How We Get Started

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Initial contact

Working with us

When you make an initial enquiry or we are given your details by a third party we’ll call you back or leave a message on the same or following day, to let you know we have received your call. This prompt and proactive response is the hallmark of the way we work.

Before we get started we like to ensure that we fully understand your needs.  When we initially speak with you we’ll quickly identify what prompted the call and the key issues you are facing. This enables us to establish whether or not we are able to help you and actually add value to your business. Because we are very clear about what we do, and what we don’t do, you will always get straight and honest answers. Our team of highly skilled and experienced Business Partners, who are experts in the fields of Financial Strategy and Marketing Strategy will be able to help you if required.

We successfully resolve people and performance problems. These problems are often caused by a lack of communication at some level, so we can help you to clarify your business strategy and priorities in a way that will make sense to Managers and staff. We call our system the CLEAR Framework®. It will look at what’s missing with regard to communication and best practice in people management and help you implement it.

Once it’s established that your issues are an area we can help with, and if we both agree it would be beneficial to meet, we arrange a free no-obligation face-to-face meeting with you, or a longer call at a mutually convenient time to explore your issues in more depth.

Unlike many consultants, if we feel the issues you are facing are outside our field of expertise and that one of our associates or another provider will serve you better, we’ll give you their details and make recommendations to you about the best way to present your issue to them.

The Exploration Meeting

This meeting usually lasts 60 minutes, but may at times extend to as much as 90 minutes.

The primary purpose of this initial meeting is to get a very clear picture of what your issues are and what sort of intervention or support will be most helpful to you in developing a long-term and sustainable solution.

At the meeting we’ll ask a number of searching questions to gain an understanding, not only of the issues you face, but of the root causes of the issues. We’ll also enquire about the culture of your business, the prevailing management style and what impact, if any, these may have on the issues.

The quality of our questions will help you focus on the issues from a number of different perspectives; this in itself is often an extremely valuable exercise. Many clients mention how the initial meeting helped them to clarify the real issues and the best approach by which to address them.

In the meeting it is helpful to get an overview of the Senior Team and their direct reports so we can get a picture of the organisation and the critical relationships including shareholders and key decision makers. By exploring what you have already done to address the issues, and what you’re doing that works well or that hasn’t worked, we will know what to avoid and can dovetail any intervention with your good practices and build on them. We’ll also enquire about your expectations of the difference we can make and the budget you are setting aside to invest in resolving the issues you are facing.

Once we have a good understanding of your situation, we’ll share with you some of the principles of how we work and the original frameworks and tools we use.

At this stage you’ll have a very good feel for whether we are the right partner to help you move forwards. You’ll be able to request a full Plan of Action which outlines how we’ll add value by supporting the implementation of appropriate solutions, together with the investment required to do so.

The Plan of Action

Your Plan of Action is the document that will guide our relationship and outline not only what we will do but how we will do it. It will be laid out for you as follows:

  • Key issues
    • Clarifies the context and issues we will address.
  • Specific Objectives
    • Specifies what will be achieved over the course of the relationship.
  • Measures
    • Specific milestones and measures that can be used to assess progress.
  • Value
    • Specifies the short-, medium- and long-term outcomes for you and the business that will continue long after the work we do has been completed.
  • Methodology / Options
    • Explains the specific steps we will be taking with you and how we will work. It usually provides a number of options so you can choose the best way to meet your needs.
  • Timing
    • Specifies the suggested start time of the project and an estimate of how long it will take.
  • Accountability
    • It’s important to clarify roles and responsibilities so this section explains what we can expect from one another.
  • Terms
    • Clarifies the levels of investment required for the various options and the terms of payment.

You can expect to receive the Plan of Action within 7 working days of the initial meeting. The level of focus and preparation that goes into the Plan of Action demonstrates our commitment to providing you with the best levels of service while making sure you get the results you want.

Making sure your Plan of Action hits the right spot

A few days after sending out this document we’ll give you a call to talk you through it and ensure it really does address your issues.

We want to make sure you’re fully satisfied that the Plan of Action is clear and unambiguous; that you are clear about the commitment you need to make and the investment required both in willingness to implement what is required and in making the necessary changes to ensure the full value is achieved.

Once you’ve decided to go ahead, we’ll make an appointment for a face-to-face planning meeting. However, if the matter is urgent for you, the planning can be done on the phone so we can begin delivering the service and setting things up in advance of our first meeting with you.

We are committed to delivering a very proactive service to you that maximises the time available and ensures that every meeting is valuable and drives your agenda forward.

The Planning meeting

The planning meeting is all about signing off an agreed and fully-costed Plan of Action and mapping out the project with some milestones. It may also involve briefing other key individuals and getting their buy-in. This means that all critical stakeholders are involved at the earliest possible stage.

In the planning meeting we will cover the following:

  • Sequence of events
    • We will agree with you what needs to happen first and what the relevant dependencies are. Some activities can be done in parallel. Sometimes it’s important to do preliminary work with the Senior Team before involving other Managers or staff. This means that Senior Managers are fully aware of the project and can confidently answer questions as they arise from junior Managers or staff.
  • Who? What? When?
    • This is about making sure that the relevant people are available and what needs to happen to inform them of the project.
  • Briefings
    • If appropriate we’ll arrange briefings to let people know what is happening and why. This is often a critical part of the project and may need some careful preparation. Depending on the size of the project, it is important to let people know that it’s not just a ‘quick fix’ or ‘management fad’ but a 6-12 month programme to help the business improve management practices.
  • Dates in the diary
    • It’s important that we set out the key dates in advance so we can both plan our diaries and maintain momentum.

The planning meeting also creates an opportunity to explore any personality clashes or active resistance to change that may be present in some people due to previous unresolved misunderstandings or arguments. When we are aware of these issues we can build in extra sessions or exercises that enable people to recognise and resolve differences in a constructive and productive manner.

For more information about any of the above please contact to arrange a no obligation call with David Klaasen. We can then discuss your needs and explore the most suitable approach for you and your managers.

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