People have asked what I meant in my last post when I said I stopped doing client reports after leaving my first consulting job. Did I stop consulting?
The answer is no. I’ve done 20 more years of consulting after that. But I changed my approach a lot.
From my first consulting job, it was clear to me that ‘traditional consulting’ – big study, nice binder, fancy presentation – didn’t work very well. I recall thinking that of over fifty (!) projects that I participated in in that first consulting job, only one – a project with a large cereal and pet food manufacturer ever lead to what I would have called significant change.
So, I went seeking another approach and found a smaller consulting firm with a few, high profile clients. For them, writing ‘reports’ was unheard of. Instead they did case studies, went undercover, facilitated work sessions, produced training videos, coached and mentored managers and front-line employees – and basically invented whatever approach they felt would have the greatest impact for their client. Writing a formal report was never an option.
For me it was heaven. And change happened every day. It was a better way.
So since then I’ve incorporated that learning along with the experience from running several organizations – into a consulting approach that is more hands on, facilitator-manager-coach-mentor than consultant. Because it works.
And I never write reports.