Business effectiveness › Business Partnering and Consulting Skills

Business Partnering and Consulting Skills

How to succeed as an internal consultant

This is a sample learning overview that we can design and deliver specifically for your organisation.

Becoming a fully-integrated business partner can transform the relationships you have within your organisation and the value of the contribution you and your team make.

This workshop gives you the knowledge and skills you need to make that integration happen. You will learn how to:

  • Maximise the value of the contribution you make to the success of your organisation
  • Focus on the high-value activities and initiatives – those things that make a real difference to business success
  • Reduce unproductive activities and wasted effort and resource
  • Change the perception of your team 
  • Build the reputation of your team as a proactive, strategic partner in the long-term success of your organisation

Workshop highlights

Our business partnering seminar will enable you to:

  • Fully align your contribution with the strategy of your organisation
  • Maximise the value of that contribution
  • Are fully integrated into the process of strategy definition and execution – and of business planning
  • Build constructive, positive relationships with colleagues at different levels of seniority and in different function areas

View typical programme content


09:00 Morning session

What do we mean by business partnering?

How business partners move beyond a purely operational  and task focus to add significant value by being:

  • Strategic partner and change agent
  • Talent manager
  • Ally in organisational development
  • Source of competitive advantage
  • Contributor to business success

How to become a business partner

Business partners:

  • Have great professional relationships across the organisation and are active contributors to conversations about its future, its strategy and market position, its vision, mission and goals
  • Focus more on outcomes that inputs. They continually seek to assess and quantify the value they are contributing to the  organisation 
  • Understand the difference between value and cost. They are commercially aware, they understand the organisation’s balance sheet and not just their own budget 
  • Ensure that everything they do meets high quality standards
  • Use quantitative and qualitative metrics and clear KPIs to assess their performance and contribution
  • Benchmark their performance against other teams in other organisations and sectors 
  • Think and act strategically

How to develop the skills you need

Successful business partners act as internal consultants – they therefore have the full range of consulting skills, including:

  • Achieving clarity around vision and mission
  • Understanding business context – pressures, trends, regulatory and legal issues, competitors, markets etc.
  • Thinking strategically to help develop a coherent and integrated response to that context
  • Analysing needs and defining problems
  • Developing solutions
  • Implementing solutions through project management and exemplary execution
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Stakeholder and relationship management

Afternoon session

How to build great stakeholder and colleague relationships

Practical work on how to:

  • Build productive, trust-based relationships with key people in your organisation  - and with external stakeholders
  • Provide ‘constructive challenge’ within those relationships
  • Work successfully with a broad diversity of different people with different profiles and ways of working
  • Engage with colleagues across the organisation to develop and implement initiatives, projects and solutions
  • Be proactive and initiative change
  • Contribute to the process of turning ideas into action and achieving successful change

Making the change to business partnering

  • Using a robust model to map the changes you and your team need to implement to make a successful transition to a business partnering approach
  • Making change happen in a number of different dimensions – attitude and approach, team culture, processes, interpersonal interactions
  • Identifying obstacles to change – inertia, resistance, failure to articulate the business case, failure to communicate compellingly
  • Action planning and mapping the way forward

17:00 Close of seminar

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A wide range of learning methods ensures we deliver learning that is appropriate, specific and drives sustainable change.

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