Frequently Asked Questions About The Huntington Northstar Group
Q: How is The Huntington Northstar Group different from other human resources consulting practices?
A: The Huntington Northstar Group is best described as a human resources consulting and communications company. Not only does it offer specific HR services in the areas of career coaching, executive coaching, leadership development, and team facilitation. It also offers a variety of communications services, capabilities and products to help support an organization's strategic business goals, leadership initiatives, change priorities or human resources plans.
Q: What are some of these communications capabilities?
A: Examples include communications planning and consulting, internal communications audits, communications coaching of executives and managers, strategic message development, and production of videos, CD-ROMs, articles, training packages, and other tools to support key leadership initiatives or business plans. The linkage of specific HR competencies with communications expertise represents a unique bundling of services, unlike that found in other HR consulting practices.
Q: What enables The Huntington Northstar Group to bundle services together in this way?
A: Besides his background in human resources, consulting and training, Richard has an extensive background in the broadcast and print media. At various times in his career he has been a radio reporter and interviewer, TV news associate producer, author, and regular monthly columnist for two professional magazines. He also served as the resident expert on jobs, careers and the changing American workplace for Public Radio's popular "Marketplace" program for five years, and is frequently quoted and interviewed in major magazines and newspapers. His versatile range of communications and production talents enables him to leverage these skills on behalf of his organizational clients, and has resulted over the years in numerous videos, CD-ROMs, and website materials as well as countless articles and four books.
Q: What else is unique about Richard's professional background?
A: Richard has had a deep and varied career in the private, nonprofit, and entrepreneurial sectors, one that richly informs his coaching and consulting work today. As noted, he worked as a radio reporter, interviewer, and TV associate news producer in the late 1970's for radio and TV stations in Norfolk, VA, Charlotte, NC, and Washington, DC. In the early 1980's he migrated to the corporate world, graduated from AT&T's famed National Sales School and worked in sales, sales training, and public affairs for AT&T Communications. It was at AT&T that Richard learned intimately about the dynamics and culture that always pervade the actions and behaviors of large organizations. In the mid 1980's, he ventured into the nonprofit sector, where he served as director of marketing and public relations for a leading professional society. He began full-time human resources consulting in 1986 and has worked with a variety of clients including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Right Management Consultants, IBM, Columbia University, The U.S. Navy, and the Department of Energy, among others.
Q: Can you describe the approach that Richard brings to the coaching and consulting assignments he undertakes?
A: Richard brings over 20 years of business and consulting experience to the projects he undertakes. Like Geoffrey Bellman, author of The Consultant's Calling, he believes strongly that when a company hires a consultant or coach, it buys not only the formal credentials of that individual but even more important that person's unique history, skills, temperament, outlook, stories, values, convictions, wisdom, reputation, and professional experience. His goal is to leverage these unique characteristics in each of the client engagements he undertakes.
Q: What are Richard's key professional affiliations and credentials?
A: Prior to forming his own consultancy, Richard served as a Vice President for two leading human resources consulting and outplacement firms. He is a member of The Human Resources Management Group of Boston, The American Society for Training & Development, The Association of Career Professionals International, and Leadership Washington. He is a prolific writer on career and organizational topics, and often speaks on these same issues before professional and industry groups. He is also credentialed to administer a number of specific performance instruments. Richard serves on the Editorial Boards of Training & Development (T&D) Magazine, the flagship publication of ASTD, and the Journal of Organizational Excellence
Q: Can you talk about the versatility of roles Richard brings to his coaching and consulting engagements?
A: Richard sees himself serving as a catalyst for personal and organizational change. At times this requires that he act as a workshop presenter, team facilitator, interviewer or trainer with a client. At other times, it means being an active and vigorous listener and coach, working either one-on-one or in small groups to facilitate new learning, strategic planning, or problem solving. Regardless of the client situation, Richard believes that "being an effective coach or consultant requires knowing when to talk and when to let others do the talking."
Q: How does Richard define coaching?
A: Coaching is a dynamic interaction between
two individuals that is focused on helping a client improve his or her
job or leadership performance or, achieve better work/life balance. A
coach can also work with groups to help enhance team effectiveness, or
improve interpersonal communications. In either case, the role of a coach
is to nurture new learning and enhanced self-awareness in people. Coaching
relationships are goal-focused and results-oriented. They rely on a high
degree of integrity, credibility, and trust between the parties, with
each individual to the relationship agreeing upfront to the specific goals
to be achieved in the coaching engagement.