Dr. Valerie D.W James, President & CEO, VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLCDr. Valerie D.W James, President & CEO
Through more than a decade of professional leadership experience and graduate education, Dr. Valerie D.W. James, President, and CEO of VisionSpot Consulting Group, learned sound leadership traits and practices could offset disengagement, turnover, and the negative impact of business failure. She also learned the important aspects needed to build employee and customer commitment, loyalty, and the ability to produce better outcomes. During James’ 25-plus years working in corporate America as an executive in human resources, one of her most pivotal roles was mediating relationships between leaders and their employees. In that role, James experienced firsthand the cost of ineffective leadership, operational efficiency, communication breakdowns, and the rewards of improving those areas. Her experience also taught the benefits of providing effective leadership, support, along with the proper tools and training to assist leaders and their teams to think, learn, collaborate, solve problems, listen, become self-motivated, and grow personally and as well as professionally— “An ordinary day at work could be transformed into an extraordinary day at work”.

In what felt like a blink, James was given a vision for changing the face of leadership, which gave birth to her passion for leadership, business, and people development. The vision became the foundation for the firm VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLC. With a couple of trusted advisors and a big audacious goal to teach leaders how to transform an ordinary business into an extraordinary one™, her mission became possible. James walked away from her executive career in corporate America to help leaders and businesses become more successful. Realizing the organization of the future is taking shape in the moves that companies make now, the game was different. Beyond the Basics leaders leverage the art of Visionary thinking as they inspire others to embrace the vision. These leaders actively work toward achieving a common goal and make communication the cornerstone of the organizational culture. Visionary thinking provides Beyond the Basics leaders the means for strategic direction and specific deployment actions. This type of leader inspires great loyalty and trust in their followers. The stakes have gotten higher and staying ahead of the game is the name of the game to win as a business leader. Strategies and processes that worked in the past will now require new strategies and new processes. The changes require forward movement and some companies will not turn back. The context is new with a fast-paced global economy in which industry norms are constantly in flux and dependent on a variety of factors: rapidly changing technology, an increasingly diverse, remote, and global workforce, complex workplace dynamics and a much smaller guarantee of job stability. Business leaders of today are facing unique challenges, as well as rich new opportunities for growth. James explains, “How to take the growing pains out of your expanding business beyond the basics. Any small business that became large grew organically. Eventually, all organic movement needs rearranging and every business owner seeks a formal organizational structure to serve as a framework for growth.”The conditions require today’s leaders to expand beyond the status quo. James emphasizes, “a growing business requires the actions of a Beyond a Basics leader who can stretch their skills, organization, team and resources to take an organization from its current state to a future state - bigger, better, and different both with and through the support of others, even during turbulent times.”

What are some of the challenges that you help your clients address?

The absence of an effective beyond the basics leader can leave organizations in flux, employees disengaged, leaders uncommitted, but most of all...MISALIGNED. James found during her 22 years of experience helping businesses overcome a handful of challenges and pain thresholds leaders experienced, whether they lead incorporated companies or startups. The most significant challenges are leadership effectiveness, commitment, and burnout because of little or no time to plan for the growth of your business. The next significant challenge is unclear strategy that affects the ability to measure outcomes creating a lack of steady cash flow to operate your business. The challenge thereby creates a structure comprising of fragmented and siloed processes and workflows, which cost companies too much to get tasks completed. The last but not least challenge involves finding experienced talent for growing your team. None of these challenges are mutually exclusive. The VisionSpot team has found the solutions to overcome these challenges and create success. The process boils down to efficient alignment of four pillars that can solve each challenge. James says, “Beyond the basics leaders are effective at removing barriers and marshalling alignment of the four most critical operational pillars to increase efficiency, boost growth and create a world class customer experience“ as outlined in the Solutions Maximizing Brilliance(SMB) School of Leadership Framework® below:

• Leadership alignment of a leader’s skills, talent, abilities, and emotional maturity is critical to the health of an organization. When executed properly, aligned leaders identify and use their strengths, expand their sphere of influence by learning how to turn ideas into reality, and transform the result into a workable plan.

We want to continue to expand our reach, increasing our territory to serve as a resource, to transform ordinary businesses into extraordinary ones worldwide

• Strategic alignment focuses on the financial resources necessary to drive and achieve the mission, in addition to the actions and goals necessary to measure ROI and achieve the desired outcome and earn a profit.

• Structure alignment comprises standardize processes, activities and consistent methods businesses engage in to enhance operational and workflow efficiency even when pivoting.

• Talent alignment is best achieved when skills, roles, and goals are clearly aligned with the vison and strategic objectives of the organization to boost performance, productivity and deployment of a world-class customer experience consistently.

James says,“Aligned leadership, strategy, structure, and talent are the most important tangible and intangible assets in every business.” Whether current or future customers can envision what is happening behind the scenes or not, the process needs to be solid to create a world-class customer experience consistently. VisionSpot has found operation alignment in these four areas achieves best with a proven format that is agile to help businesses remain unbreakable. At VisionSpot, we provide our clients with leadership and operational development solutions to improve their performance by analyzing a company’s current problems. We design and implement models to ensure our client’s business operation runs more efficiency; their strategy is clear, and flexible for unforeseen challenges that lie ahead. Improved workflow, policies, procedures, and reimagined structures around enhancing the customer experience fuels by the strength of your organization’s talent. Employees possess unique skill sets and perspectives that serve as a source of capital for your business. The VisionSpot team works with companies to develop and plan workforce development, training, and aid with performance management to create great places to work, creating a holistic approach to leading beyond the basics.

Could you give us an overview of VisionSpot Consulting Group?

VisionSpot has been placing an indelible stamp on the development of leaders, individuals, and businesses across the globe since 1998. During our infancy stage, we quickly learned that developing a multi-source strategy for a domestic leadership model is the best way to balance value and risk, diversity to explore as approaches to reaching optimal efficiency. Through this revelation, we found our market niche. James coined it VisionSpot. The SPOT where VISIONS for the future are created, implemented, and commended for turning leadership, business, and personal development obstacles into opportunities. Our business solutions designs to enhance the functionality and precision of processes, employee productivity, and strategic execution to deliver quality outcomes for foreign and domestic companies. While at the same time, teach leaders how to stretch outside of the traditional approach to leadership, create a more engaged and inclusive workforce, and empower people to accomplish productive work to reach organization’s objectives.

VisionSpot is not a traditional business and management consulting firm. We are the home of the Solutions Maximizing Brilliance (SMB) School of Leadership. Through our SMB School of Leadership, we focus on four key areas of impact for your business: leadership effectiveness, strategy execution, operational structure, and talent management. We quip business leaders with the necessary skills, resources, and strategies to build more sustainable businesses. We understand companies need strong leadership that can align actions with their organization’s shared vision, execute your business strategy today, and can quickly step up to meet the challenges of the future. We also understand every leader has a unique set of skills, abilities, and attitudes. If leveraged properly, a leader’s unique skills can be utilized to align with their business priorities to create a more engaged, tenured, and efficient workforce.

The Solutions Maximizing Brilliance (SMB) School of Leadership, a traveling institution, specializes in developing, implementing workplace solutions designed to help people, leaders, and businesses GROW. We offer highly effective performance enhancement curriculums, tailor-made instructional programs, and instructor-led and eLearning courses with tools and training essentials for companies worldwide. We provide evidence-based leadership programs segmented by position level from the executive level to the frontline level designed to teach leaders how to lead more brilliantly as intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs. With over 20 years of experience and a pool of professional, experienced, and qualified consultants, we blend our extensive leadership, Human Resource training, process improvement and project management experiences to illuminate the connection of leadership development, corporate education and organizational development with business values, efficiency and growth. Since our first year, we have grown at an exciting pace and helped thousands of business leaders in organizations achieve sustainable results far beyond the basics.

Could you walk me through the process that you have in place for onboarding the clients who come to you with their specific needs, and what are some of the support options that you provide to clients?

At VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLC we foster a leader-to-leader collaboration approach as the groundwork for success. After which, we immerse ourselves in the companies’ culture to understand the unique business profile. From assessment of the current situation to establish clear project parameters, goals, and the leader’s benchmarks for success. Following project approval, we then schedule and co-facilitate the kickoff Leadership Meeting with the company’s CEO to create a degree of shared ownership to set the foundation for a successful project or training. We, then, generate a detailed project plan and realistic timelines to ensure project deliverables meet on-time deadlines. After the finalization of goals and outcomes, we offer ongoing business, leadership, and HR support for a variety of operational disciplines and competencies. Our clients often use us as an extended resource, and we are always available to assist or answer any questions.

Our collaborative project management and interactive training approaches are critical for each phase of the project and our partnership. Successful collaboration is the foundation of our proven record of accomplishment of efficiently developing leaders and building a stronger work culture. We differentiate on being “success partner” experts. Our clients are more to us than just a project or client, so when you decide to work with us, we treat you like partners in success. We not only provide training and business solutions for what to do, we help guide you through how to do it, by serving as an extra pair of expert hands when critical projects require additional support.

What does the future hold for VisionSpot?

Nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business as cited in media new across the globe. It appears that the disruption may be business as usual for a while as businesses across the globe must rise beyond crisis mode to remain a float. We will continue working to empower the most promising businesses, leaders, managers, and HR professionals through a transformational experience. While supporting efforts to keep unemployment rates low, employee engagement high and businesses thriving, it is imperative that organizations continually pay attention to their human capital. It is also imperative to ensure its executives and employees have the necessary skills and resources to be successful and effective, thus the need for leadership development and operational alignment beyond the basics.

We want to help ensure business leaders are pivoting in the right direction by building and aligning operations, teams, and structures fit for the purpose of becoming more valuedriven and agile. We provide the opportunity for people to expand their capacity to create the results desired, where collective aspiration is set free and aligned and agile organizations have the best chance to succeed and thrive in the future. We will continue offering virtual support and virtual project teams that support organizations in the form of transformational support and operational efficiency support. We also provide online training via Zoom and e-learning courses for customization within the organization. We are pivoting in virtual spaces to provide opportunities, where face-to-face is not a recommendation. We have maintained our ability to service our clients by expanding opportunities and then collaborating with different vendors and organizations to allow for resources that are more technical from vendors that offer system integration and find more support. We also continue to write books and manuals for organizations to leverage regularly, which are frequently updated to support today's workplaces and businesses' ever-changing landscape. VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLC is well positioned to answer the growing needs for leadership development to take the growing pains out of their growing business, hiring practices, as well as keep and grow its human capital. We are set up for travel and have plans to expand our reach east, west, north, and south.