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New Team Member
February 7, 2017
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I am pleased to announce that Tim Dills–former President of Scitor–has joined our team at The Seneca Group as Managing Director.  His experience and skill sets are well-suited to furthering our services to clients facing inflection points in their business progress.  Over the next few years, we see considerable opportunity for both success and failure in a turbulent environment for enterprises serving the Government markets…The Seneca Group is here to help.

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Business Owner Introspection: A Practical Guide
December 31, 2015
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Men and women who are brave enough to start their own businesses have plenty on their minds and those who dare to make their way in the Government market have more than their share of conundrums to puzzle over. So it comes as no surprise that as small entrepreneurial beginnings turn into larger and larger businesses and then encounter reverses, the owners find their mental and emotional prowess challenged. What used to work, no longer does…the people they’ve trusted no longer perform…their networks have thinned out from retirements and funerals…and the Government is more opaque and obdurate than ever before. Having worked with several owners and stakeholders in this position over the years, I’ve become an advocate of deep introspection as a first step to any attempted recovery. Why? Because unless the business owner can be honest with him or herself, it is not possible to reconcile the conflicting forces that have brought the business to its inflection point. This…

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Executive Recruiters: Three Risks
June 24, 2015
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I was recently made aware of a small business owner who felt he needed a COO. So he retained a large, nationally-known executive recruiting firm and spent thousands of dollars on the search. He hired the recommended candidate (more dollars spent) and then found out within the first year that the new COO was incompetent, abusive, and detrimental to his business. I find this to be a common story in our business although the evidence is only anecdotal.   One source estimates that less than 40% of candidates hired via executive recruiters are successful. The attraction of executive recruiting firms is obvious: they act as counselors, they have more capability to search than in-house resources do, and they have a lot of experience in finding and placing executives. What’s not to like? A few risks need to be recognized… Risk #1: The recruiter doesn’t do competent background checking on candidates being presented to management. I’m aware of one case where an…

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Whom to Engage as a Consultant and How
April 27, 2015
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  There are more than 17,000 small businesses in the US that employ people. There are more than 500,000 consultants in the US. While I recognize that not all of these consultants serve small businesses, that’s still a pretty overwhelming ratio of almost 30 consultants for every small business. Here in Washington, when I go to a networking event of some sort, I invariably meet at least five or six consultants for every small business owner I meet…and all of the consultants have the same business advertisement—they will help you grow your business. If you own a small or medium-sized business, you may need to engage consulting assistance. Here’s why and here’s how: WHY? Consultants are not employees and so are ideal for short-term assignments. And they don’t absorb benefits. You can engage assistance as you need it without commitment to a long-term relationship. You can engage a much more senior and experienced individual as a consultant than you could…

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Federal Cyber Workforce
April 18, 2015
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The Partnership for Public Service has released a report shining a bright light on the Government’s inability to attract and retain an adequate cyber workforce. They cite poor recruiting, noncompetitive pay, and antiquated hiring rules. This is a serious issue at a time when the GAO has said that federal systems were breached more than 67,000 times in 2014 (that they know about). The unintended result of this is that the Government is becoming highly dependent upon private industry to provide the cyber warriors which the threat demands….and thus paying a premium for the talent. Ironically, this pressure is being countered by the pendulum swing in the direction of contracting officers’ devotion to LPTA. This means that in many cases, mission critical system are in the hands of underqualified contractors and staffed with lower quadrant personnel. The urgent solution to this critical shortcoming is to allow security agency managers to pay market prices for cyber talent and to ensure a…

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