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About Us

Business Practice Improvement (BPI) is Emory University’s consulting practice, specializing in higher education and management consulting solutions. Our office provides a collaborative, structured, transparent and data-driven approach to solving complex and ambiguous business challenges across multiple constituencies within the university.

Our solutions drive lasting change, process improvements, and innovations that result in efficient and effective business operations and facilitate Emory’s mission. 

 

Our Key Value Propositions

Across all units and levels of the University, BPI can:

Solve Problems 

Clients usually approach us with open-ended questions and/or ambiguous problems.  We often hear things like, “I know this is broken, but I am not sure why” or “I want to create a new service / operation.  How do I do that?”  BPI takes complex matters like these, applies rigorous analytics, and provides key, concise information that enables good business decisions.  We may not always know the answer to a problem, but we can certainly determine a way to try and solve it.

Turnaround and Execute Operations

Universities are steeped in tradition.  And that often applies to its business operations.  To quote George Harrison, “When the truth gets buried deep beneath a thousand years of sleep, time demands a turnaround. And once again the truth is found.”  Put more simply, there is always room to make business operations better.  Often, BPI is asked to either improve or redesign key business functions across the university.  BPI takes troubled or failing operations, turns them around, and enables them to operate in a more efficient and/or profitable way.

Plan and Implement Strategy

Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” We agree.  Plans are created in advance of action, which means that when the work begins, they have to be revised and adjusted based on new information.  However, thorough research, analysis, exploration and evaluation of options is crucial to success.  Attempting to implement a strategy or vision without planning and preparation is wishful thinking (and acting).  BPI works with clients to assess their situation, then develop their vision, strategy, and goals.  BPI can take new or existing concepts, develop them, and help make them reality.  These services can range from value mapping to strategic planning to business planning to implementation efforts.

Develop People

Any university’s most important asset is its people, be it faculty, students, or staff.  Professional development is critical to both the growth of our business professionals but also to the performance of the institution.  BPI educates, mentors, and grows current and future Emory business leaders through staff development and educational programs.  We offer our BPI Scholars program that trains early to mid-career business staff in key consulting skills, including problem solving, analytics, communications, as well as project and team management.  In addition, a direct goal of BPI is to professionally develop its consulting staff.  We encourage them to learn hard and soft skills, enabling them to be ready for career growth both within BPI and across the university.  Several former BPI staff have become business officers and leaders across the university and elsewhere. 

 

Business Practice Improvement Principles

Initiatives of merit ground themselves in fundamental principles that guide decisions, frame goals, and steer actions.  Below are the principles that will guide the Business Practice Improvement (BPI) Initiative.