๐Ÿ“‘ How (and why) to roll your own frameworks in consulting engagements

Bookmarked How (and why) to roll your own frameworks in consulting engagements (tomcritchlow.com)
  • Frameworks are simple tools for thinking that can create a shared world view and be easily referenced
  • The first instinct of many consultants is to grab a framework that youโ€™ve heard of but this causes problems in three ways:
    • Theyโ€™re too complex
    • Theyโ€™re not relevant enough
    • You didnโ€™t make it so thereโ€™s little attachment
  • Instead I believe you should be making your own frameworks and they you should focus on:
    • Simple frameworks (even a simple categorization is a framework)
    • True frameworks that say something about the clientโ€™s business
    • Co-creating them with clients so you get the IKEA effect
  • Iโ€™m still figuring it out but I believe doodling, sketching, notebook diagrams and visual thinking can help you get better at making frameworks
  • And, finally, for maximum effectiveness you need to focus on memorable names – compress to impress.
Tom Critchlow reflects on the use of frameworks to inform decision making. He touches on the failure of pre-existing framework and instead suggests we should focus on co-creating:

  • Firstly you avoid almost-true frameworks. The client almost certainly knows more than you do and has an awareness for the corporate memory so can help you avoid evolutionary dead ends that might not be immediately obvious.
  • Secondly by co-creating with the client you get at least one senior member of the organization fully immersed in the theory, not just the summary of the framework. Remember frameworks are abstractions – by design – but you want at least someone who understands the whole system not just the abstraction
  • Thirdly, because the client co-created it with you they are proud of their work and far more likely to use, reference and share the framework than if you hand it to them fully formed.

This process stems from ‘client-ethnographies’ that is a part of ongoing work:

Every time youโ€™re on-site with a clientโ€™s organization youโ€™re studying the people, the behaviours, the motivations. Youโ€™re asking questions of as many people as you can.

Activities such as doodling and refining the name can help with with the process.

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