A Way To Give Your Clients Maximum Value
By Ann Vanino
Too often, consultants fail to give their clients maximum value. They bring pre-packaged knowledge and approaches to unique situations. Many consultants believe their value lies in what they already know and being “expert”. Organic Consulting is a consulting methodology that lets the work grow from what is. In Organic Consulting, the consultant becomes part of a bigger whole. As a result, both client and consultant are changed. Through this change, desired results are achieved.
What are the elements of Organic Consulting?
Becoming Part of the Whole
As you, the consultant, are hired by an organization, you become part of it. You are no longer independent of each other and have both changed. In some ways, you have created a new ecosystem. To prepare for your work, thoroughly understand the organization you are working for – its values, mission, people, strengths and weaknesses. Ascertain what their goals and expectations are in hiring you. Make sure they get to know you – what perspective you bring to the table, how you work and what you can give them. Outline what it is you can do for the organization and how you will do it. Build into your outline periodic points where you will evaluate the changes that are taking place, whether you are adding value and if you are on track.
Giving Up The “One Size Fits All” Approach
You cannot standardize Organic Consulting. Think about it, have you ever consulted for a client that is exactly like one you have worked for before? Replace “one size fits all” with “one size fits only you”. Tailor your approach for each client. Many consulting firms use the “one size fits all” approach to streamline their activities, use less experienced people or to maximize profit by using the same approach over and over again. It doesn’t work and clients know it. In Organic Consulting, streamlining takes a different tack. You bring your knowledge, experiences and tools to each situation and let the alchemy take place. It can be as effortless and will provide a better result.
Working With What Is
Do not try to change your client at the outset. Begin with what is. It is the only place to start. Otherwise, you are on a false foundation. By analyzing what is you can build, correct and supplement where it is needed. You can identify the changes needed and work with your client to implement them. By doing this you may find solutions you have not thought of yet. Let the organization’s current reality inform your work and where you go. Your aspirations and the value you will add are not limited by what is; they are informed by it. The challenge lies in the reshaping.
Do not come to your work with rigidity or preconceptions. Organic Consulting unfolds. As your consulting progresses, new information may surface, the alchemy that was created may stir things up or the organization may respond in unexpected ways. That is all okay. Take what happens and let it inform you. This is how real change occurs and high value is given. You cannot control the process of Organic Consulting. As changes occur, notice them and fold them into your work. The end result is a changed organization – changed by the introduction of you and the resulting evolution.
Accepting The Results
Many consultants derive comfort by “knowing” the outcome they will achieve before they begin. Organic Consulting precludes this. It is the introduction of you into the existing system that begins the process and it is not predictable. Your results may seem imperfect, but they are real. In that sense, they are perfect. Your work may uncover flaws that were previously hidden, new information as yet unknown or new pathways leading to greater success. That is the goal of Organic Consulting – change that works, adds value and creates.
My work as a management consultant has informed my approach. Organic Consulting works for me and delivers maximum value to my clients by addressing their reality, bringing my skills and perceptions to the table and creating positive change together.
©Copyright 2008 – 2015 by Ann E. Vanino
All rights reserved in all media.