The Clear Ideas Process Pt 1

When I start work with a new client, there’s always the same energy involved. They’re keen as mustard and immediately want a to-do list and an action plan. They’re desperate to forge ahead.

Anyone hoping for the old ‘Quick Wins’ angle on this process, however, need not apply to the Clear Ideas School of Business.

When I partner with my clients, the first stages of our business consultation involves an awful lot of chatting. In fact, the more chatting the better. 

There’s not much else happening in those first few hours. The most action we take is deciding which pastries to choose with our coffees. And who doesn’t love to sit back and hear an epic tale of derring do involving a brave and clever protagonist (you)? Because that’s what most business stories are: high personal stakes and deep emotions.

This is not a schmooze-fest – it’s a serious undertaking. And I say ‘chatting’ but it’s extremely active, as I ask questions, listen, clarify.

Very rarely are these sessions about numbers. They come last.

I usually set aside three meetings of this type and they take around an hour per meeting. They serve best when they’re booked in close to each other. It means we can frontload the situation as much as possible.

I love it. But I do have an active, serious agenda, as I said. Here it is:

Understand you..

Understand your business.

Understand what these two elements mean to each other.

In short, what’s your story? How have you and your biz arrived at this moment?

It might sound like a frivolous scenic route; a dawdle that bypasses the real business necessary to get your small fresh business truly sea-worthy. It definitely can feel more like fun that hard work. It’s certainly fair to say that it takes a lot longer to capture this bedrock element. 

However, it creates a hugely strong start to our relationship – and to your understanding of yourself and your work ahead.  

You’d be surprised how many consultants out there skim through this important part of the process because they want to people-please the client’s sense of urgency. Consultants often swerve the story and simply open their box of tricks, hoping something will stick.

Often something does stick. Often the client and their SME will thrive.

But you can’t make plans for the future if you do not have a good understanding of the past. We can’t rev up a killer ‘Change Machine’ for you if we don’t fully understand and externalise what you’re pivoting from. And you won’t sail a true course to the Land of Success if you aren’t exactly sure of your ship’s origin story.

Get in touch and let’s see if we have the same taste in pastries.