In our “Five Questions” series, we ask Strong-Bridge consultants, clients, and friends of the firm to answer five questions for us. The following “Five Questions” were asked of Strong-Bridge Consultant Guillermo Guerrero, who is based in our Atlanta office.
1. DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE AT STRONG-BRIDGE AND YOUR WORK WITH CLIENTS.
When I came on board, I was quickly partnered on a project for the digital marketing transformation team at one of Atlanta’s largest companies. My role with this client is really a blend of Strong-Bridge’s competencies, from product management to program leadership and more. This particular project has challenged me to put in practice an array of skills and experience from my career— perhaps most notably communication. When it comes to multi-cultural, technical, or highly complex projects such as this one, communication is vital.
2. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. WHAT DO YOU THINK IT BRINGS TO YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
The majority of my career has actually been spent in telecom and technology with AT&T, Telefonica, and others — in various roles, but primarily business development and project/product management. It has been very rewarding to apply my experience to new projects and industries. It has truly demonstrated how valuable it is to have fresh perspective— it doesn’t have to sacrifice practice knowledge such as tactical problem solving and methodologies. There is a transfer of skill. Fresh perspective helps see things that are sometimes overlooked when you’ve living in the space day in and day out.
3. WHAT DREW YOU TO STRONG-BRIDGE?
From the start, the company and their operating model impressed me. There are a quite a few consulting firms in Atlanta, but Strong-Bridge is doing things differently. They’re focused on their values and on creating strong connections between their consultants and clients. Atlanta is a new office for the firm, so there was also the opportunity to be a part of building something—being in a team of people equally dedicated to long-term growth. It’s an exciting place to be.
Being local-focused was also very compelling. As a husband and a father of two small children, working with local companies means I can be hands on with clients, and be a part of helping growth the Atlanta office, but also come home to my family each day. And to do the things I enjoy outside work, such as running and skiing and the outdoors. I get to have it all.
4. WHAT IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU SEE YOUR CLIENTS FACING RIGHT NOW?
Communication. It sounds simple, but it rarely is. My client is working on a global initiative, which means working with various cultures and ways of doing business. The program itself is also relatively complex. The best way to ensure success is to be rigorous in communication. Often that means having some level of documentation or an organized and well-understood format for receiving and sharing information. So many times there is a rush to answer that there isn’t a long-term view of the response. It’s hardly ever intentional, of course. But it happens. Many businesses see this kind of thing with email every day. Somebody asks a question, there is a fast response that leads to action being taken. Yet the response may have simply been an effort to clear an inbox, not to thoughtfully define an answer that will impact the business long term. Communication can remedy many issues, but it does take discipline.
5. WHAT IS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MAKES YOU BETTER AT YOUR JOB?
I ask questions. It is working against nature in some ways. To be afraid to ask questions — to be labeled the stupid person in the room — is a common fear, in and out of business. We leave a lot on the table by not asking. And more often than not, there are many people that have the same questions; so raising your hand to ask them is making an impact on more than yourself. If several people have the same questions, the person delivering the information sees there is room for improvement in their delivery, too. Whenever I present information, I always make room for questions. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Questions help unravel concerns and encourage collaboration.