So you want to be a knowledge management consultant
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So you want to be a knowledge management consultant

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This presentation examines the issues involved in developing a consulting practice in knowledge management.

This presentation examines the issues involved in developing a consulting practice in knowledge management.

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  • Why this – why now? Observing the trends with the group, people from corporate roles becoming consultants
  • Counselor, educator, facilitator –- it fits my Myers-Briggs type. That’s what I thought.
  • I’ve been involved in KM for 20 years, and in professional services for 15. Noticed shift in market in 2006. Summation of 10 years of online and mergence of 2.0
  • If you’re not comfortable with the notion that you’re always selling WHILE delivering, then maybe consulting isn’t for you. Alternatively, if you have a never-ending stream of referrals and extensions
  • Surprisingly little research has been done of strategy of consulting businesses
  • Globalization of wage rates has been the biggest strategic threat. Large numbers of New entrants has been driven into market. Low barriers of entry – get some cards from Vistaprint and you’re in the game. But once in,where do you put your attention? What are your assets? A good rolodex iis a quickly depreciating asset unless you prime it with new contacts. New social tools help, but there is no competitive advantage to be derived from this.
  • The only winning strategy is to create a series of mini monopolies in which you’re the sole provider. This is a spin on the Blue Ocean strategy, but it’s hard because while the barrier to entry are allow, the barrier to pushing a really unique idea can be quite high when you’re dealing with intangible assets.

So you want to be a knowledge management consultant So you want to be a knowledge management consultant Presentation Transcript

  • So You Want to be a KM Consultant?
    Joe Raimondo
    Ontologique
    May 2011
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • So You Want to be a KM Consultant?
    • The Making of a Consultant
    • The State of the KM Consulting Market
    • KM Consulting –a Career Perspective
    • KM Consulting Strategy: 2010 & Beyond
    • Seven Keys for Consulting Success
    • Conclusions & Takeaways
    • Questions
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • The Making of a Consultant
    I Always wanted to be a consultant
    I don’t know why
    © www.despair.com
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • The Making of a Consultant
    • Worked in “Big KM” – Big 4 in the ‘90’s. The time we fondly remember.
    • The eye of the storm for KM at the time
    • Everyone want to get back to that time
    • But, IT’S NOT COMING BACK!
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • The KM Professional Services Market 2011
    • Vertical Market Perspective
    • Horizontal Market Perspective
    • The Bottom Line
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • KM Consulting – a Vertical Market Perspective
    Pharma & Life Science
    - AV & BV
    Financial Services
    Integrated Manufacturing
    Chemical and Process Manufacturing
    Professional Services
    Public Sector
    Non-profit
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • KM Consulting – a Horizontal Market Perspective
    Subject matter expertise
    Project & Analysis Expertise
    Technical/Platform Expertise
    KM Expertise (plus…)
    Trusted Advisor/Guru
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • KM Market – The Bottom Line
    Knowledge Management is still relevant
    • Still the best term to encompass the broad spectrum of technologies and disciplines involved in optimizing the value of an organization’s intellectual assets.
    The strategic justification is a major challenge
    • Business environment of cost-cutting and consolidation
    The tactical justifications are driven by
    • Platform consolidation
    • The search for “intelligent” life
    • Public sector-graying workforce
    Finding the right “internal team” and defining their concept
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • KM Consulting –a Career Perspective
    • Three Words
    • Who Gets the Coffee?
    • A-B-C
    • Guru-dom
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Up or Out
    • Successful consultants are like sharks – they have to keep moving
    • The Big 4 model – up or out – is kind of a constant, either you qualify yourself as a partner, or you eventually land a staff position at a client
    • There are staff positions at consulting firms, but it a risky proposition – always the first to go in a downturn.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Who gets the coffee?
    • In my experience, the key to long-term success in consulting is SELLING, not delivery
    • Once you sell, of course you deliver – but the long-term perspective on business development and closing is the engine for growth.
    • Consultants who aren’t good at sales, but who are successful, will have a good sales team at their side
    • Successful sales in consulting comes in all forms, from cold calling to 100 percent networking
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • A-B-C
    • Selling in consulting come in many forms:
    • High volume, sales as marketing
    • Low-key networking, the country club approach
    • Proposal machines
    • The all important follow-on
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Guru-dom
    The option to being the big closer/Partner/Principal is to be a Guru.
    Requires more of a focus on constantly generating new intellectual property.
    Still requires selling and closing, but the IP (books, courses, methods, etc.) are the primary draw.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • KM Consulting Strategy: 2011 & Beyond
    Strategy as the Optimization of a Portfolio of Intellectual Assets
    A Textbook Approach
    Strategy and the Sole Practitioner
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Strategy: Optimizing a Portfolio of Intellectual Assets
    • E.g., practice what you preach
    • Develop and Leverage your own portfolio of assets
    • Capture, classify and develop avenues for distribution of as much of the artifacts of your intellectual effort as possible
    • Provides the engine for generating the intellectual assets that move your firm forward
    For more info, see The June 2005 Harvard Business Review “Surprising Economics of a "People Business” by Felix Barber, Rainer Strack http://bit.ly/2B0Jtt
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • A Textbook Five-factor Perspective
    Strategic factors driving decisions about allocation of:
    • Time/Attention
    • Capital (financial/social)
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Strategy and the Sole Practitioner
    Even sole practitioners faces the need to operate strategically
    - “Kill and eat” is not really a strategy
    If you’re not operating strategically, you short-change your clients, even if you are totally successful at delivery
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Seven Keys to Consulting Success
    Winning the Proposal Game
    Your Give Away
    Dealing with Expectations
    Moving In – becoming part of the family
    Appearing bigger than you are—project yourself
    Eating your own dog food—practicing what you preach
    Build your virtual team
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Winning the Proposal Game
    Successful proposals don’t simply win you business
    • They are the blueprint for maintaining the relationship with the client
    Successful proposals usually win on the strength of the team, and the demonstration of capability to perform
    - You need to document all your past experience (qualifications) rigorously.
    You need to run the proposal through an applicable project management method to clarify scope, identify resources and role, and to manage risk.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Your Give Away
    You must offer a “freebie” – a lure for potential clients
    - A free taste of the services you offer to get them hooked
    The BEST charge clients for their give-away.
    - It gets the client’s skin in the game.
    Make sure that you (and the potential client) don’t confuse your give away with your real offer!
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Dealing with Expectations
    Winning professional services business requires setting high expectations.
    The biggest source of suffering in professional practice is the inevitable divergence of expectations once delivery begins.
    The client is always right – to a point.
    It’s important to establish a partnership with clients that allows give and take.
    Don’t be afraid to fire a client. In the long ruin, it’s more important to maintain your professional integrity than to be abused for billable hours.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Moving In – Becoming Part of the Family
    “Be thou familiar but by no means vulgar..”
    You want to cultivate a trusted advisory relationship AND maintain your independence.
    This is a high-wire act for consultants.
    You have to create your own structure that YOU belong to so you’re not dependent on belonging o the client’s culture and structure.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Appearing Bigger—Projecting Yourself
    One of the tenets of small business is to find ways to appear bigger than you are.
    Overinvesting in image – quality of materials, deliverables, web site, etc. is one way to accomplish this.
    Pulling in allies from your network to flesh out your team also can be helpful.
    Be smart about this, and also be accurate. Leaving people with an impression is different that mis-representing yourself.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Eating Your Own Dog Food—Practicing What You Preach
    Vexes every consultant – focus should be on delivery and new business development.
    But especially in a discipline like KM, it’s important to be able to lead client – to show a vision, to open their eyes.
    Practicing KM internally – no matter your size – expands the boundaries of your professional capabilities.
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Build your Virtual Team
    Consultants are expected to be experts in their disciplines. But too often they think that their expertise in on domain extends to other domain.
    Beyond your professional cadre, it’s important to build a social network that’s balanced with people who have key skills – sales, marketing, branding and image, project management, etc.
    Train your teams eyes to spot opportunities for you. They should be clear about what you do that they can reliably identify an obvious opportunity back to you.
    - Train them!
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011
  • Questions
    Joe Raimondo, @JoeRaimondo
    joer@ontologique.com
    http://www.ontologique.com
    Copyright © Ontologique 2011