FAQ

More information about Red Tuxedo

FAQ

What happens when you work with a client?
How much time will it take?
I’ve never had a clean desk and I’m not sure I want one now.
I hired an organizer two years ago and it didn’t last.
Who is your competition?
Are you a PMP?
Do you know 5S? 5S+1? 6 Sigma?

What happens when you work with a client?

Birds sing, the clouds roll away, and the path ahead is made wide, smooth, and gently rolling…

Oh.  You meant, “What exactly is it that I do?”

First, we meet.  Ideally, in person, if that’s possible without too much delay, but we can talk over the phone, too.

I may use an inventory to see what areas need attention the most.  Keeping your vision in mind, I will then suggest tools (which includes software and services) that can help you achieve your desired outcome and outline a maintenance program to keep you on track.

How much time will it take?

This is a little question with a big answer. Initial consultations range from 40-90 minutes. Development of a Plan can take an hour or three.  However, learning to live into a new way of working can take a bit longer.

Sometimes, merely seeing a new way of doing an old behavior is enough to solve the problem. If this is true for you, we could be done in four or eight hours.

However, if changing one element of a pattern opens up new questions and areas for improvement that were hidden underneath the piles, we can provide on-going coaching and support sessions to help maintain and improve your skills as part of our work with any individual or corporate client.

I’ve never had a clean desk and I’m not sure I want one now.

I am a not a “clean desk specialist.”  For some people, either according to temperament or position, this means a clean desk with only the most-current activity’s paperwork displayed.  However, many other  people work better when they can see the component parts of their projects around them.  These people use their visible paper as markers for their place within a task.

There’s a lot of gray between the “one task visible” and the “shovel a path to the door and where is the phone?” extremes of paperwork management styles.

Why your office is the way it is will be part of our initial interview, as will why you think it might be a good idea if your office were different.

  • Some people keep papers in piles because they have never been able to develop a file system they trust.  In this case, developing a robust searchable file index with keywords, as well as clearing files of outdated paper to create space for newer content, may be the best answer.
  • Some people use their piles as a project management system.  There may be more effective tools.
  • Other people use their piles as a “to do” list. Again, there may be more effective tools.

I hired an organizer two years ago and it didn’t last.

Red Tuxedo’s goal is to help our clients develop a plan to address the places they have trouble. It is obvious that “sustain” can be the most challenging part of any engagement. Here are some of the elements of working with Red Tuxedo that produce long-lasting results:

  1. I ask about your vision for our work together. What is it that YOU want to have be true after working with us? Making sure the system we design together fits YOUR goals and dreams is a huge component of lasting change.
  2. We become clear about the obstacles you understand that come between you and a productive environment.
  3. I ask about your commitment.  If you know you will never file papers every week, then it’s pretty pointless to design a system that requires YOUR being the one to file papers weekly. (For the record, it’s pretty nigh impossible to design a system that requires no maintenance at all, but there are work-arounds for being your own file clerk.)
  4. I teach “how to fish”-equivalent skills as part of our engagement, either to groups if we are working at a “department” level or to individuals.
  5. I am available for on-going coaching if needed.
  6. I maintain informal contact with my clients and check in to see how the systems are functioning, suggesting adjustments if conditions have changed.

Who is your competition?

A number of excellent consultants work in the local area.  I will be happy to refer you to someone else if you need a different expertise.  However, my fiercest competitors are apathy and resignation.   I cede the field to apathy; no small number of consulting “failures” are the result of a client being convinced “against his will” that he or she “should” be different.  The change rarely lasts.

Resignation, however, is a much weaker competitor.  We can work with anyone who maintains a small flame of hope that they can change their environment, presuming they understand there will be adjustment for them as well as for their systems.  In other words, “unless you are part of the problem, there is no solution.”

Are you a PMP?

While I am familiar with the concepts of effective project management, I am not now a PMP nor do I plan to sit the PMP (project management professional) exam. If your work requires the assistance of a PMP, I will be happy to refer you to someone who is so certified.

Do you know 5S? 5S+1? 6 Sigma?

A little, a little, less, and, “how about CMMI?”–quite a bit more. My background is primarily in process design and productivity improvement in the software industry, which has taken me further into the world of the Capability and Maturity Model – Integrated than the error-reduction and safety improvement techniques which developed in manufacturing. (I allow myself a smile at the distinction imposed between “5S+1” and “6 Sigma,” which the casual, non-industrial reader might think are equivalent terms.)

The principles of 5S are not that terribly different from the end result of an office productivity engagement. (For the most part, “safety” is not a primary concern when doing work in an office.) In large measure, the degree of rigor, discipline, standardized study and apprenticeship, and statistical control required in a 6 Sigma environment are outside my interests and talents.  Furthermore, my clients tend to be good at this kind of  work naturally.  It’s the content not taught in grad school (marketing and organizing) that results in my being called.

Hooping

Around the edges of my consulting work, I am a professional hoop dancer and teacher, helping adults recover the fun they had hula hooping in their youth.  Few people over 75# can use store-bought hoops successfully, so I can bring 40-60 adult-sized hoops 36-72″ in diameter, as well as many smaller hoops for children or hand hooping, to an event.  Given a brief amount of instruction and some coaching, most adults CAN hoop!

Hooping is a great way to add fun, low-impact exercise, and brain refreshment to your conference break time or networking event.  For large groups, it’s generally an outdoor activity, but people can hoop inside in a large space free of fragile items.

Weekends in spring and early fall fill up quickly, and after-hours or weekday conference times can be worked into the schedule.   Call me to have hoops at your event!