Friday, January 21, 2011

3 Options ... Not Quite

I take you back to 1988 or 1989. Corporate travel budgets were higher. Webcasts were a pipe dream. Training was done in groups, in person. Personal interaction was valued.

I was attending a class at an old employer that had the words "consulting skills" in the title. It was a grueling class. That I recall, it started on a Wednesday and ended Saturday at noon. Yes, you read that correctly, it ended SATURDAY at noon. It had lots of role-playing, lots of videotaping and lots of humbling moments.

The last day or so went like this. Early afternoon on Friday, we were broken into three teams and given an assignment (the same assignment was given to all three teams). We received a mock RFP (request for proposal for those who don't know the lingo) for a consulting assignment. Each team was to make believe that they had made the finals and make their pitch to a mock Board of Directors on Saturday morning. Interestingly, our mock Board had a real live CFO on it.

Back to the three options, though. And before I give them to you, let me say that this is the single best thing that I have ever learned in a training class.

There are three distinct component to any consulting assignment (in alphabetical order):

  • Price
  • Timing
The client can have any two of the three that they want, so long as one in particular is one of those two. I bet you can guess which one is which.

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