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#64: Will Your Solutions Last?

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, June 04, 2009
Updated: Thursday, June 04, 2009
How much should I be helping a client develop skills and perspective compared to solving the problem at hand?

Assuming you are clear about what is in the scope of work for your engagement, there is often a tendency to go a little farther to help the client for the long term. We like to think our solutions will sustain themselves and won't require more than modest effort to keep on giving results long after we are gone. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our work will not erase old habits and resistance to change. We need to build in the ability of the organization to continue to build a case for the new way of doing things so that there are staff and management that are both knowledgeable about and champions for your implemented recommendations.

Tip: Educate your client about the natural sources of resistance to change, mechanisms successful companies use to sustain change and specific approaches you think are needed to work in this organization. Start this conversation early so everyone is clear that this is not an afterthought raised as the project closes. Your reputation as an agent of change hinges on your work not being swept away by those who are just waiting for you to leave (there is always someone like this in an organization). Sustaining change starts at the kickoff meeting.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consultant role  consulting process  sustainability 

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