Foundational Principles for Consultants: Part 2

By Katlyn Wilbanks

Katlyn Wilbanks joined Fuel in October 2017. Previously, she worked with Ideen, LLC, which was owned by Fuel's CMO, Dr. Lisa Witzig. Katlyn specializes in strategic planning and communications.

I have three years of consulting experience — I'm a newbie compared to most of my counterparts at Fuel who are contributing to this series. Nevertheless, I have learned several important lessons so far, and I’m sharing some with you here. Enjoy Part 2 of 2. (Miss Part 1? Read it here.)

Don't leave your lessons learned in a buried file.

Lessons learned are meant to be used in the future, not accidentally hidden and never recovered.

Example: A company spends almost a week after a project closes debriefing. A similar project comes up a year later, and lessons learned would be helpful. The documents were printed and then recycled, and the computer they were on was wiped. Oops.

Give people the resources they need to do their jobs.

When I talk to an organization’s employees, a common difficulty they describe is that they enjoy their jobs but feel overworked and don't rest enough. The other most common obstacle I hear is that people say they don't have access to what they need to do their jobs. Sometimes those resources are tangible, but many times they are intangible.

Example: Employees complain a system they use is frustrating and greatly slows their productivity. Upgrading the system would provide a great return on investment, but it isn't funded.

Never underestimate the value of a copy editor or a good writer.

I have been working with Fuel’s lead editor, Monica, since 2015. When I started in consulting, I nicknamed her “Monica with the magic words.” When I struggle to communicate something, Monica helps me make it clearer. Her editing and proofreading keep me from confusing people and appearing unintelligent. Our relationship makes it easy to ask for help, and our output is better because of our collaboration.

Example: People read my blogs and respect me in part because of Monica’s edits. Go find a Monica, and don't publish anything without your Monica reviewing it! You will learn from your solid relationship with your editor, and a second set of eyes (or third or fourth) is worth the time and the cost.

This post is part of a series of consulting tips brought to you by Fuel’s own consultants. Want more? Peruse our blog, and follow us on Twitter.

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