Although Doody Consulting has been around since 2004 and 50-plus clients have engaged us, not too many people see the full picture of what we do and how we do it. Our consulting practice offers three types of services to our clients: a project-based engagement; an ongoing engagement where we’re kept on retainer for a specified period of time; and conducting workshops.

Project-based engagements.  In all of our consulting projects, in one way or another we attempt to improve the profitability derived by our clients from their intellectual property. Common types of engagement include strategic publishing planning; new product development, particularly electronic publishing platforms for a client’s nonjournal products; new market channel development; marketing planning; facilitating staff retreats; and seeking commercial publishing partners through conducting a request-for-proposal (RFP) process.

Retainer-based assignments. On occasion a client will hire us on an interim basis to perform operational duties of a key publishing staff position that is either temporarily vacant or has never existed before. In the former case, we keep the operations moving forward until our client hires a new full-time employee to assume these responsibilities. In the latter case, sometimes our report points out that the organization has a new revenue-generating business opportunity, and that the responsibility of managing that new business line should be assigned to a new position and new employee. When the client takes this type of recommendation, they may ease into the new opportunity by hiring us on retainer to begin to develop the business and advise them on the job description and the attributes of an ideal candidate to assume those responsibilities.

Workshops. As we were concluding an assignment in early 2013, the COO of our client asked us if we encounter the kinds of challenges and opportunities that were present in her organization with other societies. When we explained that all our clients had much in common with each other, she then asked if we would consider bringing our clients together in a workshop atmosphere to allow them to network and collaborate on addressing problems they had in common. From that suggestion, we ultimately developed an annual workshop called Doody’s Digital Workshop, the first one of which was held in November 2013. The workshops typically last a day-and-a-half and are held at a hotel near O’Hare airport. They feature keynote speakers, panelists addressing important issues, and small-group case study problem solving. While each annual workshop has its own theme, the general theme of the workshops is managing the transition from being a print-first operation to a digital-first operation.

Beyond business developmentAll consulting assignments from our inception in 2004 through the end of 2016 focused on business development. In 2016 we added a new dimension to our consulting services, human performance, by creating an Executive Coaching and Staff Development Unit of Doody Consulting. While we offer one-on-one coaching, staff and leadership development typically takes place in a workshop environment we create either onsite or offsite, depending on the clients’ preferences.

Finally, one of the offshoots of Doody’s Digital Workshop is that some clients attending the workshop appreciate the way we organize and conduct the workshop and have hired us to manage the program development of workshops they are holding either internally or for key stakeholders. While we function as neutral facilitators, we generally bring useful insights based on our consulting experiences and can often help groups hurdle discussion obstacles.