You make decisions in the course of creating value for your consulting firm’s clients. That decision-making ability can be captured in a simple, powerful format that will reduce your labor intensity and, potentially, attract clients.
If your consulting firm assesses situations and dispenses advice (e.g., “Your cookies are too soft because the oven is overheated; cook longer at lower temperatures.”), then your diagnostic abilities are on display with your clients.
Even if your consulting firm’s engagements are oriented toward execution, you still encounter little conundrums along the way.
For instance, if you implement a sweet culture at bakeries, perhaps you determine which cultural principles are the highest priority for each pâtisserie. Or if you research the rugelach industry and report trends, you decide how to deal with aberrant data and which trends to convey.
By converting the problem-solving processes rattling around your team’s noggins into decision trees, you’ll create a portfolio of extraordinarily valuable assets for your consulting firm.
Decision trees are straightforward, simple-to-follow flow charts. To build yours, record the questions you ask to determine what’s going wrong at a client, or and what actions you should recommend, or how to resolve common challenges that crop up in your consulting firm’s engagements.
Your efforts will produce a graphic that’s typically captured on a single page. It can be distributed internally, dressed up as an infographic for clients, printed on the lid of your holiday cookie-tin or, perhaps, easily sketched out as an instagraphic to impress prospects.
At a minimum, the flowchart will clarify your consulting firm’s “official” decision-making rationale for everyone in your firm—yielding a faster, more consistent path through challenges.
You’ll probably also develop a piece of IP that is absolutely indispensable for your clients. The type of IP that creates strong, positive feelings toward your firm and prompts them to recommend your firm to others.
Don’t worry that you’re giving away all your secrets when you hand your flow chart to clients.
Your consulting firm’s value lies beyond knowing what questions to ask and what steps to take.
Understanding how to apply those questions, how to interpret the results and, especially, how to implement the steps implied by the decision tree make your consulting firm a prized resource for prospective clients.
What is one, important, decision-making process your consulting firm utilizes that you could capture in a decision tree?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.