What was the most important lesson you learned through your 16 years in the consulting business?
Clients ask consultants to step in when they need the point of view of an independent trusted outsider with quality expertise and versatile experience in a certain field. Consultants rarely know more than their client about his business and environment. We only provide a different perspective and a set of tools to support it. Changing the perspective is the most difficult thing – more difficult than changing your habits, procedures or strategy. Hence, help is essential.
Working with company executives, sales managers and sales teams in different business industries (pharmaceuticals, IT, financial services, telecom, automotive, transportation, distribution, call centre, engineering, non-profit) I learned that leaders feel most challenged when it comes to engaging, motivating and developing people.
The shape and goal of the projects may be different yet it always comes to how management communicates and works with people, what’s the quality of leadership. Both management and sales require strong leadership skills. The most elusive question that always leads to compromise is "Do we have the right people in the right places?" The needed level of professional competences may be inconsistent with career ambitions. The most difficult business decisions are people-related. You'll be surprised how many managers are looking for recipes and "best proven practices" because they fail to take responsibility out of fear from failure. Solving such issues made coaching a natural and easy to implement method to increase efficiency through supporting the inner leader in people.
If you are looking for a shortcut to your best performance and results – coaching can get it for you.
What qualities should we look for in the consultant and the consulting company, when we choose one?
My best work is done when my client and I are partners, when we have built trust and confidence in being a good team together. So, look for a partner, not merely a service provider. Approach a consultant through recommendation from a trusted connection, look them up online and best of all: meet them! Trust yourself, your gut and your experience. If you have procedures and set up criteria – great, just openly communicate them to the consultant. Thus you'll receive exactly what works for your process.
What stages the Target consulting process goes through?
Every project requires a BALANCE between tangible and intangible factors, people and processes, goals and strategy. We have devised a model that we use both for consulting and coaching:
B – Build focus (definition of what we are there to resolve);
A – Aims and goals (clarify expectations and desired results);
L – Leverage (define resources and how to overcome barriers);
A – Action plan (agreed upon together with the client);
N – Nurture (facilitate, coordinate and support the implementation);
C – Commitment (ensure engagement and good communication);
E – Evaluation (provide constructive feedback and measure results).
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