“A consistent focus and an exponential
ability to ‘learn’ and ‘unlearn’ is what
drives success criteria in the current era
- Bobby Varanasi (Founder, Matryzel Consulting)
A standard consulting strategy should
hold forth nodes of relationships
between the consulting firm and its
clients, identifying those networks as
basis for business continuity.
This involves engaging, delivering and
managing service with a clear-cut focus
on developing relationship between
the service producer and consumer.
Characteristics of Relationship-Centric Organizations
• Big Thinking
• Emotionally Astute
• Strategically Values Information
• Talent Magnet
• Keeps it Simple
Source: Journal of Applied Psychology
Strategic Relationship Planning
It’s the process of transforming a
firm’s most valuable relationships
into quantifiable performance,
execution and results.
Strategic Relationship Plan for Consulting Firms
Adapted from David Nour, Relationship Economics
• Action for collaboration with other
consultants and consulting firm
• Other relationship-centric
achievements during the previous year.
• Current Relationship Bank
• Most Valuable Relationships
• Relationship Currency Exchange
• System for Following Through
Current Relationship Banks
i. Do you maintain a database of contacts?
ii. How current is your database?
iii. Do you employ multi-dimensional categorization in the database
iv. Have you identified and documented broad insights of contacts?
v. Do you have plans for tracking information on valuable relationships?
vi. What is your frequency of relationships portfolio review?
vii. Do you have a model of ideal relationship?
viii.Do you have a list of target relationships for the next financial year?
ix. How aligned is your list of target relationships with the model of ideal
x. Are there some relationships neglected in the past financial year?
xi. How do you propose to ensure optimal resourcefulness in each
Most Valuable Relationships
• Who are your top seven clients?
• What do you understand about their operations, threats, strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, market and growth challenges?
• Have you been able to leverage analytical capability in tracking the
needs of your clients?
• How do you plan to increase your knowledge base of those clients’
• How do you intend to manage the diversity of relationships?
• Which of those clients referred you to prospects?
• Do you know why the referral was done?
• What attracted those clients to you?
• Which of those attraction factors have you developed further?
• Have you observed increasing profitability in the relationship between
you and those clients?
• Can your relationship with those clients survive mishap?
Relationship Currency Exchange
i. Who are your top referral sources?
ii. What’s the bond between you and the referral sources?
iii. How do you show appreciation to the referral sources?
iv. Have you been a referral source to any of them?
v. Would you classify your relationship with them as parasitic or
vi. What are your plans for more productive positioning?
System for Following Through
i. How do you ensure your ‘follow through’ does not stand as
‘follow up’, knowing that ‘follow up’ is a transaction while
‘follow through’ is a process for ascertaining that the value
delivered is that which had been promised?
ii. Have you identified the criteria for relationship investments
iii. What is your current relative reputation in your field of
iv. How do you plan to improve your reputation for content?
Return On Involvement
i. With what organisation is your firm involved?
ii. What impact was created from your involvement?
iii. How far did you expand your intrafirm involvements with that
iv. What is the extent of intrafirm coaching in your firm?
v. How did you enhance your firm’s intellectual capital?
vi. What’s the importance of strategic relationships to your firm?
vii. What performance level do you want to attain?
viii.What do you require in order to attain that level of performance?
ix. What are your pivotal contacts?
x. Describe your firm’s relationship liabilities in the past financial year.
xi. How will you mitigate such risk in the next financial year?
xii. Identify the most valuable and most diverse relationship asset which
your firm gained in the past financial year.
Reason versus Influence
Where the other party fails to identify
evident reason, a viable option shall be
influence, which is leveraged on social
Social Network Analysis
This is the process of mapping and
measuring relationships and flow
between people, groups, firms and
SNA is the granny knot of Psychology,
Organizational Development and Graph
Theory (Applied Mathematics).
Uses of SNA
i. Leadership Development
vii.Mergers and Acquisition
Relationship Reinforcement Strategy
Relationship reinforcement strategy
focuses on using clusters of social
networks and high performance impact
to boost strength and stability.
The Place of ADR
When relationship reinforcement
strategy fails to keep two parties
together, then the next option shall be
Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
“The relationship you begin to build
today, may turn out to be the joint
venture that makes you an incredible
- Ginger Geracitano
Dr Elijah Ezendu is Award-Winning Business Expert & Certified Management Consultant with expertise
in Interim Management, Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Transformation, Restructuring, Turnaround
Management, Business Development, Marketing, Project & Cost Management, Leadership, HR, CSR, e-
Business & Software Architecture. He had functioned as Founder, Initiative for Sustainable Business
Equity; Chairman of Board, Charisma Broadcast Film Academy; Group Chief Operating Officer, Idova
Group; CEO, Rubiini (UAE); Special Advisor, RTEAN; Director, MMNA Investments; Chair, Int’l Board of
GCC Business Council (UAE); Senior Partner, Shevach Consulting; Chairman (Certification & Training),
Coordinator (Board of Fellows), Lead Assessor & Governing Council Member, Institute of Management
Consultants, Nigeria; Lead Resource, Centre for Competitive Intelligence Development; Lead
Consultant/ Partner, JK Michaels; Turnaround Project Director, Consolidated Business Holdings Limited;
Technical Director, Gestalt; Chief Operating Officer, Rohan Group; Executive Director (Various Roles),
Fortuna, Gambia & Malta; Chief Advisor/ Partner, D & E; Vice Chairman of Board, Refined Shipping;
Director of Programmes & Governing Council Member, Institute of Business Development, Nigeria;
Member of TDD Committee, International Association of Software Architects, USA; Member of Strategic
Planning and Implementation Committee, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria;
Country Manager (Nigeria) & Adjunct Faculty (MBA Programme), Regent Business School, South Africa;
Adjunct Faculty (MBA Programme), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Editor-in-Chief, Cost
Management Journal; Council Member, Institute of Internal Auditors of Nigeria; Member, Board of
Directors (Several Organizations). He holds Doctoral Degree in Management, Master of Business
Administration and Fellow of Professional Institutes in North America, UK & Nigeria. He is Innovator of
Corporate Investment Structure Based on Financials and Intangibles, for valuation highlighting
intangible contributions of host communities and ecological environment: A model celebrated globally
as remedy for unmitigated depreciation of ecological capital and developmental deprivation of host
communities. He had served as Examiner to Professional Institutes and Universities. He had been a
member of Guild of Soundtrack Producers of Nigeria. He's an author and extensively featured speaker.