Today’s an excellent day to briefly remind you of the good your consulting firm does, and the importance of understanding the “Why” behind your consulting firm’s engagements.
In all likelihood, your consulting firm doesn’t directly address widespread injustice, relieve oppression, or combat systemic prejudice.
Yet, your everyday actions leading a consulting firm are still a vital, positive contribution to the world.
A Force for Good
Amidst once-in-a-generation societal storms, your consulting firm’s work may sometimes feel inconsequential.
It’s not. You have every right to be proud of your consulting firm’s work, promote your offerings and continue to pursue consulting projects.
Your consulting firm’s very purpose is to help your clients solve problems and achieve aspirations.
You may help executives and line workers remain gainfully employed so that they can provide for their families.
Or, you may create better work environments, relieve anxiety, prevent operations from failing, or guide warring factions to act in harmony.
Perhaps you improve your clients’ marketing, internal communication, or ability to win customers.
Or maybe you accelerate implementation with practiced, capable consultants, an upbeat attitude and a steady stream of home-baked brownies.
Whatever the focus of your consulting firm, you deliver positive and beneficial results.
Your Clients’ “Why”
Behind every consulting opportunity is a “Why?” Behind every signed project is a Catalytic Event—a development that sparks your client’s commitment to change, his willingness to sacrifice (usually time and money), and his acceptance of risk to achieve progress.
A Catalytic Event precipitates the transition from smoldering discontent into a blazing, urgent demand for action.
It’s easy to see Catalytic Events in the broader world right now. They may not be in plain view at your clients, but behind every project there’s a Catalytic Event.
The more effectively your consulting firm uncovers Catalytic Events during the initial discovery process (a.k.a. the Context Discussion), the more success you’ll enjoy in winning consulting projects.
Don’t stop there. Drill down even deeper.
Look past the Catalytic Event that’s driving your consulting project.
What’s beneath the skin? What environmental factors grate against sensitivities? What values color perceptions? What complex history led your client to this point?
It’s incumbent on your consulting firm to understand your clients beneath the surface facts. To listen; to delve deep; to connect at a human level.
Your benefits from robust, attentive discovery will persist beyond winning the consulting engagement, through solution development and into the change process.
Change is hard, and you’re not alone if you frequently encounter stakeholders who resist your consulting firm’s efforts to improve the client’s situation, or who offer lip-service cooperation while undermining your efforts.
Hence, you can only create significant, lasting change with your clients by shifting patterns that have been years or decades in the making. By exploring and addressing uncomfortable, deeply-rooted conditions and causes.
And that’s what consulting is all about.
Creating a better world, in whatever lane you operate, is the heart and soul of your consulting firm. It’s a noble pursuit you can take pride in.
What do you improve? How is your consulting firm a force for good?
Text and images are © 2020 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.