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What’s Your Consulting Firm’s Theme for Next Year?

Your consulting firm is hurtling toward the start a new year. Well, technically, every day commences a new year, but your calendar proclaims January 1st as the start of the Gregorian calendar year, so let’s go with that.

More important than your choice of calendars is your choice of your consulting firm’s theme for the year.

Your theme bridges the distance between your consulting firm’s enduring, unchanging mission and the actions you and your team will take over the upcoming 12 months.

Choosing your theme is a single decision that will cascade into your strategic initiatives for the year, inform your execution plans, and shape your OKRs, KPIs, and OTUCs.*

A good theme simplifies your consulting firm’s decisions, clarifies your priorities and guides your actions.

A truly powerful theme overwhelms doubts and eliminates confusing options. Think of Frodo Baggins’ musical signature in Peter Jackson’s classic, Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Every time Frodo is center screen, a slow, grand, Celtic-tinged strain plays.

Frodo’s theme is a bit plodding, and by the end of three movies you’re thinking, “Dude, you need some puppy uppers. Dance a jig or something.” And Frodo responds, “I can’t. My theme music is too slow. Pippin and Merry got the happy, skip-along tune.”

To prime your thematic pump, below are a few examples of the annual themes from some of the consulting firms I work with:

Build a Growth Machine

Execute on Growth

Test, Learn, Adapt, Succeed

Fewer clients, More projects, Higher fees

Build our Future

No matter what unexpected obstacles you face and serendipitous wins you enjoy, your annual theme will steady your consulting firm’s path, align you with your overarching mission and advance your goals.

What’s your consulting firm’s (preliminary or final) theme for the upcoming year?


4 Comments
  1. Ian Tidswell
    November 11, 2020 at 6:06 am Reply

    Scaling offerings to serve unmet small company markets. I’ve had these theme for a couple of years and failed to execute. Pretty soon I need to get serious about it or forget it!

    • David A. Fields
      November 11, 2020 at 6:50 am Reply

      A theme that you don’t execute on is an opportunity to dive deep and ask, “What’s stopping me/us?” Rather than repeating the same theme next year, perhaps a tweak is needed that opens the door for progress.

      Thanks for sharing your theme and your experience, Ian!

  2. Dr. Shantana Robinson
    November 11, 2020 at 8:39 am Reply

    Mine dropped in my lap due to the pandemic. So for 2021 I will continue fill the gap between resource partners and small businesses. Theme—“Fill the Gap, for what’s next!” Great read!

    • David A. Fields
      November 11, 2020 at 8:46 am Reply

      Love that theme, Shantana. “Fill the gap” has a very inspirational, action-oriented feel to it. Nice!

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