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Between 2005 and 2011, IMC published Daily Tips every weekday on consulting ethics, marketing, service delivery and practice management. You may search more than 800 tips on this website using keywords in "Search all posts" or clicking on a tag in the Top Tags list to return all tips with that specific tag. Comment on individual tips (members and registered guests) or use the Contact Us form above to contact Mark Haas CMC, FIMC, Daily Tips author/editor. Daily Tips are being compiled into several volumes and will be available through IMC USA and Mark Haas.


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#618: How to Get Your New Ideas Off the Ground

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I have lots of ideas about new consulting services and ways to market them. The problem is that I am so busy keeping up with my current business I am not sure what to give up to carve out time to try some of these new lines of business. It's not that I can't prioritize, but more that I am not sure what ideas are worth investing in.

In some ways, the fortunate consultant doesn't have many new ideas to try out. Their business just runs itself and evolves slowly as needed. The truly cursed consultant generates a steady stream of new ideas about practice management, marketing, client services and even entirely new lines of business. There's not enough time, capital, mindshare or energy to tackle even a few of these. The first of many decisions is to understand what risks are involved with trying new ideas (e.g., psychic or financial risks of failure, conflicts or branding risks of succeeding, among many others). What holds many of us back is not having a clear sense of both the path and the outcome of trying out such ideas.

That's just the pregame warm-up. The real issue is actually how to get off the ground what is likely to be a more complex, time consuming and costly idea than you planned. Is the concept really complete? Do I really have the capital? Who will backstop my current business while my attention is diverted? Can I jointly launch several of these ventures? If this sounds like a business plan, you're right. What keeps many of these ideas in the draft stage is a lack of thorough analysis of design, deployment and operation. Once we know exactly what is involved, a lot of these ideas either make no sense (so we can stop worrying about them) or they are obvious investments (and we can get started).

Tip: There’s one more step. Even after we have a competent business plan, we sometimes need a kick in the pants to get moving. No amount of risk or business analysis will give you this. It is all about personality, enthusiasm and feedback from your peers or the market. 99% is a smart collection of articles and (blissfully short and non-pedantic) videos about making ideas happen (there's a book by the site owner as well). Whenever you need some juice for your ideas, watch a few videos on areas like discipline, bias to action, focus and collaboration.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  consulting tools  decision making  intellectual property  motivation  planning  risk analysis  your consulting practice 

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#589: Use Inspirational Videos to Make Your Point

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, June 16, 2011
Updated: Thursday, June 16, 2011
I've pushed PowerPoint and other technologies as far as I dare. Are there any tricks I can use to make my presentations more effective?

Let's move past the use of the word "trick" to make your work product better - hopefully the value of your content speaks for itself. However, I understand what you are getting at: what practices or approaches can you use to more fully engage your audience.

First, consider whether your presentation is to inform, enlighten, inspire or convince. This will determine how you can have the greatest impact but, in most cases for consultants, an appeal to emotion is useful. Ask what, at the end of the presentation, you want your audience to "think and feel." Balance your presentation with both facts and emotion. Many of our briefings tends to be left brain/factual and contain relatively little emotion. Without this, your audience may be informed but not necessarily convinced.

Second, use the concept of detachment before movement. Don't try to push people into new thoughts or emotions without loosening their hold on their current thoughts or emotions. Find ways to open them up to new ideas, question their logic or facts, and introduce "evidence" to make them willing to consider changing their mind. Set aside some time at the beginning of the presentation (or before, in another venue) to assure your audience is prepared with an open mind to new ideas or is inspired to act on the need your presentation addresses.

Tip: One great way to do this is through short (2-5 minute) videos, many of which are available online. To get people to "think outside the box," show them how Theo Jansen creates new forms of life. To wake people up to how fast the world is changing, show them Did You Know?. To give people some perspective when going through tough times, show them I Love Living Life. I am Happy. Finally, to disrupt closely held beliefs about motivation, show them The surprising truth about what motivates us .

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  communication  motivation  speaking 

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