The Design
Group Blog

Sharing our thoughts and our work


Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Mar 26, 2018 6:12:00 AM

Design Group International is committed to learning and helping rather than selling and telling. Our starting point is asking questions of the client rather than urging a product or service upon them.

The core competency we bring to this is persistent iteration.

The first meaning of “iteration” is to repeat something. Dig a little deeper, however, and you find this: successive approximation. A problem-solving or computational method in which a succession of approximations, each building on the one preceding…used to achieve a desired degree of accuracy. (

Asking questions that iterate out a problem, rather than pushing for a pre-determined solution, brings two results.

  1. “You’ve helped us get clearer about what we are facing, how to approach it and who needs to be involved. Thank you! When can we start with you?”
  2. “You’ve helped us get clearer about what we are facing, how to approach it and who needs to be involved. Thank you! It helped us decide to do it ourselves/choose a provider."

The good news for us is that whether we end up serving that client or not, we are consistent with our mission, our values and our commitment to process consultation.

It also points to a general need for some marketplace education to help C-level executives understand the difference between process and product when it comes to consulting.


Process consulting is like trees that produce fruit. The use of iteration means questions get leaders, team members and consultants facing forward from within their context.


download2.jpgProduct consulting tends to clog pipelines with roots. Iteration is generally not used and the questions simply point to the volume of product (manuals, sessions, billable hours) that can be invoiced. Consultants sell and perform while leaders and team members watch. Tailoring for context costs extra. 

-mark l vincent


By the way: for clergy in southeast Wisconsin, my colleague Gerry Krupp, now guides a peer-based advising team with you in mind. DGI:LEAD. He would be happy to hear from you.


Topics: reflections


Posts by Tag

See all

Subscribe to the Mark's blog


Looking for something that isn't here? It might be in our blog archives or publication archives.