BRADY CLIENT FEEDBACK
Client success is the only measure of a consultant's success.
Brady & Associates has worked with leaders at the pinnacle of their careers who were willing to embrace the advice of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden who said:
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
ENTREPRENEURS — ARTHUR BUSHKIN - STARGAZER GROUP
I've known John Brady for over twenty years and have found that he has a 'nose' getting to the heart of a leader's or organization's core issues. He has an innate sense that enables him to cut through the bureaucratic 'noise' and complexity to provide clarity and resolution to tough problems. If ever there was a 'silver bullet' for leadership and organizational issues, it is Brady.
As my leadership coach John literally cut years off of my learning curve in an hour. On an organizational level he helped me align my management team when I was tapped as the president of a new entrepreneurial subsidiary inside an classic hierarchical company. My managers were some of the best and the brightest from the parent company, but they were hampered by the bureaucratic mind-set and habits of their former positions. Brady initially had only marginal success getting them to grasp the realities and opportunities of the new competitive reality we faced.
John sensed the problem immediately and pivoted to a different approach. He invited the entire team to line up along the exterior windows of our new high-rise office. He asked everyone to look out over the city and he announced:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, your success is out there! Your competition is out there! They want you to fail! They want you to drag your feet and stay mired in corporate politics. They are counting on it! They know you are unstoppable if you 'get it' and work as a team. They would pay me a lot of money not to tell you that. The choice is yours; focus on your competition and succeed; don't, and fail."
Brady's counsel had a profound impact on my staff. In fact it was the shortest, most effective motivational speech I have ever heard. The message got through and focused them on the future, and they moved forward with a renewed sense of purpose, creativity and teamwork.
I have served at the highest levels in government, industry, and as a partner in a global consulting firm, and I have yet to meet a professional that could match John Brady when it comes to leadership and organizational development. He is the ultimate éminence grise for senior leaders who want to make a real change in their organizations.
I am fortunate to have him on my 'team.'
Arthur A. Bushkin, Chairman, Stargazer Group, LLC, & Stargazer Foundation, Inc. Mr. Bushkin is a renaissance man who was involved at the creation of what became the Internet in the 1960s. In the 1970s, he led President Carter's Privacy Initiative and was the principal U.S. representative at the OECD on information, computer, and communications policy. In the 1990s, he was President of Bell Atlantic Video Services (now Verizon). He studied and taught computer science at MIT. After a very successful executive and business career his interests today are music and philanthropy.
FORTUNE 500 — BELL ATLANTIC-NYNEX-VERIZON
THE BELL ATLANTIC WAY — When I was elected Chairman and CEO of Bell Atlantic I promised a sea change in strategy and rallied our managers and associates by saying:
"You can't transform a company of our size with fond hopes and fervent wishes. It requires a carefully crafted plan based on a vision, and unbending commitment to carry
Transforming Bell Atlantic from the old 'Ma Bell' bureaucratic, monopolistic company into a market driven entrepreneurial competitor meant creating a whole new mind-set and culture. We selected John Brady to lead the process because of his experience with large-scale corporate transformation and his keen sense of what was needed to involve all of our 80,000 employees.
John worked closely with us to develop forum based format that would involve every employee that encouraged open dialogue. It was designed to create alignment around core values and principles that would change our culture. We christened our program The Bell Atlantic Way.
At the outset, John advised me that the change would require our senior team's total commitment. I thought my schedule was busy before the Bell Atlantic Way, but I soon learned that time spent supporting it accelerated the culture change I had hoped for.
It was standard practice for our culture to openly challenge each other but it never phased Brady. He could hold his own in any situation, and this was a critical skill required to win over the old school egos who 'had seen everything.' We all knew that the program would be a success when John went toe-to-toe with tough crowd of over 100 New Jersey Bell managers in Newark, New Jersey and earned their respect and support.
Employees rated senior executive participation as the single most important factor in the success of the program. Bell Atlantic President Anton 'Campy' Campanella and I spent many hours kicking or closing each of the management forum sessions and holding open, frank Q&A sessions with managers who asked tough questions. It was a tangible sign that we were serious about the culture change and that we were walking the talk.
Brady was personally involved in every aspect of the Bell Atlantic Way from the very start, and he always took the lead in the most difficult assignments. His team trained our 20,000 managers over 100 internal facilitators to deliver the Bell Atlantic Way forums to over 80,000 associates worldwide. Our VPs, Directors and managers rotated in conducting over a thousand Associate forums following our practice of encouraging open dialogue that helped gain their full support.
Without a doubt, Brady was totally invested in our success. He was someone you could count on, always. In one instance John and Michael Mooney, one of his trusted veteran Vice Presidents, conducted a 'high-risk' pilot forum for our union leaders and their staffs. Due to confidentiality, only the participants know what went on during that seminar, but word spread quickly on the corporate grapevine that John and Mike worked miracles in a very contentious and combative environment. Afterwards the union leadership agreed to fully support the program for all of Bell Atlantic's employees seemed to confirm the news about the pilot forum.
On another occasion I was running late for a speech to a national business conference in Washington, D.C. about our corporate transformation. Brady was on site early as my coach, and as a contingency my staff began to prep him to as my stand-in in case I didn't make it. I made it, but I knew he wouldn't have missed a beat if he was called on to give the speech.
It is no exaggeration to say that there was no 'quit' in John and he proved it by working countless hours to meet our needs. His ability to improvise, adapt and overcome any sticky situation set him apart from any consultant I have known. Brady's street smarts, corporate experience and political savvy allowed him to navigate all of our various geographical and social cultures from Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Europe and New Zealand. John trekked continents to create 'one' Bell Atlantic under the umbrella we called "The Bell Atlantic Way."
Raymond W. Smith, Chairman and CEO, Bell Atlantic, Verizon, and currently Chairman of Rothschild Inc. and N.M. Rothschild & Sons Canada Limited.
NYNEX WINNING WAYS —John Brady came to NYNEX when we were at a major crossroad. He was highly recommended by a Fortune 500 Chairman and CEO who used John to pilot his 80,000 employee company through a critical transformation. His recommendation was simple, "He gets the job done."
The fact that John was a seasoned business leader who had been 'in the trenches' was a real advantage. He spoke with authority and people listened and I suspect his Marine training prepared him to deal with difficult situations. He easily fit into our rough-and-tumble corporate politics and our scrappy northeast business culture.
THE PROCESS — Brady's team immersed themselves in our company organization and he forewarned us that the process of getting 90,000 employees to support change would be like 'turning a whale in a bathtub.' We engaged Brady to design a program that focused on quality, ethics and caring for the individual, and we christened the program "NYNEX Winning Ways" to introduce our 90,000 employees to a new way of doing business.
RESULTS — There was some initial resistance from our associates and a few senior managers who felt Winning Ways was another in a long series of 'flavor of the month' programs. Undaunted Brady and his team stayed the course and attitudes began to shift because people saw their teams, managers and senior executives 'walking the talk.' There was a sea change companywide after six months as the 'whale' started to turn.
Our company performance increased along with improved communication, cooperation, and collaboration. Things got done faster and better. Problems were solved at lower levels before they became unmanageable, and interdepartmental skirmishes all but disappeared. Winning Trust was the driving force of Winning Ways both inside and outside the company. The New York Public Service Commission lauded our quick turnaround and our commitment to high ethical standards, quality, and customer service. Our success with Winning Ways' became the centerpiece of our Annual Report which read as follows:
"For employees, NYNEX is becoming a new kind of company with completely new ways of getting the job done. Our corporate culture, embodied in a set of principles we call "NYNEX Winning Ways," gives all of our people a stake in building and acting on our foundation of core values: Quality, Ethics and Caring for the Individual."
LEGACY — One can always tell if a program has staying power if it survives a senior leadership transition, and in our case Winning Ways was definitely a success and not a "one hit wonder." I knew it was firmly anchored in the NYNEX culture when my successor Ivan Seidenberg declared:
"As we expand the scope of our business, we're keeping a sharp focus on our commitment to NYNEX Winning Ways. These guiding principles, which include integrity, diversity, teamwork and accountability, define us as a team...That's the NYNEX story in a nutshell."
I consider Winning Ways the most challenging and rewarding achievement of my business career. We could not have done it without John Brady and his dedicated team. John was the 'X factor' in our success and his insights and encouragement kept us pointed in the right direction. His commitment, steady hand and persuasive coaching of my executive team and myself 'turned the NYNEX whale in a bathtub' just as he promised.
VERIZON — Brady coached key members of the senior management of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX, including Ivan Seidenberg, who later became Chairman and CEO of Verizon, the company that resulted from the Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and GTE merger.
The Harvard Business Review, Enterprise Magazine and other respected management publications recognized the Bell Atlantic Way and NYNEX Winning Ways as THE pathfinders in defining successful corporate culture transformation. Regarding the Bell Atlantic Way, the Bell Atlantic Board of Directors said "...it was nothing short of a miracle!"
All told, John Brady designed and managed the process that touched over 170,000 people in the Bell Atlantic Way and NYNEX Winning Ways, that were spread out over five continents.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES — A.T. KEARNEY
John, thanks to you, A.T. Kearney has successfully taken the first real steps in our organizational transformation journey. The principles you taught us have brought our worldwide partners into closer alignment, improved our communications and ramped up our collaboration pratice-wide.
Most of our partners are graduates of the best business schools and approach consulting from an analytical bent. Some on our senior management team was skeptical about your experiential/interactive approach, but you earned our respect when you guided our Worldwide Leadership Conference through two days of raucous activities that gave us deeper insights into how we could better live up to our ideal of exceeding our client's expectation.
I was personally impressed with your total commitment to our success. Seldom have I experienced the kind of dedication you exhibited to our vision, values and goals. They say what someone does is more powerful than what they say, and your willingness to immerse yourself in our culture showed us what "exceeding client expectations" looks like.
As professional consultants ourselves, A.T. Kearney knows a pro when we see one. Your personal example and grace under fire demonstrated that leadership is earned person-to-person. At A.T. Kearney we also know about value, deliverables, return on investment, etc., and when I told you that you were worth ten times what we paid you, I meant it. I am still amazed at what you accomplished for us and I look forward to your continued coaching and guidance.
Fred G. Steingraber, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, A.T. Kearney, Inc.
INTERNATIONAL — DYNO INDUSTRIERE ASA
Dyno Industrier ASA, is a Norwegian industrial chemicals group with operations in over 30 countries around the world. Over the years Dyno Industrier ASA has grown into a well diversified company, with core business areas in the fields of explosives, speciality chemicals and plastic products - with world-wide markets. With that growth in both types of companies and the business cultures around the world, I needed to create a worldwide management leadership development process.
One of our logistics consultants, A.T. Kearney, recommended John Brady because of his familiarity with the management challenges of multi-national companies. I engaged John Brady to design a management leadership program that would bridge the many diversified management cultures of our global subsidiaries.
Brady was up to the challenge and helped us improve management alignment, communications, and accountability. While John's initial assignment was to help us improve our management leadership, he frequently surprised us with with his invaluable insights and recommendations into our business practices including marketing, management restructuring, and raising our visibility and status as good corporate citizens in the thirty countries where we operated.
Had it not been for A.T. Kearney we wouldn't have found John Brady. His expertise was invaluable in helping us reorganize, restructure and align our management teams around the world. John's pioneering work provided the foundation for growth and opportunities and made us a better managed enterprise.
Knut Ø. Holli, President, Dyno A Industrier ASA, Oslo, Norway
HOLNAM - HOLDERBANK FINANCIERE GLARIS
Holnam is the North American operation of Switzerland's Holderbank Financiere Glaris,* and manufactures cement in plants across the U.S. As a partner in a Big Five accounting firm I was recruited to be the Chief Financial Officer at Holnam headquarters in Dundee, Michigan. Two years later, the Board appointed me President and Chief Executive Officer, and since my background wasn't in manufacturing, my transition was an "interesting" one.
Subsequent to my appointment as CEO, a deep recession caused cement construction projects to slow to a crawl, and my executive team needed some help to retrench. A business colleague recommended John Brady, who had a reputation for helping companies improve performance and unify their management.
I met John at our corporate office and we got to know each other. After listening carefully to my situation, he caught me a little off guard when he asked, “Have you ever worn a hard hat to work?” I answered, “No.” He asked if I had ever seen cement being made. I hadn't. He said, “Come on, we need to visit your cement plant, and we're going to need a couple of hard hats. Don't tell anyone we're coming and don't wear your suit coat.”
We jumped in his rental car with our hard hats, rolled up our sleeves, and drove to the plant a couple of miles away. On our way John advised me to ask a lot of 'dumb' questions to get a full understanding of the cement making process.
We made a courtesy call on the shocked plant manager, and John requested someone to give us walk-through of the operation. A nervous foreman was assigned to us and spent a couple of hours showing us the process from A-to-Z. I learned more about making cement in three hours than I had since I started working at Holnam. Later, Brady commended me on my willingness to 'see' the business rather than just manage it.
After Brady and his team did a thorough top to bottom assessment across all of sites across the U.S., I asked him to arrange a three-day senior management retreat in Michigan. It wasn't the boring, lecture based management program I was used to, and John created an interactive, open environment where we could have a real dialogue and improve our performance. I couldn't believe how involved and committed our executives were to making the company successful during a really tough time.
John was my executive coach and I personally discovered more about my leadership style and how to improve it than in any management course I'd ever taken. He also planned a national, all management meeting in St. Louis, and we spent two very intense days as a companywide team. We emerged a different company and we were well positioned to capitalize on the demand for cement as the recession subsided and became the Number One cement company in the U.S.
Paul A. Yhouse, President , Chief Executive Officer, Holnam Inc. (Holcim US Inc.). He was a partner with Arthur Andersen & Co. prior to joining Holnam, and during his 20 years at Andersen he served in the Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Toledo offices and at the company's headquarters in Chicago.
*Holderbank Financiere Glaris (Holderbank) is the world's largest producer of cement products and services.
TECHNOLOGY — DATAFLEX CORPORATION - COMPUCOM SYSTEMS, INC.
Dataflex Corporation consisted of a loose confederation of sixteen locations around the U.S., with our headquarters in New Jersey. We were a nationally recognized value added reseller of desktop computer equipment and related products. As we grew, we became one of Fortune's Top 100 Best Small Companies in America, but we found that our partners and management weren't totally aligned with our corporate strategy.
John Brady's work with New Jersey Bell executives had given him a good reputation working with difficult people to get positive results in and handing the notorious New Jersey 'in-your-face' style. I figured he'd fit in well with Dataflex since in typical New Jersey humor we affectionately called our rookies 'pond-scum' until they proved themselves.
I invited him to develop a program that would bring our diverse management team into alignment, and he traveled the country interviewing all of our principals and many of our employees. When he presented his findings, he told me it would be an uphill battle, but we could pull together it with the right motivation.
I asked him to facilitate our management summit, and he did so under challenging circumstances. There were disgruntled partners and angry hidden agendas that created a real dicey situation. The meeting turned into of a gunfight after the introductory pleasantries. John kept his cool and when the dust settled he intervened and asked, “How many of you feel threatened by being here today?" Over half raised their hands. "Okay," he said, "Let's change that. Let's start over and ask ourselves, 'If we started this company from scratch today, what would you do differently? Who would do what? How should resources and management be organized to benefit the different interests of all concerned?'"
Brady got everybody in the boat rowing in the same direction, so to speak. That single moment changed the entire dynamic of the meeting and the company. Brady's ability to channel the energy and resolve internal political issues was uncanny. Once everyone's cards were on the table and we were starting real constructive dialogue, he deftly nudged me center stage to lead the meeting. He was like a Ninja; he knew how to let us run our own show while he stayed absolutely tuned in to the group's interaction to tactfully guide the discussion when needed and how to keep us focused on getting a positive result.
After the summit we continued to prosper and ultimately merged with CompuCom Systems, Inc., for a healthy profit for all concerned.
Richard C. Rose, Chief Executive Officer, Dataflex Corporation, and author of How to Make a Buck and Still Be a Decent Human Being