A monthly newsletter for Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) July 2023
Outgoing RPCN President’s Message
As the 2022-23 fiscal year wraps up for RPCN, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of RPCN for making the past year a very rewarding one for me.
As president of this incredible organization, it has been an honor and quite honestly a truly enjoyable experience for me. My upbeat feelings are largely the result of the deeply committed and engaged Board of Directors and the folks that have headed up the Committees that serve RPCN.
We have done some truly impressive and impactful things this past year.
We have a fully functional hybrid environment for our monthly meetings.
We have found a “home” at the Al Sigl Center, a very synergistic organizational affiliation.
Our key Committees have really stepped up their game when it comes to creating and enacting improvements for RPCN and our membership.
The value that RPCN brings to our members has increased noticeably over the past year as a result of the work by our Committees and volunteers.
We have attracted members from new areas of business and from new areas of the country (we aren’t just in Rochester anymore!).
I am sure I am missing some other notable specifics, but their impact has been felt nonetheless.
We have a lot ahead of us, for sure.
We need to continue to increase membership and retention.
We have decisions to make that affect our budget and our affiliations.
We need to flatten out some areas of responsibility.
We need to continue to value and honor the folks in our organization that donate their time and energy to keep us growing and improving.
Our VP, Mark Fling, who becomes our president on July 1st, has been very involved and engaged in all aspects of our organization this past year. I am looking forward to seeing where RPCN goes under his leadership. Mark is on solid ground as he begins his tenure.
Thank you all again for your support, your honesty, your trust, and your willingness to try new things this past year. I have grown a great deal as a result of your commitment and dedication to RPCN.
#RPCN is Trending, the Incoming President’s Message
Thank you to our membership for making Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) the premier business networking group in the area by supporting our forums and programs. My vision is to see our membership expand beyond New York State and beyond the United States as well. I see #RPCN as “the” network resource for independent consultants and business owners around the world due to our hybrid/virtual meeting formats.
We need your help to make this organization a continually improving resource for our peers. In order to do this, we need your ongoing participation in the forums, Enhancing Human Capital (EHC), and “Learn from the Best” programs. I especially appreciate your and your contacts’ suggestions to create topics that will help you and/or your business thrive. Join a committee and have fun collaborating to create more win-win scenarios.
I would also like to congratulate Michael Roach, of Michael Roach Creative, as the newly elected VP of RPCN for the 2023-2024 year. Although he resides in the Albany NY area, he has been very active in our collaboration to grow membership and help members thrive.
I would like to thank Autumn Szabo, of Szabo Design and Engineering, for agreeing to be an RPCN board member for the 2023-2024 year. Her energy and insight will help our members and organization reach their goals.
In closing, my mantra as President for 2023-2024 is to get more people involved, have fun, learn something new, bring a friend, and repost RPCN’s social media messages as we spread the word about our events. I look forward to seeing you in person or online.
Every day, we hear more about what AI (Artificial Intelligence) can or might do:
Help governments undermine other governments?
Produce computers that take over the world, and subjugate humans?
Improve the state of humankind? Cure cancer?
What About Consultants and AI?
A client might say “With AI, who needs a consultant? If it can write complex college term papers, and help doctors heal people, AI might solve my problem. I’ll just ask ChatGPT, and get answers without paying consulting fees. But, can clients accurately describe problems so that AI interprets them properly? Will AI sufficiently analyze and thoroughly solve their problems? Will AI be unbiased? Can clients trust AI?
How Might You Respond to AI?
Does AI threaten your consulting business? You can learn about AI and strategically respond to its potential or current effects on your business, both threats and opportunities. For years, automation has replaced human labor, such as Assembly Lines, Farming, and Food Service. Automation offers many advantages, e.g., faster design and production, plus increased product and service quality. Automation’s offspring, AI, can rapidly digest mountains of data and images, while detecting patterns and trends invisible to skilled humans. It’s reaching into many new areas. So, will AI make consultants obsolete?
Consultants Are Still Necessary
Consultants ask the right questions: They develop pertinent questions to ask (and how to ask them) to determine a client’s actual (not imagined) problem or situation. They probe with technical and other questions to uncover important details (e.g., “When did the problem first occur?” “What were the machine sensor readings at the time?” ‘What else did you notice?” “What have you done to resolve the problem and what were the results?”). Consultants develop on-the-spot follow-up questions to probe deeper into a client’s issues.
Consultants propose comprehensive solutions and plans: They consider all the important aspects and side effects of their recommended course of action (e.g., Maybe the client’s “management style” must change. How might a consultant’s proposed solution affect downstream elements in a process?)
Consultants are objective and unbiased: They objectively discover and consider client values beyond making or saving client money. Consultants’ solutions aren’t influenced by client biases or office politics. Their objectivity builds client confidence and trust in their recommendations.
Can AI make me a Super Consultant?
AI can increase a consultant’s scope, speed, and efficiency in producing effective client solutions.
Consultants can supplement their expertise with AI’s vast resources (e.g. -Learning to effectively query sites like ChatGPT for useful answers. -Increasing the quantity of data in analyses. -Automating their problem analysis process). Artificial Intelligence skills are increasingly necessary for consulting success. So, don’t be replaced by AI. Use it to your advantage!
NOTE: You can discuss AI at RPCN’s EHC Virtual Lunch n’ Learn at 11:30 AM on July 20, 2023. Click here to register for this online session.
Denise Horan, principal of Integrated Management & Sales Consulting (IMS), is pleased to announce that 2023 marks her 25th anniversary in business. Since 1998, Denise Horan has been providing coaching, consulting, and training services to a diverse client base throughout the capital region and nationally. IMS helps organizations grow their revenues, acquire new clients, and develop effective sales and management leaders.
To mark this milestone, Denise Horan will be launching Sales Club USA, a national online resource platform for professionals focusing on revenue growth. Additionally, Denise will be sponsoring events for the Women’s Employment & Resource Center.
I’ll bet that you thought that RPCN just happens. Sure, there are meetings every week and other events as well. There’s a website that is full of information and is pretty much up to date. All is well.
Turns out that RPCN does not just run itself. We are one of the most active organizations of its kind in the entire Rochester area. How can this be?
RPCN has a talented, dedicated group of members who are responsible for making things happen. These people serve on various Committees, each with a chairperson. There is also an Operations Committee, which determines the HOW to make sure the proper action is taken so that RPCN can run smoothly.
Enter the Board of Directors. The Board meets once per month, discusses all aspects of RPCN, and makes decisions on the broader aspects of RPCN functions.
Board meetings are attended by Board members, who have voting rights. However, the Board meetings are open to anyone. If you want to know about what makes RPCN operate as smoothly as it does, come to a Board Meeting. It can be fun and it’s always interesting.
Another way to find out who and what makes RPCN tick is to read the Board Meeting Notes. They can be found on The RPCN Website under Members Only. The notes make good reading for all members. Enjoy!
The RPCN Membership Committee is looking for members who enjoy expanding their connections and learning about other industries. We are looking for two Member Outreach Volunteers. The Membership Committee has been increasing our interactions with members in several new ways, and the first area where we could benefit from additional hands (and ears) is to learn about the current business goals of your fellow members. If you’re a curious type, you will easily discover the keys that the member believes will be critical to their success, any potential challenges the member can foresee, and how RPCN may be able to help. Your minimum time investment would be just 30 minutes a week and should never exceed three hours a month.
The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.
The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.
Request from the Editors
When submitting material to be included in the RPCN newsletter, please: 1. Send the submission TO email@example.com and not to individuals. 2. Include the words “For RPCN Newsletter” in the subject line. (Some people send articles to ALL RPCN members themselves, and it is often difficult to distinguish those that are being circulated independently from those intended for inclusion in the newsletter.)
3. Please attach a .doc instead of typing your submission within the email.