I challenge you to truly develop this “consultant mindset” and see the growth in your ability to be the best consultant you can be.
What does it mean to have a consultant mindset? I often hear people refer to this in our line of business. Through the past year, I have been a part of various engagements that widely diverge in scope. I have seen our teams work in many different but equally effective ways. What I have come to learn is that the “consultant mindset” takes on many forms but has a few distinct foundational capabilities to it. I want to walk through the three foundational and important elements that I believe make up this mindset and sets Blueprint apart from any other company.
First is the ability to do the homework. What I mean by this is that before stepping foot into a client’s environment, or even before the first bit of conversation, the homework has taken place. Learning the client’s business, their current strengths and opportunities, their competitors and, most importantly, where they want to be in the journey of their growth as a company, is crucial. Approaching a client with that knowledge and being prepared to discuss their existing environment is a game changer. It immediately establishes credibility and sets up the initial discussions to be fruitful which allows trust to form.
Second is what I call learning agility. This is the ability to consume and digest a lot of information quickly. This is not an easy task and it’s a skill that can make the difference between success or failure in consultant work. Being a consultant most often entails learning something new each and every day. The client quickly forgets or does not care to remember that you are not part of their organization and their expectation is that you understand their rhythm of business, their systems and their terminology. Having the capacity to learn all these components and understand their importance will be a key driver in making a positive impact. The quick wins we all desire have a direct correlation to this learning agility.
Lastly comes focus: laser focus on the deliverables the client expects from you. There is a good reason why consultants are brought in and most of the time it’s because the client’s current talent or organization is not capable of achieving the deliverables needed. Therefore, staying focused on those deliverables and not getting distracted by other client priorities or cross organizational issues is a must. I have seen firsthand consultants and consulting agencies fail get kicked out of the business because they lost their focus and were distracted by other things. The hard part here is that most of those distractions were valid but that does not matter in the long term. What matters is executing on the deliverables at hand and keeping the client satisfied.
I believe the most successful engagements and the best individual consultants out there are the ones who exemplify this “consultant mindset.” Do the homework. Learn with agility. Stay hyper-focused. These foundations will enable your success in landing the business, delivering on client satisfaction, and building a trusting partnership. I challenge you to truly develop this “consultant mindset” and see the growth in your ability to be the best consultant you can be.