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    Entries in business (2)

    Thursday
    Apr182013

    All hail the talented management consultant

    Tomorrow I’m spending the day with a team of management consultants. Imagine the knowledge, ideas, solutions and know-how in that room! Imagine all of the situations they’ve seen and how many times they’ve brought someone or something back from the brink.

    And yes, you might be thinking of jokes, one-liners and other comments about management consultants... but I think at the core of what a management consultant does is helping a client find a solution to a problem or issue, or find a way through to a new way of doing things.

    Tomorrow I’ll be equipping them with some powerful visual thinking skills so they can use in-the-moment visuals (that’s words, shapes, pictures, images – quickly sketched) to give them visual agility.

    I say ‘agility’ because they need to be quick, thinking on their feet or quick to listen and respond…with another question, or a possibility, and help the client 'see' that possibility.

    It’s vital in this information-dense world that they are able to

    • Capture: what the client’s key points are, and to distil the essence of the problem or situation. Then to ...
    • Convey: to pitch and propose, to present and consult on the types of solutions the firm can work with the client on. They will map out the possibilities, show the client what the future can look like and what milestones along the way can get them closer to resolving the issue or creating that situation.

    And then throughout the client/firm engagement, there will be the:

    • Collaboration: meeting after meeting, the many conversations, workshops, brainstorms and innovation discussions – all of that talking can be ‘caught’ so that together the solution will be proposed, adjusted, implemented and embedded.

    The skills will give this team of consultants a shorthand and a shortcut to clarity. Rather than talking back and forth, trying to reach understanding, some key words and concepts will help get to ‘same page’ understanding so both parties know what is to be worked on and how it will happen.

    This team is in for a powerful day. They’ll likely go from “I can’t draw” to using visuals every day in so many situations.

    I’m so excited for them! And for the value their clients are going to receive as a result of this development.

    Yes, now we can hail the (even more) talented management consultant!

    Now, let’s get their kits together of markers, journals and other cool visual tools… lucky I love stationery. 

    Monday
    Jan022012

    Stop studying (for a moment) and start shipping

    Yes, learning is great. Everyday, learn something new. Study new topics. Attend courses. Develop the mind.

    But if you’re in your own business – or wanting your own business - will you just press the pause button on all of those courses for a moment, please?

    Many a small business owner/operator doesn’t have the time or budget to get out the front door to anything – even if it is a free networking event held by the local Council! Others are financially committed and working ridiculous hours that the thought of showing up at a course – the possibility of having the time or money for a course – is foreign to them.

    So if you’re yet to embark on the business, I have a message for the creative soul that you are, the person with the whole host of business ideas and the future visions that one day you hope will come to fruition.

    They will and they can. And I’m not just playing motivator here.

    They will happen but we need to press ‘pause’ on all of that development you may be doing, or have done.

    In the past couple of weeks I’ve been coaching and mentoring some clients – wanting to get their business idea fired up – and I’m overwhelmed at their capabilities, their range of skills and their qualifications.

    Yes, they can do it. Whatever their business idea is or their passion or interest, it is quite often reflected in their choice of courses and development. I’m convinced they are capable. But I’m wondering how many of these additional certificates, short courses, masters qualifications and other formal and informal studies are really necessary right now for getting their idea up and out there.

    It’s a great distracter.

    Why aren’t they putting their creative idea into practice? You know, registering a business name, registering a domain name, getting some business cards printed, getting their LinkedIn profile up to date and then getting in touch with the people they already know to meet with them and tell them about their business solution.

    Instead of taking this vital ‘action’ and ‘shipping’ products (or services) as marketing guru Seth Godin puts it, they’re thinking they need even MORE qualifications, knowledge and know-how.

    For some businesses, yes, you will need a qualification or an accreditation or a special selection of letters after your name to hang out your shingle.

    But I’ve been pleased to recently meet these successful small business operators: the banker who is a graphic recorder, the physiotherapist who is a facilitator, the actor who is a trainer, the art lecturer who is a kitchen designer, the architect who is selling health products and many others who are just getting on with it. They’re putting their offer out there. They’re taking a risk. They’re risking failure. They’re risking success. And many of them are getting it. Success that is.

    ImageStop studying for a moment will you? Please. In place of all of that study and learning, take some action, implement some of your ideas and ‘ship’ your stuff out the door. Your doubt will only grow, your fear will only multiply and your success will be that much further off if you keep thinking you need another batch of technical knowledge before you … ship it.