Let’s talk about scaling beyond your time: the holy grail of consulting and training firms.
First, we need to address some of the invisible pitfalls where many of us get stuck.
At Actionable, we’ve developed a model called the Insight-Action Flywheel to analyze onsite engagement.
Using this four-point model, we help consultants look at the impact they actually have on their clients.
The first point on the Flywheel is insight, because that’s where consultants naturally make their first engagements with their clients.
Insight is how you first connect with a client, be it through some form of discovery, interviews, assessments, 360s, or just collecting information from the client.
The value that you bring in that stage of engagement goes far beyond collecting information.
What the client is really paying you for is your insight.
Your insight comes from your ability to take the data you’ve collected, and glean something valuable from it to put to work within the organization.
Data is scalable; if you have enough, and it’s organized in a certain way, you can derive insight from it.
After you’ve developed key insights, then you move into the next point: content.
“Content” is the information the client takes from you: the intellectual property, the facilitation approach, etc.
Like data, content is also inherently scalable.
But again, like data, it’s not what your clients are actually paying for.
Your clients can get content from anywhere, in fact, it’s free on any search engine.
The value you’ve created for your client comes from the context surrounding the content you provide.
Context (the third point on the Flywheel) is what’s hard to scale, but it’s where clients find value.
Value comes from your ability to help people in the room find meaning in content.
As a consultant, your power is in moving people from “I get it” to “I care about this;” in other words, adding context to content.
When those who you are coaching or training begin to find their own relevance in the content you deliver, a shift occurs.
This “Aha!” moment is the reason clients pay you for live sessions.
A great way to do this is through “actionable conversations.” Actionable conversations are based on the appreciative inquiry approach to learning, a model that model that seeks to engage trainees in self-determined change.
Instead of focusing heavily on the “what,” or new content, consultants focus training on the corresponding “so what” and “now what,” or the reasons new content matters, and what the next actionable steps are to implement the ideas.
When a shift in thinking occurs, your client experiences new outcomes, forming the last point of the Flywheel: action.
When you unlock this shift in thinking, you cause a ripple effect throughout the organization.
Now, those managers you’ve coached and trained can provide the same insights and context to others throughout the organization, scaling the context you’ve provided throughout the organization.
The managers you’ve trained can have actionable conversations with others.
When this occurs, you’ve been able to truly scale your impact and master the Insight-Action Flywheel.
In summary, insight leads to content; content shared in the right way helps people find context; and context helps people take action.
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.