In an effort to expand our thought leadership, highlight Experts, and engage our Expert Community, we collaborated with YourEncore Expert, John Carpenter, to participate in our Q&A series as a part of our broader initiative to serve the Expert community. In this series, we will seek to find out what motivates our Experts and how their relationship with YourEncore has been beneficial to them and their career as they navigate the gig economy.
John Carpenter is a senior human resources consultant with over 30 years’ experience in global business organizations, including more than 18 years in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He has a broad background as an HR leader and as a consultant with particular expertise in HR strategy, organization development, project team effectiveness, change management and executive coaching.
John received his BS from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Certifications include the Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP); Prosci’s Change Management Process; The Management Research Group assessments and Hogan Assessment Systems; and MBTI Certified Practitioner.
What brought you to YourEncore?
When I considered starting my consultancy in 2004, I heard about YourEncore from other job-seekers, but my actual relationship with YourEncore started in 2016, when a former BMS colleague recommended me for a YourEncore assignment and I decided to join.
How has YourEncore helped you continue and manage your career?
After recognizing a need to develop a Change Management Center within the YourEncore network, I worked with YourEncore leadership to initiate a Change Management Center. YourEncore sponsored my attendance at a Change Management certification workshop with the understanding that I would help YourEncore establish a Change Management Practice to help bolster the company’s project management capability.
While I have decades of firsthand experience in navigating organizational change, I think that having the Change Management certification behind my name adds to my credibility as a seasoned change management expert, and gives me an additional professional advantage. Working with YourEncore allows me more opportunities for me to do work I’m passionate about.
So far, most of my energy has been focused on getting the YourEncore Change Management Center off the ground. I also got the green light to establish a program of speaking engagements with chapters of the Society for Human Resource Management in key markets around the country. The intent is to raise awareness of YourEncore services and unique capabilities – especially the concepts of a virtual workforce and alumni engagement – within the HR community with a particular emphasis on reaching biotech/pharma HR leaders.
How have you found the work through YourEncore to be meaningful or impactful to both your life, and to the clients you’ve serviced?
After getting placed on my first project in 2016, I began to attend YourEncore social functions. Because the local meetings have so many post-career biopharma folks in attendance, the events took on a special meaning. Here was a set of people I could really relate to. We spoke the same language, and knew the same people (and often each other). It felt a bit like being back in a pharma organization. I realize that I have a good deal to give to a company like YourEncore, a fact that’s constantly reaffirmed by the YourEncore employees I have worked with.
The YourEncore project team that I worked with had deep experience and a great sense of cohesion and camaraderie. We did excellent work, as did a previous YourEncore team that worked with the client in 2015. However, the organization’s deep resistance to many of the changes we proposed is what inspired my recommendation to YourEncore that we beef up our approach to project management to pay more attention to change management to help clients get full value from our consultation.
What advice would you give to experienced professionals like yourself looking to transition into a consulting career?
Creating your own consultancy is hard work – and investing in your own business can be costly. That’s why I recommend connecting with a team like YourEncore. There is no experience I can think of that will more quickly drive home the value of having a team of people like YourEncore to work with you on a project than tackling the project alone. If you do not have laser-like focus and great clarity regarding what you will market as your special capability, rethink your plan – especially if you don’t have marketing chops.
Working with a firm like YourEncore that has market presence and back-end capability to support the business has been a tremendous help. Creating a marketing plan is hard enough. Executing it effectively is much harder.
Find a way to market yourself! YourEncore offers several programs to help you do this through marketing programs and networking events. Take steps to bolster your confidence in speaking to individuals and groups in order to shamelessly promote yourself. The YourEncore socials are a great way to practice.
Lastly, how do you think working with YourEncore has helped to add ease to the process of looking for consulting gigs?
As previously noted, a solo practitioner needs a clear business plan, a flair (or at least a capacity) for marketing, an ability to reach other professionals who may have necessary skills and abilities that he or she doesn’t have, and a back-office capability. Clearly, YourEncore has all those attributes – and then some. Working with YourEncore leaves the solo practitioner free to concentrate on exercising their expertise against a project – often/usually with colleagues, rather than spending the considerable time and energy (and emotional capital) marketing to and communicating with prospects and clients.
Want to connect with John Carpenter? Contact ExpertExperience@YourEncore.com.