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7 Stretches that Will Totally Transform Your Consulting Firm

When you combine a strategic growth idea with granular prompts and a well-defined process, you can design a dramatic plan to accelerate your consulting firm.

Your growth plans for your consulting firm can be evolutionary or transformative. Evolutionary plans allow your consulting firm to do more or to improve. Transformative plans shift your consulting firm to do different.

At some point, you must transform if you want to continue building your consulting firm. You simply can not grow past a certain point by doing more of what you’re doing now.

For instance, if you want your consulting firm to be 10x what it is now (either in terms of revenue, or profit, or productivity, or impact, or any other measure), you won’t get there by just pushing harder on your current tactics and approaches. You’ll have to massively change something.*

Transformation is a bit vague and generic, though. Therefore, below are seven, concrete and granular prompts to spark transformational thinking about your consulting firm.

Below the prompts is a tightly-defined exercise to help you use the prompts to their maximum effect.

7 Transformational Growth Prompts to Stretch Your  Consulting Firm

  • If you have one year to 10x the number of your consulting firm’s active clients, how would you do it? (Parameters: You cannot reduce margins, but you can offer lower-fee engagemnts.)
  • If you were tasked with increasing your consulting firm’s annual revenue 10x, but you could not add more clients, how would you do it?
  • In order for your consulting firm to earn 10x from your current clients, what would have to change about your client relationships? (Hint: think about the level of the relationship, the style, the individuals, the duration, etc.)
  • How could you make your consulting firm’s typical client relationship last 5-10x as long as it lasts now?
  • If you were asked to multiply your current revenue by 5-10x, purely by subcontracting to other consulting firms, how would you do it?
  • If you were asked to generate 5-10x your current revenue by selling a non-consulting offering based on your current expertise, who would your target(s) be, and what would you offer?
  • If you were required to deliver the same outcomes for the same clients you have now, but reduce labor intensity by 80%, how would you do that?

The Three-Hour Transformation Exercise

Step 1

(35 minutes) Spend 5 minutes thinking through each prompt. Force yourself to stretch your imagination, challenge your assumptions, release your current business approaches and adopt radical ideas.

Step 2

(15 minutes): Cycle back through the seven prompts.(Ideas generated during later prompts often spark new thinking on earlier prompts.)

Step 3

(10 minutes): Scan all the transformative ideas you’ve generated, and select the top five for your consulting firm.

Step 4

(50 minutes): Flesh out your top five ideas for 10 minutes each. What would need to happen? Who would need to be involved? What processes or approaches would need to change? What new capabilities would you need? How would personnel need to change?

Step 5

(10 minutes): Select the one idea you think is most likely to powerfully transform your consulting firm.

Step 6

(60 minutes): Build a detailed plan for the one idea you’ve selected to transform your consulting firm. Your plan should outline specific action steps, assign responsibilities, and set precise deadlines.

Is there another prompt or idea you’ve used to spark transformation for your consulting firm?

  1. Terry "Doc" Dockery, Ph.D.
    May 5, 2021 at 8:16 am Reply

    Great stuff David–got me thinking creatively!

    • David A. Fields
      May 5, 2021 at 8:31 am Reply

      Outstanding, Doc. And you’re a creative fellow to begin with, so I look forward to hearing about your transformations! Thanks for leading off the discussion today, Doc.

  2. BJ
    May 5, 2021 at 11:13 am Reply

    Great ideas David! This stimulates my creative thinking! Thanks for sharing.

    • David A. Fields
      May 5, 2021 at 11:15 am Reply

      Creativity is darn important in our line of work, BJ. Let me know what ideas you come up with for your firm!

  3. Brian Cohn
    May 6, 2021 at 3:11 pm Reply

    Great thoughts, David. It reminds me how we tend to drive straight into convergent thinking when we are looking for improvements and how important it is to build in time for divergent thinking to grow the number of possibilities.

    • David A. Fields
      May 6, 2021 at 4:40 pm Reply

      Divergent vs. convergent thinking is an excellent distinction, Brian. You’re absolutely right on the application to building your consulting firm. I’m glad you added that idea to the mix!

  4. Tom Ruchalski
    May 11, 2021 at 8:35 am Reply

    I was turned on to your site by a collogue and thought yeah, yeah another self help guy. I was wrong!

    • David A. Fields
      May 12, 2021 at 9:15 am Reply

      Well, Tom, I’m not sure what to make of that. Perhaps you’re suggesting I provide no helpful advice (“Huh, a no-help guy”), or perhaps just advice that you can’t implement alone (“Hmm, a get-help guy”), or it could be the incessant puns and chocoholism set the content apart (“Yikes, a needs-help guy”).

      Whatever it is, I’m glad you’re part of the community and you took the time to comment! Please chime in on future articles too.

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