Happy Holidays from MPS to our Servicemen & Women Overseas

Posted in Community Involvement / Corporate Events / Pro Bono Program on December 09, 2015
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MPS Staffers Wrap It Up for our Troops

On the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, M Powered Strategies employees came together to wrap gifts for our soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors who are currently serving overseas. Twenty big boxes were stuffed with hand-written holiday cards, snack foods, toiletries, books and magazines, and sent to an Army unit deployed in Afghanistan as well as a Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters Unit that includes troops from all branches deployed across the Middle East.

We hope the gifts and cards will brighten the holidays for our service members who cannot be home with their families and friends this holiday season. They are not forgotten and their service is much appreciated.

MPS—Keynote Sponsor for PMIWDC 2015 Symposium

A Podcast Interview with MPS' Jimmy Church

A Podcast Interview with MPS’ Jimmy Church

Nicole Baillis, Patti McMullen, and Karli Kloss

Nicole Baillis, Patti McMullen, and Karli Kloss

Among the hundreds of attendees and presenters at last week’s 2015 Symposium of the Washington, DC chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMIWDC), M Powered Strategies had a strong presence, serving as volunteers, speakers, and attendees.

MPS President, Kendall Lott, and co-presenter Laura Barnard of PMO Strategies, spoke to a packed room about “Making a Difference with Project Management,” based on their experience with the record-setting Project Management Day  of Service (PM-DoS), which was spearheaded by Kendall and took place on Martin Luther King Day this year. Now slated as an annual event, PM-DoS is an opportunity for Project Managers (PMs) to provide their special skills to the non-profit market.

Participants at the symposium had an opportunity to share their stories for PM Point of View. This podcast, hosted by Kendall Lott, looks at Project Management from all the angles. The topic of the day was Project Failure, and the range of issues, pitfalls, and lessons learned promises to make for an informative podcast – to be broadcast later this year.

As Keynote Sponsor, M Powered Strategies is producing videos of all of the breakout sessions and the keynote speeches for the PMIWDC archives. MPS’ in-house video specialist, Mary Flannery, will combine audio recordings of each session with the accompanying PowerPoint deck.

“I’m delighted to help the chapter add to its archive of educational material to continue service to its members,” Kendall remarked, as he reflected on his role, past and present, in the organization, as well as the future of PMIWDC. “As past chair, I take great pride in being part of another professionally organized and well-attended PMIWDC event. It’s inspiring to watch this chapter, which is the largest of the entire international Project Management Institute, expand its services to our members and to the community. It’s vibrance and vitality are impressive!”

Developing Business at Industry Events by Ashley Rezai, PACE Cohort 7

LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional social media platforms around, and has made networking online an easy option in the digital age. Nevertheless, online connections cannot replace the value of attending events and meeting people in the flesh. As successful as social media is at providing networking opportunities, face time with potential clients is an invaluable part of business development. So how do you capitalize on opportunities at a real-life industry event?

First, do your research. Who are the speakers? What projects have they worked on? What is their area of expertise? This may seem like a lot of work, but a quick Google search will give you a lot of answers and a lot of context. This will prepare you to speak comfortably with attendees, and hopefully even the speakers themselves.

Once you research the speakers, feel free to do some digging into any of the topics that jump out at you. It never hurts to have some background knowledge. Even though no one expects you to be an expert on every topic, you might benefit from knowing that “the cloud” is more often referring to data storage, rather than a collection of water particles.

Next, bring your A-game. We all know the basics—dress appropriately, bring your business cards, easy on the open bar, etc. The strategy lies in what you do once you actually start talking to people. A business developer has three goals at an industry event. 1) Meet potential clients and be prepared to answer questions and highlight your company’s unique qualities. 2) Learn more about your competitors and what they are doing differently. 3) Gather information about pain points in your industry and any upcoming business opportunities.

Finally, add some personal flavor. When researching which industry event to go to, pick one that genuinely speaks to your interests. When talking about your service lines, be enthusiastic about what your business means to you. And when asking other attendees questions, pay attention to their answers instead of thinking about what you are going to say next. In the digital age, it’s easy for us to replace personal interaction with online communication. But taking the time to regularly seek personal connections in your industry’s network will have a lasting, positive impact on your company.

MPS Connects

Posted in Corporate Events on December 30, 2013

MPS Connects EventIt was standing room only at M Powered Strategies’ inaugural MPS Connect event on December 16. MPS staff, along with civil servants and government contractors, gathered to hear Captain Tami Ryley, Director of Strategic Planning for the Chief of Navy Reserve, talk about her personal journey from Navy pilot to the chief strategy officer for the Navy Reserve.

Captain Ryley described how, with little training in the art of Strategic Planning, and faced with structured turnover in the department, she employed a mix of traditional and innovative techniques to get input from the field. In addition to interviews, targeted surveys and focus groups, her team engaged stakeholders via crowd-sourcing, using a war game style portal.  This proved effective in producing results that were collaborative, iterative, as well as structured. After her presentation, the audience engaged in a practical and constructive dialogue about the process of Strategic Planning.

M Powered Strategies President and CEO, Kendall Lott, first met Captain Ryley after he spoke at an Institute for Management Consulting National Capital Region chapter meeting in 2012. When he heard of the work she was doing at the Pentagon, he was eager to have her share her experiences with his staff and others working in the area of Strategic Planning. “Her story is fascinating and instructive about how to pull large amounts of information in a structured way, while preserving the creativity of the input.”

MPS Connect is a service of M Powered Strategies that brings federal government practitioners of the management sciences together with private sector counterparts in a “no sales” environment to discuss and share pragmatic ways of executing and enhancing management and service delivery.

Partners & Pairings 2013 – An M Powered Strategies Tradition

Posted in Business Development / Corporate Events on March 12, 2013

From an enormous picture window on the second floor of Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, the Capitol dome could be seen shining brightly in the chilly pre-Sequester night. Inside, luminaries of the consulting world mingled with M Powered Strategies staff, discussing the current consulting environment, past performances, and future possibilities. The occasion: M Powered Strategies’ Third Annual Partners and Pairings soiree.

Kendall Lott welcomed the guests noting that “This is a night to celebrate our partners as we work to bring our services to market. Tonight is not about business, it’s about our relationships, and it is nice to see you over a glass of wine.” The guests were current and potential partners—people whose organizational goals are in alignment with M Powered Strategies, or whose areas of expertise complement the MPS portfolio.  Fine wines, cheese pairings and a charcuterie buffet provided the perfect accompaniment to the after-hours gathering, along with special touches, such as gift bottles of wine, which were raffled off, and a video slide show, from MPS’ in-house video producer.

“I am thrilled with the outcome of this year’s Partners and Pairings,” noted Danielle O’Bannon, the event coordinator. “It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with our current partners and to initiate new partnerships.”

The annual Partners and Pairings has become a tradition at M Powered Strategies, one which we look forward to continuing for many years to come.

Fall 2012 AMPs Celebrate at the
National Press Club

Posted in AMP Program / Corporate Events on December 18, 2012

M Powered Strategies employees at the AMP reception“It feels like the movie Ground Hogs Day,” Alessandra Colia, AMP Program Director, wryly noted in her opening remarks. The first fall group of Applied Management Professionals (AMPs) concluded their session with what has become an M Powered Strategies tradition, a closing reception at the National Press Club. “Tonight marks a momentous shift in our summer program model,” Alessandra continued. “Tonight we celebrate the accomplishments of our first fall class and their work in partnership with ActioNet at the Department of Transportation.”

Fall 2012 AMP Presentation

The AMPs presented their projects, which ranged from Plan Of Action & Milestone process mapping to Team Performance root cause analysis. In attendance were DOT leads, ActioNet staff, former AMPs, various agency executives who had met with the AMPs for Executive Lunches during the course of their session, and of course all the M Powered Strategies staff. Team Lead Nic Turrentine was effusive in his praise of the group. Their success in the workplace, as well as their participation in the training, excursions, and networking opportunities offered by M Powered Strategies made for a truly enriching experience.  Congratulations to Marc-Anthony Isaacs, Kiya Kassa, Maria Mejia, Emily Sherrod and Luke Ventura.

M Powered Strategies Celebrates Refounders Day 2012

Posted in Corporate Events on April 13, 2012

M Powered Strategies at the Refounders Day extravaganza

M Powered Strategies held its fifth annual Refounders Day extravaganza Thursday April 5, 2012, at the Science Club in Dupont Circle.  Current employees as well as former employees and AMPs were on hand to celebrate. It has actually been just four years since President/CEO Kendall Lott took the helm of our dynamic, ever evolving company. At that time, M Powered Strategies was not the unified, cohesive entity that it is today. But Kendall vowed in 2008 to bring the company together and build true team spirit. Looking around at the animated conversation and bonhomie of this year’s party (which was organized by Alessandra Colia), it was clear that he has succeeded.

M Powered Strategies Celebrates the Holidays & the Spirit of Giving

Posted in Corporate Events on December 20, 2011

2011 Holiday Party

In keeping with tradition, M Powered Strategies fed more than just our extended family at the annual Holiday Party. For each plate that was served, $30.00 was donated to Feeding America, whose mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks.

This year’s party was held in the mirrored banquet hall of the Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar in Georgetown. In attendance were current and past M Powered Strategies staff members, Applied Management Professionals, friends, colleagues and corporate partners. Guests enjoyed an evening of great food, fellowship, and Brazilian jazz provided by our very own office manager’s band, Rio Garage.

Special thanks to Selena Hunn and Alessandra Colia for organizing this year’s highly successful extravaganza!

Save the Date: All Hands Meeting

Posted in Corporate Events on December 13, 2011

The All Hands Meeting has been tentatively scheduled for February 12, 2012, in the Grange Conference Room at headquarters. Keep an eye out for the official schedule.

Interim All Hands Meeting a Success

Posted in Corporate Events on December 13, 2011

Twice a year, the entire M Powered Strategies company meets under one roof for a face-to-face meeting to collaborate on corporate improvements, receive company updates, and establish a common understanding about the future direction of the company. The Interim All Hands Meeting (IAHM) in August had a packed agenda and was tremendously successful. The new FSL team took over the duties of planning and leading the IAHM and brought a fresh style to this meeting. Alan Chvotkin of the Professional Services Council kicked off the meeting by providing a briefing on the market and policy within the consulting industry. The IAHM 2011 also included updates on M Powered Strategies’ corporate marketing from Whitney Starring, news on Deltek and the rollout of new on-boarding programming and process from Andrew MacDonald, and M Powered Strategies’ strategic planning efforts by Sarah Nurse. In addition, the 10 Applied Management Professionals presented their corporate projects, demonstrating their added value to the company beyond client work over the summer in the areas of corporate marketing, business development, and corporate giving. Switching gears away from presentations, the FSL team led a pair of activities to capture feedback and encourage group interaction to help improve the on-boarding process for new hires through a new on-boarding checklist and corporate identity quiz. Finally, Kendall Lott concluded the meeting by recognizing a few employees for their hard work and contributions to the company: Ed Adelman, Andrew MacDonald, Andrew Slawter, Whitney Starring, Sarah Nurse, Jeremy Nurse, Brenda Maynor, and Mary Flannery.

Interim All Hands Meeting

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