Of course, problem solving requires finding the right solution to the right problem. Often the attempt fails, motivated more by a lack of vision that leads to solving the wrong problem and not so much because you get the wrong solution to the right problem.

The role of brand consultants is to solve problems or find the right questions that allow us to respond effectively to the problems that are presented to us. A good consultant doesn’t stop at a linear resolution of a problem, but challenges all the assumptions and limitations surrounding the problem. In this process, asking the right questions is much more important than having all the answers.

On many occasions it happens that the problem presented by the client is not the problem itself, it is a mere symptom and he is simply asking the wrong question, although he is not aware of it. It is easy for your situation from within the company to lead you to obtain a very constrained vision, and it is the consultant’s job to provide an external vision that broadens the focus and makes you understand that the problem you detect is nothing more than the cause of your real problem.

A good consultant will know how to find opportunities above obstacles, determine where the problem really lies, provide the right insights , and help the client solve their real problem. Being a consultant means gaining the freedom to think and act at a higher level than the mere executor, adopting a different mindset.

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How to Think Like a Consultant

  1. Keep Perspective

Often, success or failure in business and brand management is a matter of perspective. Short-term failures can be hidden long-term successes, while quick victories can sometimes lead to future losses. Keeping perspective is critical and will be the best tool to detect what is really important, what is not, and what we can ignore.

  1. Ask the right questions

Finding the right question can be challenging. As Einstein said , “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes to determine the right question, because once I know the right question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

The first step will always be to listen to what the client formulates, which will also help to establish a good relationship and connection between both parties. Then you have to take action, unfortunately there is no set of magic questions designed to make the discovery of the weak points the same, in any case. The types of questions you ask will vary depending on the type of problem, the business, the target audience, etc. Every conversation is different.

  1. Find arguments for what you’re advocating

Arguments are everywhere, but this doesn’t mean that anything is an argument. It is important to first know the context, the set of circumstances that surround the situation and without which it cannot be properly understood. Next, it is useful to identify the possible conclusions. This can be done in a number of ways, one technique is to place the conclusion prominently at the beginning or end of the argument. Next, you’ll need to identify the reasons, the statements that will support the conclusion.

Focus on eliminating uncertainty, don’t skip explanations. It clearly shows how everything is connected. It explains how taking a certain action leads to an outcome that is a solution to the problem. You need to be very clear about how your proposal relates to the strategic objective.

Each consultant will have their own method, but I would tell you that from my perspective perhaps it is not so much about finding the solution for someone else as it is about helping them find their own solution.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward

Photos: Shutterstock

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