Consulting Practice Pointers: Consultants as Organizational and Talent Healers

By: Nerissa Mendoza, CMC®

consultant-2The so called new normal in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world has set to resume halted  economic activities and relaxing the stay at home directives of health authorities.  From a C-19 perspective it is transitioning from Expanded/Extended Community Quarantine ( ECQ ) to Modified ECQ and General Community Quarantine (GCQ). The question to answer is how consultants will bring value to their client and  what must be done upon entry into the post lockdown environment? Simply the answers could be start, stop and hasten or accelerate specific actions to bring operations and teamwork to a revived state and satisfactory level.

The impact on people since the lockdown and till now has gotten center of attention. Senior management, function heads and other leaders need to rebuild the workforce morale and accelerate organization rebounding initiatives. Regardless of whether you have been a client’s longtime consultant or one who is freshly engaged, you have a stake in moving your client to the new normal or next normal as others would prefer to call it.

Consultants are challenged on what value added interventions can support clients to help them heal from their organizational anxieties, pressures and dilemmas. From an operational perspective, the client’s circumstances that evolved during the lockdown are a mix of  reduced if not lost revenues, sunk costs and arising cost affecting people’s health, safety and welfare and an unpleasant decision to reduce the workforce or mutually agreeing with them to pay cuts in order to survive in the next 6 months or one year.

A workforce stressed by job security and health risks and distressed organizations that experienced disrupted and dislocated operations need to be healed. Trusted advisers can assume the role of neutralizers in order to balance organizational health and performance. To cite a number, they could be the following:

  1. Reinforcing hope and balancing efforts to manage both the office based and remote workers – This means providing mentor or coach inputs to client’s leaders to focus on revisiting work collaboration and syndication, helping transition the workforce into accepting new work locations and modified ways of communicating. In specific terms cost effective consulting interventions or ground rules can be provided in a) setting the physical work atmosphere for the home based/ remotework place, b) expectations on work outputs and communications routine, c) bridging collaboration between the office based and work at home employees.
  2. Marshaling efforts to review strategic, operational targets and performance indicators. – This means working hand in hand with clients to revisit business forecast with reality checks on suitableactions on how the profit and loss and balance sheet of the company will look like. Specific interventions or consulting help could be a) helping  a more realistic financial, operational and business process forecast that will thrive in transitioning the company to the new normal b) transforming the supply chain process towards enhanced business continuity and c) revalidating business metrics at the strategic, operational and tactical levels and discarding those no longer useful till the rest of the operating year.
  3. Revisiting intangibles consisting of intellectual capital, the culture of the organization and the extent to which automation has facilitated transactions and interactions both internally and with customers. – This may mean a ) inculcating a resilient or pivotal culture to address uncertainties and arising organizational andbusiness risk, b) validating the rewards management process to fully clarify what the employee commits  to gives and what the employer receives and what employers commit to give and what employees receive for a mutually satisfying employer-employee deals and c) assessing the design of automation systems, data privacy rules and distributed systems management to support arising organizational and business interruptions.

Standing by your client  and  taking a pivotal role with them in these trying times will not pass by unappreciated. Be differentiated as a consultant and continue to nurture relationship. Be a value added adviser.

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On Nery Mendoza’credentials.

She is Certified Management Consultant and is a practicing Business Adviser, Executive, Career and Community Coach. She has facilitated 20 Comprehensive Consulting Courses for CMC Philippines. She carries no less than  35 years management consulting experience in the banking, insurance and other financial services sector, in the health and pharmaceutical sector, in government, development funding organizations, civil society organizations and  not for profit organizations, in the telecommunications, energy, utilities, shipping and transport sector and in the  consumer and industrial products manufacturing and distribution sector, in educational institutions, membership associations,  food service and the hospitality sector.  Her coaching practice is focused on Executives, Career Professionals and Entrepreneurs.  She can also coach consultants who are starting a practice and those seeking to be certified but still short of the requisite experience. She is also a Certified Management Accountant, a Certified Executive Coach, a Certified Specialist in Risk and Controls Self Assessment and Certified in Total Rewards at  Professional level. She can be reached at nerissa.mendoza@outlook.com