Hero background


Content scroll icon
Another Look at Resistance In any conversation with clients, there are concerns that are rarely discussed. These doubts vary in intensity with their perceived risk and loss of control; they are personal to the individual and the situation—they are not the same for everyone. Read Post
Tips And Traps For Internal Consultants Are you in a position to influence others, but have no authority to make changes or implement programs? If so, then you meet the definition of a “consultant” as found in Peter Block's book, Flawless Consulting. As internal consultants, we want to help solve our clients' problems. We work to have our expertise used and our recommendations implemented. We strive to build and maintain partnerships with our clients. Read Post
A Short Version of My Misunderstanding of Gestalt In October 2019, Designed Learning marked the 40th anniversary of its founding with a webinar where Peter shared some thoughts on the origins of the company. It all began with a workshop, he said, that was grounded in a simple belief: relationships are decisive. What hasn't changed over the years is this basic belief that relationships are decisive, not convenient, not rewarded, not comforting. And so it turns out that your ability to engage in honest, authentic relationships has everything to do with business performance. In this blog post, Peter reflects farther back, into the origins of that simple belief that gave Designed Learning its footing. Read Post
What’s Thanksgiving Without Pizza? Thanksgiving: a time for family, friends, football, and food… turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and of course pizza. What’s the matter? Don’t you have pizza on your Thanksgiving table? Our Thanksgiving pizza tradition started years ago when I invited Bob, Diane, and their family to our house for Thanksgiving. They had recently moved to Connecticut and would be alone for the holiday. When I asked Bob’s children what they wanted for thanksgiving dinner his teenaged son yelled, “Pizza”! This drew a rebuke from Bob. He apologized to me and informed his son that pizza was not a traditional food for Thanksgiving. Read Post
Consulting Complexities: Final Thoughts on What to Do The promise of consulting is a commitment to care and to serve. We promise to act in the interest of another, the client. This series of blog posts explored some of the complexities consultants face that interfere with our capacity to serve, even in the face of our best intentions. With this post, we wind the series up with a few more thoughts on what to do. Read Post
Beyond Coaching: The Value of Consulting to Create Productive Partnerships, with Lydia Schimmelpfenig During this webinar, Lydia Schimmelpfenig discusses going beyond coaching practices, the recent focus in organizations on coaching skills, and how consulting skills can enhance an organization’s coaching culture to create productive partnerships. Read Post
Be the Consultant Your Clients Want to Mirror Over the last several years buzz words like authenticity, compassion, courage, empathy, and kindness have all made their way into thought leadership blogs and articles. The premise is that leaders who demonstrate these characteristics are more likely to be successful and have better team and organizational outcomes. At the foundation of these ideas is the fact that none of us want to work for or with people who do not demonstrate these and other basic characteristics for effective human interaction. There is something that draws us to others who engage with us in the same way that we would want to ideally engage with others. This is one of the underlying components of Flawless Consulting. As an internal or external consultant, we have to engage with our clients in an authentic, courageous, wholehearted way. This, in turn, creates the environment for our clients to engage with us in that same way. Read Post
Ruminations on Influence The heart of consulting, as Peter Block has so succinctly put it, is “influencing without direct authority.” That holds for those of us who work as external consultants as well as anyone in a staff role working internally. Therefore, it seems worth thinking about the source and process of influence. Read Post
Delivering Consulting and Implementation We are good at more than implementing solutions that require our specific technical or business expertise. We also know a lot about helping design optimal solutions, based upon thoughtful analysis of situation-specific problem sets and desired outcomes. We’ve seen plenty of well implemented solutions that work in one place, but not in another. With this experienced insight, we can help folks figure out the best solutions that fit their particular situations. In short, we offer consulting expertise in addition to implementation expertise, and we focus on helping our clients/stakeholders get the results they want—not just getting a solution “done” according to the specifications. Read Post
How Does Flawless Consulting Apply To You and Your Organization? When explaining Flawless Consulting to a friend outside of my regular consulting world, I like to highlight building authenticity and awareness in relationships. I want to highlight how work projects can be approached differently, using the Flawless consulting structured framework, that allows people to enter into projects more consciously. I appreciate these elements because they lead to a more effective project with the opportunity for greater impact, by building the relationship along with technical expertise. Read Post