Toffler Associates

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Toffler Associates Reviews

Updated Apr 20, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 15 reviews

33% Approve of the CEO

Toffler Associates Managing Director Deborah Westphal

Deborah Westphal

(9 ratings)

36% of employees recommend this company to a friend
15 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Smart leadership and vision for company growth

    Operations Consultant (Current Employee) Reston, VA

    Pros*Due to smart decision making and management, Toffler Associates has been able to steer through the negative impact of the economic downturn and defense budget cuts while capitalizing on opportunities in the commercial space, helping to create a stronger, more diversified company portfolio, allowing strong growth projection for the company's future.

    *Fantastic learning environment

    *Some of the best, most detail-oriented strategy consultants with an unmatched creativity that enables business leaders make the changes necessary to succeed in their operating environment

    *inspiring and fun place to work

    ConsIn tough times, difficult decisions need to be made. Business is business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementJust keep doing what you're doing

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Beware of Toffler Associates

    Senior Associate (Former Employee) Herndon, VA

    ProsConceptually, TA is very good at identifying out of the box solutions for contemporary challenges. Lot's very smart people working very hard.

    ConsLot's of very smart people working very hard, but with little direction. TA is very much a rudderless ship that touts the vision of its founder decades ago. Current leadership is not equipped to solve problems; only admire them smartly. Life at TA is very cliquish. Either you are in the circle with the could kids or you or out. There is no middle ground. For those on the outside expect to have a very short tenure.

    TA claims to be organizationally flat, but nothing could be further from the truth. Deb is queen bee. She has a very tight inner circle that does her bidding. Upset anyone in the inner circle and your time at TA is over. Additionally, TA abhors structure. They believe that by adding process and structure to an organization it limits creativity. A hippy concept that only retards business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThere is nothing new to reveal that hasn't already been discussed in previous post. However, were I to advise Senior management above Deb Westphal, I would suggest cleaning house of the dead weight that has weighed the company down for more than a decade and inject fresh blood into the leadership circle. Tried and true idea that are old & stale will produce the same old & stale results.

    Lastly, the comment from January 2014 was clearly written by someone in the cool kids circle that directly benefits from the TA culture. Anyone that actually works for a living would have sharply different perspectives.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Interesting work and motivated colleagues, but lack of leadership

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros- The work is unique, challenging and rewarding
    - Consultants are smart, hardworking and dedicated to problem solving
    - Mostly a virtual firm
    - Colleagues go above and beyond to help each other succeed

    Cons- Childish, internal bickering/politics lead to the departure of great consultants and leaders
    - Leadership cannot take criticism and silences consultants who try. Leadership style has shifted to an authoritative approach
    - Cannot hold on to long-term contracts

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's time to let the employees take control of the firms destiny.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Attracts great talent, works them hard, let's them go whent times are tough.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros- Very smart, diverse, and dedicated employees that work extremely hard, often at personal risk to family life and long-term health.
    - Projects are general important, interesting, and provide opportunities for creative solutions
    - Formerly focused on long-view forecasting, which was a nice niche market, but now in decline.
    - Virtual office.
    - Opportunities to work on very challenging client problems.

    Cons- History of high turnover.
    - While the firm's leaders talk about opportunity, only a small group of favorites get the best assignments.
    - While leaders promote a progressive work culture, they do not follow it in practice.
    - Disconnect between the talk about the firm's culture and actual practice demoralizes employees.
    - Long history of hiring very good talent and then laying people off two to three years later during down cycles.
    - Lots of talk about the firm being a big "family" but not in practice.
    - Nearly impossible to find work/life balance if you want to get ahead.
    - Very cliquish, particularly at top level.
    - Frequent changes in firm strategy and direction cause confusion and poor morale.
    - Don't get sick or pregnant. Women who want to start a family or have children find it very difficult, are laid off, or forced out.
    - Pay is average for consulting firms of this size. "Extra effort" is not always rewarded.
    - Virtual office (both a positive and a negative)

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    The company has veered far from its original mission, many of the original futurists with the Toffler vision are gone

    Consultant (Former Employee) Reston, VA

    Prossmall firm, will get to know everyone, virtual office, usually interesting projects.

    Consfocused around one person's vision, which had been pretty good in the past, but due to the economic downturn is no longer what it had been. Many mistakes have been made that have resulted in the loss of large contracts, to the point that it has forced layoffs of many, and serious cash concerns. Who gets laid off has a lot more to do with who is in favor at the time and who is not. Many of the good people have left and many others have been laid off.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake a good, hard look at how the company is run, and ask the same difficult questions you'd usually ask other firms to find out what has really happened to lose so much. Then follow the advice that you would honestly give others. I do hope that you get the contracts that you hope to get at the time.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    5 people found this helpful  

    Company is in decline due to poor leadership and arrogant approach to the market.

    Senior Associate (Former Employee) Reston, VA

    ProsVery bright and diverse employees. Leading edge methods and services. Designed from the start as a virtual organization, complete with most of the technology and support necessary to work in virtual teams.

    ConsOperates as two separate cultures: the private club made up of the owners and select senior partners, and everybody else. Despite being a consultancy predicated on seeing future conditions, the owners missed market changes and opportunities for new business.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpeak truthfully to client and employees. Listen to and leverage the immense talent in the workforce.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    9 people found this helpful  

    Not sure about the long-term viability of the company

    Strategy Consultant (Current Employee) Reston, VA

    Pros- Flexible work environment (work from home when not with a client)
    - Interesting clients
    - Fascinating consulting problems
    - Challenging work
    - Everyone gets a clearance, which can help when trying to move elsewhere

    Cons- Was like a family, but has recently deteriorated
    - Becoming authoritarian, with leaders less interested in what others have to say
    - No ability to be promoted (you're a Partner, or you're a Consultant)
    - Strong performers aren't recognized; weak performers are kept on too long
    - No recognition or reward for anything except sales
    - Little interest in helping people develop

    Advice to Senior Management"Let me put an inflection on that..." This firm is going downhill in more ways than just sales and growth. Recognize that we aren't succeeding because we don't respect our people anymore, and we don't pay attention to our client needs. (Hint: if they come to us and say their house is on fire and wife and kids are inside burning to death, don't tell them their real problem is that they don't know what the house fire of the future will be like.) We need to break this firm down to the bare bones, ditch the legacy crap that doesn't work anymore, and start to build up again. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the current leadership can do that.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    Strong History - Uncertain Future

    Consultant (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsClients - legacy clients are smart people with very challenging problems for which they need help
    The firm's name still opens doors to have conversations with very interesting people

    ConsIf the firm can make it to the far side of current strategic wanderings it has potential to shine again. The culture has become less "family" and more authoritative.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAs a consultant I have learned that advice is best reserved for those who might appreciate alternative perspectives or see a reason to adjust behaviors.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    3 people found this helpful  

    changing culture

    Strategy Consultant (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    Pros- great clients
    - a good percentage of very smart people
    - pockets of brilliance
    - mix of government and commercial work

    Cons- meritocracy is being phased out
    - internal focus
    - increasing government focus

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter communication with the workforce would go a long way towards making the strategic direction more clear.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    “Challenging work and great opportunities for personal growth”

    Consultant (Current Employee)

    ProsThe firm gives a lot of tremendous opportunities for professional growth. Consultants
    are given the opportunity and the leeway to explore and pursue personal growth. People are
    encouraged to try new and different things, and that is amazing for consultants at the associate
    and senior associate level. The work is challenging, we work on small teams with amazing
    people, and the camaraderie with our people is great.

    ConsThere have been changes made in the last couple of years that could have been done
    better. Some of decisions made on filling leadership positions could have been made better. As
    the company grows, it must have people in leadership positions with experience and maturity
    to grow the company and its people.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGrow strong leaders and hire in expertise and experience that may be
    currently missing.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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