Moran Strategy Group Offers Professional Consulting Services

Patrick Moran Consulting ServicesIt’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business that you and your team begin to lose sight of what defines success. An unbiased perspective from an experienced team is sometimes all that it takes to get back on the right track.

Moran Strategy Group was founded to provide strategic advice, public policy expertise, and issue management services using the same principles of integrity and hard work that Congressman James P. Moran displayed throughout his tenure as a Congressman. He has since passed off the management of day-to-day operations to Patrick Moran to continue carrying those same principals forward.

Put simply, strategic planning is to a business what a map is to a road rally driver. It is a tool that defines the routes that when taken will lead to the most likely probability of getting from where the business is to where the owners or stakeholders want it to go. And like a road rally, strategic plans meet detours and obstacles that call for adapting and adjusting as the plan is implemented.

The first step in the strategic planning process is to address the questions “Where are we?” and “What do we have to work with?” Examination of recent history and changing contexts (both internal and external) of the state, organization, program, or sub-program allows participants to assess current positions. Answering the question of what we have to work with involves consideration of strengths and weaknesses and determination of how to capitalize on strengths.

For instance, in a recent January-February 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR) magazine, an article titled, The Biology of Corporate Survival, by Martin Reeves, Simon Levin, and Daichi Ueda, finds the challenge for companies is that they have ever shorter life spans because they are failing to adapt to the increasing complexity of the business environment. Too often they pursue approaches to strategy that emphasize short-term performance over long-term robustness. Their research offers six principles to help companies pursue longevity and sustainability: 1. maintain heterogeneity of people, 2. ideas and endeavors, 3. sustain a modular structure, 4. preserve redundancy among components, 5. expect surprise, but reduce uncertainty, 6. create feedback loops and adaptive mechanisms, and 7. foster trust and reciprocity in their business ecosystems.      

Moran Strategy Group offers these four main services:

  • Start-Up Advisory Services: Starting your small business is no easy task. Financial services, human resources, project management are all areas that require specialized expertise to ensure that they are done right the first time.
  • Procurement Support: Washington is not an easy place to navigate. At Moran Strategy Group, we lend our experience in federal government procurement and policy-making to help our clients navigate the obstacle-ridden legislative and regulatory trenches.  We support the entire business development lifecycle, whether that be opportunity research, capture, or proposal development. Throughout our efforts, we keep one goal in mind: to improve your win probability (pWin).

Often, the difference between being awarded and not being awarded are clear lines of communication to deliver your message. But without strong relationships, these communications are too often interpreted as “selling” and fall on deaf ears. At Moran Strategy Group, we break through this negative stigma to effectively convey your value proposition.

  • Performance Management: In today’s business environment, sustained success is not only about working hard. It also requires that your business takes the proactive steps to cultivate a culture of ethics, inclusion, innovation, and professional development. Our team brings human resource and process improvement expertise to ensure that your team is as strong as it can be today and tomorrow.
  • Leadership Consulting: Our team lends its experience in serving as elected officials, board directors, corporate executives, campaign strategists, non-profit leaders and small business founders. We appreciate the challenges our clients face daily and provide an objective perspective to advise clients in strategic planning, communication strategy, project management, process improvement, and political engagement.

The benefit of the discipline that develops from the process of strategic planning, leads to improved communication. It facilitates effective decision-making, better selection of tactical options and leads to a higher probability of achieving the owners’ or stakeholders’ goals and objectives.

Moran Strategy Group is about more than just providing advice and access; it is about lending wisdom and a deep commitment to supporting you in achieving your business goals by providing a perspective that you will not find anywhere else.


Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

book review

Pat Moran Fitness The book,Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” explains in clear terms the role exercise plays in our mental processes.  It’s written by author, John Ratey, MD and co-author, Eric Hagerman.

John Ratey, MD embarks upon a fascinating journey through the mind-body connection, illustrating that exercise is truly the best defense against everything from depression to ADD to addiction to menopause to Alzheimer’s.  Filled with amazing case studies, the evidence is incontrovertible: aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.  Ratey provides evidence-based conclusions that exercise reduces stress levels, increases the body’s rate of repair, reduces the impact of aging, and, most exciting to me, increases your ability to learn.

The book begins by explaining why exercise makes us feel better and then draws conclusions that show how critical exercise and movement are to our cognition. According to Ratey, “The real reason we feel so good when we get our blood pumping is that it makes the brain function at its best.”

Moving our muscles produces proteins that play roles in our highest thought processes, including increasing the number of brain cells we have. He credits our large complex brains’ to match the complexity of movement our bodies are able and indeed meant to perform. According to Ratey, “thinking is the internalization of movement.” He illustrates this with the story of the sea squirt that hatches with a rudimentary spinal cord and 300 brain cells. It has only hours to find a spot of coral on which to put down roots or die. When it does put down roots, it eats its brain. According to Ratey only a moving animal needs a brain.

What’s more, in SPARK, the authors explain the science of how exercise cues the building blocks of learning in the brain; how it affects mood, anxiety and attention; how it guards against stress and reverses some of the effects of aging in the brain; and how in women it can help stave off the sometimes tumultuous effects of hormonal changes.

All in all, the book’s main purpose is to get readers to understand how physical activity improves brain function. It motivates readers to incorporate and indeed prioritize exercise into the routine, preferably a morning routine to take full advantage of its positive effects.

The book is repetitive, but like a workout regimen, the repetition strengthens the conviction that exercising is essential to a long, healthy and happy life.

The Ideas That Shaped A Century & A Company

book review

Over one hundred years ago, the company that would become IBM took its first steps into an unknown future.  In celebration of IBM’s 100th year anniversary as a corporation, three journalists did extensive research to explore IBM’s impact on technology, on the evolving role of the modern corporation and on the way our world literally works.  Their work is published in IBM’s book, ‘Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped A Century and A Company‘.

Pioneering the Science of InformationInstead of a typical commemorative publication, IBM asked journalists, Kevin Maney, Steve Hamm and Jeffrey M. O’Brien to research, explore and uncover IBM’s 100-year-history and to “tell its story”, so to speak.  Kevin, Steve and Jeffrey share a wealth of knowledge about technology, business and history.  In this book, the authors analyze the past 100-years at IBM. They focus on three aspects of how the world has changed and explore IBM’s role in that change.  In the book, each author offers a distinct perspective on what it all means.

The lessons of IBM’s history apply more broadly.  Whether you seek to understand the trajectory of technology or to build and sustain a successful enterprise or to make the world work better, there is much to learn from IBM’s experience.

Reinventing the Modern CorporationKevin Maney writes Part 1: Pioneering the Science of Information.  His focus is multidimensional, writing about the history of computation, IBM’s role in shaping it and how its foundational components are advancing and recombining today.  Similarly, Steve Hamm’s look at IBM’s growth into a new kind of business institution offers intriguing new perspectives on some well-worn truisms in Part 2: Reinventing the Modern Corporation. Finally, Jeffrey O’Brien, author of Part 3: Making the World Work Better, reveals compelling examples of what is required to accomplish the hard work of progress in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Making the World Work betterToday, Information Technology (IT) has literally changed the way we think.  Many interconnected individuals can have access to the same wealth of information at nearly the same time and work on it together with the help of machines.  Additionally, the gradual move from philanthropy to social business has brought many changes.  For example, the authors write, “The urge to make a difference in another person’s life is an impulse as old as humanity itself and is the foundation for charity.  But now, by harnessing both the power of capitalism and the will to do good, companies, governments and nonprofits have better opportunities to make progress on seemingly intractable problems such as poverty, disease and environmental degradation.”

However, ‘Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped A Century and A Company‘ makes clear that, technology alone, no matter how powerful, cannot bring about systematic change.  It turns out that deliberately changing the way the world works requires a broader, longer-term approach, with the mastery of a few basic steps.  

How Individuals and Business Can Develop

Personal and professional development are important for advancement of a person’s career and life. The large question that sits in many employers and employees minds is “how do I make myself, or my employees better”. It is a daunting query that may be answered by some of these resources below.staircase

Search Online

With access to the internet it is easy to find free classes and resources to better improve yourself as a personal, or professional, and for businesses to improve the knowledge in the ranks of it’s employees. Sites like the Digital Business Academy offer online courses for anyone who wants to improve themselves or businesses. From marketing, finance and product launch to building a brand, it offers users insight into key functions of business.

Also available online is a wide variety of courses at Academic Earth. All that is needed is your input into what you want to learn and what level you want to learn at and poof! Click here to see the full list of courses.

Peer to Peer Learning

The most valuable way of exchanging information is through P2P learning within the context of actually performing tasks. With a concept that every entity of an organization brings a unique skill set, it is imperative that each unique skill becomes a shared resource so the entire organization can improve. This helps both personal development for employees and company development to improve the overall knowledge of a given firm.

Bringing In and Learning From Experts

Many companies are beginning to have experts from different industries come to their offices to talk about their job and how it can apply to all. For example, having a digital marketer speak at a corporate marketing firm can teach the company and each individual on how to better perform their jobs in the wake of a digital and agile age. By having new perspectives in a workplace it can open the minds of employees and management.

For individuals looking to improve themselves, maybe your company does not bring in indistry experts to talk about a different point of view. I would recommend going to seminars of different industry thought-leaders in order to gain this type of exposure.

For businesses and professionals, it is important to stay motivated to keep improving. Those who can continue to develope will surely succeed and those who do not, hurt their chances of success.


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Development in Your Day-to-Day

Personal success is achieved through personal development and those that continue to improve themselves often become very happy with the person they see in the mirror every day. Taking a proactive approach to life, a person gives themselves the opportunity to capture success, not wait for it to happen to them. The first step to being proactive in life is being proactive in improving one’s own personal development. See the benefits of such a lifestyle below.growth-mindset

Having a Sense of Self

Having a strong sense of who you are as a person lays the foundation for self improvement through a personal compass. Only you know what will make you happy and your values and morals will point you towards the correct path to follow. Once you can understand what makes you tick and smile, only then will you be able to draw up the blueprint for success in your life.

Stay Curious

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it builds empires every day. Intellectual curiosity is the reason every major technological or scientific advancement has come to exist. On a much smaller scale, this is applies to you and your career. There must be an insatiable curiosity and drive for advancement in your life in order to improve yourself. By having this unbending hunger, you will cyclically push yourself into advancement time after time.

Follow Through

Finishers are the type of people who ensure the best effort from start to finish no matter the project. Being a person who follows through on their promises holds that person in high regard from everyone they come in contact with. Be sure to keep this in mind when looking to improve yourself, follow through.

Be Resilient

Roll with the punches and nothing will be able to knock you out. If you can prove to be a resilient and unwavering force in life your mental fortitude will carry you to success. Good things will happen in life, as well as bad things, it is how a person handles the bad things that makes the difference.

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Mind and Body Through Holistic Fitness

Patrick Moran efficient living

Humans have voracious tendencies. We are rarely satisfied, and there seems to always be one more thing to do. Periods of idleness feel more anxious than restorative.

A byproduct of our constantly buzzing minds is an insatiable appetite for more. We’ve become conditioned for an overload of to-do’s. Unproductive time can feel tortuous, as tasks undone box out would be peace-of-mind.

But valuing our time doesn’t mean we must  constantly be on the go. Nor, does it mean we shouldn’t set aside time to relax, absent of work.

Rather, we can achieve a happy medium by maximizing efficiency during work, while protecting our free time. This balance allows us to complete tasks efficiently, while ensuring we spend completely removed where we often find new insights.

One thing is certain: it takes a lot less time to do a lot more in today’s age. Find solace in the fact that what we can do now, would be mystical to our ancestors. Waiting for an email response is petty compared to awaiting reply via letter carrier on horseback.

But to deny these advantages or shrug off our current capabilities, denies what it means to be human and discounts the efforts of our forebears.

It’s incumbent upon us to leverage the advantages of our time.. That requires filtering out less important activities while focusing on those that enrich our lives. As we sharpen our focus and lock-in what’s truly important, the unimportant and irrelevant activities in our lives take a back seat. We can immerse ourselves in the task at hand and reach a psychological state called flow.

The process by which we develop priorities–checklists, pro-con lists, or instinctive gut feelings–is far less important than fostering discretion towards what activities we elect to engage in during this age of rapidity and digitization.

This fact alone can be unsettling, as trying to stay active all day can seem draining. And yet, when we maximize flow, we find our appetite for activity healthy, if not stronger, as it was before. Working better now means working smarter, not harder and longer.  Efficiency can now be the best measure of good judgment, not sheer labor.

There isn’t time or energy for unlimited competition and mindless attempts to do everything. In fact, burning out is the greatest detriment to a valuable lifestyle.

The key to efficiency is doing everything we prize most, without being bogged down by distractions or meaningless activities.  We have to organize ourselves such that the activities we choose to do are the most rewarding to our personal experiences.

Whether this is time spent on vacation, or at work, you can experience near-maximum productivity and enjoyment. Efficiency results from this form of mental and emotional engagement.

The opposite of rewarding engagement is, of course, idleness. Certain activities like traveling or waiting seems to err towards idleness. Fortunately, there are tools and techniques to maximize this time as well, when necessary. For more on those, check out How to Live Efficiently here.

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen TED Talks