Modeling Good Consulting
I am nothing but thrilled about the progress we’ve made in our business over the last couple of months. That is not to say that we still don’t have a long way to go but we have a direction now and the opportunity to do great work. We grew up doing SDL Tridion implementations, we started out as builders and we also need to become consultants. We need to be solution-focused and very adept at bringing many different skills together to deliver for our clients.
So what does it mean to be a good consultant?
We need to practice being good consultants to one another. Again, we can’t expect to be a good consulting firm externally and not act like one internally. You can’t loaf in practice and go win the big game, it just doesn’t work.
Good consultants do a few things really well, aside from being Smart and Happy. They are experts, they have opinions, they run effective meetings and concisely and beautifully present information.
As an expert in your field, you are expected to be always learning. You are expected to take growing your knowledge seriously and you are expected to contribute to the thought leadership of the company. As Tom has recently coined, everyone needs to be on a “Personal Learning Journey”.
You have to have an opinion. You cannot be an expert and be afraid or unwilling to speak your mind. It’s important to recognize this means that you have to be well prepared and immersed in your client’s issues so that you can have opinions. It should never be acceptable for one of our consultants to be a wallflower. Of course, as leaders, we will have members that are so opinionated that they are ineffectual or just stubborn, but you’ll coach them appropriately. We believe in the market place of ideas. Our clients should be enamored with our critical thinking and brilliant ideas.
Running an effective meeting. This is a real area of opportunity for improvement for Tahzoo. An effective meeting has the following attributes; An Agenda is sent out ahead of time, it starts on time with all members present, all the necessary information/reports are available, decisions are made, and meeting minutes are sent out as a follow up with action items detailed.
Start on time
All members present
All information/reports available
Decisions are made
Meeting minutes are sent out
Action items are documented
Just put yourself in our customer’s shoes; they are hiring us, every hour, per person, seems to me this should be a minimum expectation for each and every one of us … and everyone who works at Tahzoo.
Concisely and beautifully presented information. Our work needs to be perfect, not just good. Our biggest client is an auditing firm – All they do is look for mistakes, you should too. Each of us needs to take the time to do perfect work and to ensure that the work that is being produced by our team is perfect. We cannot count on perfect work from our teams unless there is a process of inspection. There is an old saying of mine, “you get what you inspect, not what you expect”.
These are the core skills of a consultant. We’ll practice working with one another and by extension become better consultants to our clients.
Let’s go be great!