Mark A. Reich, J.D. Strategist Advocate Coach
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Case Studies

Diffusing Toxic Workplace, Career Management and Transition

Business Turn Around, Leadership Development

Redesigning Organizational Structure, Team Building

Strategic Planning, Growing Revenue, Establishing A Brand

Life Support Change

These case studies represent a sample of the diversity of personal and business matters and issues I work with clients to change.


The Situation
A senior executive in a global financial institution found herself in a turbulent department that had 5 managing directors in a 4 year period. Her latest supervisor tended to be toxic: deceptive, non-communicative, arrogant, demanding and egotistical. New to the area he also lacked the technical skill set she possessed. The client initially sought assistance in diffusing the difficulties and for career management.

The Solution
The original focus was to identify the source and nature of the difficulties. We used The IRAP Way™ to identify the resistances encountered. We discovered that while the majority of obstacles were the supervisor’s attitudes and behaviors and the organization’s culture and biases, the client was responsible for communication breakdown. She agreed to concentrate on mastering compassionate communication skills and embraced developing her Human Personal and Social Capacities. We strategized to leverage her existing network of influencers beyond her department to divert some of the negativity, and to position for an inter-departmental initiative that might lead to a department transition. Strategies were also actively developed to shift the blame / responsibility paradigm present in the group generally.

The Results
The client diffused many of the obstacles by transforming the director’s perceptions of her as a threat into seeing her as a resource. She embodied the Personal Capacities of self-control with gentleness in her dealings, demonstrated self-awareness to avoid habitual traps and repetitive reactions, and called upon presence of mind coupled with her steadfastness to resist his inappropriate onslaughts and remain focused in a grounded and detached fashion. Her boss was turned into an asset as he became an ally supporting her selection to develop the inter-departmental initiative she had planned. She received a strong six month review highlighting her management competencies and team building skills, which the director attributed to her improving awareness and social faculties!

After transforming the daily difficulties in the office and becoming aware that she was not responsible for the dysfunction, the client decided to seek a career move and leave that enterprise. We clarified her visions, values and desires and developed a multi-faceted strategy to target new opportunities. I coached her to approach the search maintaining alignment with her authenticities and acknowledged reputation. We improved her negotiation skills, called upon improved political awareness and she accepted an offer to lead the United States office of an international financial venture. I switched hats to Advocate and represented her in preparation of an employment agreement. We negotiated a secure structure and an increase in compensation, as she transitioned into a new, growing area of her industry.

We continue to work together improving her leadership and management skills as she manages the US office and a larger team. We plan strategy and tactics for personal and firm improvement. By virtue of this transition she now works regular hours and is enjoying improved family connections. We also address responsible relationship, parenting and life balance matters as I coach her as a whole and complete individual. Click here to see way this client says.



The Situation
A 25 year old graphic design and marketing company had been in trouble for over a year. It had experienced explosive growth in the late ‘90s dot com craze, growing revenue over 400% and expanded to over 30 employees. When the bubble burst business tumbled rapidly to the point of negative cash flow, idle workers and mounting debt. The business represented the only financial support for the principals’ family, and if it had failed they would have suffered substantial and possibly devastating personal loss. Employee morale was terrible, the company in dire financial straits and the constriction in business choking.

The Solution
On this project I wore all of my hats as business consultant, legal advocate and coach. After lengthy discussions and review of key financial data, I traveled to their location and sequestered in a conference room with the principals, their accountant and the company’s books and records. Over a period of very long days and nights I analyzed and assessed the business, including the financial situation, facilities, customers, company and personal exposures, processes and operations and personnel. I worked with management to prepare budgets and immediate, short term and longer projections accounting for a multitude of scenarios. We evaluated options including downsizing, liquidation, bankruptcy reorganization and possibilities of a sale or strategic alliance.

The principals were convinced they could turn the company around if given a three month window to downsize and re-trench. We created detailed financial and operating plans to collect outstanding receivables, reduce expenses and manage cash flow, consolidate personnel and facilities, and market in a new and broader fashion to capitalize on pre-dot com strengths, while maintaining the remaining clientele. Due to the large number of unknown and uncontrollable variables and possible legal complications, we prepared a number of alternative action plans.

I coached the principals through the human and social interactions they encountered in the downsizing process, including the formulation of exit compensation packages and separated employee support. For a period of months I became the de facto COO, in constant communication with management and support workers by email and telephone. My assistance included receivable collection, cash management, new job negotiation, personnel and staffing issues. I coached the president through the deeply difficult and emotionally draining experience of two waves of downsizing and then into the re-building phase.

The Results
The good news: over one year later the company is profitable, the principals’ personal exposure alleviated and the organization is operating as a tight, team-oriented venture.
Click here to see what the client says.



The Situation
The client’s architectural firm was not growing in the direction or as rapidly as desired, there were employee morale and attitude issues and the principal felt unfulfilled, as if the treadmill never stopped running at the same old pace. He was originally an artist, and he hoped to create alternatives to grow the business to a size that would permit him to divert a portion of his attention to personal fulfillment. He requested a complete evaluation of the business operations and help in developing strategies to grow and become more profitable.

The Solution
I evaluated and analyzed the firms operations, processes and structures, personnel and areas of expertise. It became apparent that the principal and his key personnel had enormous creative skills and talents, not equaled by management commitment or leadership understandings. Employee issues existed, to a large extent, as the result of ineffective communications and a lack of efficient, standardized procedures. The principal also needed to develop his communications and sales skills in connection with closing new business.

Together we re-engineered the entire work flow process, paying particular attention to time management and efficiencies in this highly creative, time sensitive business. Simultaneously I coached him in compassionate communication techniques as we strategized on both the big picture and the specifics of potential new jobs.

The Results
We developed new procedures to control work from initial client contact through job completion. The client has improved his sales and communications skills through coaching, and brought in a number of new projects. The increase in business lead to hiring a new professional. This created issues with an established manager and the principal. I developed a team coaching program for them as we implemented an organizational change in the basic company structure and the processes for producing work.

Coaching diffused the difficulties that initially surfaced from the addition of a new team member and the revision of the companies’ operating procedures. We succeeded in improving efficiency, and hence profitability. We are in the process of integrating all of the team members into new, defined roles in this refreshed environment. Communication and collaboration between the principal and staff has significantly improved. We continue to fine tune the team work flow and develop capacity to create “space” for the principal to divert a portion of his time to other personally fulfilling areas.



The Situation
A highly skilled profession in a niche services business sought to establish his unique brand and identity and grow his practice. He was frustrated and trapped in bad customer relationships, experiencing difficulty changing his model and clarifying and establishing his brand recognition. He felt out of synch and unfulfilled in making the switch from employee to entrepreneur.

The Solution
As I worked with this client, it became clear he had a number of distinct yet related talents and skills that served as the basis for his industry analyst - media exposure business. A key to his success was coaching him to recognize and endorse all of these talents and project his brand in light of the range of his skill set, while maintaining a tight focus on the niche of his work. We initially concentrated on these aspects of self awareness and utilized value and visioning exercises to achieve clarity in purpose. Once he owned the central nature of his services and worth, his expertise took control to illuminate his brand.

In turn we naturally formulated marketing and business development plans for the short and longer term, based upon his expertise and visions. Simultaneously, I coached him on presentation and negotiation strategy and compassionate communication skills. A structure evolved for the form of his business whereby he is pursuing stand alone opportunities and strategic alliances to leverage cross-promotional possibilities internationally.

The Results
His business now has an identity that reflects the unique benefits he offers his clients. We created a company structure with accountability. He has become clear and focused on his personal and business visions and how to identify each with distinction. As a result the company is running smoother and he is achieving more personal satisfaction from business.

He has adopted a practice of establishing responsible boundaries in his relationships. The habitual dependence on overly demanding, unfulfilling clients has transformed into relationships of promise and long term agreements as his brand becomes recognized internationally. We continue to work together to grow the business and fine-tune his personal quest for balance and fulfillment in all relationships. Click here to see what the client says.



The Situation
The client, a coach and consultant, contracted an illness that required her to drastically change her diet, deleting processed and junk foods and replacing them with freshly prepared foods and lots of liquids. The client was a junk food “junkie” who disliked cooking.

The Solution
We employed The IRAP Way™ and identified the client’s resistances to changing habitual negativities. We examined values and integrities, tolerances and practices. We then developed strategies to transition from junk food dependence to healthy eating and developing cooking skills. Through a program with strict accountability the client transformed her health-depleting obstacles into healthy eating practices.

The Results
The client transformed her eating habits and was able to control her illness. She stopped eating processed foods and learned to cook. She instituted practices of awareness and self control to follow her prescribed intake regiment and now feels better, is more vibrant and made the required life change necessary to improve her own physical health. Click here to see what the client says.

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