When you’re hurt, your body knows that something’s wrong. Your body signals that there’s pain, but you can’t interpret the cause on your own. Sometimes, you need an expert with the right tools and training to evaluate your condition and recommend the proper course of treatment.
When a business executive seeks external thought leadership, it’s driven by pain in a similar manner. Something’s not right within their organization, but they lack the internal skills, experience, or availability to properly discover and treat the ailment. To solve these kinds of problems, the executive must eventually look outside their organization — they cannot internally diagnose the root cause. They need expert analysis and decision-making from a knowledgeable and objective outsider in the same way a sick patient needs a doctor.
The first step toward helping your client is knowing what’s wrong.
An enterprise-ready thought leader must be able to analyze a corporation’s troubles if they are to help solve their most difficult problems. But an organizational diagnostic is only as strong as the tools used to make the analysis.
Experts must possess a set of diagnostic tools which have been thoughtfully created and validated. These tools should originate from your content and provide a dashboard with which to evaluate any organization. Where are the strengths they can leverage? Which symptoms are appearing? What opportunities are there for improvement? Your diagnostic tools should identify issues you can address, and importantly, also discover those outside your expertise – to help you identify (and avoid) surprises. Your tools should span the spectrum from quantitative to qualitative.
When we’re in a hospital exam room, the doctors and nurses actively shape our experience. They’re constantly signaling that they have the necessary expertise through their words and actions. Similarly, when you and your team conduct a diagnostic for a client, you want to instill confidence. Corporate executives routinely work with external consultants and vendors. To impress them, you must navigate the diagnostic process with fluency: from kickoff calls, logistics, and scheduling, to on-sites, report preparation, and final delivery.
Diagnostics are more than a consulting technique; they are a major part of the organizational development process.
They need to be scientific, evidence-based, and provide a snapshot of the organization’s state that can be used to streamline operations, develop strategies, and stimulate growth. When performed properly, the diagnostic process allows you to assess an organization’s problems, identify the root causes, and prescribe interventions to solve those problems. And that provides you with more work, more opportunities to help your client, and more solutions.
Ready? Set? The doctor – I mean Thought Leadership Leverage – is in!