A few days ago, I had an opportunity to see a presentation a business consultant prepared for a friend’s company. Although my friend's company was not part of the Imaging Channel the industry I call home. Like all businesses or industry’s executives, he sometimes lets emotion hijack common sense. The consultant firm, my friend, engaged sold him a program to help him improve over time, and when improved my friend would have bragging rights and become a member of an esteemed group made up of other companies from his industry. The presentation my friend shared with me was presented through a PowerPoint slide deck. All I could do was scream! Where’s the Data? Show me where the numbers came from! Can you prove the slides or are the slides designed to feed my friends emotional ego instead of teaching my friend through the knowledge and facts of data.
I heard years ago; Some consultants sell off emotion, and some sell based on facts. Here’s the difference. Those who don’t have the numbers and the detail of facts always present in Word or PowerPoint and those who have the numbers and data of facts use Excel or Dashboards which can link one directly to the numbers verifying the facts are a reality.
Taking for granted Relationships, and Delusions of sameness are the greatest threats to any business or industry. In the desperation for reinvention emotions can sometimes feed off the nonsense of those who stroke one’s ego. In all cases when seeking help, understand the facts and ask for the proof. If you decide to engage a consultant who benchmarks, you must be clear where the statistics come from, and if the consultant’s customers are all perfect question who wrote the rules of perfection and how often they rewrite them.
Well, my friend was excited to share his PowerPoint. He was excited to have his company’s name included in the consultant’s league of other winning companies, companies all looking to improve. My friend bragged that being part of this esteemed group would help him sell more. My friend was excited! That is until I asked him these questions. If you just hired this consultant how is it possible your company already has been recognized as the best of the best? Are all the members brand new? Is everyone who hires this consultant recognized as one of the industry’s best the day they hire them?
My friend said, “um I guess I didn’t hire a consultant - I just Rented a Cheerleader.”
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