Back to School
This is our back-to-school edition of our monthly e-newsletter. ‘Back’ to school implies that we ‘turned off’ learning for the summer, but as consultants we are always trying to be better for our clients. During the summer ‘down’ period, while our clients are away on vacations, we take this opportunity to read, explore new technology, and try things out, so that when you are back to work we are ready with solutions.
The days when education and learning ended when you were handed your college degree are long over. These days, the most successful business people are those who constantly learn and grow. It’s now absolutely true that if you fail to keep up with the latest advances in the nonprofit industry, you can be left further and further behind.
As a management consultant, I simply cannot afford to stand still – in order to be successful I need to be constantly learning, growing and adapting. My clients rely on me to be up to date on everything from changes in laws governing privacy to new trends in technology and marketing and the charitable sector as a whole.
Providing top notch service to my clients is what consulting is all about, and the better service I can provide the more successful hjc will be.
But there is another type of learning that can’t really be garnered by reading blogs and books, doing research, or attending conferences… it is the experience of learning how to be a consultant.
- Where do we learn to translate content into learning and growth for our clients?
- Where do we learn how to engage and inspire and encourage and teach and lead?
- Where do we learn whether to inspire or prescribe? The consultant facilitator v. the consultant expert…
- Where do we learn how to facilitate – and where do we practice that skill?
How can we learn from other consultants? What structures are best for facilitating that learning?
The answer to all of the above questions is through mentor-ship and by ‘doing’. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work with some of the best hjc-connected senior consultants in the sector – Mark Climie-Elliott, Chris Carter and Douglas Tanton. It’s through this mentor-ship, and the patience of my clients, that I’m learning these skills.
Feedback in this process is important… so I ask you all to be part of ‘learning’ and ‘sharing’… constructive criticism of your consultants is important if we are to learn and grow and be excellent for you. We need you to tell us when we are doing a good job, or when we are not meeting (and exceeding) your expectations. But, remember, you hire us to challenge you! So a consultant not agreeing with your point of view, doesn’t mean they are a bad consultant.
By Heather McLean