Consulting is about more than giving an unbiased point of view, building solutions or creating strategy for long term success. This week the team at TACK10 wanted to ask four of our most experienced Tacticians what they focus on when looking to drive client success. This group of four leaders certainly have the experience to know that every client and every project is unique. The objectives and challenges are often quite different. While the approach is always customized, our five pillar methodology is consistently utilized because it has time and time again proven itself to be unbelievably valuable.
In today’s blog post, we asked some of our fellow Tacticians what is necessary to effectively consult in their areas of focus? The question sparked great conversation and insights into what it takes to be an effective consultant across our areas of business.
Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate
Our Director of Brand Strategy, Andre Proulx excels at solving business challenges through integrated partnerships for brands with causes, properties and emerging organizations. His favorite saying is “Peel Back the Onion”. Andre is masterful in his focus on Evaluation. It is the first step in our five pillar methodology and sets the foundation for any engagement. “Daily we prove just how important it is to take the time to properly evaluate an organization as we commence an engagement. You build success by clearly knowing where you are, where you are going and most importantly, what are the unique challenges and opportunities within the specific organization. Too often groups will look back and say ‘we wish we knew that when we started’. Well, we start every engagement by building a solid foundation for short and long term success.”
With extensive experience managing profit centres for some of the largest retailers, Tracy Culleton, our Vice-President of Strategy, Cause and Public Sector breathes authenticity. When asked what her primary focus is as she engages with clients, she takes us a step back and says “It starts with authenticity. The team has to be genuinely excited and eager to work with any new partners, both professionally and personally. When there is a genuine fit, the work product and subsequent results delivered are their strongest. This authenticity must also extend to the strategy, tactics and partnerships that are developed. If it is not authentic for the organization, it will not deliver the same level of results!”. We concur. As it relates to millennials, 91% of them will switch brands to support a brand who they feel is aligned to their own values and priorities.
While every single Tactician will say that Laura Richard, our Executive Vice-President and Partner in the firm is a relationship builder, those who work closest to her on the client side of the business are taught a valuable lesson. It is not just about building relationships, it is about building and earning credibility based on the portfolio of success throughout a career. “I will borrow a phrase that James (James Chalmers, Group President & CEO) so routinely refers to. Relationships will get calls and meeting requests returned. Credibility is about a paradigm shift. That is when those same leaders you have relationships with start calling you because they have a problem or challenge that they cannot solve internally.” “I have worked incredibly hard throughout my career to conduct myself with the upmost of integrity. Being a consultant and getting called in to work on some of the biggest business challenges with some of the most regarded organizations means that often groups do not like what I have to tell them. You cannot shy away from that in our line of work.” We hear her loud and clear. Her proven experience in delivering tangible results and the integrity she brings to engagements has earned her a level of credibility that we can only aspire to. Being a great leader though, Laura challenges each and every one of us to build our own career portfolios.
As it often does, the final bell today goes to James. “When I think about what it takes for our organization to be successful consulting with clients, it comes down to TEAM. The team we are building at TACK10. The teams we partner with at our clients’ organizations. The teams who represent partners we engage with on behalf of clients. All the team members and individual team players that each of us have worked with, currently work with and hope to work with in the future. Each and everyday I wake up and want to be first into the office. I am blessed to work with and for some amazing individuals and teams who challenge me and one other to be the best version of themselves. I have never been the one to have all of the answers. My success and the success of the clients I have had the privilege of working with has come down to individuals working towards shared goals and objectives as a TEAM!”
Did James just drop the microphone!?
The Final, Final Bell
Well that attempt at dropping the mic has now been overshadowed by our very first, “Final, Final Bell”. To be effective and successful in a consulting practice or even when working with a consultancy, it is clear that Authentically Evaluating organizations as a Team builds Credibility!
…mic-drop, exit stage right…