As a course facilitator or consultant, if you want longevity in what you deliver, you need a strategy for elevating your clients’ perception of you beyond “content provider.”
By knowing the C-Suite’s desired outcome, or, what we’ll call your anchor metric.
The goal is to know what the leadership team cares about, and asking hard questions is a first step in the right direction.
Why are they doing this? Why is this type of development important to the company, and how will that change move the company forward?
If you have an anchor metric – something the executive team cares about – that you can show a dotted line relationship to, from your program, you’re going to be able to prove the impact that you’re creating and make life a lot easier for yourself.
Let me illustrate what I mean by this.
When you’re running a program you’re typically asked by L&D or Human Resources to develop a certain skill level or competency set or to create certain cultural norm inside the organization.
Using The Kirkpatrick Philips model to illustrate this, their goal is usually below the first line (Participant Satisfaction and Knowledge Retention).
We want to be proving business impact, which is above the second line.
In order to do that we need to know what metrics we’re trying to impact.
The anchor metric is going to guide the measurement and tracking of the behavior change, the behavior change is what bridges the gap between the typical knowledge retention measurement and the ROI for the business.
Far too often in consultant proposals, I see consultants talking about the idealistic impact of the program.
As an example, if someone is running a leadership development program they might say in their proposal that “having better leaders is going to lead to greater retention”.
Ok. Is that the metric the client cares about? Retention? Is it voluntary turnover?
The more specific you can get on a client by client basis to be able to say: this is the anchor metric, this is the metric we are working to improve, the higher chance you have for not only achieving that goal but to also being able to demonstrate how you achieved it.
Being able to connect the dots won’t be immediate because it takes time for learning to settle in and for participants to engage in behavior change and then for that behavior change to have an impact on the business metric.
But, if we have the anchor metric, at least we know what we’re working towards.
So it’s a question that you can ask yourself, ask your buyer, ask them to ask their boss what the anchor metric is.
One way to flip this is to ask them this:
What justified the investment in the first place? Why are we doing this?
If they come back with altruism all around, well, fine. You can lean into that and you might win the deal.
But if you want to stay on the radar of senior leadership group inside the organization, if you want to make your offering more recession-proof, less likely to be punted when they don’t have the time, focus, or budget, it’s going to behoove you to be anchored to a metric that they’re paying attention to and that they care about.
It’s important you’re not promising that the metric is going to improve immediately but rather that you know what that metric is and what you can show the logic path from that metric, through behaviors to the programming that you’re doing.
This strategy keeps your program top-of-mind year-round as an ongoing solution to their problem, and an integral part of the infrastructure.
By being tapped in and aligned with the C-suite, you’ll be able to deliver on every level.
This creates viability, accountability, and necessity tailored to the C-Suite’s end game – and that’s exactly where you want to be.
Actionable is on a mission to help boutique consultancies scale their business by giving them the tools to prove and amplify their impact.
If you’re interested in focusing on impact, we’d love to show you how we can help. Book a time to talk with us.
We can’t wait to meet you.