Accomplishing too little during a block of time is an especially troublesome problem for consulting firms. Inefficient work directly affects your consulting firm’s capacity and profitability, and your quality of life. Fortunately, the Meeting Maximizer Form is impressively effective at improving the power of your internal meetings. (You can use it with your consulting clients too, but start internally.) Plus, if you’ve practiced writing Context Documents or followed the Perfect Proposal Template with your consulting clients, you’ll find the Meeting Maximizer Form familiar. Use the form for any meeting or activity scheduled for more than two hours (at one sitting or across multiple meetings). The form also works when the only person at the “meeting” is you; i.e., when you’ve set aside a few hours to work productively.
Even though you’ve consumed their products a time or two (hundred), you don’t know anyone at BBE. You could try cold calling Bernie or someone else at BBE, of course, but it’s unlikely you’ll connect to your target or receive a call back. You could send a provocative email, but since they don’t know you or your consulting firm, your missive is probably destined for the Trash folder, unread. You could snail-mail some sexy consulting collateral, but in most cases, that receives a quick glance before becoming waste-basket filler. Cold outreach of any kind is extremely ineffective for consulting firms. Particularly if you’re chasing one, specific target. Even if you can secure a conversation, you’re starting with zero Trust, and that’s tough to overcome. You need to warm up the relationship. Fortunately, you know Golda, a scion of the Scottish-Israeli Lochs-Shmears family, and industry socialite who is bound to have a good relationship with someone in the upper crust of BBE. You ask Golda if she’ll introduce you to someone at BBE and she enthusiastically agrees to recommend you to Logan, their COO, whom she knows well. “Logan will love you,” she gushes, “and I know BBE could really use your help.” A couple of days go by without an introduction. Then a week… a couple of weeks. You feel awkward about asking Golda again—after all, if she really wanted to introduce you, she would have. Mentioning the missed introduction to Golda calls h
Some consulting opportunities are rotten. Blech. Don’t want ‘em. Leave ‘em, don’t look back, and set your sights on better projects for your consulting firm. But hold on, Harry. (Wait, Walter? Pause, Paula?) A few of those stinky projects may actually be goldmines. A quick story: This past June, my wife and I were driving to a remote Portuguese town, when a landfill appeared on the horizon. Even from a distance, it was easy to recognize the manmade hill; trailer-sized blocks of compacted, brown and white trash, stacked and tumbled into disorganized heaps like some giant toddler’s Lego pile. Our car windows were down to enjoy the temperate air, and my wife was dozing in the passenger seat. Since the only alternate routes involved goat paths, I faced a dilemma: Should I wake my wife up by closing the car windows, and alert her to the unpleasant landmark ahead, or should I hope that the smell would be tolerable while we drove by, leaving her asleep and unaware? I chose to wake her. (After all, travel is about sharing the adventure.) But, the potential stain on our mental travelogues never materialized, because the trash heaps turned out to be… Marble. Gorgeous, 15-ton slabs of Portuguese marble excavated from one of the world’s premier quarries. So much marble, that enormous slabs were strewn about and piled into landfill-shaped hillocks. Nearby, in Estremoz (pronounced the way Sean Connery would say “stray moss”), we admired, and purchased, stunning art sculpted from blocks of the local stone. Which brings us back to the starting question: Are the consulting opportunities you’re avoiding, fetid trash heaps or dazzling sculptures hidden in landfill clothing? Your goal is easy: unearth great projects that other consulting firms decline. A few guidelines may help you distinguish diamonds from dross, and rubies from rubbish. READ MORE
Can history teach your consulting firm anything? I mean, other than the importance of avoiding giant asteroids, bubonic plague and Bucky, the neighbor’s biting, St. Bernard? Maybe. I’ve cherry picked a handful of recent-ish decades and highlighted seminal (U.S.-centric) events to glean some lessons for us consulting firm leaders. See whether or not you agree. The 1870s Invention of the Telephone The inventions of Bell, Edison and others in the 1870s spearheaded a transformation in one of the two skill sets that are most foundational in life: communication. Anything that fundamentally alters and improves your ability to communicate with others paves the way to rapid progress. That’s true for you as an individual, and for your consulting firm. The telephone remains one of the most powerful tools in your consulting firm’s business development and client management efforts. Action Questions: What can you do to make your consulting firm easier to communicate with? How could you improve your communication within your consulting firm and with your clients? The 1900s Manufacture of Cars for the Masses Ransom Olds and Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line, ushering in a century of widespread travel and backseat shenanigans. Their use of systemization opened the door for scale and efficiency—two attributes your consulting firm could put to good use. Action Questions: What tasks are you repeating in your value-creation process? How could you systemize those tasks then delegate or automate them? The 1910s Sinking of the Unsinkable Titanic Amidst the chain of calamities that conspired to claim the lives of over 1,500 people on the Titanic’s maiden voyage, the factor that’s hardest to forgive is the lack of sufficient lifeboats. Thanks in large part to hubris, the ship’s lifeboat capacity was less than half the passengers on board. The builders believed their own hype too much. Do you think that ever happens to consultants? (That’s a trick question.) Action Questions: Where are you absolutely sure your consulting firm has the strategy, structure, process or approach absolutely nailed? What would be the consequences to your consulting firm if you’re wrong? What mitigation plans are warranted? The 1960s The Moon Shot In 1961, Americans rankled at the U.S.’s also-ran status in the space race behind the Soviet Union. Hence, President Kennedy promised the nation would land a man on the moon and bring him safely home by the end of the decade. This extraordinary mission successfully delivered Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969. (They came home, too.) Pursuing Kennedy’s audacious goal not only inspired generations around the world, it spun off innumerable, highly valuable, technological advances. Wouldn’t you like to achieve your dreams and enjoy some side benefits with your consulting
F&BF have started an exciting 22 month interfaith project Barking and Dagenham. Funded by the LBBD council, we will be delivering a range of workshops, residential trainings and events which will build good relations between residents of different faiths and beliefs. Our project has included: Writing a policy in collaboration with Barking and Dagenham Faith Forum and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. You can view a summary of the policy here: Working Together PDF Writing a guide for local residents. You can view this guide here: Guide for Interfaith Arts based workshops exploring themes of belief and identity A leadership training programme for emerging leaders in Barking and Dagenham. Events for Barking and Dagenham residents in partnership with the B&D Faith Forum. Faith Inclusion training for LBBD Council staff members Encounter Faiths and Beliefs Schools workshops. Why are we running this programme? As the UK’s leading interfaith organisation, we have over 20 years’ experience building good r
UK Parliament Week is an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with their UK Parliament, explores what it means to them and empowers them to get involved Last year over 1.2 million people took part in UK Parliament Week, in every nation and region of the UK, and countries all over the world. Whether it’s your first time or you’re signing up again, by taking part you’ll join a UK-wide conversation about our democracy, people power and making change happen