Fruhling's Immutable Innovation Consulting Rules

Monday, 27 January 2014 06:33
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Finally, after years of personal empirical data collection and interviews with myriad experts and practitioners comes Fruhling's Immutable Innovation Consulting Rules. The thing that makes them especially valuable is that they apply to every conceivable situation, with no exceptions...ever! Yes, remarkable indeed.

Curious to learn more? Read on, dear friends...

Fruhling's Immutable Innovation Consulting Rules

I would prefer to call the following set of rules "laws", except some wet blanket out there will invariably conjure some vague and unlikely situation where a particular rule might not apply. You know what I have to say to him? "The heck with you!" The rest of you can treat the following as if it came from the lips of Charlton Heston wearing a Hollywood beard and carrying some stone tablets. These rules apply equally to corporate "internal open innovation consultants" as to independent ones. Enjoy.

Rule 1:
Always keep your promises. Your client doesn't want to hear your excuses. They have placed their trust (and invested resources) in you, and often make commitments to others based upon your promises. If some isolated act of God (e.g. The Red Sea does some crazy shit) happens that adversely impacts timing, grown ups can deal with that. Otherwise, just do it.

Rule 2:
Always be honest about your capabilities and deliverables and manage risk responsibly. Many consulting engagements carry a certain amount of uncertainty and risk with them. If the client could (or chose to) do the work without enlisting you, they would have done so. This means that the consultant should always be honest with clients about success prospects. Don't think short term and overpromise to earn a gig, and then under deliver. On the other hand, no one is expecting you to be absurdly conservative. Just be honest.

Rule 3:
Always cover your client's back. Your job is to help your client look like a hero. Where possible, don't allow your client to put him/herself into situations where they could look bad. Learn what you can about what they're requesting of you and how the deliverables will be used. Anticipate possible issues and work with your client to preempt these. Be as thorough as possible.

Rule 4:
Never work for a client on a speculative basis. Any client who games you into a "trial" unpaid engagement with the potential for a future paid gig is taking advantage of you. Any client unwilling to commit funds to your efforts doesn't value the deliverables, you, or both. You can learn a lot about the relative importance of a given corporate initiative by the resources committed to support it.

Rule 5:
Never bad mouth a client to others. This is common sense. Whether your client is a prince/princess or a clown/clowness, show them the respect of being discreet. If you can't, what does this say about you?

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