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When Gary Gerds reflects on his career in business consulting and training, common themes emerge: a commitment to performance improvement, education, and communication.
As an advertising major at Michigan State, Gary quickly realized that his interests in business extended beyond selling a single product for a single use – he was looking for something more dynamic. This led him to an undergraduate program in behavioral communications that was the first of its kind in the country.
Gary went on to receive a master’s degree in education and soon found himself in a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. In time, Gary moved out of the classroom, bringing his skills in teaching and training to the professional world. But this background in formal education ended up providing a strong foundation for his later work in consulting. “At my heart I am a teacher,” Gary explains, “I love helping people see things differently. I think a good consultant is a problem solver and a teacher.”
Gary has worked for several prominent organizations throughout his career, including 3M, Carlson Marketing Group, Aon Consulting, BI Worldwide, and Personnel Decisions International, each position drawing heavily on his expertise in training, program development, and corporate change. When the quality movement began to gain traction stateside, Gary found himself deeply interested in the idea of customer satisfaction and loyalty. “I don’t care what kind of company you are – onshore or offshore, product or service, General Motors or the local dentist – the goal is the same: retain your current customers and attract new ones,” Gary asserts. “All companies will always need customers, no matter what the industry. Loyal customers provide the foundation for growth.”
As cofounder and COO of E.G. Insight, Gary has dedicated his company to helping businesses truly understand the voices of their customers, employees, and stakeholders. He sees the value of E.G.’s work not simply in developing proven, targeted methods of collecting feedback, but in the way that feedback is analyzed, communicated, and utilized. “Companies rarely need more data; what they need is advice about how to use that data to create change. That is the hard part, and that is what we provide.”