Collaborative Engagements

Frameworks and consulting are not enough

Frameworks and consulting engagements offer many good things. Frameworks provide proven practices at a reasonable cost, and consulting engagement offers a personal touch and the ability to tailor for your needs. But they also come at a price. The first is that frameworks provide a not always fit-for-purpose solution and don’t provide any guidance on adapting it for your particular needs. As a result, companies are often left with understanding a framework but haven’t learned much about applying it to their needs. A great consultant can provide you with a fit-for-purpose solution. Still, you will likely be left without complete documentation of the selected approach or a way to continue the improvement. This often leaves you tied to them.

Introducing the Collaborative Engagement

A collaborative engagement takes the best of both while working in a unique manner. Instead of being trained or consulted to, a collaborative engagement:

– has the consultant/trainer work with the client in deciding on what the best set of practices are to be used   

– uses a virtual board so people can work together

– documents these decisions on this board, including the rationale on which they were chosen  

– has the board present a set of proven practices to choose from

– has a method for deciding which of these practices work best for the client being engaged

– shows how to continue making continuous improvement based on the decision framework used above

Advantages of the collaborative engagement approach

The collaborative engagement approach represents breakthroughs in both content and delivery mechanisms. These include:

  • Learn via collaborative visual boards (Miro) instead of death by PowerPoint. All the while, an expert consultant is guiding the presentation.
  • Learn what you need to do and a framework that may or may not work for you. Note: while frameworks promise a quicker start, it is a false promise. The time spent learning a framework could be spent creating a fit-for-purpose approach that is faster for you to adopt.
  • Avoid practices that are too heavy and/or prescriptive. Select those that are appropriate for you and your situation.
  • Be able to adjust the pace of adoption to meet your culture and context.
    Have an opportunity to spread the workshops over a few days so you don’t get overwhelmed with 7-8 hours of training in one day.
  • Attend to the entire value creation workflow when starting and not be limited to bottom-up or top-down approaches
  • Provide insights to management on how they can be proactive in the change and not merely support requests made to them by the teams. Often, management is left with motherhood and apple pie mantras without anything tangible to guide them in this new way of working.