Evans Incorporated Acquires Global Coaches Network and Expands Leadership Development Offering

Falls Church, VA, USA – August 21, 2019 Evans Incorporated (Evans), an award-winning management consulting firm, today announced the acquisition of Global Coaches Network (GCN), a pioneer in the field of global leadership coaching. The merger follows the recent shift in Evans’ leadership to Jack Moore and Bob Etris as co-Managing Partners.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to integrate GCN’s business and talent base into our organization,” says Jack Moore, Managing Partner at Evans.  “We are committed to building healthy organizations and developing effective leaders with a global mindset to address challenges facing their organizations and their missions.”

Founded in 2005, GCN works with over 300 coaches in 75 countries to help leaders foster personal development and greater effectiveness to their organizations. GCN selects and certifies executive coaches, all of whom bring real-world executive-level business experience to implement cutting-edge coaching programs, including cultural assessments, development planning, and program evaluation.

Barrie Zucal, founder and CEO of GCN commented, “Evans is a wonderful home for the global legacy we’ve established at GCN. They really understand what it means to help people and organizations grow, in a very human way. Their mission and culture complements our own.”

For over 25 years, Evans has worked with its clients in the federal and private sectors to co-create healthy organizations where every employee can thrive. Its offerings include leadership development and coaching, and the expanded business from the merger will serve a new global portfolio of clients.

”We’re fortunate that GCN brings the same commitment to quality and sustainability that Evans values. Consistent with our human-centered approach to business transformation, GCN, too, has a history of helping leaders transform their skills and cultures to affect positive change,” notes Bob Etris, Managing Partner at Evans.

About Evans:

Evans is a boutique management consulting firm that partners with organizations through transformative change. Evans specializes in helping leaders of organizations develop their teams, explore new technologies to implement solutions that provide ROI—Real Operational Impact®.

About GCN:

Global Coaches Network, a pioneer in the field of global leadership coaching, is proud to have helped organizations and their leaders thrive while navigating the complex world of business. GCN provides coaches with a unique perspective to help leaders grow potential and lead their teams, while contributing to the success of their organization and the sustainability of the planet.

Sue’s Lessons Learned #2: Create Your Own Path

Evans Incorporated is celebrating 25 Years of Human-Centered Change. Founder Sue Evans reflects on the lessons she has learned over the course of her career and the evolution of the company.

Sue Evans, Founder, Evans Incorporated

Career path, like anything in life, are neither predictable nor linear. Opportunities can present themselves when least expected – sometimes disguised as failures or losses. Being open to the unexpected “left turns” in life can open you up to possibilities you might not have known existed. It allows you to be creative and strategic, rather than reactive, to whatever comes your way.

As a student in the 1960s at an all-girls high school, the opportunities to pursue a career in STEM were not obvious, at least to those who were advising on college programs. According to my academic advisor, my talent in math could lend itself to a career in teaching. While I didn’t know what I wanted my exact career path to look like, I knew I did not want to be a math teacher. All these years later, when I reflect on the evolution of my career, my greatest assets were adaptability and openness to change. Had I been stuck on a strictly linear path, and not open to moves to step backwards or forwards, I might have set myself up for a less than enriching experience.

Collect the data, then follow your gut.

As an analytical person, I usually like to research and weigh my options before making a decision. But when you’re unsure of what exactly you’re looking for, especially in youth, sometimes you just need to follow your gut.

When I attended a college fair, I noticed a brochure at the booth for the University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio for their program in computer science. UD was one of the few schools that offered a degree in computer science at the time (and not as part of a math or engineering program). Its curricula included math and provided me with an entry into a field of study that was clearly taking off.  I didn’t consider any other school — I only applied to UD, and luckily I was admitted.

Gut instincts certainly play a role in decision making but are more effective when rooted in knowledge.   Being educated in one area provides you with the confidence to trust your gut instincts. The more you know, the better your instincts.

Learning is essential and it shouldn’t stop.

We often hear that school-aged children describe math and sciences classes as challenging. I would argue this isn’t due to a lack of aptitude, but the difficulty in applying these subjects to everyday life. Learning is only hard if you don’t know why it is useful. This is equally true in work. At Evans, we believe increased learning opportunities allow employees to create a deeper and more meaningful connection to their role in the company. Everyone on our team at Evans has access to a “Career Coach.” The coach provides insights and guidance that helps to strengthen the capacities of staff to grow personally and professionally. This mentor program  helps our employees navigate their learning and development options and aid them in the creation of their career journey map.

We encourage our team members to create learning goals every year.  The goals may be related to a particular skill one would like to develop, or to a particular role one would like to work towards. We have seen the benefit of leveraging the coach cohort to help or employees map their learning journey.

Practice humble confidence and leverage failures.

What do confidence, humility, and failure have in common? They are all essential ingredients to success. The sting of failure is humbling but also breeds confidence when you learn from your mistakes. This confidence allows you to assume more risk, which in turn provides greater opportunities for learning and growth. Ultimately, confidence is not how much you “know,” but the ability to present what you know, and the belief that you have the skills to solve a new challenge and recover quickly from a failure.

Going back to my selection of Computer Science as a major – those first courses were challenging, and I doubted my decision several times.  Among my classmates, I was the only one without prior experience with computers or programming languages.  I learned to ask the right questions of faculty and classmates, and gradually things began to click. While the degree in computer science served me well, the lessons about humility, confidence in my ability to learn, and overcoming challenges have been foundational.

Using Visual Communications to Drive Change

By: Alicia Serrato, Evans Incorporated

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2015 was…

That’s right – an emoji. The way we communicate is shifting and evolving towards visual communication. In a world of Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, we seek to consume information more quickly without the hassle of having to read a fifteen-page technical report. At Evans Incorporated, our human-centered approach to communication aims to make the complex simple by finding visual and engaging ways to tell the story that drives change.

In one case study Evans consultants identified the key success factors required to support air traffic controllers with the changes that arise when new technologies and procedures are introduced. To drive change, Evans sought to make the information easily understandable and accessible to the wide range of facility personnel who would ultimately be responsible for implementation.

The Evans custom communication solution is a “Project Toolkit” (currently under development). The toolkit is a colorful deck of index-sized cards. Each card introduces a key idea accompanied by a graphic and concise explanation and lists practical tips to help manage the change with a focus on supporting the people impacted by the change – the air traffic controllers.

The Project Toolkit makes it easy for the reader to make sense of the data because it chunks it into bite-sized pieces and provides visual cues that signal to the reader what cards to use and when. The cards are color coded by intended audience group and project phase, so that users can quickly identify key insights relevant to different groups of people and stages of the change process.

Together the cards bring concepts to life and provide tangible recommendations that the reader can begin to do. Visually appealing, practical, shareable, and applicable – this is the Project Toolkit. It’s one example of how Evans works creatively to deliver unique human-centered solutions.

Sue’s Lessons Learned #1: Create Your Culture

Evans Incorporated is celebrating 25 Years of Human-Centered Change. Founder Sue Evans reflects on the lessons she has learned since Evans’ inception.

Sue Evans, Founder, Evans Incorporated

What is corporate culture? A positive workplace culture is something observable and can certainly be felt when you are part of a high-performing organization; a cohesive and engaged team are some of the characteristics. While these qualities are important, culture is more than a feel-good sense of belonging. At Evans, we say our culture is “how we show up.” It is the set of shared values and behaviors that create the standards for the way we engage with our work, our clients, one another, and our community.

When I started Evans at my kitchen table 25 years ago, I had a vision of what a human-centered consulting practice might look like. To put people before processes, we had to cultivate a team that was not just technically capable but had the capacity and willingness to connect with others in a human-centered way. In the beginning, it was relatively easy to pinpoint individuals who would mesh with our small team. As we have grown, we have codified our culture, and the values, behaviors and norms that define it, to ensure that it can be shared and preserved among a large, diverse staff.

#1 Assess your team’s behaviors

Does culture evolve organically or are they intentional? It originates organically, with leaders setting the tone for how it is exhibited and molded over time. In our early years, when our team was under ten staff members, we conducted our first DiSC® assessment of team behaviors and communication styles.  Of the four DiSC classifications, a common behavior was “conscientiousness”, emphasizing accuracy, competency, and objective reasoning.  This was ideal for serving clients that put high value in the details and reasoning behind a recommendation. That behavior alone could stand in the way of getting to the bottom line and accomplishing results in a fast-paced environment.   Understanding the natural behaviors of the team and the behaviors that would allow us to grow allowed us to be intentional about the behaviors and values we would encourage in our team and seek in new hires. As we’ve grown, so too has the range of styles represented in the company.  We strive to have a mix of do-ers, influencers, calm supporters, as well as the conscientious detail-oriented that best fits the project at hand.  Understanding individual strengths and challenges is the first step in pinpointing the values you want to influence your culture.

#2 Define and affirm your values

Core values are the guiding principles that define how Evans operates.  They support our vision, shape our culture, and reflect our identify. Evans core values reflect our beliefs and behaviors, and guide hiring, management, coaching, client delivery, internal and external interactions, and all aspects of leadership.

Over the years, we’ve revisited our values, and boiled the list down to four that we use to guide our daily work: delight clients, exhibit leadership, foster commitment, and ensure corporate health. We set expectations on what the value means by providing specific examples of the behaviors that exemplify each value.  We also reinforce the values and recognize individual successes through peer-driven celebrations – using tools like Goodseeker, a web platform that allows staff to call out their peers for note-worthy demonstrations of Evans’ values—whether towards their colleagues, to a client, or to the community.

#3 Unicorns exist – hire for behaviors AND skills

We often see companies create generic standards for hiring that focus on precise technical skills or specific academic pedigree, and ignore the whole person. Many candidates that list an untraditional academic or alternative professional background are overlooked. At Evans, we are deliberate in looking for the right behaviors and beliefs, relevant core skills, and potential to develop specific technical skills. It is easy to fall into the trap of hiring technical skill alone if you are focused on checking off keywords on a resume. We believe it is crucially important to select candidates who embody our values first and foremost. We have learned to “hire slow and fire fast” because our culture–how we individually and collectively show up–is our greatest differentiator.

Technical skills are valuable  and depending on the position and responsibilities, cannot be acquired over a short orientation.  Even when technical skills are critical–to ensure long term corporate fit– culture alignment is equally important in the hiring decisions.  Our staff composition reflects this diversity of expertise and thought, with backgrounds ranging from hard science and engineering to the social sciences and humanities. Unicorns do exist – individuals with a balance of left and right brain skills and problem-solving.  With a well-defined culture assessment, we are more successful in selecting and effectively integrating those who span the spectrum of thought.

#4 The value of career coaches

Members of Evans’ coaching cohort are a critical touchpoint for reinforcing culture and values with staff.  Every Evans’ staff member is assigned a Career Coach, a principal or manager in the organization who provides career and development support and guidance. This coach serves as a sounding board for staff and helps to create a professional development pathway that provides the most value to both the employee and the company. Our Career Coach program has the added benefit of ingraining our culture through leadership and fostering commitment. We believe that providing a range of professional development opportunities (from on-line training, to professional certifications, to financial support for college degree programs) results in enhanced performance that feeds into the success of the company. Mentoring and providing tools to exercise one’s passion is a two-way street, in that the employee will bring an enhanced skill back to the company, making everybody better as a result. At Evans, we believe leadership is a verb not a noun, and that culture is not something “to do” but rather “to be.”

Celebrating 25 Years of Service: Northern Virginia Family Services

For 25 years, we at Evans have worked with organizations that contribute to the greater good in our local community. The mission of the Northern Virginia Family Services (NVFS) is, “To empower individuals and families to improve their quality of life, and to promote community cooperation and support in responding to family needs.” They achieve this end by providing essential resources that support financial, emotional, and physical well-being to individuals and families in Northern Virginia. Every year, NVFS provides 35,000 individuals the tools to achieve self-sufficiency.

Since 2015, Evans has partnered with NVFS through sponsorships and donations to its school supply collection program. Additionally, we are a proud four-time recipient of the NVFS Company as Responsive Employer (CARE) award. For over 25 years, the CARE Awards have recognized upstanding companies making Northern Virginia a better place for everyone to live, work, and play.

“The CARE Awards highlight companies that understand and exemplify the shared significance of work and family as building blocks to healthy communities. This aligns with Evans’ vision to build healthy organizations through innovation. We recognize that healthy organizations start with healthy individuals, which in turn are the building blocks to strong communities. We are enthusiastic proponents of the NVFS mission and look forward to continuing our partnership for years to come,” said Ashley Tolub, senior manager at Evans Incorporated and member of the CARE nomination committee.

The CARE Awards select companies that promote a culture of service and positive employee engagement strategies. Awardees are commended for their sustained corporate social responsibility efforts and employee volunteer engagement. Winners are chosen based on their initiatives including innovative and sustained corporate social responsibility, to create best places to work in the area.

Artificially Intelligent? Using Human-Centered Design to Make Process Automation Even Smarter

Jesse Lambert & Lee Plumb

human centered solution for artificial intelligenceYou know AI has officially gone mainstream when it’s a hot topic within the traditionally risk-averse space of Federal government acquisition. Yet that was the case at the ACT-IAC 2019 Acquisition Excellence conference in Washington, D.C. in March, with panel discussions titled “Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligence in Acquisition,” and casual references to “RPA” (Robotic Process Automation). And it’s true that several government agencies not commonly associated with cutting-edge technology (e.g., GSA, HHS, IRS) are automating business processes to harness efficiencies and cost-savings. One speaker at the conference noted that automation could save the Federal government $40B over just the next three years.

Still, the truth is that the government is still in the early stages of AI application, currently focused more on automating transactional process than advanced machine learning. The process design approach is critical to ensure that an automated process is most effective and with the support of the people affected by it, going beyond just the people manually performing the process today. As we progress from these early automation initiatives to more sweeping adoption of AI, here are a few some potential hurdles, and how Evans Incorporated uses Human-Centered Design to inject real intelligence into process automation:

  1. Near-term:  Agencies and most consultants already seem to embrace that the people currently performing the work to be automated need to be involved during process and “bot” development, but that doesn’t equate to “human-centered design”.  It isn’t enough to just work with staff to map out the process and design something that replicates it or improves it slightly. This is the time to fundamentally improve the function supported by the process, and to think ahead by considering qualitative requirements, such as ethics, compliance and treatment of sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data.
    • Evans’ capabilities in design thinking, business process improvement, and change management pair well with AI to capture the nuances of process being automated, improve upon it where possible, create a foundation for evolution, tailor outputs to the needs of decision-makers, and adapt the organization to enhance adoption.
  1. Medium-term:  The current automation target at most agencies is administrative and transactional work, freeing staff to focus on higher value responsibilities, but the attention is mostly internally-focused.  As government expands automation to externally-facing processes that impact the public directly, agencies will need to consider a more diverse stakeholder environment, as well as policy, governance, and privacy issues that will surface when technology disrupts culture.
    • Evans emphasizes stakeholder engagement and communications as core to any organizational improvement.  We can help clients implementing AI solutions define their stakeholder base to better understand the users of their automated systems and the impact of those systems on other downstream stakeholders, then incorporate their needs into service design.
  1. Far-term:  As government experience the efficiency gains of automation, many employees will transition to supervising automated systems and performing functions that are less conducive to automation, but positive outcomes from this transition aren’t guaranteed.  Can employees whose primary role has been replaced by “bots” be retrained for higher value work, or will they become unemployed? Agencies will need to redefine the workforce and create more high-value business functions.
    • Evans’ human-centered approaches to strategy and organizational design enables clients to build their future workforce, harnessing the power of AI to elevate their capabilities.  We interpret organizational goals through the lens of human capital, then craft a talent management plan to achieve those goals that aligns with and reinforces positive cultural attributes.

Celebrating 25 Years of Service: Our Legacy of Positive Change

For 25 years, Evans Incorporated has been committed to a culture of service and servant leadership – we believe it is central to our human-centered approach. In addition to serving our clients and partners, we give back to our profession and community by lending time and expertise to associations and non-profit organizations. In this vein, we recently unveiled our strategic vision for 2025: we build healthy organizations that move society forward. We believe healthy organizations are the foundation to healthy communities and—as a company that specializes in human-centered change management—we recognize that authentic change must first begin on the individual level.

Service through Leadership

Since 1974, The Women’s Center in Vienna, Virginia has provided mental health counseling, support, and education to help people live healthy, stable, and productive lives. Since 2013, Evans has sponsored The Women Center’s annual Leadership Conference, providing our team with greater awareness of the organization’s mission and impact. The event is a highly anticipated day of connection, thought leadership, and inspiration, as attendees hear and learn from those who are rising above the fray and making a positive difference in the world.

Last year, the theme for the conference was “Be the Change” and this year, “It Starts with Us.” These sentiments perfectly align with the Evans model for change, accountability, and the culture of leadership in service. Evans practices “leadership” as a VERB, and our leadership is demonstrated through service, so others may be drivers of change for themselves, their families, organizations, and their community.

Meeting Core Human Needs

ur commitment to service is not limited to extending support in the form of professional training. Since 2010, we have donated over 5,000 lbs. of food and cash-equivalents to the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). We understand that individuals cannot act to better their lives without first having their basic needs met. AFAC helps to feed 2,300 families in the local community every week. We have numerous programs that provide support in the form of primary needs – food, clothing, shelter – to organizations like Salvation Army, Shelter House, Northern Virginia Family Services, and more.

Our Legacy

From the beginning 25 years ago, Evans has sought to streamline systems and processes to improve organization operations. We learned that changes in processes won’t last and deliver ROI – Real Operational Impact® – without ensuring a connection at the individual level first. Healthy individuals, those who are resilient and have their basic needs met, are better able to drive ROI in their organizations. As leaders, we believe it is our responsibility to serve individuals, who, in a virtuous cycle, contribute to the development of healthy organizations and communities. Moving society forward starts with us, and that is the legacy of positive change and ROI we hope to achieve.

Case Study: Human-Centered Change Management

 By Lauren Thomas & Alicia Serrato, Evans Incorporated


A Federal agency responsible for aviation safety embarked on a mission to modernize the national airspace system. By leveraging a suite of automated technologies and advanced procedures, the agency had the opportunity to deliver increased airspace capacity and fuel efficiency. In addition to the benefits to the environment, the technology supported air traffic controllers in managing their workload. The existing workforce was trained to control aircraft in a very tactical and “hands-on” manner. The introduction of these new technologies and procedures fundamentally changed the work that air traffic controllers love to do. To maximize the benefits of the automation, the agency needed to understand the air traffic controller perspective in implementing these new technologies and procedures.


Evans knows the creation of a technical solution alone does not lead to meaningful change. In other words, innovation is not effective simply because it is a good idea – the advantages of innovation emerge when the idea is used. The Evans team brought together consultants with expertise in human factors, organizational development, and communications to better understand how air traffic controllers would interact with the automation and associated procedures. The team used a design thinking (LT) approach to place air traffic controllers at the heart of the change management process, making the end user perspective the focus of the work. This helped to identify some critical nuances that would not have been identified with more traditional approaches to “change management.”


Evans engaged key stakeholders through one-on-one interviews, on-site observations, and natural “experiments” to understand the user perspective. Analysis included usability methods and design thinking techniques, such as journey mapping (LT) and thematic analysis. In addition to looking at what didn’t work, the team focused on appreciative inquiry- asking “what wows?” and “what works?” This allowed the Evans team to paint a rich picture of user needs and requirements at different stages of the change. This human-centered approach identified the key success factors required to support air traffic controllers with the changes that arise when new technologies and procedures are introduced.


By tapping into the end-user’s personal experiences and perceptions, we were able to form actionable recommendations to help the agency communicate the impacts and challenges of the change to different management and stakeholder groups. We were also able to capture innovations and “lessons learned” that create value (LT) to the roll-out at other air traffic control facilities. We developed a suite of visual tools (AS) to help the agency implement automated technologies and advanced procedures in a human centered manner. As one user said: “this really captures MY truth – and that’s exactly what is needed to make this happen.” These outcomes were possible because we took a design thinking approach to managing the change. This is one example of how Evans teams work creatively to deliver “Human-Centered Change That Works.”

Journey Mapping and the Evans Human-Centered Approach

Evans Incorporated is celebrating 25 years of human-centered solutions. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate Evans’ journey mapping approach to its Change Management practice.

Lauren Thomas & Alicia Serrato

As human-centered consultants, we seek to understand the impacted user’s point of view when designing a new product, service, or experience. One we do this is by creating a journey map.

Journey mapping is a method that Evans’ design thinking consultants have adapted from the world of graphic recording and graphic facilitation. A journey map is a visual approach to representing a timeline for an individual, a user persona, a team or group, or an organization. It serves to represent history, current experience, and/or the future within a single image.

A basic approach to creating a journey map is:

Step 1: Listen to what is voicedjourney mapping

Step 2: Listen to what remains unvoiced

Step 3: Capture the essence.

Step 4: Use visuals to communicate experience

Step 5: Refine map based on user feedback

This graphic illustrates a basic process for creating a simple journey map. This technique may be used “live” in group setting by graphic facilitators and graphic recorders to capture discussions in real time and provide a visual record of the experience. For meeting participants, watching a graphic recorder or graphic facilitator create the journey map as conversations unfold can be a very powerful shared experience, literally creating shared meaning and a shared vision.

We also use journey maps to identify critical elements and experiences in adopting a change, and to plan the right actions and communications for each phase of a change or transformation. Used in this way, a journey map represents a road map for change management that documents and describes the experience of the change for end-users. This type of journey map can be created based on interviews and experiments and can be annotated with details relevant to each phase of the change.

Evans’ consultants have experience of using a wide range of visual and design thinking methods, including graphic recording, graphic facilitation, and journey mapping. Contact us if you would like to know more.

Design Thinking and Change Management

Evans Incorporated is celebrating 25 years of human-centered solutions. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate Evans’ design thinking approach to its Change Management practice.

Lauren Thomas and Alicia Serrato

The term “design thinking” describes a creative approach to problem solving that places human beings as end-users at the heart of the process. This human-centered approach is grounded in the belief that the people who face those problems are the ones who hold the key to their answer. In a nutshell, design thinking involves understanding the user being served, and aims to arrive at practical and innovative solutions that are rooted in people’s actual needs. These principles hit close to home for Evans, and we apply design thinking to drive impactful human-centered change (Figure 1).

Step 1. Empathize: Learn about the change challenge from the end-user’s perspective.

Step 2. Understand: Look for patterns and insights that help you understand the potential barriers and enablers of the change.

Step 3. Ideate: Generate creative solutions that resonate with users, and find out what “wows.”

Step 4. Develop: Turn the best ideas into options that you can test in the “real-world’ and improve through iterative refinement.

Step 5. Parcel: Package the solutions(s) into an integrated and holistic suite that supports users through difference stage of the change.

First, we seek to gain a deep and broad understanding of the current situation to gain insights into the challenge of change from the end-user’s perspective. Then, we define creative solutions that resonate with users and that can be applied in the real world. After all, ideas without application are just that, ideas. To turn them into workable solutions, we refine ideas using an iterative approach based on user-experience. This helps us to generate practical recommendations that really do support users in adopting a change.

The final part of the puzzle is working out how to “package” different elements of the solution. Different users have different needs in terms of support they need to make a change, and these needs likely vary through different phases of an organizational change.

Evans’ experience has shown that this design thinking approach helps to identify issues that may have been missed by more conventional change management approaches. Since this approach also puts the end users at the heart of the process, risks associated with the change are better managed and mitigated than with conventional change management approaches.