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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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#677: Is Consulting All You Do?

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
My consulting career is going pretty well, with a full book of business and a growing staff. It does occupy a lot of time and there are times when I feel like I am giving up on other experiences. Does a successful consulting practice preclude other activities?

Consulting can be time consuming, but doesn't have to overwhelm other aspects of your professional life. In its traditional form, consulting involves building relationships, developing professional skills and technology, and applying them through time spent solving problems. As a professional who brings together experience, skills and perspective, it doesn't have to all be time intensive one-on-one consultation with a client.

There is a range of opportunities to use your expertise in other ways:
  1. Writing - Take on a column, blog, book, white paper, etc. to bring new perspective to your practice, build your visibility and create some lasting value from your expertise.
  2. Speaking - At any level, speak to trade associations, business or consulting conferences, or to community groups about topics related to your area of expertise.
  3. Research - Conduct some data collection, surveys, analysis or other approach to generating new information about your area of expertise or interest.
  4. Volunteering - Give back to your community by offering your management and consulting skills to local nonprofit organizations.
  5. Productizing - Turn your expertise into tangible products such as book or DVD "how to" guides.
  6. Starting Another Business - There is no reason why you can't extend your work into non-consulting businesses related to your area of expertise, as long as you manage conflicts of interest.
  7. Partnering With Other People - Find individuals with whom you have not worked before and who you respect to develop new partnerships with, getting out of your comfort zone and perhaps a new way of practicing your consulting.
Any of these approaches is a way to freshen your consulting business and develop some new perspectives outside of the traditional day to day advice business.

Tip: Perhaps overlooked by many consultants are hobbies. Consider ways to pursue your passion in areas totally outside of consulting. For example, if you are a process consultant, you might enjoy furniture making, where details, procedures and materials combine just as in process reengineering but to produce a tangible object. If you thrive on platform speaking, maybe you could lend your passion to teach acting or storytelling. There are lots of examples but each hobby or other pursuit allows you to use or utilize your skills and interests in something other than consulting.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  coaching  community service  mentor  pro bono  publishing  teaching  teaching/training  work-life balance  your consulting practice 

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#187: Are You a Speaker or Teacher

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Why is speaking in front of a auditorium full of people full of anxiety but in a seminar room not so much?

Speaking in front of a group can often result in the calmest of people experiencing anxiety, nervousness and fear. Teachers, on the other hand, rarely describe experiencing the same apprehension.

Although there are some differences between speakers and teachers, there are many similarities. Regardless of whether you are teaching or speaking, you are, in fact, communicating - using your voice, body and, in some cases, audio/visual material. Although public speaking often features less direct interaction with the audience, the goal for both is fairly similar: sharing information with your audience and have it resonate with them.

Tip: Consider your next speech as a teaching opportunity. Make the "mental" shift, take the pressure off of yourself (and how you are going to appear to your audience) and place it firmly on meeting your audience's need to understand, appreciate, and learn from the information you want to provide to them. You'll get the message across better and the audience will be more at ease listening.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  facilitation  meeting preparation  presentations  teaching 

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#935: Add Teaching to Your Consulting Portfolio

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Thursday, December 4, 2008
Updated: Friday, December 5, 2008
I have been thinking about ways to add to my consulting portfolio and I wonder if teaching will provide a lot of business leads.

A consultant is already a teacher. Part of your job as a professional service provider is to help a client address a problem or opportunity but another part is to provide the resources, teach skills and develop support systems to address similar problems in the future.

However, your question is how effective teaching might be to fill your pipeline. The answer is, not much directly but it can still contribute to your business development indirectly. First, teaching forces you to clarify your methodologies, validate your research and improve your ability to communicate your consulting value. In preparing for your classes, you will certainly weed out any outdated ideas, tired approaches, or sloppy logic (or your students will likely call you on them). Second, depending on where and what you teach, your students may be purchasers or influencers of consulting services. Certainly, teaching subjects related to improving company profitability to an executive MBA class would be ideal, but most students are not in this position. Third, teaching can connect you to other teachers, thinkers and researchers that you might otherwise not have access to. This can be invaluable in keeping you on the cutting edge of new ideas, or at least old ideas with new research.

Tip: Start small to see if you really like it. Teaching is not for everyone and being a good teacher is only loosely correlated with being a good consultant. Start with seminars and workshops. talk to other consultants who teach. If this seems to fit your personality, time availability and skills, pick a community college or adjunct faculty position with a subject you are familiar with and experienced in and where you can start to develop (or influence) a curriculum. A decision to teach is not forever, but remember to build in the ability to capture value for your consulting work.

© 2008 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  teaching 

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