Change is never easy, even under the best cir- cumstances. You can have a brilliant idea and unanimous buy-in from your team, and you’ll
still face challenges turning that concept into reality.
Most companies struggle with change because
they fail to communicate effectively. If the leadership, employees, and clients aren’t on the same page
about what’s happening, conflicts will inevitably
arise. Worse yet, they may not get resolved because
no one understands one another. They’re not united
on the goal.
Without clear objectives, teams become fractured
and unproductive. Implementing new initiatives
proves extremely difficult when employees feel
they’ve been kept in the dark or that their voices
have been ignored. These breaks within the company ranks always end up affecting customers as well.
Service and productivity suffer, and therefore reten-
tion and revenue do, too.
THE CONSULTANT’S ROLE
Oftentimes, managers don’t
realize the potential obsta-
cles to new ideas because
they’re so enmeshed in the
day-to-day workings of
the company. When you’re
accustomed to the way things
are, you become blind to the
problems — and the potential
for how things could be.
don’t have that issue. As
outsiders, we’re able to spot
communication gaps, vol-
atile power dynamics, and
chaotic operating processes.
Our jobs are to correct those
problems and help our cli-
ents enact new policies and
programs. Of course, we can
only do that if we equip our-
selves with the tools and strategies needed for each
situation. I’ve witnessed the good and bad ways in
which consultants affect their client companies, and
it’s not pretty when things go awry.
I once worked with a company that was suffering
from declining sales, had embarrassing customer
approval ratings, and was hemorrhaging talent. The
new CEO had hired a consultant to whip the company into shape, but the process took far longer than
expected and led to increased losses. The consultant
never aligned key power groups and made critical
mistakes in her strategies. The company eventually
sold at a fraction of its true value.
But a good consultant can make a world of positive difference. Another client of mine hired a consultant to help actualize his bold new vision for his
company. The consultant immediately organized em-
Change: Three Ways Consultants Help
Businesses Turn the Abstract Into Reality
BY SONA JEPSEN