I recently had a client meeting with a big financial institution in Switzerland.
I walked into the meeting room and there were 3 serious looking team members present.
What struck me was that the first thing I got offered was the cable to connect my laptop to the projector to "present my services".
That's how it mostly works in companies. Consultants come in and without knowing anything about the client he/she starts to sell his/her services.
Especially considering that the client himself often doesn't have enough time to really think his/her current need through.
Knowing what I know about the unbelievable capacity of human beings once they become more relaxed and introspective, I respectfully declined the offer to plug in my laptop and asked them instead to tell me more about the challenges they were facing.
At first, they were surprised but within a couple of minutes, we were in the midst of an engaging conversation about their current situation. They dropped their serious thinking and professional behaviour and got in a more relaxed state.
As it turned out, while they were reflecting on it, what they actually needed was quite different from the initial email I got.
And with a bit of a nudge from my side they came up with a great solution that I can execute easily together with them.
We live under the illusion that somebody outside of us has the magical solution for our challenges in business (and life).
That is simply not true.
We have an innate capacity to come up with an infinite amount of ways to create whatever we want to create.