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
- 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 industry average).
- 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 often dragged out over 12 to 18 months.
- 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 unexpected 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 to, 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 NLP
It was almost home time on Friday when I received a distressed call. John had been retrenched earlier in the week explaining a heartless termination meeting handled poorly and without compassion.
Asking to see me John then recounted his experience several times with, increasing anger and resentment. An employee of some years he was not provided with any explanation and was escorted from the premises. He was particularly angry with his manager who he had been good mates with describing him as a ‘turncoat’ and ‘traitor.’
John was somewhat traumatised by this event and it was apparent he was ‘stuck in replay’ – going over and over the event what they did to me, how could they etc. In replaying the event, John became angrier and angrier.
A traditional Psychology approach
Traditional approaches in psychology and counselling suggest emotions, surrounding a traumatic event will be released through encouraging a person to go-through his experience as many times as required. Yet here the opposite was happening. Other models in counselling theory suggest an interpretation via the Kubler-Ross model where one enters the grief cycle process claiming one must travel an emotional journey before moving into a final ‘acceptance phase.’ Whilst ‘grief-cycle’ thinking may have merit it is time-consuming and often requires much support.
Were there any quicker responses available to me? To get John fixed-up so he could go home feeling better. But it was Friday night what could I do?
How NLP came into play
From an NLP understanding John’s experience had created a synaesthesia pattern (primarily kinaesthesia and visual); an anchoring of the event including his manager (visual) with anger and resentment (kinaesthetic). John’s eye directions were also looping a common pathway consistent with this pattern (and synesthesia) as he moved his, eyes in a direction that saw himself being retrenched leading to self-talk (those bastards) and then eyes moving to a place where he experienced strong emotion.
Perhaps I could clear this pattern using a ‘dismantling unwanted synesthesia pattern?’ Or perhaps I could use a ‘collapsing anchor technique? I decided upon the latter selecting a ‘visual collapsing anchors’ technique developed by Steve Andreas.
This technique involves accessing from one’s history 4 feel-good / capable, states before then mixing-in the non-resourceful state John had been stuck in. This should also lead to a dismantling of the synaesthesia.
What is most enjoyable about this and many NLP spin-off techniques is to watch the shift in the individual and I was not disappointed. John was momentarily confused in a processing state before emerging into sense of feeling calm and settled. John was unable to recall the experience with the attached emotion! Instead the recalled experience remained unchanged but could now be dealt with more resourcefully.
As a psychologist I often felt ‘like a doctor without a medical kit;’ possessed with understating of the behaviour but with few techniques to affect real change. NLP supplies these techniques as well as a, sophisticated epistemology through which to understand the human condition.
* The self-employed psychologist referred to in this success story has completed the 10970NAT Graduate Certificate NLP
How A Senior Manager at a Major Global Consultancy Increased Revenue By $1M In Three Months
A senior manager at one of the big four management consultancies who studied NLP mainly for herself not so much driven by a specific business need. However found her Graduate Certificate in NLP training invaluable for demonstrating success in a management consulting context. She applied NLP to identify the underlying issues and framing the solution for her last role at the consultancy.
The Starting Point
- The revenue of the Big 4 firm had slowed down. It struggles to recover the same level of revenue that it used to have pre-GFC.
- The firm also recognised that a number of its key accounts that bring a significant amount of revenue are not profitable.
- Firm recognised it is no longer enough to rely on existing relationships for business. Clients are becoming more demanding and selective in procuring services.
- There is significant ‘white-space’ or untapped market potential that is yet to be realised.
The Critical Issue
The Senior Manager was brought in to implement business development capability to address underlying issues:
- There needs to be a stronger focus on sales or business development.
- It is not enough to bring in revenue without taking into account profitability.
- People need to recognise and optimise business development opportunities more. People are ‘leaving opportunities at the door.’
- There is lack of commitment to participate and invest in business development capability building programs because of the negative mindset associated with selling.
Senior Manager realised that reasons for underlying issues where:
- Most of the staff, partners and directors were hired and promoted due to their technical skills not their business development skills.
- There is resistance to selling or business development.
- A capability survey indicated that people are already relatively good at relationship building but not on capitalising sales opportunities. People don’t necessarily have the skills for the pointy-end of sales (i.e. closing, negotiation, etc.)
The Senior Manager recognised that the resistance is coming from a negative mindset about selling. The underlying presupposition is that Business advisors or consultants don’t sell. It is not our job to sell.
The Senior Manager redefined underlying presupposition and developed a framework to establish business development capability. i.e. Everyone already sells. As consultants and business advisors we sell ideas all the time as part of our job. The question is not about should we sell? It is about how good are we at (already) selling?
How NLP skills came into play
Drawing on her NLP skills the senior manager designed a program that would shift the mindset accept business development and selling a natural part of one’s day-to-day job.
Business development capability building programs were designed within a framework that uses NLP to re-frame prevailing attitudes and mindset about business development.
Using NLP the Senior Manager created a ‘double-bind’ in sales performance.
The heads of divisions were responsible for revenue targets. The Senior Manager proposed to help these heads achieve division targets if they commit to the participation of high-performers in the business development capability programs. These high-performers are in turn accountable for targets defined by the Heads of Divisions and will receive support through workshops and coaching (using NLP patterns) to help them achieve their targets.
- The business development capability pilot programs were very, successful.
- The first cohort reported more than >$1M in increased revenue over a period of 3 months.
- A senior manager who disliked the idea of selling, looks forward to developing more business for the firm.
* The Senior Manager referred to in this success story has completed the 10250NAT Graduate Certificate NLP
Inspiritive | NLP Education Australia
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