I had a terrific experience with a new client this morning. We had met only once before to discuss the opportunities of working together. I had been referred to this company by a client of mine. Our first discussion was great and we talked about different ways that we could improve results and reduce risk.
We met again this morning and agreed to move forward. Our meeting this morning was such a pleasure–not just because it was a new client with an exciting project to work on, but also because of the way it happened. We started the meeting by catching up, then reviewing the proposals that I had submitted. Once it was clear that we were going to move forward on one of the proposals, we immediately began discussing a plan of action to get effective results quickly. When the meeting ended, we had a clear plan, a timeline and a signed agreement to move forward. The best part about this was that the whole meeting took less than 30 minutes.
Why do I tell you about this? Because it is a pleasure working with someone who knows what they want, but also recognizes that hiring an expert means clearing the path to let the expert do his or her work. We did not discuss roadblocks or approval flows or barriers to success. We talked about getting started immediately and that whatever support was required, would be there (including access to the CEO if needed). This is the way strategic projects should work. Decide on the desired outcomes and let the experts decide on how to achieve those outcomes, then clear the path so that success is expected, not hoped for.
Not only was it a great way to start the week, but it is a great way to start the relationship. Focus on the priorities, let the experts do their work and get effective results quickly. That is how organizations improve.