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Partnership is the “Secret Sauce” of Sylver’s Process

by Brianna Sylver

Sylver is uniquely positioned in the innovation industry at the intersection of User Experience, Market Research and Strategy. This confluence of disciplines and best practices ensures that we tackle each project with a problem-solving and customer-centric mindset, while consistently keeping market and organizational context front and center. But, this nexus positioning is not Sylver’s “secret sauce,” really. Rather, the secret ingredient to our consistent success resides in our commitment to relationships.

In fact, Sylver’s Purposeful Innovation approach celebrates partnership, and hence relationships, at its core. It is these relationships — fostered throughout the innovation process — that consistently yield transformational impact within our client organizations. Yet, for our clients, going through the Purposeful Innovation process requires a level of trust, engagement and commitment to partnership that generally exceeds the traditional research model.

We insist on a relationship, as it is the key ingredient to your ultimate success.

Of course, everyone says that they want to collaborate and be a partner. (Come on … no one in a service-based industry would say, “Yep, I prefer transactions, sans relationship.”) But there is a difference between wanting that relationship and truly insisting upon it as an a priori condition.

At Sylver, we require partnership of our clients. It’s a non-negotiable because we truly care about you and your success (in ways that we’re told differs from our competitors in the marketplace). From past experience, we know that relationships are what ultimately drive the impact of our work within your organization. Hence, fostering a long-term relationship; a partnership full of discovery, product/service transformation, transparency, accountability, respect and results is at the core of every action taken by the Sylver Consulting team.

We invest in our relationship through a three-part Purposeful Innovation process.

Our investment in you begins much before an official scope of work has been contracted.

Purposeful Innovation

Part 1:

We Chart Your Path

Step 1: Engage in a Clarity Call: Note that a Clarity call is not an email or a Q&A session about your RFP. We use this time to hone in on the scope of work to be tackled, how this particular initiative ladders to a broader business goal and assess — without attachment — if Sylver Consulting is a “best fit match” to support you in that scope of work.

Step 2: Source Your Project: Assuming a “best fit match” is determined as an outcome of the Clarity Call, Sylver delivers both a proposal and a brief exercise for your project decision committee to review and complete. This exercise is intended to (1) determine whom you should hire for your project and (2) to validate that the scope of work is sufficiently addressing the key requirements of all stakeholders involved in the initiative.

Once you’ve determined that Sylver Consulting is a “best fit match” for your project, we transition into execution mode … in alignment with your project goals.

Part 2:

We Develop Your 360º Vetted Growth Vision

Step 3: Engage in an Alignment Workshop (not your average project kick off!): This is a facilitated conversation that illuminates hypotheses and assumptions that are framing how key stakeholders are viewing this current challenge in your organization. “Under the surface, between the lines” type of content captured here is pivotal to the exploration that occurs throughout your project and the impact of its results.

Step 4: Execute Your Path of Discovery: While paths of discovery differ with every project, two things are constant: We actively and authentically encourage collaboration and partnership throughout the experience, from beginning to end. We also intentionally build iterative cycles of learning and reflection into your custom path of discovery, as we know from past experience that cycles of “learn — reflect — adapt” yield higher returns when it comes to stakeholder buy-in, and hence increase probability of execution against the resulting growth vision.

Step 5: Translate Insights into Action: At Sylver, we view consumer insight as the spark that lights the fuel for next step action. This translation step takes many forms depending on the scope of the initiative (i.e., workshop, meeting, recommendations), but it always produces next step inspired actions that ladder to a broader 360º vetted growth vision of the project team. The active nature of creating these next step inspired actions foster and cement stakeholder buy-in throughout the engagement.

Once our project ends, we continue to nurture our partnership by being there as a side line advisor and cheerleader as the need presents itself (at no additional cost to you!).

Part 3:

You Execute Your 360º Vetted Growth Vision

Step 6: Debrief Our Project Engagement: Valuing the long-term nature of our working relationship, we reconvene for a project post-mortem to celebrate the learnings gained, the next step actions being taken on the project and what went well. We also use part of that conversation to talk about what could be improved and things to watch out for in the future.

Step 7: Monitor Your Progress: We recognize that while we helped you to create your growth vision (quite possibly the easy part), executing upon that growth vision is another challenge that faces you. We want you to succeed in the execution of your growth vision so we will regularly check in to see how things are going for you and offer some additional perspective to issues vexing the team.

Relationships ignite action and maximize impact.

Bottom line, I’ve been in this industry for 15 years and founded Sylver Consulting 12 years ago. From past experience, I know relationships make or break project success.

This investment in relationships, plus the nexus positioning of Sylver at the intersection of User Experience, Market Research and Strategy support a unique positioning for Sylver that has resulted in our dearest clients referring to us as “covert cultural change artists.” We adore this title as it communicates two things to us:

  • The 360º vetted growth visions — created through Sylver’s Purposeful Innovation process — yield the transformational impact intended of them.
  • This transformation willingly occurs without a lot of strife and conflict because the process fosters relationships — amongst client stakeholders, business units and at the supplier-client level. Solid relationships make everything smoother — getting organizational buy-in on a new direction, making sure critical ideas don’t get lost during hand-offs, etc.

If you have interest in learning more about Sylver’s unique nexus positioning at the intersection of User Experience, Market Research and Strategy, and more specifically the value of that nexus positioning to getting research done “faster, cheaper and better,” I suggest you >check out Jean McDonnell’s article entitled, “Finding the Solution to the ‘Better, Faster, Cheaper’ Dilemma.”

  • Design
  • Innovation
  • Market research
  • Strategy
  • Client relationship
  • Co-creation
  • Partnership

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Let’s talk!

Need to transform your brand, product, service, company or team? We can bring clarity and focus to that process.

Reach out to set up a free discovery call. On this call, we’ll get clear on your scope of work to be tackled, how your initiative ladders to a broader business goal of your organization, and assess — without attachment — if Sylver Consulting is a “best fit partner” to support you in your scope of work.