The Start of a Decade We Will Never Forget

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As many reflect on 2020, themes of change, adaption, progress, struggle, and perseverance encompass a year that will impact far past the fireworks of New Year’s Eve.  Individuals and businesses alike were forced into a perpetual loop of adapting to change, conquering new endeavors, and learning how to swim through unprecedented waters. We recently sat down with DLC Managing Directors Dak Gilinsky and Marcia Ayala, to share their insights and lessons learned from the pandemic. It wasn’t easy at the start, faced with obstacles to overcome. But that didn’t stop our team, dedicated to not only our clients and partners, but also each other, creating something positive out of an otherwise tricky situation.

Here are a few lessons we learned in 2020 and how they will shape the future of work.

Ability to Pivot Quickly

As COVID-19 rose across the world, DLC leadership recognized early that remote work was inevitable, taking a proactive approach and effectively shifting our operations. We knew the importance of protecting our team while ensuring we never missed a beat supporting our clients and partners with their business needs and transitions. Our goal is and will always be to provide our clients a sense of security, reliability, and when times are tough (i.e., a pandemic), we are ready to be the team others lean on. Though the transition took time and we missed being physically together, our consultants’ agile mindset shifting to video conferencing, interacting with clients through a face-to-face experience, and still focused on personalized relationships made all the difference.

Finding The Silver Lining of Remote Work

One of the most surprising things we discovered was an increase in our consultants’ productivity and effectiveness while working remotely. In years past, it wasn’t commonplace to set up a consultant in a geographical market outside of where they lived, as we knew the value of in-person support. And while that approach served us well in the past, we quickly realized that going remote was highly effective for our clients and us.

By operating remotely, we opened up countless opportunities to best pair our clients and consultants together. If one client on the East Coast benefitted from a consultant’s skillset on the West Coast, we could now make that happen, with the added benefit of not having to worry about travel expenses. Remote work across geographies became especially helpful with our service-based clients who saw an uptick in their business demands. We needed to be able to provide the support they required without being limited by physical location.

Our flexibility increased our clients’ productivity. With commute times reduced, our consultants could spend more time focusing on the clients’ needs and could respond more quickly to help booming businesses thrive.

With the number of opportunities and positive results that remote work has brought to our clients and consultants, we expect the trend to continue in a post-pandemic world, providing endless possibilities for the way we work together.

The Art of Empathy

Through our mutual understanding that we were all going through emotionally draining, unprecedented times, we’ve been able to create more long-lasting professional relationships. This pandemic has taught us that humanizing ourselves can prove fruitful in our work and connections. Plenty of people and companies are still going through the pandemic’s harmful effects, making client-consultant interaction crucial and necessary.

While this past year posed countless challenges both in our professional and personal lives, it’s all about taking positives away from it — somehow, some way. And here at DLC, we’re proud to say that we have not only sustained our business but also found ways to improve upon our performance from now and into the future. We can’t wait for what 2021 has in store, not only for us but for those we work with.

We are ready to help

The current business environment requires change. DLC’s dedicated team of consulting professionals is here to help you navigate this dynamic landscape, from revamping your business strategy to executing essential finance and cash management initiatives. We look forward to learning about your business. 

Check out our full suite of services here. Ready for a solution? Need some guidance? Let’s have a conversation.

Dak Gilinsky

About the Authors

Dak Gilinsky

Dak Gilinsky joined DLC in January 2018 as Managing Director for the Los Angeles market. In this role he oversees the Los Angeles DLC Sales team and is responsible for account management, business development, talent acquisition and retention for the consultant bench and internal roles, as well as overall management of market performance. Dak applies a broad knowledge of various industries and functions developed during his 9+ years in professional services, including management consulting, finance and accounting, and legal. He knows the LA market intimately, and has served many of the market’s top companies.

Previously, Dak helped to launch the Los Angeles office of Axiom, a leading provider of legal services. He then spent two years in management consulting, serving F-100 technology clients. In 2013, he was tasked with launching the Business Talent Group’s West Coast consulting practice. During his time with BTG Dak established relationships with corporate development, strategy, and operations groups at 50+ Fortune 1000 clients along the West Coast, driving rapid growth with high client satisfaction.

Dak is a SoCal native, a lover of all things outdoors and a frequent traveler. He received his BA/BS from UC Berkeley (with honors) and pursued additional accounting and finance education at UCLA.

Marcia Ayala

Marcia joined DLC in 2006 and now serves as Managing Director for the Chicago market, where she is responsible for new business development, talent acquisition, talent retention and the overall operations of DLC’s Chicago office. She’d previously served as Client Account Director, where her responsibilities included consulting as well as sourcing, managing, and leading client engagements. She has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience working with both Fortune 500 and privately held businesses concentrated in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, consumer and industrial products, education, insurance, and financial services. Marcia is a CPA and a Project Management Professional (PMP). Her consulting focus has centered on acquisition integration, due diligence support, purchase accounting, carve-outs, and divestitures, shared services, FP&A, business unit reporting, and project management.

Prior to joining DLC, Marcia was the Chief Accounting Officer for a GTCR portfolio company where she led the finance and accounting integration related to the purchase of 11 businesses. Marcia began her career in audit at Arthur Andersen and also held finance positions at Kraft Foods and Harley-Davidson Financial Services.

She received her Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, her Masters of Science in Accountancy from DePaul University and her Bachelors degree from DePauw University.