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#378: Don't Let Your Ideas Die at the Conference Room Door

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I am an experienced advisor with long term repeat business from many clients. However, there is a nagging problem when I work with companies on strategy. Sometimes they just never get around to the implementing stage. Is it me?

Good for you for asking if it is you. Most consultants don't stop to consider that it is their responsibility to assure that their recommendations are competent, realistic and feasible. It would be irresponsible to recommend a theoretically elegant strategy that is totally impossible to implement.

Many great ideas should die (but don't) at the conference room door. What passes for a good idea is insufficiently thought through in terms of implementation. Simple questions that should have been asked often weren't.

Have the people who will implement a new strategy been consulted? Does it align with the culture of the organization or is it a new direction? How much political and cultural capital must be expended to implement and integrate the new strategy? Is your estimate realistic? Have you considered, and addressed, the key barriers to change (intellectual, emotional and personal)? Have you, as the consultant, advised your client on each stage of the implementation? Do you know what you are giving up by changing strategy? Would you give advice differently if you were accountable for outcomes over the next few years?

Tip: Despite what your assignment is, your ultimate responsibility as a management consultant is the outcome, not just the recommendation for action. In many cases it is not the strategy that is the problem, but the execution. Do your clients look to you for new direction when what they really need is stronger execution of existing ideas? Maybe you can be of greater value by being more vigilant as to which ideas leave the conference room.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  communication  customer understanding  meeting preparation  presentations  recommendations 

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Comments on this post...

Michael E. Cohen CMC MBA says...
Posted Thursday, August 26, 2010
What do you mean by "accountability" in "Would you give advice differently if you were accountable for outcomes over the next few years?" Since you are separate from the client, how exactly can you be accountable?
Permalink to this Comment }

Mark Haas CMC FIMC says...
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010
Consider if you were not a consultant but an executive who had to implement the recommendation and were accountable to an Inspector General or a Board.
Permalink to this Comment }

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