What is an effective consulting practice or engagement for that matter?
At TRI Consulting, we have a clear definition of an effective engagement. This thought process grew out of our years long practice and feedback interviews with partners and clients we work with intimately.
These experiences led me to think about clarifying the purposes of a consulting practice, especially for TRI Consulting. With clarity of purpose comes satisfaction of consulting engagement.
From this point onwards, I will seek to explain what an effective consulting engagement should be from the lowest level of value-adding services to the highest level.
1. Providing Fresh Information.
Providing information is not the purpose of an effective consulting practice.
Providing fresh industry information, cutting edge insights is.
The purpose is for help our clients stay ahead of the competition, especially so in this time and age where information is arbitraged freely within the internet. The time-expiry for information is almost instantaneous.
Fresh information as insights can presented in the form of attitude surveys, focus group reports, cost studies, online click analysis, feasibility studies, customer online viewing preferences, market surveys, or industry wide analyses such as competitive landscape and what the Next Big Thing would be.
When the client’s resources are tied to the portfolio of the company, the client may engage TRI Consultancy for our special expertise, more accurate, up-to-date information or pre-project implementation details.
Often research information is all a client wants. Sometimes, the client just requires a better framing and interpretation of data that is currently available.
We at TRI Consulting also work to determine what relevant information is already on hand and what needs to be supplemented to turn it into actionable insights.
2. Solve Immediate Problems.
At TRI Consulting, we work to build trust and respect with our clients by solving immediate and complex problems.
As such, we are often tasked to solve difficult people problems such as employee morale, satisfaction and disengagement.
These are complex problems because there is simply no direct input / output correlation. Human ecosystems are complex systems in a way that every variable can be dependent on other variables.
One way to think about the human ecosystem is to make an allusion to the mountain cliff currently receiving and holding onto snowflakes. The mountain can be initially stable while receiving snowflakes due to a snow storm. As more and more snowflakes are received, the mountain cliff becomes readily unstable and easily perturbed as it becomes ready to give way. All it takes is that one additional snowflake to land on the top of the snow pile and an avalanche is triggered.
At TRI Consulting, we take it upon us to identify: –
- The Point of Perturbation,
- What that final Snowflake could potentially be,
- Act before the entire human ecosystem is unstable.
That could potentially translate into policies to adopt, practical solution for talent retention and engagement such as compensation, morale, process efficiency, effective communication, internal controls, management succession and other issues.
Solving such problems of complex nature is a legit ask from our end.
We also work to prioritise which problems to solve. Sometimes that is an Art more than a Science. We know the way ahead as we spend more time with our clients, understanding their needs and priorities.
3. Building Consensus Across the Board.
Building and arriving at a consensus might be the toughest thing that any consultant has to address and perhaps one of the top skill sets demanded from a consultant.
At TRI Consulting – We know this is important.
Any engagement’s usefulness to an organization depends on the degree to which members reach accord on the nature of problems and opportunities and on appropriate corrective actions. In another words, the cutting-edge industry insights that are presented, the solutions that can any problems in the organisation cannot come into effect unless we get people to agree with us.
To provide sound and convincing recommendations, a consultant must be persuasive.
Specifically, we work to be persuasive in getting our clients to take action.
We do that by taking steps to build a strong relationship with our clients to understand them better and these can be materialised into a string of questions popped in different settings. These questions may include the following: –
- What information does the client readily accept or resist?
- How willing are members of the organization, individually and together, to work with us on solving these problems and diagnosing this situation?
- How can we shape the process and influence the relationship to increase the client’s readiness for needed corrective action?
- Do those at higher levels listen? Will they be influenced by the suggestions of people lower down?
- Are those at the operational level ready for change and ready to work hard and late to ensure that the change happens?
TRI Consultancy is concerned with such issues because we are concerned about our clients.
Consulting practices has to be geared towards value-adding services.
We at TRI Consultancy understands that and strive to move in that direction.
This is how we instil our core values of Trust, Respect and Integrity into the work we do.
We strengthen the bonds with our clients not by kicking the can down the road.
We achieve that through confront the complexities of the business landscape and work with our clients to overcome these challenges in order for them to perform at their next level.