Goodbye FCG

FCG was one of the first “boutique” consulting firms in the healthcare IT (HIT) space. It was founded by the late Jim Reep and Zan Calhoun. Now, it is part of HIT history.

I believe I was at FCG during the golden age. There was not a lot of structure, but there were a lot of talented people figuring out this new industry. We were staying a few steps ahead of our clients. I remember working on a strategy project and we were arguing about the necessity for a PC network as part of the strategy. That’s how young the industry was.My FCG Business Card from 1988

Back in those days (1987 – 1990) Jim and Zan would shut down the entire company for one week and take us on a retreat in San Diego’s Pala Mesa resort. Somewhere I have have a picture of the staff at my first retreat – the first 50 FCG employees.

This was in important time in my life. I gained a lot of self-confidence and learned what it meant to love your work. I also had a lot of great mentors: Zan, Karen Reed, Julie Bonello and Steve Heck. I also loved my peers in the Chicago office: Pete and Andy Smith, Liz Krimendahl, John Hoben and many others. I still cherish my memories of Friday afternoons at Wrigley Field with this cast of characters. Work is great when you have a sense of camaraderie with your co-workers (which is why I am so happy now).

We were a small firm then. I remember our first $1M month. When FCG was sold to CSC they were a much different public company earning many times that. Good times, then. Good times, now.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye FCG

  1. An era has passed with FCG disappearing into the night but the fun of FCG went years ago the inevitable victim of the structure needed to support dynamic growth. The timeframe you mention was indeed the Golden Years.

  2. We sure had fun – smart, talented, hard working but all with a sense of humor. FCG was a great company back then. Of course, Will, you were the star! Thanks for the compliment. jb

  3. I was FCG’s 501st employee, starting on same day as number 500, whose last name started with a ‘B”. Those first few years I gave impassioned speeches to headhunters about how privileged I was to be a part of FCG, and how I would never leave. Sadly, that FCG left me and so many others that remember what a very special place it once was. We all saw the changes coming – the changes that would take the very spirit right out of the place. FCG went from poeple-focused to profit-focused, and thus tranformed itself into just another soul-less monolith. It was a great ride for while, though when people mattered and profits came from just doing the right thing.

  4. I worked with Jim and Zan in the early 80s. Some of us went to Hawaii to do a project for the State hospitals. I was the 39th employee.

    I first met Jim when I used FCG as a consultant when I was CIO at United Hospitals in PA. Consulting looked exciting and I joined FCG. Little did I know what I was geting into. I never knew anyone who worked as hard as Jim. Days were long then, non of this 4 day gigs like today. Jim’s was big on perseption “be there before the client and leave after the client”. I remember when I worked with him. After a 9-10 hour day we would go out to eat and have some beers. We’d wind up in the hotel at 11 pm. At 6 am, Jim would be knocking on our doors to be sure we were up. Jim died too young.

    FCG was THE classic consulting company. I learned much from the ambitions and ethics of Jim and Zan. Other classics of the day was Superior Consultants started by Helpe.

    We did real value work in those days not like the wastefull activity of today’s giants like CSC.

    I am still in Healthcare after 30+ years. Nice to see Zan is still in the business. In fact, I ran into Zan at a couse I took at Harvard School of Health that he participated in.

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