A Call for Ideas

I have been asked to deliver a four hour session for Sage Partners at Summit 2011 on some advanced consulting topics. I have a few ideas as to topics including: change and transition and dealing with sabotage, but I am wondering if any of you have some thoughts as to topics. Again, the session is on advanced consulting.

Ideas?

9 thoughts on “A Call for Ideas

  1. When I hear Advanced Consulting I think of truly being a BMS consultant to the client as opposed to providing task level consulting services that for many of us becomes the world we live in. I, personally, like consulting at a higher level, uncovering pain (and subsequently opportunities, perhaps task level for our organization), maintaining relationships, developing new relationships, all in the name of being that “trusted advisor” that a client can always feel they can turn too. And wants to turn too! And what I find is it doesn’t even necessarily have to relate specifically to the ERP system you are providing the services on (MAS 200, etc.) True Business Management Consulting! That’s the stuff I get the most satisfaction out of.

    I hope this helps!
    Thanks Ed

    Howard

  2. I think the concept of “Client 2.0” would be interesting. I agree with Howard on his ideas and rather than repeat them would add:

    – How to deal with the expectation that accounting/ERP systems are “just like Facebook” and the client can install the upgrades without any care in the world (this is becoming a bigger issue) about hardware, integration, new feature training.

    Implementing this type of strategy crosses several different levels. There’s the task level that Howard talks about and the higher level BMS (an acronym that I have no clue what it means but I don’t want Howard to look smarter than me so I’ll use it).

    At some level I’m thinking that the above means we re-engineer our relatioinship with clients so it’s not a “Break fix” mode but more of a $ x,xxx per month and that covers all support, upgrades and normal type consulting work.

    Want to raise some eyebrows? Tell folks that in this session they’ll learn how to convert a $3,000 per year support client into a $3,000 per month.

    There’s nothing that has gotten me more excited in the past year than to know that I can provide all reasonable services to a client (support, upgrades) for one monthly fixed price and so far as the project isn’t outside of our agreed upon yearly work definition – that I don’t worry about quoting or generating a bill for every little project.

    This also will be premium level billing and it’s a great relief to feel very confident to walk away from the low end Internet shoppers who knock on your email door asking for “a quote” when they really mean “a third bid”…

    – How about (this is a different idea) a document share where people share their boilerplate proposals, work plans, etc

    TTFN

  3. Wayne, Everyone knows BMS 🙂
    I like those topics, especially sabotage.
    Add to it self-sabotage…….the act of sending staff to demos and meetings and all other engagements that generally produce zero benefit to the customer
    Add to it the changing office environment…….releasing knowledge workers into being accountable for results and not how much time they can spend in the office. Introduce the reality that if an organization has employed the right people then they should embrace existing technology so that people can choose the work environment that is most productive for them.

    Best,
    Craig Juta

  4. Ed,

    You could stand on stage and talk about the weather and it would be educational, entertaining, and life-changing. I just hope I don’t have to present a session in the same time slot as yours. And please don’t roll in that darn piano. That is just depressing to those of us with no musical talent.

    Have you talked about internal business plans for consultants? Do folks have a true strategy, an end game, and a list of actions to get them there? I’m finding that most businesses are only looking a year or two out and would expect your audience to be in a similar position. Or maybe they’re way smarter than the average bear.

  5. Thanks, Craig and Geni, for your contributions.

    I agree that self-sabotage is definitely a problem.

    Curiously, Geni, I have been doing some strategy workshops the past year and you are correct lack of endgame is rampant.

  6. Pingback:On Advanced Consulting

  7. Ed,
    Perhaps a agenda item on change management for the business partner. To get to the level of advanced consulting for our customer, we have be open to change within or own organizations. Understanding that change and how to implement(I hate to say market) it to our customers both existing and as I like to call them ” my customers of the future”. Even in the last six months there has been such industry change that parnters and customers are stuggling to keep up. We must think about the things that have caused us stuggle within our own companies, and port those experiences to our customers and future customers.

    If you customer base is refined to the A list, which we should have done but probably haven’t those customers will pay for that because it has value. I recently evaluated project management software. I currently use BaseCamp but wanted a more robust package. I couldn’t find one consultant to help me with that. The lost opportunity time spent was huge and in the end, I stayed with BC because I couldn’t find anything that met my requirements. I now know tons about that business area and will begin to discuss it during my customer and future customer interactions. It is a different world, maybe even a better one, but we like our customers must evolve.

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