Sydney Smith

As I meet new people, I often share in my introduction that I’m an Army brat. I share that not only because I’m proud of my dad for his service (and my mom for her devotion to him and our family through all of our adventures), but also because it really defines so much about who I am. We traveled around the country as I was growing up and even spent a few years in Germany. Discipline was tight; love and family were even tighter. And my three brothers and I were continually encouraged to be all that we could be. (Sorry! I couldn’t resist.)

So much travel growing up created a bit of wanderlust in me, which is not a bad thing for a consultant to have. Going new places and meeting new people is so exciting and rewarding and offers new perspectives and experiences each and every time. I really enjoy talking with people in all sorts of roles, getting a behind-the-scenes view of how varied industries operate. It is pretty handy to have had 16 years of experience meeting new people and establishing new relationships every couple of years.

Before finding my ‘home’ with GP Strategies, I enjoyed a career in technical writing, still helping employees to be successful by creating user guides and similar documentation. That, too, required interacting with different people to understand processes and technologies so that I could effectively document them. While with Computer Sciences Corporation, I was also introduced to Total Quality Management (TQM) and found even greater interest in process improvement. That began to open my eyes to a different spin on performance improvement and became a wonderful reason to transition to a small company called RWD Technologies (later acquired by GP Strategies).

One of the first things that attracted me to RWD was the motto: “Our focus is on the end users.” My early assignments helped to create a real passion for frontline employees and the work that they do. During those early days, I delivered some instructor-led training and was thrilled when I could see light bulbs going on around the classroom.

Today, I find great satisfaction in working with people to uncover business challenges—analyzing the people, processes, systems, and technologies—and, together, finding ways to resolve those challenges. I’m still learning and growing by meeting new people all the time, and I am still thrilled when I can help light bulbs to brighten and problems to be solved.

Blog Archives

The Intangibles of Performance Excellence

In the last 5 years or so, I have had the pleasure of working with a number of different companies in quite varied industries to understand performance excellence—to understand what behaviors are unique to those individuals who consistently achieve exceptional

Video: Key Pointers on Creating Engaging Curriculum Design

Before we talk about creating engaging courses, I want to start by defining what that means to me. And it is best when working with a client to understand exactly what they mean as well. Often what I mean by

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