As I’ve mentioned awhile ago, I’ve started working with a new client in Minneapolis. It’s among the larger clients I’ve worked with an am enjoying the experience so far. While there is transition going on, the people here are pretty good.
It’s interesting to watch a department go through an outsourcing exercise and see the effects it has on the people and productivity. I’m not saying there is a productivity issue, but I started thinking how much a company can come to rely on outside resources like consultants to solve specific, important needs.
From my perspective, the consultant, it can be a challenge to dive in and learn the needs of the client, and the interaction of the team. Of course the technology as well, but that’s easy. It’s the people that interest me and how they work together. Being involved with social media for the last year, learning the online interactions and how they develop has taught me a new perspective to view closed environments. Like the corporate workplace for example, fun stuff.
But I was going to talk about being productive. Like I said, it can be a challenge when there is little direction or oversight. Luckily I am usually in this type of position and work best when I have to motivate myself and determine how to approach a problem.
I’m finding that my work in social networking and social media has helped me with this client more than others in the past. Listening to the stories, and the history of people helps to identify how to approach each individual. They all have their ideas and views on why I’m there and to be productive with everyone, it’s important to understand those views and opinions.
I’ve been rambling a bit (sorry) and am just trying to get back in my blogging groove again. My bloggers block seems to have passed, but I’m now short on time, but I’m still going to fit in a post as time permits until I’ve got a more organized schedule set.
I am interested in anyone’s thoughts on being productive in consulting gigs. What techniques do you use to "fit in"? What tricks do you have to put the client at ease and just "talk shop" so you can get started filling their needs?