The Small Company That Is Taking World-class Talent Away From Big Firms

by Danny Keating

In the spring of 2016, I was listening to an introduction of UC student in his last year of college. The host outlined some of the incredible accomplishments he had achieved while in college, ending the introduction with his current co-op at AMEND Consulting.

I was intrigued to learn more about a company that was able to attract such an accomplished student away from top tier firms, and filed away the company name until it came time for myself to co-op.

Flash forward to the fall of my freshman year of college, I decided to take up business analytics as a major and my advisor insisted that I meet with a man by the name of Paul Bessire, our most accomplished alumni in the analytical field. Before I met with him, I did some research to find out more about Paul, and I learned that at the time he was working part-time at AMEND Consulting.

There it was again, the company AMEND was back, and I once more found myself wondering how a small company is attracting world-class talent away from the big firms.

After learning that Paul Bessire had decided to join the AMEND team with the opportunity to go to nearly any company, I was determined to meet more people working at AMEND.

I was set up to meet with a partner from AMEND Consulting by the name of Paul Delaney. Before this, every encounter I have had with a potential employer has had a similar feel to that of an interview, and as such, I came in expecting just that. The second he sat down at the table the atmosphere of the meeting relaxed, and I felt at ease. We had a pleasant conversation about everything from the founding of AMEND to Cincinnati’s strange love for high schools and even talking about when he lived in South Africa. It was the most genuine conversation I have had with a possible employer, and I began to understand why AMEND was so appealing.

A week later I met more of the AMEND team and was once again blown away by the talent that AMEND had been able to attract, from Marines to those who graduated at the top of their class, each seemed more impressive than the last.

During my first co-op at a large CPA firm, I was talking to older UC students in my program about the work they have been doing at AMEND as analysts. They told me how, as analysts, they were interacting directly with clients, using cutting edge technology, developing and applying analytical tools to problems, and working to solve the unique challenges that each client presents. I was astonished by the difference in their experience versus mine and knew I wanted something like that.

I decided that instead of going to a renowned company, I would go to the company that I thought would value me the most and provide me with the best work as an individual: AMEND. I knew, in the long run, the experience I would gain at AMEND in one short semester was more valuable than having a well-known name on my resume. I was given the remarkable opportunity to join the AMEND team this past January, and I haven’t looked back since.

Why I Live Every Day The ‘Steve Jobs Way’

I had made up my mind. I knew exactly what I wanted to do after graduation. I was going to start my full-time career in Texas with a company I had co-oped with previously.

Then. One quote changed everything,

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today. Whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”  – Steve Jobs

After reading the article about Steve Job’s 2005 Stanford Graduation Address, featuring this quote, I started to reflect on my past work experiences to see if I could relate. After some soul searching, one theme kept coming to me – I was never given the opportunity to be me.

There were a lot of restrictions that hindered my ability to be creative.

This all got me thinking – if you can’t be yourself for at least 40 hours a week, are you really doing what you want to do?


Enter AMEND.

I met with Paul Delaney, AMEND’s Chief People Officer, and Matt Murphy, an all-star analytics specialist. What they shared about AMEND blew me away.

AMEND is growing, loaded with opportunities, and united in delivering way more than consulting services – they’re changing lives, strengthening communities, and transforming businesses.

Right then and there I knew AMEND was where I needed to be. I made my pitch to Paul…landed an interview…and, ultimately, my dream job!

Now I live every day the “Steve Jobs Way.” I no longer have to down five cups of coffee to make it through the day. I never say, “I don’t want to go into work tomorrow.” I love the work I’m doing and the impact I’m making. It’s addicting in many ways.

“Whatever you want to do, do it. There are only so many tomorrows.”  – Michael Landon

How about you? Are you living every day the “Steve Jobs Way?” Are you excited to dive into each day or has it all become a bore and a chore? If you’re stuck in ho-hum land, now’s the time to start making new choices! Start right now – today – this minute. Begin to reconnect with the things that ignite you. Take one step, then another, then another. We only get to live this life in one direction – FORWARD!



Change Your Mind To Change Your Results

Change is hard. Change is something most of us avoid. But accepting and embracing change – learning to use it to your advantage – can be incredibly rewarding.

Our lives are filled with many points of change. The many firsts we achieve as babies. All the additional changes that follow as we grow up and mature.

The transition from high school to college seems to be one point of change that causes many to struggle. It certainly was a struggle for me.

It was easy to get distracted by things that really didn’t matter – getting caught up in the college atmosphere for example. These distractions and poor choices often led to students finding themselves in tough spots later on. For me, this tough spot was after my freshman year. It was a time where my morale was low, my sense of purpose and direction was lost, and, overall, I just wasn’t happy.

I wanted to make a change but didn’t know where to start.

Want Different Results? Do Something Different!

I began a period of reflection in the fall of 2005. A time where I immersed myself by listening to Ted Talks, reading books, attending leadership conferences, and seeking out mentors. It was during this time I came across a transformational idea – you are the average of the five closest people to you.

Bam! This was the change in thinking I needed. Now I knew exactly what to do…I found friends and mentors who had similar priorities, values, and ambitions, or who had taken similar journeys. I also found ways to challenge myself and my truths. Some of my inspiration came from Kobe Bryant. He once shared how he would sharpen his skills by playing against mates that were four or five year older than him. I also drew inspiration from ‘Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.’ His wisdom about not wasting your short time here living someone else’s life hit me hard. It inspired me to lead my life even if it takes me off the well-worn path.

I came across much insight and wisdom during my journey, all of which helped me grow. Ultimately, I kept coming back to this idea of being the average of the five closest people to you…it became my new center.

Enter AMEND.

I came to know of AMEND as most come to know of it – through the endlessly positive, (almost) unbelievable things my roommate, Jacob Whyle would share with me every day. He just could not shut up about the amazing work he was doing. Then, in talking to several other friends, AMEND, popped up again – still nothing but great things.

I was blown away. I had to learn more.

My first meeting was with Paul Delaney, AMEND’s Chief People Officer. Talk about refreshing! It wasn’t about my resume – it was about me – who I am, my background, values, dreams, and ambitions. He took a genuine interest in my story.

Then I talked to some of the other partners and employees and grew more impressed. They had a highly talented core team and an even more powerful network. Whether they decided to hire me or not, I knew AMEND was special. They lived out their purpose of changing lives and transforming businesses.

AMEND + The Average of 5 = A WIN FOR ME!

I looked at the AMEND team. I thought about how they are a team of A-players. Any combination of five would bring out the best in me. I had no doubt.

And I work everyday to do the same for them. I am excited to share my passion and drive with AMEND’s clients and my teammates. I hope to challenge them just as they are challenging me.

The Power of Average

Coming across the idea that you are the average of the five closest people to you has been truly transformational for me. I guess you could say, in this rare case, average has been exceptional.

Using this principle to guide my decisions, both personally and professionally, has brought overwhelmingly positive change to my life. Much of my current success and happiness is directly connected to my decision to live through this truth.

What new ideas can you bring into your life? What new truths might drive change and transformation for you? Maybe it’s the average of the five closest people. Maybe it’s trying to do something you didn’t think possible. Maybe it’s saying yes when you normally say no.

No matter what new choice the ‘power of five’ inspires, any new choice is a choice for change!


Own Your Change – Be The Captain Of Your Ship!

I am a planner. I have my schedule mapped out digitally as well as in my paper planner. I have an Excel document that contains my plans for past/future classes and study abroad experiences. I track all of my financials and am budgeted out until the end of 2018. The point is, I love to plan! I am aware that plans can change and do not fear that but I was not prepared for what happened to my plans after taking one…simple…class…

Where I Was Headed

I was down in Jacksonville, Florida with a large manufacturing corporation. It was my second rotation and I figured I would go back in the Spring of 2018 without considering anywhere else. I was comfortable and familiar with the way the company worked and enjoyed my time with them, so it made sense to stay on for the rest of my rotations. Why change what’s working?

During the Fall Semester of my fourth year at the University of Cincinnati’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, however, one class changed everything.

I was taking a course called Field Studies in Operations Management. The entire idea behind this course is to go out into the real world and visit various companies to see what an Operations Management degree looks like in the scope of these different industries.

I thought it would be a simple, relaxing, yet intriguing course to take with some of my friends. It turned out to be so much more. This class was how I first came to know of AMEND Consulting.

How AMEND Changed Everything

I walked in to friendly faces – recognizing a few from UC. I was greeted and shown around the office then taken to a large conference area for a presentation.

This visit, from the start, was different.

Other stops on our tour took us to factories that made automobile parts or shops where clothes were being cleaned. We even visited a casket manufacturer! These were all full of machinery and process that the class could follow. It was clear why we were there.

AMEND didn’t have any of this and we were all worried because it seemed we were in for two hours of…presentation – yuck.

Time for my first change – a change of perspective.

Matt Murphy and Paul Delaney began to talk about the AMEND team and the work they do. I was captivated.

AMEND’s approach was impressive. (I had worked with a large consulting firm in the summer who did not put the effort and care into their work like AMEND.) They talked about the various industries and types of people and problems they deal with. Their passion was inspiring. I was amazed.

I left the presentation with goosebumps. It was then I knew – I HAD to work at AMEND!

Owning My Change – Stepping Off The Edge… – *GULP*

That evening, I went home to craft my thank you letter and to let Matt know I was interested in AMEND. It was a Friday night, so I contained my excitement and waited until Monday morning to send the thank you. He answered with an invitation to breakfast to talk about AMEND and my work experience.

As we sat down for breakfast a week later, I felt my interest in AMEND grow stronger as Matt talked about the culture and ambience within the company. The fact that I could talk to anyone freely, including Craig or David (the founding owners), was further proof that this was an amazing company that provided valuable work experience and mentors to aid in becoming the best version of oneself.

After this meeting was a meeting with Paul. His passion and love for AMEND Consulting was evident with every word he spoke. His belief in AMEND and its purpose was electrifying. I was hooked.

I was willing to move my school schedule around and flex my plans to make this change happen! I knew working for AMEND was worth the course change!!

Creating My New Future – Captaining My Ship!

Receiving my offer to join the AMEND Consulting family was thrilling. I could not remember the last time I had been so excited to jump into something new, especially when I had not prepared for it.

I thought I had the rest of my college career planned out when I started in that Field Studies in Operations Management course. Little did I know how much that one class would change my life’s course.

As much as I love a good plan, sometimes, the best things happen without a plan. I thought I was taking a simple class to fulfill my credit requirements and learn about different industries I could work in. I never thought I would find such amazing opportunities that would make me question my plans.

AMEND threw me for a loop and challenged my plans, which is why I am more than pleased to join the team and start this next chapter in a direction I never thought I would take.

Explore, Discover, Transform

This past Christmas, I was met with the typical holiday-time questions:

“How’s school going?” Oh, it’s going well, Aunt Susie.

“When do you finish the semester?” Two weeks ago, Aunt Marge.

“What’ve you been up to lately?” Just the usual, Aunt Kathleen.

As always, grandma came in with the question about the most exciting change that would be coming in my life over the next few months: “What are you doing next?”

Excellent question! (Truth is, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I was returning to AMEND Consulting to further develop my skills and help their clients transform their businesses.)

She wanted to know more, “Oh wow. How are you feeling about working there?”


I worked at AMEND for a bit last spring. I was able to experience the culture, gain an understanding of the services they offer, and meet the team. I worked in the office then, developing pitch decks and helping with future strategy by creating a list of potential centers of influence.

Working there helped me develop an appreciation for the people and the culture, which is important to me. I believe where you work and the people you surround yourself with become part of your identity. A place that values hugs over handshakes will surely help me further define myself.

Previously, I interned at Kroger Technology and Kroger Supply Chain, which were both amazing experiences. They helped me learn how a large company functions and taught me soft and hard skills related to their fields. But after working part-time with AMEND earlier in the year, I’ve been intrigued by what it would be like to work with a smaller, tighter group.

This time around, I’ll be involved in more direct client work – helping mid-sized companies become more competitive by strengthening their people, optimizing their processes, and super-charging their thinking.

AMEND gives me exactly what I’m looking for…a place to explore what’s out there, discover the possibilities, and transform myself and others all while doing meaningful and impactful work.

I know I will be met with real-world business problems and challenges in an environment that will push me and help me grow. The opportunity to be a part of a high-performing team that is dedicated to changing lives and transforming businesses is one I couldn’t pass up. It’s why I chose AMEND.

I’m Glad I Chose ‘Different’

I have been blessed with countless opportunities and surrounded with good people throughout my life. However, those opportunities don’t arise out of thin air. In fact, opportunities come about from a constant state of sense of self-awareness.

Understanding where you are and where you want to be is critical but knowing how to make that happen isn’t. Stay focused, work hard, and always be self-aware.

Stay The Course Or Go A New Direction?

After a multitude of experiences with Fortune 500 companies, I still felt that something was missing. I understood that the current path wasn’t headed in the direction I ultimately wanted to end up.

I had to make a decision.

Stay on the path to a corporate job at a large company or chase what I was looking for. Find a place that I felt challenged to be more, to be the best version of myself.

Thankfully I chose the latter.

Did I Choose Wisely?

I chose AMEND because I knew it was going to be different. I understood the time spent with AMEND would fall outside my comfort zone, it wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew I was going to learn a lot. I saw an opportunity to grow professionally, and I took it.

The reason I came, however, isn’t necessarily the reason I continue to stay.

I came for the challenge, I stay for the people.

I DID Choose Wisely – and I’m Better For It!

What I didn’t expect is that AMEND provides so much more than the opportunity for professional growth. With leaders who prioritize their people first , AMEND fosters a culture of personal development that I have never experienced before.

The bottom line is that the AMEND team cares about each other. Along with transforming the lives of our clients, the team transforms the lives of each other. From the top down, each member of the team genuinely acts in your best interest and pushes you to be a better brother, a better friend, a better son, and so much more.

I continue to love my time with AMEND because while I show up to work every day to “change lives and transform businesses,” my life, in fact is being changed and transformed – for the better.

How To Turn The War For Talent Into Your Competitive Advantage

Most employers ask, “How are we going to hire more high performing people?”

Visionary employers ask, “How are we going to turn this labor shortage into our competitive advantage?”

No matter where you are on the spectrum – stocked with talent or struggling to hire and retain the people you need to grow… talent management has become a c-suite must have.

“More people left our company this past year than we were able to physically hire. Our turnover rates are preventing our company from growing because we are constantly re-training new employees!”

 “Most Millennials want to make their own schedule and struggle to push other people to drive results. I know I’m supposed to hire them but how do I know they can handle our expectations?”

 “The number one challenge our company is facing today is hiring talented people. Most people don’t want to work in our industry and they can go to another company down the road and make more money.”

We hear these kinds of comments every day when we’re out meeting or working with local leaders.

With unemployment rates near or below 3% across the state, companies are getting creative about how to source more people to support their company’s needs, while others are struggling to recruit and retain the people they need to grow.

This is a challenge that nearly every industry faces – whether they know it or not.

That’s why the Tennessee Department of Economic Development (TNECD) and AMEND Consulting are partnering to help you win today’s war for talent.

If you’re ready to find ways to turn today’s talent shortage into a competitive advantage – JOIN US! We’re hosting a happening-only-once-in-Tennessee-event on November 30th. You will…

  • Learn how culture effects your ability to attract and retain top talent
  • See how Tennessee’s low unemployment and attractive business incentives makes your labor shortage especially challenging
  • Discover tangible ways you can start winning the talent game – starting right now
  • Master Millennials! Discover how to attract, retain, and develop top talent in ways that build your competitive advantage.
  • Better compete in (and win) the War for Talent when you’re battling against companies like Amazon and other local powerhouses.
  • Leverage automation to move current talent to higher priority projects


WHEN? NOVEMBER 30, 2017 FROM 7:30A TO 9:30A

Not quite ready to sign up?
Learn more about this exclusive event here.

Real Work – Day One – That’s Why I Love AMEND!

Uncommon, yes.

But just because something is uncommon doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Black swans are out there.


AMEND Consulting is my black swan. The place I needed to find even though I wasn’t looking for it. I was looking for a job…for a place where I could add some value. What I found in AMEND, and what AMEND brought out in me is so much more than expected.


Tangible Responsibility & Real Ownership
Tangible responsibility and real ownership of projects are two characteristics that every employee wants when searching for a job. And they are both handed over on Day one at AMEND Consulting.

My first day on the job was spent at a client where I learned exactly how I could make an immediate impact by learning their business and leading a big project.

I did not have to wait to prove myself in the company, or to show anybody that I had what it takes. I was given full ownership from the very beginning and it has enabled me to truly believe in the work I am doing.


Real Ownership = High Expectations
With real ownership also comes high expectations. Consulting is a field where you have to be on your game at all times because your relationships and results are what keeps the business running.

Fortunately, a by-product of this expectation is that I am always creating value while on the job.

The days of waiting for new assignments, checking personal emails during the day, and being bored at work are well over.

I am now responsible for the success of our client’s business, and that responsibility leaves no room for activities that do not create value. I have found myself to be more productive and accomplished as a result of having real ownership over my work. 

I know that my role at AMEND is important.


Now I’m Convinced!
I started this journey thinking “I might want to be a consultant.”

Now I’m convinced it’s what I want to do for a very long time. My experience so far, being given the responsibility of generating results without having to wait to prove myself, being given ownership over my work has given me even more confidence in my choice of this profession.

It is easy to see why the work at AMEND is meaningful. You can easily measure progress on a day-to-day basis, and you watch both yourself and your clients develop and grow as leaders.


I LOVE Changing People’s Lives In Positive Ways
The solutions we create are truly changing people’s lives in a positive way, and that in itself motivates me to stay focused.

When you know that your work is meaningful and you can see the immediate impact, a job becomes less of a “job” and more of a “goal.” Achieving goals and improving lives are very fulfilling to me, which is why I feel that consulting is not only a strong career choice, but also a vehicle for continuous personal development.

Millennials & Mentors – A Sure Path To Success

Millennials love feedback – they like it frequently, directly, and immediately.

Feedback is something Millennials have grown up with, receiving almost constant advice and input from their parents, teachers, and friends.

Millennials grew up with information and knowledge at their fingertips, connecting to experts through their blogs, learning from thought-leaders through, and taking charge of their education and skills development with tools like Khan Academy and

If they don’t know how to do something, they know how to find someone who does, and they know how to learn from them.

It’s this combination of constant feedback and access to information that makes mentors so important to Millennials.

Millennials need to hear how they can improve. And they need to hear it frequently.

Boomers are fine with monthly, quarterly, or even yearly feedback. GenXers don’t care if you ever give them feedback (since they were raised in a more hands-off, latch-key-type approach, they are more independent overall). Millennials sit at the other end of the spectrum – needing at least daily feedback on steps they can take to improve and add value.

It’s this need for regular, almost constant feedback, plus their love of learning that makes mentoring or shadowing a perfect solution for growing Millennials’ skills and talents.

“I was so impressed with Ankur’s (an incoming AMEND analyst) drive for improvement and betterment. He wasn’t even on our radar screen until he put himself there. He met us, then sent us 10 ideas for immediately improving our marketing. He took the initiative to follow through on a daily practice he picked up from one of his mentors – to think about at least 10 ideas for improvement every day. He has been doing this, writing down at least 10 ideas for improvement every day for a long time. Even if he only follows through on one idea each month, he will improve more than most people who aren’t even thinking this way. It’s this thinking, this drive for continual improvement, that will make him a great fit here at AMEND.

Paul Delaney, Director of Talent
AMEND Consulting

Can’t match up all your Millennials with a mentor? Here are two things to keep in mind when giving feedback to your Millennial team members:

1) Give CLEAR feedback so there’s no misunderstanding. It doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative so long as it’s clear and specific around how they can improve. Tell them what they did, WHY it doesn’t work or fit, and ways they can do it better next time. Also encourage them to think about ways they can improve, and ways you and the company can improve. What can be done differently? What can we change on the company level to make things better?

2) Connect it to the purpose or mission of the work or company. Millennials need to know their work is valuable and impactful. Connect what they do, or what you want them not to do, to the mission or purpose of the work or company. Connecting the changes you want to a higher purpose will help your Millennial team members see how and why the changes you want are important.

Millennials are open to feedback, willing to change, and eager to learn. Give them what they need in these areas and you will be amazed at the impact they can have at your company.


5 Growth Tips Mid-Market Companies Should Steal from Marriott’s Millennial Makeover

We spend a lot of time helping our clients solve their Millennial talent challenges. And rightly so – getting Millennials on-board and keeping them around is critical to the future success of all businesses.

75% or more of your employees will come from this enormous and powerful group by 2025.

Solving the War for Talent issues is critical. It’s also critical to look at the flip side and that’s why we’re exploring a different Millennial dimension today.

Millennials as Customers
Millennials’ purchasing power is on the rise and it will continue to grow as Millennials rise through the ranks.

How are their buying habits forcing businesses to change, and what can you learn from their impact?

The short answer – a lot.

Millennials Are #1
This year Millennials took over the #1 spot. There are now more Millennials working than Boomers or GenXers. They are staying single longer, which gives them more spending power. They are traveling, eating out, and exploring the world more. They have disposable income and they aren’t afraid to spend it.

They will be spending $1.4T (yes, that’s trillion with a T) per year by 2020.

It’s that spending power that connects us with Marriott, whose leaders realized Millennials could no longer be ignored or dismissed. They needed real solutions, or they risked losing their share* of this HUGE collection of customers. (*Note: it could be argued their delay in acting has cost them a large portion of “their share” of these customers. They’ve already missed with the millions of Millennials turning to new solutions like hostels, non-name boutique hotels,, or to find the travel experience that’s just right for them…but that’s a topic for another post.)

Marriott’s Challenge
Marriott was behind. They needed to quickly figure out how to gain some traction with Millennials. And, they’d have to change everything to create a win.

“Marriott is known for creating perfectly predictable experiences for its guests. Turns out, Millennials want the exact opposite of that.”

Marriott worked extremely hard to build systems that delivered a perfectly predictable experience for their guests anywhere in the world. “This worked like a charm with Baby Boomers who liked everything to follow a nice, neat formula.”

Now, with Millennials, they have a growing customer group that’s traveling twice as much as their existing customers, and they aren’t interested in ‘perfectly predictable’ at all. In fact, they weren’t interested in Marriott at all.

Our brains are amazing problem solving machines. They are at their best when tackling tough and complicated challenges.

Why aren’t more people solving more problems all the time? Because most people don’t take the time to define the problem. Most people see the symptoms of the problem, and then work to get rid of the symptoms – usually one at a time.

When you take the time to define the problem, your brain grabs hold of it and won’t let it go until it discovers at least one possible solution. Our brains like resolution. They like to make sense of things.

How can you tell if you’ve defined a symptom or a problem? Simple. Ask “why?” or “what?” And keep asking why or what until you can no longer answer the question. If you can answer the question, you’ve most likely found a symptom. Keep going. If you can’t, you’ve found the heart of the problem.

Q: Why is Fred always late? (A: His car is constantly breaking down.)
Fred’s constant lateness is a symptom of his car breaking down.

Q: What’s causing all these rejects? (A: The extruder machine keeps stopping mid-batch.)
Q: Why does the extruder machine keep stopping mid-batch? (A: The power coming in keeps dropping.)
The rejects and the extruder machine performance are both symptoms of the real problem, an unsteady power supply.

The key to WHY-WHAT success is to keep pushing. Keep asking why and what until you find the source of problem.

There’s a reason many quiz shows have lifelines like phone-a-friend, or options for hints and clues. You can be smart and highly skilled, and still not know everything. This is especially true when you need to move, or are moving, into a new space where you have little to no expertise. It’s also critically important when you have to move fast – when you don’t have the time to learn everything you need to be successful on your own.

Marriott built an organization of experts for selling and delivering the experience Boomers want. They did an expert job optimizing and managing.

Unfortunately, managers aren’t great when it comes to driving dramatic changes. Marriott leaders knew what had to happen, they knew where they needed to go. They struggled with knowing what to do and where to begin.

What’s the best move when you find yourself in this situation?

Reach out! Partner up! And that’s just what Marriott did. They weren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know.” And they found a perfect partner in Fahrenheit 212 – a high-end superconsultancy out of New York with all the Millennial expertise Marriott needed to create a win.

Confident and empowered employees deliver top quality solutions. Marriott had to create an environment that enabled the thinking and activity they needed. Instead of “trying to institute change from the top, they chose 14 locations around the world and allowed small teams to experiment with new concepts for their hotels.” Then they shared and leveraged the learning and success across the larger organization.

Start small to think BIG.

Pick a division to overhaul or an important problem/challenge to solve…create a task force, and then turn them loose. Check in to help clear roadblocks, not to control the outcome. Leverage test and learn approaches to reduce risk and accelerate success.

Marriott didn’t set out to create a better Marriott brand, a new brand, or a new business. They focused on delivering an outstanding experience that was exciting for Millennials. It was all about the customer and not about the company. “There wasn’t a Marriott logo anywhere. The whole project was inspired and executed by Ashley, the [local] manager.”

How do you win with customers? Do one thing great! SUV’s we not invented for soccer mom’s, they were invented for a much smaller, more industrial customer. Post-it® Notes weren’t created because people were walking around wishing to stick up notes in random places, they were created for people (pastor’s) who needed to mark pages that were delicate.

When you define a problem and then set out to create an amazing solution for that problem, you almost always end up attracting others as well.

Marriott waited too long and it cost them hundreds of millions. They waited until the problem got so bad it could no longer be ignored.

Putting things off makes everything “more” – more stressful, more risky, more expensive…you get the idea.

Leaders who anticipate the future find solutions that are up to 10x more profitable than leaders who simply react.

It’s time to get good at being curious, reading the tea leaves, and listening to your head, heart, and gut. Read the trend reports, keep an eye on behavior changes, watch the tech sector. Constantly be thinking “what’s coming next?” and how can we leverage it or take advantage of it? This is beyond thinking about where you want to be five years from today. It’s about making calculated bets on where the world is moving so you can be there when it happens.

You Can Win With Millennials
Marriott desperately needed to find a way to win with Millennials. They didn’t set out to change their entire company, or to shake up the hotel industry. They set out to find a solution to a very specific problem. Turns out they will achieve much more than winning with Millennials. They will discover and implement changes that “penetrate the very core of the Marriott brand and begin to transform every aspect of the hotel experience.”

You can learn from Marriott’s Millennial journey. You can benefit from the millions they invested in this initiative.

You can decide not to wait until the problem can no longer be ignored.

You can decide to take action. Today.

You can win with Millennials too.

This post was inspired by Fast Company’s article: Inside Marriott’s Attempt To Win Over Millennials.

AMEND Consulting specializes in helping companies take action.