In consulting, what ultimately determines success? Increased profitability, satisfied clients, or met objectives? Not exactly. These criteria are very important, but not always sufficient. Many times, it is the client’s employees who hold the key to your success.
In today’s markets, strategic plans can get off track faster than a speeding bullet train. If you don’t constantly monitor and measure your plan’s progress, you may end up at a very different destination than originally planned. So whether it’s once a quarter, once a month, or once a week, you need to regularly assess and update your strategic plan.
A fundamental change is quietly but most assuredly taking place in the American workplace: the balance of power is shifting from employers to professionals who work contingently. While those may be magical words to some in the field, it’s downright scary to others because many companies are yet to fully realize the dramatic shift or know how to respond to this pivotal change.
Quite a few consultants find themselves out in the cold after seeing a buyer without even knowing what happened. Here are some situations to be aware of and avoid or deal with more productively.
We all know that sport is essential for our wellbeing. And it is especially true for consultants. By eating out, staying at hotels, and surviving under high levels of stress, we expose ourselves to the problems of an unhealthy lifestyle. To cope with that, a sporting lifestyle is a good way to keep us from falling out of shape.
People organize and set priority the wrong way. They tend to look at their desk and calendar and attempt to sort the myriad issues, notes, projects, tasks, and dust bunnies into some cohesive framework, which is like pushing cappellini with a straw. Professional organizers often seem to think that organizing your head is like organizing a desk drawer or a garage—pencils here, paper clips there, chain saw under the bench.
Although I’ve developed a number of blog posts addressing the practice of management consulting, I have spent little time tying things together into a framework of secret weapons of the modern consultant. Secret weapons are a spectrum of tactics and skill areas – while some may be used widely, they are often passed through mentorship or apprenticeship in bits and pieces.
Imagine two lists: One contains the qualities that a business person should have, and another includes the attributes that most business people would say they wouldn't want to have. There's only one term I can think of that might top both lists: vulnerability.
You got the consulting job you wanted. Now what? How do you make your mark without looking like a novice? Here are seven tips for jump-starting your consulting career.
For us consultants, being able to communicate via email matters a lot. Just to illustrate this, just count up the amount of time that you spend reading or responding to emails over a 5-day period. A large organization conducted a similar test and found that the amount of time that each employee spends on his/her email accounts for an average of $15,200 of their yearly salary, representing $152 million a year in wages!
As consultants, do we actually know what is going on in the minds of our clients? We might like to think that we have this supernatural power of reading minds, but, in reality, we’re often blind to what make our clients satisfied or not.
If you think you can get clients to believe you based only on your charm and good looks, you’re wrong. There is a reason that people ask you to put your money where your mouth is – they want you to “Prove It!” And it’s easy, I promise.