Founded in 1985, Destra Consulting Group LLC, is a strategic business transformation firm working with Fortune 500 clients, start-ups, governments, and educational organizations for over three decades. Destra currently has a team of more than ten associates in the U.S. It also has an affiliate in Australia, where the organization designed large client engagements in Lean/Six Sigma and Change Management for BHP Billiton and Telstra, among other companies.
Destra is best known for its expertise in change management, leadership development, and operational excellence. As an organization, Destra believes that informed, talented, and committed people transform organizations across the world. So, the firm focuses on helping unleash the power of people and organizations by providing the understanding and tools to improve processes, lead change, and accelerate execution.
The Passionate Leader
A management consultant with over two decades of experience, Bette Smith serves as the Principal of Destra Consulting Group LLC. She works with companies undergoing business transformation and does the work of assessment, design, delivery, and evaluation of initiatives for companies and organizations in every industry.
Bette says, “My professional journey is fairly eclectic. The golden thread that runs throughout my career is a focus on organizational learning and support for business success.”
After getting an undergraduate degree in Russian, Bette completed her post-graduate semester in Leningrad, Russia. One of her first jobs afterward was working for a U.S.-based conglomerate, where she managed the launch of their Moscow office. Later she returned to the U.S. to work for a workplace learning program in Denver. At this point of time, Bette got the opportunity to work with several companies, including AT&T, The Denver Post, Samsonite, etc. Then she received an interdisciplinary Master of Social Science degree in Philosophy and Education from the University of Colorado Denver.
Before becoming a partner with Destra, Bette served CQG Inc., as the Vice President of Communications and Director of Organizational Learning, and was the Director of J.P. Morgan Center for Commodities at the University of Colorado Denver. In 2021, Bette became the CEO/Owner of Destra Consulting Group, as her business partner David Hannegan Jr. retired after more than 20 years with the company.
Bette says, “I joined Destra in 2013 – Josef Schroeter (now the Owner of Schroeter Consulting), the CEO of the software company where I worked for 12 years, made an introduction and recommended me to the current partners. It was a life-changing experience; I immediately realized that I could use all of my skills in Organizational Development to help Destra continue its mission to serve as a trusted partner to its clients and support their employees’ growth and development.”
The Greatest Accomplishment
In 2016, Bette and her business partner redesigned Destra’s Accelerating Change and TransitionsTM organizational change model. She was instrumental in moving the organization’s model to a new place; Destra incorporated most of the latest research on change management which included recent work in behavioral change, and feedback collected from the firm’s clients. For all these reasons, the updated model is much better received. Bette feels the most rewarding of all is using this model with Destra’s clients, supporting them in developing internal change capability, and witnessing their success in leading change initiatives irrespective of size.
Bette states, “Transitioning the business to single ownership is also a significant accomplishment. I enjoy the challenges and rewards of operating the business, and I am actively engaging with new colleagues, collaborators, and clients to move Destra forward.”
Although Destra has a global footprint and does most of its work nationally in the U.S., it is also working to build a presence in the greater Indianapolis area as a member of the Indy Chamber.
As a consulting firm, Destra values two primary things that separate it from other competitors:
Diversity of Experience: Destra works as easily with small emerging companies as it does with larger, global transnational corporations. This tremendous experience helps the firm quickly understand every client’s challenges and create solutions to meet their evolving needs.
Collaborative Process vs. ‘Expert’: Destra’s approach for consulting is to partner with its client’s leadership and employees throughout the lifecycle of its services. The firm understands that combining its expertise with its clients builds ownership in the effort, fuels greater success, and ultimately transfers knowledge and builds client capabilities.
Picture of the Future
Recently Destra launched Destra Coaching with a few new associates. Experienced in years of coaching and training in change management and process improvement, Bette now provides coaching for individuals and organizations ready to take their leadership to a higher level.
At present, the firm is planning to create a digital platform/application for its Accelerating Change and TransitionsTM model and tools. This would create an added value for the firm’s clients who choose to license and white-label Destra’s I.P.