Hi! My name is Riana, chief problem solver at Pragmatic Solutions, a business to business service offering coaching and consulting for small to medium service based businesses.
In corporate speak, you’d call me a ‘business management consultant.’ Scary words for smaller companies. I am definitely not about scary.
I am about making a difference. I work best with like-minded business owners and directors who are making a positive difference in the world. I help them grow through achieving more clarity, focus and direction and becoming smarter in the way they manage their growing business.
To do this, I work closely with you, focusing on seven management areas:
These pieces work together like cogs in a wheel, so you’ll want to keep your eye on the cogs to make sure you are strong and stay strong in each of these areas.
My job is to facilitate your thinking and help you implement simple tools and processes so you can manage your business in a way that frees you up. That means more time to do the things that you are good at, i.e., get more business, look after your clients, grow your business. I am not good at ‘doing’ your business. I am good at managing stuff, facilitating conversations, making you and your leadership think so you can come up with what is best for your company.
Naturally, I also work with businesses who are already successful and who know they can be even better at their game.
Now you may be thinking ‘what gives her the right and makes her think she can do this work?’ In a nutshell:
• 20+ years in a corporate environment at well-known financial institutions, complete with vision, mission, planning cycles, KPI’s, (key performance indicators) management routines, performance reviews and the like. Add to that superb training in leadership, management, various methodologies (CMMI, Six Sigma) and technical skills. Think structure, frameworks, direction, highly skilled, leading teams, delivering results.
• The actual work was in Information Engineering; analysing, designing, building, testing, implementing and maintaining software systems across several lines of business, cultures and time-zones. Think complex, problem solving, patterns, simplifying, streamlining, diversity, keeping people happy and satisfied.
• It spanned various roles: Business analysis, software developer, consultant, project manager, process manager, resource manager and unusual for IT, developing and delivering training. Think breadth of experience, perspective, communication, facilitation, integration, insights.
• Official qualifications and certifications: Project Management Professional and Crucial Conversations Certifications, Personal Development and Executive Coaching Diplomas, and a long time ago, a Diploma in Diagnostic Radiography.
When I ask my clients why they like working with me, they say things like:
‘You get me. You understand. You take an owner’s perspective.’
‘I feel safe with you. I feel like I am in a safe pair of hands.’
‘I don’t feel rushed, you give me time and space.’
‘You don’t tell us what to do, you help us find our own answers that are right for us.’
‘Your voice is soft and calming.’
‘We like your thoughtful, empathetic and generous nature.’
I did not always have such glowing ‘soft skills’ reports. Back in South Africa, I started my working life as a radiographer, taking X-rays of bodies. My colleagues would often caution me about my direct manner with patients. You told them what to do, where to sit, stand, lie, when to breathe. Well, such directness did not go down very well in the IT world. Instead, I learned to work with people as opposed to bodies. Another big life event was moving to the United Kingdom in 1999. It took a lot of courage, grit, determination and perseverance to forge a successful career and build a full and joyful life in my adopted country.
I did it. It’s these life and professional experiences that give me the edge in the business coaching and consulting services I provide.