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The expert beside you: NATIONAL Atlantic’s Art of Consulting series

September 27, 2022
The expert beside you: NATIONAL Atlantic’s Art of Consulting series

Peer-to-peer training is both an excellent use of internal resources and a way for senior team leaders to share their experience. It’s also a lot of fun. And you never really know a complex topic until you can teach it.

The Art of Consulting, our new training exercise at the Halifax office, was our way of setting aside time to focus on learning and polishing the skills we use to help clients in different sectors and organizations advance their mission. Every member of the team was invited to participate regardless of service area or title. We wanted the broadest possible perspectives for each session, so that creatives could learn from public affairs, public affairs could learn from marketing and so on. This strengthened our integrated DNA…and broke down some of the more transactional aspect of virtual work.

Over five days, we drilled down into five topics, essential to great execution and strategy:

  • Integrated thinking
  • Brainstorming and creativity
  • Trusted advisor
  • Difficult conversations
  • Budgeting and planning

The advice and principles shared weren’t lectures. We focused on practical tips and best practices and used workshop formats so everyone could grapple with the ideas. From brainstorming ways to promote an odour-eating garbage can to roleplaying complex conversations, the sessions were hands-on and interactive. It was also an opportunity to see a colleague’s superpowers on display, whether it was a creative’s take on brainstorming or a public affairs practitioner’s gift for breaking down an issue and building up a plan.

Though there was a hybrid option, most joined in person, which injected energy into the room and gave people a chance to reconnect with our culture. The survey feedback was instructive and clear: 100% said this was a great experience and that we should do it again.

By nature, consultants find ways to create the path toward a solution and will revisit and improve it. In this spirit we are already looking forward to reliving this experience with colleagues across the network, or event to customize it for our clients.

We love to teach, and we love to learn.


Written by Hugo Morissette

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