Funnily enough, the title for this blog was also a central theme in a product launch/marketing campaign that we collaborated upon a number of years ago. Fortunately, the tremendous success of that effort—the top-selling new product introduction in more than a decade in a highly competitive market segment—brought further meaning to what could have been just a slogan. As there is a tremendous amount of value in learning from our mistakes and less-than-optimal business outcomes, the nature of many of our blog postings here have focused on these lessons learned. But, as we can learn as much from the great engagements as the not-so-great ones, we spent some time reflecting on Why Things are Going Right with our favorite engagements.
A Clear Mission: In each case, initial conversations with the client revealed a number of potential areas where we could contribute, so together we narrowed that list to a couple of core priority needs that matched up very well with our greatest strengths and interests. Simply put, expectations were clear, defined and agreed upon.
Candid Communication: Ongoing and candid communication about market dynamics, procurement challenges, product missteps, and customer feedback provided an overall confidence in each other’s strengths and capabilities. Despite new market areas with highly complex product environments with lengthy customer decision cycles, these engagements are resulting in joint success with the least amount of redundancy or friction.
Control, not controlling: As we have discussed in other blogs, the right consultant brings more than one-dimensional skills. Great clients set the mission and then take advantage of skills and experiences of their consultants to broaden their view. But to do that, there must be a sense of trust. Being able to cede of a bit of day-to-day control will allow your consultants to use all of their skills to deliver on more than just a task.
It is not surprising that our favorite engagements (and the most fruitful ones) meet each of these criteria. When things go right, we aren’t consultants. We are a valued member of your team.