You’re ready to grow your consulting business, but you face a challenge. How can you increase profits without spending significantly more time selling your services? The answer is to raise your margin on each engagement and get more repeat business from clients you’ve already sold. The key to achieving this goal? Change management.
According to the article management consultant Tom Spencer, “In general terms, management consulting involves providing advice to organisations with the aim of helping to improve organisational performance or solve specific business problems.” In most cases, a consultant’s solution involves some kind of organizational change. In order for your clients to succeed, they and their employees have to adopt new behaviors.
The big opportunity most consultants are missing
But a recent study of consulting engagements finds that many of them lack change management support as a deliverable. Many consultants leave their clients to implement a solution on their own, and companies often don’t even know how to measure success.
Not surprisingly, only half of the companies surveyed used the same consultant again. All this translates to a huge opportunity for any management consultants who want to increase profit and build a string of raving fans.
The way to offer more value and increase your efficiency at the same time
How can you do it? Add a follow-through plan to your solution and guide your client through the change management process. That means helping people adopt the new behaviors required to implement your solution and measuring their success.
Of course, change management takes time. You might be able to develop your solution in several weeks, but it could take months to implement all the changes.
In order for you to coach your clients through the process, you need a system that incorporates the best strategies of behavior change. You need to be able to put the system in motion and then monitor it remotely, stepping back in for point interventions as needed and keeping management updated with progress. Thus, you can help one client implement your solution even as you’re doing the discovery phase for another client.
Here’s what the system needs to do:
- Guide people to practice new habits deliberately.
- Provide a structure so managers and team members have step-by-step instructions for how to incorporate deliberate practice into daily experience.
- Give each person long and short-term goals to motivate them.
- Give each person autonomy and choice in how they incorporate practice into their day.
- Provide immediate feedback as people work to adopt new behaviors.
- Give employees responsibility for their progress.
- Require all employees to support each other in developing new skills.
- Track activities to hold people accountable for their own progress and for helping others.
- Encourage people to reflect on their attempts to adopt new behaviors to help them reinforce what they’ve learned.
- Recognize progress and contributions; especially focus on reinforcing the process.
- Report on overall progress to management and the team in general.
Consultants are experts at creating processes and systems. Applying your talents to change management is a no-brainer, and it may be the best next step in your company’s growth.
Looking for a change management tool to help grow your engagements? Learn more here.