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 Delivers High Performance University to Marine Corps Systems Command



CParker Consulting, Inc. develops six month High Performance University to improve systems for modern battle space.



Fredericksburg, VA - CParker Consulting, Inc. delivered a new High Performance University (HPU) curriculum February 2012, on behalf of its customer, the Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) in Quantico, Virginia.  The program is being kicked off to help MARCORSYSCOM Competency-Aligned Teams fully live their mission, providing Marines and civilian Marines improved systems for the modern battle space in a faster, more efficient manner.


HPU is one of several components of the MARCORSYSCOM Team Improvement Program, which objective is to support the completion of MARCORSYSCOM’s transition into a Competency-Aligned Organization (CAO).  Other elements of the MARCORSYSCOM Team Improvement Program include CAO Chartering, where teams build their roadmap, and the future Team Leadership in a CAO Environment course, which will use active, modern teaching methods to engage team leaders CAO success principles for leading the workforce.


“HPU provides teams with a new understanding of team processes characterized by high performance, effective team functioning, and an ability to monitor and self-correct,” said Cara Parker, CEO of CParker Consulting. “High Performance University is a six-month program designed to assist newly-chartered Integrated Product Teams and other support teams develop the necessary skills to promote cohesiveness and a unified sense of mission that keeps goals and objectives in front of the team after the initial enthusiasm of chartering wears off and daily routine settles in.”


The HPU program is centered on helping teams to understand the tenets of what creates an environment of High Performance, and the role they play in its creation.  HPU helps teams to establish and monitor effective team processes in the areas such as shared participation, decision making, problem solving, and conflict management.  Throughout the course, the team’s charter is used as a lens through which to focus the lessons learned, helping teams to ensure that their processes and goals are in alignment with the objectives they have laid out for themselves.


The planned curriculum for HPU is broken into two major parts.  The core curriculum, comprising the first four months, focuses on bedrock topics that are essential for all teams.  During this phase the current state of the team is assessed, and tools such as Team Behavior Roles Identification are employed to give everyone a better sense of who is on the team, and how they can best contribute.  Topics covered as part of the core curriculum include advanced sessions on setting goals and norms, problem definition, and stakeholder analysis.  Capping the core curriculum is a session on conflict resolution within the team, as well as a simulation that will allow the team to break out into smaller units and put these critical skills to use in a safe environment.


Understanding that every team is different, the last two months of the program consist of electives.  About a dozen additional topics are made available that the group can choose from to suit their particular needs and environment.  Elective topics include virtual teaming, risk management, creating team culture, and how to have productive meetings.


“High Performance University mirrors true university principles,” says Dr. Gail Funke, CParker Consulting’s project manager and former Dean of the Federal Executive Institute, “with its focus on classroom rigor and in-depth application between sessions, HPU is a multi-media workshop that includes assessments, simulations, and group coaching that allow teams to perform at a higher level with increased productivity, improved team dynamics and output.” Key contributors were Dr. Funke and Paul Baptist, M.Ed.

Founded in 2008 CParker Consulting helps clients prepare for and adapt to new organizational development challenges using a systematic, customized approach, providing facilitation, curriculum design, strategic planning, and workforce development for corporate, government, non-profit, and educational customers.