Evolving the What. Always Grounded in the Why and How.
Over the past 13 years, I’ve run 15 marathons.
One thing I’ve learned from my experience is that a marathon isn’t really 26.2 miles long. Rather, it is the culmination of a massive effort that led up to the big event – the final 26.2 miles that come at the end of 500+ miles of training.
Each time my training commences, I pull motivation from different places; however, the reason that I run, my Why, has remained the same. Each marathon in which I’ve participated has been run in support of a charitable cause that is near and dear to me. Likewise, as simple as it sounds, my How has remained unchanged. Left foot forward, right foot forward, and repeat with a healthy dose of mental stamina.
What has changed over those years is my What, and what I do to prepare to run all those miles. My What has evolved as I’ve learned to listen to my body, know which pains are ones I can push through, and others about which I need to be concerned. Every year, I’ve pushed myself harder and layered on all sorts of cross-training to round myself out. In Kenway speak, resting on my laurels was never an option if I wanted to complete these races; my means had to adapt in order to allow me the experience of finishing 15 races (outcomes) in these 13 years.
Today is a big day at Kenway Consulting. We’ve changed our What. In an effort to increase the clarity of the areas where we can provide the most value to our clients, we’ve renamed our Capabilities and Services with which we go to market.
Similar to my marathon experiences, this is a big event that comes after months of planning and preparation. And while this announcement has the appearance of a big change, many foundational elements remain steadfast. Kenway’s Why and How – our competitive differentiators – remain tried and true.
Our Why, “To Help and Be Helped,” is the very reason Kenway exists. We exist to help businesses that need help. But more importantly, we want to provide it to businesses that want it. At the same time, as individuals and as an organization, we must be brave enough to seek out and accept help from our peers when we need it. We need to be willing to enhance or tweak the means we are employing in efforts to achieve even greater outcomes.
Our How is how we deliver. We staff our engagements optimally by bringing on the right skills, at the right time, in the right volume, for the right duration. From a staffing and resourcing perspective, it takes a little more effort on our end to do so, but we believe it worthwhile because this is how we help maximize the value and minimize the cost for our clients.
This leads to the alteration of our What. As a company that is acutely focused on the means over the outcomes, I would be remiss if I didn’t articulate how this most recent outcome was achieved.
First, the question that must be asked: Why change if Kenway has grown every year since its founding, through both positive and negative economic conditions?
One of our Guiding Principles is, “To never rest on our laurels, always looking to the future to identify necessary changes to maintain and improve Kenway’s strategic advantages.” At a leadership meeting last year, the rationalization of our Capability and Service offerings was identified as one of our most important strategic objectives.
While we’re officially changing the messaging of how we go to market and what we do, the reality is, we had already evolved to this point. It just hadn’t been formalized. We wanted to make sure that the market clearly understood what we do and, where necessary, align with what the market understands. This should allow us to spend less time explaining what we do and more time on our Why and our How – our key differentiators.
As the rationalization of our Capabilities and Services began, we were again rooted in a few Guiding Principles. First, “To debate options prior to decisions, implement the selected option without second-guessing, but make necessary changes as experience and knowledge increase.”
Changing the market-facing message of an organization does not happen without debate. There was a significant debate. There were multiple proposals and a few trips back to the proverbial drawing board. But once the debate was settled, we all knew the direction we needed to head, and we were all on board. However, as we worked through the debate, we were also grounded in a few other Guiding Principles.
The first, a Guiding Principle with a client focus: “To provide premium-level consulting services at below-market pricing.” To align with this principle, we needed to focus on the value we could deliver to our clients. We needed to make sure that the services on which we were focusing could be delivered so that our clients realized maximum value while addressing some of their most pressing and complex problems.
What we found was that we were most effective at addressing those problems and maximizing value when we owned a greater amount of project scope, and maintained clear lines of delineation between where our responsibility ended, and somebody else’s began. Our updated Capabilities and Services align most closely with engagements on which we owned a greater amount and clarity of scope and, therefore, had greater control over successful delivery.
None of that would be possible without high caliber and talented employees to deliver those services. Therefore, we also needed to align to a Guiding Principle with an employee focus: “To encourage professional growth through challenging work opportunities, training and mentoring, and to provide employees the freedom to maximize their own potential by enhancing the aforementioned opportunities.”
In other words, if we weren’t pursuing opportunities to help our clients that our employees felt were challenging, we wouldn’t have the high caliber resources to help our clients.
One capability is Technology Solution Delivery. At the highest level, this is how we help our clients run their business. We do this by helping them to enable their people and processes through technology. This starts by establishing an IT strategy that aligns with a client’s business strategy – through solution architecture to custom-built or enterprise packaged application solutions.
Another capability, Information Insight (or what we refer to internally as “all things data”), is the capability that helps our clients better understand their business. We do this by helping them draw insight from data they may have, or by helping them identify and define a flow for the data they may be unaware exists. We may also help to instantiate data governance frameworks or build business intelligence and advanced analytics platforms on their behalf. We turn data into information, and information into insight.
So, if Technology Solution Delivery helps our clients run their business, and our Information Insight capability helps them understand their business, then our Enterprise Program Leadership capability is the glue that holds it all together. It is this Kenway skillset that ensures our clients’ people, processes, and technology are aligned for successful transformational change in the business.
Delivery Excellence is the table-stakes of any engagement. On all our engagements, we ensure that the right amount of Project Management, Business & Technical Analysis, and Quality Assurance is applied to deliver successfully, and then complete a full handoff to the client through our Transition Planning.
On our journey of planning and preparation for our new What, this feeling is a familiar one. We’re now toeing the start line, ready for the final 26.2 miles. We’re well rested, refreshed, and ready for the starting gun to fire. We are happy and excited about the means we executed to get here. But there is one final Guiding Principle I should highlight: “To generate revenue by being good, being truthful and spreading the word through personalized, intentional and consistent networking.” In other words, you can expect to hear more from us soon!
In the meantime, we’ve updated our website to reflect these evolved Capabilities and Services, and refreshed the pages with a new look. We encourage you to visit www.kenwayconsulting.com to learn more, and reach out to us with feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.