Anubhav on... personal development
In the last month, I spent most of my time talking to clients and understanding their concerns. There were occasions when we had to challenge their business decisions, and force them to think differently about some issues.
This tied in very well with the theme of this quarter’s ‘away afternoon’. Once every three months, we head out of the office for an afternoon to discuss ways to improve ourselves, both individually and as a team. Last month’s edition was in a different format; in small teams, we had to face a mock client and pitch for a project.
My colleague Brendan and I had about twenty minutes to prepare for a meeting with a ‘client’. The ‘client’ was looking for advice from ‘economic advisers’. Our ‘brief’ told us a little bit about the company, and that the ‘client’ was an Arsenal fan. Not much to build on.
Brendan, who joined our team a few months back, had previously worked with competition authorities in Canada. He volunteered to be the industry expert, and I chose to be the expert in competition and regulatory issues.
With ten minutes of preparation (and a plan), we walked into our first meeting. The ‘client’ told us about their concerns, and we convinced them that hiring us as consultants was a very good idea. We spoke about what we do well, who we work with and why Arsenal might do well in the next season. We then went into the problem that our client was facing, and spoke about how we would approach this particular problem, what issues we had encountered previously when dealing with similar cases, and also the knotty issue of fees.
After the meeting, we went back to our break out rooms, where we got feedback from the Director (who was observing) and the ‘clients’ and senior members of the team shared tips and anecdotes. We got some good practice in realistic conditions and got to explore our individual strengths and weaknesses.
At the risk of sounding clichéd, the best way to learn something is to have a go at doing it. This mock exercise forced us to do exactly that.
On the business side of things, there are a few exciting projects starting in the next few days; more on that next month.
Until then, good bye!