About Bill Dunnington
I consult with private B2B business owners to build the company they're proud of, and grow with time and financial freedom, toward the future they intend.
A profoundly valuable experience happened early in my career when I introduced “Resources Management” in a factory with 5 unions and 3500 people. RM catalyzes and coaches productive collaborations to help people find better ways. We spent $10k to pilot it with 48 people and it yielded $1.2 million in 90 days – no jobs lost. We ran it and its variations for years. Its lessons have rippled through my entire business life, and spawned a relentless search for better ways.
RM catalyzed 30+ years of "people-first" business consulting. Director Management Development, Fortune 100 firm. Associate Partner and Principal Executive in the "big 4." Regional VP in a mid-size consultancy. Independent consultant since 9/11. Helpful learnings from:
• BA Psychology & Economics, Varsity Hockey, UVM (Vermont)
• MS Technology Management, UVA (Virginia)
• Harvard Negotiations, Wharton Finance
• Executive Certificate in Clean Tech, BU (Boston University)
• Baldrige Examiner, Lean Black Belt
• Designed an Environmental Managment System for Mobil Oil EHS - benchmarked by the National Standards group - incorporated in ISO 14000
• Award-winning community energy program in Virginia
• Board member, Small Business Development Commission, Business for Social Responsibility, Vermont
Long story short, while helping clients get better business results, I have grown toward “conscious capitalism:” purpose-driven, people-first, planet-responsible, stakeholder-responsive. Running a business this way as a force for good attracts valuable investors, customers and employees, while creating a more secure future for all. As Henry Ford noted: “A business that makes only money is a poor business.” Having a clear, elevating purpose that you care about, and work at, matters. (Everybody has a passion. Mine is peoplefirst.)
Truth is you don't rise to the level of your intentions. You fall to the level of your systems. Hire the right people, operate “people-first,” and they will gladly deliver customer value. Profits and learning are the outcomes.
Turns out this is very good for business. The daily business runs better - more fun, time freedom, profit, less risky – and it gets you transition ready. Owners often wait too long to start this: plan on a minimum of a year of preparation for each decade of operation.
A recent study revealed that 74% of owners who hadn’t prepared, just sold their businesses, reported being unhappy within a year, regardless of the money they’d made. A tragic bell they can't unring.
I've grown adept at helping entrepreneurs to lead “people-first,” scale, sync up purpose, brand and culture - and prepare themselves and their companies for transitions. People succeed with greater ease, inspiration, energy, impact. Nothing creates momentum like tangible success. I'm always learning, but I like to think I've already made and learned to anticipate, prevent, or fix many key mistakes.
Some selected, illustrative highlights are:
• Entrepreneur to CEO Transitions – Guided owners from entrepreneurs to leadership-team led companies to prepare to scale and grow into transition-ready companies. Helped one CEO client build a sales force and delegate selling to triple NPS scores and recurring revenue. Helped another lead a risk management initiative to increase enterprise value which doubled their multiple. Helped one CEO fight off an attempted coup, retain control of her company, and reorganize with an eye toward getting ESOP prepared.
• Strategic Growth – Helped a leadership team align, integrate and coalesce 7 diverse practices and disparate projects into a coherently branded Energy Innovation Consulting Practice – that raised revenue 22% during the economic distress of 2009. Then put the HR system in place to recruit for, support and sustain this transformation. This boutique consultancy is now global, employeeowned and the regular winner of “great place to work” honors.
• M&A Growth Strategy – Developed an enterprise value strategy for a mid-sized, regional power equipment company whose strategy was to grow by acquisition. Led a design team that implemented a 100-day integration approach across due diligence, leadership integration, account structure and staffing, workforce engagement, IT systems and process simplification, on-boarding and rewards integration – and has since enabled 6 mergers.
• Customer Value Management – For a shipping and logistics company, designed and helped roll out a customer value management initiative tied to account quality management, service innovation, value-adding projects and reward systems. Raised customer satisfaction from 91% to 97%. Increased dashboard metrics for proposal capture (up 18%), first project size (20%), fill rate gains (23%), recommend rate (92%). Lifetime value exceeds acquisition cost by 4:1. Recurring revenue increased 34% in one year.
• Strategic Program Management – Set up PMOS and led various strategic programs as a consultant or in interim roles as Chief of Staff, COO, CMO, CIO, CHRO: implemented a scenario based strategic planning process; stood up a new key accounts function; managed merger integration for finance, IT, HR; re-organized a consulting firm into verticals.
If you say "BillD," you hear what I do. If you're looking for better ways to a secure future, let's talk. Maybe there’s a productive collaboration in our future.