We have worked with this Global Management Consulting firm since 2007, delivering development programmes, coaching and mentoring to hundreds of their team members, from Partners and senior executives to managers and new recruits.
Programmes have included: ‘Business Development Behaviours’, ‘Change Management Workshops’, ‘New Manager Essential Skills and Behaviours’, ‘Expanding Client Opportunities’, ‘Structured Communications’, ‘Presentation Skills’ and ‘Storytelling’.
Our approach has enabled this client to convert more opportunities, kick-start their cultural and behavioural transformation programme internally and better meet the needs of their existing clients.
The client sponsor has kindly given us his perspective of our impact and the transformation that took place at the firm because of our work…
Traditionally our Partners were all about “Big Numbers”
“Traditionally our Partners were all about ‘big numbers’ and were very much ‘project oriented’. We wanted to engage an organisation to help us move from this way of thinking to focusing on relationships and the right behaviours, both internally and with clients.
Change the ‘attitude’ of our organisation
The key was to work with someone who could help us change the ‘attitude’ of our organisation.
Our Senior Vice President at that time was referred by a mutual contact to speak to William Johnson. We have now been working with William and his colleagues for 10 years.
Initially we started by putting 120 of our Partners and Senior Managers through a change management programme. Our thinking was that our Partners are our leaders and they set the stage. If we didn’t start with our Partners, then there would be no acceptance for change.
We then started asking ourselves, should change really come from the top? Should it really be only the Partners that set the stage? Perhaps change would be easier to start at a more junior level amongst those who are less set in their ways?
We found that junior managers were keen to change and were actively questioning the behaviours of their senior colleagues. We therefore decided to start a behavioural change programme for more junior managers as well.
I think there have been three main impacts:
There was a realisation that ‘Wow’ there is another way to go.
The first was a realisation and awareness that “Wow” there is another way to go. The programmes have provided some fresh air. We realised that we can build trust, have higher levels of engagement with our clients and become thought leaders. We were not doing this as well before.
We could close more business opportunities
The second impact was that we could close more business opportunities. During our business development programmes we use real opportunities, not case studies. This enables us to practice our new skills on real client opportunities and we are then able to track these opportunities after the programme and gain some metrics to report success back.
Kicked off our transformation programme internally
Finally, by putting Partners and Managers through the programmes, we have been able to kick off our cultural and behavioural transformation programme internally. Change is a continuous long-term process and William and his colleagues have helped us to start this journey.
In the future, we hope to continue encouraging behavioural change by creating more programmes with Openside especially for analyst and junior levels. We are keen to start awareness of the right behaviours at an earlier stage as we think it is easier to change the behaviours of younger generations than older.
I would have no hesitation recommending Openside to other professional services firms.”
What participants from this firm have said on recent post-programme feedback forms:
“Really excellent facilitator. Challenging, clear and very skilful in weaving the morals of real life stories into the training content. Also understood demands of consulting better than most previous trainers.”
“I really enjoyed the course – pleasantly surprised! The quality of the external experts was evident.”
“Best course at the firm so far – External trainers adds another level of professionalism”
“Fantastic, keen and motivating trainer. I loved to work with him. Thanks!”
“The trainers were very knowledgeable and also I think it was important that they had also background in consulting and therefore were able to talk about things, meetings, occasions that are relevant to consultants. In addition, it was good that it was clearly communicated in the beginning that we are not allowed to use our cell phones or laptops during the sessions and I think everyone was respecting that rule. All in all very good training and I would definitely recommend it to my colleagues.”