Kalyn Wilson, Founder and Managing Partner; Shellon Johnson, Managing Partner, Dream Forward ConsultingKalyn Wilson, Founder and Managing Partner; Shellon Johnson, Managing Partner
Dream Forward Consulting is a certified Black woman-owned global consulting firm specializing in organizational design and development, culture transformation, executive coaching, and comprehensive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The company helps a wide variety of clientele, including startups, nonprofits, Fortune 100 companies, and government agencies, transform their leaders, drive change, and form a clear identity to accomplish their goals.

In an interview with Manage HR, Kalyn Wilson, founder and managing partner, and Shellon Johnson, managing partner of Dream Forward Consulting, shed light on Dream Forward Consulting’s distinct edge in the organizational development space, along with their team expertise, service offerings, and customer success highlights.

A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Organizational Development

Kalyn: We help companies and their leaders develop and thrive as a part of organizational development by coaching employees, the driving force of an organization. We create a highly productive organization in different streams, one defining and aligning organizational values and competencies for leadership development and growth. The other stream is aimed at developing an organizational structure that involves structuring teams, managing policy development, and handling the span of control and reporting structures. We adhere to appropriate rules and standards and perform highly comprehensive tasks to maximize performance and team cohesion for our clients.

Our services encompass executive coaching, formal learning programs, and psychometric assessments for leaders and decision-makers to create a strategy around the future of inclusion, people, and cultural practices in a company.

Challenges in the Organizational Development Space

Shellon: Today, companies face challenges in branding, including how they are identified and viewed by employees and how they attract new employees. We conduct exercises to identify their needs to promote the company’s branding. Our team conducts a strategy session to review, evaluate, and uncover any disconnects or gaps in organizational culture, including branding.

Our consultants perform an extensive audit of their employees’ current job descriptions and roles and a gap analysis to determine the missing aspects of their job descriptions so they can recruit appropriate employees when they are well-established in the market. We streamline their internal operations to focus on branding structure and development to support organizations in thriving as a team.

A second challenge is the complex and old-fashioned organizational structure due to the lack of DEI, which has become complicated and antiquated. Our clients can benefit from our help here by developing DEI-friendly organizational structures. We help formulate executive teams, realign entire departments, and build competency models and career growth structures. Our teams assist them in completing the triangle of effectiveness with leadership, branding, and organizational development structures.

Customer Success Stories Highlighting Dream Forward Consulting’s Expertise

Shellon: It is common for companies, including startups and well-established firms, to not have an HR department. One of our clients did not have a solid team to focus on HR operations and get timely insights from recruitment and promotions. The senior leadership team lacked the vision of the HR business model and had a distorted view of their employee’s sentiments. We made the client understand the reason behind the Great Resignation, which stemmed from a lack of addressing employee sentiments.

Taking into consideration employees’ needs, hopes, and pain points, we assisted the client in organizational culture transformation and HR onboarding to strategically understand their employees’ sentiments. Our consultants helped the new HR team build potential outcomes, HR strategies, and communication channels in liaison with existing senior leadership teams. We helped the client contextualize the feedback, issues, and conversations between the senior leaders and HR to eventually develop an ideal HR strategy.

Kalyn: Another instance was when we engaged with a client facing year-long internal and external communication difficulties. We started with an exercise to determine how they wanted to respond based on their company identity. Our consultants developed a communication calendar outlining the day-to-day plans of communication activities and made the leadership team comfortable communicating and responding to their employees and customers. Dream Forward Consulting eventually helped the client address the crisis, streamline their communication strategy, and publish their external and internal communications.

Exemplifying Service Excellence

Shellon: We play a significant role in change management, driven by the core values of productivity, efficiency, justice, and resilience. We motivate employees to embrace all forms of change, even if it is challenging and taxing, with open arms through executive coaching.

Our expert consultants leverage over 15 years of experience and education in organizational development, DEI, and HR and simultaneously handle multiple operations. We follow a top-down approach to effectively coach and train executives and a bottom-up approach in certain instances to coach the frontline staff while looking through the lens of DEI.

Our strength lies in the ability to provide safe spaces for leaders and professionals to imagine their future, challenge their past, and grow beyond their current state

We also leverage our project management expertise to achieve our client’s strategic objectives. We ensure to plan things wisely to stay on schedule for our clients and celebrate every small and big win.

Kalyn: Above all, what distinguishes us in the organizational development space is the right balance of education and expertise, along with the temperament to make the work excellent. As organizational psychologists, we can maintain a balance between our two core areas, DEI and HR consultancy. Our executive members have earned over 20 certifications in psychometric assessments and methodologies, such as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, HR, change management, professional coaching, Gallup Global Strengths, DiSC, and EQ-i 2.0, enabling us to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a potential employee.

Currently, we are pursuing multiple certifications and degrees, including organization psychology, sociology, management, and a doctoral program on optimizing employee experience for Black men. We regularly watch podcasts, engage with thought leadership networks and other psychologists, and attend relevant conferences to incorporate constant improvement in our internal knowledge and abilities. Our strength lies in the ability to provide safe spaces for leaders and professionals to imagine their future, challenge their past, and grow beyond their current state.

Dream Forward Consulting will continue to balance its intuition, intelligence, and intellect and leverage human capital to achieve organizational goals and business strategies.