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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for the Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #22: July, 2005

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  • Enabling behavior is that behavior on your part which encourages someone else to continue their dysfunctional behavior (e.g., shouting back at a bully). Don't enable poor client relationships by allowing buyers to abdicate their responsibilities, delay your payments, etc. That's your fault, not theirs.
  • If you meet a bullying client or client manager, remember that bullies are basically disempowered, and try to disempower others to level the playing field. Don't lose power by descending to their level. Maintain your cool and simply provide a logical position. But do not back down.
  • Stay in touch with whomever you like by providing value, either professionally or personally. No one can get upset if you're trying to help them. (Of course, sending spam and incessant marketing letters is not value.)
  • Outsourcing and offshoring are not going to stop, so it's folly to try to help a client or employees or trade associations to fight the trend. It's better to help them understand and thrive in a world that is increasing global (or, as Thomas Friedman calls it, "flat").
  • If you have disability insurance, which you should, pay the premiums from personal funds, not company funds or, should you ever have to use it, the benefits would be taxed, severely limiting the amounts.
  • When you are trying to divide revenues among employees, partners, alliance members, or whomever, bear in mind that there are three major components to business: acquisition, methodology, and delivery. By far, acquisition is the hardest and ought to count for at least a 50% share, and delivery is the easiest, and should command no more than a 20% share. Yet many delivery people are getting rich as the expense of firm owners.
  • Occam's Razor says that the easiest solution is usually the correct solution. Therefore, if you want to find out if someone is a buyer, ask, "Are you the sole decision maker to determine whether we proceed?" If you want to find out what the budget is, ask, "What is your budget for this?" Get my drift?
  • Do you know that your intellectual property on paper is copyrighted even if you don't use a copyright sign? But you can defend your rights better with it visible (as mine, below). The advantage of actually filing a copyright with the government is that should you ever have to sue someone, you can collect more damages and have lawyers' fees paid by the other party if you win. (A member of IMC who is a CMC has blatantly plagiarized my materials, and at a major conference recently. We put a stop to it, but there is no telling where and when this stuff will occur.)
  • Great time-saver: Have the headlines and feature stories from 3-4 newspapers that are important to you automatically delivered electronically each morning.
  • Most association newsletters cost very little for advertisements and announcements, and are excellent vehicles for your services, workshops, products, and so on.

For a single source on all aspects of OD, from marketing to interventions, and from origins to future trends, get Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Consultants (Pfeiffer, 2nd edition, Rothwell and Sullivan editors). All of the current outstanding thinkers are included, even me!

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