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Consulting Skills Workshop

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Consulting Skills Workshop

  1. 1. Being A Great Consultant Retail L&D Management Development Team
  2. 2. Being A Great Consultant Ian Turner – L&D BP 22 May 2017
  3. 3. Session Objectives To discuss and experience an overview of some key consulting skills, a model of the consulting process, and exposure to the following: 1. Consulting “Deliverables” 2. Key Consulting Skills 3. Consulting Process 4. The Feedback Process 5. A.P.I.E Change Model 6. Consulting Styles 7. Ethical Issues
  4. 4. What is a Consultant? A consultant is an person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field of science or business to either an organisation or individual.
  5. 5. Internal Consultant A professional who is employed full-time by an organisation and who reports to a general manager or other senior management. They works exclusively within the domain of the employing organisation and at the request of the manager to whom they report.
  6. 6. External Consultant A professional who does not work within a parent or host company. A professional who has an expertise in a specific area and offers their services to the public and / or private sector.
  7. 7. Consultant’s Objectives 1. To establish a collaborative relationship between themselves and their client. 2. To support the identification of and solve problems so they stay solved. 3. To ensure attention is given to both the technical / business problem and the relationships within them.
  8. 8. Cost of Solution Quality of Solution Time of Delivery ‘What are the deliverables?’ C TQ
  9. 9. Key Consulting Skills • Technical – Time management – Team work – Software application • Interpersonal – Open minded – Support – Respect • Consulting – Listening – Building Trust – Balancing Directness
  10. 10. Practical Applications • Key Competencies of Consultancy: –Big Picture Thinking –Problem Solving Logic –Focus on Value or Value Add –Depth and breadth - Business intuition –Results Orientation
  11. 11. Big Picture Thinking
  12. 12. Problem Solving Logic
  13. 13. Focus on Value or Value Add How do YOU demonstrate Value Add?
  14. 14. Depth and breadth – Business intuition How DEEP is your knowledge? How WIDE is your experience? What can you BRING from past learnings / experiences?
  15. 15. Results Orientation 1. Define what you need to measure – “Delivery of Objective”. 2. Identify the one KEY Performance Indicator ONLY. 3. Have a tangible target, ideally numerical or percentage driven. 4. Define steps to achieving the KPI 5. Carry out a “Reality Check” to make sure KPIs will demonstrate achievement of the objective. 6. Be very specific with timescales 7. Review progress towards KPI regularly
  16. 16. Stakeholder Analysis & Management
  17. 17. Stakeholder Analysis & Management
  18. 18. Stakeholder Management Scenario One Stakeholder Identification Nelson leads a product development team at an educational publishing company. His objective is to develop a new product for teaching mathematics to elementary school children. The regional School Board has decided to purchase the product based on the descriptions and examples already provided. The publisher’s CEO spearheaded the project because he was frustrated with the way maths was taught to his own children. He’d tried out a variety of tutoring services and just couldn’t find a product that taught the right concepts and made learning fun. The project team did a stakeholder analysis and decided it was important that the CEO and his kids were involved in the testing. Even though the purchase decision was already made, they made sure they kept the Board informed of developments. They set up field tests with groups of students to gauge their reaction to the product. They also consulted with key outside suppliers to make sure they could manufacture the product cost effectively. The testing went very well. The children and the CEO thought the product was great. The Board was very pleased with all the progress and the product looked like it would be profitable. Nelson and his team figured they had covered all their bases so they were very surprised to learn that, after six months in schools, the product was not a success. Only 37 percent of classes were using it regularly and almost 25 percent had stopped using it all together. At first, the team thought the issue was training, so it went back and conducted follow-up sessions with teachers. Another three months went by and the results were unchanged. What do you think went wrong? How would you have managed the key stakeholders differently?
  19. 19. Stakeholder Management Scenario One: Suggested Solution Stakeholder Identification Nelson and his team missed a crucial stakeholder group: teachers. Even though teachers aren’t the people purchasing the product, they are the people who ultimately determine the product’s success. Nelson needed their buy-in as users of the product. The kids’ reaction is important, but teachers need to be motivated to use the product in the first place. Kids might also love a new video game but that doesn’t mean the teachers are going to use it in the classroom. So in this instance, even without the monetary purchase decision, teachers are the “buyers” of things they choose to include in their daily curriculum. Nelson should have included the teachers in early product development stages and done extensive testing with them. Allowing the teachers to provide feedback along the way would have improved buy-in and probably improved the overall quality of the product
  20. 20. Stakeholder Management Scenario 2 Stakeholder Analysis Cindy recently started a video game development company. She is heading up its newest project to develop a fantasy adventure game (her previous games were either puzzles or children’s games). The up-front research and development costs of this kind of large-scale game are huge. However, she has found an investor willing to fund this side of the product, as he’s a very keen gamer himself and sees the market for quality products in this genre. Financing will be provided in stages over the next year and the investor will approve each further release of money. Cindy and the team begin their research. They identify end users as key stakeholders in their success. They also look at what the retail market needs and what online retailers and buyers are purchasing. Through discussions with industry representatives, and focus groups with consumers, they learn that they all want highly realistic games. The team begins to develop a realistic adventure game that it is confident will sell well. The team sticks to its budget figures and there are no major setbacks. The money continues to be released on schedule. When Cindy has the basic concept and shell of the game built, she invites key industry people and a targeted consumer group to provide feedback. The response is very positive. She prepares a detailed report for the investor and includes some of the feedback comments, thinking that he will be excited to learn more about the game and people’s reaction to it. Unexpectedly, the investor pulls his support for the project and Cindy and her team are left scrambling. They don’t understand: the feedback from industry and consumers was great. No one had seen a game quite like it before, and they were all pleasantly surprised that a company with success in the children’s and puzzles market could produce such a realistic game about crime and drug culture. What went wrong? How would you suggest moving the project forward now? What are the repercussions of the ill-executed stakeholder analysis?
  21. 21. Stakeholder Management Scenario Two: Suggested Solution Stakeholder Analysis What went wrong? How would you suggest moving the project forward now? What are the repercussions of the ill-executed stakeholder analysis? The team failed to adequately assess all stakeholders’ interests. It focused on two very important groups: the industry and users. Unfortunately, it didn’t communicate enough with the investor. Although the industry desires realistic crime-based games, not everyone will support this type of product. In fact there is a strong backlash against these games, due to feared links to real-life violence and re-enactments of the scenes. This new game is also a significant departure from the company’s previous focus. There was no indication it would move into producing violent video games, so this significant change in direction should have been brought up much earlier in the development process. Knowing that the investor was involved for both commercial and personal interest, Cindy should have kept him informed along the way. He was given financial information but not product information. His power and interest are both high, yet he was treated as a high power but low interest stakeholder.
  22. 22. The Five Fatal Flaws of Consulting 1. The project is defined in terms of the consultant’s expertise or products, not in terms of the specific client results to be achieved. 2. The project’s scope is determined solely by the subject to be studied or the problem to be solved, ignoring the client’s readiness for change. 3. The project aims for one big solution rather than incremental successes. 4. The project entails a sharp division of responsibility between client and consultant; there is no partnership between them. 5. The project makes labour-intensive use of consultants instead of leveraged use.
  23. 23. Consultant Roles Expert Service Collaborative
  24. 24. Expert Role Let’s describe what behaviours are exhibited by the client and the consultant? • Client: – Inactive participation • Consultant: – Determines need, gathers data, make decisions, plans and implements change
  25. 25. Service Role Let’s describe what behaviors are exhibited by the client and the consultant? • Client: – Determines need, gathers data, make decisions, plans and implements change • Consultant: – Inactive participation
  26. 26. Collaborative Role Let’s describe what behaviors are exhibited by the client and the consultant? • Client and Consultant: – Actively participate to determine needs, gather data, make decisions, plan and implement change
  27. 27. Consulting Styles • Stabiliser • Cheerleader • Analyser • Persuader • Pathfinder
  28. 28. Consulting Process 1. Entry & Contracting 2. Discover & Data Collection 3. Feedback & Decision to Act 4. Engagement & Implementation 5. Recycle, Extension, & Terminate
  29. 29. Entry & Contracting • Negotiating • Coping with mixed motivation / buy-in • Exposure and Control • Contracting –Triangular –Rectangular
  30. 30. Discovery & Data Collection • Layers of Analysis • Problem Statements • Political Climate • Resistance to share information • Interview as a joint learning event • Data Interpretation
  31. 31. Feedback & The Decision To Act • Funneling Data • Presenting Data • Discussing the “Undiscussable” • Managing the Feedback Meeting • Focus on “Here and Now” • Don’t take it personally
  32. 32. Block’s 10 Step Feedback 1. Restate original contract 2. Structure of meeting 3. Present findings 4. Present recommendations 5. Ask for client’s reaction 6. Ask client did they get what they wanted 7. Decision to proceed 8. Test for client concerns-control / commitment 9. Did the Consultant get what they wanted? 10.Give support
  33. 33. Engagement & Implementation • Bet on “engagement” over mandate and persuasion. • Design more “participation” than presentation. • Encourage difficult public exchange. The (“Undiscussables”). • Change the conversation from problem to opportunity.
  34. 34. A.P.I.E. Change Model 1. Assess the need for Change 2. Plan the Change 3. Implement the Change 4. Evaluate the Change process and results
  35. 35. Recycle, Extension, Termination • Evaluate what happened in “Engagement and Implementation” • Decide on next step –Recycle –Extension –Termination
  36. 36. Ethical Issues • Boundaries of competence. • Conflicts between ethics and company demands. • Explaining assessment results.
  37. 37. References • Bain & Company (www.bain.com) • Block, Peter. (2000) Flawless Consulting: A guide to getting your expertise used (2nd Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer. • Harvey, D. & Brown, D.R. (2006) An experimental approach to organisation development (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Prentice-Hall, Inc. • Nelson, B. & Economy, P. (1997) Consulting for dummies. Foster City, CA: IDG Books. • Schein, Edgar H. (1988) Process Consultation, vol.1: It’s role in organisation development . Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
  38. 38. Q & A