Reprint & Permission About Us Disclamer

Avo Solutions is built on Jenifer’s vision of a network of consultants who deliver quality solutions and measurable value through e-learning, change management, project management, and program metrics

20 Best Companies to Watch of 2021

Avo Solutions
The Executive Headlines

Avo Solutions has been recognized as one of the 20 Best Companies to Watch of 2021 by The Executive Headlines.

The Leader Behind the Success of Avo Solutions

Avo founder and CEO Jenifer Namestka is a vibrant and engaging executive consultant with more than 25 years of experience developing strategies, managing large program implementations, and transforming organizations through change management and training.  Jenifer has worked with over 250 clients in government, nonprofits, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and Fortune 100 companies in the US, Canada, the U, and Africa, developing programs to help meet individual, program, and organizational performance goals. 

 

Below are the highlights of the interview with Jenifer Namestka, the Founder of Avo Solutions

 

When was Avo started, and how has it grown?

After losing her management consulting job in the 2008 economic crash, Jenifer decided to forge her own career path. She began by working eight hours a week as an independent contractor, for a single client. Soon, though, small wins led to bigger wins, and growth followed.

Avo Solutions is built on Jenifer’s vision of a network of consultants who deliver quality solutions and measurable value through e-learning, change management, project management, and program metrics. 

What sets Avo’s workplace culture apart?

​​Avo fosters a culture of community, work-life balance, and lifelong learning—the best way, we believe, to attract and retain energized and committed employees. Our highly skilled, experienced, and dedicated consultants are motivated to get the task done right the first time, with minimal day-to-day oversight—and to spend the time they save on their lives outside of work. In 2021, CEO Views magazine named Avo one of its 50 Most Innovative Companies to Watch, due in part to the firm’s unwavering support for work-life balance.

How do you contribute to your client's organization transformation?

Avo helps clients manage transformation by breaking down the process into smaller, more manageable parts, then finding the best solutions for each, for the strongest possible whole. Our project management methodologies align process and metrics for effective results. We’ve developed models and tools that improve organizational alignment, keep stakeholders up to date on progress, and deliver tangible, measurable results to clients. 

How do your methodologies deliver the change your clients expect?

Avo achieves change using three important tools: 

  • Business Alignment Model 
  • Performance Maturity Model
  • New Initiative Adoption Lifecycle

The Business Alignment Model is a foundational tool designed to seamlessly align experience, training and communication, and behaviors with KPIs, while enhancing the program's overall effectiveness—and helping target essential behaviors often overlooked during change management.

The Performance Maturity Model is based on Carnegie Mellon University's Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). It measures expectations for behaviors, processes, and tools needed to drive KPIs. 

The New Initiative Adoption Lifecycle ties together all aspects of the project lifecycle, from onboarding to final transformation. Avo uses it to manage client expectations for adoption and KPI realization, giving clients a clear picture of wins and how the program is being adopted and evolved. It’s used to track program maturity while targeting the areas needing additional support.

How do you engage with clients?

Before starting any transformational project, we envision the desired transformation, or Future State, then perform a gap assessment to identify the organization's current state. From there, we develop a roadmap . 

Our metrics for technology implementations go beyond "tool usage." We apply the ROI Institute Business Alignment Model to shift the focus from technology to sustainable cultural change and business impact.

Projects  that focus too heavily on nonstrategic utilization data as a primary KPI risk losing focus on business impact, and even encouraging the wrong behaviors. Avo’s Business Alignment Model, in contrast, puts the focus on adoption and business outcomes, with a model that: 

  • Proactively manages user experience
  • Communicates with, and trains users at, appropriate levels
  • Clearly defines behavior expectations
  • Actively measures business impact 

Can you describe a typical project?

Avo gets involved with programs at the strategy or implementation phase, with support for the change management components of CRM, Enterprise 2.0, LMS, FMIS, ERP, SDLC lifecycle tools, and PMIS technology implementation. We also engage in nontechnical initiatives such as enterprise safety, people strategy, and succession planning. 

We recently worked with a multinational technology company that had launched an Enterprise 2.0 program for more than 17,000 users. However, the selected collaboration platform failed to achieve expected business value, becoming a barrier to performance. The company turned to Avo Solutions for help. 

We helped the client develop and institute an influencer program designed to deliver meaningful localized adoption. This bottom-up approach tapped highly engaged influencers to encourage adoption and gather feedback to drive improvement. Using a collaboration adoption model and targeted change management programs, Avo facilitated business process re-engineering to achieve desired outcomes for an integrated social collaboration platform. The results were immediate and impressive: 

  • 100% of 90-day opt-in goal
  • 380% of first-year adoption goal 
  • 450% of post-training participation and engagement goal 
  • 20+ case studies generated for the marketing plan 
  • 105% of the client's case study goal

What’s the key to your success? 

We’re a boutique consulting firm with the structure and standards of a much larger firm. We’ve recently expanded our team across the United States while maintaining our high standards and close client relationships. Our work is focused less on billable hours and more on creating ongoing value, backed by vital assets that continue to benefit the client long after an engagement ends.

What awards has your organization received?

  • 2021: Top 50 Most Innovative Company, CEO Views, 2021
  • 2021: One of 30 Admired Companies to Watch, CIO Bulletin, 2021
  • 2020: Top 10 Change Management Consulting Services Company, Manage HR
  • 2013: Better Business Bureau accreditation based on our Code of Business Practices
  • 2013: Worldwide Who's Who Award for dedication, leadership, and excellence in international change management and business strategies