Consulting, Education and Business Transformation

The OBVIOUS: "You can't change the system if you are not part of it. But if you are part of the system, you can't see the system and the trigger for change."

Successful transformation isn't about giving the client a document or a shiny new tool, roadmap, or even a set of sample surveys and communications. Consultants "bring fresh eyes, knowledge, skills and insight, contextual based tools and training" where needed. Success, in the end, is about developing relationships and trust. It is as much about about listening as talking.  We help the clients to use and expand what they know. Just as it is in education, the value stream from great consultancy is derived from the relationship and the discourse more than the process and the deliverable.  

To be successful, we must create a collaborative forum with clients where solutions can be jointly explored, tested and then employed for continuing value.  Delivering a document or a presentation isn't enough. The value parallels the adoption of the toolset and the usage piece is the critical part.  Getting across the "chasm" requires customized test and learn models built with clients, but leveraging the expertise and knowledge of the trusted advisor.  Balance is the key. 

We, as consultants, state the obvious with nuance and subtlety while identifying adjacent opportunities which maximize the returns by eliminating wasted efforts and focusing attentions on the highest returns. It isn't rocket science. It is people science bridged with outcomes and results and that may be even more difficult. By design, a consultant will come and go.  The value of that consultant is shown in the results of the plans and programs in the following years as the "students" execute on the kernels of expertise, continually adapt for optimized results, and prove that they learned their lessons. 

Consulting is not so different from teaching(except for the travel and the compensation;-). We must build relationships and transfer the knowledge faster than classroom instruction. We have to "win our students" with sales and they hold the cards of power. This power inversion makes it very, very tricky to find the right approach.  

The joint collaboration on the outcome is messy, difficult to sell, but.. life isn't fair, and there is no secret sauce, or magic bullet.  Smart business leaders realize that solutions come from balanced perspective. Diversity of perspective is a process that requires investment across people and tools. 
Consultants are critical to broadening that perspective. Transformation and Innovation follows...


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