Do you find yourself banging your head against the wall, wishing you had more hours in a day to accomplish your many tasks and hoping for more hours to enjoy the things you love to do? While attending the Million Dollar Consulting College™ Graduate School last week in Naples, Florida, and while being surrounded by some of the best consulting minds in the world, we discussed and explored many great topics. In this article, I would like to share with you two of my favorite of these topics – Best practices and reducing labor intensity. It is my wish that you too may find the way in your life to work smarter and meaningfully enjoy the rest.
The following section was the outcome of the brainstorming session, among all participants, outlining the best practices in our businesses.
- Business focus and clarity.
- Priority to best customers and availability to such customers.
- Retreats for CEOs.
- Search for opportunities beyond immediate assignments.
- Learn how to best apply your skills contextually.
- View your self-perception differently. Tougher and more direct.
- Expand personal influences and learning.
- Visualize and re-imagine yourself.
- Trade associations’ penetration.
- Use the community for referrals.
- Stay in touch via cards and notes.
- Provide ongoing value to your target audience.
- Organized plan for target prospects.
- Serve in an advisor capacity.
- Permission to have discretionary time.
- Reduce labor intensity. Find key exemplars to facilitate change.
- Focus on clients’ best interest to create transformation in their business.
- More sensitive to the sales, marketing, delivery (thirds) utilization of our time. All needing equal attention and not getting carried away in just one.
- Commitment to execute all elements of marketing gravity.
- Creating thought leadership.
- Network with exhibitors at trade shows so they learn who you are and you learn from them.
- Utilize your calendar to better schedule your time for both work and pleasure.
The following section was presented by Alan Weiss, Ph.D. with proper attribution to him.
How to reduce labor intensity and maximize impact:
- Transfer work and skills to client. Training your client to do the work you do or even train the trainer will significantly reduce the amount of work you have to perform enabling you to focus on work that generates bigger impact.
- Combine multi-client work. For example, when designing a survey, you may be able to offer the same one to multiple clients.
- Don’t accept client solutions. You must be convinced that it is the right way to go. Just because the client wants to go down a certain path does not guarantee it is right or going to be successful. The client view may often be tainted, your role is to clarify and validate the right path.
- Co-opt key influencers. Find the people in the organization that can make or break the project and get them on board and support the project.
- Isolate and starve opposition. When you find resistance rather than confront them, go around them and bypass them. If necessary, confront the buyer and let them know that “we have a problem.”
- Look for dissonance. Is the client behavior consistent with what they are telling you?
- Search for distinctions and cause. Isolate differences in the operation before and after (time) or place before determining the cause. You want to be diagnostic in the business acquisition side yet prescriptive in the consulting side.
- Use informal observation. How are customers treated, staff behaving, phones answered? Shop the client.
- Search for cause not blame. Don’t look for people pointing fingers at each other. Look objectively for cause.
- Seldom are results bad and people good. If the organization is not meeting goals it is not necessarily one or two people who are responsible.
- Take a sharp right. Redefine the business. For example, stop defining yourself as number three in a particular industry segment and start defining yourself as number one in another segment. What can you compete on that others can not do?
- Reorganize power blocks. Consider making an organization structure change as the solution to challenges.