163: Process consulting - with Kim Stezala

About Kim Stezala

Kim Stezala is Senior Partner at Design Group International, a group of consultants that help leaders, businesses and nonprofit organizations navigate transformative change. Primarily working in higher education and philanthropy, Kim uses the power of process consulting to help organizations design effective programs and innovate, evaluate and improve what they do. Recently named CEO of the Society for Process Consulting, she is also building standards, courses, and credentials for the field.


What is process consulting and how is it different from traditional consulting?

“So, process consulting was really created quite a while ago by Edgar Schein who's a professor out of MIT. Okay. And it takes basically a very humble and iterative approach to consulting where even though we might have expertise in a certain area, we work with clients to really pull out their expertise.”


Why did you start the Society for Process Consulting?

“So, it really came from many of us who were doing process consulting, looking for place, if you will, looking for community and wanting to work together to put these standards and ethics in place to provide…”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“Well I happen to work with a lot of scholarship providers and the attending their national conference not only as a regular participant but as a speaker is really successful in terms of networking because I have a really niche market with some of the clients that I work with.”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

“I would like to say I used to be better at it. I'm, I'm kind of circling back, I had a huge growth spurt in my business and kind of trying to keep up. Um, but in terms of staying in front of people, I really prefer the personal touch.”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“I would say, um, get out of your own pond or your own pool. Okay. And so sometimes I will go to events where I don't know a single person there. And the reason is to just understand how other industries work and operate.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“For my particular type of work, it's definitely the traditional. Okay. Because it's so relationship-based. Probably 90% of my business comes through referral and…”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I really thought about this, you know, and for me, I think I would tell my younger self to listen more. I was a kid who on the report card in school would always say talks too much in class…”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“Okay, you're probably going to laugh. My husband told me that this is crazy. I have a celebrity crush on Jackie Chan…”


What book are you reading right now?

“Well, um, two books. One is about building communities of practice by Emily Weber. I think she's a British author and I, I go back to it. I've read it before. It's so simple. It's like 70 pages, but it helps me learn and understand that because our business is structured as a community of practice…”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“I think the biggest thing, just listening over the last half hour is really that thing about getting out of your comfort zone.”



You can get in contact with Kim at:

Email: kims@designgroupintl.com