Who Are You?
What is Special About The Way You Work?
We are a team of professional facilitators with backgrounds in management consulting, graphic design, and health care and management. We are part of a large number of professionals sharing the same methodology and pattern language
. Many of us learned our craft through MGTaylor Corporation
and/or Ernst & Young, which used to be licensed to use the MGTaylor DesignShop methodology. We are members of The Value Web
Two attributes in particular come to mind:
First, we are not consultants and we do not have any answers. Our work presupposes that you and your colleagues (as well as external experts you might want to involve) ‘know’ the answers. Our job is to provide a deeply collaborative experience to make the best use of what you already know and then to assure convergence around your ‘answer’ and alignment of all key stakeholders.
Second, our approach is highly scalable. Most facilitation techniques are less effective as more people are drawn in. We believe that all key stakeholders need to be involved in designing a solution and our approach can accommodate them.
How Much Does It Cost?
How Do You Measure Your Effectiveness?
Much less than a comparable consulting assignment and much more than a traditional facilitated workshop. The factors that normally determine our fees are:
- how many people should be involved?
- for how long?
- any special preparation?
- an unusual deliverables?
- What sort of after-life support?
Apart from our fees, the principal cost of working with Matter is the uninterrupted time of a large team of people. We have great respect for this time commitment. Clients tell us that our fees represent good value for money and participants tell us that we demonstrate great respect for their time.
First: Implementation. We follow-up with our clients following our engagements to check on their success in implementing the solutions that emerged. The outstanding feedback we typically receive is what perhaps distinguishes our work most from the implementation track record of most consultants.
Second: Repeat business. Our clients don’t call us frequently; we work on big issues that usually don’t occur that often. But almost without exception they always call back. Almost all our clients return to us within two years of an initial engagement with a new challenge.
Is it Risky?
We face each engagement without knowing how it will turn out. We work with our clients to develop insightful questions whose answers are genuinely unknown. The lack of pre-determined answers can sometimes cause concern. As we work with our clients to prepare our engagements, we discover together that the risks which cause the greatest concern are intrinsic to the problem at hand and that our collaborative approach actually reduces these intrinsic risks more effectively than other approach our clients have tried.
What Does a Typical Engagement Lifecycle Look Like?
We normally start by working with a small Sponsor Team (5-8 people who ‘own’ the question to be answered or the project to be supported) and facilitate a 3-4 hour scoping session. This session serves to build alignment among the sponsors and between the sponsors and us about the objectives and desired outcomes of the engagement. On this basis, we develop an initial design brief and a proposed budget. Our engagement formally begins (and the meter starts running) when the Sponsors sign off on the brief and the budget. We usually require 4-6 weeks from that point to the ‘event’ itself, though this varies considerably. We typically produce the agreed deliverables within a few days of the event itself. Increasingly, we are being asked to play a more active role with our clients in the run-up to our events and in the follow-up and implementation phase that follows.
Who Uses Your Services?
We generally hear from people who ‘own’ an opportunity or a problem and have a sense of urgency. Many of our clients are responsible for a business unit or a major project and have been burned the last time around. About a third of our clients are non-profits or international organizations, such as the UN. Of the rest, we serve a good mix of industry sectors, including financial services, health care, technology (services as well as manufacturing), consumer products and retail.
Do You Provide Coaching?
service sometimes act as collective coaching for leadership teams or boards. We do not do individual coaching, as this lies outside our core competency of facilitating collaboration. Nevertheless, clients frequently ask us about coaching and we refer them, depending on their needs, to one of a small number of coaching firms with whom we work closely.