Who: Steve Kraus
Company: Real Work Business Results
Has held title for: 4 years
Previous title: Procurement Manager
Degree: BS, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
You know the old complaint about consultants: They'll sell you advice, but you shouldn't expect them to implement it. Steve Kraus, who works with clients on business planning and process redesign, wants to live down that reputation. He works differently - and uses a different title to describe what he does.
How are you different from a consultant?
When most consultants start a project, they look at what the company thinks it needs. We look at data to determine our clients' actual needs — which are often not part of their original plan. We do that because our number-one goal is to produce clear, measurable, and recognizable results.
How do you get results?
We find that small steps will eventually produce big results. People get really interested and involved when they can see results early in the process. Those results spur them on.
What are your favorite results?
Projects that really demonstrate the ability to effect change. We helped a bank cut its processing time in half. And we worked with a computer-services firm to shorten its customer-response time from 48 hours to 5 minutes. Now I call that results!
A version of this article appeared in the September 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.