There are two types of process consulting. The first helps organizations improve on a specific process, often related to manufacturing or specific procedures. The second, to which Design Group International is so deeply committed, uses process to help organizations and their leaders discover clarity and implement solutions. We get there through two specific questions that help to illuminate the why, who, what, when, where and how of the matter:
1. What do you need to do?
2. What are you willing to do?
This puts us in a listening and describing mode before we ever start to think with the client about what else might be done, what is missing, or prescribing a set of next steps to get from where the client is to where they believe they are called to go.
On occasion, a client is so stuck, they cannot answer these key questions. In such a case, we lead them through an initial process design, a way of helping the client arrive at their answers.
A key difference between a process consultant and a product-based organizational consultant is how they work with specific, repeatable strategies that they take place to place. A product-based consultant sells their product(s) repeatedly, and their compensation is based on the sale and use of the product. A process consultant may or may not use a specific product, and may create something new or significantly adapt a specific tool for the unique need of the client.
I often describe the difference as that of purchasing a home. One family buys an existing home, adapting themselves to the uniqueness of that home. The other family works with an architect to design the home they prefer to live in. The first family purchases a product. The second family engages a process. Both families can be happy in their home, but the first family is happy only if the match ends up working nicely.
Design Group International is will acquainted with a number of product-related consultants. When a client approaches us with a problem and an apparent desire to purchase a product, we are happy to point them in the direction of a reputable firm that will help them. For us, "It (the solution the client seeks) begins with design.