SERVICES

STRATEGIC ADVISORY CONSULTING

Getting the Strategic Advice You Need When You Need It

 

Service At-A-Glance

  • A short-term engagement offering strategic advice on important, sometimes non-reversable, decisions.
  • Hard-to-find expertise at your fingertips for matters that shape the future of your organization.
  • One-on-one access to an expert with over 25 years of experience in environmental consulting.

SERVICE OVERVIEW

FINDING YOUR PATH FORWARD EVEN THROUGH THE FOG OF UNCERTAINTY

This service is a targeted consulting engagement designed to deliver time-sensitive strategic advisory insights to inform and guide internal decision-making. These engagements typically last from 6-12 months, but the impact will often last for decades or longer. Client leaders work closely with Jody Bickel, CEO and Founder of Creekbank Associates, to gain formative insights on pivotal issues that affect the future of the enterprise. This service offers counsel to senior executives and program leaders of private businesses, public service agencies and nonprofits. These leaders often face challenges when trying to navigate decision points in:

  • Ecosystem Services
  • Environmental Markets
  • Sustainability Programs
  • Environmental Footprint
  • Environmental & Sustainability Policy
  • Green Branding

Based on client needs, advisement and insights may be targeted to the following focal areas:

  1. Internal organization learning
  2. Internal decision-making
  3. Internal organization collaboration
  4. Program concept ideation and development
  5. Industry-wide leadership considerations
  6. Trends and forecasting
  7. Business development
  8. Conflict negotiation

Well-timed advice from an outside expert is critical to understanding the risks and benefits of certain options—before launching into new commitments. An outside expert can also help you reassess current commitments. Working closely with each client, Jody Bickel leverages her deep practical experience gained from partnering with some of the best organizational leaders in the world. Her experience helps to drive progress for united business and environmental outcomes.

The results for the leader and their organization often include:

  • Enhanced internal learning and positioning on the issues, trending directions and opportunities for going forward.
  • Improved risk awareness on the state of these issues and the current/future effect on the organization.
  • An identified path forward on the targeted issues, directing resources to progress rather than the chaos of the moment.
  • Increased confidence in and defensibility for directional decisions, based on their elevated understanding of the state of the situation.
  • Elevated social license to operate outcomes and reputational benefits due to better, faster progress in proactively addressing environmental issues.
  • Advancement in areas of historically unresolved environmental policy regulatory conflicts and emerging considerations related to environmental assets and associated program development.

The net result of this engagement is that the enterprise has the necessary understanding for making well-informed directional decisions. This positions both the organization and its leaders to move forward effectively and efficiently.

Why Is This Service Necessary?

Private businesses, public agencies and nonprofit organizations alike are struggling to know where, when and how to engage in environmental issues. This struggle spans from regulatory compliance conflicts and voluntary sustainability commitments to inter-related community and social considerations and the economic implications of each decision factor. There are advisors aplenty ready to influence decisions to their distinct advantage, regardless of what may be best for the client. This is why Jody Bickel formed Creekbank Associates and the discreet service lines of Coaching, Advisory and Technical Solutions—as a means of providing access to practitioner-based, unbiased expertise to help guide clients in their best interest.

This service is about placing the client at a distinct advantage through gaining real-time entry to hard to access expertise and enabling risk-informed decision-making to further their enterprise. Targeted, on-call advisement provides leaders and their organizations with the agility to navigate their most pressing and pivotal issues. This type of nimbleness avoids the loss of time and expense staffing up in areas before the actual needs are clarified or engaging in other risky commitments before all aspects of that relationship are understood.

After working across numerous sectors and industries and consulting with C-suite, Director, and program level roles, we have identified these common challenges for enterprise decision-makers:

  • Limited understanding of available options on emerging topics, as well as solutions on long-standing issues.
  • Lack of clarity on which direction to go in and how the available options relate to the financial well-being and social license of the enterprise.
  • An often very short runway on which to deliver effective decision-making.
  • Being heavily lobbied by various internal and external actors without a full understanding of their respective agendas.
  • Accessing trusted advisement that has deep, broad and practical experience in these topics.
  • Achieving effective engagement and coordination across internal groups and divisions to enable progress.

The overarching purpose of this engagement is to enable and empower the leader and their enterprise to move forward – by having the information and confidence they need to make effective decisions. This typically results in energized internal staff and teams and leads to the desired environmental, social and enterprise outcomes.

WHY YOU NEED THIS SERVICE

ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING IS MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN GROUNDED IN PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE

Who Needs This Service?

Private businesses, public agencies and nonprofit organizations that invest in or steward natural resource assets or have associated regulatory, program and voluntary sustainability interests. Leaders in these enterprises may include those serving as:

  • Presidents and C-Suite officers
  • Partners, Principals and Executive Directors
  • Global, National and Regional Chief Officers
  • Senior Environment and ESG Leads
  • Senior Program and Technical Leads

These are common elements that our clients share:

  • Desires strategic advisement about sustainability and stewardship issues beyond their in-house expertise.
  • Makes public claims and commitments relating to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • Directly owns, manages or influences the stewardship of significant and diverse environmental assets.
  • Invests in environmental restoration (for compliance and reputational benefit purposes).
  • Faces highly complex environmental and business conflict issues around land use, stakeholder and community relations and regulatory compliance.
  • Seeks guidance to communicate across internal divisions to create enterprise alignment and efficiencies.

OUR APPROACH

MAKING ORDER OUT OF CHAOS

This service begins with a framework setting session between CEO Jody Bickel and the client leader. The purpose of this session is to establish the overall timing and benchmarks for this engagement. After the initial consultation, Jody creates a customized plan which leverages her judgement on potential risks and opportunities throughout the process. The plan includes agreement on topics, the amount of advisory consulting time, and the duration and form/s of the engagement.

Typical forms of engagement include direct 1-1 advisement to the client leader and to executive work groups, targeted engagement at key internal and external meetings and independent recon. Working in partnership with the client, Jody typically conducts the engagement beginning with introductory activities, then progressing to ongoing consultation and advisements, and concluding by identifying open items and future needs. In most cases, deliverables are the on-call advisement, focused briefing sessions and concise, summary point documentation when needed.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

GUIDING YOU TO YOUR BEST OUTCOMES

As your trusted advisor, Jody Bickel helps client leaders and their organizations navigate through the difficult and frequently lonely terrain of enterprise level environmental decision-making. This offering usually culminates in the following beneficial outcomes for our clients: 

  • An elevated awareness of trends, risks, decision factors, benefits and opportunities associated with environmental decisions.
  • Understanding of the interrelationship of economic and environmental outcomes and the connection to long-term social license to operate.
  • Agile, informed and confident decision-making, enabling effective allocation of time and financial resources to advance progress.
  • Creation of alignment between the leader, executives and program leads.
  • Improved clarity of internal and external communications following directional decisions. 
  • Recognition of their enterprise serving as a standard bearer for how to unite economic and environmental outcomes. 

This is an exciting and somewhat scary time for any enterprise that has a connection with and responsibility for environmental care. We know that most organizations are being faced with big environmental positioning and social license decisions at a rapid pace – without the benefit of years of practical experience in some of these areas. As a result of this service, the leader and their organization will be in a much better position to make informed decisions and to confidently move forward. 

How To Get Started  

We work collaboratively with our client liaison, their team and decision-makers to deliver customized solutions in a perfect blend of formal structure and flexible application. 

Our approach for engaging with each client begins with a no-obligation initial consultation and a needs assessment. Based on each client’s situation and the unique nature of this work, one or more framing sessions take place to ensure clarity before formalizing an engagement.

To get started on this process, please fill out the form below.

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