Build A Business You Can Be Proud of Using NLP: A Case Study

MD of an IT Consultancy

The MD of an IT consultancy delivering on-line analytical processing (OLAP) solutions was frustrated by slowing growth and profit falling short of targets.

The starting point

  1. The typical low IT industry success rate with client projects. Despite intensive training, sophisticated Prince II project management, and Prosci change management methodologies, 60% of client projects failed to either complete on time or on budget or deliver outcomes meeting expectations (and this was better than the industry average).
  2. Client management typically resisted or sabotaged the OLAP projects through ignorance of what the system was for and how the data would help them. They misunderstood the system goals, thinking it was a means to check up on their performance. As a result, implementations are often dragged out over 12 to 18 months.
  3. Traditional classroom training had not worked well with the manager users – the very people most likely to realise benefits from the OLAP system.

How NLP skills came into play

  • Advanced communication and influence skills that would integrate with his change management methodology and help his team deliver a compelling change story to increase his clients’ project success rate.
  • A means to motivate client management to role model project support.
  • A means to ensure managers aligned the surrounding structures, systems, processes, and incentives to be in tune with and reinforce the need for change.
  • He wanted 100% success on projects in order to create reference clients from every engagement. And he wanted his clients to be able to motivate clients to measure the value of their OLAP projects through specific business performance improvements that had financial impacts that could be quantified.
  • A means to help client management develop the skills needed to lead successful and rapid change. And a means to reframe their natural change resistance and leverage it to have them embrace change and adopt use of the new systems. When implementing the OLAP systems, client adoption would be fast (less than three months per site) and successful, generating business performance improvement.
  • An effective training approach that could address the pitfalls of traditional content-based classroom instruction. One that could help managers: develop an understanding of the role of OLAP and the abstract business goals driving OLPA technologies; realise how they could use OLAP for personal and career gain; leverage their tacit knowledge and intuitive business expertise to appreciate how OLAP changed the model of the business, making unforeseen things possible.

Inspiritive provided the MD with those capabilities by having the MD and a number of his consultants complete the Graduate Certificate NLP program, learning excellence in their communication to improve their influence, consequential thinking skills to improve their change, management strategies and skills for change, and choice, improving their ability to lead organisational and culture change projects. They also developed skills for modelling the behaviour and capabilities of experts (replicating talent), and this had significant, unexpectedly beneficial consequences.

The business results were immediate, high value, and everything he had hoped for. They included:

  • The success rate on OLAP projects increased to 100%.
  • The implementation time on projects dropped to between 3 and 4 months.
  • His business growth rate and profit percentage doubled.
  • He also started a new division of the business, providing services to model experts.

The first models were in the sales arena and helped clients deliver some extra-ordinary sales performance improvements. Projects consistently delivered outcomes 20% or more above what clients thought was the best possible. This division continues to date, having grown to be the main revenue stream for his consultancy and having helped over 140 clients exceed 300% return on investment for their change projects.

The MD measured the year-one return on his investment at over 3,000% and the payback period as less than one month. The MD now insists that all of his consultants complete the NLP Graduate Certificate qualification.


* The MD referred to in this success story has completed the 10970NAT Graduate Certificate Neuro-Linguistic Programming

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