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Consultancy Skills

Dr Simon Haslam

FMR Research Ltd


Our aim
To learn about consultancy in an
organisational context. What consultancy
involves, the key competencies and abilities,
and the tools and techniques helpful to a
consultant.
1. What we mean by
consultancy
What we mean by
consultancy
The management consulting defines: “The creation of value for
organisations, through improved performance, achieved by
providing objective advice and implementing business solutions.”

“Consulting involves individuals, whether self-employed or


employed, individually or collectively using their knowledge,
experience and analytical and/or problem-solving skills to add
value into a wide variety of organisations, and therefore to the UK
economy as a whole, within a framework of appropriate and
relevant professional standards, disciplines and ethics.” (IC)
What we mean by
consultancy
“…to try to take ownership of an organisation’s
problems and use research and logic to develop
possible options for a way forward.”
Matt Baumann

“giving solutions to the problems that companies


have.”
Jane Ridley
Consulting is … perhaps without
about helping an knowing at the
organisation get outset where A is,
from A to B… where B is, the
appetite for the
journey or your
role in it.
Consultants = change
What
Feasibility - exploration
Change implementation
Review/evaluation

Why
Additional capacity, third party objectivity,
process skills, access to specific information, ‘bad
guy’
Eras of consultancy

• Scientific management
• Strategy boutiques
• Technology enabled change
Sourceforconsulting.com identified six key client trends:

1. Context – the globalisation of clients will be a crucial source


of growth, but at the same time, it will reshape the industry.

2. Purchase – increasing use of multinational purchasing models


will impact the historic influence of relationships.

3. Resources – clients are choosing to staff more projects internally


which, before they might have hired external consultants to do.

4. Delivery – instead of competition primarily being between familiar


enemies, it’s now between firms and freelancers.

5. Outcome – the majority of firms now sit in the middle between advice
and implementation.
A new basis of differentiation is needed: outcomes.

6. Margin – fee rates among multinational companies have dropped by


10-15 per cent.
Key Stages in Consulting

1. Opportunity development
2. Agreeing Terms of Reference
3. Information gathering
4. Interpretation and insight development
5. Sign-off
6. Aftercare
‘What are the deliverables?’
Cost

Spec/quality Time
Intervention styles

• ‘Expert consultant’

• ‘Process consultant’
Hands on – hands off
7. Help them think through their own ideas
6. Add options to their ideas
5. Advise them what to do
4. Tell them what to do
3. Show them how to do it
2. Do it with them
1. Do it for them
Competence framework
© Institute of Consulting

1. Client Focus
2. Building and Sustaining Relationships
3. Applying Expertise and Knowledge
4. Achieving Sustainable Results
5. Market Capability and Knowledge
2. Perspectives helpful to
consultants
The organisational context

Internal

Micro environment

Macro environment
• Vision – ambition, aspiration

• Mission – purpose

• Values – strategic drivers, codes


Cultural web

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” Peter Drucker


Kubler-Ross model
3. Analytical frameworks
and tools
Process guidance
Start with the client – deliverables, process, perspective

Pull together secondary data asap

Primary data follows

Facilitate external perspective/bring something new

Share understanding during process

Keep eyes on ‘triangle’… and keep in touch


Process guidance (2)
Make your client look good

Expect to over deliver

Invoice promptly

Seek formal feedback quickly

Note, but take a light touch with, follow-up opportunities


McKinsey 7S

Helpful when looking at organisational alignment


SWOT analysis
Strengths Weaknesses

Opportunities Threats

Helpful to summarise a situation analysis


How to Change - Stages
Change models
Unfreezing

Refreezing

Changing
How to Change - Stages
Gerry Egan’s ‘Model B’
1. Present 2. Preferred 3. Getting there

‘Blind Spots’ Agenda Best fit

‘Story’ Possibilities
Strategies
Commitment Plan
‘Leverage’

Actions leading to positive outcomes


Stakeholder mapping
(Mitchell, Agle and Wood 1994)

Low interest High interest

High
power

Low
power

Helpful when shaping perception research and change


Perceived integrity

Share capital

2007
Investor diversity

Product range
(investors)
(using strategy canvas)

Relative cost base

Financial 'safety'
Gap analysis

Gp1-2012
Political' activity

FT focus

Focus on
disadvantage
Product range
(customers)
Gp2-2012

Regional presence

Capacity
building/facilitation
Core competence
C.K Prahalad and Gary Hamel’s view is that
strategy should focus on an organisation
recognising ‘what it is fundamentally good at’,
and building from this. They provide access to a
wide variety of markets, contribute significantly to
end product benefits and are difficult for competitors
to imitate.

Helpful when looking at internal ability


Value Chain

Helpful when looking at internal capability, development


and out-sourcing possibilities
PESTEL macro environmental forces

POLITICAL ECONOMIC

SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY

ENVIRONMENT REGULATORY/
LEGAL

Helpful as a basis for organisational design (fit for


environment), horizon scanning, scenario planning,
Porter’s Five Forces
• Rivalry amongst those in the industry

• Bargaining power of suppliers

• Bargaining power of buyers

• Threat of new entrants

• Threat of substitute products or services


• Bargaining power of buyers

Helpful when looking at competitive positioning,


segmentation approaches, customer needs and
perception
Decision making - options
Suitability – does it achieve what we want?

Feasibility – have we the resources/


capability?

Acceptability – can we live with the


consequences of this action?
Creativity approaches
1. Have a process

2. Start with divergent thinking

3. Finish with convergent thinking

Helpful for fresh perspectives and buy-in


Metrics
What get measured gets done…

…what gets rewarded gets done better.

Perverse outcomes… can


we live with the
consequence of our choice
of CSF/KPI/objective
Balanced Scorecard (MI)
Strategy Goals Measures
Perspective
ROC, EVA, Cash,
Shareholder
Financial Sales growth, Cost
satisfaction reduction
Retention
Customer
Customer Development
satisfaction
Acquisition
High quality Cycle time, Quality,
Internal people & Cash conversion,
processes Service levels

NPD, Employee
Future Learning & growth development,
Adaptability

Helpful when assessing performance, agreeing targets, MBO


Risk analysis

High

Likelihood Med

Low

Low Med High


Impact

Helpful when evaluating change options and strategies


Force field analysis
Promoting forces Restricting forces

Helpful when planning pragmatic change


Ansoff matrix

Existing New
products products

Existing Product
Penetration
markets development

New Market
Diversification
markets development

Helpful as a basis to discuss strategic options


Directional Policy Matrix
Industry attractiveness
High Medium Low

Strong

Business
competitive Medium
position

Weak

Helpful when analysing portfolios and developing strategy


4. Our personal
contribution
TGROW
- discussion road map
• Topic
• Goals
• Reality
• Opportunities
• Wrap-up

In a meeting/discussion – what phrases


might one use around each of these five
stages?
Expansive

Recognition Affiliation

(Expressive) (Amiable)

Dominant Unassuming
(assertive)

Achievement Security
(Driver) (Analyser)
Contained
(emotionally controlled)
How each style makes decisions

PROMOTING FACILITATING

• Boldly • Facilitating

• Prefers new • Reluctantly


alternatives • Idealistically in terms of people
• Involves others • Prefers to be part of a group decision
• Quickly • Involves others
• Concerned about decision’s effect on
other people

CONTROLLING ANALYTICAL
• Realistically • Reluctantly
• Willing to take • Logically
calculated risk
• Slowly
• Independently
• Likes to study alternative
• Prefers effective possibilities in detail
alternatives
• Carefully
In bid meetings…
Do your homework – think of the questions you might
be asked
Work in your elevator pitch
Don’t make statements you can’t back up
Ask questions back – seek to clarify
Be honest – if you don’t know something, admit it
Take responsibility – show how you will add value
Agree follow up actions – and do yours
The ‘elevator pitch’
The ‘elevator pitch’ is a short summary which quickly
and simply explains a product/organisation and,
importantly, its value proposition.
Your elevator pitch
• Addresses a problem
• Outlines your solution/value proposition
(what you do to help others).
• Brief
• Easy to understand
• Emotional hooks
• Say what you want
Brand

“A relationship with the customer”

“A promise”

“essence – identity – experience”


Repetition builds reputation

49
Competitive Advantage
D
i Patents
f Copyright Brand Values
f
i Registered Design/logo
Distribution Channels
c
u Strategic People, team, knowledge
l
t Tactical Positioning
y
Product quality
Pricing
Customer Service
Promotions
Time taken to copy
Branding and the
entrepreneur
• Brand often linked with entrepreneur
• Brands are built – you don’t start with a
strong brand
• Brand development is a consequence of
doing business
• Does the brand have ‘stretch’?
• Can you protect your brand?
10 entrepreneurial
branding tips
1. The design of your logo really doesn’t matter.

1. Have a professional website.

2. Blogs are good.

3. Blogs are good, but they’re just one tool.

4. Prepare a one page corporate overview.

5. Participate in local business events.

6. Do what you say you’re going to do.

7. Stand for something.

8. Realize that you’re not in total control of your brand.

9. Branding is as much about your people as anything else.


Entrepreneurial Marketing

• Opportunistic – make the most of an opportunity

• Customer focussed

• Proactive

• Innovation focussed

• Resource leveraging
Executive Presence Model
Professional
Stories image

Politically Social
aware skills

Inspirational
Courage presenter

Future
Self belief orientation

State
Corporate
management
view

© DTC Ltd
Passion Clarity
Questioning – 8 views
1. Questioning for whose benefit?
2. Open-ended to explore…
3. …closed to verify
4. ‘Why’ – raises level of (but intrusive)
5. ‘How’ – homes in on practicalities/detail
6. ‘Have you considered…’ – quegestions
7. Prefixing reduces the threat of questions
8. Checking understanding - powerful
Listening (after Nancy Kline)
• Pay beautiful attention to the client, don’t even think
about interrupting, make sounds only occasionally to
indicate understanding or encouragement, keep
your eyes on your client’s eyes, don’t ask picky
questions, smile occasionally, look interested, be
interested and be at ease…
…and don’t even think about interrupting.

• Clients are capable of sorting out 70% of


their own problems
5. Plus…
Zones of debate
Zone of ‘comfortable’ debate

Zone of ‘uncomfortable’ debate

Intuitive core

Source: Cliff Bowman


What is Strategy
…is the creation of a unique and
valuable position, involving a different
set of activities (few needs of many
customers or broad needs of a few)

…requires you to make trade-offs in


competing – to choose what not to do.

…involves creating ‘fit’ among a


company’s activities.
Strategy
…. is derived from the military, and studies of
generalship

…. a pattern or plan that integrates an organisation’s


major goals, policies and action sequences into a
cohesive whole
James B Quinn

.... is to do with the matching of the activities of the


organisation to the environment in which it
operates
Gerry Johnson & Kevan Scholes
Complexity Theory
Draws on
Chaos Theory (small changes)
Complex Adaptive Systems (no boundary or architect)
Dissipative Structures (need energy to maintain)

What
‘Complicated’ – where the answer isn’t obvious

Challenges
How organisations assimilate information
How this fits with consultancy project objectives
Personal change process
• Denial

• Anger

• Bargaining

• Depression

• Acceptance
Strategy formation?
Understanding Doing something
what’s going distinctive
on about it
Analysis Creativity

Learning

Adapting to
changing
conditions
DP Matrix factors
Business Unit Strength Industry Attractiveness
Market share Market growth rate
Brand strength Market size
Production capacity Industry profitability
Profit margins/income Industry rivalry
Growth in market share Marco-env (PESTEL)
Distribution channel access
Strategic thinking
1. Systems perspective – mental model of the
complete system for value creation (and
implications)
2. Intent focused – to be more determined and
less distractible
3. Thinking in time – past/present/future in mind
at the same time
4. Hypothesis driven – creative and critical
thinking
5. Intelligent opportunism – being responsive to
good opportunities (changing environment)