Exchanging Words With BluePrint

Blueprint team: Michelle Kuly, Etoile Stewart, Katie Krahn, Tamara Kuly, Brad Muller, Claudine Gervais

If there is a problem Michelle Kuly can’t wait to solve it. Her love of complexity and problem solving is what inspired her to start her consulting firm back in 2012.

Blueprint provides guided strategy, planning, and engagement services. So, when businesses, organizations, or government leaders are faced with a complex problem or project, the team at Blueprint helps them to understand what stakeholders need, clarify their goals, and arrive at a plan of action. And its this opportunity to help companies figure out the human side of complex problems that really gets Kuly and her team excited.

“When it comes to business, policies, big projects, or complex problems that need to be solved a lot of the complexity can come from people. We work with a lot of partners, whether they’re in business, government, engineers, or researchers and help them look for way to help manage that complexity.”

Kuly likens this process to how we manage our day to day relationships with a partner or loved one. If we needed to make a decision around the home we would need to understand each others perspective, and feel heard and understood before making any big decisions.

“We spend so much time thinking about our personal relationships and making sure that people understand us, but we don’t often think about that in business or policy making. And it’s just as important. What we do to help is hold meetings, facilitate workshops, develop questions, and pull all that together into analysis that can be used by the architects, the planners, whoever is making the decisions.”

These workshops and analysis are all part of Blueprints’ strategy to help their clients make better decisions, create more exciting projects and initiatives, and to create trusting relationships with their employees and stakeholders.

“It’s really important from a business perspective to create an environment where your members trust you and see you as a trusted voice, and that takes a lot of ground work and that’s where we help. What motivates all of us on our team is what has always motivated me from the beginning, I love complexity, I love problems. Because to me that’s just an opportunity to figure out a new way to do something.”

Over the course of a year Kuly and her team conduct over 200 facilitated meetings and she feels honoured to get the chance to talk to so many community leaders, corporate executives, and business owners, helping them find solutions to problems.

“I just love that I get to listen to all the different perspectives. It’s so interesting to me that we are getting the privilege of someone trusting us to look at a problem and see what we can add. We really listen well and our clients really seem to appreciate that. You see fall the time when companies or government make policy decisions about what’s best for their business and they don’t consider all of the people affected by the decision. We come in to help build that trust and that takes a lot of listening. There’s a lot of openness needed for complex problem solving because there’s potential for misunderstanding. We offer patience, quiet, and some space to think a little bit more broadly about things.”

Kuly has recently rebranded her company; changing the name from First Person Strategies to Blueprint, a name she feels more accurately reflects what they do.

“It is part of our evolution. We are making some structural changes and saw an opportunity to better crystallize what we do and the value we offer to clients. The same way a blueprint is a detailed plan or a program of action, we’re looking forward to helping create the plans and programs that build results for our clients.”

This desire to evolve is also inspired by working in the Exchange District and being surrounded by such an innovative community of business owners.

“We love being in the Exchange. On top of all the great things happening here like First Fridays, great food, impromptu ice rinks, and alleyway markets, we love the incredible creative and entrepreneurial community. There’s just so many people doing exciting things here and we get to see that everyday, it inspires the work we do.”

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