I am a member of the consulting community; I have been for over 10 years. While I started as a Human Resources consultant, I eventually moved into the “Organizational Performance” arena. What this means is I focused on helping my clients improve the performance of individuals and their prospective teams, whether it be a project team or a full department, a specialized or cross-functional team, and even cross-industry teams, workgroups and committees.
Please keep that nugget top of mind as you read on.
This morning, Rick Thomas and I were discussing The Chariot Group‘s strategies over the past few years to engage with the consulting community in an effort to accelerate the “ah ha” moment regarding collaborative technology with our shared clients/potential clients.
The ah-ha moment, discussed numerous times in my blogs here, is that moment when the lightbulb goes on!
In Rick’s context, it’s when a business owner, policy maker, and/or other key player realize that investing in collaborative technology will increase quality and efficiencies, decrease wasted time and effort, etc.
Rick’s strategy to engage with consultants was a good one: the consultants know the industry, they know the language, they know the pain points, etc. Rick believed the consultants would help “bridge the gap” between the The Chariot Group’s Sales Team and the applicable business leaders.
Shoot, that’s why I am here!
I, through A Leading Solution, have an ongoing working relationship with the The Chariot Group that is serving to “bridge the gap.”
But this morning, Rick was telling me how similar relationships fell short. Accelerating the “ah ha moment,” while it should have been an obvious result of his strategy, wasn’t realized with many industry consultants. Rick believes this is because ultimately, industry consultants may be too entrenched, may be too far down the rabbit hole disguised as “best practice” and/or they may be too self-preserving (meaning that if performance of their clients improve too much, they will not longer be needed).
The strategy is working with me…what is different?
Lest you think it’s because I came to the “ah ha” sooner than most, let me assure you I did not.
However, when listening to Rick’s story this morning, it became clear to me why our (me and The Chariot Group) relationship is successful and other relationships with Consultants are not:
I am not an “industry” consultant.
Instead, I am an “organizational performance” consultant who serves a variety of industries.
As a reminder, I focus my energies on improving productivity, quality and performance. I help my clients imagine the possibilities. I help them identify reasonable and “within reach” tools. And I help them plan for the immediate execution of those tools to ensure the intended results.
The Chariot Group is a consultative integrator/reseller. This team helps their clients imagine how various problems will be solved. This team identifies a plethora of integrated and compatible solutions. And this team provides the necessary resources to ensure the client’s investment is utilized effectively.
Do you see the alignment?
Rick told me that “technology” and “collaborative solutions” are often distractions to industry consultants because they are so entrenched in operations and industry best practices.
With me, “technology” and “collaborative solutions” are not distractions. Instead, they are often the tools I am looking for and/or needing to learn more about on behalf of my clients.
The relationship between my business and The Chariot Group was symbiotic and, therefore, was successful.
My conclusion is this: Rick’s strategy to “bridge the gap” isn’t fully flawed…it just needs to be tweaked.
- The Chariot Group should continue to engage with the consulting community* to better understand the industries it serves, to better learn the methodology the industry uses, to better provide solutions to common pain points, etc.
- Likewise, the consulting community should engage with The Chariot Group so they can see what’s possible, so they can help their clients imagine how problems can be solved, etc.
* The “consultant” who can best “bridge this gap” is not necessarily the “industry” expert consultant and, instead, is someone who has knowledge about operational excellence, performance improvement, organizational development and learning, etc. within a particular industry.
By the way, Rick has written a blog about this too…check it out here.
My epiphany today is this:
Only when The Chariot Group partners up with the right type of consultant will all parties, including the client, benefit from the exchange.
To that end, let’s bridge the gap.
- Are you a business leader wanting to improve your business?
- Are you a consultant that helps your clients improve their business?
- Are you an investor who has a vested interest in a business improving?
If so, perhaps we should talk.
I look forward to it.