Many consulting firms rely on a similar formula to help organizations make positive change. However, that formula, which may focus on tools, skills or performance, can't ensure that changes implemented won't evaporate the minute the consultants leave. Evolve was founded on an idea that the only way to create sustainable change is to focus on building organizational capability. The best way to do this is to create experiences where people can learn how to do that for themselves.
One of our senior Client Partners, Martin Thompson, has had genuine success imbuing clients with a passion to learn new ways of working, and helping them to make those changes repeatable and sustainable. We asked Martin to share with us his perspective on what makes Evolve different from other consulting firms.
How do you think Evolve is different?
I have worked for a number of different operational improvement consulting firms over the years and that experience has made it clear to me that none of those firms did business in the same way as Evolve. Other firms certainly engaged client work teams, but they didn't have the ability or expectation to coach leaders to higher levels of understanding, and to change their style and perception of leadership. Evolve really challenges clients to think about what they must do differently to effectively lead people.
How do clients distinguish Evolve when so many consultants have similar messages?
My experience is that most consultants' definition of "implementation" includes giving you the schedule, telling you what you need to do and when you need to do it, and then following up with you to be sure you've done it. It's not focused on capability development or stimulating intellect. Much of what Evolve does includes engaging people's minds to change their underlying beliefs in what is possible. We help people see that changing those underlying beliefs is what ultimately changes the organization. That's very different from someone asking, "did you do that yet?". I've had clients come to me and say that they were skeptical based on their prior experience with consultants. However, they see that it worked with Evolve because they see the results for themselves. They say, "you let us construct our own future. We never had the opportunity to do that and never thought we would." Evolve didn't come in and hand us the planning and scheduling process and then tell us how we should do it. We helped them construct it organically, using common models and language to coach them, making it sustainable and repeatable.
You’ve said that it’s hard for clients to find Evolve consultants in the office. What do you mean?
Because of our focus on experiential learning, you won't regularly find our people sitting at our desks looking at our computers. We are interventionists. We specifically create opportunities for people to do things differently through organically crafted interventions to move people toward their vision. Whether it's facilitating a workshop, supporting a team with a new meeting or coaching a manager to have a difficult one-on-one conversation with an employee, we create interventions that get people out of their comfort zone and allow them to practice a skill and improve upon it, so they can master it now and continue to get better into the future.
What separates Evolve from other consultants is that it's not about us; it's about the clients. With other firms, it's often about the consultants seeing themselves as the heroes there to save the day. If it's about me, I will never build the capability in others. We are not heroes; we are enablers.