Let’s start with some facts. Then trends. Then implementable solutions.
- Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 as a revolutionary device
- By 2016 an estimated 650 million tablets will have been sold globally. Pretty revolutionary, huh?
- In a 2012 poll by CDW, tablet users averaged 2.1 hours per day and gained 1.1 hours of productivity
- In that poll, 84% of employees said that the tablet made them better multi-taskers
- There are over 1 million apps available for download
- There are more mobile devices in the world than there are toilets. (What does that fact say about our needs for hygiene and connection?)
- Most digital natives (born after 1980) sleep with their phones
- There are more tablets and mobile devices than desktop devices, used globally
- Most information workers view 2-3 screens concurrently. An example in marketing: the television screen, the laptop screen, and the mobile third device. An example in finance: two laptop screens and the mobile third device.
- App usage is growing faster than web portal use, as workers apply technology to customers and clients in new ways
- Employers tolerate a BYOD approach (bring your own device) despite concerns about security, branding, and productivity
Solutions for your business include:
- Blended use of technology/virtual learning and direct/synchronous training. Virtual training is less expensive, but not adopted. Blended use of technology and direct training can increase engagement, productivity, and retention. See one example here. I use blended learning solutions for most action learning programs. Imagine a team of 4-7 people in different locations who need to collaborate. They typically do not even know one another. Action Learning programs require that they assess the problem/case study/ client need, then share resources, then ask questions to develop solutions, then apply those solutions to save money or make money. Recently, I have developed mobile apps that supplement business development workshops between siloed divisions. Monthly workshops, combined with direct and virtual meetings, and action learning apps force people to work together.
- Smart adoption of technology will increase mobility and security. Examples include Dropbox, a cloud storage service that syncs data can be accessed from any devices. You no longer need a secure VPN (virtual private network) access or dial in to a server. Your security is guaranteed. Consequently, when I travel to a client’s location I use Dropbox to access all of my digital content and provide tremendous value to any client, in their office, in the moment. Client delight is a reality, not a goal.
- Collaboration tools will enable multiple workers and stakeholders to develop solutions. One example is GoToMeeting, a web meeting tool with audio and video conferencing. You can access from any device, using a code. Then you can see who is talking, share screens for collaborative work, record meetings for future reference. I use this tool when reviewing documents or developing presentation materials with clients in multiple locations. And I use GoToMeeting for team coaching and action learning programs.
Most importantly, how are you using tablets and apps to increase your business?
If you need ideas, contact us now. If you have a great example, contact us now. If you want to work together, contact us now.
Since 1997 I have been a consultant. Rates are described here.
There are two types of consultants: 1. those who make money and 2. those who do not make money. To explain in detail, consider the story (perhaps familiar) of Rich Dad and Poor Dad. Then add new titles such as Agile Consultant and Rigid Counselor.
Here is a quick story: Imagine that you have two mentors. One is Rich in material ways, and he regularly provides value to others. He gives implementable solutions, real advice, and teaches others the process of success. He is regarded as an expert in a community of his peers, and he charges a reasonable fee for providing solutions that endure. He explores transformative change using questions. He is agile. His clients and friends regularly call him after hours to exchange ideas. The other dad is Poor in material ways, and may not know why. He charges by the hour and has a transactional view of others. He tries to sell solutions or products. He shifts from project to prospect to possibility with the winds. He rarely trusts others, has few operating agreements or partnerships, and may have material debt. He is rigid in his thinking. He tells others what to do. He may think he is the smartest person in the discussion.
Where are you? Agile Consultant/Rich: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rigid Counselor/Poor:
- Provide process and implementable solutions
- Provide tremendous value and charge accordingly
- Share best-in-class solutions that are practical and actionable
- Be a great performer
- Learn from the best experts
I have had two coaches for the past 7 years. One was born in another country and we have never met. They both help me be an agile consultant.
What do you need to make money in consulting?
I have recently developed this 3-part formula for success. Let me know what you think.
Draw an equilateral triangle. Label each corner “Action”, “Learning”, and “Service.” Place a dot in the center.
1. Actions define successful businesses. Founders and anyone cited in a history book have one trait in common: an obsessive focus on action. Score yourself 1 (low) to 10 (high) on the question “How action oriented am I?” If you are unsure, focus on actual results, rather than intentions.
2. Learning leads to failure, and failures lead to success. I track “Learnings” in digital folders and update them regularly. I regularly attend conferences and take on projects so that I can fail, faster. Yesterday I had lunch with a consultant who repeated the same points I heard him make 12 months ago. He is not learning much. I cut the lunch short and moved on. Score yourself 1 (low) to 10 (high) on the question, “How much am I learning?” Learning is a messy process. If you are not tracking your learning, you are probably repeating ineffective old patterns.
3. Service is a measure of your relationship with others. Humans are social animals. We yearn for relationships. We exist to serve others- clients, loved ones, communities, goals… The most impact-ful businesses track user engagement. The best nonprofits, like Rotary, reward service above self. Score yourself 1 (low) to 10 (high) on the question, “How well am I serving others?” If you are unsure, ask your clients or loved ones. Or solicit more clients.
Now place your scores on the triangle you created. Use the dot to represent 1 (low) and let the corners represent 10 (high.)
What do you notice when you study your self-assessment triangle?
Where do you need to invest energy and resources?
Who can help you develop ?
You may know that action learning is a methodology, using cross functional teams of 4-8 people to solve a key problem. They are tasked with breakthrough, and with a short deadline such as 6 months. They require executive sponsorship and some resources. But the action learning process is a small investment with proven ROI.
In Europe and Australia, the Action Learning methodology is thriving. In the U.S. there is less adoption. One reason for that lagging adoption may be the fact that the business environment does not encourage accountability between cross functional teams. Yet.
We provide individual and team accountability.
How are you planning to share this Action + Learning + Service = Success Formula with others?
Please call me with your stories!
Here is a sample image to get you started: ALServiceFormula
Did you know that over 90% of apps are downloaded once, then not used again? That fact bothers me.
We have technology that enables us to BUILD relationships. Look at the use of Linked In and internal social sites for business development. Look at our ability to schedule tasks, and calendar priorities, and key performance indicators… However, lazy people complain about the accountability of Salesforce or any Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Or they may complain that investing in technology is like investing in a money black hole, where the value is indistinct and endless. That fear bothers me.
We use technology to build relationships.
Image of apps on any device with a browser
Last week I met with2 attorneys tasked with generating $1.5MM annually for their firm. They stated, “The #1 priority for us is business development. We talk about cross-selling. But we rarely do it.” Like any firm with specialized skills, they track billable time (BT) and working time (WT).
I asked, “How valuable would it be for you to develop new business with your existing clients in other practice groups throughout the firm?”
They said, “Invaluable. If you can help us develop new business you will solve a massive problem.”
During lunch, I shared an app that I had created for them. They downloaded it immediately. Their comments were like popcorn: “This is a no brainer. We can start with our practice group. Imagine monthly business development workshops at the larger offices. Teams of 3-4 pay $100 to play for the day in a business development contest. Each team member must be in a different practice group. Corporate finance will be forced to talk with real estate, or environmental, or product liability. Those teams will upload content throughout the day. And answer questions based on a client case study. And populate or CRM system on Sharepoint. And then at 4:00 we will score the teams on a question like “Which of these teams is most likely to generate new business for our firm?” Recurring monthly business development workshops. Facilitators in the conference room for scheduled BD sessions. Technology designed to build relationships.”
What is the value to you and your company? $500,000 in new services? $1MM? More?
We provide business development consulting expertise, and customized technology that forces your team to use technology to build relationships.
Why wait? Call us today at 704.895.6479.