Profiles From the Field
Tanya Kiefer, Ph.D.
Principal, Kiefer Consulting
After completing her doctorate at The George Washington University, Tanya joined the Human Capital Consulting practice at Arthur Andersen. Her time there was particularly formative in the development of her career. Working with talented, highly motivated colleagues, she enjoyed the fast-paced, demanding environment of external consulting. Tanya was quickly leading projects and gained confidence in her ability to consult on a wide-range of HR issues. Additionally, the position offered her the opportunity to put her academic knowledge into practice with various client organizations.
Following Arthur Andersen, Tanya transitioned into internal roles at a few companies including TIAA-CREF and, more recently, the Talent Management group at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Tanya also considered these internal experiences pivotal to her professional development. During her time at BMS, she was again struck by her ability to work with an impressive, talent team. Within the role at BMS, she led the global performance management process and the global employee survey, in addition to consulting on strategic HR initiatives with senior HR and business leaders. Being the lead on a highly visible process, such as performance management, was crucial for helping Tanya establish a strong reputation and relationships across BMS. She has been able to leverage the expertise she acquired and network she built throughout these various experiences in starting her own consulting practice.
In August 2008, Tanya decided to leave BMS to build her own consultancy where she focuses on the following areas:
- Performance management – working with clients to identify the critical behaviors and how to instill them through the performance management process and supporting processes and tools
- Leadership assessment – coaching leaders, particularly hi potentials, using the Hogan and 360 assessment tools.
- Research – conducting survey research and strategic workforce analyses and helping clients take action based on the resulting data.
Despite the significant economic challenges of the past year, Tanya has achieved success in growing her consulting firm. She attributed this to marketing to her strengths. This prevents her from trying to be “all things to all people” and enables her to build from her core areas of expertise. Additionally, this approach has served as the foundation for differentiating herself and communicating her value to her network of contacts.
Tanya cites the following benefits of having her own firm: the ability to focus on areas where she has the greatest interest and passion; working on a variety of projects and with a variety of clients; and being more in control of her schedule. There are some downsides, however, namely not being part of a larger team. This has heightened the need for Tanya to find ways to stay connected and has driven her to increase her involvement in professional associations, such as METRO.
Tanya’s perspective on current trends
With talent management groups needing to focus their efforts, Tanya sees a greater emphasis on helping organizations determine how to differentially invest in hi potential or critical talent. This includes using data, such as from surveys and leader assessments, to accelerate leaders’ development and shed insight into the organization. She also indicated that organizations are recognizing the critical role that performance management plays in driving strategy, cultural change and business results. Tanya indicated that the current economic context has presented an opportunity for consultants to partner with talent management groups that have been shrunk over recent months and are in greater need of targeted support.
To contact Tanya or for more information about her consulting firm, please visit her website: www.kieferconsultingllc.com