I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with Cogent Analytics. It has been a pleasure watching the leadership teamwork so closely with Irvin and embrace the idea of running the company as a team and not as individuals running departments.
2020 started off like any other year. As a leadership team, we knew that we had several systemic challenges that we were going to attack. We started off with a great pace and began putting things in place. Then the curveball of a global pandemic came into the mix. While we still advanced towards our goal of aligning our long-term plans and instilling more accountability, there were many distractions.
As we got close to the end of the year, we had not made the progress we had hoped. And the effects of the pandemic highlighted our weaknesses even more. Therefore, we invited Merlin into the organization for a Discovery. As expected, the issues he saw were in line with those we had identified but several other issues were brought to light.
Through our internal efforts, we outlined where we wanted to be in one year, three years, and ten years, at a high level. But we had no plan for how we were going to get there. We didn’t have a granular strategic plan. With our goals in place, Merlin’s findings in our back pocket, and the realization that we needed to accelerate our plans, we hired Cogent to propel us towards our big picture goals.
Irvin arrived over three months ago, as I write this, and immediately dove in headfirst. Within a week he had the attention and confidence of the leadership team. He was a member of the team. He wanted to deeply understand the ins and outs of the business and why things are the way they are. He didn’t immediately claim to have all the answers, but little did we know.
As the engagement is coming to a close, I can confirm that Cogent has provided great value to the organization. We now have a detailed plan of how we are going to achieve our goals. These plans include career development for up and coming employees, skills gap analysis (including the development of an Apprenticeship Program with the state and local technical colleges), clear and defined accountability, and so much more.
I can say with confidence that the entire team will miss Irvin once the engagement concludes and will look forward to his visits during the Lifecycle Relationship phase. We send our sincere thanks to the entire Cogent Analytics team that we have worked with throughout this process. I look forward to moving forward with the clarity of the path and plan that will take us to where we want to be.