Strategy

What it's Like to be a Client

What size shoe do you wear? Well, we may wear different sizes (lucky you) of pumps, boots, or loafers, but one thing I can say is, I’ve probably walked in your shoes at least for a few steps. In fact, I was a client of SimplyConnect’s early on. So, let me put my client shoes back on and happily share what made me a SimplyConnect believer.

It is HARD to make significant change happen in an organization. As part of a team that partnered really closely with the business to bring about needed change, there were times “it” was just too big. Like you, we knew the business problem and the impact it was having on company performance. We knew change had to happen. We knew (we thought) the root causes, and had ideas about how to go about fixing the problem. But, here’s the deal. Organizations are built and staffed with just enough resources to maintain the status quo or bring about change at a pace that fits with “when we can get to it.” We see this every day, with every client. The fire drills, emerging priorities, and urgent business changes make it very hard to deliver in ways — and at the speed — that the business needs.

When push came to shove, there were certain things we knew we needed when the change required was bigger than the bunch of us:

  • Fresh eyes to diagnose, based on real-world experiences
  • Creative thinking to challenge the status quo, and to make us stop and say, “What if we could do that?”
  • Nimbleness that we couldn’t achieve internally, with the weight of the organization bearing down on us
  • Partnership to the organization, the leaders, and most important, those of us who had the courage to say, “We might need some help here”

There were certain things we knew would impede the change we were seeking:

  • Language like, “empirical research,” “account managers,” or the dreaded “out of scope”
  • People who couldn’t relate to our people, whether that was our CEO or our front-line employees
  • Off-the-shelf solutions that didn’t solve for the uniqueness of our business or our challenges
  • Book smarts, without a basis of understanding that comes from working inside organizations

Then, here came SimplyConnect, who knew what it was like to work through internal barriers of all kinds. Who knew what it was like trying to get the job done with everyone tied up doing their “day job,” with little time for an ever-expanding list of priorities.

Here’s what we got as part of the experience, and these things hold true with every engagement we do today:

  • thoughtful approach that mirrored in many ways, a due diligence experience that paid dividends when we considered recommendations and sold the ideas to key stakeholders, because they were grounded in our facts
  • Creative ideas with a detailed, well thought out, custom plan that gave us a roadmap that worked at all levels in the organization
  • Practical ideas with stretch built in, and in the moments where I personally thought, “I don’t know if we can pull this off,” they said, “Yes you can!” because they never propose solutions that can’t be carried across the finish line
  • Ability to flex into our team where we had gaps, in a way that made everyone ok about having outsiders on our turf
  • Scope/budget that was spot on, in a business that was very mindful of expenses, this was key to our internal credibility
  • Execution expertise that ranged from working with our IT team, to standing up websites, to producing eye-catching communications that caused our employees to sit up and take notice

Working with the Connectors was like a big dose of communications and change management courage. I wasn’t viewed as needing a consultant’s help because I couldn’t deliver. Rather, I was recognized as someone who would tackle the hard stuff. And, it didn’t matter how we got there, because my business partners realized they needed a solution, but didn’t know what it looked like. These experiences energized me, and made me believe that change was possible. These experiences showed me that if I approached the problem differently, with the right partner who had my back and the company’s — and maybe even more important, our people’s — best interest at heart, the sky was the limit.

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