in the workplace
Signs that you need to find a business consultant: HERE’S HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FIT.
You had a dream and an inspired team, on fire to succeed. That was yesterday. Today it’s a different story. What’s broken and how can it be fixed? Leadership at any level from a small team within a department, a single location of a franchise, or a medium to large corporation, may need help from a business consultant to answer that question.
Maybe each member of your team does a solid job individually, but by watching their interpersonal communication and work styles it’s clear that they could work together better: you observe territorial behaviors and incompatible communication styles. One person likes to keep all the details of current work in his head—never on paper—so if he’s not there to answer, no one else can fill in. Another team member is so painfully shy that interactions are determined by how he can utter the fewest words. A manager is unaware of how her actions reinforce a system of favorites by the way she doles out information. Your customers aren’t getting the best experience possible; trust between team members is shaky and morale is suffering.
That scenario could take place across all industries and types of organizations—from a car care and detailing shop to a non-profit organization or large corporation to a specialty service provider like a wealth advisory firm, law firm, or medical practice. Common principles of human interaction drive the success of each one; when those systems of communications, responsibility and leadership break down, problems arise, and progress slows.
A breakdown in communications is not the only form communication problems can take. The style of communications used by an individual or group as well can lead to difficulties that interfere with success. Business consulting can address a whole spectrum of issues for teams at every scale.
Maybe the challenge is less glaring; you have a sense that operations could flow more smoothly. Growth is stagnant, employees seem to be frustrated, as the list of unfinished projects grows while time runs out on reaching goals that have been set. The tension is palpable, and productivity isn’t where it should be.
You may be thinking, “I know there’s a problem, but how do I figure out the issue that’s causing the problem? And once I do, how do I develop and implement an effective solution?” Unhappy, unsatisfied employees and high turnover hurt business. Productivity and efficiency improve, and sales increase, when employees are happy and satisfied with their work and setting.
When you see signs of illness, you seek treatment. It’s no different when considering the health of your organization. Experienced leaders may be well-versed in methods and strategies designed to improve performance and revive strained relationships, but even with those tools at hand, sometimes you’re just too close to the problem to have the right perspective. The practitioner you seek is someone who can bring clarity, fresh perspective, and problem-solving skills to mend what’s broken and restore high performance.
Now you know you need to call in a consultant, but are you ready?
Are you ready for what’s ahead?
Before treatment can start, you have to check your attitude. Is leadership on board with making changes—and ready to accept sometimes painful truth—or is another agenda lurking in the background? Organizational change requires intestinal fortitude, so be prepared. When leadership is willing to look at the overall health of the organization, treatment can begin.
You have an active role in the transformation process.
Transformation is the intended outcome of consulting–an active process in which you participate, not something that is done for you. It begins with desire and receptivity to face the challenges ahead. Work is necessary for growth; it likely involves some pain, as well as the need to deal with tough questions and follow through.
Diagnosis is the first step.
Where are the gaps? What’s working and what is not working and what are the opportunities for improvement? The consultant to work with will ask tough questions and demand honest answers.
Careful observations are necessary for a consultant to get to know you, your business and your industry. Only with a deep understanding of your operation and culture can a consultant shape a customized plan. That’s why if a consultant offers you a standardized solution instead of one tailored to your needs and business sector, you should run the other way.
Listening to your answers.
A skilled consultant does more than ask good questions; they listen to the answers. At RoundTable Consulting we believe this involves pushing just a little harder to uncover the truth and your deeper motivations. As a consultant, we invest the time to understand both your culture and your industry. We allow space to brainstorm. Then we connect the dots to form a plan that can be implemented with accountability. The goals developed are yours alone, uniquely customized to your team and the dynamics of your organization.
Commitment, effort, and determination are rewarded. Healthy communications heal and refresh working relationships. Clear goals and expectations lead to identifiable results in the areas that matter most to your organization: increased productivity, decreased employee turnover, reduced customer attrition, improved profitability, best use of human resources, and competitive advantage in attracting the best talent.
You’re a specialist at what you do—fixing cars, restoring physical or financial health, or running an industrial business and it’s important to play to your strengths. It takes wisdom to know when to turn to an outside expert for perspective and the skills and accountability to help you make transformative change in your operation.
When you’re ready to find a solution for your organization’s difficulties, we’re ready to help. Let’s start the conversation that can lead to a fresh start.
Nancy Owsianowski is the Founder of RoundTable Consulting where her relational, insightful approach transforms teams, leaders, and organizations. Find Nancy on LinkedIn or reach out to her to learn more about authentic leadership and her coaching, facilitation, and training services.