Here’s what it looks like – an example from a different field:
Now this is rather different from any project we might do together, but there are many parallels.
- There’s a lot at stake; in this case, a substantial jail term;
- There isn’t much time; in this case 40 minutes;
- He works with what he has; the cleaning materials under the sink, the blankets from the bedroom;
- The solution is not perfect, but good enough – the car will pass a superficial, not a detailed examination
- But one thing that’s different: he says “I’m not here to say please. I’m here to tell you what to do.” That’s not me. I’m actually very polite (for an impatient person).
In the case of something we might do, let’s discuss the following:
What’s at Stake?
I have spent my career almost entirely in high-growth or turnaround situations, where action makes a real difference. If you want to grow by 50% or get out of a nasty hole, we should talk. If you are looking to fine-tune a well established stable business, I’m not your man.
I don’t do single-digit percentage changes or incremental improvements.
In a fast-growth or turnaround situation, aiming for perfection is not a virtue. It’s one of the biggest dangers. By the time you have reached perfection, the objective has moved (or you have run out of time or money).
This means that cookie-cutter interventions or standardised programmes don’t work – we need to focus on the essentials. We don’t do ideal solutions; we do solutions that work.
The next principle is that of leverage. The question is not “what do we need to do to achieve the objective?” but “what can we do that achieves enough of the objective with the minimum expenditure of time, money and effort?”
In situations where time and money are short and resistance is often present – which after all are most situations these days – obtaining sufficient leverage usually makes the difference between success and failure. That’s why over the years I have developed a whole methodology for finding the point of maximum leverage.
I don’t know if Mr Wolf above offers a guarantee, but I do.
Very simply, if you aren’t getting what you want, you get your money back. After the diagnostic phase we agree an overall objective with a timescale . You pay a fee monthly in advance through the project, and we agree objectives for the month. If at the end of the month you don’t feel, for whatever reason, that we have made worthwhile progress, you get that month’s money back.