10Nov2016

What I learnt the most as a startup Consultancoach?

One evening during 1997 around 16:00 in Stuttgart, when I was working as the technical assistant to the management board of a global division in Bosch, the Chairman of the Automotive Sector walked out of his cabin and commented sarcastically that the Indians are very consistent in delivering outstanding samples, often delayed, and later facing huge problems to deliver regularly. I countered in vain. But that day I wanted to change this perception. This surely was the seed for me wanting to Consultancoach companies based on my vast international exposure with both knowhow and doHow. Of course, there are negligible exceptions of world class performance in India today but unfortunately excellence and perfection are not as normal as in developed economies.

So finally, in 2013 I started as a Consultancoach with a strong drive to change the world, but realized very fast that the client’s success depended on me and my expertise in identifying the knowing and the doing gaps quickly to then intervene to bridge these gaps. Based on this, I embarked on a totally seed funded venture for mass delivery and developed the doHow™ APP with all my wisdom on various topics for sustainable profitable growth. Many I spoke to told me that such a concept is too futuristic and will need at least a decade for good penetration. Some suggested that it could work wonders in developed economies, where merit and competence is the key to success.

My basic assumption of people wanting to continuously improve their competence to succeed may have been wrong especially in the developing economies badly needing a quantum leap in the competence levels for progress, since proximity and blind obedience to the boss possibly were most important for success. Therefore, the deployment had to be top down, as is the case with my clients. The probability of individuals using the doHow™ APP on their own may be rather low.

My assumption of people being tech savvy with smartphones was wrong, since the most interaction with the smart phone is to just read messages and forward them with a negligible few using the smart phone as a smart assistant for better effectiveness. Therefore, the APP per se needing some effort wasn’t that appealing. Even the web based interactive sessions, based on the APP weren’t very appealing.

My expectation and hope that various direct and indirect marketing (advertising) activities, like referral marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing, listing with aggregators, etc. will yield good results was also wrong. I realised that the most important for a new product/service startup is to create a WOW client experience before any marketing (advertising) activities.

My assumption, based on my coaching experience, that making people think of the key topics will naturally enhance their competence was correct. I then used this positive experience and introduced one to one interaction to develop Group Business Performance Consultancoaching.

My biggest insight was to continuously engage with the client and inspire almost instantaneously for inculcating a culture of introspective peer learning while the familiarity increases for a larger penetration.

I have conducted Group Business Performance Consultancoaching sessions with just 3 participants going up to 100+ participants in groups of 3 with each participant assuming the roles of a Learner, Listener and Onlooker in rotation for speaking about the doing concerning a topic from the doHow™. The participants not only felt happy but also left with invaluable insights.

My learning of the need to inspire and actively engage the client naturally with the product/service apart from intrinsically creating value innovation may be interesting for all startups.

Happy reading!