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An Interview with Tandem Solutions Leadership: ‘We Have Invested in a Number of Technologies to Support Performance Management and Learning & Development in Direct Response to Client Needs’


“We recognized the need for leaders at all levels to strengthen their skills to communicate, engage with their teams, and lead change.”

Your vision sets the target for where you want your organization to be in several years. To deliver on the promise of that future vision you’ll need to develop a workforce with new skills and abilities. Tandem Solutions works with clients to help define their vision and then determine the clearly-defined set of skills and abilities the workforce will need to help make that vision reality.

The company was incorporated in 2002 and is headquartered in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Jan McCafferty & Joe McCafferty, Tandem Solutions Leadership, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Rewind: Getting Off to Flying Start

Tandem Solutions was started because we knew there were better, more effective ways to help companies make a change. Just prior to launching Tandem Solutions, Joe had been an executive with several startup companies and Jan was a practice leader in a leading organization development consulting firm.While our work worlds seemed to be far apart, we recognized building a strong culture in organizations and managing change is a constant. We knew we could help companies do it better. Drawing upon our diverse backgrounds, we sought to create a different approach to consulting that involved a more active, ‘roll up your sleeves’ way to engage with clients to help them initiate and sustain change. We recognized that traditional consulting models can’t help sustain real change unless organizations have the capability to lead change themselves. From the outset, we placed a strong emphasis on both providing advice and developing leaders to drive the change in their organizations. Our offerings have evolved based on our client experience and now include consulting, training, and executive coaching. We also recognize that every client is a little different and have honed our ability to scope and create product and service offerings with the flexibility to adapt our services to each unique client situation.

Elements that Make Tandem Solutions Stand Out

As a consulting firm, we had good solutions but they did not live up to their full potential because clients did not have the leadership capacity to carry things forward. We recognized the need for leaders at all levels to strengthen their skills to communicate, engage with their teams, and lead change. We developed our LongitudinaLearning™ approach by creating a series of online, interactive learnings coupled with small group coaching that help leaders learn in small chunks that are done over a period of time to let the learning sink in. To support the approach, we built an online application called TandemLead™ which now supports a series of over 20 modular-based learning programs that may be combined and customized for each client’s needs.

The small group coaching sessions in our LongitudinaLearning™ approach provide leaders with a safe environment to address their challenges, learn from one another, and break down the cultural barriers to making the change. One of the biggest benefits to the approach is that it provides support to help participants learn to shift their mindset toward a leadership perspective. They leave with common tools, techniques, and terminology to help them engage with others, drive clarity in communication and decision making, and build a positive team climate.

Leading from the Front

Our strong, long-standing relationships with clients are driven by the adaptability of our approaches and our partnership to innovate together. We have invested in a number of technologies to support performance management and learning and development in direct response to client needs. These have helped us expand our relationships with our clients to provide them with systemic support for sustainability. Over the years, we have sharpened our ability to develop “modular” solutions that can be assembled differently to meet the unique needs of our clients.

We consider ourselves a technology-enabled service firm that meets our clients where they are in their journey. We use a high touch approach that builds strong relationships and helps make the change part of the fabric of their organization. We leverage a number of proprietary technologies, assessment instruments, and our TandemLead™ suite of learning programs to provide the structure required to drive change while also developing the leadership our clients need to succeed. This mix of service and product offerings is truly unique and has allowed us to help our clients envision, lead, and sustain major change in their organizations.

Staying at the Forefront of Innovation

Innovation is a constant theme for us and always has been. Our approach to product development has been rooted in flexibility from the start. As mentioned earlier, we design all of our offerings to emphasize modularity and re-use. This allows us to provide customized solutions quickly while managing the cost for our clients. The approach also underscores the need to allow for change to our own products on an on-going basis.

We routinely debrief all client engagements to contribute ideas for future development and service updates. One of our recent debriefs has led to the development of a new learning program called ‘PhysicianLead’ which focuses on developing faculty leaders in academic medical centers. We are currently piloting the new program with a large New York academic medical center.

Products: To be Launched

We are launching several new learning programs this fall. As mentioned, we’re just starting a pilot of the PhysicianLead™ program targeted at building leadership skills of junior faculty members at academic medical centers. In addition, we will be launching a new version of our flagship leadership course, “Leading People, Managing Work” later in the fall. Both programs provide a broad leadership training experience and incorporate our LongitudinaLearning™ approach to help ensure participants successfully adopt new behaviors as a result of the program.

Future Arrangements: Sky’s the Limit

Clients are shifting their mind-sets, seeing the value of individual and team coaching for leaders. They recognize the importance of investing in leaders’ skills and capabilities to lead through complex, cultural change. We have refined our group coaching approach over the last several years and believe it is uniquely positioned to address this market need. We have certified several TandemCoaches™ to confirm the scalability of the approach and over the next several years we expect to expand this network of certified TandemCoaches™ to develop leaders that can drive change in their organizations.

Leadership | Tandem Solutions

Jan McCafferty: Jan McCafferty is the Co-founder and Managing Director for Tandem Solutions. Jan collaborates with leaders to transform their organizational cultures to reflect their espoused strategy and values, supporting them to become role models and operationalize the values into work practices & behaviors. She uses a holistic approach, supporting her clients with consulting, individual and team leadership coaching, and learning programs to strengthen the leader’s capabilities and organizational systems to make pragmatic and lasting change.

Jan received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University and MBA from the University of Hartford.

Joe McCafferty: Joe McCafferty  is Co-founder and Managing Director for Tandem Solutions.  He works with clients to set long term visions and create ways to develop the workforce capabilities and cultures needed to achieve the goals of those visions.  He is a former practice leader at Accenture, and corporate officer at Fidelity Investments, and several small technology startups. His expertise lies in complex organizational change, human performance systems, executive coaching, and leadership assessment and training.

Joe received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard College.

“We leverage a number of proprietary technologies, assessment instruments, and our TandemLead™ suite of learning programs to provide the structure required to drive change while also developing the leadership our clients need – to succeed.”