Is it my USP that makes the customer choose me? Or is it my references that will convince him that I’ll be the right change consultant for his organization? If not those, then maybe it’s my years of experience, the industries I’ve worked in or my publications?

It’s actually none of these. There are hundreds of change consultants specialized in the same field. And we are probably all working with the same professionalism and passion. Some change consultants will have more impressive work experience or have worked for bigger companies than me. So why does a customer decide on me?

To quote my ballet teacher: “There’s always a dancer jumping higher or spinning more pirouettes.”

The same thing applies to me as a change consultant. Why do I decide to work with a particular customer? There is always more than one customer. There are always several companies offering an interesting project or great working conditions.

So how do we choose a customer or change consultant to work with?

Speaking with over 20 years of experience and having started aged 29 with no references, experience or publications at all – there seems to be just one common reason why a customer opts for a certain change consultant. TRUST.

Every time I get a project, I ask my customer why they have chosen me to consult for them. They tell me that there are certain questions they want to have answered. All of them come back to the question of TRUST.

 TRUST – the customer’s questions:

  1. Do I trust that my concerns, questions and wishes will be properly considered by the change consultant?
  2. Do I trust that I will be given advice and recommendations uniquely beneficial for my organization?
  3. Do I trust that this change consultant is capable of managing the change process in my organization? Will this person lead it to success?

And just like my customers, I also have questions around TRUST.

TRUST – the change consultant’s questions:

  1. Can I trust that this change process is really beneficial for the whole organization and not just a few stakeholders?
  2. Can I trust that the customer will provide all the necessary information and support to enable me to deliver results in line with the goals of the change process?
  3. Can I trust that the customer will be transparent in dealing with me?

TRUST – the foundations

A change process is a serious matter. Both employees and the organization depend on the outcome of the change process. Customer and change consultant work closely together. Therefore, trust is the foundation for successful cooperation but more importantly, it’s the one main factor for a successful change process.

What appears to create TRUST? My customers’ words

  • “…Professionally designing and preparing all activities with her was really hard work…”
  • “Collaboration with Carole Maleh … is very exhausting! Why? Because one is forced to systematically analyze the initial situation, to find mistakes or is made aware of flaws which one has not seen before or did not want to see. This solid and stringent procedure…“
  • “…fabulous impression to even the most hard-hitting management by being clear and result- and fact-oriented…”
  • “…analytical view for the numerous parts of a process, also for the hidden ones….”
  • “…Carole Maleh would rather lose a contract than lose sight of the customer’s benefit.”
  • “…Empathetic and at the same time, challenging…”

Those voices speak of hard work, challenges and exhaustion. It’s probably true that working with me is hard work. And I think that working on any change process always involves challenges and uncomfortable situations.

But what I insist on is that the customer can TRUST that the change process will always be for the benefit of their organization.

Grateful and much looking forward hearing from you

Yours, Carole

Carole Maleh 2018 1

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