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The Tornberg Consulting Process: Special Projects

Tornberg Consulting, LLC exists to help you successfully navigate new frontiers. That means we work where no maps exist, and where uncertainty, ambiguity, and impossibilities are the norm. Here's how we conduct our work so you'll know what to expect when you engage our firm.



Being on the frontier of anything means that everything you already know, all your experience and knowledge, everything you've ever learned about that thing - is behind you. Everything ahead is unknown. It's all unexplored. There are no maps, no standard procedures, no best practices. The frontiers of any endeavor are rich with potential. They are also rife with risks and threats. Tornberg Consulting has decades of real-world experience when it comes to navigating frontiers across a broad spectrum of industries and markets. We do it so well, in fact, that we've adopted a credo in our work: "Just because it's impossible doesn't mean it can't be done."


Our Process


We have a particular set of skills and experience that make us especially well-suited to handle certain kinds of tasks not terribly common in the course of normal business.


What we are NOT, is salespeople. We do not operate solely on commission, and we do not waive the fees and costs of doing business up front. Our work cannot be done that way because there are real-world costs associated with the work we do and there are regulations and laws we must follow in doing it. As experts in this field, we trade on our reputations, credibility, and results. We will not, under any circumstances, compromise those things or shortcut processes. We do not play fast and loose with our work. We maintain a radical focus on doing things right, and an equal focus on doing the right things. That is what separates us from the competition.


In the words of Tornberg's founder and Principal Consultant, "It's what has allowed me to successfully participate in joint missions such as the location, targeting, and elimination of Osama bin Laden and over 500 members of the al-Qaeda network. It's what has allowed me to stand up multi-agency capabilities within the CIA, FBI, and Defense Department. It's what allowed me, as a consultant, to serve as the first ever representative of the FBI on the Foreign Materiel Board of Directors. And it's the reason my team and I will be successful for you."


A consultant helps clients solve problems and arrive at desirable outcomes. This in itself is more a multi-discipline skill set than a single service. What it means is, a consultant is experienced and capable within their sphere of work and can help clients navigate bureaucracies, regulations, laws, processes and other challenges the client may not be used to dealing with. The consultant's job is ultimately to make you more capable and effective in achieving the outcomes you desire. Consider them in the same basic service category as an attorney or lobbyist, but with the added skill set of leading an operational service delivery team through the final result. Just as you would pay a lawyer a Work Retainer or a lobbyist an Access Retainer, consultants charge billable work hours (and sometimes access fees) for the services they provide. Tornberg Consulting doesn't charge Access Fees. We work directly on service-level contracts to provide specific outcomes, and therefore we charge on a Work Retainer basis. We typically work according to the following model:


  • We begin with an initial consultation. This can range from a single hour to several days in duration and may involve multiple consultants on more complex projects. This phase is typically conducted without obligation and is free of charge. The purpose of the initial consultation is to provide both the client and our team with the necessary information to determine whether the desired outcome is achievable with the time, budget, and operational concerns present.

  • If a job is feasible, the next phase we move into is a due diligence phase. This phase requires a signed and executed service contract and a payment of work retainers to the consultants doing the work. This is a deep-dive into the problems, challenges, and obstacles we will face in getting to the desired outcome, and aligning our resources, professional network, and other assets to resolve those issues. This work is exhaustive and necessary in almost every case because without it, there is no working picture of the path ahead, and no real or verifiable information from which to plan. By the end of the due diligence phase, you will have an operational plan for exactly and precisely the outcome you desire. To quote Michael Brewer, "As a career intelligence officer, I know the value of providing decision support with real and actionable information. I also know the perils of failing to build solid operational plans. Please believe me when I tell you it is vastly more expensive in both resources and time to plow forward without appropriately aligning your resources. Trying to move forward without the due diligence phase is akin to a battle commander marching his army into unknown territory without any intelligence or scouts. It is a recipe for disaster."

  • Following the due diligence phase, we have a solid picture not only of the pathway to the desired outcome, but the costs, timeline, milestones, and stakeholders. From here, it's time to Mobilize. On large-scale jobs, we will submit a Mobilization Plan and an associated Mobilization Fee Schedule. This is where the real work begins. Just as a major construction project requires the movement of equipment, the building of cranes, the shipment of materials and the mobilization of people to the job site, our work typically requires the payment of subcontractors, lawyers, and other team members their work retainers and access retainers for the services we will ask them to provide. Up until now, our consulting team has worked in an expert analysis and advisory capacity. Mobilization changes our role somewhat and turns us into action officers. Now, in addition to our close coordination with the client's own team, we lead our teams and the team of vendors, suppliers, lawyers, lobbyists, regulatory specialists and other professional goods and services providers through the operational phase of our work. We have one singular focus during this phase: Make our clients look like superheroes. Our goal is to accomplish your outcomes with a minimum of delays, problems, or distractions. We aim to make it look easy, and to deliver for you so that you don't have to preoccupy your time and energy with problem-solving.

It doesn't matter whether your needs are small-scale in nature or whether you're handling internationally volatile issues with a high risk of failure. Tornberg Consulting, LLC will add capabilities and improve your odds of success. As importantly, we will make sure you see, understand, and own the process from start to finish so that you'll be able to recreate those results without us in the future. If your own frontiers are calling out to be conquered and if the potential upsides of your endeavors are whispering in your ear "Fortune favors the bold," please let Tornberg Consulting be your partner in the adventure, wherever it may be.


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