I was asked to recommend ways to improve the operations of an organization. This was outside my work, and I knew little about the business and its operations before I was asked to sit in a few meetings, observe and give recommendations. The request was made by someone who I could not say no to, despite the fact that I have enough on my plate now. I ended up having a very interesting, insightful experience, which was my main takeaway from the exchange.
The organization in question is a government contractor, and delivers training services in various occupational areas. The organization has grown over many years, and some of those growth was ad hoc. The systems and processes that I noticed seemed to have grown organically, from its roots as a small firm, and somehow did not scale up when the organization got larger. Besides, following a merger a few years back, this firm has suddenly become very large, have achieved market leadership and got to a stage where its systems, processes and strategic plans have come under the scanner.