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Cindy Tonkin: The Brains behind Political Acumen in Business

I am Cindy Tonkin.

I am a coach, facilitator and trainer. They call me the consultants’ consultant, because I consult to consultants! Specifically I work with internal data scientists in the finance industry. I make them faster, smarter, and nicer.

Cindy Tonkin headshot

My consultancy career began in 1986 at Accenture. More than 100 companies have used my services since I founded my own consultancy in 1992 In this century 100% of my work has been repeat or referral work. So my clients like what I do!

I’ve written 18 books on consulting and related fields.

I’ve worked with data and insight teams at Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank Suncorp and Telstra.

Do you have these problems?

My clients face three big problems.

  • Trying to do more with less
  • Working with hard-to-manage geniuses who sometimes feel more like a liability than an asset
  • Keeping their stakeholders (and their boss) happy

If you too have these problems then we should talk
Together we can do these 3 things:

  • Measure – how much better things could be (could you save 20% of 40% of their time if they worked differently?) and how much better they get as we move the needle.
  • Focus – where you’re headed, find out what’s important and what really isn’t, and make sure everyone knows which is which
  • Build acumen – fill knowledge gaps, listen to customers, say no nicely when to manage scope and do what’s most important first.

Improve and care

So why do I do this?

As a young consultant I worked with a productivity consultancy. We would regularly save our clients 20 – 40% on their salary bill in 10-15 weeks. We worked uniquely on return on investment basis (spend a million, get two million back). It was challenging and varied and I learnt lots. But I eventually left because I felt that I wasn’t treating my clients properly. I went on a quest to discover:

  • What helps clients adapt to change more easily?
  • What makes hard decisions easier?
  • What helps us do the important stuff and walk with confidence into a difficult change period?

Fast forward 20 years, I now help other consultants who have brilliant technical skills to do exactly those things.

Caring about wasted time is in my nature. Working in productivity improvement honed my appetite for doing things right even more. While I have a deep-seated desire for things to work properly, we must care for people too.

I know that smart people can work much better and faster and nicer when we pay attention to customers and clients. And it makes the planet a better place too!

Let’s start now!

So what can we do together? There are three ways we can work together.

  1. Smarter Data People – renovate your team
  2. Measure Potential Analysis
  3. Get Strategic – offsites

Smarter Data People – renovate your team is a 12 month program where we renovate your team together.

It puts your data science to work on the important problems faster, targets wasted time, delights your stakeholders and saves money. And of course your team is happier too.

In the first few months you’ll see silos break down, meetings become more productive and you’ll not inch but leap toward your vision.

Haven’t worked with me yet?

Bring me into analyse and quantify the potential in your team. Let’s find out if you are leaving 20% or 40% of your team’s time on the table. Then when you have the answer to that, you’re ready to move forward. And we will know where to target first.

The key to this option is helping you realise how much waste is around.

Then we can define a basic roadmap to reclaim that lost time. So you can make your stakeholders, your boss and your team, happier. You can focus their time on what matters and identify any political liabilities.

It’s then easy to roll right into the smarter data people program It will show you your assets (people, knowledge, relationships) and point out your liabilities. Then you’ll know where to target when we start working together.

Get Strategic

People always make the best decisions they can on the information available to them. Get everyone in your team clear on where you’re all headed so that their decisions can easily align with yours.

Delegating, briefings and day-to-day interactions become smoother. Things get done because people know what needs to be done and what the ?big rocks? are.

Measure potential: analysis and plan

When you know how much time you are losing (and where) you can see how much return you will get by working with me.

Measure potential includes a

  1. Meeting Time Management Analysis
  2. Stakeholder Valuables Analysis

These will help us understand

  • what’s working
  • where your team excel
  • where the silos end
  • Who is feeling happy (and who isn’t).

Let’s start now!

Here’s how we start:

Let’s speak by phone: right now you can have an obligation-free meeting time management analysis. I only work with 3 organisations at a time, so make a time to speak to me for 10 minutes now: this link gives you a window into my diary so you can book a time that works for your commitments.

There’s so much more your team could be doing. If you feel bogged down take a breath. Then talk to me. We can make your days feel lighter and smoother. The team will hum, your boss will smile, and your stakeholders will ask you what you’ve done to suddenly make things work so well!

Find out more about me here.