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The Cost to See Your Organization's Vision Become A Reality

The Cost to See Your Organization's Vision Become A Reality

consulting Oct 20, 2022

Tell me if you've heard this one. You're talking to a friend over lunch, and they mention a new business book they've read and how helpful they found it. Let's say it's a book about how to take your business and team to the next level of success. Internally, you're thinking, "Sounds great, but how do I know if this will work for me? DIY is truly all the rage, but will it really work with my business?"

We get it, and we've done it. There are so many books, articles, and, yes, even YouTube videos on how to run your business, attract the right talent, become a HiPo leader…and the list goes on. There are so many options on the market to help business owners navigate an effective organizational development process.  The question every leader needs to grapple with is which option is the best option for them, and at what cost. Which option is best for you?

After countless books, articles, webinars, Google searches, and dialogues with business owners, we found there are some common approaches that most business leaders reach for when they are ready to get serious about building their business and scaling it to the next level. Each next level of engagement with an outside resource also increased the assistance provided and, with greater assistance, an increased price tag. When a business is considering an organizational development process, we found the following to be some of the most common approaches:

· DIY – books, videos, articles

· Trainings and Workshops – online or in-person education on a developmental process

· Business Coaches and/or Consultants– partnering with a coach or consultant to walk through an organization’s unique developmental process in a fully customized approach or utilizing an established process

DIY options are the least expensive and standardized in their approach.  Articles are often available online at no cost and most books are available for $15-$25 dollars on Amazon.  A couple of the books we have found to be very helpful are:

· The Lean Startup

· Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief

· ScalingUp

· Traction

· 4Disciplines of Execution

Each book has its own specific audience, generally gathered around stage or size of the business. We found each of these books has great principles that, if applied well in your context, can yield unbelievable results. However, that's the catch…your context matters! And no book can predict the exact context (stage of business, market, industry, supply-chain issues, etc.) that you are uniquely facing. DIY options also have one other potential advantage or challenge…YOU! The DIY approach, by definition, relies on you to initiate and follow through with every next step. You will either have the discipline to see the process all the way through and watch your organization grow, or not so much.

That leads to the next option –trainings and workshops. There aren’t quite as many trainings as there are books and articles, but there are still plenty of options.  Trainings can last anywhere from a day or two to several months utilizing healthy spacing to develop and install elements as you work through them.  Trainings can cost as little as several hundred dollars for an online course to many thousands of dollars participating in a university’s executive education program.  These courses are generally more exhaustive than a DIY book and often give you access to additional resources for questions and counsel.  The primary responsibility for completion and installation still falls on the organization’s leaders.

Your next option generally comes with a significant jump in price but includes an increase in partnership. Hiring a business coach or consultant is like hiring a temporary part-time employee that is solely focused on helping you develop and install an organizational development process and plan. When done well, this is a partnership that can be extremely effective but potentially costly.

Throughout the pandemic and in the years that followed, the coaching industry and the number of newly minted certified coaches exploded. The best coaches, however, and consultants for that matter, not only have coaching training but knowledge and experience in the area you are seeking partnership.  The more a coach or consultant has to offer in experience, tools and proven processes, the more you should expect ineffectiveness…and cost.  These arrangements can range from an hourly rate of $200/hour to long-term engagements that cost more than $50,000. The benefit of these programs is an increased expectation of effectiveness and expertise to partner with you.

A final option is to create a hybrid version of two or more choices. The most common approach for those organizations that are just getting started or are still in an emerging stage, is to start with a DIY option or course and engage a coach to partner with them in the process, not necessarily lead the process.  As with all things in the early years, or lean years, of an organization, sweat equity is often a part of the cost to be paid.  This hybrid option enables organizations to get the training they need while securing a resource to answer questions specific to their context and circumstances, while also providing mediated expertise and cost strategically. The true cost of this approach is obviously wildly varied, but a couple thousand to ten thousand dollars and up should be a reasonable range to anticipate.

Regardless of your organization’s size, age, or stage, an ongoing organizational development process is essential to your ultimate success.  Fortunately, the options for engaging that process are vast in scope and cost.  No one option is right for every situation but staying engaged in the process at each new stage will keep you moving forward.

At Leap Development we have designed several options to meet the specific needs of businesses in any stage.  We have an online course called the Leap Design Process for those of you that are new to organizational development and looking for a cost-effective way to learn the process and take your first leap into scaling your business.  For those owners and leaders that are further along and looking to engage a coaching or consulting partner, we would love to explore those possibilities with you.  Click here to schedule an initial discovery call and check out our website to explore the additional offerings we provide.