A typical day has changed quite a bit throughout the pandemic, as has everyone else’s! But it can depends where we are with the client.
We have a daily call-in/catch-up every morning with everyone else on the team. In fact, the business consultant might be working by themselves, especially in the first couple of weeks. So on any given day, I’m planning for any investigations, scheduled meetings. I remind myself what the area is, what specific questions I’ve got about the current status. But I’ll also give thought to who is attending these meetings – what things they might throw at me, what kinds of personalities are involved. So it’s not only the ‘what’, but the ‘who’. If you’ve only got an hours, there might be people to whom you’ve got to prove yourself very quickly.
So that’s for investigation sessions. Another day might be “right, I’ve been here for a week, ten days. Let me pull together all the key things I’ve heard and start to shape what I think this project might look like, where I want to go next.” So that’s time when I switch my phone off, I switch Slack off and get those thoughts together. Because having thinking time can be a bit of a challenge.
Another thing I might be doing is gathering together my key finding and preparing a report, or a presentation pack of my key themes. Again, that’s where you’re thinking to yourself “what are the key points I need to get across? What is the audience?” Just producing that output is critically important. You need time to think about how you’re going to be presenting this information. You don’t have a lot of time, and you don’t want to be telling them things they already know. They’re paying for my ideas, my thoughts. So you very quickly need to get into what exactly it is you are going to do. You can even go as far as to plotting actions onto a visual ‘roadmap’ to show you’ve given consideration to the next phase. That’s where business change insights come in – ensuring you deliver success quickly – “what could we do easily” might solve some problems right now, and then going through to the longer-term actions. So it’s really all about trying to shape that programme of work.