Why You (And Your Client) Needs Your Organizational Assessment
Jan 16, 2017
If you have a new consulting client, it is likely that they are antsy. If they have gone to the trouble to find and hire you, then they are more than ready for you to start solving their challenges. However, as tempting as it is, it is in YOUR best interest and more importantly your client’s for you to go slow to go fast and do an organizational assessment up front.
Consultants need to do an organizational assessment for several reasons:
- To form an independent point of view – Data is your ally in discovering the absolute details of the client’s issues and challenges. Your independent point of view is your most valuable asset you provide your client.
- To gain clarity on root causes – Data helps reveal the true causes behind clients’ issues and challenges. Your client doesn’t know why they are experiencing the symptoms that they have because they are too close to the situation and can’t see the forest from the trees…and you don’t know either. All you have suspicions about the symptoms.
- To learn about the organization – The process of collecting data is the best way to study the company, what it does, its industry and develop relationships with people at all levels of the organization.
But have you thought about why your client needs your organizational assessment...even more than you do?
- To avoid wasting money – Data allows the organization to avert spending needless funds on symptom management and expensive band-aids, because it addresses the root causes for their challenges. Performance improvement activities outside the context of an assessment leads to:
- Wasted time on pointless solutions
- Wasted money on expensive activities that have little to no ROI
- Wasted perception – get everyone’s hope up for change and do not thing more than a “flavor of the month”
- To set the ground work for buy-in – Future change initiatives will be better accepted when the foundation is clearly defined. When employees and leaders participate in a focus group or interview or take a survey, they are making their voices heard. And any actions that are taken as a result of those activities can be positioned as “You said…we listened.”
- To showcase value of input – an assessment is a quick win to show employees, customers and leaders that the executives on top of the organization truly care about their input – why else would they engage an outside consultant to really listen?
- To enhance ongoing quality of executive decision-making – Equally informed people seldom disagree. Data provides that the means that makes it easier for the senior team to come to agreement on both the issues at hand and the solution that is needed.
What separates exceptional consultants from their peers is their ability transform data to insight. Insight, as opposed to data, is the power or act of seeing. Insight provides the spark that shifts perception in a client that makes them see themselves in a new light and what they must do as a result.
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