Sometimes things just go wrong. How you handle the situation as a consultant makes all the difference.
For instance, one of life’s little pleasures is a freshly detailed car. Last week, an expertly trained professional gently removed the thin film of grime and buffed some new-age, uber protective coating onto my sedan. And as I tootled down the highway, I couldn’t help but slow down and admire the deep, burnished glow of the metallic black hood.
That is, until I was passed by a tractor-trailer emblazoned with a pastoral scene featuring freakishly large cows glaring down at traffic while they munched organic grass. The artwork was actually catchy; however, either the heffers inside the trailer were enjoying one hell of a road trip or a large vessel had burst, because pouring from the rear of the trailer was a white waterfall of calcium goodness. An impressive flow that hit the pavement at 70 miles per hour and frothed all over my gleaming black car. My first thought was, “Milk? Seriously?!”
My next thought was that this was emblematic of consulting. Every once in a while a project wanders off the rails. I had a project go south recently. The client just wasn’t happy. The fact is, even the best designed consulting projects can stumble. Sometimes we fall short—we’re all human and fallible—or the client and consulting team mix signals or some exogenous land mine blows everything up. It really doesn’t matter why. What matters is how you recover.
Eight best practices will help you rinse off the sour milk of a troubled project and shine brighter than ever in your clients’ eyes. I’ve captured these eight best practices in a “Project Rescue” infographic, which you can download below.
After you download the infographic, please share an experience you’ve had with recovering from an engagement that hit the skids. What did you do that made a difference?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.