“No successful team should shut themselves off from an external voice.”
Today I was in touch with a fellow trainer (always a pleasure), about the impact that an external voice and a pair of fresh eyes can have on the success of any team. Echo chambers are rarely a good thing, after all. Hence, the quote above.
So, here’s 5 benefits of inviting a consultant into your organization, with the aim of developing success teams.
Independence was the first thing that sprang to mind. Whilst I see it as a positive it can absolutely be a double edged sword. People can be suspicious of someone being brought into the organisation to talk to them about how the processes are working. They may be fearful for their role or that it is perceived that they are “doing something wrong.” I always try to be really upfront about the fact that I’m not there to tell them everything is wrong and needs to change, but that I want to hear about what is working well for them; what’s not working so well and what support would they feel would help them to excel in their role. Often this will open up the conversation and they are perhaps slightly more honest than they would be with an internal member of staff!!
Up to date knowledge of Best Practice was the next thing that I thought of. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, when teaching our exam based courses we are often faced with reasons why the best practice won’t work in a particular organisation and whilst this may well seem to be the case on the surface, a little bit of digging will often show that what is really needed is a bit of a tweak, perhaps to the terminology used or to the understanding of the individual. A perfect example of this is prescribed roles. No matter the framework there are roles which have particular responsibilities attached to them and often we hear that “we don’t have that role, or the capacity for that role in our organisation” However when you start to unpick the responsibilities of that role you will find that the role is performed, but under another guise.
Leading on from this was the focus on the core know how. There is something to be said for not getting involved in the detail of a project or the office politics! Being able to focus on the job in hand with no preconceptions or leanings towards a particular element can be incredibly valuable. All too often, the “noise” surrounding projects can mean that maybe things aren’t done as they should be with corners being cut and the right way to do something being forgotten.
When going into any organisation, whether it be on permanent or consultative basis, credibility is key. People are often surprised when I talk about my experience and background and sometime the tone of the conversation will change immediately!! I think in any commercial scenario, you want to be confident that the person you are engaging with is credible and have that experience and expertise needed for a successful outcome.
Finally, a consultant coming into your organisation will have the capacity to do the job. They are not trying to do this work on top of an already demanding full time role meaning that their focus is on helping you to achieve a successful outcome.
What are your thoughts on a consultative approach to learning and development? Do you think your team could benefit from this approach? Feel free to get in touch to find out more.