What are clients afraid of when they invite consultants and plan to do a transformation?

What are clients afraid of when they invite consultants and plan to do a transformation?

The Author:
Alyona Lubchak
Alyona Lubchak,
SAFe program consultant

Currently, we are in an active negotiation period in E5 for the launch of new transformations. Some have already begun, while others are in the process of searching for a format of cooperation.
It’s very interesting to observe the concerns of colleagues regarding the involvement of consultants and the implementation of transformations. So we have gathered the most popular ones:

You will fire everyone

Surprisingly, such a fear exists. Of course, it is rarely expressed directly to the face. More often, people try to clarify our plans and who is on our mythical list to be fired by asking indirect questions. Often, this fear is not only in people who think they may be fired but also in CEOs/managers. They are afraid that consultants will put them in a situation where they have to fire everyone and hire a new team.

Let’s be honest, firing everyone and hiring a new team is equivalent to destroying the company. After all, a company is primarily made up of people. Therefore, such radical methods are very carefully considered, and the consequences are always calculated. In practice, it is very rarely and limitedly used: only a very limited number of people are laid off. We don’t fire people immediately, but always try to first understand their value, whether we can redistribute responsibilities, teach new skills, or bring in those who are lacking. We also offer alternative roles within the company. Only if none of the above works, do we then consider ending the partnership.

“You’ll break everything”

If you have invited professionals, their professional level simply does not allow them to break what works well. But have you ever invited consultants if everything really worked well? Of course, there will be a decrease in productivity. Because any changes require time and effort. Remember how you learned a foreign language. At first, the speed at which you spoke the language was much slower than your native language. But when you had mastered the new language, you could solve many more tasks.
Usually, we analyze the specifics of the business, its features, and culture in great detail with our team, to understand what works and what doesn’t work from the perspective of the set goals. This allows us to make improvements to the existing system, rather than going down the path of “throwing everything out and starting from scratch.”

“There are no issues, everything works fine”

If everything was going right, the company would have achieved its goals and wouldn’t have engaged us as consultants. Therefore, if the involvement of consultants and the tasks assigned to them came as a surprise to you, it’s a symptom that you are out of touch with the company’s current priorities. In such a case, our advice would be to quickly get involved in solving the company’s current tasks and to assist in finding a solution that works, rather than arguing that there are no problems.

“Well, there may be a problem in the company, but it’s all their fault, we’re all good here”

Test your hypothesis that everything is fine with your department. At a minimum, ask your key stakeholders and business departments if they are satisfied with the work of your department. You’ll be surprised by the answers. If you receive positive feedback and have confirmation that everything is indeed fine, then look at the problem more broadly: is it relevant to your company, of which you are a part? How can you help solve it? Join the working group!

“I’ve been telling them this for a long time, but they don’t listen to me!”

And here we have to be honest with ourselves. If you have been saying something for a long time and no one is listening, then your area for improvement is probably the ability to find like-minded colleagues, negotiate with other colleagues, and promote your ideas. The easiest thing to do is to say something once, not be heard, get upset, and not even try anymore. More constructively, it’s about continuing to “push” your solution. Take advantage of the opportunity! If the company’s priorities are currently aligned with the tasks for which you already have ideas, join the working groups and finally implement them.

If your company needs to transform or build effective processes, but you don’t know where to start just contact us – [email protected] or choose a time for a free consultation: