Alex D Novak, founder of Ambit Intersect, transferred career expertise in the performance improvement and instructional design fields to overcome the disruption of a company downsizing in 1996. The result, hanging his own shingle and launching his own firm.
"I started consulting back in mid-70s as a performance improvement company employee," he said. "I continued with different consulting companies, including Arthur Anderson and the Instructional Design Group. There, I was downsized, but was in the right place at the right time when an old industry contact needed some help. I did that on a contractor basis. From that point on, professional work came through my consulting business.”
Ambit Intersect designs and develops corporate training materials and provides instructional design and development consulting.
"The niche the firm occupies is in quality control for new and contract-based corporate training developers," Novak explained. "I review their work with an experienced eye. I look at three things, instructional integrity, writing and format. One example of what I do is if a course or topic has a list of four training objectives that participants must meet before the course is completed and one is that participants should be able to calculate asset depreciation, I review the materials to ensure the instructional designer included content, examples and exercises. If the content, practice or assessment is missing, then the instructional integrity is broken. No one knows whether or not the participant can perform the task. Because my clients are usually companies with 100 employees or more, with robust training materials, most design and development projects would have a minimum calendar time of a month to complete. The niche review of an eight-hour course is often less than a day."
Novak suggests reading Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz and Automatic Wealth by Michael Masterson, and his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to seize the day.
“Do it now rather than later," he said. "Whatever it is you should do from building a website to learning how to network, the sooner you get started with improving yourself and being conversant in an unfamiliar setting, the better off you'll be.”