Company and History
How old is Swiss Consulting Group Inc, and how was it founded?
Swiss Consulting Group was founded in 1997 by Dr. Erhard Bruderer and Dr. Thomas D. Zweifel. They had met in the Humanistisches Gymnasium Basel (Switzerland) at the age of 11, and had spent eight years learning Latin and Math etc. together. They had graduated in 1981 and had lost touch for 16 years. When they reconnected, they discovered that they had both learned about human-centered strategy: Erhard had learned it from his Ph.D. advisor, the famous strategy guru C.K. Prahalad at the University of Michigan. Thomas had developed it in the action through his work as Director of Global Operations, working with 27 countries at The Hunger Project, an international organization on the roster of the UN dedicated to end world hunger. Erhard and Thomas joined forces in September 1997 and built the strategy for Swiss Consulting Group while sitting largely on a bench in Central Park.
What is the background of the company?
The company started with a lean team of Erhard and Thomas and quickly grew to include Peggy Thatcher as Director of Global Training for many consultants/coaches. The company has delivered significant trainings, workshops, coaching and performance programs over the last 20 years. Consultants and staff operate from numerous countries and remotely serve clients as well as deliver high performance programs for people and companies in their regions. Peggy now heads up the company as CEO and oversees all consultants and coaching operations.
What is the background in coaching?
I learned the art and science of coaching while at The Hunger Project. Our legal structure was such that we could not use the traditional hierarchical command-and-control model. Each national affiliate in The Hunger Project was accountable not to the Global Office but to its own board of directors and ultimately to its country’s fiscal and legal authorities. So although my title was Director of Global Training and I was accountable for the performance of 27 affiliates, I had no legal authority to hire or fire people or tell them what to do. The only legal authority I had was to revoke the name ‘The Hunger Project’ if people did not carry out or adhere to the essential mission of the organization to support transformative change and increased performance and increased well-being for the companies and their people. It was difficult at the time, but in hindsight it turned out to be the perfect education in becoming a competent coach. And the results showed: we expanded annual turnover by 500 percent over five years while holding expenses stable. We then seamlessly applied this coaching methodology to Swiss Consulting Group with similar successes and have continued to advance our coaching techniques ever since.
How would you define your company?
We are a global network of highly competent coaches and consultants who are experts on the elusive human component: leadership, communication and coaching. We coach people to be leaders in their own future – and I mean that literally. We ask our clients where they want to go, and then we identify and provide what’s missing for them to get there. We remove the blockages. We make it work on the human front.
What kind of sectors are you working for?
All sectors: individuals, corporate and SMEs, government, nonprofits and community based organisations. All organizations are made up of people who want to produce something bigger than themselves.
What are your main results?
Our clients’ results are our results. We consistently assist our clients to produce outstanding results. One client, a senior executive at an energy company in Europe, wanted to produce 5 million euro in sales through entirely new products that had not even hit the market yet when we began. He met that goal. Another team set itself a breakthrough goal to expand its already successful sales volume by 16 percent. It missed that goal, but produced a 7 percent increase while the industry on average declined by 1 percent. Another company expanded its sales by 1000 percent within 3 months after our coaching.
How are you different from other coaching companies?
Three things. Number one, many coaches work on a remedial or behavioral basis – we focus on setting and meeting a business challenge where the added value is in the results. Number two, we bring the global dimension into coaching; we know how humans tick. And this allows for number three: many coaches stay on the surface and work at the level of behaviors or skills, which is fine, but not deep enough. We use our human insight to unlock hidden potentials in people. We unleash the human spirit.
What is your mission when you’re working with a client?
We take our slogan, “Coaching people to be leaders to meet the future” quite literally. “Coaching leaders” implies that you must be a leader, so if the client is in any way held back from being a leader, we take care of that. Then we design a future that is visionary, unpredictable, measurable and reflecting a new quality of life. Then we provide what is missing, remove blockages, and seize opportunities to meet that future.
How do you work?
There are three ways of working: teaching, training and coaching. In teaching, you give people distinctions and knowledge, but you have no accountability for what they do with the information. In training, you prepare people for action, and you have some accountability for their actions. In coaching (at least the way we understand coaching), you ask questions designed to open up new ways of seeing the world, and you are accountable with the client for producing the results they want.
Do you have a Quality Assurance Process that insures the quality of the services you’re delivering?
Yes! We take great care to select, train and properly certify our coaches worldwide. Before they can coach, they have to observe one of our master coaches at work, then be specifically trained under guidance from a certified master coach. They then follow their developmental path to produce outstanding results via coaching, training or facilitating. We also hold regular meetings and conference calls to aid continual development and share best practices.
How many consultants are working with Swiss Consulting Group?
We have an inner core of 3 certified Master Coaches. Then there is a larger network of approximately 20 coaches/consultants available that we pull in when the need arises.
How are the consultants and coaches selected?
They need a long-standing track record as successful coaches. Their ethics and character need to be impeccable. Their capacity for self-awareness needs to be well developed. They need to be great communicators and global citizens. And they need to get along great with others.
How can I be sure that I’ll have the same level of quality if I work with some other consultant than the one I know?
Our master coaches regularly check in with and train every coach who works with a client.
Can you also provide services in the area of personal coaching?
What kind of average result can I expect to produce if I work with your company?
No average results. You can expect to produce the results you don’t dare to dream about – the kinds of results you think are too bold for you.
What is the added value for me to work with a company specialized in coaching?
You get results rather than just insights.