The answers we get are only as good as the questions we ask

Creating Lasting Change Starts With A Powerful Conversation

“Our work, our relationships, and our lives succeed or fail one conversation at a time”

Susan Scott author of Fierce Conversations

Often, prospective clients will reach out to me with questions like: ‘Hey, can you do the closing keynote at XYZ conference?’ or ‘Hey, can you work with my sales team? They’re stuck on this one problem.’

Don’t get me wrong: I’m always honoured that they would even think of me, but before I make a decision about whether or not to take on a client; I need to have some questions answered first. So, I schedule a call, and these are a few of the questions I ask:

1)     What would wild success look like – one month, three months, and six months – after this action? 

2)     In the event of wild success, how are you and your team acting differently?

3)     How will you measure everyone’s progress towards that vision?

Usually, after I ask these questions, there’s a bit of an awkward silence, followed by something along the lines of: ‘those are really good questions.’

Sometimes people don’t necessarily want to answer these questions, but the way they answer them plays a key role in my decision to move forward, or not.

The thing is, I don’t want to just take a gig just to get a gig. I want to be as a person who is just as invested in a client’s business results as they are. I don’t just want to be your guest speaker – I want to be your partner. 

Learning Alone Doesn’t Create Change

Ideas Are Only Valuable When Applied

Learning + Behaviour Change = New Business Outcomes

My Three Step Process:

Step 1: I provide context– or what some might call the ‘topic’ or ‘framework’ of the event. For the purposes of this example, let’s say the context is “Innovation in Challenging Times.”

Step 2:  I facilitate expert conversations – I have participants talk to each other (I know, crazy, right?) The bottom line here is that I’m not the expert in the room – at least not when it comes to the inner workings of this particular company. I don’t know what it’s like to work there every day. So, I provide the context, and then I have them talk to one another and exchange ideas.

Step 3: I help develop a 30-day action plan (with follow-up!) – Using the ideas that were generated during the expert conversations, we develop a plan that will work for them and their organization. I use a tool called the ‘Habit Builder’, in which we identify the behaviours that need to be addressed to reach their goals, and then track those behaviours for every person in the room for 30 days.

This process has been a total game-changer. It takes a one-off presentation and turns it into an interactive, 30-day experience with measureable results.

I’ve tried it with groups small and large – most recently, as part of a keynote with more than 300 people in 18 different countries. After the event, I got a call from the executive director of the organization, who said it was the most beneficial keynote they’ve ever had.

So, if you’re interested in creating real, lasting, measurable change within your organization, give me a call. If all you’re looking for is someone to come in and help you check off the “hire a speaker” box, I’m not interested.