Breaking the Rules of Consulting


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Save your blushes - and your margins.

Consultancy is changing as client needs change - and as business practices modernize.

This report breaks with orthodoxy and shows you the new pathways to consulting success.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Breaking the Rules of Consulting

  1. 1. Breaking Rules in Consulting
  2. 2. Breaking RulesEnhancing your decision just5 minutesA Futures Coaching
  3. 3. #1 Avoid perfect  As a naïve consultant, I always use to try to give clients a perfect solution... only to see little actioned  In fact, I should have been tailoring the solution to the clients culture and their ability to impement  An optimised solution is a customised solutionAn explorer wants a wind up radio, not digital wizardry
  4. 4. #2 Promote youth  As a 22 year old in my first consultancy, I made a (truly awful) client presentation after just 3 months: I learnt from the fall and I got better Typically, in French consultancies, people are still juniors at 35 & talent is wasted Go with youth & let them make mistakes; your confidence will be repaid
  5. 5. #3 Radicalise tendering  Tenders are tempting: clients at least have a budget  However, they often come with an incumbent & a commoditising mentality Unless you want to destroy your  margins and integrity, they only way to win a tender is to be radically different from the crowd
  6. 6. #4 Shift mental maps Clients take decisions when they see the world differently  For me, a key consulting task is to transform mental maps; to get to an aha moment  Once an omlette is made, you can never return to raw eggs
  7. 7. #5 Keep it short  Most clients havent the time, theenergy nor the organisational stability for long-term processes  Keep steps short, keep processes containable  Deliverables from one project can always feed in to the next
  8. 8. #6 Go outside We tell clients to network, crowdsource, open source – then use internal consultants for our thinking Break the rules by using outsiders to bring new perspectives  And clients love the agency/experts/clients mix
  9. 9. #7 Be humble  My first lesson as a consultant: clients often used me for reassurance, for political purposes or because of resource gaps – but NOT due to a lack of know-how Key insight for consultants, be humble; what you are providing is unlikely to be über wisdom PS. Humility also means listening well!
  10. 10. #8 Bad clients stay bad  Ive been incredibly lucky with sensational clients  Occasionally a bad client pops up: the ones who distrust consultants and keep them in line by beating them up  One logic says, hang in there since over time you can win their trust but my rule says: once a bad client, always a bad client
  11. 11. #9 Reject reporting  Old style consulting: take brief; internal work programme (with take out meals at 11pm and at weekends); reporting; go down the pub to celebrate New style: discuss brief; collaborative process which involves client in solution; interactive workshop(s) to leverage the findings into business decision making
  12. 12. #10 Work on what matters  Its easy to produce lots of output; it feels right to work long hours; its rewarding to be creative – but ultimately what matters is what makes a difference to the clients performance  Add value by adding value  And do so in a way which is credible, reliable and trustworthy
  13. 13. Enhance your decision-making join forces with
  14. 14. What is Futures Coaching up to during May 2012? Helping reinvent the supermarket proposition Preparing an international innovations project for a industrial global brand Building a Key Note for NGO Fundraisers in GenevaPitching to build an international development strategy for a major European agencyParticipating in a brand positioning workshop in Jakarta Networking in Singapore Researching banking technology trends Pitching some new book ideas to Pearson
  15. 15. LONDON • PARIS Website: www.futurescoaching.comBlog: Email: