us, and hold us, together. His leadership in activities that he clearly owned was outstanding, and operational excellence was not only his goal but most often the outcome too. What impressed me most, however, was his willingness and ability to jump in and provide leadership and support in numerous situations that didn’t clearly fall under his umbrella. As a new division with lots of moving parts having Jacob as a teammate was invaluable and I would have been lost without Jacob’s commitment on building better processes and systems for the future.
In all the roles I’ve seen Jacob in, his professionalism, drive for operational excellence, and his focus on delivery came through in every situation. Combined with his sense of humor and even-keeled personality, Jacob was a pleasure to work with. He’s the type of guy that not only helps define a positive culture, but also lives it day-in and day-out."
- Steve Ast / Vice President, Client Partnerships at Ruffalo Noel Levitz (colleague)
"Jacob knows and understands the project management field. He is incredibly adept at the required process and structure to lead clients through strategic and tactical projects off- or online. He is willing to push the boundaries if he sees inefficiencies; and, works to develop the best system for a client or a project."
- Lynda Calhoun / Marketing Leader and Digital Strategist for Big Data (internal customer)
"Jacob's natural ability to sort through and navigate the fine details of a larger strategic vision enabled his team to effectively roll out several large initiatives for our services team of over 500 people. He succeeded in setting up an effective team early on by fostering opportunities for each individual on his team to shine. This quickly established trust and cohesion among the team. Jacob enabled a team culture of celebrating our success along the way by offering time in each team meeting for a success share. He was a thoughtful mentor to his reports - listening and learning first, and then offering his seasoned advice to consider in working through a business challenge. Jacob focuses on the positive attributes of his direct reports, helping them truly understand their strengths, as well as designing activities to leverage those strengths.
It was in supporting him with the Crucial Conversations training coordination, that I really understood what an engaged and patient leader Jacob was. As we planned the fine details for these multi-location trainings, fluctuating business changes meant occasional shifts to our plans. With each change, he would calmly communicate how we were going to pivot and move forward. Jacob's acceptance and decisiveness in working with business changes were an integral piece of the success in planning this training.
I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work on Jacob's team and experience true, authentic leadership. He is the type of manager that will always show up for his team members, and the type of employee that will champion the mission of his company. As a leader and a manager, Jacob has my highest recommendation, and I hope we have the chance to work together again one day."
- Jenn Wiszowaty / Operations Analyst (direct report)