Companies, to improve efficiency and profitability, hire management consultants to identify problems and recommend solutions. Management consultants have to be accomplished analysts, attentive listeners, and firm but tactful communicators. They are thinkers and problem solvers who know how to convince others that change is needed.
Our Rules of Engagement guide our relationships with clients and partners. They ensure that our work reflects our mission and does not compromise our values. They are the basis for building a shared understanding both of what we do and what we are working towards. They are essential to our independence and integrity.
Our first visit to prospective clients is without charge or obligation. This gives us the opportunity to understand our client’s needs and to make an assessment of how we would undertake the project. This first visit also gives the prospective client the opportunity to meet us and feel comfortable knowing we have their interests foremost in our minds. An important part of the first visit is to explore issues and understand the underlying causes.
After Our First Visit – The first meeting is followed up by a letter and/or proposal setting out our understanding of the objectives of the project, the steps we plan to take, our estimate of the time required, the cost and proposed starting and completion dates.
We aim to break each project down into stages that can be reviewed with prospective clients. These stages enable clients to assess progress and feel in control of the project. The recommendations we make are practical, suitable and carefully prepared. We have found that the most technically advanced or complex solution may not necessarily be the most appropriate. We will never undertake projects unless we are confident of completing them successfully. In addition we do not make recommendations that we are not prepared to implement ourselves.
We follow specific guidelines when dealing with clients. These are:
1. Follow the top management approach:
We find and solve the most critical and challenging problems. We take an overall, independent, and fact-based view of a client’s performance requirements. We rely on scientific facts because they provide clarity and align people, processes and systems. We work with research based facts to provide credible recommendations. We work directly with leaders who can partner with us to develop and accept recommendations and have the ability to implement them.
2. Use our network to deliver the best of the consultancy to all clients:
No one at Next Generation Consultants “owns” a client relationship. We rely on multiple people, not a single consultant or a single office, to provide leadership and our high standard of client service in each situation. We draw on our extended network of internal or external expertise to bring together the right minds for the right solutions. Not only do we constantly benchmark our own work, but subject all our work to continuous peer review. We also guarantee our work and are very proud of the standard, quality, effectiveness, efficiency and results we deliver.
3. Bring innovations in management practice to clients:
Our clients need new insight. We ask our consultants to bring their best thinking to our clients. We invest significant resources in building knowledge. We see it as our mission to bring this knowledge to our clients and we publish it for the benefit of business and government leaders worldwide and to force ourselves to think about what is next.
4. Build client capabilities to sustain improvement:
We work with our clients as we do with our colleagues. We build their capabilities and leadership skills at every level and every opportunity. We do this to help build internal support, get to real issues, and reach practical recommendations. We bring out the capabilities of clients to fully participate in the process and lead the work after we have left.
5. Build enduring relationships based on trust:
We earn our clients’ trust. We do this through our consistently superior service, our professional conduct, our extensive and specialist knowledge and our complete commitment. Each one of us is responsible for earning and keeping our clients’ trust with our individual behavior and the quality of our work. We care for our clients as people and organisations, even when we are not serving them. We believe we will be successful if our clients are successful.
6. Only serious players:
We only work with clients and partners we believe are genuinely serious, both in their intent and in their capacity to work with external consultants.
7. Independence non-negotiable:
We are professional, but not neutral – and our independence is central to the roles we play. We strive to ensure that we are never compromised in our actions and in what we can say to clients and partners. Our integrity and independence are fundamental to achieving our mission and providing real value to our clients. We tell the truth as we see it based on our extensive research. We stay independent and able to disagree, regardless of the popularity of our views or their effect on our fees. We have the courage to invent and champion unconventional solutions to problems. We do this to help build internal support, get to real issues, and reach practical recommendations.
We bill based on time or based on a project fee, depending on a client’s needs and the project at hand. Many of the clients that we have worked with for a while – often for five years or more – know that we do good work fast, and so prefer the flexibility and transparency of time based billing. Others prefer the predictability of a project fee. Either way, we are obsessed with delivering great quality at a fair price to our clients.
9. Creating value:
Our approach is to help clients build capacity and expertise internally. No long term commitments required, no built in dependencies created. We deliver the best of our firm to every client as cost effectively as we can. We expect that our consultants spend clients’ and our firm’s resources as if their own resources were at stake.
We don’t reveal sensitive information. We don’t promote our own good work. We focus on making our clients successful. We work with many companies that are well known, but you don’t see their names all over this website. Why? Much of our work is sensitive and confidential. We place a high priority on supporting our clients, and won’t use them for marketing purposes without their expressed approval.
11. Conflict of interest:
If we become aware of any potential conflict of interest, we will immediately advise our client to ensure an appropriate resolution. Our independent analysis and judgment sets us apart. We work very hard to protect that reputation. We put the client’s interest ahead of our own – this means we deliver more value than expected. It doesn’t mean doing whatever the client asks.