Why McLaughlin Strategy?

Wherein Mark addresses his hypocrisy in becoming a consultant.

In the advertising and media industries, it is common for employees to complain about the dysfunctional impact that large consulting firms have had on their company. Often, my voice has been one of those. Now, I have become a consultant and since hypocrisy is one of my pet peeves, I feel the need to explain myself.

1. 10 consultants with 2.5 years experience each does not add up to 25 years of experience. I believe that putting 1 consultant with 25 years experience into a company can be more effective.

2. I don't focus on cost cutting, I focus on topline growth. I don't focus on revenues or monetization first because those are outcomes. I focus on improving value creation for the customer/consumer. When you execute against clear strategies and tactics for value creation, revenue growth kicks in.

3. Good listening is point-of-entry. I am paid to be worth listening to.

4. Many consultants discern what the CEO wants and then figure out how to make it happen. I focus on what the company needs as opposed to what it wants even if I am expressing a point-of-view that threatens my opportunity to expand the relationship.

5. Employee training does not have a lasting impact if it happens in a vacuum. First, the company must describe a new sense of purpose and direction and explain to employees how their jobs need to change so that they can deliver their best value for the company. Training towards a new destination that aligns with the company's evolution is effective and long lasting.

6. Consulting firms seem to be good at getting a company to grow addicted to their services. My approach is to empower employees and reduce dependency as a constant work process. I am not doing my job if I have become "indispensable" to my client.

7. I don't use Excel(tm) to support my recommendations. The rationale for my recommendations must be so tightly tied to consumer behavior, best practices, pragmatism and value, that the company embraces scalable and repeatable solutions instead of spreadsheets.