The Ascent Model
Ascent has developed an unusual model for working with individuals and organizations to achieve even greater levels of success and satisfaction. Some would call this consulting, but it is different from that. Some of the key elements of the Ascent Advising Model are:
Relationship based: Experience has shown that we can be of far greater value and provide assistance more effectively if we know you, your team, and your organization well. By spending some time at the beginning to become familiar with one another, we can know more of the “why” as well as “what” needs to be done. A vital part of those early discussions is talking about what success looks like for your organization and the people in it. We base our work on relationships, not transactions.
Long-term: While we do provide project-specific services, we prefer to have those projects performed in the context of a longer-term relationship. Often times a consultant is called in because there is a project that needs to be done right away, or because there is a crisis. This is fine, but often the truly important tasks that need to be performed are not urgent, and become apparent as we work together over a period of months, not hours.
Holistic: Rather than having a narrow expertise in one or a few specific topics, Ascent provides a “big picture” approach to defining and achieving success. We can dig into the specifics in many areas of running a business, but more importantly, we can assist you in gaining direction and focus.
Customized: We don’t arrive in your office with a canned program to sell. Instead, we arrive with an open mind and a wealth of knowledge and experience to tailor a working relationship that is most effective for your circumstances.
Teaching and equipping: Yes, we can come into your organization and perform a task, but we also focus on teaching and equipping you and your organization to increase your capabilities and competencies. We teach you to fish, not just give you a fish.
Retainer-based rather than project, daily, or hourly rates: Most of our clients have Ascent on a retainer. By having a fixed monthly fee rather than a daily, hourly, or project-based fee, several benefits are experienced.
Many consultants report that they spend from one quarter to three quarters of their time looking for more work. Thus when they do get a project, their rates tend to be higher to cover the downtime spent looking for that next client. By working on a retainer basis, Ascent uses the time normally spent looking for new clients on adding value to the work we do for existing clients. This is far more cost-effective for the client and more rewarding for Ascent.
When working together to define and achieve success for your organization, open, clear and regular communication is needed. If a consultant’s services are billed out at an hourly rate, clients hesitate to contact the consultant for fear of running up more charges. Underlying every conversation is the thought, “This is costing me a fortune for every minute I talk”. This severely stifles communications. When working on a retainer basis, communication can occur as needed, not just when it is affordable.
Experience: The final word is that Ascent brings experience. We didn’t just read it in some book or hear about it at a seminar. With over two decades of running and leading businesses as an executive, we have, in many cases, faced the same issues and challenges you are facing. This makes our work together both more effective and more efficient.
To learn more, or to discuss how we might apply this model in our work together, please contact us.