Two years ago, we made a shift at The Clearing. We realized trying to fit our service offerings into defined boxes was becoming increasingly difficult. To no one’s surprise, that’s because the problems we were helping our clients solve didn’t fit neatly into boxes.
That’s when we knew it was time to evolve our services – and with that – our Solution Areas were established.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing each of our Solution Areas, including the methodologies that make them unique. Today, I’ll walk you through why we made the shift and how it’s impacting our clients for the better.
“Rather than a prescriptive set of services, Solution Areas provide us the ability to orient into the arenas of change that are most relevant at any given time.”
Why We Adjusted Our Model
Senior leaders seek out The Clearing for a variety of reasons. For example, we might hear from clients when they’re receiving feedback from their customers that is less than ideal. Or when they need to engage their customers in a new way but aren’t sure where to begin. The catch is that there are likely many ways to work through these challenges, but they often boil down to a few key areas: Culture, Customer Experience (CX), Leadership, or Strategy. To support those areas, we’ve built frameworks around each that serve as a starting point for almost any type of challenge a client might encounter.
For example, you may be clear on the experience you want to deliver to your clients, but do you have the right organizational culture in place to deliver and sustain it? Once you have addressed customer experience and the culture of the people executing your mission, how might you train leaders to continue to grow your organization and meet ever-changing market needs? What training or coaching might be needed to empower your workforce?
A leader might notice a strategy problem, or a culture problem first. We found that by simply using these Solution Areas instead of a laundry list of services, we could more adequately provide our clients with a clear line of sight into how we can help them improve their organizations.
How Solution Areas Have Improved Delivery
Our Solution Areas often work in concert with one another – and our Solution Area Directors meet on a weekly basis to identify those opportunities. This is critical for two reasons:
- First, cross-solution partnerships demonstrate our commitment to what our clients actually need instead of fitting their problem into a predetermined box. Our clients and their people’s needs come first and oftentimes cross-solution partnerships are how best we can serve them.
- Second, the nature of change efforts means new needs emerge over time. It doesn’t pay to be overly fixated on a specific problem at the start, as the root of the issue is often discovered in the learning process. Starting with a framework allows our consultants to pivot into the right solution instead when those discoveries are made.
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork on why we switched our service model to Solution Areas, be on the lookout for introductions to each of them from our Solution Designers.
Sonya Patel Jason Miller Yasmeen Burns
Strategy & Leadership Culture Customer Experience