Work Travel

by

Recently, I was traveling from Denver back home to Dallas and was sat next to an inquisitive individual that worked in the medical field. We started chatting and he became fascinated with consultants’ travel schedules. After speaking with him, I decided that a blog explaining my travel schedule at Thought Ensemble might spark the interest of those who either do not know much about the industry, or who are only familiar with the travel schedules of the average consulting firms. Typically, when I travel, it’s for about 2-3 days, and my schedule is as follows:

Monday: Calls, calls, calls. Mondays are spent game planning, checking where we are on the project, discussing what needs to be done, and making sure the team is aligned and ready to meet with the client on Tuesday. Part of the reason why we’re able to do 2-3-day travel weeks is because of how transparent our teams are with our clients. To make reduced travel work, we are constantly in communication with project stakeholders to ensure that we are on the right track.

Tuesday:

4:37 AM – First Alarm
4:45 AM – Second Alarm
5:00 AM – Wake up
5:12 AM – Uber Arrives
5:30 AM – Arrive at airport
5:45 AM – Board
6:00 AM – Take Off
7:10 AM – Land in Denver
8:30 AM – Arrive at client, bags in hand

When you read the timeline above, it’s easy to assume that it’s always changing and difficult to schedule around; it’s not. After flying to Denver every week, for about 15 weeks last year, the routine became part of my permanent schedule. I literally have it timed so that I can walk through the airport, without stopping, and get right in the boarding line.

As soon as we arrive at the client we have meetings/follow ups scheduled from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. These meetings catch the client up on what we’ve been doing, where we are, and what’s needed for the rest of the week (hence all of the Monday prep). This is usually followed by the group grabbing a quick bite to eat and then continuing to work through the end of the day.

6:00 – 6:30 PM – Leave client
6:45 – 7:00 – Walk to the hotel, consider going to the gym, realize that there’s probably going to be no marginal gain and grab a drink instead
7:30 PM – Team dinner or solo dinner depending on what people have going on
8:00 PM – Turn the laptop back on and continue to prep for Wednesday
10:00 PM – Sleep

Wednesday:

Wednesdays are spent working on deliverables and having any follow up meetings that we missed on Tuesday. The team is working in a huddle room and asking questions to the client on the fly. If we are onsite with a client for two days, this is usually the day we divide the work among our team and set goals for what we need to accomplish. Clients typically appreciate this transparency because they know exactly how far along in the process we are.

7:00 PM – Arrive at airport
7:15 PM – Eat guilty pleasure food (for me that’s Panda Express)
9:30 PM – Arrive in Dallas
11:00 PM – Lights out

Thursday and Friday

These are our heads-down working days. By this time, we should have all the client feedback that we need to continue iterating and working on our deliverables. Friday afternoon we usually have a touchpoint call with the client to let them know what they can expect during Monday’s review.

The 2-3-day travel week has lessened the burden of traditional consulting by giving flexibility that has not existed in the past. Thought Ensemble is cognizant to the fact that travel is hard and any extra time at home makes a big difference. In some cases, consistent work travel becomes stale as time goes on; however, with the shortened travel week, I actually enjoy getting out to the client site and making an impact in a short period of time.

READ MORE

Fake Case Study: Jack of all trades vs. Master of One

Fake Case Study: Jack of all trades vs. Master of One

  Listen to any earnings call or executive presentation and you will likely hear the terms “top line” and “bottom line.” These are words used to describe a business’s performance. According to Investopedia, the words are defined as follows: Top line refers to the...

read more
Your Personality Is Showing

Your Personality Is Showing

There I was, minding my own business one evening, digging into my organization's SEO performance (as one does), when I came across something interesting. Search terms related to "MBTI" — or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel...

read more
Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Hello. My name is Monique, and I’m a change manager who hates change.   After years of receiving “consulting therapy” from various mentors, I am now able to say these words out loud and proudly. But for a long time, it felt more like an admission of guilt. I mean, who...

read more
Creativity as a Cure

Creativity as a Cure

The topic of creative solutioning has been front and center these days as we talk more and more about organizational adaptability in the face of dynamic and uncertain times. For example, I recently read about a project that got me thinking about specific priorities...

read more
Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Big news over here as we close out the year - we have been acquired by Pariveda, a 750-person consulting firm in 12 markets across North America! We are now “Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company” and I’ll be serving as the Managing Vice President continuing to lead...

read more
Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Dallas, December 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Pariveda, a leader specializing in solving complex technology and business problems, announces the acquisition of Thought Ensemble. With the addition of Thought Ensemble, Pariveda now provides holistic business strategy,...

read more
Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

It was about a year ago that we first started hearing about Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (SB19-085) and I knew it was going to be national news. We’d just gotten past the “Rocky Mountain High” jokes, and our lovely state was trying to break new ground...

read more
Disruption Is the New Normal

Disruption Is the New Normal

By nature, disruptors are not popular. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then they copy you.” We have all heard some version of this quote, and we have all seen it play out in real life. We've seen it with building...

read more
What Would You Say You Do Here?

What Would You Say You Do Here?

“I deal with the … customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills!” That famous Office Space quote from Tom Smykowski cracks me up every single time. I know Toms. I’ve been Tom. Change the quote to say, “IT Team” instead of “engineers,” and there’s a...

read more