The Cash-flow Wars

iStock 000010185637XSmall empty walletWinning a consulting project feels like a victory but the real war is just beginning. While we’re always happy when money comes into our business, we’re not so thrilled when it goes out again. The movement of cash in and out of your business every month is called your cash flow.

Answer these questions:

·       What is your current bank balance? How is your current balance different from last month’s?

·       Do you have a balance sheet? When was the last time you looked at it?

·       Do you have a year end? What is your anticipated revenue this year?

You are not alone if you don’t know the answers.

Read more: The Cash-flow Wars

The Business Plan: Information Interviews

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(The Coffee Shop Chronicles, Part 2)

 Time for coffee at last! Maggie already has a table reserved for us.

Gail: Maggie-great to see you. How’s the consulting life?

Maggie: Just about to wrap up one project, another one about to start, and it’s soccer season—the twins are really into it this year. Here’s George!

George: Ladies! Time to put our heads together again.

Chris arrives, smiling broadly.

Chris: Hey, everyone, have I got news! I have a gig! No kidding. It just dropped into my lap. Now I really need to decide what to do.

Read more: The Business Plan: Information Interviews

Double-loop Learning for Consultants: Moving Beyond the Quick Fix


GettyImages 154966273_Woman_with_file_folderConsultants have short attention spans. We like to get in, get it done, and get out again so we can move on to the next project. This is in part because we bore easily and the grass looks greener in our next project but it is also due to our continued need for new business. Unless we return for a repeat performance, we get limited feedback from our clients and can neither judge the full effect of our work or nor learn what happened afterwards.

Because our skills are technical in nature, as time passes we develop a repertoire of assumptions, methods, and techniques which make it increasingly difficult to be open to the complexities we face. The mental models that guide our actions become more rigid and can result in what SchÓ§n calls a parochial narrowness of vision. We find ourselves offering solutions in search of a problem.

Read more: Double-loop Learning for Consultants: Moving Beyond the Quick Fix

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