Can you give me a little background on yourself and your company?
My name is Hrishue Mahalaha. My organization is called Innovation Economy Partners. We are an economic and community development partner and advisory consulting firm. We work with a variety of communities across the country with a primary focus in rural America, and there’s a variety of technology and consulting services that we have that we think help our partners quite well.
What were the challenges you were facing that made you want to seek out consulting services?
It was an evolving relationship that continues to evolve. I found out about Dorinda because we had common interests and we do similar work. Over the last year or so, I’ve really come to value what Dorinda Byers personally does. I found her to be incredibly valuable. Our firm has been around for 5 years in heavy problem solving years and in the last 6 months we’ve been transitioning into a space where we fairly well defined who we are and what we’re solving for. A focus for us was how we drive sales and more business development and it’s an area I don’t have much insight in. So starting to work with Dorinda, her expertise in refining our thinking in who we are, how we ought to be thinking about it. She has been such a great thought partner in guiding our thinking and we’ve applied some of her guidance and gotten some great value.
A transformational point was when Dorinda framed the conversation and guided our thinking was powerful — she talked about having a greater degree of clarity about what our clients valued about us and our services. She helped craft and guide a survey that we used with our existing clients and then she helped us look at the data, evaluate the results and identify some interesting trends. She, being an outsider, was able to look at the data and pinpoint patterns that have been overlooked. Her being an outsider really helped us pinpoint 2 or 3 key areas about what the clients value about our services (degree of transparency, accountability and helping with communication and messaging). For Dorinda to help us quantify where we were creating value shifted our focus and we narrowed down how we see ourselves and how we articulate what value we bring which is critical because you can do more of what the clients value.
While working with us, have there been any challenges along the way, and if so how were they solved?
No. I found Dorinda to be such a great thought partner. I kind of throw my problems on the table and she looks at it and says I think this is what you mean, what you’re asking for, how about you think about it from a different perspective, here’s a book you can read. Having her expertise and thoughtfulness really impacted how I think about the business. She’s been incredibly responsive and after every meeting there’s a summary of what she heard and what I should be thinking about so I’d give her a stellar rating in terms of being a great partner.
What is something you would tell others who are considering working with D Byers & Associates?
I would say if you’re a small business owner, a non-profit or leader, or someone who is trying to figure out the strategic north star for your business, especially when it comes to how to position your company in terms of aligning your services to your clients, or new clients, having someone like Dorinda who you can call and have regular check-ins with is very helpful. Dorinda and I happened to come across each other through fate and connected through very tangential circumstances, we weren’t seeking each other out we just happened to connect and ever since I really have come to value and look forward to our conversations. The only limitations business leaders have is their own thinking parameters so if you think you can or can’t and the only way to change that is to keep investing in where you set your own boundaries and parameters and Dorinda does a great job of having me push my own mental boundaries.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If there’s a leader looking to expand or grow and figure out how to do more with very limited time and capacity, I think Dorinda is a great partner who can help you chart that course.