You may be familiar with the habit-creating technique called “Don’t Break the Chain.” Most people use it to establish a new, personal habit. You could also deploy the approach on behalf of your consulting firm.
The most common, simple and concrete implementation of Don’t Break the Chain utilizes a wall calendar. First, you decide on a habit you want to adopt daily (e.g., working out at least 30 minutes, not opening email before noon or waiting until after breakfast for your first cookie of the day). Then, you cross off each day on your wall calendar as you successfully complete your habit.
After a few days, you have a little chain of Xs through the days of your wall calendar. Your goal is to keep your chain growing without any breaks.
A twenty-one day chain jump starts a new, daily habit.
A 180-day chain proves you can persist with your new habit beyond a season.
A 43,800-day chain demonstrates you’re very, very old or you handed off the habit to your granddaughter.
Of course, being the smart, chocolate-loving consulting firm leader that you are, you want to step beyond new, personal habits. You want new, team-wide or organization-wide habits.
Large, hanging calendars are effective and give you the tactile pleasure of re-painting your wall when your permanent marker slips beyond the paper’s edge; however, they’re less usable by teams. Especially in a virtual environment.
Fortunately, as a consulting firm, you can track your firm’s unbroken chain on a shared spreadsheet file, Miro board or even in a Slack channel.
What one, important, daily habit do you want your consulting firm to adopt in the new year?
The 3-part consulting firm model can trigger ideas for new habits, and I’ve listed some thought starters for you below.*
- Make X outreach calls to new consulting prospects every day.
- Every day, identify a concrete new project opportunity, or submit a new proposal, or negotiate a proposal or close a consulting project.
- Create, as a firm, at least one publishable piece of Thought Leadership every day.
Profitably Create Value
- Solicit feedback on your core consulting offering from at least one new person every day.
- Implement at least one “Above and Beyond” aspect of your consulting client experience every day.
- Every consultant working on a project either creates or uses a template for project delivery every day.
Infrastructure (People, Processes, Systems) Habits
- Start every meeting every day with a positive statement.
- Note your consulting firm’s achievements every day.
- Recognize a key contributor at your consulting firm every day.
The nine ideas above barely scratch the surface of new, daily habits your consulting firm could adopt.
Have you tried the Don’t Break the Chain method?
What ONE habit will you implement at your consulting firm without breaking the chain?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.
One habit I’ve found helpful, which dovetails PERFECTLY with your idea of “Don’t break the chain,” is to use of what I call The Marketing Scorecard.
Here’s how it works.
Step 1: On a 3×5 card, draw 5 boxes in INK along the top line, from left to right. The boxes represent Monday-Friday.
Step 2: On the lines below, write 3-5 proven marketing actions in PENCIL. Use pencil because these will change as your marketing evolves. Example actions from David’s article:
* Make X outreach calls to new consulting prospects
* Identify a concrete new project opportunity
* Submit a new proposal
* Negotiate a proposal
* Close a consulting project
* Create one publishable piece of Thought Leadership
Step 3: Block off 30-45 minutes every morning (before you get busy and distracted) to do at least ONE of the marketing actions.
Step 4: Mark an X in PENCIL in one of the 5 daily boxes atop the card. Because you will erase the marks at the end of each week and re-use The Marketing Scorecard.
Here’s why it works.
Every time you mark an X on the card, it gives your brain a rush of endorphins. You set up a little craving for more … which makes you more likely to take action again tomorrow … and not break the chain … and keep growing your business
This is a clever extension of the Don’t Break the Chain approach, Kevin. Using an erasable index card rather than a wall calendar opens the door for tracking multiple successes. I’m sure you could find a way to extend this to a team, too.
Thank you for posting the approach you’ve found successful, Kevin, and Happy New Year!
Start every meeting every day with a positive statement.
Here’s my positive statement for today: I am grateful for David Fields’ weekly great ideas, book I keep at my side and results I achieve accordingly.
Happy, healthy new year!
You’ve just created all sorts of positivity, Ilene! Thanks for the comment, for including my various writings in your journey, and for letting me know. Woo hoo, and Happy New Year!
Good one, David!
All input and reactions are helpful, and I appreciate your feedback, Tom! Have a Happy New Year!