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ENGAGEMENT MODEL

Navigating to better Results

Coach

Training people and giving professional advice to make better decisions.

Consult

Developing effective solutions that  improve processes and systems.

Command

Leading the team to deploy strategy and implement performance improvements.

Mode of Influence

For the projects we engage in, we understand the challenges because we have done it before. In addition to earning academic degrees in engineering, science, or business administration, we have worked extensively in industry, primarily in management functions, prior to moving to consulting. Thanks to our industry-specific and specialized knowledge, we are competent coaches for our clients and are also readily accepted by their staff to lead them through the critical change process.

Being a Navigator is not where we started out but our chosen second career. We are engineers, scientists, and business administrators by training, and independent consultants by choice. We are passionate about what we do, thrive on change and enjoy solving complex problems that bring our clients to the next level. Our role follows the identified need, acting as coach, consultant, or change agent – building certified capability in training seminars and boot camps, providing insights and developing solutions, and also leading the implementation until results are achieved, and skills and systems are in place to sustain them.

Coach

In the role of a coach we provide our clients with training and coaching assistance, building strategic capability and helping them make better educated decisions.

Consultant

In the role of a consultant we help our clients develop effective solutions, eliminating constraints and inefficiencies in processes and systems.

Change Agent

In the role of an interim manager we act as change agent, helping our clients deploy strategy and bring performance in line with expectations.

Point of Control

The improvement program can be internally controlled by you the client, delegated to an external party like us, or shared between both parties. The latter option requires the most upfront work to clearly define scope, roles and responsibilities to ensure that both parties work hand-in-hand rather than stepping on each other’s toes.

Internal

When the client steers the engagement, the assumption is that new knowledge will modify behaviors and deliver better results. By offering information about trend, impact, and consequences of not acting, people are willing to try new ways. The internal control works well for bottom-up improvement programs, when the desired change does not depend on a directive or an external process. An example is trend-analysis that leads to internal restructuring.

Shared

When sharing the control between client and consultant, the assumption is that jointly developed solutions will lead to better results. When co-leading the transition, success depends on a clear direction, level of buy-in, and solid alignment between both parties. Shared control is effective when senior management leads the implementation supported by an expert. Typical examples are developing a new organizational structure or updating a business model.

External

When full control is given to the the external party, the assumption is that people are willing to adapt and modify their behavior by following a clear direction. The risk is, when providing a directive, people comply under pressure while their fundamental believe remain unchanged. External control is effective approach when the deadline is near, rapid change or strict consequence management is required, such as in turnaround situations to bring performance back on track.

Level of Control

The level of control given to the external party like us depends on the situation and the desired impact. Most engagements however require different levels of control at different stages of the project. The delivery of sustainable value through change involves introducing and sustaining multiple policies, practices and procedures across multiple units and levels. So one engagement might start with a command action by the consultant, be followed by a round of education interventions to help train stakeholders; a series of nudge processes to stimulate action; and finally an agreement with the staff associations to open the door for movement. Key is to develop a cohesive and coherent change strategy that will help realize sustainable value and not the knee jerk change that delivers short term fixes but long term decay.

Listening

The consultant listens and shows understanding for the potential problem and provides a recommendation. This approach gives people all the time and space they need to decide whatever is right for them. But freedom of choice induces stress to find the right path, so that most people find it more gratifying to select from a smaller menu of selected options with a clear path plotted on how to become more successful. The listening style is mainly used by psychologists to analyze behavior and study culture.

Advice

The consultant helps in the analysis and provides advice to managers making the decision. This is primarily an education intervention where the role of consultant is to help people understand what is happening, what is coming, and how it might impact them. It allows people to accept or reject the recommendation with the risk of engaging into endless discussions without any real action. The guidance style is effective when people need specialist knowledge to understand and commit, such as for a pre-merger analysis or a business process redesign.

Nudge

The consultant helps people to understand, encouraging people try new things and getting key people involved so others will follow. The nudge creates change through presence. It leaves a large degree of control with the individual but there is an indirect push by management toward a specific outcome. Risk is getting people really irritated from the indirect approach and semi-soft actions, provoking a backlash. The nudge is often used when internal action is not appropriate, such as downsizing over time because a full-blown redundancy program (step-change) is not feasible.

Helm

Authority and most decisions are delegated to the consultant who retains significant authority over the direction of the project. It offers the benefit of including others in the change process, helping quick learners develop the skills towards independence. However, uncertainties from a shared directive make it less clear on who is in charge, while some managers can become resentful because of limited control. To be successful, the helm requires roles and responsibilities (RASCI) to be clearly defined so that everyone will find his or her place in the transition. The helm style is often the preferred choice when implementing new method, software, or system.

Command

The consultant or interim manager owns the process and has full control over resources, while the client is fully dependent on the external leader. The command process offers speed, simplicity, and autonomy to get things done, but it can scare people and make them feel powerless. The command is successful when the consultant takes full control while coaching individuals. A typical application is when the internal capability is insufficient to achieve the desired results, such as in turnaround situations.