an interview by Anthony Brincat
Ingrid Galvez is a busy woman who has vast experience in strategic business planning and team dynamics across multiple industries which keeps her on her toes. With more than 10 years’ experience in Financial Services, she has held a number of different roles in Corporate Actions, Professional Services Education and HR: Training and Development. All of this has provided Ingrid with the sound background and skills necessary to provide high-level assessments of Departments, Processes and Teams.
Ingrid is the Organizational Development Consultant of Strategic Remedy Group, a New York based company.
Anthony: Ingrid, tell me more about the consulting work Strategic Remedy Group provides?
Ingrid: Strategic Remedy offerings can be categorized as a 3-legged stool consisting of Technological, Financial and Human Resources. Our offerings are custom and based on the needs of clients. We work with all types of businesses from start-ups to long-standing veterans in their respective fields. Our services are used by a variety of businesses and we work in a continuum from the highest level to the most granular detail.
With regard to Technology, we provide the framework for increasing production to our food and beverage clients. We might consult with a startup right out of the gate to establish production or work with an established client to determine the best system for taking their business to the next level of productivity. We will work to identify technology solutions as their business changes and grows.
Financially speaking, we develop policies and procedures and establish the framework around Accounting and Finance, which enables entrepreneurs to better understand their company’s financial health and determine appropriate milestones for scalability and ultimately watch their business grow. For this section: We work with clients to provide a wide variety of services from financial projections to establishing the accounting foundation. As most of our clients are start-ups, we can assist them in identifying the specific financial and accounting needs with regard to personnel, accounting systems and process, banking relationships and finally work closely with them as they are seeking funding or equity partners.
As for Human Resources, here is where I usually take the lead as we design the “Organizational Structure” that enables clients to identify roles and responsibilities in a way that enables talent to grow within the firm. I help clients initiate HR best practices such as job descriptions, on-boarding and benefits, developing policies, procedures, code of conduct and corrective actions. I work with clients to design roles that empower individuals to drive their career path and prepare the individual for their next role within in their current organization.
I coach individual professionals in transition and those committed to their professional development and personal growth. I work with individuals looking to develop better working relationships and communication styles. I apply assessments to provide a better understanding of individual differences, preferences and characteristics; as well as the way a person prefers to take action, respond and initiate solutions and how to leverage these skills in their current environment.
Anthony: How and when did you decide that you could use the various components of your past experience to provide the consulting services you do now and what was the driving force to do so?
Ingrid: I have always been in an Organizational Development role and if I wasn’t, I found my way there.
Organizational Development is a living-breathing thing driven by the individuals on teams. As the needs of the business change, it will shift the team’s dynamic to maintain what they have always known to work for them. Whether employees move on or new hires come onboard the energy of the group will shift as the team acclimates. This may also occur when responsibilities shift as the business grows.
I enjoy working with entrepreneurs, helping as they are building their business from scratch, in some cases merging their business with others to build a better practice and provide better service or products to their clients. I have been given a great opportunity to help business owners at all levels. My goal is to help as many business owners identify whom they need in what roles to maximize efficiency to have successful businesses.
Anthony: How do you generate new ideas for the work you do and how do you implement them?
Ingrid: One of the most important aspects of our business is assisting small and new business owners to be successful. Although we provide a variety of services – we still need our own strategic partners to assist in working with our clients. As we meet folks through the chamber, we are looking for ways in which we can partner their services with our clients. It is not always focused on what we provide but how we can provide the best of our offerings blended with the best partners. We are always interested in meeting chamber members that offer products or services outside of our offerings.
We are constantly taking classes and learning about new regulations. With all of the regulatory changes such as Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) being struck down it is important for business owners to understand what changes will affect them and how to best address them.
Anthony: Everyone knows that a good number of people will initially resist change, some of it fear-based, while some it could be attributed to a generational gap, how do you help your clients work through that?
Ingrid: Funny you should ask the question this way. Resistance to change and generational gap are sometimes used interchangeably or described as one being the result of the other. The answer would vary based on the circumstances.
In assessing this type of situation, it is very important to look at the whole picture and drill down to the details. When assessing an environment, it is very important to identify fear-based resistance. What is driving the fear? Is it isolated or is it the culture?
One answer may be that an individual deemed as “change-resistant” is actually concerned with mitigating risk. Based on their experience the individual may be a cautious person who vets the long-term effects of decisions on individuals, the group and the business. They challenge decisions to ensure every possible outcome that can be measured is at the very least acknowledged. They may view the decision making process as a spider web design made up of dominoes and depending on which domino is moved will determine what will be affected. This individual is actually very necessary in business to ensure there are “checks and balance” in place.
Anthony: What do you think is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ingrid: Have honest communication and build trust.
Be honest, to yourself and others. It may sound old fashioned but your word is your reputation. I guess today one might say your words and actions are your “brand.”
Anthony: Tell me about the most rewarding piece of work that you did where you walked away saying to yourself, “Wow! That was really great.”
Ingrid: I had an individual attend an MBTI session who was outspoken regarding how he viewed himself. The session offered him a new lens through which he realized there was an alternate view of the same person. He later sent an email expressing
“Both of these programs have helped me look at my job-hunt from new perspectives, helped identify and clarify my resume and give me the confidence to face the interview process once again this late in my career.”
To have an individual shift perspective and take action for their benefit is very rewarding.
Anthony: How do you go about marketing the work you do? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ingrid: We are tapping into our contacts and working with internal referrals. Right now word of mouth and testimonials have been great marketing for us. People want to hear from business owners with whom we have worked. Currently our website is under construction and we are working on a marketing plan that will provide more exposure to a larger base. Here is where we will provide detail of our services and share testimonials. I’m always reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.844.9835
Anthony: What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who was interested in starting his or her own business?
1. Have a passion for the business; if you love it, it won’t seem like work…
2. Temper your enthusiasm with patience…many over-night successes took years to make it. Give yourself time to succeed. Your business is like starting a garden; starting with a seed of an idea, it is a living thing that needs to be cared for and tended to in order to thrive.
3. You are going to need trust-worthy, skilled professionals to help in achieving your business goals. Choose wisely who will help you establish the foundations for Accounting and Finance, Operations including Technology and last but not least Human Resources.
Anthony: What does being a member of NGLCCNY mean to you and what stands out most about the work they do?
Ingrid: Since 2008, I have had the great opportunity to meet amazing professionals and business owners through NGLCCNY. I have great appreciation for the way the NGLCCNY has driven professional networking in the LGBT community. There is something special about an individual or business owner presenting themselves to their community, a sort of coming out in the most professional manner possible being surrounded by peers cheering for their success. The Monthly Member Mixers (M3s) structure facilitates meeting new customers, vendors and partners where being gay is a non-issue.
Anthony: Finally, tell me what giving back to the community means to you?
Ingrid: Giving back to the community is being out and proud. Whether we realize it or not, want it or not; we are community leaders and daily we set an example to the next generation. The LGBT youth in our community need to see us visibly and actively taking a stand and making our mark. The NGLCCNY gives that opportunity.
There are many CBOs providing services daily that could use some the services in which chamber members specialize. Sometimes they could simply use a hand in getting their work done. We can help support community based organizations close to our own hearts either by providing financial support or through volunteerism.
Written by Anthony Brincat, NGLCCNY Member & Volunteer Correspondent, Media Communications Committee. Anthony is a Senior HR Manager at Allen & Overy LLP, a multi-national law firm.
Photography Credit: Vaughn Stewart, NGLCCNY Member & Volunteer Photographer, Media Communications Committee. Vaughn is Principal and Chief Photographer at Vaughn Stewart Photography.