Our approach is designed to address your needs and we work with you not for you. We require close communication with you, joint planning and clear goals and objectives. This partnership approach ensures that we are helpful to you in realizing the outcome you desire. All our work is designed with the following criteria in mind:
- scrutable — we rely on information and analysis, not speculation. Our advice to you is based on the best information available, recognizing your time and other constraints. We draw on the professional literature, consultation with experts, both within and outside your organization, and our experience.
- independent — we are an independent organization offering only research and consulting services. Our advice is not influenced by head-office needs, or products sold in another division.
- comprehensive — realizing opportunities, or solving problems must be done with open eyes. We include environmental, technological, social and financial considerations in our work. As appropriate, we draw on the needs, expectation and understanding of businesses, governments, non-government organizations and consumers and citizens.
- useful — we strive to make our work understandable to you, your team, and where appropriate, your stakeholders. We ensure our work is relevant to the decisions that you must make.
We recognize that your consulting needs may be different from those of other clients we might have, and may be different from project to project or month to month, and we design a work program for your evolving needs. For example,
- a source of independent, expert advice — we work with you and your team to understand the questions you are trying to address, and then work independently to develop answers to those questions. These answers may serve as a ‘fresh look’ at the issues, or may serve as a second opinion validating your initial thoughts or identifying dimensions that may have been hidden.
- a supplement to your team — sometimes you will need to supplement your team with specialized skills or expertise, or merely need help to get over a short-term work burden. In these instances, our partnership approach ensures that there is a transfer of skills and knowledge to your staff, and continued value after we have completed our assignment.
- a burden off your mind — sometimes, you will just want to clear your slate of a particular problem or issue, and we can take over the management of it for you, minimizing the onus on you, while ensuring you have the information you need to feel confident that things are being handled, and handled effectively and efficiently.
Our contractual relationship with you will reflect the particular kinds of support you are looking for. Three common approaches are:
- a retainer — we bill you a fixed amount monthly, based on an expected level of need for our input and assistance. You draw on our resources as needed, ‘banking’ time in months when your demands are fewer. This relationship usually offers you the best value.
- milestone based projects — where together we are able to clearly define the scope of work to be undertaken, the level of detail that is needed and control of external factors, we will provide a fixed budget for the work, and identify billing milestones along the course of the project.
- billing by time and expenses — where you have multiple or evolving needs, or determining the scope of the work is a significant challenge in and of itself, we will bill by time spent and expenses incurred, usually on a monthly basis.