Consultants today are expected to be strategic in their communication, innovative in their thinking and authentic in managing the client relationship. In this course,...More >>
Consultants today are expected to be strategic in their communication, innovative in their thinking and authentic in managing the client relationship. In this course, students will work on real client engagements for both profit and non-profit companies. You will be expected to engage with clients by:
â€“ Listening to their needs, problems and/or issues
â€“ Collaborating with their selected staff and possible consumers on existing or newly defined projects
â€“ Brainstorming new approaches to their business or analyzing existing strategies that could be more effective
â€“ Communicating your insights to appropriate decision-making executives in the firm.
The course is delivered as if you were working for a consulting company. Being able to think innovatively is especially important to becoming a successful consultant.
This semester, we have added a systematic focus on using innovative thinking techniques for business, including design thinking, biomimicry, business ethnography, current neuroscience research findings, rapid prototyping and more. These different techniques, applied to your consulting engagements, will provide you with a toolbox of techniques to help you succeed in the uber-competitive, fast-changing, and constantly challenging world of consulting.
This course will include fieldwork, managing communication touch points with the clients, developing and testing innovative approaches to client needs and issues, and delivering results and recommendations to the clients at the end of the process. In the past, participants in the class have worked with clients from a broad range of organizations: a long-established toy manufacturer looking for a way to re-engineer the business, a restaurant focused on understanding their customers, a start-up venture trying to decide on a "for profit" or not-for-profit business, a power company needing a better customer relationship management program, a small chocolate company in need of a business plan, and more.
Your assignments will require participation starting with the initial client meeting, through data collection and finally presenting to the client. While the course experience will entail considerable field work, students will be supported by:
â€“ A team of undergraduate business students that you will manage; no other course gives you hands on management experience.
â€“ Class work that focuses on the communication tools in a typical consulting contract.
â€“ In class exercises to assess your skills and apply techniques for improving activities such as conducting interviews, facilitating meetings, building consensus and presenting recommendations.
This course will examine the two most demanding aspects of any profession today: effective communication and innovative thinking.