6 Principles that Guide my Life as a Consultant

February 26, 2024
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Hi, I'm Pavel, and my journey through dynamic sectors like startups, e-commerce, and retail has provided me with invaluable insights. These insights, combined with my experiences at companies like Komatsu, InBev, Pepsico, and SAP, allow me to offer fresh, impactful strategies to businesses ready to innovate and evolve.

At SAP, I acquired valuable experience in consulting principles and practices, which enhanced my ability to listen to clients, shape proposals, and maintain focus on delivery, communications, and expectation management. The valuable routine instilled from that experience is continuous learning; 25% of working hours were dedicated to courses, training, certifications, and self-development, gradually becoming my habitual practice. Additionally, I learned to confidently say no – sometimes the most valuable advice is to avoid investing time and resources in tasks that are better left undone.

To give you a clearer picture of my approach, let me outline the six core principles that define my work style:

💸 1. Invest in clients

Do as much as you can + even more, free of charge. I’ll give you an example. During a project with a large Retail business, the client encountered unexpected challenges during Black Friday sales that were not part of the original scope.

Instead of simply addressing the predefined tasks, I’ve proactively offered assistance and expertise to help the client improve these challenges with quick wins without additional charges. Further, it resulted in several months of engagement with a focus on e-commerce improvement initiatives. In the long run, it was the best decision.

👂🏻 2. Active listening, immediate solution

During the initial interactions with clients, it is essential to maintain effective communication to thoroughly understand their needs and expectations.

The 90% of the time is dedicated to actively listening to their feedback, concerns, and desires. Only the remaining 10% is reserved to immediately address any issues or concerns that may arise during the conversation.

This customer-centric approach allows for gathering valuable information to tailor strategies and provide personalized solutions. At the same time, it demonstrates your ability and expertise by offering timely and effective responses, thus strengthening the relationship with the client and building trust in your services or products.

🔍 3. Showcase your capabilities

When starting with new clients, begin by showcasing all of your capabilities. I usually do a 360 PoV discovery, and we narrow it down to the topics that matter now; the remaining ones can be kept for the future to extend your relationship with the client. This approach allows you to establish a solid foundation and build a long-term relationship based on mutual trust and added value.

🖇️ 4. Overdocument everything!

Take the time to write down your thoughts and ideas after the first meeting. Whether manually, online, or using transcription services, take the time to flesh out your ideas. Remember that the first meetings are the most important for learning about the real problem. Later, with a greater understanding of the client, you'll be able to identify new opportunities.

🧠 5. Use 100% of your previous experience

Apply the lessons learned from the companies and clients you've collaborated with. From the methodologies, templates, frameworks, and approaches to the extent of management styles and cultures, periodically do the lessons learned sessions on your own and over-document them.

💡 6. Don't limit yourself

Contrary to the previous point, avoid being restricted by predefined structures and methodologies. Foster creativity and agility; this activates an essential part of your being and sparks inspiration, ultimately filling you with pride for your accomplishments. Remember that innovation and flexibility are key to success in any project.

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Pavel Rudlevskii

I excel in creating product vision, strategic planning, rapid prototyping, establishing processes, and enhancing the performance of product and engineering teams. Furthermore, I offer expertise in technology, product, and data consulting and advisory for startups and large companies, with a focus on industries including Retail, E-commerce, FinTech, Hospitality, Automotive, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing, among others.