I have often noticed that when I describe my job to my husband, after about six words I can see his eyes glaze over while he silently plays Auburn football reruns in his brain. I don’t blame him. It is hard to grasp the specifics related to consulting with a “people, process, and technology” focus, since it covers quite a gamut of topics.
Over the holiday break, my brother-in-law got us hooked on the TV show “The Profit“. If you haven’t seen it, the show centers around investor Marcus Lemonis and his attempts to help struggling businesses by infusing capital and asserting business savvy advice for how to turn the companies around. After the second episode we watched, my husband turned to me and said, “I get it now! This is kind of what you do, isn’t it?!”
He was kind of right—my job at West Monroe Partners does center around aiding businesses to reach their maximum potential and operate more efficiently and more effectively. While we don’t frequently work with businesses that are going under or struggling to survive, they are almost always looking to optimize their performances or manage change within their ecosystem.
After binge watching many episodes, I have drawn a list of how I believe the show gets the process of helping companies right, and how WMP parallels the show.
1. People, process and product: In the show Marcus evaluates and creates plans to help companies based on the three pillars of people, process and product. At WMP, we help our clients in the realms of people, process and technology. Every successful organization takes care of their people, and in turn, gets taken care of by their people. Process is the critical performance factor that makes success repeatable and prescriptive. While Marcus focuses on product, WMP’s product is technology. By ensuring our clients’ tap their technology potential and use technology to their benefit, our clients are able to perfect their products, distribution and delivery.
2. Create clearly defined roles and leadership: Marcus makes a point within each episode to clearly define leadership and roles/ responsibilities. This is a task WMP always undertakes on a project as well. Without vision, people really do perish. Having a defined leader(s) with actionable plans makes for a successful project or program.
3. Make informed decisions: At WMP, we like to impress on our clients that decision making should be fact based or metric based. Business decisions should not be made on intuition or “gut feelings”. Marcus also tells his businesses that decisions have to be made based on the facts and numbers.
There are more ways our jobs as consultants really feel like “The Profit” and I recommend the show if you are curious about consulting as a career choice, or want to see how one successful investor operates. Thankfully, after binge-watching the show my husband now understands and is interested in what I do!