C-Series: “2 Weeks!”

Author: Cara G. Parker, President/CEO of C Parker Consulting, Inc. (CPC)

Do you remember the 1980s movie starring Shelley Long and Tom Hanks, “The Money Pit?” If not, check it out. The famous line from that movie is…”two weeks!”   The premise was that any question asked in the movie had one answer – “it will be ready in 2 weeks!” Well, guess what? -  in 2 weeks, it’s January 1, 2018!   So, my question for you: “Is your business ready for 2018 in 2 weeks?”



I polled women serving in a variety of roles recently and asked them what their plan was in 2 weeks – In other words, what are they focusing on in the new year?  Below are a few of the responses I received:

President of a Member-based Association:

·         Implement the exciting new strategic plan recently created

·         Continue to mentor the staff to embrace challenges and stretch for personal growth


Leadership Development Legal Professional:

·         Launch a mother/daughter leadership retreat at Green Acres Farm in Cape May, New Jersey

·         Launch our Level II Management Development Series for Legal Managers


Director of large U.S. Based Shipping and Transportation Company:

·         Achieve a better work/life balance through eliminating non value-added activity

·         Take my department to a new level by implementing learning in ways our employees can get their learning when, where and how they want it


Manager in Analytics:

·         Become a better storyteller, as I believe this will help me in the work I do with individuals, teams, and organizations


Owner of a Financial Services Institution:

·         Develop more systems and processes for workflow. With the ultimate goal of passing off work to others [delegation], I'd like to create written documentation and procedures for others to follow. That way, at least there are some guidelines for how the work goes through the channel.


·         Earn a new certification in my career field

·         Start-up a leadership institute

What impressed me the most that when I put out the poll, these women responded immediately.  This speed tells me the most productive women are the ones that haven’t waited with only 2 weeks left to develop their 2018 plan.  It’s been in the works for quite some time. And my guess is, they have already started working it.

In the next 2 weeks, I encourage you to think about your plan for 2018 – both personally and professionally.   If you don’t know where to start, steal one of the goals above.  If you need further inspiration, most goals focus on areas like: financials, customer service, process improvement, marketing, learning and development, or philanthropy goals.  Once you develop your goals, write them down and send them to me via my website [below]!  I commit to helping you stay accountable through a gentle check in throughout the year.  That will be one of my 2018 goals!

Happy New Year and here’s to a productive 2018!

C Parker Consulting, Inc. is a strategic planning and leadership development firm located in downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Check us out at: www.cparkerconsulting.com

Perpetual Movement Toward Your Success!








CPC Introduces E3

CPC Introduces E3 - a specialized program dedicated to the

EngagementEfficiency and Execution of your meetings.

Meetings come in many forms (personnel, project status, off-sites, training, one-one-ones, crucial conversations, etc.).  Wouldn't it be nice if you walked out of every meeting saying, "Wow, I have clear direction - what a great meeting!"? Often, the opposite is true.  As a business consultant, I mostly hear, "That's 2 hours of my life I'll never get back!"

Today's organizations are experiencing unprecedented challenges, specifically in increased costs, competition, expectations from their workforce, and constrained resources.  Often, these factors working together result in increased responsibilities from employees meaning increased tasks and less time to do them in.  As a result, many companies are simply responding to change rather than finding solutions that are both immediate and sustainable.

One of the best ways to navigate the transition from response to solution is to calibrate the engagement, efficiency, and execution of your meetings.  It sounds so simple, but results show that when meetings are well run using our proprietary E3 methodology, effectiveness propels toward solutions!

E3 Meetings* are founded in the following principles.

E1:  Engagement:  Each member in the room has a role and is a contributor. Using role management, E3 finds the best way to engage with each member based on his or her behavioral and communication styles.  Our strategists are skilled at ensuring everyone has a voice and is heard with respect. 

Solution:  Meetings are interesting with attendees actively participating.  Everyone's input is heard getting to buy-in!

Sample Tools: Role Assessment, Business rules, Pre-meeting Vision, Big Picture Orientation

E2:  Efficiency: Meetings must have purpose and an outcome.  Organizations cannot afford to use constrained resources to dialogue without conclusion or results.  In E3, participants come to meetings understanding the agenda, intent, and their role of contribution.  E3 facilitators utilize a cadre of tools to come to quick decisions while allowing focused time to analyze options.

Solution:  Understanding the purpose of the meeting and the value of 3rd party facilitation.  Outcomes based in analysis using the appropriate decision making tools and techniques.  Embracing virtual team members and use of media.

Sample Tools: Use of Virtual media, Meeting framework, Discovery, Graphic facilitation, Decision Making Matrix, Mind Maps, Process Maps

E3:  Execution: Individuals and participants need to leave meetings embracing decisions, with clear direction, tasks, and knowledge.  E3 methodology holds participants accountable for solutions with clear sustainable goals for execution and solutions.

Solution:  Sustainable results through action plans and RACI charts. Decision follow- through.

Sample Tools: Living Action Targets, Accountability Rubric, Product, Sustainable Tip Sheet

The result is simple - your organization operates better with CPC helping to propel your organization toward results!

Note the term "Meeting" has a broad meaning within E3. "Meetings" include personnel, project status, off-sites, training, one-one-ones, crucial conversations, etc.