We begin each engagement with an open mind. We believe being open-minded leads to continually asking ourselves two important questions. What will be most helpful? How do we provide help in the most consumable manner?
So what makes me effective answering those questions? I hope numerous attributes. First and foremost, I bring expertise from each of the 116 (and counting) completed Naissance engagements and by voraciously integrating industry meetings, conferences, reports, whitepapers, and news. Second, I ask questions and provide the context to why those questions. Our engagements frequently begin with interviews. Those hours always improve the project’s outcome. My questions do not begin with tell me about your business, rather let’s speak to specifics of your purview. At the conversations’ end, the ultimate compliment is “That was a really fast 30 minutes. If you need more time, just call.” Frankly, we strive for that in each engagement.
Asking great questions fits with the third attribute: preparation. To draw out the most insight, the most specific issues or deficiencies we begin with homework. From understanding different roles and objectives within an organization to surveying the most significant competitors, we lead engagements from not only understanding the industry, also from understanding our client’s current market position and future ambitions.
To do that well, we sweat the small stuff. All of it. We make sure our ideas and recommendations are defensible. Considering each detail translates to smooth, high-impact conversations and faster project completion.
Personally, I can bore you with tales of my high-quality cooking, hit and miss cocktail making, and sub-par (but improving) beer production. Feel free to reach me via email, Twitter or at Pacific Standard during Cal Golden Bears’ football games.